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Latest Activities


Sukkot Activities Haifa and Beersheva

In Haifa, new Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli members gathered together in a friend’s sukkah for tea and games.
In Beersheva, watching the movie Ushpizin together Thursday night was my first exposure to Jewish cinema! An interesting film about the life of Chassidic people.  This film can only be really understood by those familiar with Israel and religion, so at the end of the film we had a very useful discussion about religious Jewish families around the world. Guests from the city municipality also participated.  Thanks for this great evening!
Dasha O.

Olim Empowerment

Is buying an apartment in Israel a reality or a dream? During the holiday season, we make plans for the future.  Helping our olim to create homes in Israel is a main priority for Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli, so on September 15th, we invited real estate advocate Oleg Slavutsky to present the challenges and important details of buying an apartment in Israel. What documents are required for a bank mortgage? What are the duties of a lawyer? How to avoid mistakes?  He shared many tips from his experience and answered questions for 3 hours.
On the creative side, before Sukkot, we organized an ArtZehut masterclass with artist Ksenia, creating holiday symbols and learning techniques of acrylic painting.  Our participants left this workshop with their own artworks and a holiday mood.
Leonid G.


Hoshana Raba Study Festival

The theme of this year’s all-night Hoshana Raba Study Festival was Jewish National Renewal - political, economic, philosophical, and cultural. Dr. Mordechai Kedar was our amazing keynote speaker, and he surveyed modern Jewish history and geopolitical situation of Israel. He reminded almost 200 young FSU olim in attendance that they are a main reason for Israel’s rising birthrate (average 3 children in Olim families!). Participants enjoyed excellent discussions, and presentations by top facilitators on Israel’s economic, Jewish philosophical and cultural innovations, including Jewish art and Music workshops and afantastic sunrise tiyul to the Old City. 

Who are we?

We are an empowering and supportive community of over 8000 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.

Russian-speaking immigrants who came to Israel as teenagers or young adults over the past fifteen years – and continue to arrive en masse - are among the nation's most precious assets, yet alienation from Israeli culture and a very limited support network are reducing the impact of these talented and motivated young people on Israeli society and creating a disproportionately high rate of emigration among this population group.

The founders of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli – Russian and Hebrew-speaking educators, academics and community professionals - recognize that many Russian-speaking young people in Israel were active in their Jewish communities in the FSU, but after making aliyah, feel estranged from mainstream Israeli culture – "there I was Jewish; here I am Russian."

Our Team

Linda Pardes Friedburg

The Director and Founder

made aliyah in 1990, after completing degrees in Economics and International Business. She is a Russian-speaking informal Jewish educator with over 30 years of experience managing philanthropic projects and high-level missions in Israel and abroad, including positions in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Pratt Foundation of Melbourne. Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli is the realization of her dream to make Israel more welcoming and supportive for young Russian-speaking olim and ensure their personal and professional success, to Israel’s great benefit.

Ilya Lipetsker

Director of Operations and Jerusalem Coordinator

Made aliyah from St. Petersburg in 1999 on the Naaleh program and received his B.A. in Sociology from Hebrew University.
Ilya is inspired by the challenge of Jewish community-building and has been creating and running programs for new olim in Jerusalem and nationally since the inception of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli in 2010. Ilya is credited with the Russian-language social media, PR and ongoing successful recruitment of new participants to our expanding young community of Russian-speaking Olim.

Lidia Shtelmach

Haifa Area Coordinator

made aliya in 2015 from Moscow, after receiving degrees in International Economics and completing the Masa program. The more she lives in Haifa, the more she loves this city and the interesting people that she meets there everyday. She is inspired by our new olim in the North, and collaborates with them to create great programs, help them find friends, learn new things, study our history and culture, and solve problems to make their absorption meaningful and successful!

Leonid Gimborg

Tel Aviv Area Coordinator

Made aliya from Perm in 2011, after completing degrees in Civil Engineering. He works as a building engineer, enjoys hiking, learning about world and Jewish history, and tries to discover something new everyday in Israel. Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli is an integral part of his life since 2012. He is inspired by the faces of his Tel Aviv area participants, as they achieve new understandings through our events, learn more about the history of the country, gained important tools for life, make new friends, and even find love!

Liya Geldman


Made aliya in 2011 from Saint-Petersburg, after receiving degrees in Journalism and Television Production from the State University of Cinema and Television. She lives in Tel-Aviv and is a professional photographer and owner of the on-line Russian-language magazine about lifestyle in Israel www.beinisrael.com. She loves bringing unique Israeli cultural personalities and experiences to Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli participants and seeing how they impact our cultural absorption and identities!

Argaman Project on facebook

Yana Slinko

Beersheva Area Coordinator

Yana Slinko made aliyah from Moscow in 2013 after receiving degrees in Economics and Statistics, and completed a degree in media design at the Be'er Sheva College of Technology. She enjoys photography, travel, and sports. She is inspired by the new olim and events she helps create in Beersheva, as Coordinator for both Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli and Masa, and is in love with her “desert oasis city. She helps other discover their Jewish roots and Israel, which she loves with all her heart!

Our Board of Advisors, Facilitators, Guides, and Guest lecturers include Russian and Hebrew-speaking informal educators, professionals and academics in a wide variety of fields.

Our Partners