Moscow Commission Highlights 2001-2023

Commission Update - March 22, 2022

Following the invasion of Ukraine, on March 22, 2022, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning all actions by the Russian government against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and to end the relationship between County of Santa Clara and the governments of the City and Region of Moscow.  Read the formal Resolution.

During its 27 years in existence, the County of Santa Clara/Moscow Commission has done good work, most of it through citizen-to-citizen connections. The Commission has fostered useful exchanges of information with Non-Governmental Organizations in Russia regarding various social issues; provided sponsorship of Russian arts in our county; established an Educational Connections Program at the school level to foster shared learning among Russian and American students; and secured Open World grants to host delegations that have shared best practices with visitors on preventing domestic violence, promoting inclusive education, and other topics of common interest. 

The Commission continues to operate and will continue its work through citizen-to-citizen connections.


Commission Highlights - 2023

  • The Moscow Commission was awarded its 7th grant from the U.S. Congressional Office of International Leadership's Open World Program, with 2023 focusing on hosting a five-member Ukrainian delegation.

Commission Highlights - 2020

  • The Moscow Commission was awarded its 6th Open World Grant from the US Congress.  The Commission hosted a five-member Russian delegation under the theme “Combating Domestic Violence” in early March 2020.  The delegation focused on a program, developed in coordination with the County of Santa Clara Office of Gender-Based Violence Prevention, that included meeting with and touring local organizations to learn about best practices for preventing domestic violence, screening for its occurrence and supporting its victims.

Commission Highlights - 2018

  • The Commission was awarded its 5th Open World grant from the US Congress.  The Moscow Commission will host a Public Defenders delegation from Moscow in September of 2018.  The delegates will participate in discussions and field trips throughout the County and will be home-hosted by county residents.
  • Through the Moscow Commission’s Education Connection program, Dr. Kate Booth, Christopher High School’s theater teacher, conducted a series of theater workshops at the Slavic-Anglo-American School in Moscow in February.
  • The Slavic-Anglo-American-School sent a theater delegation to Christopher High School in March.  The Russian students, who were home hosted by Gilroy families, participated in theater workshops and performed a joint production of Fahrenheit 451 with Christopher High School students.

Commission Highlights - 2017

  • Christopher High School in Gilroy sent a delegation to Moscow in March to participate in the Slavic-Anglo-American School’s Shakespeare festival.  The delegation was comprised of 15 students and 2 teachers.  In addition to performing their own pieces in the festival, the Christopher High School students and the Slavic-Anglo-American School students joined forces to present a crowd-pleasing interpretation of “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.  
  • A delegate from the Moscow Commission visited the hospital school at the Dima Rogachev Scientific Centre of Children's Oncology in Moscow to explore future collaborations with the hospital school at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.
  • The Moscow Commission hosted its 4th Open World delegation in September/October.  The theme of this delegation was Inclusive Education.  The delegates visited 13 organizations in Santa Clara County that provide inclusive education programs for both children and adults with mental disabilities.  Abilities United, one of the local organizations, and Veras, one of the delegate’s organization, have applied for another grant to enable them to share best practices on Social Inclusivity for adults with mental impairments.

Commission Highlights - 2016

  • Moscow’s Slavic-Anglo-American School sent a delegation to the Santa Clara Science Fair.  In addition to participating in the Science Fair, the Moscow Commission arranged for the students to be trained and work as docents at the Tech Museum in San Jose and to shadow students at Christopher High School in Gilroy for one day.
  • Initial discussions were established between the hospital school at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto and the hospital school at the Dima Rogachev Scientific Centre of Children’s Oncology in Moscow.

Commission Highlights - 2015 

  • The County of Santa Clara-Moscow Commission Educational Connections Program is intended to create lasting relationships between K-12 schools in the two regions through projects from simple email exchanges to web-based collaborations. In 2015 the Moscow Commission started working with local schools in Santa Clara County to identify projects of interest with schools in Moscow. 
  • In March 2015, the Moscow Commission facilitated visits with Harker School and Christopher High School in Gilroy for a visiting delegation of students from the Marina School in Russia. The Russian students shadowed the local students, and the Marina School principal met with teachers and administrators of the schools to talk about future potential collaborations. Those collaborations are expected to roll-out during the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Commission Highlights - 2012-2014 

