The Marilyn Tallman Scholarship Fund

Deeply committed to the continuity and rescue of her people, Marillyn focused her enormous intellect and energy on the teaching of Jewish history, seeing education as a way to ensure Jewish survival. 

As co-chairman of Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry, she struggled for the freedom of Soviet Jews and for their ability to live openly Jewish lives. Through CASJ’s Yad L’Yad program, she sent Jewish educators, rabbis, Hebrew teachers, educational and material support to Refuseniks, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, she threw her energy and resources behind Jewish activists who were building social and religious safety nets for the hundreds of thousands of Jews who remained in the Former Soviet Union.

The Marillyn Tallman Scholarship Fund has been established to continue her contribution to Jewish education and survival by supporting children in Belarus and Ukraine whose last hope is Yad Yisroel.

Many Jewish children growing up there today are from assimilated families who are completely estranged from their Jewish identity. Among them, dysfunctional parents, some destroyed by substance abuse, have abandoned their children to harsh poverty and despair.  These children suffer from malnutrition, poor health, and lack of education.

Jewish girls and boys from Belarus and other Republics come alone or are brought by a parent to the only Jewish boarding school and orphanage in the country – in Pinsk—a life-raft for poverty-stricken children and broken families. Yad Yisroel welcomes them into its warm and nourishing shelter, providing dormitories, nutritious meals, teachers, medical care, role models, and caring emotional support which accompanies them from their first day at school and on into adulthood.

At the schools, kids learn the foundations of Jewish life, eat together, sing Jewish songs, and learn about the history and traditions of their people. Together, they celebrate holidays, bar/bat mitzvahs, and ultimately their weddings.

When they complete their studies, Yad Yisroel sends them to Israel or America where they live successful productive lives, integrate into thriving communities and support their families financially and emotionally, ending the cycle of neglect.

From 1993, Marillyn witnessed Rabbi Shteierman and Yad Yisroel’s staff’s personal commitment to provide for the individual needs of every Jewish child who comes to Yad Yisroel. Though the non-profit organization doesn’t turn away any Jewish child, the need for more teachers and food, dormitories, clothing, and medicine for the schools and camps is constantly growing.

Housing, food, and education costs roughly $8,000.00  per child per year.

Yad Yisroel perpetuates Marillyn’s work for the survival of Jews in the former Soviet Union and each of us can honor Marillyn’s memory by participating in this ongoing struggle.

Together we can make a difference by following in her footsteps.

Our goal is to initially fund at least 10 scholarships to honor Marillyn and the work she did for the Jewish people.

We know we can count on you. We know these children can count on you!


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24 Feb, 2020

9:00am 02:00pm

New York


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