Israel-based ROIers are invited to join a unique study tour of Saint Petersburg and get involved in creating a large-scale festival!

A Tour of Saint Petersburg, by ROIers and for ROIers

If you’re an Israel-based ROIer who’s passionate about Jewish identity, culture, cool cities and bringing a bold dream to fruition, apply to join us on our special discovery tour of Saint Petersburg, the capital of the Russian empire and an influential Jewish center outside of the 'Pale of Settlement.'

We are Alex Rif and Beri Rozenberg, the founders of the Cultural Brigade – a group of young Israelis who are promoting the exploration and revival of the stories and culture of Jews from Russian-speaking countries to ensure that they become a positive part of Israeli culture and our narrative.

Our Odessa Tel Aviv Festival last year was a success, and we are now working on creating our second large-scale event: the Saint Petersburg-Israel Festival. To do this right, we need to study our subject comprehensively, and there’s no better way to do this than to actually go back to the source and visit Saint Petersburg!

We invite ROIers to take part in both exploring this historical and beautiful city with us, as well as in planning the festival itself.

Saint Petersburg Discovery Tour (July 24-28, 2018): In preparation for the festival, we will travel to Saint Petersburg for a five-day study tour. We will be joined by Cultural Brigade artists seeking inspiration for the festival. See participation fees and requirements below.

The Saint Petersburg-Israel Festival (December, 2018): This will be a three-day, multidisciplinary festival celebrating Jewish and Israeli culture in the spirit of Saint Petersburg, a multicultural and lively city that tremendously influenced Jewish cultural and communal life, as well as the Jewish immigration experience from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) to Israel. The festival will include poetry, music, theatre, Limmud (learning), sculpture, live performance, video, art exhibits, and more. Help make it happen!

The Saint Petersburg Discovery Tour will be led by Shalom Boguslavsky and local tour guides in Hebrew. See below ("What Awaits Us in Saint Petersburg") for more info on the tour.

Discovery Tour participation fee: $1,100* includes travel from and return to Israel, half-board accommodation, guided tours of sites and attractions. Please note that Kosher meals are not guaranteed, kindly be in touch with the organizers.
*Apply by the deadline to ensure this price; costs may increase if you are late. Remember to check out your eligibility for an ROI Micro Grant to offset this participation fee. Tip: In your application, clearly state what you seek to gain by joining this journey and what you will contribute to both the tour and the festival! 

Discovery Tour participants agree to:

  • Pay the non-refundable fee of $1,100, on time and in full;
  • Participate in a pre- and post-delegation learning session;
  • Fully participate in all aspects of the delegation to Saint Petersburg (July 24-28, 2018); and
  • Assist as far as possible in bringing the festival to fruition, each participant with their unique skills.

If you wish to take part in the creation of the Saint Petersburg-Israel Festival, apply now to join our five-day tour to Saint Petersburg this July.

What Awaits Us in Saint Petersburg: Dubbed the Venice of the North, Saint Petersburg boasts White Night Festivals, beautiful parks and staggeringly beautiful palaces. We will visit these sites and others that are often overlooked, getting to know the Saint Petersburg of creativity and of struggles: the city where Jews played cat-and-mouse with the KGB while trying to celebrate Pesach and Simchat Torah, where revolutionaries rebelled against the Tsar's reign, where dissidents criticized the authority of the Communist Party, where Zionists and Refuseniks fought for their right to make Aliyah, and nowadays, where people have to assert their rights to democracy and freedom.

Saint Petersburg was home to leading bodies that promoted Hebrew literature, Jewish folk music, and Jewish art. We will hear about the city's unique history from the people who shaped it and explore what hides behind the shimmering touristic facade of the city. Through our visit, we'll hopefully begin to understand the complexity of the city that for some is beloved and for others is hated for being patronizing and elitist. But no one can deny its importance to Russian history in general, and to the history of Jewish immigrants from the FSU to Israel in particular.  

The Saint Petersburg-Israel Festival is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies and the Genesis Philanthropy Group.

Please direct all inquiries to Pola Barkan ([email protected]), co-organizer of this program and colleague to Beri and Alex.

This information originates from a third party, the provider of this opportunity. In the event you have questions or require more details, please contact the provider of this opportunity directly.