Member Organizations

COJECO was formed in 2001 as an umbrella organization for grass-roots community organizations of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants in New York to make their voices listened to and respected. The quantity and quality of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants in New York had hit a critical mass: we were well educated, successful professionals, and we had become a real political and economical power in the United States. But to realize successfully our great potential as a community we — Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants — had to be united and well-organized. We did this under the COJECO umbrella. Today there are over 30 member organizations in COJECO. COJECO continues to support member organizations; represents them and advocates for their needs; supports them financially and helps them to find other financial resources for their initiatives, programs and projects; coordinates their activities; facilitates the development of the Russian-speaking Jewish community of New York; and helps Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants to integrate into American Jewish life.

American Association of Invalids & Veterans of WWII from the FSU

was formed in 1995. Their mission is to preserve the memory of WWII and the heroism of the soldiers and officers from the former Soviet Union, to advocate on behalf of veterans, and to provide emotional support to its members. The association organizes commemorating events and holiday celebrations, and publishes memoirs and the magazine, Veteran. The organization has over 2,000 registered members.

American Association of Jews from the former USSR – NY Chapter (AAJFSU)

was created in 1989; its New York chapter was incorporated in 1998. AAJFSU has 140 registered members, and over 5,000 people are involved in its activities. AAJFSU focuses on immigrants’ most pressing issues: affordable and subsidized housing, medical insurance, civic participation, and human rights. AAJFSU meets with political leaders, organizes petition signings, and participates in events organized by the New York Immigration Coalition and Jewish groups nationwide.

American Brotherhood for Russian Disabled (ABRUD)

, incorporated in 1996 and host to over 2,000 members, is a community organization whose mission it is to facilitate Russian-speaking people’s integration into American life, to ease their problems, and to educate its members on the opportunities available to them in the USA. ABRUD provides computer and ESL classes, and organizes group trips. ABRUD works in close collaboration with medical offices and Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). ABRUD has its own newspaper, News of ABRUD, and publishes informative brochures.

Association of East European Jewry

was created in 1994 with the goal of promoting and preserving Jewish culture and heritage, and fostering Jewish identity among East European Jews from the former Soviet Union. AEEJ hosts lectures and cultural events, organizes celebrations of Jewish holidays and commemorations of historical events. The seminars on family genealogy are especially popular.

Beth HaKnesseth Ohr HaMizrach (Caucasian Jewish Congregation)

is comprised of over 100 children and about 230 adults. Its focus is on integrating Mountain Jews into American society and the larger Jewish community, while at the same time preserving the heritage of Mountain Jews. Beth HaKnesseth has a cultural center that provides a wide range of social, cultural, educational, and psychological support services to individuals and families.

Chabad Lubavitch of Kensington

was incorporated in 1993. Its mission is to promote Jewish knowledge and observance among Russian-speaking émigrés. Chabad Lubavitch conducts classes on Jewish traditions and philosophy, offers afterschool programs, organizes celebrations of Jewish holidays, and works in collaboration with Met Council on food package distribution.

www.chabadkensington.com

Chabad of Rego Park/Corona

was incorporated in 1998. The synagogue is a home for people who come to pray every day. Its mission is to foster a sense of identity and pride among the Jewish Russian Community of Queens. Chabad of Rego Park offers a Hebrew School program and a Chabad Hebrew School, and publishes The Fifth Dimension magazine. Its total monthly circulation is 6,000.

Community Scientific Center of the Bukharian Jews “Roshnai-Light”

was incorporated in 1992. Their mission is to circulate scientific materials about the richness and uniqueness of the Bukharian Jewish heritage and its contribution to the world. “Roshnoi” has published over 60 books in fields ranging from history, sociology, ethnography, demography, culture, and the natural sciences; it has also organized many international scientific conferences and published the Encyclopedia for Bukharian Jews.

Congregation Anshei Zedek of Bensonhurst

has existed for 90 years. Its mission is to help Jews from the former Soviet Union become more connected to Judaism in both a religious and cultural sense. The synagogue offers adult Hebrew and Kabbalah classes, as well as more children-oriented classes that focus on Jewish holidays, traditions, music, and Israeli dances.

Congregation Independent Chevra of Tyfers Anshei Corona

has been a spiritual and community center since 1999. Its mission is to serve as a religious, cultural and educational center for Jews in Queens. The synagogue itself is situated in a historical building.

Congregation Meor Hachaim of Luna Park

was founded in 2003. The majority of the congregation consists of Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union. The congregation’s mission is to help Russian-speaking Jews who survived the Holocaust feel at home in the synagogue, to educate them on Jewish matters, and to make them feel part of the larger Jewish community.

Congregation Sha’arei Shamayim

(Jewish Reform Congregation) was incorporated in 1996. Its mission is to educate Russian-speaking Jews about Jewish religion, culture and traditions, and to provide a social climate in which they can establish friendships and find psychological comfort and emotional support.

Congress of the Bukharian Jews of USA and Canada

was established in 1998 and serves as an umbrella group for 49 organizations. Its mission is to integrate the Bukharian Jewish community into American society and U.S. Jewish life while preserving Bukharian traditions, culture, and heritage. The organization is comprised of Jewish centers and synagogues, newspapers and magazines, theaters and yeshivas, various foundations, music and dance groups, grassroots organizations, a funeral home, and the Bukharian Jewish Heritage Museum.

Coordinating Council of Holocaust Survivors’ Organizations

is comprised of three of the most numerous and influential Holocaust survivors groups: the New York Association of Holocaust Survivors, the Association of Holocaust Survivors from the former Soviet Union, and the Holocaust Survivors Charity. Their mission is to preserve memories of the Holocaust, to remind people of the Nazi atrocities committed on Soviet soil, and to help Holocaust survivors adapt to life in America.

