Jewish Leadership Initiative
for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis


More family simchas!

Mazal tov to Ayala and Stav on the birth of their beautiful Sabra son!

And Mazal tov to Leah and Maxim on their wedding and for creating another Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli romantic legend.  They met on the bus in June on the way to our 56th Shishi Shabbat Seminar on the Kinneret. (Max drove all the way from Eilat to meet that bus.) The morning after their wedding, they boarded our bus in Jerusalem at 7 a.m. to our 59th Seminar and celebrated their first Shabbat together and Sheva Brachot in the warm company of 50 friends from Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli! To joyful occasions and many beautiful new families in Am Yisrael!

Kosher Quiz

November 22 & 30, 2018 - Tel Aviv and Beersheva

Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli together with Kosher Quiz attracted packed halls in Tel Aviv and Haifa to compete in teams and solve riddles connected to Chanuka, Science, synagogues around the world, popular Israeli and Russian music and other Jewish and general trivia. The first three best teams won prizes. The same game was conducted in 7 other countries, so the participants of our events were able to compare their results with Jewish young people around the world!

Leonid G. and Lidia S.

Olim Empowerment Evenings

November, 2018 - Beersheva

I enjoy these evenings together and learn many useful skills to help me adapt to Israel practically and culturally.

Our Israeli Cinema Club helps me understand modern Israeli Hebrew and culture and just laugh and relax. Our lectures with Alex and Vika about effective family budgets and the tax system in Israel addressed a lot of my personal financial questions.

Mostly it is good to know that there are people I can consult with when I need help. Thank you to Yana and the lecturers.

Ilya C.

Literary and Business Ulpanim

October-November, 2018 - Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv we have been running special 10-week Ulpan Courses for Russian-speaking olim who have already completed their basic ulpan studies, in collaboration with the Olim Absorption Authority of the Tel Aviv Municipality and taught by experienced pedagogue Anna Morein. Our Business Ulpan provides vocabulary and skills to help participants prepare resumes, business letters, understand financial terminology, succeed in interviews and otherwise become more competitive in the Israeli job market. Our Literary Ulpan enriches participants knowledge of Israeli literature and culture and significant raises the level of their conversational and written Hebrew. The response to these Ulpanim in 2018 was excellent and we look forward to continuing them in 2019.

Leonid G.

New Ulpan and Games Evenings

October- November 2018 - Haifa

Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli welcomed new Ulpan students, Masa participants and other new members to its activities with informal games evenings and icebreakers in October and November! Over 40 people attended each event, learned about our community, enjoyed good food and met many new friends!

Lidia S.

ArtZehut Drawing and Volunteer Projects

October -November 2018, Tel Aviv and Haifa

On October 7th and November 27, Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli volunteers worked with mentally-challenged adults to create nail and string artworks of their “house in Haifa,” and Chanukia and pillow donut artworks in preparation for Chanukah! On October 29th, Shishi Shabbat Israeli Tel Aviv invited its members to create holiday greeting cards with new Oleh artist Alex Muzlanov. During the first part of the evening, the artist taught different ways of drawing characters and the secrets of color rendering with a pencil and pen and then participants made original drawings for their cards.

Lidia S. and Leonid G.

Argaman Cultural Project Music Series

November 2018 -Tel Aviv

On November 20th,the Argaman group met at the Opera House in Tel Aviv for a very special musical performance in the "East-West" series by the Jerusalem Orchestra, starring Ravid Kakhlani. His part of the show was absolutely amazing - very different from our expectations of the Opera's stage, and very energetic, authentic and professional.

Before the performance we had an introductory discussion with Daria Immerman about the Israeli Opera, it's history and the relevant projects. The whole group was very inspired, and rquested details about the future shows of this project. "Very interesting experience! I never saw violins and darbukas on one stage

Kostya K.

I really appreciate that I get to attend such incredible performances that I would never get to on my own, thanks to the Argaman project.

Sveta S.

On November 26th, we met with Yoni on the rooftop of the Moishe House Tel Aviv  for a Percussion Instrument Master Class.  We started to sing together with him from the very beginning, as he showed us how he creates the rhythm and uses it as the base for percussions and playing different musical instruments.

After that we also tried to create a rhythm together – using our hands, legs and spoons. We sang many jewish songs for more than an hour, learned several new phrases and really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of being absorbed in the music and the rhythm. 

Liya G.

We learned to play on spoons and there was a spoon from Lviv, which is my hometown - that was very nice and touching.

Masha M.

It was great to sing psalms all together.  Now when I come to the synagogue I may recognize the familiar tunes.

Dima G.

Friday Shabbat Retreat #60!

November 16-17, 2018 - Shlomi

Participating in the Shishi Shabbat Israeli’s 60th Seminar in November in the Northern Galilee with a big group of Olim from post- Soviet countries was an enriching and eye-opening experience for me. On the one hand I regarded myself as one of them, and on the other hand, I felt less connected to them because of my path through Europe (Germany) to get to Israel. This led me to have fewer expectations before the event, and while I was curious, I had no idea what awaited me.

During the seminar, I was amazed to see that after decades of Jewish emigration from Russia, today a new generation of young Russian-speaking Jews has a framework to learn and share their background, experiences and emotions with other very diverse Jewish Russian-speakers. Through an eclectic program of both modern-intellectual topics such as Media and Journalism and spiritual content, this seminar helped me discover how different are participants’ perspectives and points of view based on the environments we grew up in and the paths we followed. On the other hand, it was amazing to create and experience a Shabbat atmosphere with this group, sing during Kabbalat Shabbat, listen to a spontaneous Dvar Torah, play games together and getting to know one another during Oneg Shabbat, and debate about conflicts in Parshat HaShavua. My conclusion is: No matter what our connection to Judaism may be or which path brought us to Israel - be it cultural, spiritual/ religious, Zionistic or whatever – we now have a common basis to begin developing something exciting and authentic together!

Tehila D.

Global Day of Jewish Learning

Week of November 11th - Beersheva, Tel Aviv Haifa

Three of our Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli chapters took part in this year’s Global Day of Jewish Learning, based on the theme of Journeys. In Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yosef Hersonski led a lively discussion on personal Jewish journeys. Using multimedia, he discussed the stages of life based on 42 journeys of the Jewish People with the Exodus as birth and crossing the Jordan as the culmination and returning a person’s soul to God. In Haifa, Rav Daniel Ravkin led an outdoors “shakshuka” morning near a spring in the Carmel Mountains, teaching sources on Jewish leadership. And in Beersheva, Boris Kaminsky taught an enthusiastic group of new Russian-speaking olim different models of life Journeys from our classical sources to present day. We were grateful to be a part of this wonderful initiative that builds bonds through Jewish learning between Jewish communities around the world!

Beersheva Trip to Jerusalem

November 2, 2018

What an amazing trip! The Israel Museum is extraordinary and Pasha told us so many interesting stories about the exhibits and our Jewish history – more than I can describe. We also tasted the special young fun atmosphere of Machane Yehuda on Friday and delicious hummous and chapachuri!! Finally we learned the stories of cafes which became legends and walked along the streets of the prophets, hearing about the people helped found our Capitol Jerusalem!

Sasha P.