Achim / Etz Chaim Center

Achim carries the respect and the warmth in the Russian speaking Jewish population's hearts and minds since 1989.
Location: Baltimore , MD
Year founded: 1989


Achim was started 1989 by Paysach Diskind who was passionate by what he saw as the new era of the Russian speaking Jewish communities rebirth and re-connection to their roots and to their brothers. He taught himself the Russian language and developed a relationship with hundreds of individuals and their families. The relationships he developed continue still today. Over 90 people participate in Achim's ongoing classes and services. Achim's mission is to encourage the Russian speaking Jewish population of the greater Baltimore to connect with and participate in the larger Jewish community. This will be done by creating educational forums, social forums as well as Shabbatonim and others venues. We have a circle of influence with 15,000 Russian speaking Jews. Paysach met most of these people within the their initial six months of arrival from the FSU. Achim is looking for deficit funding for our *Sunday Learning Center*. We currently have a Sunday Learning Center with 31 children enrolled who come to learn and connect to their Judaism weekly. The program also reaches out to the parents with on-going programs. We are looking for a grant of $31,000 to cover our deficit funding as well as starting a marketing campaign to reach out to more families.
Joint program with JWRP


In November 2018 Achim will be sending 15 women from Baltimore's Russian speaking Jewish community to Israel on a mission in conjunction with JWRP. This mission is unique since all the participants are already close friends and have been developing their sense of connection to the Jewish community for already more than 15 years. This mission will take their connection to a higher level and we anticipate their circle of influence to grow to other women.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The purpose of this trip is to deepen the connection these women already have to the larger community. We anticipate that with a deeper connection these women will spread their commitment to their peers.

Back to Top

Program Description

The trip is an eight day mission to Israel together with JWRP which brings hundreds of women with similar backgrounds. The trip includes three pre-trip meetings during which the women bond and prepare themselves for the trip. For a year following trip there are monthly meetings and other activities in which the women participate. The monthly sessions cover a curriculum of basic Jewish values and engagement in Israel.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The rate of Jewish apathy is apparent by all measures. It is critical that we engage Jewish families in their heritage, history and homeland. There is no stronger influence than the Jewish mother.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The JWRP trips have demonstrated incredible success in engaging their participants in their Judaism. My personal experience of this success comes from a number of children who enrolled to Achim's Sunday School because their mother took the JWRP trip. Her two girls attended our Sunday School and are now being transferred from public school to Beth Tfiloh, the local Jewish Day School.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

This is a new program.

One measure of success of the program is how many friends of these participants are interested in joining our next trip.

A second measure of success is how many participants move their children into a Jewish educational program.

A third measure of success is the level of commitment to the larger Jewish community and to Jewish values these women demonstrate.

Back to Top

No grants received yet


Are you ready to take your giving circle from idea to reality?

Our Jewish Giving Circle Incubator will help you bring your giving circle to life. Whether you're 23 or 73, interested in social justice or Jewish innovation, and ready to give $50 or $10,000, we want you to join the Incubator. Apply today!

Applications are open until July 31st.

Apply Now