Ezra USA is the youth movement for Russian-speaking Jews in the US.
Ezra USA's success is phenomenal. We have created a dynamic and "cool" youth movement that attracts thousands of young Russian-speaking Jews, who might otherwise be lost to assimilation.
• Fighting assimilation
• Strengthening Jewish self-identification
• Leadership development in the Russian-Jewish community
• Development of Jewish education
• Support for the State of Israel
The 1.5 million Russian-speaking Jews in the USA have never become an integral part of the American Jewish community. Currently, they are on their way to assimilation. They require a unique, approach to enable them to become a part of the larger Jewish community and to internalize a sense of belonging to the entire Jewish nation (Klal Israel). Ezra USA is meeting this challenge. We are raising a new generation of leaders in the Russian-speaking community. Those who are today 18 to 30 years old will create the Jewish community of the future. They will decide if their children receive a Jewish education, support Israel and pass the baton of Judaism onwards. Ezra USA works to ensure that this generation will build a strong Jewish future for the Russian-speaking community.
The key to Ezra-USA's success is peer-leadership from within the Russian-speaking community. Our madrichim (leaders) know what speaks to their generation; which programs will succeed in creating a vibrant organization with the "street cred" to attract thousands of young Jews. They have their finger on the pulse of young Russian-speaking Jews and know what works to strengthen their Jewish identity.
All of our madrichim take a unique year-long leadership course that includes visiting Israel, meeting with major Jewish leaders around the world, developing leadership skills and deepening their knowledge of Judaism. This enables our madrichim to be effective ambassadors of Jewish values to young Russian Jews.
What we do:
• Our own tailor-made Taglit Birthright trips, to promote a life-long commitment to the State of Israel.
• Poland-Israel leadership seminars.
• Jewish-themed international travel to Europe, Argentina South Africa etc., lectures.
• Joyful Shabbat Dinners showing the centrality of Shabbat in Jewish life
• Charity events promoting Tzedakah and giving to the community as a key Jewish value.
Where we Work:
Today, there are Ezra USA branches in New York and Boston, with plans to open centers in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.