Alya Adelman Jewpardy

Alya Adelman was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and immigrated to US in 1994. Alya was fascinated with theater since her early childhood and by the age of 14 already produced her first play for the school graduation. After moving to the United States, she worked with a talented director, Simon Rivkin, who led a Russian acting studio in Boston. In New York, she continues advancing her career at HB and Terry Schreiber studios, as well as learning modern dance techniques with legendary Mary Anthony. She currently performs as part of Lost and Found Project.

Karina Akimenko Jewish and Connected

Karina Akimenko was born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1991 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Karina attended Franklin and Marshall College, majoring in Public Health in Biology, while taking the Pre-Med track. In the past year, Karina has been working at Montefiore Hospital for the Network Performance Group focusing on improving hospital outcomes.

Alexander Alabin Crossing Boundaries

Alexander Alabin was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1969. In 1984 after graduating from high school he was accepted into the State College of Medicine and graduated from there with a Physician’s Assistant Diploma in 1992. Shortly after graduation he decided to switch to music as he was already playing guitar and piano on a near professional level and composing original music. In 1992 Alex immigrated to the United States of America. The range of venues and gigs that Alex has played in ranges from The New York City Subway System (those were the days!) to Carnegie Hall, The Windows of the World Restaurant , and The German Consulate. In 1997 he was accepted into the New School University in New York City; and in 2001 he completed his BFA majoring in Jazz Composition and Arranging. Today, Alex works as a Music Therapist in a Nursing Home and Rehabilitating Center, where he combines music and medicine; as well as an original composer at the Village Playback Theater.

Kate Balandina When I Grow Up (Little Odessa)

Kate Balandina, a native of Odessa, Ukraine graduated from the NYU Film Department and is currently a film director and producer. She believes that art brings people together and exposes their beauty like nothing else in the world. To foster those beliefs she is dedicating herself to the art of film.

Yevgeniya Baras Foreign Bodies

Yevgeniya Baras is a painter residing in Brooklyn, NY. Her paintings are visceral geometric abstractions. She has exhibited for the past 10 years in the US and abroad. In May 2010 she co-founded the Regina Rex gallery with fellow artists. She enjoys the intellectual and communal effort involved in this curatorial project.  Yevgeniya emigrated from Russia to Philadelphia in 1993 and has been primarily living in the US since. She has a BA and MS from University of Pennsylvania( 2003) and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007).  Her work can be viewed at www.yevgeniyabaras.com.

Inna Barmash Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs

Inna Barmash immigrated to the United States from Vilnius, Lithuania, where she first started singing in Yiddish in a children’s song and dance collective. While a student at Princeton University, she co-founded the Klez Dispensers, the University’s first klezmer band and has since performed with numerous other East Coast groups. Her explorations of the repertoire of Russian and Romanian gypsies led to her co-founding of Romashka, a gypsy band based in New York. While roaming through clubs, cafe, and underground parties with the band, Barmash encountered the composer/violist Ljova Zhurbin, now her husband and collaborator, with whom she started Ljova & the Kontraband, an original chamber folk ensemble and a duo lovingly dubbed BarmaLjova.  When not singing or tending to their adorable toddlers, Benjy and Yossik, Inna works as an attorney at an education technology company in New York.

Polina Barskaya Portrait of an Artist

Polina Barskaya was born in Cherkassy, Ukraine in 1984 when it was still part of the Soviet Union. When she was four years old, her entire family immigrated to the United States as political refugees. They left two years before the Soviet collapse in ’91.The trip took about 9 months as they moved through Slovakia, Austria, Italy, and then on to America. During this time, she was surrounded by languages she did not understand so she felt a closeness to imagery. She would draw narrative images because they could be understood no matter where she was. Learning to speak English was a stressful experience, throughout which she continued drawing. “When you are at a disadvantage in one area, as I always was with language barriers you become better at something else. I was attracted to images and storytelling so I created different stories and adventures for myself to escape into. I would tell myself entire stories without having to write any words.” To see Polina’s works, visit polinabarskaya.carbonmade.com

David Bas Jewish Children’s Museum Tour

David Bas organized a workshop and tour at the Jewish Children’s Museum for children and families. The workshop was followed by a discussion on the  the influence of Jewish roots/traditions on our parenting choices.

