Kushai & Slushai
Kusahi & Slushai (Eat and Listen, in Russian) is an ongoing lunch-and-learn series where participants are given the opportunity to listen to engaging talks by some of Toronto's most sought after Jewish speakers. The event is normally held in a synagogue. We provide Kosher catering, and participants are given the opportunity to ask questions, learn, and network with others from within the community. The speakers bring a depth of expertise on various Jewish topics that are relevant to today's Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals. Topics include Jewish identity, relationships, personal growth, Jewish business ethics, among many others.
What is the mission and purpose of this program?
The goal of this program is to expose Toronto's Russian-Jewish young professionals to Jewish learning, and to provide an environment where they feel safe exploring and entrenching their Jewish identities and strengthening their bonds with the community.
The primary beneficiaries of this program are the participants, who very often come away feeling elevated and educated, and open to further exploring their Jewish roots and their connection with the community. We've had close to 20 sessions to date, with a diverse range of speakers covering a variety of topics. Kushai & Slushai succeeds in bringing Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals together to engage in Jewish learning and deepen their connections with the community.
Toronto's large population of Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals often lack Jewish education and knowledge of traditions because Jews were persecuted and driven under ground in the former Soviet Union. Here in Toronto, they have the freedom to explore their Jewish roots, and the popularity of this program has shown that they also have a strong desire to do so.
Kushai & Slushai effectively bridges the gap between the many facets of Toronto's diverse Jewish community, which encompasses Jews from all over the world and all levels of observance. We make an effort to ensure that our lineup of speakers is representative of Toronto's Jewish community. We have included well-respected women, rabbis, experts on various topics, and influential members from other community organizations. By bringing people together in this way, Kushai & Slushai effectively strengthens ties not only within the Russian-Jewish community but across the many communities making up Toronto's Jewish life.
How do you measure the success of your program?
The success of this program is measured by the increasing numbers of people attending and reaching out to us to find out more information, as well as by well-known speakers within the community reaching out to find out how to get involved.
Every session brings familiar faces and new participants who are open to Jewish learning and feel that this program is a safe space within which to explore their Jewish identity.