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Project VITAL Josh and IPA studentsIn 2004, a unique idea came to fruition, after percolating in the mind of a young man for a number of years. Joshua Richman, then recently back home in Milwaukee after four years of music study at Yale and two years at an Israeli yeshiva, was looking for a way to meld his love of music with his love of Judaism and community. He recognized the void of high quality arts performances and arts experiences in a Jewish context within the greater Milwaukee community; thus RUACH was born.

RUACH seemed a perfect name for the spirited, fledgling initiative that sought to uplift peoples’ spirits. Joshua and a group of stellar volunteers worked to develop programs that would fulfill the basic mission and vision; the new organization quickly earned IRS nonprofit status, and fundraising began in earnest.

Fourteen years later, RUACH’s reach stretches beyond the Jewish community into disadvantaged urban areas and severely underserved populations that are now enjoying outstanding arts opportunities in a Jewish context.

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