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Grants in North America

Center Without Walls by COJECO

Center Without Walls by COJECO

Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations (COJECO) is a central coordinating body in the Russian Jewish community of NY that was formed in 2001 to facilitate the successful integration process of Russian-speaking Jews into the mainstream Jewish community and the greater American society.

In 2006, COJECO launched Center Without Walls (CWW), a program designed to provide mainstream Jewish organizations in New York guidance, insight, and seed funding to enable them to create cultural and social projects aimed at enhancing the Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews. The main activities of CWW include: introducing American Jews to the cultural traditions and mentality of Russian-speaking Jews, providing financial and organizational support for COJECO member organizations’ innovative pilot projects, and supplying agencies that participate in the program with the resources necessary for effective outreach campaigns.

As an integral part of this initiative, the Blueprint Fellowship Minigrant Project was launched in 2009 to engage talented young adults from the New York Russian-speaking Jewish community to embark on a yearlong informal Jewish education course and, empowered with their new knowledge, produce their first ever Jewish project. Past projects have included the exhibitions ‘Ticket to Jerusalem’ and ‘Foreign Bodies’, a Yiddish music album, a PurimSpiel opera and puppet-theatre performance, the launch of new family camp for Russian-speaking Jewish families with young children, several cutting-edge art exhibits exploring artists’ identities and communities, and many more innovative projects. Beginning in 2012 and continuing into 2013 and 2014, COJECO implemented a robust Blueprint alumni program that includes an annual retreat and funding for joint alumni projects and social events designed to help alumni continue on their path of contribution to the community, as well as to help them stay connected to the program and to each other.

In addition to the BluePrint Fellowship, in 2012-2013 this grant helped support Jewish educational programming for the Metropolitan Russian-American Parents Association, which assists émigré children with disabilities and their parents in adjusting to American public education, advocates on their behalf, and helps their families acclimate to the special education system.

Financial support for this program is being provided by Genesis Philanthropy Group along with the UJA Federation of New York and participating CWW agencies.


Goals and Objectives

  • More deeply involve Russian-speaking Jews in Jewish community life in New York.
  • Support events that encourage the joint participation of American and Russian-speaking Jews.
  • Support the efforts of New York Jewish organizations to attract Russian-speaking Jews to their educational and cultural programs.
  • Support team and individual projects for young adults in the Russian-speaking Jewish community of New York.

Current Grants

Past Grants