Grants will strengthen social connections and engage Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) families in Jewish experiences and learning across the United States and Canada

Halifax, NS – Russian-speaking Atlantic Canadian families raising Jewish children will now have more opportunities to participate in Jewish life, thanks to the RSJ Engagement Grant recently awarded by PJ Library®, the flagship program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that provides free books to families raising Jewish children all over the world. This competitive grant program is a partnership initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Genesis Philanthropy Group, a global foundation focused primarily, but not exclusively, on developing and enhancing Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.

The Atlantic Jewish Council received $10,000 to launch ABVGDeika, a new program of monthly Jewish experiences specifically geared towards Russian-speaking Atlantic Canadian families raising Jewish children under the age of nine.

The winning initiatives are designed to build social connections among Russian-speaking Jewish families and engage them in Jewish life, programming, or learning. They range from Jewish holiday celebrations and outings to cultural institutions, to picnics and Shabbat dinners.

“The Atlantic Jewish Council is honoured to receive this grant and is thrilled to be part of the global PJ Library community reaching more than 640,000 subscribers across 21 countries” said Naomi Rosenfeld, Executive Director of the Atlantic Jewish Council. “As we’ve seen from our experience with previous PJ Library® engagement grants, we are confident this opportunity will be revolutionary for our Jewish community in Atlantic Canada.”

The three winning grant proposals were chosen for their dedication to engage an underserved population in their community. They join four other communities in North America in creating engaging, cutting- edge programs to attract RSJ families raising young children. Respondents to a survey of previous RSJ Engagement-grant funded projects reported:

• 90% of families connected socially during the programs

• 96% of families had conversations about Jewish traditions and values after attending programs

• 98% would recommend the programs to friends

“PJ Library’s impact goes well beyond the more than 210,000 books we send out each month across the United States and Canada,” said Debbi Cooper, director of engagement for PJ Library. “We have worked closely with our local partners for over a decade to help advance Jewish family engagement, and now we are grateful to be able to add financial support to help ensure the success of great initiatives.”

“We hope these grants will allow each community to create a program relevant for and welcoming to its local Russian-speaking Jewish families, creating connections between them, but also to families receiving PJ Library books around the world,” said Marina Yudborovsky, Director of Strategy and Operations at Genesis Philanthropy Group.

Stay tuned for more information about our monthly ABVGDeika programs!

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