Our Sister City of St. Petersburg

In 1998, St. Peterburg became a sister city to Jewish Cleveland. Since then, our extended family there has become an organized, self-sufficient Jewish community, with established Jewish institutions – such as YESOD, Adain Lo Jewish Family Center, the Hillel Student Center, and the Rubenstein Jewish Community Center – and specialized leadership development programs. Over the years, our sister city in Russia has further enhanced the vibrancy of the Jewish life in St. Peterburg through arts and culture, as well as deepened Jewish identity through summer camps.


YESOD (Hebrew for foundation) opened its doors on September 8, 2006, as the first Jewish building to be constructed in Russia in almost 100 years. A 75,000 sq. ft. building in the center of St Petersburg, it serves as the hub of Jewish communal life, providing access to a wide array of social services to the approximately 100,000 Jews living in the city today.

Adain Lo Jewish Family Center

Established in 1991, St. Petersburg’s Adain Lo Jewish Family Center provides a wide range of programs – including a network of schools and camps – designed to create the new generation of Jewish communal volunteer leaders and professionals that can support the Jewish community in St. Petersburg for generations to come. It is one of the largest providers of Jewish programs for children and families in the city, providing more than 40 “renewal” programs to help families rediscover their Jewish heritage that had been lost during Communist rule.

Hillel Student Center

St. Petersburg’s Hillel Student Center embraces Jewish students from a diversity of backgrounds, including those who have had little or no Jewish involvement or education – in fact, many are exploring and discovering their Jewish roots for the first time. Through the Hillel Student Center’s programs and events, young adults are able to develop a greater comfort level with participation in Jewish community activities.

Capacity Building and Lehava Leadership Program

Since 2014, volunteer and professional leaders have participated in specialized programs to gain the skills needed to lead Jewish organizations. Through these programs, as well as seminars and other opportunities through the Lehava Leadership Program, the Jewish community in St. Petersburg is able to create a healthy pipeline of future leaders.

Rubenstein Jewish Community Center

The Rubenstein Jewish Community Center hosts a wide range of events – from lectures and exhibitions to cultural and educational programs. It also serves as the St. Peterburg’s source for information about Jewish life, Jewish newspapers and magazines, and more. The Center’s weekly adult education programs focus on Jewish history, traditions, art, poetry and literature, and Jewish life.

Arts, Culture, and Literature

Through a diverse offering of arts and culture events, the Jewish community in St. Petersburg is able to connect with a wide swath of the community to explore Jewish history and heritage. By bringing people together to celebrate holidays, enjoy traditional dance and music, and more, the community is forging stronger ties to each other and the Jewish people worldwide.

Perpetuating Jewish Life: Summer Camp & Jewish Identity

In order to reach those Jewish children and teens living in communities surrounding St. Petersburg, our sister city has created Jewish camp experiences that bring young Jews from all over the St. Petersburg area and periphery together to learn more about who they are. Over the past 20 years, approximately 160,000 Jewish youth have begun building their Jewish identities and leadership skills through Jewish summer camps.