FAQ How does a Krug Work? Small Circles of students meet at host families’ homes for weekly Judaica classes that focus on basic Jewish cultural skills, Hebrew language, family history, and Russian Jewish heritage.
Parents attend a "One Step Ahead" parallel class designed to educate them about their children's curriculum, enabling them to discuss Jewish topics with their kids at home. Parents also study other Jewish topics of interest and socialize with drinks and finger foods.
Why RJkrug? 250,000 Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ) live in the Greater New York area. Many are well established personally and professionally including a younger generation that has graduated from American universities facing new choices about identity and religious affiliation. To us, Judaism means belonging to an ethno-cultural minority, not a religious denomination. We emphasize being Jewish, feeling Jewish but not necessarily affiliating with Jewish institutions, especially not with synagogues.
We desire to participate in Jewish cultural/educational events; support Jewish causes; marry a Jewish partner, but in our own way. During the last decade we, Russian Speaking Jews, have created a number of grass-roots programs in order to satisfy our Jewish participatory needs, such as RJeneration, iMishpacha and more.
We also recognize that if we neglect the formation of ongoing youth and family Jewish education, the next generation is likely to be lost to the Jewish community. Thus we started the RJkrug Jewish Learning Initiative.
What needs does RJKrug serve? • Custom tailored curriculum allows for incorporating topics that are especially relevant, i.e. Russian-Jewish heritage, family history, modern Jewish world, Jewish culture, etc. • Pluralistic and non-ideological. This is especially relevant for us Russian Speaking Jews as we prefer not to identify ourselves with existing American Jewish institutions. • Offering a warm and friendly home atmosphere in a small group of students is similar to the popular Russian tradition of “kitchen Judaism”. • The adult education component is attractive for us, Russian Speaking Jews, as it combines intellectual Jewish subjects with Russian Jewish heritage and relevancy to the contemporary world. And we also love socializing.
Hebrew Learning Circles, Who Are We? Hebrew Learning Circles, Inc. 501c3, launched in 2009 as a “Synagogue-Without-Walls”. We serve the educational, cultural and communal needs of hundreds of independently-minded Jewish and interfaith families in Manhattan and Boroughs, Westchester County, Rockland County, and Bergen County, NJ. Our mission is to provide open-minded Jewish resources, experiences and community for unaffiliated or marginalized Jewish constituencies. We are committed to delivering programming that is primarily home-based and grassroots. We are inclusive, progressive and embrace the lifestyle diversity of the twenty-first century American Jewish and interfaith family.