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

Argaman Cultural Project - January 2019

January 14th, 2019 - Tel-Aviv

We began our evening with a really exciting lecture about Traditional Jewish dance with  Nadezhda Drapkin,  starting from biblical times and its first documented appearances through dances in different communities and regions,  in popular movies, the meaning of classical Jewish dance steps,  etc.  

After that we learned some simple moves and  together we danced 4 Jewish dances  - some of them familiar to a few participants who attended Jewish camps or different workshops.

Liya G.

This meeting was even more exciting that I assumed and had amazing vibe and atmosphere! I should never again doubt the stated topics in the Argaman Project!

Eva F.

January 20th,  Tel-Aviv

After an intro discussion by Masha Malakh about  Ohad Nagrin and Martha Graham (who also trained Bat Sheva), we watched the movie "Mr. Gaga. This was the fascinating story of Ohad Naharin, renowned choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company and an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance.

We continued with a discussion of the meaning of modern art, courage of expression and openness to the world.  Everyone loved this movie, especially because it is not available on the internet.

Liya G.

It’s interesting how this extraordinary Israeli dancer started to dance only at the age of 22. It makes you understand that age is not a restriction to greatness!

Alexey G.

Tour of Herodion

January 11, 2019 - Gush Etzion

I came from Beersheva for this excursion, and it was great to meet friends there from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that I met at a Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli seminar!  This was a fascinating tour of legendary Herodion led by a very experienced and interesting guide. It is an impressive place even when seen from afar.  We went through the still ongoing archeological discoveries, Herod’s Tomb, and the intricate escape tunnels,caves, and cisterns built by the Bar Kochba rebels.  To think that Herod built up this huge mountain in the middle of the Judean Desert just to have a honorable place to die!  Thanks to all the organizers for this excellent excursion!

Andrei S.

Team Building Games Evening

January 31, 2019 - Haifa

This was a very warm and fun community evening on a freezing night in Haifa!  People were happy to play board and intellectual games, spend time with friends, and get to know one another!

Lidia S.

All Activity Updates


Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli developed active branches with Area Coordinators in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva 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