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Raje-USA Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The mission of RAJE is to ensure that the current generation of, 18 – 30 year old, Russian American Jews be provided with the Jewish education, social bonding and positive inspiration needed to sufficiently strengthen their sense of Jewish peoplehood, thereby increasing the likelihood that they: Establish a Jewish household Affiliate themselves with and be involved in the life of the Jewish community Fulfill their spiritual needs through the study and practice of Judaism Develop a strong connection with the State of Israel

Results: Each year, approximately 750 students complete RAJE fellowship programming. As a direct result, most have remained involved in Jewish communal life by actively participating in follow-up programming and/or have found alternate venues of engagement within the community; 50% have chosen to continue their Jewish education in one form or another, 30% are now involved in UJA Federation network agencies, in leadership positions and/or other capacities.

Target demographics: 18 – 30 year old Russian American Jews

Geographic areas served: North America

Programs: RAJE developed a unique system of deep level engagement, known as the RAJE Fellowship program. The semester long program consists of ten, 4.5 hour sessions, 2 weekend retreats and a 14 day educational trip to Europe and Israel. Over the course of a single semester the students experience over 250 hours of highly impactful and transformative programming, a higher level of deep level engagement then any program of its type within the Jewish community.

Community Stories

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

This is a BS ORG i was cursed and emotionally abused by one of the rabbis of this ORG, i hope this ORG goes down ASAP cause instead of looking to make Jews better they are only there for the money, for instance i know many non religious Jews who tried coming to their programs but with lack of funding got denied, but on the other hand if they know you got money these people will suck your money as much as they can, i worked in the office and attended many events i know very well how their system works.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is simply a wonderful organization. I am particularly impressed in their ability to motivate young people and to connect them to their Jewish identity. Organizations like this are vital if Jews have any hope of fighting assimilation.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most exciting experiences of my life and the trip was fun as well. I have gained valuable life lessons and plenty of new friends while talking the Sunday classes. The classes were very interesting and all the rabbis are exceptionally talented, caring, and most of all amusing.The trip was overall educational and has met all of my expectations. The overall experience leaves me with good memories and experiences that i will treasure for the rest of my life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an excellent program that allowed me to better connect to my cultural roots and has taught me a lot about my cultural background. I also got to meet many new people, all of whom share the same cultural background as me.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Russian immigrant knowing nothing about judaism, I have gone through many different Jewish organizations that have impacted my awareness about my Judaism. I came to RAJE a few years ago when my knowledge was already in the intermediate to advanced stage. I quickly got to know the fun, witty, warm and carring leadership at RAJE, and since then, I have been involved in tutoring, prayer services (weekdays, shabbat, high holidays), participating in Shabbat events, and many other activities with RAJE. The beauty of this organization is that it provides unaffiliated Jews deep knowledge and sustained pride about their Judaism, that not only a beginner finds this new and fascinating, but even an advanced individual like myself finds fresh and exciting. In every one of my experiences prior to RAJE, I found myself thinking how "this could be done better," and "that could have been included," and "why are they asking us to listen or do this." I found no such thoughts entering my mind with RAJE. This organization has a phenomenal mix of events, classes and opportunities that fulfill every type of person's individual tastes and preferences. And even if someone feels the organization is missing something, there is always a person to turn to, to whom one can speak his mind and will be heard. Lastly, RAJE doesn't alienate its members by following a rigid or closed philosophy, rather is very inclusive, and yet very focused on the ultimate goal at hand, namely: bringing as many Jews closer to their heritage as possible. I have seen the success at RAJE over the course of 3 years from its inception to today's daily programs that attract hundreds, and Shabbatons that attract even more.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RAJE has been a life changing experience for me. I have developed a network of friends, peers and mentors. I came to RAJE as an ignorant kid looking for a fun trip and I came out as an educated leader, with a greater grasp of my Jewish identity. RAJE has become a second home to me.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I just started the Raje Leadership program and i love it. The classes are both fun and educational. Rabbis are amazing, all of them. They are young, hip, cool and can relate to young people like myself more than anything. Also, the fact that i get to meet a lot of new people through this program is a huge plus.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with RAJE was/is amazing. The program not only got me to go and visit israel for the very first time. But taught me how good it is to be a jew and surround myself with many jews such as myself. by teaching us about our culture and history and making new friendships that would last life times. By being more productive with jewish holidays and knowing what they all mean. By cherishing our familys and opening the synogogue to us when it is needed. I recommend that everybody who hasnt joined raje needs to sign up and experience what i had experienced.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RAJE has been a very positive experience in my life. It is a place i can go to any day of the week to hear a Rabbi speak or see and socialize with people my age and with the same background as me. After going to Israel this previous summer, I felt very connected to my Jewish identity as well as the Jewish people. RAJE provided me with a life changing experience. The people that run this organization are very sincere and want to make a difference.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RAJE is one program I could say that I will never forget. The Rabbi's, the lectures, the people, and overall experience. I could actually say it was perfect. The Rabbi's were the only ones that actually touched my soul. They actually made me a believer. And I'm not easily convinced. I appreciate all the help, all the education, and all the inspirational speeches. We need RAJE in business...FOREVER!!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RAJE is a great organization for young Jews in New York Metro area. It has many activities and a good staff. It is trully one of very few organizations where young Jews can come to and feel that they belong

