Inside Jewish Georgia & Azerbaijan 2017: Frances C. Eizenstat JDC Fellowship in International Jewish Service

July 16, 2017 - July 24, 2017

Applications for this trip are now closed.

Experience the renewal of Jewish life in Georgia and Azerbaijan, both post-communist societies. Inside Jewish Georgia & Azerbaijan is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about JDC's vital work with Jewish populations in this unique pocket of the Former Soviet Union.

About the Frances C. Eizenstat JDC Fellowship in International Jewish Service:

Inside Jewish Georgia & Azerbaijan is in honor of Frances C. Eizenstat z”l, a great Jewish Leader. Ms. Eizenstat’s commitment to improving the lives of those in need around the world was evident in nearly everything she did, including her 12 years as a JDC Board Member.

In line with Fran’s interest and support of communities in the process of rebuilding Jewish life, this experience allows young adults to experience, learn, and contribute to the building of Jewish life and welfare needs in post-Communist countries. It also provides an opportunity to engage with Ms. Eizenstat’s family and JDC’s leadership pre and post experience.

Itinerary Highlights:

  • Discover the Jewish communities of Tbilisi, Gori, & Kutaisi, Georgia and in Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Engage with local BBYO teens and spend Shabbat with young professional leaders at Hillel Tbilisi
  • Participate in home visits and deliver needed supplies to elderly community members to learn about JDC's Hesed welfare model
  • Learn about the history of Communism in the region with a visit to the Stalin Museum and briefings with US Embassy staff and local historians
  • Go to camp! Spend a day at a JDC-supported Family Camp and help lead activities and discussions for at-risk children, teens and parents served by Georgia's Jewish Family Service
  • Experience Georgia and Azerbaijan's rich and unique culture and cuisine through khachapuri, wine, traditional dance and exploring the cobblestone streets and fairytale-like architecture

Click here to view the full sample itinerary.

Trip Dates: July 16-24, 2017

Participation fee: $3,250 USD

International participation fee: $2,100 USD, not inclusive of flights

*Do not let the price of the trip stop you from applying. JDC Entwine has subsidies available. Click here to learn more.

The trip cost includes:

  • Roundtrip International Airfare from New York City
  • Local transportation within Georgia 
  • Meals
  • Hotel Accommodations (note: the participation fee covers accommodations in double rooms; participants may elect to stay in a single room for an additional fee)
  • Site visits, briefings, tours, etc.
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance

Participants will be expected to submit a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 upon notification of selection.

Final payments (which may vary based on individual subsidies) will be due two months before departure.

To learn more click here for a FAQ.

Flight Details: The group flight will depart from New York JFK Airport on Sunday, July 16 and return on Monday, July 24. All US based participants are expected to meet at the airport three hours prior to departure and must travel to Tbilisi with the group. A detailed itinerary will be shared upon notification of acceptance.

About JDC in Georgia: More than two decades after the fall of Communism, JDC is working with Georgia's local Jewish communities to create opportunities for Jews to reconnect to their tradition. After Georgia obtained independence in 1991, JDC stepped in to help the community build a strong Jewish infrastructure and care for its needy and elderly.

More recently, events have also required JDC's intervention; in 2002, a severe earthquake struck Georgia and political instability and tensions with Russia cultivated in the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. JDC played a central role in helping the Tbilisi Jewish community and surrounding communities caught in the midst of the fighting. Today, JDC provides lifesaving humanitarian interventions, and is revitalizing Jewish life through its work with Jews of all ages from nursery school programs to young adult engagement initiatives.

More on our JDC's work in Georgia here.

About JDC in Azerbaijan: Jewish life in Azerbaijan, which has historically been centered in Baku, dates back hundreds of years. The Jewish community of Baku, and the smaller community in the city of Kuba, flourished well into the 20th century, until the rise of Communism ruled out Jewish expression. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought the opportunity for revival of Jewish life, but also left the country in economic ruin. With JDC's help, the Jews of Azerbaijan are working to further the welfare of the neediest and to preserve the community's Jewish heritage.




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