gpg -in-North-America 2

Grants in North America

Columbia University: Voices of the New Russian-Jewish Diaspora Conference

Columbia University: Voices of the New Russian-Jewish Diaspora Conference

In 2012, Genesis Philanthropy Group supported the 'Voices of the New Russian-Jewish Diaspora' conference at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, a leading center for the advancement of knowledge in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies through the research conducted by its faculty, students, fellows, and visiting scholars, as well as the training of scholars and professionals.

The two-day conference was held in October of 2012, with the first day designed specifically to integrate real-life stories of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants to the US into the academic program of the conference.

In a follow-up to the Harriman Institute's 2009 autobiography competition (a contest run in conjunction with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, where Russian-speaking Jews scattered throughout North America narrated their lives), the conference provided a forum for the winners of the contest to share their stories with a wider audience. The autobiographies served as a time-capsule for today and tomorrow's historians, concerning Jewish life in the Former Soviet Union as well as post-Soviet Jewish life in an age of mass global migration.

Goals and Objectives

  • Bring about a more nuanced understanding of how migrations affect immigrants, the countries that lose them, and the countries that become their new homes.
  • Explore how this migration may lead to a refining of the concepts of Diaspora and ethnic identity, while also spurring new comparative scholarship.
  • Encourage participation by students and practitioners in order to augment formal and informal interactions during the conference and extend the project's impact after the conference ends.

Current Grants

Past Grants