A Message Regarding the Dnepropetrovsk Kehillah Project

We are writing to share important news about changes in the Dnepropetrovsk Kehillah Project.

In 1992, after the fall of Soviet Union, and building on decades of our community’s efforts to gain the freedom of Soviet Jewry, CJP and JCRC launched a partnership with the Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine to support the rebuilding of Jewish life there. For the past 23 years JCRC has managed the Dnepropetrovsk Kehillah Project (DKP). JCRC has leveraged CJP’s support to bring hundreds of people from Boston delivering financial, strategic and technical capacity to our Ukrainian partners. Under the leadership of Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezki, our partners in Dnepropetrovsk have led a revitalization of Jewish life and the building of a communal infrastructure that has exceeded the wildest imagination of the partners when we began this effort.

There is much work and opportunity ahead. Over the last year, we have been considering what this partnership needs and how the Boston Jewish community can best meet the needs of those future efforts. After careful reflection and in keeping with the Boston Jewish community’s unwavering commitment to our partners in Ukraine, on July 1, 2015 management of the DKP will transition from JCRC to CJP.

This shift makes sense for JCRC as we continue to focus on our core purpose; advancing Boston’s Jewish community’s values and interests in the public square through advocacy, service, relationship building and civic engagement.

Meanwhile, CJP’s work with communities in Israel and regions of need overseas makes it easy to see how managing of the DKP will be a natural fit. Consequently, the DKP will continue to function as an extension of CJP’s Israel and Overseas Commission (IOC) and its volunteer leadership under the auspices of Cheryl Aronson. Ann Levin will continue her term as volunteer chair of the DKP subcommittee of IOC for the coming year. A transition plan is in the works and we will keep you posted as the details are finalized over the next few weeks.

Next week Jeremy will travel to Ukraine to represent CJP and JCRC as part of a national Jewish Federations of North America mission that will be hosted in Dnepropetrovsk. We look forward to showing our friends from around the U.S. the success of the Boston model and what we have achieved with our partners. He will also convey to our partners, on behalf of CJP, our commitment to our future together.

Finally, we are grateful to all of the professionals and volunteers – past and present – at JCRC who have given so much of their energy, passion and resources into the Dnepropetrovsk Kehillah Project.  It was your vision those many years ago, and your tireless efforts that built this partnership and enabled it to achieve all that it has so far. May this partnership go from strength to strength.

Sincerely,

Jeremy Burton                                    Gil Preuss
Executive Director, JCRC                   Executive Vice President, CJP