How It All Started

Take the following ingredients: young Jewish men and women from the former Soviet Union, a good dose of humor, endless enthusiasm. Blend it all together with Torah and Talmud studies. What do you get? HERITAGE - Russian Jewish Congregation - a unique dish with a taste of its own.

It all started in the Summer of 1998 when Rabbi Eliezer Dimarsky, a product of the pre-Glasnonst Russian Jewish underground movement, together with some of the best of Chicago's Russian Generation Xers like Pinchas Zusis, Max and Irina Stesel, Chana Krutikova and Gera Bogachkov, started Sunday night Torah classes taught in Russian. Within a few weeks rumors about exciting new classes reached many young Russian Jews from Chicago and the suburbs. People started to drop in, initially hesitant, then more and more confidently. Who didn't come to us! The guy with a motorcycle, sitting in class with his helmet instead of a yarmulka, a girl with no spare space for another ring in her ears, a yeshiva student with peyos behind his ears, and more computer programmers then you can count. New lectures drew the curiosity of more and more people. Since then there has been no single class in which new faces did not appear. Different faces, very different. What unites us?

The Soul...

Jewish sages say that in every Jew there is a spark, curious, daring and never ceasing to exist. Give it a chance and it will grow into a big flame, warming and lighting the way to others who follow it. The Soul, wrapped in jeans or bike helmets, ear rings or peyos remains truly Jewish. It unites us under the roof of HERITAGE. But this is not all.

The Torah...

For Jews, Torah has always been a Tree of Life guaranteeing that those who uphold it will not only survive, but thrive. Jews and Torah are always synonymous. That's why in every HERITAGE discussion, whether it's about Talmud or learning how to read Hebrew, the underlying message remains the same: Torah is alive, Torah is relevant, Torah is necessary to live a meaningful Jewish life here, today, where we are.

Now HERITAGE, headed by Rabbi Eliezer Dimarsky, has grown into a big family of vibrant Jewish men and women. Our programs include religious services, classes in Chicago and suburbs, Sunday School, program for teens, lectures for college students, spirited weekend Seminars, holiday celebrations, social gatherings, matchmaking service and more!

Our goal is to unite Jews from the former Soviet Union into a caring Jewish community, where each individual grows to reach his/her greatest potential. Come and be part of our success!

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