  • The Moscow Commission launched an exciting project in 2014, in cooperation with the County's other sister county commissions, to provide youth scholarships for local students to attend Sister Cities International 2014 Annual Youth Leadership Summit in San Jose. The commissions sent nine students to the conference. 
  • The Moscow Commission sponsored three students to attend the conference, so they could join other youth from around the world to learn about important global challenges and the ways in which different national experiences drive international cooperation on critical issues.
  • Over 100 high school students from the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and South Korea participated in the Youth Leadership Summit. The summit engaged youth in the Sister Cities International network while exposing them to important international challenges focused on the theme, Water as a Shared Commodity. The educational G20 simulation provided students with a platform to learn about diplomacy, international relations, critical thinking, and teamwork. Throughout the weekend, students participated in various activities in addition to their classroom sessions.
James Ranch
  • The Moscow Commission was awarded an Open World grant to host a delegation from Russia to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in juvenile justice, Sept. 13-21, 2013. The Moscow Commission partnered with the Santa Clara County Probation Department to create a program that gives a comprehensive look at the Santa Clara County Juvenile Justice System. The program includes site visits to the Juvenile Court, William F. James Ranch, and Bill Wilson Center. The delegation met with both government and community-based organizations to exchange information about the Russian and U.S. Juvenile Just Systems, and to learn about the rehabilitation services provided to youth and their families.
  • The County of Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission (Moscow Commission) won the Sister Cities International Innovation Award for Youth and Education, for its work to improve lives of at-risk youth and foster youth in Santa Clara County and Moscow, Russia.  The award is for the Moscow Commission’s 4-year effort starting with its Open World Child Protection Project of 2009 and culminating in its 2012 Building Bridges Project that created a training program to provide Moscow with tools to give support to orphanage graduates and to transition from an orphanage based system to a foster care system. The project also provided Santa Clara County-based social services workers with cultural competency training to enhance their work with Russian children and families in the community. 
  • Planning was underway for the next fundraiser that would feature a festive Russian dinner, musical performances and silent auction, in the spring, at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino. For more information, contact [email protected]. More information available soon.
  • The commission and its local partners launched the Building Bridges grant project to transform the Moscow orphanage care system into a foster care system, and to provide cultural competency training in Santa Clara County to enhance work with Russian children and families in the community.
  • The commission continues its relationship with Ms. Olga Klimkina, former Open World delegate, as she expands and enhances the Independent Living Program (ILP) for youth in Moscow. Modeled after the Santa Clara County ILP program she visited in 2009, the program has opened four ILP centers in Moscow with a total of 32 planned.

Commission Highlights - 2001-2012

A few highlights of the County of Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission's activities are listed below. Specifically, the Commission:

  • Hosted a 12-member Social Services Delegation Nov. 5-9, 2012, for the Building Bridges to support Children without Parental Care in Family-Based Settings Project, supported by the $57,000 grant from Eurasia Foundation U.S-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program (CSPP). The County of Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, EMQ FamiliesFirst, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, and Russian Charitable Foundation Big Change (Bolshaya Peremena) partnered to launch a mutually beneficial training program to provide Moscow with the tools to transform the Moscow orphanage care system into a foster care system, and to provide EMQ FamiliesFirst and Santa Clara County Social Services Agency with cultural competency training to enhance their work with Russian children and families in the community.
  • Planned and held the "Moscow Nights" fundraising event featuring a festive Russian dinner and the Russian folk ensemble Limpopo, in April 2012.
  • Hosted an Open World delegation from Russia in November 2011, for an exchange of best practices in accountable governance, as well as to examine opportunities for future collaboration. The commission was awarded its second $7,000 grant from Open World to help fund the delegation visit.
  • Open world delegates group picture
    Hosted former Open World Delegate Ms. Olga Klimkina for a return visit in 2011. Ms. Klimkina established an independent living program for emancipated youth in Moscow, patterned after the one she visited in Santa Clara County as part of the 2009 Open World social services delegation. That independent living program in Moscow, visited by the Mayor of Moscow in December 2011, has been extremely successful and will serve as a model for an additional 32 such centers.
  • Planned a fundraising event in March 2010 featuring local sensation Slavyanka, with special guest Kostroma of Russian House Kedry, at Le Petit Trianon Theatre in San Jose.
  • Sponsored “A Night of Tributes” to Russian poet Alexei Parschikov in January 2010 as part of the Santa Clara County/Moscow Arts Exchange.
  • Established the Santa Clara County/Moscow Arts Exchange in December 2009 to foster communication and collaboration between the art and cultural communities of Santa Clara County and Moscow. Activities will be devoted to the establishment and enhancement of literary, artistic and musical ties between professionals in the two regions.
  • Hosted an Open World delegation from Russia Oct. 2-10, 2009, providing Russian delegates with the opportunity to meet with the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and community-based organizations for an exchange of best practices in child welfare and foster care services, as well as to examine opportunities for future collaboration. The commission was awarded a $7,000 grant from Open World to help fund the delegation visit.
  • Attended the Sister Cities International Conference in July 2006
  • Planned a successful delegation visit to Moscow in April 2006, resulting in a formalized agreement to begin developing a relationship with the Zelenograd Administrative District of the City of Moscow.
  • For four consecutive years, sponsored and hosted a successful concert, most recently in March 2006, featuring the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet from the Russian Federation. The concerts were held at Le Petit Trianon Theatre, in San Jose and were well attended and well received.
  • Representatives met with the Vice Mayor of Moscow City Government to exchange ideas on activities of interest to both communities. 
  • December 2003, the Commission co-sponsored a 16-member delegation, primarily Heads of Social Services Administration Districts, from the Moscow City Government to observe and study a number of the model County Social Services and drug intervention programs.
  • Created a Moscow Commission Sister-County website.
  • Formalized its relationship with Sister Cities International and is now a part of SCI website and annual directory.
  • Restructured its Bylaws, Ordinance, Mission Statement and operating procedures. Hosted a delegation of Militia from the Moscow Region in September 2001. The delegates met with various police agencies and law enforcement officials in the County.
  • Sent a delegation of ten people to the Moscow Region, Russian Federation to study the possibility of facilitating a major Joint Space and Telecommunications project as well as to explore the feasibility of other exchange possibilities.
  • Participated with the Los Gatos Rotary Club’s sponsorship of a delegation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs from the Russian federation came to learn about the telecommunication business in Silicon Valley. 

The Commission is self-supporting and promotes positive exchanges without receiving governmental assistance.

Contact Information:
County of Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission
Office of the County Executive
Attn: Office of Public Affairs
70 W. Hedding St., 11th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110

PH: (408) 299-5115 
FAX: (408) 295-2192 
Email: [email protected] ​​​

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