Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis

Who we are

We are an empowering and supportive community of over 6500 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

Argaman Cultural Project August

August 2017

August 3rd, Jerusalem Theater, Mikro Theater Company
"Herzlmania" and meeting with Efim Rinenberg

We started the evening with the play "Herzlmania" based on Theodor Herzl's diaries, and even more on his thoughts and feelings. It was an amazing production with the real atmosphere of his life - very deep, humorous, and interesting.

After the performance we met Efim Rinenberg – the author, director and the leading actor who played Theodore Herzl. Efim told the story of discovering the diaries and deciding to create the play with 2 friends- the musician and the artist who both performed onstage with him.  He loved performing the role because he was expressing his own thoughts and behaviours which are not so far from Herzl’s.

I really loved the play. Compared to other Israeli theatres that I have visited, this was unexpectedly amazing – on a very high level, close to biggest theatres in Moscow

Pavel L.

It was a great opportunity to see the play through the eyes of the creator. The meeting with Efim Rinenberg added so much depth to the performance!

Asya F.

August 24th, Klezmer Music Festival, Tzefat

We took a full busload of Argaman participants (plus others who met us in cars) from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem and traveled to Tzefat, arriving in the evening.  Our guide Shraga Shmiller showed us many of the magical and spiritual places in the Old City of Tzefat and shared its history and stories, also about its current residents and city projects.  We finished in Shraga's studio and discovered that he is an exceptional artist, whose paintings are inspired by his religious life in Tzefat and Kabbalah.

Afterwards we dispersed into small groups to explore the performances of the Kleizmer Festival, including Avraham Tal, taste the local homemade dishes among the many foodstands, and just wander in the special festive atmosphere.  A beautiful evening which most of us would not have experienced without this organized trip.

Asya F.


SSY Haifa Israel Cinema Club

August 17, 2017 - Haifa

This meeting was dedicated to Israeli short films and cartoons in simple Hebrew, some with Russian subtitles. Our facilitator Alexei talked about Israeli mentality and the social and political background of these movies. The evening was fun, relaxing and informative, and a great opportunity to meet new olim friends in Haifa!

Lidia S.

Our newest couples

Warmest mazal tov on their engagments: Argaman Coordinator Liya Geldman to Vitaly Vaisman , and Ayala Genusov to Stav Krol! We look forward to dancing at your weddings and celebrating many wonderful occasions together!

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