Gateways’ Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE)
Newly Top-Rated Jewish Nonprofit
RAJE, a Division of Gateways, Takes First Place
in 2009 Jewish Choice Awards from GreatNonprofits,
GuideStar's Nonprofit Technology Partner
New York, NY --- Gateways’ Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) is now the highest-rated Jewish non-profit in North America and the fifth highest rated non-profit of all the 1.2 million non-profits listed on GuideStar, the central source of information on U.S. nonprofits.
Gateways’ RAJE (www.rajeusa.com) has been voted the #1 large Jewish non-profit organization in the Northeast during GreatNonprofits 2009 Jewish Choice Awards (http://greatnonprofits.org/jewish). RAJE is the Russian Division of Gateways (www.gatewaysonline.com), America’s premier grassroots Jewish education powerhouse dedicated to strengthening Jewish Peoplehood.
“Winning the GreatNonprofits Jewish Choice Awards validates our mission and does the Russian American Jewish community proud,” said Mordechai Tokarsky, RAJE Executive Director in New York. “Bottom line, GreatNonprofits is revolutionizing the non-profit universe by offering an objective means to gauge each non-profit’s real-world impact.”
Gateways’ RAJE earned its top ranking because participants, volunteers, and donors weighed-in on how the orgnization uniquely engages young Russian Jewish Americans in creating a vibrant and active community in the U.S.
“I’ve never been interested in joining any Jewish organization before,” wrote a participant with the handle ‘dnetes’. “Until I came to a RAJE event, I never knew anything about being a Jew. They've taken me in like a long lost relative and they accept me for who I am without any pressure…For the first time in my life I have discovered what it feels like to be among my people.”
GreatNonprofits, singled out by The Huffington Post as “one of philanthropy’s top 10 game changers,” is GuideStar's nonprofit technology partner. It provides the technology behind user reviews and ratings of non-profits, thus enabling participants, donors and volunteers to find worthwhile nonprofits based on “word on the street” recommendations.
David, another participant, posted, “[RAJE] taught me identity, community involvement and Jewish values.” And, participant and volunteer Biana praised RAJE as a “unique and wonderful organization that has provided me with extensive learning, growing and leadership opportunities. It truly is an asset and a gem to the Russian American Jewish community.”
“The Jewish Choice Awards generated the most page views (103,000) and the most reviews (3,994) of all our non-profit contests to date,” said Shari Ilsen, GreatNonprofits’ Director of Marketing and Outreach. “This huge response indicates the Jewish community is ready to enter a new phase of philanthropy, embracing web 2.0 as a valuable tool to get more people involved.”
Tokarsky, himself an immigrant from the Former Soviet Union, began his Russian Jewish American community development efforts 10 years ago. In 2006, he joined with Mordechai Suchard, the visionary founder of Gateways, and business leader and philanthropist Ron Hersh, to create RAJE.
“In just a few short years, Gateways’ Russian American Jewish Experience has proven the effectiveness of its community renewal model,” said Suchard. “We hope winning this contest will help us garner the support we need to bring this model to other major U.S. metropolitan areas.”
RAJE, the Russian American division of Gateways, is a grassroots Jewish educational umbrella organization serving the Russian American Jewish community. In order to ensure Jewish continuity, it strengthens Jewish Identity and Peoplehood, creates a cadre of future Jewish leaders and fosters community development, while promoting ties with Israel. RAJE boasts a 16,000-strong network. Every year, 4,000 college/graduate students and young professionals, aged 18-30, take part in RAJE’s path-breaking programs, including its flagship Leadership Fellowship. This semester-long leadership development program culminates in an educational mission to Europe and Israel.
For more information please contact:
RAJE, Executive Director
Phone: (718) 812-0779