Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis

Who we are

We are an empowering and supportive community of over 7000 young Russian-speaking soldiers, students and young professionals - most of whom moved to Israel without family.  Our weekend retreats, excursions, professional mentoring and study evenings, cultural activities, volunteer, and holiday events are helping young Israeli immigrants thrive personally and professionally  in their new home, in an atmosphere of community, pluralism, Jewish literacy and Jewish Peoplehood.

Our partners



Levi Lassen




+972 (54) 557-12-90

+972 (54) 767-37-18

Argaman project

Activity Updates

Olim Empowerment Series

August - September, 2018 - Beersheva

Many of our members in Beersheva are brand new olim. In collaboration with the Yaelim Absorption Center, we ran several evenings on practical topics, such as Health Plans, Rentals and Mortgages and Pension policies. These are important topics that not all Israelis understand in depth and our participants were very grateful to the lecturers for sharing so much relevant information to help make them make proper decisions as they acclimate to Israel.

White Nights in Jerusalem! Limmud Hoshana Raba

September 29-30, 2018

It is 4 a.m. and the Beit Midrash is abuzz with talk of Sukkot, Jerusalem, and Jewish heroism, all in the Russian language. Continuing a six-year tradition, Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli organized its annual all-night Hoshana Raba study festival for Russian-speaking Israelis in their 20’s and 30’s, in collaboration with the Midrasha HaTzionit, and supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jerusalem Municipality. Many young participants of FSU Masa had their first taste of Jewish learning and celebration, and joined over 80 young Russian-speaking olim for parallel lectures and workshops, a Jewish music session and dawn hike to the Old City, all on the topic of Jewish Leadership and Inspiration.

Anatoly, a young lawyer from the Russian city of Dolgoprudny, who arrived in Israel 2 weeks ago on Masa: “I think the most mind-blowing experience for me and other young people from post-Soviet countries was learning about the mind-revolution that the Torah created for the Jewish people and the entire world. It transitioned the ancient mind to true modernity with its eternal values for humanity. I don’t see historical narratives as linear and meaningless anymore, but as directed by a Creator who moves history forward. My Jewish identity is now based on learning about the past in order to impact our future. I want to thank the people who made possible this wonderful night of excitement and learning!”

Thank you to Midreshet Lindenbaum for donating its premises for this meaningful evening of Jewish enlightenment, unity, and ingathering.

Sukkot Hike with Lone Soldiers

September 28th, 2018 - Beit Guvrin

This was my first trip with Shishi-Shabbat Yisraeli and Nefesh be Nefesh Lone Soldiers and it was a lot of fun. We explored amazing caves in Beit Guvrin - unreal Columbarium and houses underground that have extraordinary histories. We learned about the very different times from our own when they were dug and received perspective on the early settlements of Israel through to modern day. The beauty of the views, which opened before us, painted also by incredible histories, let our imaginations expand. Our guides Dima and Vlad helped a lot with their humor.

We also visited a winery, where we not only tasted delicious wine in the Sukkah, but also learned the whole process of its preparation, and the differences in taste and quality of wine. It really illuminated my illiteracy in the area of winemaking!

Probably the most important plus for me was meeting so many new warm people, each of whom were fascinated by something else! After the trip, a group of us went for a walk and had a great time until the evening. I am after the army and on my own in Israel, and haven’t felt so at home, in my own place, like I did that day. Thank you very much!

Alisa P.

And here’s a video to remember that day!

All Activity Updates


Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli developed active branches with Area Coordinators in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, in addition to our national programs.

  1. Friday- Shabbat Retreats - 8 per academic year.In December 2010, we gathered our first 35 participants for a pilot Friday-Shabbat seminar in December 2010. Since then our seminars have long waiting lists, as we try to keep these weekend events family-like and intimate. Fifty-five participants spend Friday touring and hiking with a professional Russian-speaking guide, in sites of historical and contemporary relevance. Shabbat activities include coaching and group dynamics, discussions on contemporary Jewish topics, traditional Shabbat meals, participant led workshops, and lectures by the Scholar in Residence.
  2. Excursions and hikes – 2-4 per month. Walking tours, bus excursions and hikes to historical landmarks, nature preserves and agricultural and technological initiatives throughout the country, with Russian-speaking guides.
  3. Argaman Israeli Cultural Project - 2 per month. Participation in concerts, museum tours, performances etc. to help expose new olim to Israeli dance, theatre, architecture, film, music and fine arts, and the trends that helped build Israeli society, accompanied by artist and cultural experts.
  4. Professional mentoring and Business Hebrew - 4 evenings per month. Business Hebrew and Hebrew Through Literature courses help make olim competitive in the Israeli workforce. Professional mentoring with olim lawyers and professionals in a variety of fields provide guidance and networking for new olim.
  5. Enrichment, Study and Holiday events – 2-3 per month. Meetings with famous personalities (Face to Face with Jewish History) and study of Jewish sources on contemporary themes create inspiring forums for personal and professional growth. Large holiday events bring together 200- 300 olim from around Israel to celebrate Tu B'Shvat, Chanuka, Purim, Yom HaAtzmaut etc with their new Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli "family."
  6. Volunteerism –Work with WII veterans, lone soldiers, children at risk, and holiday celebrations incorporating volunteer activity strengthen their sense of giving back to Israeli society.
  7. Facebook group – Members share regularly with one another on Facebook, introducing new friends to the project, sharing info and ideas, helping one another find apartments, jobs etc., and posting photos from our events.
  8. Interaction with Russian-speaking peers from Diaspora – Joint events with Russian-speaking Taglit and Masa groups and visiting delegations of young leaders from other countries foster important dialogue with the Jewish Diaspora and a strong sense of global Jewish Peoplehood.
  9. Home Hospitality on Shabbat and chagim - we help arrange home hospitality for members who are interested, and provide information on community tefillot and holiday activities throughout Israel.

All programs