As we kick-off a new year, we invite you to look back on this sampling of Project Kesher 2011 highlights.
DECEMBER 2011: ‘NEXT GENERATION’ SEMINAR IN VOLOGRAD, RUSSIA
Project Kesher ‘Next Generation’ leaders from five cities in Southern Russia. In 2011, Project Kesher saw tremendous growth in the number of young Jewish women connecting to our work.
Students at Russia State University in Moscow are trained by Project Kesher to advocate for preventing domestic and date violence in an early start to PK’s wide-spread programming for “16 Days Against Violence.”
NOVEMBER 2011: TOLERANCE BUILDING IN DNEPROPETROVSK, UKRAINE
Project Kesher brought together representatives of 30 ethnic and religious groups for an outdoor program promoting inter-cultural understanding. Participants planted trees to beautify the city and as a show of unity. Representatives included the Jewish, Armenian, Belarusian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Lithuanian, Roma, Russian, Polish, German, and Greek communities. The project was part of Project Kesher’s region-wide program “16 Days to End Violence. Project Kesher initiated more than 50 events in 33 cities in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus on the issue of tolerance and domestic violence prevention this month.
OCTOBER 2011: MOTHER-DAUGHTER RETREAT IN KIEV, UKRAINE
Project Kesher brought together 27 participants from Russia and Ukraine for a Shabbaton seminar. Participants are trained to take leadership roles in Project Kesher Women’s and Youth Groups in their communities. One of the daughters tells us: “My first Shabbat was at this seminar. I remember it forever”.
SEPTEMBER 2011: PROJECT KESHER-ISRAEL LEADERSHIP SEMINAR
Project Kesher-Israel (PKI) addresses issues of social isolation and economic vulnerability, Jewish literacy and immigrant rights in the Russian-speaking community in Israel. PKI has 16 women’s groups, and is growing.
JULY – AUGUST 2011: PK WOMEN’S HEALTH PROGRAMS
Healthy life-styles and women’s health programming taking place in communities throughout Russia and Ukraine. PK teen groups focus on anti-smoking and healthy relationship-building campaigns.
A total of 22 cities conducted 28 anti-smoking programs.
JUNE 2011: PK REGIONAL MEETING OF BEIT BINAH (TEXT TO ACTIVISM)
Forty women and girls from 22 cities in Ukraine and Russia met at PK regional seminars to receiving training to enhance their facilitation skills and receive Beit Binah study materials. Victoria M. of Poltava, Ukraine, tells us: "... What I found out at the seminar will be brought to my Project Kesher Women’s Group. Themes of women's health, text study and how… it is proposed for discussion will, of course, be of interest to our women. "
PK TOLERANCE PROGRAM BROUGHT TO SCHOOL CHILDREN IN LVIV, UKRAINE
PK PARTICIPATES IN OUTDOOR ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION IN KIEV, UKRAINE
APRIL 2011: WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINIC OPENS IN TVER, RUSSIA AS A RESULT OF PK BREAST CANCER ACTIVISM
Project Kesher activists work to ensure the needs of women and girls are met when resource allocations are made.
Project Kesher activists work on the adoption of a draft of a bill addressing issues of gender equality in Oryol, Russia. In 2011, PK continued to advocate for the health and safety of women and girls at the local and governmental level.
MARCH 2011: PK DELEGATION FROM RUSSIA, UKRAINE AND BELARUS AT THE UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN NYC AND STATE DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON DC
PK Programming Director Vlada Bystrova of Krivoy Rog, Ukraine, (far left in photo) was interviewed in Washington D.C. by the Voice of America radio. In the 1960’s, Vlada’s grandfather secretly listened to The Voice of America which is how he learned Israel had won the Six Day War! Vlada says she felt as if her family had come ‘full-circle’ with her trip to Washington D.C. and interview about her life as a young Jewish woman and activist living in Ukraine.
FEBRUARY 2011: PK ACTIVISTS ADDRESS WIDE RANGE OF ISSUES IMPACTING WOMEN AND GIRLS
Project Kesher activists met with committees of the Russian Duma (government) to address improving mandates for, and enforcement of, child support laws; worked with the local government in Kineshma, Russia on improving the lives of the disabled and house-bound (including support at the local ORT Keshernet center for disabled residents); led a round-table discussion in Rybinsk, Russia on the particular needs of women in business; led a seminar for heads of the 18 ORT Keshernet centers on “Overcoming the Digital Divide” in Tula, Russia; and held a seminar on developing youth leadership in the Jewish community of Southern Russia.
Project Kesher Youth Shabbaton in Cherkassy Ukraine
PK Women’s Tu B'Shevat Seder in Cherkassy Ukraine
PK Beit Binah in Belarus training seminar
Project Kesher welcomes 2012 and wishes you a happy new year!