Olga Benis The Hidden Matzo Chronicles

Olga Benis was born in 1978 in Kharkov, Ukraine and immigrated to the Unites States with her family in 1991. While Olga had pursued a career in Accounting, she had always exhibited a creative sense.  Her creativity expressed itself through cooking and it became her passion and outlet. This culinary journey aroused an insatiable desire to explore the world, connect to others and has led Olga to develop Holy Schmear – a small family venture of jam and spread.  Food has become a central element in Olga’s family, connecting four generations, from her grandmother to her daughter.

Maria Blekher Made in Israel

Maria was born in Samara. At the age of 8, together with her family, she made Aliya to Israel, and 23 years later, in 2013 she came to the US as a visiting scholar at NYU Stern School of Business. Maria is a Marketing expert; she has an MBA and a PhD in Marketing from the Ben Gurion University in Israel and experience in consulting and working in the banking and high tech industries. Today Maria is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and Director of MS in Marketing online program at Yeshiva University.

Alina Bliumis Cultural Tips for New Americans

Alina Bliumis is a New York based artist, working in collaboration with Jeff Bliumis since 2000. Alina and Jeff Bliumis's body of work explores cultural standards, foreignness and national identity through sculptural installations-often placed in public sphere and incorporative of public dialogue. They were both born abroad, but have been living in the United States for over twenty years. Alina received a BFA from the School of Visual Art, New York and Jeff received a BA from the Columbia University, New York.Their early projects were predominantly based on their own experiences of immigration. Over last ten years, their interest has gradually shifted into processing communal experience-defining social structures, considering cultural standards/norms and exploring foreignness as a condition that gives a new perspective to the familiar.To see her works please visit www.bliumis.com

Ilya Blokh Songs of Our Grandmothers

Ilya Blokh, originally from Moscow, has found himself around the world—from Alabama and New York to Japan and Scotland. By day he works as a product manager for an educational software start-up, but by night he dabbles in film and is particularly interested in music from all corners of the world and the culture that forms around it.

Yaffa Borukhova Songs of Our Grandmothers

Ilona Bouzoukachvili Peace Art Project

Ilona is originally from Moscow. Her most pleasant childhood memories are associated with visiting her grandparents in Georgia. In the United States Ilona studied English, Graphic Design and Fine Arts. She worked as a Graphic Designer in children's publishing. In recent years Ilona has been organizing community projects for kids and composing Jewish songs in Russian to the guitar. She is also known for baking delicious Challah. Ilona currently works in nursery schools where she teaches art, substitute teaches and babysits.

Katya Bychkova The Art Sprinter

Katya Bychkova is a New York based marketing and event planning professional with over 10 years’ experience in journalism and PR. Prior to moving to New York in 2008, Katya studied Journalism at the Moscow State University, where she was admitted as a winner of the Journalism competition organized by the International Confederation of Journalists’ Unions. Her first years in the US, Katya worked as a reporter and then as a Managing Editor for the Russian-American newspaper Novoye Russkoye Slovo. In 2012 she started to work for the award-winning law firm Wilk Auslander LLP, where she is currently handling marketing responsibilities.