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful experience! Everybody joining together in song and dance to celebrate the Shabbat! There no place like RAJE to celebrate and enjoy Shabbat!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the mmany things i love about Raje is that no matter your religious education or backround, no matter where you are from, everybody who walks into Raje feels at home! Raje is an amazing orginization that spreads unity, education, and warmth and kindness throughout the new york jewish community.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YES, RAJE HAS DONE GOOD THINGS FOR LOTS OF PEOPLE, STRENGTHED A COMMUNITY, BUILT A FOUNDATION FOR LEARNING. BUT THAT IS JUST DIPPING A TOE IN THE WATER ABOUT WHAT RAJE HAS DONE AND KEEPS DOING. IT’S A PLACE THAT GIVES EVERY SINGLE DAY. IT’S NOT A PLACE THAT TRANSFORMS PEOPLE INTO A SPECIFIC MODEL, BUT IT HELPS PEOPLE FIND THEMSELVES, BECOME WHO THEY WANT TO BE, HELPS THEM BUILD A MODEL OF THEMSELVES THAT HAS QUALITY AND MEANING. IT’S NOT A PLACE THAT ONLY ACCEPTS LIKEMINDED INDIVIUALS BUT ITS OPENS ITS DOORS TO TONS OF PEOPLE WITH VASTLY DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND QUESTIONS. THE MONEY THEY RECEIVE FROM DONORS THEY SPEND EVERY LAST PENNY ON EMPLOYING EDUCATORS THAT DONT SPEND THEIR TIME AND MONEY ON LIESURELY COMFORTS, BUT DEDICATE THEIR LIVES TO ACQURING KNOWNLEDGE TO RELATE TO OUR OPINIONS AND ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS, TO OPEN OUR EYES TO THE GREATER REALITIES OF LIFE. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY REQUIRE OF US IS NOT TO BE SELFISH, OR SELF CENTERED, OR COVET WHAT WE ATTAINED FROM THEM. THEY ENCOURAGE US TO SHARE WHAT WE LEARNED AND TO FULLY EXPRESS OURSELVES IN ANY WAY, OF COURSE AS LONG AS IT IS NORMAL AND GOOD NATURED. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS WHAT WE PAST ALONG TO OTHERS SHOULD IN THE BEGINNING AND THE END BENEFIT SOCIETY. RAJE HAS HELPED ME MAKE FOR MYSELF A QUALITY LIFE, WHICH I WILL SPEND MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR WHOEVER WOULD WANT IT AND NEED IT.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to RAJE (former Shaarei Emunah) back in 2003. I remember it was Channukah party. I liked it right away. The people were nice and warm, the rabbis were amazing , and I also liked the fact that everyone there was Russian. I was a little shocked that such place exist where all the people are from the former soviet union. I felt like home. In 2004 I took one of RAJE (former Shaarei Emunah) first trips to Israel. 3 weeks of unforgettable experience. Great lectures, great Ribbis. They made sure that we had the BEST time. The educational part of the trip was amazing. I've learned so much. The lecturers were famous people: writers, phycologists, teachers, professors, etc. We were chatting with them for hours. The spiritual part of the trip was unbelievable. We were crying, laughing, sad, surprised. It was all kinds of emotions. I couldn't believe that one organization can bring so many positive emotions in one trip. We didn't want to leave. I think it was just the fact that we didn't want to say goodbye to each other and realize the fact that it was over. Since than Im a constant member of RAJE. I've been doing leadership program for a while. I love the program because of its uniqueness. Every lecture bring knowledge, new ideas and even make one a better person... Thanks to RAJE we have an opportunity to meet and talk to very famous people of our planet. They give us lectures, share their knowledge, talk about their experience, give advice, etc. (How often can one meet and actually talk to a famous person???!!!???) RAJE made it happen!!! Another part of the program is the spiritual one with our amazing Rabbis. I can't recall one class that I missed. I was literally running to the program... As Im sitting and writing my review, Im going back to 2003, to Channukah party, where the first person that approached me became my best friend. The first Ribbis and their families became my second family. The first house that I was invited to became my second home (besides RAJE ;-))... I want to thank all the RAJE staff for giving us an opportunity to meet new friends, enrich our knowledge, become better people, realize who we are as Jews and how lucky we are, and just for being you.

