Tuesday night, some 1000 Russian-speaking Birthright Israel participants celebrated Israel as a land of diversity and opportunity as they came together for a special event honoring the country’s pioneering spirit and showcasing opportunities they can take advantage of to pursue their own dreams and goals in Israel. “Many faces – One Israel,” honored the contributions of Russian-speaking immigrants to Israel in film, media, art, politics and technology.
For most Birthright participants from the Former Soviet Union, this trip not only marks their first visit to Israel, but also their first opportunity to discover firsthand the country’s cultural capital and bring the experience back home to their communities.
Participants then had their choice from among lectures from prominent Russian-speaking Israeli leaders from different fields. Speakers included Evgeny Sova, political commentator at Channel 9 Israel; David Polonsky, renowned illustrator; Katia Goldstein, Evolita co-founder; Helena Yaralova, actress; Andrey Kozhinov, military and security correspondent; and Natalia Zourabova, artist. The lectures were then followed by an education fair showcasing a broad range of programmatic opportunities in Israel available for young Jewish adults from the Diaspora.
The event is a part of a comprehensive partnership between Taglit-Birthright Israel and Genesis Philanthropy Group, intended to provide Russian-speaking participants with various enrichment experiences while they are in Israel participating in Birthright trips.
Approximately 45,000 native Russian-speaking young adults have experienced Israel through Taglit-Birthright Israel over the past 16 years. This past year alone, nearly 4,000 Russian-speaking participants visited Israel on the Birthright trips.