Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis


Secret Jerusalem Walking Tour Series

June -July, 2019

Through five different tours with our most beloved guides, our participants explored the history of the Old City including the Tombs of its Kings, the first neighborhoods outside the Walls of Jerusalem in the 19th century,  the buildings and important personalities that created history in Talpiot and Abu Tor, and social trends in Jerusalem’s New City through modern day.

Healthcare in Israel - Olim Empowerment

July 29, 2019 - Beersheva

I attended both meetings with the medical consultant Nina and was surprised to learn so much information.  After all, medical procedures are standard in all countries. But here we learned the unique structure of Israel’s medical system, patient rights, insurance features, and interesting nuances that can be learned only from an experienced insider. Such meetings with professionals are invaluable for new olim – thank you!

Veronica P.

ArtZehut Volunteer Project

July 28, 2019 - Haifa

As always, only positive feedback from me, regarding the art therapy!! There was such great energy yesterday and so many volunteers! There’s real friendship and conversations between them and the adults in this rehabilitation program. I want to donate to them some of the bags I sell with embroidery or felt figures.  I think they would be happy.

Tasya L

Friday-Shabbat Seminar 67

Tiberia - July 26-27, 2019

I came to Israel 4 years ago and am now a graduate student at Hebrew University.  I usually do not have time for various trips and events in Israel but am so grateful that I participated in a Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli seminar for the first time! Our visit to Kochav HaYarden with our amazing archeologist Guide Shlomo and the Crusader knights that we met there were stunning! The water hike was great! And I really liked the discussions about the tribes of Israel and the importance of being a unified People in Judaism.  I discovered many new things, rested, had a warm Shabbat and made new friends.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Kate G.

Anti-Semitism and Cartoons

July 24,2019 - Tel Aviv

Are caricatures of Jews a thing of the past?  Inna Gorstein shared the history and reasons for the appearance of anti-Semitic caricatures, and current trends in cartoons of Jews and Jewish stereotypes. We analyzed Israel’s image in contemporary Arab cartoons and looked at examples of how anti-Israeli propaganda uses the same central motifs as religious and racial anti-Semitism of the past.  This 3 hour lecture was very interesting and Inna answered many questions of the participants.

Leonid G.

Walking Tour of Beersheva

July 23, 2019

Thank you very much for this excursion around historical Be'er Sheva! Our guide had a special, soulful understanding of all the places we visited. We visited the museum and Commonwealth War Cemetery of all the soldiers who freed Beersheva from Turkish rule in WWI. We also enjoyed the night life and cafes of Beersheva after the tour. During the excursion I returned to my youth when I walked the streets of the city and had no idea of the city’s historical signifance! Be'er Sheva is a miracle!

Semyon H.

Heart of Tel Aviv excursion

July 18, 2019 - Tel Aviv

We explore the Heart of the City with guide Gali Benin, including Meir Park,  Chernikhovsky Street, Bialik Street, Plonit and Almonit Lanes, and the most famous houses and their residents. We visited hidden corners of the city Center and tried to imagine what life was like in the first years. We finished the tour with a very unusual hotel near Carmel Market and a summar of the evening near Strauss House. 

Leonid G. 

Excursion to Tzefat

July 18, 2019 - from Haifa

This amazing excursion was like a dream.  The whole city was full of musical concerts. We competed to solve quiz questions in a Night Quest to learn all about the city of Tzefat, and our guide also performed music in a cave. We tasted local wine and in the end drove to the ancient city of Rosh Pina.  It was a very beautiful evening for our whole bus full of participants from Haifa! 

Lidia S.

Argaman Cultural Project

July 2019, Tel Aviv

July 10th, 2019

At our first meeting with David Wainstein he explained to the group the basics of reading and understanding classical Jewish texts: how the Torah is structured, how the Talmud is structured, on what basis they were composed and how to read and understand them today. We studied some modern texts that reference classical Jewish literature and then analyzed a page from the Talmud, which was really interesting, exciting and completely new for several participants.

"I just realized today that the hyperlinks were invented by the Jews"

Andrey G.

"It is a pity that our generation (in many ways) has lost this heritage"

Yana K.

July 15th, 2019

During this Beit Midrash workshop, David gave us the last paragraph from Tractate Gittin, where different philosophical schools of Judaism argue about the reason for divorce, but each also share their vision of the purpose of the family.

We divided into pairs and then into groups to discuss the text, and at the end David explained the texts through the eyes of Talmudic scholars, with references to quotes from the Tanakh.

For 2 hours, no one even went to the bathroom – they were all a bit afraid to miss something interesting!

"Amazing way to understand the meaning of text! I'm very impressed by David himself and these 2 lectures"

Andrey G.

"For me this Beit Midrash was an important step in growing my Jewish identity"

Masha K.

Tour of Weizmann Home and Living Sculpture Festival

July 2, 2019 - Beersheva

I really appreciated the tour to the house of Haim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, along with the Beersheva Municipality. I knew nothing about him, so it was very informative! We saw a beautiful film about his life, how his wife Vera drove his car, and toured the well-kept grounds, including the impressive monument resembling a torn Torah scroll.

At the festival of living sculptures there was a huge variety of scenes. I especially liked the guys who mocked everyone taking selfies and the two people who walked around as hospital patients! It wasn’t clear whether these were real patients or part of the exhibition!

Vera T.