Israeli program continues in Australia

September 11, 2013 by Lana Lachyani
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The very first Kangarusski Birthright trip brought 40 Russian-speaking Jewish Australians to Israel for an unforgettable ten day experience.


The pilot program, organised by the Zionist Federation of Australia and supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group, was an overwhelming success.

Participants described a newfound clarity of their Jewish Russian identity. Participant Lisa Saloukhvadze from Adelaide said, “My personal ten day experience has completely changed me as a person… 40 unique Russian-speaking Australian Jews now have a reason to be proud of their rich heritage and ancestry.”

Russians400The program’s success has inspired Sasha Klyachkina, shlichah for the Russian speaking Jewish community in Australia, to develop the ‘KangarussKEY to Leadership’ program in Melbourne and Sydney, as part of the ZFA Israel Programs follow up project.

The program aims to create a strong leadership group and to establish a structured annual calendar of events for the Russian Jewish community in Australia.

Sasha stated, “We saw Birthright as the start of this wonderful journey, which continues long after the program in Israel ends.”

Participants in the leadership program will acquire informational Jewish education skills, project building and real hands-on experience in developing a project for the community,” she added.

The program will welcome 18 to 30 year olds from a range of backgrounds, from those born in Australia to Russian parents to Russian speakers and Israeli Russians.

ZFA President Philip Chester said: “It started with a Birthright bus and has developed into a positive leadership program for young Jewish Russian-speaking Australians. Kangarusski exemplifies the benefits of Israel programs in strengthening our community.”

The response for the Melbourne program has been overwhelming with 20 confirmed participants and more waitlisted. There are still a few spaces in the Sydney program

On the importance of the program in Sydney, Sasha emphasised: “There is a very strong community in Sydney with high motivation to make a difference.”

The Sydney and Melbourne groups will meet for a joint weekend during the seminar series.


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