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Latest Activities



The Ilana Gur Museum is one of the most interesting and unusual in the center of Israel. The museum has a collection of more than 500 works of art, either created by Ilana Gur or collected by her over a period of 50 years, either in Israel or during her travels around the world. The collection includes paintings, some 300 sculptures, video art, Ethnic Art from Africa and Latin America, antiques, drawings and design objects. Our guide-artist Ksenia Revzina explained the features of the exhibits and the history of their purchase. Participants also learned the history of the museum building, with its amazing view of the Mediterranean.

Leonid G.



To help our participants understand the Election process and situation before our third Election in Israel, we held a pre-Election debate with 5 Knesset candidates.
Each candidate presented the political platform of his or her party (in Russian), and answered questions from the facilitator and from the audience.

Lidia S.



We met to discuss cultural differences in the medical system between Israel and Russian-speaking countries. The lecturer, Sagi Rabovski, shared his experience working as paramedic in the IDF and gave practical advice on how to feel more comfortable in Israel. The lecture included how to choose medical insurance company and medical package, when to call to the ambulance, Israeli hospitals etc.
It was really helpful information. Its a pity that I did not have this information during my first year of Aliyah.

Anya G.



February 11th - Meeting with Josef's Bau’s daughters - the development of Tel Aviv culture through a personal story

On February 11th we visited the Josef Bau Museum again – after 2 years since the last visit with some new items on the agenda. This time both Hadassah and Tslila Bau received us together - they shared with us the shortened story of their father's life before he moved to Israel, the ghetto and a wedding in a concentration camp, but this time we spent more time on his life in Israel. We watched the animated films of Yosef Bau and sorted his texts and posters. Together with Hadassah and Tslila we discussed his connection with the Hebrew language and how Hebrew is perceived by the new repatriate.

Liya G.

“Before Argaman I had not even heard of this museum! Though Josef and his family are the amazing people and they have an amazing story which says so much about Israel too!”

Sofia L.

“It’s a pity that we don’t appreciate enough those house museums, thanks for such an opportunity, otherwise it would be a pity not to get here”


February 21th - "Architectural and cultural changes since the establishment of the State of Israel"

Our last meeting we devoted to the architecture of Tel Aviv after the formation of the State. Zeev Volk told us about the plan for the trade union quarters, why the Tel Aviv Museum is one of the best museum projects in the world, how perception of form has changed over time, from what angle you need to look at Rabin Square and where the most unusual garden of Tel Aviv is hidden.
After the meeting we discussed the past semester, recalled all the meetings that we had, their impact on the participants, and talked about what we would like to learn during the next semester.

Liya G.

“I can finally walk around Tel Aviv and understand it! As if I saw a complete drawing and not just different houses that do not fit each other!”

Alexey G.

“When my mother visits, I will definitely lead her along the routes of our excursions. It’s great when excursions are not only about people, but also just about the city and how to look at it”

Evgenia E.

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