The Birth of Solnechniy Krug at the Y

Together with Genesis Philanthropy Group’s generous help and with guidance from the Jewish Education Project, we launched Солнечный круг @Y (transliteration: Solnechniy Krug @Y; translation: Sunny Circle at the Y), a unique program for young Russian-speaking families. The new program fulfills these parents’ desire to pass down Russian language, customs, and traditions to their young ones.

The Solnechniy Krug seed was planted at the end of 2016 and, along with the lilies of the valley, began to sprout under the soft and warm rays of the sun in March. Since then the program has been spreading its roots into the hearts of the local Russian-speaking community. This population has long expressed their desire to come together to preserve the cherished, but not forgotten cultural values and ethics that they’ve brought all the way from across the ocean.

Solnechniy Krug ‘s first offering, Little Avant–Gardes, is a six week exploration of art, poetry, and music taught in Russian. In these first classes we’ve already seen how the beauty of art in its many shapes and forms, can touch the hearts of children as young as 18 months and spark the curiosity of older kids who are able to create their own avant-garde masterpieces! The works of both Russian-Jewish and Russian poets and composers have not yet left anyone without a smile.

We are very enthusiastic and excited to see how Solnechniy Krug will evolve over time, but more important, we can’t wait to see the impact it will have on such an amazing community. They’ve been so brave by willing to take a risk and join us on this wonderful adventure. By coming together, all of our lives will be enriched, from the youngest participants up through the program’s organizers and teachers.

You can learn more about Solnechniy Krug on our website. If you are interested in learning more about the program or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Olga Inglis ({safe_mailto(}), Solnechniy Krug’s Program Coordinator and Teacher.

We are incredibly thankful for the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the guidance from the Jewish Education Project, without which this project wouldn’t be possible.

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

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