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Project Kesher records

Identifier: 11-MWalB02738

Scope and Contents

The Project Kesher records document the operations, activities, and programs of Project Kesher, an organization founded in 1989 in support of Jewish renewal throughout the former Soviet Union. Materials include correspondence, notes, printed and bound materials, press clippings, photographs, audiovisual materials, and born digital media. The bulk of the materials are in English, with some in Russian and Hebrew. The materials date from 1988-2015, with the bulk of materials dating from 1989-2012.

The extensive documentation of Project Kesher’s programming work forms the core of the collection, arranged in Series 2: Events and Programs. Of particular note are the records of the International Conference of Jewish Women, which took place in Kiev in 1994. This conference was a landmark event both for Project Kesher and for Jewish women in the NIS (Newly Independent States), and the records include pre-conference planning and outreach, correspondence, programs, press coverage, post-conference feedback from attendees, photographs, and a video filmed of the event. Also of note in the program records are the various iterations of the Women’s Exchange programs, Mother/Daughter Retreats, Torah Return Project visits, and KesherNet computer center openings.

Project Kesher’s fundraising activities are also well represented throughout the collection, in both Series 1: Administrative Records and Series 3: Collaborator Files. These materials include budgets, expense records, marketing brochures, fundraising event records, and grant applications and reports. The collaborator files in particular highlight the fundraising work done with various organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Other administrative records of note include the documentation of Board activities from 1989-2012, which offer unique insight into Project Kesher’s operations, and the extensive files of correspondence, mainly from Project Kesher’s two founders, Sallie Gratch and Svetlana Yakimenko.

The Project Kesher records provide clear documentation of the administrative, programming, and fundraising operations of the organization and offer valuable insight into the process of Jewish renewal throughout the former Soviet Union, particularly in the context of women’s lives. The collection is one of several Jewish feminist collections at Brandeis University.


  • 1988-2015, undated


Language of Materials

The majority of materials are in English, with some written in Russian. Instances of Russian may be written either in print or cursive.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials containing personal identification information have been restricted. All other materials in this collection are open for research. Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


29 Linear Feet (26 record center boxes, 2 document cases, 1 oversize box)


Arranged in three series: 1. Administrative Records, 1988-2012, undated; 2. Events and Programs, 1988-2012, undated; 3. Collaborator Files, 1988-2012, undated. For more information about each series please consult the series descriptions. A complete box and folder listing is available upon request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to Brandeis in January 2018 directly from Project Kesher's headquarters.

Processing Information

Processed by Esme Rabin, March 2020.

Project Kesher records
Esme Rabin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections