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Help Provide Pesach in the Former Soviet Union

This March I will be journeying to Ukraine with nineteen classmates to to participate in The Pesach Project; a collaboration between Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism. This project has been established for over twenty years, and for the second time, the Joint Distribution Committee will also support our effort.

We will visit communities, that were once under Soviet oppression, in order to facilitate the process of revitalization during a symbolically poignant moment in the Jewish calendar. During the rule of the Soviet Union, religion was suppressed and anti-semitism was rampant; Jewish communities struggled to survive. At the fall of the Communist bloc, towards the end of the twentieth century, Jews in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) were finally able to begin rebuilding Jewish communal life. These communities have been presented with major challenges following decades of life under Soviet rule.

In small groups, we will lead Pesach seders and educational programs. I anticipate that this opportunity will have a great impact on my education, and will feed my passion for serving the global Jewish community. Past projects have included youth programs, home visits to the elderly, a cantorial concert, a seder for the deaf, and other Passover activities. Learning with and from these communities gives us, first year rabbinic, cantorial, and education students, a chance to build bridges between our Jewish worlds.

For this trip to be successful, we must raise in total $20,000 to cover flights, transportation, lodging, translators, programming materials, and a donation to each community visited by students. Your contribution to this project will strengthen the Pesach celebration of these communities in the Former Soviet Union, enrich the Progressive Jewish movement worldwide, and provide me with a once in a lifetime educational opportunity.

To learn more, visit our Pesach Project website and check out the blog post of cantorial student Shani Cohen who participated in the Pesach Project in 2017. If you have further questions about this project, please reach out to me directly.

Consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us reach our goal by clicking here to donate. Please share this letter with friends and family who might have an interest in making Pesach accessible to these FSU communities!

Thank you for your support!

Maddy Anderson

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