Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis


Purim in the Park

March 2, 2018

Shushan Purim in  Jerusalem!  Jerusalemites and members from other cities came to celebrate in a park in the center of the city.   We read Megillat Esther, enjoyed delicious barbeque, danced and caught up with old and new friends.

Particularly heartwarming were the many Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli couples who came with babies and toddlers in tow.  Purim Sameach Jerusalem!

Purim Joy for Children in Rambam

March 1, 2018

On Purim, volunteers from Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli Haifa brought a lot of happy energy to children in the oncology department of Rambam Hospital.

One guy brought a photo booth and made photographs with funny props, another woman did aqua make-up on the children, and we painted and did crafts with them.  We brought them Mishloach manot of juices and a big cake.  I don’t know who got more from this day – the children or the volunteers!

Lidia S. 

Mishloach Manot to WWII Veterans

February 28, 2018

In celebration of Purim, our olim volunteers from Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli Beersheva visited 15 families of WWII Veterans and presented them with sweet gifts (mishloach manot). We were received very warmly – they gave us tea and cakes, told us about their lives and when we shared our stories of making aliya, they gave us advice on how to get settled. Children living in the Yaelim Absorption center prepare greeting cards for the Veterans and they  were very touched by this and our attention! Thanks to everyone who took part in this wonderful operation.

 Yana S.

Argaman Cultural Project

February 2018

February 4th,
Tel-Aviv Acting class with Leon Moroz

Acting class was a high point of our Argaman Theatre series as it allowed our participants a glimpse into the world of actors - the other side of the stage. They all really loved the techniques and exercises facilitated by Leon Moroz. The class took 2 full hours. During this class participants made new connections with each other closer and received a lot of useful information.

"It was a great experience, but we should have made this class at the very beginning of the semester to help us get to know one another"


February 15th,
Jerusalem "Shimshon" - Mikro Theatre Company and meeting with Director Efim Rinenberg

On February 15th we all gathered in Jerusalem for the final meeting of Theatre Winter Series to watch “Shimshon” in the Jerusalem Theatre. The performance is based on Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s book and the biblical story of Samson. The stage and the acting were phenomenal and all the participants really enjoyed it. Besides the playful actingת there was a theme of working with clay which was fascinating. .

After the performance we met the director, Efim Rinenberg, who shared the whole process of staging Samson, all the images and ideas that led up to the clay motif.

The participants were very thankful for the whole Theatre series and shared excellent feedback at the end of the evening.

Artzehut Painting Workshop

February 27, 2018

Our community organized a watercolor master class with the famous painter Tatyana Pantusheva for the first time. At first we listened intently to Tatyana speak about the history of watercolor. She showed examples of modern and Israeli styles of this kind of painting and we tried to paint our own pictures. Tatyana helped us try new styles in painting, and everyone improved their skills and came home with their own works of art!

Leonid G.

ArtZehut Volunteer Workshop

February 25

We spent this workshop preparing Purim gifts for children for us to bring to Rambam Hospital. Our volunteers were great as always working with mentally challenged adults to produce beautiful things, which will also bring joy to sick children on Purim!

Lidia S.

Friday-Shabbat Retreat 54

February 23-24, 2018

I was honored to participate in Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli’s seminar at the Dead Sea. Most impressive was that SSY unites participants from completely different views and cultural backgrounds: religious and secular, right and left, eastern and European Jews, new immigrants and "vatikim." The goal was to find the common bond between young people, not trying to change them. It was a kind of "open space" where everyone could remain themselves while, acquiring new understanding and sharing their best with others. The content was fantastic - our tour of Masada on Friday with superb guide Vlad Telman, Kabbalat shabbat, the lectures with Minister Ze’ev Elkin on environmental issues, Jerusalem, Iran and his personal story. The theme of Purim was in all the activities – Ze’ev Elkin said that Amalek and Haman in every generation attacks particularly as the Jews are returning to Israel. Maria Elkin’s talk on Israel in the foreign media was interesting and excellent. I will remember this Shabbat with Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli as one of the bright and pleasant moments of my year. Many thanks to the organizers, volunteers and sponsors of this wonderful project !!

Michael V.

Photos from the seminar:

JGalaxy Series - Hasidism and Mitnagdim

February 7 and 21, 2018

Peyot, beard, shtreimel - this is what we know of Hasidim. But the fact that the black caftans hides almost three hundred years of history is less well-known. In the first fascinating lectures, Dr. Ilya Lurie shared the unusual story - full of mysticism, mystery and even humor - of this movement, and what attracts Jews to Hasidic practice today.

The founder of the idea of ​​Hasidism is considered to be Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer, better known as the Baal Shem tov (Bearer of a good name). According to the stories of his hassidim, he was a kind of national hero, a great Kabbalist, and a fun person. Despite the fact that he lived in the eighteenth century, his existence among historians was considered a myth for a long time. Talking about life in the shtetl, in kabbalistic circles and the ideas of the Baal Shem Tov, Dr. Lurie traveled with us into the past. I did not even notice how quickly time passed.

Arie S.

Friday Desert Hike

February 16, 2018

The spring comes and the Negev Desert is transformed. In dry branches life awakens, shreds of grass are released by arrows of buds, a few anemones with red petals shout "We are here!". All this we met on our way, traveling with a busload of friends from Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli Beersheva, and some from Tel Aviv.  The sun was just beginning to warm up the earth. The desert turned to a fog of mist, and we looked for the promised fields of flowers, in our advertisement for this excursion. But the desert had only begun to blossom.

Where else to listen about Zionism, if not in the desert? But for this we had to climb a small mountain to hear a story about the life of our ancestors. We saw the desert as they did many centuries ago.  We crossed the riverbeds of dry rivers whose surface was similar to the Moon, looped between the stones and helped each other. The bus waited for us in the man-made park where we saw family picnics and children playing nearby. Leaves of overgrown palm trees trembled, whispering something of their own. In the heated air of the park there was the resinous aroma of pine. The sky was seen through a set of needles, and I found myself missing my native pines. With thanks to Shishi Shabbat YIsraeli and Kivunim Beersheva for this wonderful day!

Dima K.

Real Life on the Roof

February 8

This was an amazing evening led by Michael.  We broke up into groups to discuss pressing life issues in Hebrew, ate hot dogs, drank beer, and met many new friends.  Over 50 people attended and they asked for more such evenings, which bring people together and help improve our Hebrew through meaningful conversations!