On June 12, 2015, twenty two Russian-speaking Jewish families with children gathered at the JCC Perltstein Resort in Wisconsin for the 3rd Annual Russian Jewish Division's (RJD) Family Retreat. Led by Vicky Glikin, a Russian-speaking cantor of Congregation Solel of Highland Park, and Anna Gorbikoff, a Jewish educator and the RJD's Board member, the retreat was a way for these families to get away from the daily hustle, relax, and connect with other families with similar background and a shared immigrant background and experiences. The families enjoyed collectively celebrating Shabbat, learning blessings and songs, a bonfire with s'mores, guitar and Russian songs, Maccabiada mini-games led by Camp Chai counselors, boat rides, and many more activities. See photos .
On Sunday, February 22nd, 35 Russian-speaking families gathered for a Purim Puppet Show and Carnival with Nitsana Lazerus. Kids and parents enjoyed the interactive Holiday performance, made masks and tasted the traditional Purim Hamantaschen cookies.
On Sunday, October 19th at Nichols Concert Hall an acclaimed violinist David Lisker, Tikkun Fellowship recipient, a Juilliard graduate and former student of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, presented an unforgettable event celebrating the lives and music of Jewish composers affected by the Holocaust. David, along with 6 renowned musicians from the U.S., Europe and Israel, performed works by 9 inspiring individuals, 8 of whom perished in concentration camps. “This project allowed me to introduce inspiring composers, their stories and music to the Chicago public; bringing them out of the shadow of the Holocaust, and into the spotlight”, said David. Over 400 people attended the concert, including 75 Holocaust survivors. See photos
In September 2014, RJD launched a new project – Holidays on Wheels, a new initiative in partnership with Russian-speaking daycares in the Chicago suburbs. RJD Board member, a teacher and Jewish educator Anna Gorbikoff took this initiative under her supervision, and together with cantor Vicky Glikin brought Rosh Hashanah holiday to 4 daycares engaging over 120 children ages 3-6 in Jewish story time and Rosh Hashanah themed arts and crafts. See photos
Close to 15 Russian-speaking Jewish families joined Russian Book Buddies on Sunday, September 21 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Deerfield. Kids made Rosh Hashanah cards and honey holders and learned about the holiday during the interactive Story Time. Russian Book Buddies is one of the newest initiatives of the Russian Jewish Division in partnership with the JUF’s Young Families and the PJ Library. It is an exciting program for Russian-speaking young families with children ages 0–5. See photos
Over 50 Russian Jewish Young Professionals joined the Summer Social Mixer on the Packing House's rooftop on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. The guests enjoyed an evening with a stunning view of Chicago skylights and had an opportunity to meet new and old friends. See photos
On Sunday, June 29th, a group of RJD young professionals gathered to play Beach Volleyball and enjoyed a wonderful summer day on the beach.
Second annual Russian Family Getaway in Wisconsin gathered 21 families for a weekend of June 27-29, 2014 at the Perlstein Resort & Conference Center, the territory of Camp Chi in Wisconsin Dells. Weekend featured Shabbat celebration and discussions for parents with cantor Vicky Glikin, creative arts and crafts activities for children led by Zhenya Plechkina of NY’s Zshuk Art Initiative, boat rides and pool, bonfire and a great opportunity to connect with other families that share similar stories. See photos.
Russian-speaking families got together on
Sunday, March 16th to celebrate Purim at the very unique place in Chicagoland -
a new Puppet House (Dom Kukol) in Wheeling.
Close to 130 people joined the 10th Russian Shabbaton on March 7-9th at the Hilton Chicago-Indian Lake Resort. A weekend retreat for Russian-speaking Jews in their 20s and 30s once again created community and inspired its participants.
The largest Party on ice - the 9th Annual Skate with Israel! The Russian Jewish Community came to ice skate with the RJD and show their support for Israel!
RJD in conjunction with Signature of Art Gallery, Glencoe, held a premier art event curated by Natalia Kogan: a reception of paintings by the late Ukrainian Jewish artist Yefim Rudminsky on Sunday, November 10th. See photos
Young Russian Jewish professionals joined the RJD for the screening of “The World is Funny” and a Happy Hour before the film, at the AMC Northbrook Court.
Russian Jewish Division and the Synagogue F.R.E.E of Chicago organized a Rosh Hashanah Dinner and celebration on Wednesday, September 4th for the Russian Jewish Community in Chicago. Guest enjoyed the holiday services and a delicious dinner.
The Russian Jewish Division, Russian Moishe House and Club 1948 partnered up for a Beach Volleyball day, Israeli Style. More than 40 young professionals enjoyed a wonderful summer day on the beach.
On August 1st, RJD held a Russian Leadership Meeting - Open Table Discussion at the JUF. The evening was a great success and brought new ideas on building a stronger community.
On Sunday, July 14th, Russian Jewish Young Professionals joined the leisure bike ride on the lake Michigan. The group had a chance to bike on the lake shore together, appreciate the scenery and enjoy a picnic in the park, in Hyde Park.
Over 70 Russian Jewish Young Professionals joined Summer Social Mixer at the Market Bar on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013. Rooftop party with a stunning view of Chicago skylights brought many new people and new friendships were born. See photos.
For the first time ever, RJD organized a Family Retreat for Russian-speaking young Jewish families in Chicago. The retreat took place on the weekend of June 28-30, 2013 at the Perlstein Resort in Wisconsin. Fifteen young families gathered to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and connect with their heritage. Read the article and see photos.
RJD volunteers and community members once again came together to bring a holiday to over 300 Russian-speaking WWII veterans in Chicago. Celebrations around May 9th Victory Day (the day marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the WWII) took place in Skokie Library and in Zhivago Russian Restaurant. Volunteers and businesses congratulated the heroes with flowers and warm words of gratitude. Over 150 low mobility veterans were visited by volunteers at home. Read article
More than a 100 Russian speaking community members gathered at the Weinger JCC in Northbrook, Dec. 16 for a Chanukah celebration.
A number of Russian Jewish parents came with their children helped serve food for those in need.
RJD members gathered to hear the lecture "The long hand of the Mossad: the revival of Russian Jewry" by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff -- well-known teacher, author and historian, visiting from Israel.
Yong Russian Jewish professionals joined the RJD for the screening of “Salsa Tel Aviv” and a discussion at the AMC Northbrook Court.
10 students got together to discuss and reflect about the Book of Life and the role in played in the High Holidays.
On September 30th more than 300 community members gathered at the Illinois Holocaust Museum to commemorate 71 years since the Babi Yar massacre. RJD members volunteered at this event that was organized by Russian Newspaper Reklama.
More than a 100 Russian and non-Russian speaking community members gathered at the Synagogue F.R.E.E. for a Rosh Hashanah dinner.
More than 30 young adults joined the RJD for the social evening featuring professional musicians, drums workshop and pizza.
More than 130 Russian-speaking young adults came to celebrate Israel.
Close to 100 Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals were in attendance.
Participate in the 9th Annual Midwest Russian Shabbaton.
From February 19-21, 2010, over 60 Russian-speaking Jewish students gathered for Hillels Around Chicago seventh annual Russian Shabbaton.
At the Shabbaton, participants can take time for introspection and learn about themselves through discussions with others.