Avital Chizhik In the Eighteenth Minute: A Short Story Collection

Avital Chizhik is a journalist living in New York City. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Tablet, and the Forward, and she is a frequent contributor to Haaretz. Her fiction has received recognition from the Atlantic Monthly, Moment Magazine and the National Young Arts Foundation. She lives with her husband Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt in New York City. Follow Avital on her  website: www.avitalrachel.com and Twitter: @avitalrachel

Aleks Degtyarev Marlo: Jewish [En]Lightning

Aleks Degtyarev could be described as a story teller. Aleks has been passionately involved in the media world for over 10 years. Among a diversified skill set his main focus has always been producing, filming and editing, combined with education. As a multi-disciplinary artist, Aleks grounds all his work from a writer’s background sealing it with his knowledge of poetry and philosophy. Working with actors/talent as a director, he is not afraid to get in front of the lens and expose his own vulnerability. Aleks believes that everyone has a great story to tell and he searches out ways to inspire his collaborators to tell their stories. His major focus is honest media that has transformative potential, seeking to strengthen communities, and evolving communication.

Anna Chana Demidova Re: Turn

Anna Chana Demidova was born in Belarus and lived in Bulgaria, Netherlands, and Germany before moving to New York in 2010. She studied Business and Political Science and is currently studying Economics at Columbia University. Photography was something that she has always been curious about, and since receiving her first camera, it has become Anna’s true passion.

Ross Denisov IDF Project

Ross Den was born in Ukraine in a Jewish family of medical professionals. In the mid 90’s his family immigrated to the United States.  Ross was accepted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and in 2000 started a part time job at NYPD working as a Police Cadet. Shortly after September 11, 2001 Ross left to Israel to join the Israel Defense Force (IDF). He served in the IDF for two years and participated in countless counter-terrorism missions in the West Bank and the border of Lebanon, being currently assigned to a battalion of reservists.

Daniil Deych The Silenced Project

Daniil Deych was born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. He moved to the United States at the age of 15, and currently lives and works out of New York City. Daniil has a Bachelors Degree in Film Studies and Physics from Queens College as well as a Certificate of Completion from Vancouver Film School. While in school, Daniil participated in number of projects, working with various formats, such as 16mm, DV and digital.

Sergei Deych The Silenced Project

Sergei Deych is a classical pianist holding a BA from the Manhattan School of Music with a scholarship from Eubie Blake Foundation, and an MA in Piano Performance from Aaron Copland School of Music . At both institutions he studied under renowned professor Nina Svetlanova. He was also a frequent participant in International Suolahti Piano Festival (Finland), where he worked with Finnish pianist Carlos Juris. He also collaborated with Elena Kushnerova based in Baden-Baden and in New York. Sergei’s main ambition as a musician is to expand the audience of classical music by reaching out to people of his generation. He is experimenting with new ways of delivering musical experience to the listeners and expending the performed repertoire.

Svetlana Didorenko My Russian Jewish Family Relic

Svetlana Didorenko was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and emigrated to the US in 1994. Her studies were in molecular biology and focused on neurology research and robotic engineering before attending Columbia Journalism School to start a career in documentary film and journalism. This past year, she has been working on a series of documentary shorts for the Russian Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, which will open in Moscow in November 2012.

Irina Dizik Dueling Identities: An Exploration of the Russian-Jewish Disposition

Irina Dizik was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and grew up in Israel. After graduating from high school in Israel, Irina moved to the US to attend Rutgers University where she received her degree in Psychology.

Michael Drob Stateless

Michael Drob was born in Riga, Latvia in 1978 and arrived in New York as refuseniks in 1988. Raised to become a professional violinist by his musician father and economist mother, he instead today works as a software engineer at Audible.com. He lives with wife and children, and runs a family business on the side, Story Tailors, a video production company.

Victoria Drob Rus Jews Views

Victoria Drob is a National Board Certified Counselor, holding a master's degree and a license in clinical counseling. Providing psychotherapeutic counseling during her internships as part of her graduate studies has been a life-altering experience for her. For her COJECO Blueprint community project, Victoria conducted research that brought to light the stigmas surrounding the field of psychology in the ex-Soviet culture, in the hopes of dispelling the prevalent myths and misconceptions. Victoria hosted an educational lecture on the benefits of counseling for the Russian-speaking Jewish audience offering insights gained from her research results. Victoria continues advocacy work and research in this field. Her project, Rus Jews Views, can be followed on www.RusJewsViews.com as well as on Facebook.

