One of the driving forces behind this documentary project has been my desire to understand who I am, and to feel a part of something greater than an isolated individual in the United States. I feel fortunate that I am not alone in searching for these answers, or in believing that the quest is important not just for me, but for an entire generation of ex-Soviet emigres.
Recently, thanks to the hard work of Jenny Gitkis-Vainstein, the JAFI representative in Los Angeles, a new program has been established to address the same issues that I have been dealing with — creating a sense of identity and community in the Russian-speaking Jewish population in Los Angeles. With the partnership of JAFI, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Jenny has created the “Russian Jewish Community Leadership Program,” of which I am a proud participant.
As part of the program (and this project), I interviewed the other participants about their identity and hope for community. I’ve edited many of them down to a short video capturing their unique perspectives on the unfortunately common sense of displacement many Jews felt in the former Soviet Union, and their hope for a new community here in Los Angeles.
If you can, please support this documentary project through a tax-deductible donation!