Welcoming new citizens to our vibrant community.

Since the 1980’s, more than 2,500 Russian Jews have joined the St. Paul Jewish community, adding to our rich diversity of culture and voices. The Minnesota JCC Capp Center St. Paul continues to offer free or low-cost activities, events and services for immigrants from the former Soviet Union through RAJMN (Russian American Jews in Minnesota).

Who We Are

RAJMN is the only Jewish-Russian program for young families in Minnesota, working to connect them to the larger Jewish community and provide a deeper understanding of Judaism and Russian-Jewish roots and culture. We are a volunteer-led initiative, and our programs and events, held throughout the year, celebrate Jewish and Russian culture and serve as learning opportunities. We also serve as a bridge to other Jewish organizations, connecting Russian-American Jews to synagogues, Jewish schools, programs in Israel, Jewish summer camps and other programs as needed.

Our Mission

  • Deepen the connection of the Russian Jewish community in Minnesota to the larger Jewish community in our state.
  • Foster understanding and a general curiosity about Judaism and Russian Jewish roots and culture among young Russian-speaking Jews.
  • Strengthen connections between young families in Minnesota’s Russian-speaking Jewish community.
  • Teach Russian-speaking Jewish teens and young families leadership skills that can be used to develop a stronger voice in the greater Jewish community.
  • Strengthen the Jewish identity of Russian-Jewish teens and young families in Minnesota.

Our History

In 2003, the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul reached out to young Russian Jewish adults who immigrated to Minnesota from the former Soviet Union when they were children. As a result, RAJMN formed as a one-year pilot program. Due to the enthusiastic response and high participation rate, the program continued to grow, helping immigrants forge connections to each other and their new community while also providing ways for them to explore and celebrate their religion and Russian heritage.

In 2010, through the commitment of an anonymous donor and Federation funding, RAJMN moved its offices from the Federation to the Minnesota JCC Capp Center St. Paul.

In 2012, RAJMN was awarded a grant for a teen initiative program from Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), a foundation that develops and enhances Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. In 2013, GPG extended this grant, allowing RAJMN to add additional services and programs for young families.

Ilana Volodarsky, Russian-American Project Founder and Director, arrived in St. Paul with her parents and younger brother from the former Soviet Union in 1989. She’s led RAJMN since 2003 and is dedicated to helping Russian-American young adults learn about the Jewish community and organize social events to bring them together to explore their roots and culture.

What We Do

Have fun, celebrate together and honor our shared history and culture! Since its start, RAJMN has hosted over 200 programs, including annual Hanukah, Purim, Rosh Hashanah, Passover and Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, family education programs, social events (including a “Russian Mr. Minnesota” competition!), concerts and performances.

If you are a Jewish, Russian young adult or young family (born in the former Soviet Union or the United States), or know someone who is, contact Ilana Volodarsky, Russian American Project Director, at ilanav@stpauljcc.org or call 651 + 255 4742 for more information about this program.

This program is funded by RAJMN & GPG

Limmud FSU

Limmud FSU brings together and empowers young Jewish adults who are revitalizing Jewish communities and culture in the countries of the Former Soviet Union, as well as in countries with Russian-speaking people, wherever they may be.

Built on the experience of an international group of Jewish leadership, working in close partnership with Limmud FSU volunteer leaders, Limmud provides a rich educational experience – for the community, to the community and by the community.

Limmud FSU shares in the core goals of diversity, learning, community and volunteerism with the other Limmud conferences throughout the world.

History of Limmud FSU

Limmud FSU was founded by Chaim Chesler (Israel), Sandra Cahn (USA) and Mikhail Chlenov (Russia) in 2006. Matthew Bronfman joined shortly afterwards as chairman of its International Steering Committee and Aaron Frenkel as its President in 2013. We are happy to have had the opportunity to develop and implement Limmud conferences in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus, as well as in Israel, the USA and Canada.

Limmud FSU seeks to restore the tradition of lifelong Jewish learning and to strengthen Jewish identity. We believe our educational model and continuing efforts will ensure a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future for young Russian-speaking adults in the FSU, in Israel, in America and throughout the world

Ilana Volodarsky is representing  RSJ community from MN as an active volunteer on Marketing, Kids Programs, Adult Programs committees.

For more information on Limmud FSU, click here.

For more information and registration for Limmud FSU NY, click here.


Russian Programming

Russian Interpreter Services:
The JCC provides English-Russian Interpreter Services for medical appointments and other areas of need.

English Language Learning:
An intermediate/advanced class is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am – noon.

For more information, contact Barbie Levine, Director of Adult Services and Programs, at blevine@stpauljcc.org or

call 651 + 255 4734.

Russian Library

2nd and 4th Sunday of the month

10:00 am – noon

Check out Russian-language books from our extensive collection.

Drop-in Lounge:
Open Wednesdays: 11 am – 2 pm & Sundays: 3 – 5 pm
Everyone’s welcome to socialize, read Russian language newspapers and magazines, or enjoy a game of chess, checkers or cards at this fun and inclusive weekly social. Bilingual help is available.

Social Programs:

Trips and cultural events are planned throughout the year for our Russian-speaking community.

For more information, contact Yulia Shteyn, New American Program Coordinator at yshteyn@stpauljcc.org or call 651 + 255 4755.