RSJ Community News
APRIL 2019

Dear friends!

Spring is officially here, we have put away our Purim costumes and have begun our Passover preparations.

March was a really great month for us - full of events including amazing stand-up comedy with Ilya Akselrod in New Jersey, theater, Purim parties for adults and for kids, carnivals and celebrations. April promises us educational Passover themed tours for the whole family, women's events, literature nights, unique theater experiences and more.

So let's shed the burdens of a long winter, make strides towards freedom and check out all the great events by COJECO, our BluePrint Fellows and Network and partnering organizations.  Keep reading for more Passover wisdom. 

The Steinsaltz Haggada   
Passover Wisdom by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz

In the most general sense, it can be said that the sages went out of their way to ensure that the Passover Seder would be the Jewish people's most memorable ritual. There are countless stories relating that even in the harshest and most remote locations, such as the Gulag camps in Siberia, the one ritual that the Jews preserved was the Passover Seder. This is no coincidence, but rather a focal point of the Seder: "In order that future generations may know" (Leviticus 23:43). On the Seder night we transmit our heritage to every single Jew, even those whose lives have taken them far away from that heritage.

The Passover Seder can be compared to a very complex opera. It is a combination or recitations, melodies, and various activities that can only be described as a kind of theatrical game: Raising, lowering, covering, uncovering, standing, sitting, washing hands, pouring cups of wine for one's fellow participants, and on and on. There are unique tastes, smells, and sounds: the taste and smell of the matza , maror , and haroset , the special foods of the festival, the cracking and crunching of the matza . All of these elements join together to form a complete performance that engages all the senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste - creating an indelible memory that is passed along to the next generation. This powerful memory is not always accompanied by a complete and accurate awareness of the meaning of the events that the Seder night commemorates. Nevertheless, something will inevitably       remain, even if it is only the simple question: "What is this?"
Brought to you by the Global Day of Jewish Learning (this year on Sunday, November 17), a project of the Aleph Society, furthering Rabbi Steinsaltz's  mission to "Let My People Know".

New York/ New Jersey Mobile App

We would like to remind you of the recent launch of New York/New Jersey edition of JEvents Mobile App. This project gathers and presents Jewish events and programs of interest to the Russian-speaking Jews in a single user-friendly app. NY/NJ edition of JEvents was developed as a COJECO BluePrint Fellowship project by Elizaveta Pantiukhova.
Please download JEvents App for iPhone HERE  or for Android HERE  to see what amazing events are happening in our community today.                                              
COJECO New Jersey
COJECO NJ invites you to celebrate womanhood 
through fun, wisdom and movement!

How To Worry Less and Live More?
Interactive workshop for Jewish mothers with Alexander Yentin, 
After the workshop,  Aviva Zeevi, just like Moses' sister Miriam at the time of Exodus, 
with her timbrel,  will lead us in a joyful authentic  middle-eastern dance. 

50 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ
Sunday, April 13, 7:30-10PM

COJECO Network Organizations
The Steps Theatre Annual Fundraising Party

STEPS Theatre  would like to cordially invite you  Annual Fundraising Party.  A magical evening of art, food, drinks, music and performances among other artistic surprises!

Clara Aich Studio
218 East 25th St., New York, NY 10010
Thursday, April 4, 7-10PM 

Russian American Cultural Center presents: 
Storony Sveta Literary Journal - Vol 18 Launch
Saying good-bye to the Storony Sveta Literary Journal and the launch of the 18th, final issue.  Hosted by Grigory Starikovsky, the curator of the Russian Reading Series at Tompkins Sq. Library and Irina Mashinski,  the editor-in-chief 
of the StoSvet Project

Tompkins Sq. Library
331 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009
Saturday, March 30, 2-4:30PM
Russian American Cultural Center and 
Theater Of Russian Actors TRACT present: 
Vadim Zhuk
Poet, actor, broadcaster, screenwriter, librettist
Author and director of the "Fourth Wall", Theater Studio of political and theatrical satire. He has, as they say, long arms. Therefore, better come yourself. 
Otherwise we are not responsible for it.

