Eshkolot: A Taste of Ideas

Eshkolot is a unique educational initiative promoting serious text-based study of traditional and modern Jewish and Israeli thought, literature and ideas via a wide variety of study formats and approaches

Eshkolot: A Taste of Ideas is an educational initiative focused on providing Moscow’s young, hip, intellectual crowd with the ability to take part in structured text-based Jewish study programs. Often employing an edutainment format (education in combination with entertainment-type events), Eshkolot promotes traditional and modern Jewish and Israel study, thought, and ideas in contemporary Russian society in a non-threatening, open and engaging manner.

Eshkolot’s programs are geared to a wide and diverse audience, targeting those with an interest in Jewish study of all ages and background. The overwhelming majority of Eshkolot’s audience is represented by those who rarely, if ever, attend other forms of organized Jewish activity and are drawn by the allure of serious Jewish study in an open atmosphere, led by international experts in their respective fields of study and research.

All of Eshkolot programs are implemented by engaging leading Russian-speaking (mostly) authors, educators and academics from Russia, Israel, Western Europe and the United States as well as the growing core of young local Jewish academics. Beyond the theatrical and musical performances that are part of Eshkolot’s wide menu of activities, participating educators incorporate workshops and seminars on specific areas and themes as part of their presentations.

Eshkolot events take place in the center of Moscow’s intellectual life; venues include intellectual clubs, universities, libraries, galleries and parks.

Eshkolot activities are composed of a variety of educational formats:
(1) Workshops; lectures combined with concerts; food-shows; master classes and even dance & philosophy parties; (2)
Mini-Seminars: seminars focusing on a specific topic, such as architecture, philosophy, theatre, literary studies, etc. through the lenses of Jewish study; (3)
Study Groups: in-depth seminars on classic literary pieces (e.g. Ecclesiastes, Book of Jonah, Song of Songs, etc.) with commentaries by philologists, historians and philosophers both from Russia and abroad in which the books are studied in their entirety; (4) Eshkolot’s “Festival’s of Jewish Texts and Ideas” represents Eshkolot’s most recent educational initiative. Taking place in retreat centers near large Russian cities, the program includes four to five days of intensive text-based Jewish study where participants study, discuss, and network alongside Jewish educators, evolving into an Eshkolot community. Follow-up activities are a strong part of these efforts.

All events are accompanied by specially produced educational materials that include the text in its original, translation and transliteration; most presenters also employ visual aides in the form of Power Point Presentations, Videos, and other mediums to bring the subject being studied alive for the audience.

Registration is required for all events, enabling Eshkolot to continue expanding its database of participants and keeping in close touch with them, via social networking mediums and other ways, in-between programs.

Eshkolot also produces professional video recordings, interviews, audio recordings, and other formats so that those not physically present are able to benefit from Eshkolot’s programs. All educational materials are also available for download on Eshkolot’s website.

Eshkolot is supported by The Genesis Philanthropy Group and Avi Chai Foundation.


Семен Парижский

Simon Parizhsky

Program Director

Svetlana Busygina

Administrative Director
Юлия Гаврилова

Julia Gavrilova

Public Relations

Anna Gershovich

Галина Петренко

Galya Petrenko

Festival Coordinator

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