The COJECO BluePrint Fellowship

Literature & Book Publishing

“The Secret Society” A Russian Language Picture Book

Yevgenia Nayberg is writing and illustrating a Russian language children’s book about the contemporary immigration experience through the eyes of a child. The book, titled “The Secret Society,” approaches the subject of being different metaphorically, through the story of a left-handed little girl and her “secret leftie society.” The story resonates not only with children, but […]

Yevgenia  Nayberg Yevgenia Nayberg

Cultural Tips for New Americans

For Cultural Tips For New Americans project, Alina Bliumis gathered advice to help recent arrivals assimilate and understand their new home. She took advice from published guides, public forums, streets questionnaires, social websites, and friends to create tips like: “Never refuse gum if an American offers it to use. Offering gum is a polite way to tell someone that they have bad breath.”

Alina Bliumis Alina Bliumis


Multidisciplinary performance, a play with music and live readings based on a memoir book about coming to American in 1988 as a young Soviet girl.

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado

Happiness the Jewish Way

Happiness the Jewish Way is a published self-help book about happiness through the lens of Jewish wisdom. Happiness is the most important thing in our lives. But how do we actually hold on to this great happiness feeling at all times, despite the fact that the world in not perfect? Happiness skills are not taught in […]

Olga Gilburd Olga Gilburd

In the Eighteenth Minute: A Short Story Collection

‘In The Eighteenth Minute’ is a short fiction collection — stories set in the Russian Jewish community, mostly amongst emigres, but also some set in the former Soviet Union. The collection celebrates not only Jewish culture in Russian translation, but also Jewish religion in Russian translation. Becoming observant is, in many ways, an immigration experience, always being an […]

Avital Chizhik Avital Chizhik

Marlo: Jewish [En]Lightning

Marlo: Book One: Jewish [En]Lightning is the second book in Chicago-headquartered Urban Pop Art Projects’ publishing imprint Urban Pop Art Books. New York artist/ videographer/ author Aleks Degtyarev expertly navigates his id to deconstruct a complicated identity: that of the post-Soviet child immigrant all grown up. Navigating questions about identity often sidelined by urges to just […]

Aleks Degtyarev Aleks Degtyarev

Spoils of War: Ode to a Refusenik Mother

“Spoils of War: Ode to a Refusenik Mother” was originally published by Tablet Magazine on June 6, 2012 (, and the panels illustrating the poem were exhibited at New York City’s National Arts Club through the Russian American Foundation’s Russian Heritage Month. The poem is accompanied by a spoken word track over a mix tape in […]

Margarita Korol Margarita Korol

Stealing Cherries

Rubin’s BluePrint project involves the publishing of her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories considering existentialism, Jewish identity, Russian upbringing, transcendentalism, cultural genetics, time travel, religion. Telling the stories in a style that is ”Babel meets Sholom Aleichem,” they describe the hilarious truth about being a newcomer to the American cultural house and […]

Marina Rubin Marina Rubin

Survivor: Aron’s Story

This unique project is part graphic novel and part historical education in one book. The first part of this book shares Aron’s (my grandfather) experience, living in Odessa, Ukraine (part of the former USSR) and his survival as a teenager under the Romanian/Nazi occupation during WWII. Aron’s story, visually depicted in the graphic novel form, […]

Alex Teplish Alex Teplish

The Egypt In My Looking Glass: A Novella

Yuri Kruman’s BluePrint Fellowship is a book of short stories about Russian Jews who grew up as kids in New York and have become urbane American adults. Summary: Twenty-five years after their hellish emigration – thirty from their famous father’s exodus – a sister and her brothers hear his voice again. All three have long […]

Yuri Kruman Yuri Kruman

The Hidden Matzo Chronicles

The Hidden Matzo Chronicles is a culinary exploration of the Soviet Jewish Identity recounting the plight of Soviet Jews in an effort to retain their Jewish traditions through food, culminating in a cookbook, which will includes recipes and related personal stories. The event took place on June 23, 2015, at Loft 172, Brooklyn, NY.  

Olga Benis Olga Benis

The New Wave of Russian Jewish Cultural Production

Over the past 15 years, young Russian-speaking Jewish writers such as David Bezmozgis, Sana Krasikov, Gary Shteyngart, and Lara Vapnyar, have captured the attention of the American reading public. However, their work has not yet received the proper acknowledgement in the academic world and does not appear in college anthologies. For her community project, Anna […]

Anna Katsnelson Anna Katsnelson

The Russian and the Jew: Спасите наши души (A Play)

Staging of “The Russian and The Jew,” an original physical theater piece that explores anti-Semitism and misogyny through a female friendship in the Soviet Union in 1969 that underlines the eternal question of fidelity to oneself, to one’s partner, and to one’s country. Drawing on autobiographical material, this piece focuses on blending and re-visiting Russian […]

The Things We Carry

“The Things We Carry”: An evening of poetry and prose at Cornelia Street Cafe exploring the intangible baggage of immigration – superstitions, home remedies, and other peculiar beliefs – among Russian Jews. After the reading by BluePrint Fellow Olga Rukovets, the Yiddish Art Trio performed a special CD release preview for their upcoming album.

Olga Rukovets Olga Rukovets

The Wanderings of Vera, or Live Souls

A coming-of-age novel about immigration, finding and losing faith, loss, friendship, guilt, family, the American Dream, the wonderful, complicated, close-knit ultra-Orthodox community, and the other communities and connections we find along the way.