Russian Samovar
256 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
Sunday, April 28, 6PM
Russian American Cultural Center and International Émigré Association of Arts & Sciences present: 
Book presentation The Nuclear Saga: Heroes and Villains 
by Genrikh Golin 
The author distinguishes the balance between the scientific side of the creation of atomic weapons and the historical, political aspects and the participation of people in the atomic project. This event will be conducted exclusively in Russian.

Yorkville Library
222 E. 79th Street (btw 2nd and 3rd Ave.)
Monday, April 29, 5-7PM
BluePrint Fellowship Alumni Projects
At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds
ASF Young Sephardi Scholars Series presents a Three-Part Learning and Cultural Series on the Greater Sephardic Communities of the Former Soviet Union

American Sephardi Federation
15 W 16th St, New York, New York 10011
Tuesday, April 16, 6:30-8:30PM

Community Events and Opportunities
Limmud FSU Invites you to the Family Mock Passover Seder
Mock Passover Seder led by Jewish Educator Zhenya Lopatnik. 
What to expect?  Passover Story,  music,  delicious meal and  many ideas that you 
would be able to use at home for your own Passover Seder!

Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst
7802 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11214
Sunday, April 14, 4:30PM

FolksbieneRU Presents: DOM No

This exhibition is set to satisfy our souls and bodies, taking us through a pilgrimage of what it means to "be free", physically and emotionally. 
A curated environment resembling the dissonance between the Soviet communal living and the classic Exodus story. 

Secret Harlem location
Friday and Saturday, April 12&13, 8PM
For an exclusive link for tickets, please email:  

Based on actual people and events
VILNA is the story of Motke Zeidel and Yudi Farber, two boys who saved the lives of thousands and engineered one of the greatest escapes ever!

Theatre at St. Clement's
423 West 46th Street, between  9th & 10th Avenues
March 13-April 14, 7PM

Special 15% discount ticket offer with the code: VILNAFRFA

Baruch  Performing Arts Center is premiering a new play 
During World War II, thousands of Jewish refugees were harbored by families 
in Albania, most of them practicing Muslims. Despite Nazi occupation, 
no Jews were taken to internment camps from Albania and it was  the only country 
in Europe with more Jews at the end of the war than at the beginning.

Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Ave (25th St, btw. 3rd & Lex), New York, NY 10010
April 25-May 11, 7:30-9:30PM 

Jobs and Training Opportunities
Attention  Engineers and IT professionals
The Cooper Union Retraining Program
for Immigrant Engineers assists immigrant engineers and IT professionals who are underemployed or unemployed gain access to higher paying jobs through training and job placement assistance. The program includes courses in information technology and mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering taught by 
Cooper Union  faculty and field experts.

2020 Census Jobs
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country 
to assist with the 2020 Census count. Special consideration is given to the 
Russian-speakers. Earn extra income while helping your community.

Hebrew Free Loan Society

Are You in Need of Financial Assistance? 
The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) may be able to help.
For 125 years, HFLS has been providing 0% interest loans to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers in need. Loans are available for emergency and personal needs, higher education, vocational school, small business start-up or expansion, fertility treatments, adoption, and more. All HFLS loans have no interest, no fees, and reasonable repayment terms.
Visit the HFLS website at to learn about loan programs and eligibility, or contact HFLS at (212) 687-0188 or
HFLS a non-profit, UJA-Federation core partner agency.
Russian-speaking Facilitators Needed for 
Virtual Senior Center Program

Using simple video-chat technology, homebound seniors participate in online programs facilitated by volunteers in a wide-ranging array of topics. Volunteers lead recurring classes from their home or office computer with a range of flexible scheduling options during the day, evening or weekend.  Facilitating one hour, interactive classes on diverse topics enables you and the homebound seniors to have meaningful interactions. 

Selfhelp is looking for Russian-speaking facilitators for the Virtual Senior Center, to participate  in one hour  class (on any topic that facilitator chooses: music and art appreciation, history, current events, seated exercise, games, health/wellness, sports, the sciences, cultures, travel, and literature. Any new ideas are welcome!)

Learn more and volunteer at
Thank You to Our Sponsors


Connect with COJECO