Growing Jewish Engagement of young Russian-speaking Families in Park Slope, Mill Basin, and Staten Island

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Last month, over 250 people joined the annual Marks JCH Kibbutznik shabbaton held in Club Getaway in Kent, Connecticut. Russian-speaking Jewish families with children ranging in age from just a few weeks old through age 14 enjoyed three days of escape from the city, fresh mountain air, and sophisticated, experiential, multi-generational Jewish education. The Kibbutznik Shabbaton is an exciting project of the Marks JCH’s work in our Park Slope and Brownstone Brooklyn Satellite. This year, through the partnership and support of PJ Library the Marks JCH has expanded our innovative satellite model to two new locations serving young Russian-speaking Jewish families in Staten Island and Mill Basin.

Thanks to continued support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Marks JCH is able to provide innovative Jewish family programming to the growing constituency of Russian-speaking Jewish young families making their homes in Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods. Our Toddler and Me class met weekly at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture across from Prospect Park, celebrating Tot Shabbat each Friday, and every month, we offered innovative Jewish holiday and cultural celebrations, as well as a sophisticated adult workshop series. Our partners at Hannah Senesh host our growing Kibbutznik Russian-language immersion day camp over the summer season.

This year we launched two new programs in Staten Island and Mill Basin offering weekly classes including theater and soccer as well as holiday celebrations for the whole family for Chanukah, Purim, and a special Passover sand performance by our artist in residence Zhenya Lopatnika.

The Marks JCH is able to offer a vibrant array of family offerings both at the JCH and offsite in our expanding satellites. Providing a continuum of services from early childhood engagement, to classes for grade school children, adult workshops and activities for the family unit. Connecting Russian-speaking Jewish families to rich Jewish culture and tradition is core to the mission of the continuing work of the Marks JCH. We are grateful to our partners at PJ Library and Genesis Philanthropy Group in supporting and joining us in this critical work.

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