Educational Programs

Educational programs are one of three main directions of the activity of Sefer, but from the point of view of its volume and participants quantity, it could be considered as one of the highest priority. Target group of these programs includes students, master degree students, post-graduates, young tutors and researchers (up to 35 y.o.) engaged into Jewish studies, studying and/or working at the Jewish and non-Jewish Universities and also working independently over the different Jewish subjects and professionally interested in Jewish studies. 

The main problem that students and young scientists, beginning to be engaged into Jewish studies, especially in provincial towns, face with is disastrous lack of scientific and academic literature (taking into account the overall poor situation in humanitarian sciences across territory of the former Soviet Union). The conferences and other events, organized by Sefer, became almost the ultimate “relief” for researchers from different regions of the CIS, permitting them fully impart to the world of academic Jewish studies, exchange opinions with colleagues from other cities and countries, get access to the foreign, mainly, to Israeli libraries and archives.

The academic programs of Sefer were initiated in 1996, when the first student conference in Jewish Studies took place, having gathered together 50 students and young researchers. Such conferences have become traditional since that time, as Sefer Center undertakes them on annual basis and their quantity is steadily increasing.

Taking into consideration success of youth conference, Sefer has started development of the academic directions of its activity by organizing winter and summer lecturing schools in Jewish studies (in Moscow and large CIS cities), as well as residential schools, the geography of which becomes larger with every year. Another important educational project that is worth mentioning is the Eshnav Program - a month internship in Israel (University of Jerusalem). In this way Sefer youth programs have recently become the essential for establishment of the Jewish academic community and integral element of the Jewish life across the former USSR, simultaneously attracting many talented non-Jewish youth into professional Jewish research and contributing to increase the interest towards Jewish studies, Jewish history, culture, arts and traditions in the large non-Jewish environment.

Sefer educational programs are implemented in the cooperation with Chase Center for Jewish Studies in Russia (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), with the support of the AVI CHAI Foundation, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (Joint), Jewish Agency and other grants providers.