4 sergiy

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very lovely people, help out a lot. Also amazing trips witch i enjoy every time i go! I made a lot of good and positive riends, we come every Shabbas (jewish holyday, friday and saterday)to learn, talk, and play all kinds of games.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RAJE caters to the interests of so many Russian Jews thirsty to learn about their heritage and to become more involved in Judaism. In my time being a mentor there, I have achieved a great satisfaction in seeing the unbelievable progress and development with so many of the RAJE students. I wish for them much more success and hope they keep up their great work. -YG

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new mentor at RAJE and I can see in my limited time there, RAJE is really moving mountains. Levi and the rest of the staff are a pleasure to deal with and they are there to answer any questions I or any of the students might have. The Shabbatons are tons of fun and I cant wait for the next session! Way to go!!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started RAJE over a year ago as a mentor. I knew maybe 1 person going in and had almost no idea of what i was getting myself into. That was a year ago. Today...well...there's no other way to say it, im obsessed with RAJE. for so many reasons. Firstly, if it werent for RAJE, there would be roughtly 200,000 Jews would would probably NEVER be exposed to Judaism more than going to Shul on Yom Kippur. Coupled with the current assimilation rate, you can be sure that in 1 or 2 generations...there'd be barely any Jews left. Can you imagine that? From 200,000...200,000! only maybe 25% left... Secondly, the wide variey of ways they open up people to Judaism is amazing. They have lectures given by Rabbies are are simply Heaven-Sent (if you dont believe me, sit in on a class. i dare you). They invite Jewish Orthodox Professionals to come in and speak to everyone and show how one CAN be actively involved in their Judaism and be highly successful in the Secular world as well. They also have a mentoring program where participants learn with people their own age on a wide variety of topics. Its very nice to hear a lecture...but lets face it, everyone's heard lectures before. Its a completely different experience though when you learn and discuss issues that mattter to you with a peer of your own age. I myself am one of those mentors. I can tell you from a years worth of firsthand experience--as much as i may have exposed my guys to Judaism...theyve taught me so much in return. Just as oe of many examples, one of my guys is a genius architect and, while on our Summer Trip to Paris-Israel, he blew me away with his knowledge of everything architectural (if thats even a word!) Together we've discussed issues, debated topics, honed and come up with practical ways everyone (and i include myself in this) could make Judaism actually apply to their lives in a manner thats not overwhelming but rather enjoyable and conducive to growth. Another thing are the trips. Thats right, plural. Trips. Where else are you going to find an organization that will give you for pretty much FREE (literally) a 2-3 week trip to Israel and countries in Europe such as Paris, Greece, Budapest, Russia, Rome, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Switzerland?? I dont think you will. I could literally go on and on and on about all things RAJE and why they're an amazing organization. In fact, feel free to contact me if u need any more convincing!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

they have put a lot of faith in me. like almost all the others, we come in with no knowledge or much faith in judaism and they have found a way to make it interesting and useful to learn and fun in everyday life, they show that its a wonderful and meaningul thing to experience. they knew the real potential i had when i grew so fast that i became a madricha within 1 semester, they saw that in me! I have led 3 trips so far with this last one they trusted and rely on me so well that i was the only leader (as well as the rabbis) on board. they see the potential in me and give me the freedom and room to grow as works best for me and as works best for all the other participants. i love that they dont push us to become religious at all (even though that would love to see us become more observant in that nature) but that they are accomplishing their goal of educating the youth of how important it is and how wonderful it is to be a jewish person today.