Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis


Conversational Hebrew Ulpan

May-June 2019 - Haifa

We recently began our Conversational Hebrew Ulpan courses for young olim in Haifa on Thursdays . Olga teaches two groups, one after another, introducing relevant topics which the participants then discuss. They are enjoying improving their Hebrew and learning to speak about practical and important topics.

Lidia S.

Tel Aviv Educational Tours

May 3 & June 27, 2019 - Tel Aviv

On May 3rd participants of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli vsited the legendary Palmach Museum in North Tel Aviv and learned about the interesting sites, buildings and sculptures of Tel Aviv University and the surrounding area. We enjoyed an interactive tour with full immersion in the history of Palmach, and saw through the eyes of young soldiers the first years of the struggle for the historical homeland of the Jews. Afterwards, guide Gali Benin showed us the unique architecture of the synagogue in Tel Aviv University, the most "green" building in Israel, the nature museum, built in the form of Noah's ark and so on. Later we toured the sculpture park and the new department of ecology building, constructed from only from ecological materials - a real example of the houses of the future.

Florentin is one of the most famous areas of Tel Aviv in the modern world. The area of bars and shops for pet lovers, artists quarters and street graffiti. On June 27, legendary guide and part-time resident of Florentin Zeev Volk showed us hundreds of street wall paintings and learned about their messages and the artists. He showed us hidden and iconic works of street art, and shared the history of the "underground" community of the city area in general, its current development and future directions. For all the participants these 3 hours flew by very quickly.

Leonid G.

Jewish Brain Ring and Board Games

May 30 & June 26, 2019 - Haifa and Tel Aviv

Alexey led another excellent evening of Jewish Brain Ring in Haifa, with questions about Jerusalem Day, Jewish history, and general trivia. Winning teams won prizes and everyone met new friends and had a great time.

In Tel Aviv, Games master Pavel Pivovarov ran our t raditional games event for everyone who loves this fun, intellectual past time and awesome opportunity to find new friends.

After learning the rules of the games, the participants divided into teams of 3 to 6 people and played different games for 3 hours!

Lidia S. and Leonid G.

Friday-Shabbat Seminar 66

June 21-22, 2019 - Massada

I think it's great that we ran so much of this seminar ourselves - Kabbalat Shabbat, lectures, Havdala - which really makes us all equal. Boarding the bus, I fell into the arms of friends - something I do not take for granted being basically alone in Israel. I love looking at the Dead Sea, even without swimming in it... Rostislav was a great guide and gave an engaging lecture where we had to guess the identities of famous women in history. Yana and Lidia ran a great activity on Leadership models in the Torah - Moshe, the spies, Joshua - and everyone gave presentations and had completely unique conclusions! Jenya shared some unusual stories from the Talmud. Finally, some of us climbed Massada at 4:30 a.m. and beat a group of German students to the top. We thought this was appropriate for the date June 22nd!

Raphael S.

ArtZehut Volunteer Project

May 19 and June 16, 2019 - Haifa

Many of our young Olim and Masa students have joined this important project preparing crafts with mentally challenged adults. We prepared colorful fans and refrigerator magnets, met new friends and enjoyed doing a good thing for our community!

Lidia S.

Sharansky and Pozner Panel and Movie: "From Slavery to Freedom"

June 19, 2019 - Jerusalem

Last week, I had the great honor to attend a private event with Nathan Sharansky and Vladimir Pozner

There are meetings that remain in your memory for many years – perhaps forever. I went to Jerusalem to listen to a well-known journalist and a prominent Israeli politician, not even imagining what kind of meeting it would be. The conversation about Refusenik movement in the USSR, about slavery and freedom, about honor and conscience, about the principles for which you risked your own life and about love which enables you to move mountains.

Today, everyone in Israel knows the name Natan Sharansky, but few know his heroic wife, Avital. few. There are no words to describe the power of this woman who created a miracle.

I really hope that this excellent documentary about Natan and Avital Sharansky will be shown on a wide screen.

Natalya D.

Berries, Cherries and Wine

June 14, 2019 - Psagot and Gush Etzion

Two packed buses of Shishi Shabbat participants and Lone Soldiers from Nefesh b’Nefesh made their way to the Petal B’Har (Berries on the Mountain) farms run by agriculturalist Moshe Entman. Participants heard about the history of the farm and the challenges of working in agriculture in Israel, and then enjoyed picking eight different kinds of berries, from bushes and trees and fabulous varieties of cherries,including many baskets to take home. Our guides then took the group to Psagot Winery, where they toured the vineyards, saw a movie, tasted wines in a modern and beautiful facility, and learned about wine-making and Israel’s award-winning, internationally acclaimed wine offerings which get better by the year. A short delicious video!!

Shavuot Celebrations

June 13, 2019 - Haifa, Beersheva, Jerusalem

We celebrated the upcoming holiday of Shavuot in Haifa with a wine and cheese party on a beautiful balcony overlooking the city, great jazz musicians, an excellent talk by Yigal about the different aspects of Shavuot, Israeli folk-dancing, a brain-quiz on Shavuot with Igor, ice breakers and all-around wonderful atmosphere!! Our olim in Beersheva took a bus to Olga’s studio on the other side of the city and learned there about Shavuot, the custom of eating dairy foods and participated in a workshop where we prepared three types of familiar dairy delicacies, but with an Israeli twist! And in Jerusalem, we held our traditional Leil Tikkun celebration, including Lena’s session on women in the Book of Judges, Eliyahu’s Open Beit Midrash “A Taste of Torah,” and a professional wine and cheese tasting workshop with Mark where we learned all about Israel’s grapes and internationally acclaimed wines.

Friday Hike

June 7, 2019 - Haifa

This was our longest hike yet through the Carmel Mountains, led by guide Sasha. Along with his fascinating historical explanations and stories, we learned how to make a lasso, shoot a bow and arrow and drank tea in a cave!

Lidia S.

Argaman Cultural Project

May-June 2019 - Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

On May 3rd, we began our tour of the Israel Museum with Professor Ilya Rodov at the Italian synagogue learning through its design, how we can understand the migration of the Jewish community. Professor Rodov spoke about when and why the menorah, the shofar and other symbols of the Middle Ages disappeared. We also discussed the differences between Eastern and European synagogues and participants’ experiences in synagogues.

“I never knew about such a serious transportation project as this entire synagogue! Thanks for finding such interesting, knowledgable people like Ilya for us!”

Masha K.

On May 10th, we enjoyed an Acrylic workshop with artist Ksenia Revzin, in a garden in Old Jaffa to finally apply the knowledge and inspiration of our Art Course. Each member received several canvases, acrylic paints, graphite pencils, and an explanation of techniques to use them, to enable maximum freedom of expression on the canvas.

Every participant created one or two artworks to take home!

"This is not my first workshop with Ksenia, and I was impressed to see the high quality of the final works of the Argaman group and how interesting their pictures were compared to other groups, who hadn’t studied art or regularly visited art galleries as regularly as we do!"

Liya G.

On June 3rd, we had our long-awaited tour of the Fresh Paint Art Fair with amazing guide Zeev Volk. We saw a greenhouse with artworks of 25 young Israeli artists and photographers, a design pavilion, a lot of video art, exhibition projects and installations from artists from different countries, as well as personal exhibitions and special projects of the "Fresh paint" graduates of previous years.

"I think its important to visit modern art exhibitions with a guide. Thanks for giving us the possibility to explore modern Israeli art at Tzeva Tari and understand our culture better"

Natalia P.