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Latest Activities



Zeev Volk is a tour guide to Israel, Ukraine, and New York, specializing in Jewish history of the 19th and 20th Centuries, modern art and architecture, and the history of Tel Aviv. We spent this calm and beautiful evening walking along the sea, and the Old City center while Zeev told us about the founding of Tel Aviv, why it was planned and built as we know it today and what influenced the architecture. He spoke about different people who changed the history of our country.

Such a great feeling to walk around the city you know and learn new things! Tel Aviv city seems so small, but it’s full of secret stories! Thank you, Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli, for showing our history from different angles. I always have a great time with you!
Sofia M.


We started a new series of weekly Conversational Ulpan classes with Olga Klein. Two groups of ten meet once a week in Haifa and discuss current events and topics of interest to the participants as a way to improve their spoken Hebrew skills. The meetings are very lively and everyone enjoys spending time with each other shaping up their Hebrew!
Lidia S.


Mashiach…Mashiach... Mashiach

As usual with Dima, it was a fantastic webinar! He shared with us the sources that speak about Mashiach, his lineage and qualities, his responsibilities and different views on what our redeemed world will look like. I so appreciate the online format, especially during these difficult days that we spend mostly at home. Hope you will organize more online lectures about Judaism, and I will attend again with great pleasure! 

Masha B.



This master class was leading by a painter and art teacher from Moscow - Alexandra Kardashina. We learned online complex and simple sketching techniques and how to create personal diaries and thematic sketchbooks, how to express our thoughts creatively, and save memories of significant events via art.

Lidia S.

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.

Natalia Dobjanskaia

Evaluation and Reports Manager

Made Aliyah in 2011 from Moldova after completing a BA in Economics and International Management and Masa’s Ariel University program. Since 1999 she was active the Jewish community of Kishinev and in 2012, joined Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli as an enthusiastic member and volunteer. She works in international marketing and business development and believes that we can make our world better by helping each other! Big journeys begin with small steps!

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!

Natalia Podolskaya

Bat Yam Coordinator

Made aliya in 2015, together with her husband after participating in a Masa program, and she is very happy to be here! Most of her work experience is in Jewish Education, event management and Logistics. She loves travelling around the world, hiking in Israel and meeting new people. She is grateful that the amazing people she works with every day, fuel her energy and self- development!

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