Kangarusski Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

June 11, 2019 by Community Editor
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Kangarusski is the vibrant project of the Zionist Federation of Australia whose main goal is to engage and unite members of the Russian speaking Jewish community around their culture and heritage and connect them to the Jewish community and to Israel.

Kangarusski Taglit Birthright Israel participants at Masada site

“Connecting the Australian Russian Jewish community to Israel has to be approached in ways which are not only interesting and engaging but also culturally relevant and sensitive,” said ZFA CEO Ginette Searle. “The greatest success of the ZFA’s Kangarusski program has been the creation of an engaged community, with dedicated volunteers and committed participants,” she said.

Since its inception in 2012, with the contribution of Jewish Agency shlichim, the ZFA team and a professional coordinator in Sydney, Kangarusski has presented many events, activities and programs, established a cadre of committed volunteers and built community.

The Kuczko Family connected with Kangarusski after attending Limmud FSU in 2016. Since then they have attended, organized and volunteered at almost every event held in Sydney. Rina Kuczko says: – “Kangarusski plays a very important part in the life of my family. We were deprived of a Jewish education in our childhood in the Soviet Union and it was always my dream that my children would benefit and be part of a Jewish community. Kangarusski allows us to combine our Russian and Jewish heritage and has given me and my family so much”

Kangarusski has become the address for the Russian speaking Jewish community in Australia, offering a wide range of social and educational events in Sydney and Melbourne. Family events, children’s day camps, young adult leadership programs, Kangarusski Moishe House, Limmud FSU, Taglit-Birthright-Israel and much more are organized and managed by ZFA Kangarusski.

Pavel Chilman has been involved with Kangarusski since its inception in 2013: – “My entire family; my wife, my children, my parents and my in-laws have been actively involved with Kangarusski for many years now. It is part of our life. Our kids go to Kangarusski camp and love it. Our parents go to lectures and festivals and celebrations and really enjoy their connection to the Russian Jewish culture and to Israel. My wife and I have made many friends through the program. For us Kangarusski has become part of our family.”

Mr Harry Triguboff saw the potential and importance of the Kangarusski program from its earliest stages. His generous philanthropic contribution to the program has supported the Sydney activity and enabled the initiative to develop and to be leveraged into additional areas – including hosting extremely successful Limmud FSU festivals in Sydney.

Chilman family at Kangarusski Mother’s Day celebration

The ZFA’s Dr Ron Weiser said: “It’s wonderful that people within our community of the calibre of Harry Triguboff have supported this program from the beginning and has continued to do so; seeing just what a contribution it makes to Jewish life in Sydney.”

ZFA Kangarusski coordinator Anna Maylis said: – “It is so important to educate and provide opportunities for the Russian Jewish community to learn more about our Jewish history and support Israel.”

The Kangarusski Taglit-Birthright Israel program, which so far has seen four groups of 40 young adults from Russian speaking backgrounds enjoy the gift of a 10-day experience in Israel, has had a profound impact on the participants, whilst on the trip and on their return to Australia.

Kangarusski Holiday program

Sean Torban participated in Kangarusski’s Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in December 2018: – “Kangarusski Birthright changed my life. I see myself as a strong advocate for Israel and I am now more involved and interested in Israel affairs. I have benefitted from this amazing opportunity to learn the history of who we are and experience first-hand the beauty of our homeland. My heart forever belongs to Israel.”

Kangarusski spans generations, which is part of its appeal and intent. Events and programs provided cater to children, teens, young adults, families and seniors. With a deliberate strategy of engagement, high-quality programming, professional staff and volunteers, Kangarusski today brings Israel and Jewish identity to the heart of the Russian speaking Jewish community.

For more information about Kangarusski please contact Anna Maylis anna@kangarusski.org.au

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