In 1994, Hillel in the Former Soviet Union was founded through the support and vision of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Since its creation in the former Soviet Union, Hillel has reconnected thousands of Jews, once denied access to their heritage, with Judaism and the Jewish people. Presently, Hillel operates 27 community centers in seven former Soviet Republics (Azerbaijan
, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia
, and Uzbekistan), providing approximately 10,000 young adults a year with an opportunity to learn, explore, and celebrate their Jewish heritage. Program AreasJewish Learning and Celebration
In 2004, Hillel trained hundreds of students to teach and conduct Hanukah celebrations and Pesach Seders. Hillel's holiday training seminars empower students by encouraging them to assume leadership roles within their own communities. Every Hillel in the FSU conducts peer-to-peer learning programs that engage hundreds of students in exploring Jewish texts and traditions. Ongoing Shabbat and other holiday programs provide opportunities for both social activity and Jewish learning.Social and Community Programs
Hundred of students in the FSU are involved in social justice and community service projects, bringing Shabbat services to Jewish elderly and homebound and delivering food packages to the impoverished.Arts and Culture
Arts and culture programs are a vital part of every Hillel in the FSU. In 2004, arts and culture programs included Yiddish theatre, Jewish puppet theatres, Judaica handicraft courses, photography exhibits, Klezmer music groups and dance ensembles. Arts and culture programs attract thousands of people every year and there are approximately 200 Hillel students who are active in developing these programs.