Vita Eruhimovitz Chavruta Chatting Room

Vita was born in Ukraine, grew up in Israel. She studied computer science and bioinformatics at Hebrew University. Vita has worked in research and teaching and traveled extensively. While living in Sydney she started sculpting and quickly realized that she found her purpose. She completed a BFA in Multidisciplinary Art at Shenkar and moved to the USA for a Visual Arts MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis. Currently, Vita lives and works in New Jersey, teaching art and pursuing her studio practice. She works in multiple media, often incorporating programming and electronics to create interactive art. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally.

Anya Fidelia Roots: The Classics

Soprano Anya Fidelia made her professional debut at the Caramoor International Festival in the summer of 2005 where she returned during subsequent seasons to work on the roles of Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore as well as Leonora in La Forza del Destino. Ms. Fidelia also appeared in numerous concerts with the company. Ms. Fidelia’s recent and current seasons include the roles of Suor Angelica; Georgetta in Il Tabarro; Santuzza in Cavaleria Rusticana; Tatyana in Eugene Onegin; Leonora in Il Trovatore; Blanche de la Force in the Dialogues of the Carmelites; Mimi in La Boheme as well as the title roles of Puccini’s Tosca and Madame Butterfly throughout Europe and US. Ms. Fidelia’s domestic and international engagement highlights also include numerous appearances at The Metropolitan Opera Guild; recitals with International Rachmaninov Society in New York City presided by Vladimir Ashkenazy and for the UN VIP guests of the UN Russian Mission, sponsored and hosted by Mayor Bloomberg among others. Past seasons highlights included such roles as Puccini’s Tosca, Mozart’s Donna Anna andCountess at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; appearance in Stefan Weisman’s new opera “Darkling” with the American Opera Projects; a soundtrack for Tribeca Film Festival award winner documentary “Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis” and Cannes Festival award winner documentary “Bye-bye, Babushka!”  as well as the tour of France with the New York Opera Society.

Olga Gilburd Happiness the Jewish Way

Olga Gilburd lived in Russia and Ukraine before coming to the United States. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree in Public Service. She worked with teens and adults at The Jewish Agency for Israel and also with kids in a Jewish Sunday school. As a nurse, she interacted and helped predominately Russian-speaking immigrants.  Listening to many life stories, she realized that although pursuit of happiness is the main reason for immigration, the emotional well-being skills and happiness are mostly overlooked in everyday challenges. Olga studied positive Psychology and created a blog about happiness. www.olgarythm.blogspot.com

Michael Girshin Ping Thing

Michael Girshin immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1996 at the age of 25.  He lives in New York City and currently works as an anesthesiologist at the Metropolitan Hospital. Michael created a Table Tennis fundraiser, Ping Thing, for the Israeli charity “Save A Child’s Heart.” The event raised $7,000 for charity and had over 150 participants.  “Save A Child’s Heart” provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries.

Mark Gold Young Jewish Creatives

  Mark is the Chief Marketing Officer of Toto Global Ventures, a seasoned Marketing Consultant and an official Mentor with New York State's Business Mentor of NY program. Named "Super Connector" by Social Magazine and recently featured as a keynote speaker at Wix, Microsoft and the New York Bar Association, Mark’s aptitude for business development makes him a much-sought-after thought-leader among entrepreneurs and executives. Mark Gold's authentic and forward-thinking approach has successfully launched thousands of marketing campaigns for hundreds of organizations both locally and internationally in the last decade.

Yelena Goltsman RUSA LGBT

Yelena Goltsman is a Kiev-born human rights and LGBTQ activist. She is the founder and co-president of RUSA LGBT, an organization that was formed in 2008 to establish a social network for the Russian-speaking LGBTQ community in the New York area and beyond. Yelena is a long-time member of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and is an outstanding lay contributor to the life of the synagogue, organizing a wide range of programming and learning opportunities. Her concern for Russian- speaking LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers and those still oppressed in the former Soviet Union has made the issue a central component in CBST’s social justice work. Currently and for the past several years, Yelena is serving on the Membership Committee of the synagogue.

