Shalom Education Center Hosts Spring Ball & Fundraiser


by Kristina D'Ambrosio
Community Content Producer at WUSA*9

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A Babushka's Bat Mitzvah


by Meredith Jacobs
Washington Jewish Week

There are lives lived with years of struggle, years of challenge, years of enormous hurdles. There are those who live these lives and become hardened and bitter. And there are those who not only become stronger, but use what they have learned to give back and ease the struggles of others. Ella Kagan has chosen to give back... Continue reading.

Camp Havurah brings young Russian-speaking Jews together


by Suzanne Pollack
Special to Washington Jewish Week

Whenever Ilan Simanin walks out his front door and realizes he has forgotten something, he always looks in the mirror before retrieving whatever it may be.
It’s not that he is obsessive, it’s just that both his parents were born in the Soviet Union, and there are certain superstitions they have instilled in him... Continue reading.

From Russia with ID's Galore


by Sue Fishkoff (JTA News and Features) and Richard Greenberg (WJW Associate Editor)
Washington Jewish Week
Growing up in Kiev in the Soviet Union, Liza Uchitel wasn't religiously observant, but she knew she was a Jew. It was stamped on her passport.
"You couldn't conceal your Jewish identity, even if you wanted to," said the 41-year-old Vienna resident, who immigrated to the United States in 1991... Continue reading.

Rite of Passage: Russian Émigrés to Hold Joint B'nai Mitzvah Service


by Paula Amann
News Editor, Washington Jewish Week

Back in her native Russia, Luba Shtipelman led a minimalist Jewish life. Her father, a religiously closeted Red Army officer, bought matzah at Passover when he could; her mother and maternal grandmother spoke a bit of Yiddish.
But after a decade in the United States, Shtipelman's Jewish horizons have opened up. Her Rockville family now holds a full-scale seder -- and, on Saturday, she'll see her son, Symon, 16, join five other youths in a b'nai mitzvah ceremony... Continue reading.

Russian School Helps Kids Maintain Parents' Heritage


by Ariel Zilber
The Forward

The massive exodus of Jews  from the former Soviet Union in the past decade has created a unique quandary for Jewish schools: How can educators help immigrants’ children maintain links to a country they don’t know, and imbue them with knowledge of a religion and culture that is often unfamiliar to their parents?
The Shalom School in Rockville, Md. — near Washington, D.C. — is trying to answer these questions... Continue reading.

Bi-cultural Heritage Russian Jewish Community School Slated to Open


by Eric Fingerhut
Staff Writer, Washington Jewish Week

When Russian Jews come to the United States, they want to be "American and Jewish," explains Ella Kagan. But they also do not want to "cut [their] culture loose." 

So Kagan has started a school that will help Russian Jewish children integrate all three cultures in their daily lives... Continue reading.