As a Russian speaking, Jewish, queer couple who wants our future children to be fluent in Russian and know about their cultural roots, we notice that there’s a deficit of Russian-language books with characters who look and live like we do. We see English language children’s literature grow more diverse and inclusive, but find that the same phenomenon has not yet spread to Russian books. This makes it difficult for families with young children to build a love of the Russian language at home while also encouraging modern values. We want readers whose families read in Russian at home to recognize themselves in the characters they are reading about and to be exposed to fictional worlds rich in diversity. With this project, we want to create a series of Russian-language children’s books on Jewish holiday topics that represent the wide variety of Russian speaking Jewish families in the US today including interfaith families, LGBT families, and Jews of color. It is our hope that with books like these, the next generation of American Russian-speaking Jews will be able to learn about Jewish holidays and how they have been celebrated both in the FSU and in various traditions around the world in the language their families speak at home. We want children to learn about Jewish culture through books that have relatable characters, plots, and settings.


Tatyana Dvorkin Cheburashka Wears a Kippah