For Russian Oligarchs, Charity Begins At Home

September 8, 2009

Source: The Jewish Week


Genesis Philanthropy Group, the foundation founded by five Russian oligarchs two years ago, will be sharing more of its resources with Russian-speaking Jews in its own home turf. The foundation, which has made headlines with its high-profile grants meant to strengthen Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews primarily in America and Israel, announced a $6 million gift to The Jewish Agency for Israel to support floundering Jewish schools and summer camps in the former Soviet Union during the next three to four years. The $6 million gift to the Jewish Agency represents Genesis Philanthropy Group’s largest grant in the former Soviet Union.

The heads of the Genesis Philanthropy Group – longtime business partners in their mid-40s who have ties to Alfa Group, Russia’s biggest private equity firm – hope that other Russian Jews will follow suit and support Jewish education and other projects in the former Soviet Union.


In the past year, GPG gave approximately $15 million within the former Soviet Union. Recipients of these grants include Moscow State University’s department for Jewish studies, The Centre for Biblical and Jewish Studies at Russian State University for the Humanities, and the Adain Lo - St. Petersburg Institute for Jewish Studies. This summer, GPG supported 17 camps for children living in the former Soviet Union.

Updated: Oct. 11, 2009