Jewish Tapestry Project was incorporated in August 2020 and became a 501(C)3 non-profit on 12th October 2021.
It was founded by Debra Brunner (a UK citizen) and was set up to act as the American partner to the UK non-profit ‘The Together Plan,’ which was registered with the UK Charities Commission of England and Wales on October 10th 2013.
Collectively, the two organizations share the same overarching mission: to promote Jewish community capacity building through research, exploration, cultural events and dialogue. They are an outgrowth of work Debra personally undertook, starting in 2009, to build connections and develop an understanding of the needs of Jewish Belarusian communities. These initial efforts focused on establishing a twinning between the Polotsk Jewish community in northern Belarus and a synagogue in London as well as sponsoring summer leadership programs in Belarus for young adults from the UK.
Within Belarus itself, The Together Plan and Jewish Tapestry Project are represented by the International Charitable Organization ‘Dialog,’ a 20 year old, highly regarded Belarusian NGO and the Belarusian Jewish Religious Union. The co-founder of The Together Plan, Minsk-based Artur Livshyts, recently became the interim Chair of the Belarus Jewish Religious Union. Artur, who was born in the Soviet Union, lived in Nashville for two years, where he had his bar mitzvah. His story can be read here and here.
For the past 10 years, The Together Plan and now Jewish Tapestry Project, drawing on a staff of employees and volunteers located in the USA, UK and Belarus, have undertaken a number of initiatives to further their common mission, including:
- Establishing Jewish heritage clubs in Belarus
- Holocaust education
- Book translations and publications
- Youth programs
- Preservation projects
- Building a Jewish heritage route through Belarus