EZRA-USA

is a worldwide organization that represents the Zionist youth movement. Its mission is to preserve the culture and heritage of Russian-speaking Jewish youth, and to connect them to Jewish traditions and the state of Israel. Activities include Birthright trips to Israel, and a plethora of classes and events.

International Émigré Association of Arts & Sciences (IEAAS)

International Emigre Association of Arts & Sciences was established in 1993 as an association of high level specialists from the former USSR. There are four departments. The Health Care department provides medical consulting and health education for 800–1000 people per year. Publishing house “Mir Collection” annually publishes 8–12 books, including veteran remembrances. Teacher Training Center helps Russian-speaking teachers of New York schools. Engineering Innovation department develops three clean energy industrial technologies, including self-reliable “waste-to-energy” plant for Brooklyn.

Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island

was established in 1973. The group’s mission is to dedicate its resources to quality-of-life services for the elderly, the vocationally disadvantaged poor, underprivileged immigrants, and educationally at-risk youth. The group also provides technical assistance to enhance the programming, administrative and fiscal capacity of other nonprofit organizations. The group’s senior citizen programs serve about 6,000 people; its other programs serve nearly 2,000.

Jewish Community Center of Starrett City

was organized in 1995. Its mission is to serve as a support network for a 2,000+ member community of senior citizens and Russian-speaking immigrants. The JCC assists immigrants throughout the naturalization process, helps people in desperate situations, visits the sick in hospitals, and congratulates its members on their birthdays. The JCC also organizes Jewish holiday celebrations and commemoration events.

Jewish Union of Russian Immigrants

was established in 1978. Its mission is to raise awareness among Russian-speaking Jews of their cultural and religious heritage, and to foster strong Jewish identity. JURI introduces the fundamentals of Jewish history, culture and traditions. JURI has a female ensemble, “Soul Strings”, that organizes theatrical performances three to four times a year.

Metropolitan Russian-American Parents Association (MRAPA)

was created in 1995. Its mission is to assist émigré children and parents in adjusting to American public education, and to advocate on behalf of Russian-speaking children with disabilities and to help their families acclimate to the special education system. MRAPA, working with the Maidstone Foundation, started the afterschool program, “The Way to Life”, which features a strong Jewish educational component.

RAJE

(formerly “Shaarei Emunah”) was founded in 1999. Its mission is to strengthen the Jewish community, and to help young Jews explore their Jewish identity and strengthen their commitment to the Jewish people. Programs include: Shabbatons and seminars that introduce unaffiliated Jews to the depth and intricacies of Judaism, as well as classes on Torah, Kabbalah, modern Jewish thought, and Hebrew language. About 1,000 young people attend these programs annually.

Research Institute for New Americans (RINA)

was created in 1998. Its mission is to provide social, demographic, identification, and integration information connected with the Russian-speaking community through study and research. Recent projects include: Status, Identity, and Integration of Russian-Jewish Immigrants in NYC, and Russian Jews in NY as Voters in the November 2000 Election.

RJeneration

is a community of young professionals in their 20-30?s who either came to U.S. as children, were born enroute, or grew up entirely in America. RJeneration represents a hybrid generation of Americans with a Russian heritage, Jewish roots, and an immigrant experience.

Russian American Cultural Center (RACC)

was founded in 1998 to facilitate cultural exchange by promoting Russian Jewish heritage. RACC programs include: literary events, community performances, and art exhibitions. Cultural events organized by RACC are attended by thousands of people.

Russian-American Foundation (RAF)

was incorporated in 1997. Its mission is to serve as a bridge between Russian, American, and Jewish culture, and to promote the achievements of the Russian-speaking Jewish community. RAF organizes “The Annual Russian Heritage Festival” (endorsed by the City of New York and the Mayor) and other cultural events that involve prominent theatre and art professionals. RAF events are attended by hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Russian American Voters Educational League (RAVEL)

was created in 1998. Its mission is to educate Russian-speaking Jews about the American political system and the electoral process, and to bolster Jewish influence in politics. RAVEL works in close collaboration with the NY Immigrant Coalition and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).

Self-help Association of American Russian Elderly (“SHAARE”)

was incorporated in 2005. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for elderly Russian-speaking Jews through cultural, educational and religious events. Concerts and celebrations organized by SHAARE attract hundreds of people.

Staten Island Community Center (SICC)

was incorporated in 2005. Its mission is to provide community services to the Russian-speaking population of Staten Island in a friendly and culturally sensitive environment, with a strong emphasis on Jewish education. SICC organizes afterschool programs and serves hot kosher meals. SICC has a Summer Camp that features a Jewish education program.

STEPS Theatre Production Company

was created in 1997. The mission of this theater is to encourage coexistence among people of different cultures. Its performances have been seen by thousands spectators from the USA, South America, and Eastern Europe.

The Educational Center for New Americans

was established in 1991 to help Russian-speaking Jews integrate into American society and the U.S. Jewish community. It has the following programs: ESL and civics classes, including preparation for the citizenship exam; a youth program; Jewish education; Hebrew classes; weekly lectures; and food package distribution. The Educational Center also publishes the popular magazine, Friendship.

World of Women Immigrants (WOWI)

was established in 1999. Its mission is to help Bukharian Jewish émigré women integrate into American life and the larger Jewish community, and to overcome immigration and family problems. WOWI organizes seminars and meetings related to women’s issues, and works with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS), Cancer Free Inc., and Elmhurst Hospital.