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JWI Guide on Financial Security Aids Russian Community

Thousands of women and families emigrate from the former Soviet Union each year to find a better life in the United States. However, the most difficult journey for these immigrants often begins when they set out to navigate the complicated sea of financial, governmental and social service institutions in their new home.

Jewish Women International, in partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education, has published Creating Success: Russian-English Guide to Financial Security in the USA. This free, bilingual guide offers hundreds of useful tips and contact agencies for assistance with budgeting and banking, job searching and financial and career planning, as well as information on protecting themselves and their families from domestic violence.

"Through JWI's educational programming, our work with abused women and our alliances with organizations delivering critical outreach services in communities around the world, we understand that building a strong financial foundation is an important strategy in keeping families safe," Millie Sernovitz, JWI international president, explains. "This publication offers tangible strategies for sound living and advice on how to avoid the patterns that put your future and your family at risk."

The 65-page guide presents practical, step-by-step formulas for calculating an expense/income worksheet, real-life examples of money traps, Internet and telephone resources and the latest legal information on female trafficking statutes. The guide is designed to take into consideration language limitations, societal disparities and differences in work cultures.

"This important resource guide will help [new immigrants] save time, energy and money, beginning with their very first steps in this country," Iulia Marcenco, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Moldava, writes in the guide's Russian-language introduction. Marceno worked for JWI during her fellowship with the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX).

JWI's partner, the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education, is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to educating Americans about personal finance and empowering them to make sound decisions to reach their financial goals. The foundation accomplishes this by partnering with other organizations to develop and distribute financial education material to the public.

"As women we know that achieving financial security is key to personal and economic well-being. When we help a woman gain competency in her financial life, we may also help her avoid the dangers of unhealthy and abusive relationships. By helping one woman, we help her children, her family and, by extension, her community," JWI Executive Director Lori Weinstein says.

Creating Success is just one in a series of Russian community outreach initiatives JWI has spearheaded. Through its ongoing national public awareness campaignóProject OhróJWI has produced two Resource Guides on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community for rabbis and for community professionals. Project Ohr support materials are now available in both Russian and English, and JWI is planning to publish its resource guides in Russian. JWI is also a partner in Project Kolot, which has engaged the religious and secular communities in addressing domestic abuse and relationship violence in Russia.

Creating Success is available free (excluding shipping and handling) and may be purchased in bulk orders through Jewish Women International. For more information, call Dena Bauman at 800-343-2823 or email her at .