Mark Gurevich The Yiddish Old and New

Mark is a New York-based photographer whose work has focused on narrative portraits and documenting community experiences through photography. Born in Moscow, Russia, Mark is two generations away from the small Yiddish-speaking shtetl in Belorus where his grandfather grew up. When not shooting portraits, Mark is a corporate attorney at a New York law firm.

George Itzhak Bukharian Jews of New York

George Itzhak is a filmmaker, photographer, and storyteller originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He works in both narrative and documentary, and has several projects in development and production that deal with issues of Russian immigration, Jewish life and culture, and the history and people of the Middle-East. His latest projects include Reading Tehran in Tel-Aviv, a documentary that premiered at the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, and Broccoli, a Russian-language short film premiered in the summer of 2014. George began his career in television news with internships at NBC, a stint at the Sochi Olympics, and he currently works at NBC’s Nightly News.

Alex Kaluzhsky Portrait of an Artist

Alex Kaluzhsky is a filmmaker who was born in Odessa, Ukraine and immigrated with his family to Brooklyn, NY in the late 80’s. Under the banner of his production company Apropos Films Alex has produced the features “The Missing Person” starring Mike Shannon and Amy Ryan, Academy Award nominees, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released in theaters across the nation in 2009 and named one of IFC top ten films of the year. And “Weakness” written and directed by Michael Melamedoff starring Bobby Canavale, Danielle Panabaker, Josh Charles and Lily Rabe, which premiered at the 2010 Austin Film Festival. As writer/ director he has made numerous short films including “Bad Moon Rising” which screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, and “Apropos” which screened at the New Filmmaker’s and SoHo Screening Series in New York. As actor he has worked on films such as Columbia Picture’s “The Taking of Pelham 123” starring John Travolta, Denzel Washington, and James Gandolfini, directed by Tony Scott; “Solitary Man” produced by Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Mary Louis Parker, and Danny DeVito. “You and I” directed by Roland Joffe. As well as television, stage and short film productions. He studied acting at the Actor’s Center with teachers from Juilliard, Yale, NYU and Harvard, and filmmaking at New York University and The School of Visual Arts.

Rebecca Karpovsky Pinsky

Rebecca Karpovsky is an actor, writer and producer originally from Boston and currently based in NYC. As an actor she has performed at the ZACH and Vortex Theatres in Austin, TX, as well as in feature films, shorts and commercials in Boston, Austin and NYC. Recently settled in NYC, her most recent film projects include Andrew Wagner's, Breakable You, A Lonely Woman, Pact and Strawberries. Karpovsky is trilingual and performs in Russian, Spanish and English on the screen and stage. A lot of the work she writes and produces is heavily influenced by her own Russian Jewish culture. This most recent project, PINSKY, which she starred in, co-wrote and produced, was shot this spring in Boston. Her actor training is based in the Sanford Meisner technique, which she studied under Kathryn Gately at the Gately/Poole Conservatory. She has also studied corporeal mime under Thomas Leabhart and Droznin-based movement training with the Moscow Art Theatre. She is a graduate of Scripps College, where she studied acting and film production. More information is available at www.rebeccakarpovsky.com.

Anna Katsnelson The New Wave of Russian Jewish Cultural Production

Anna Katsnelson immigrated to New York from Leningrad in 1989 when she was 10 year old. In 2011 Anna received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation “Ethnic Passing across the Jewish Literary Diaspora” is an interdisciplinary, transnational study that examines history, culture, and literature. The dissertation shows that sociological identification with the hegemonic group and nativist influences in the United States, Brazil, and the USSR, led a number of ethnically Jewish writers, to create a literature which was completely devoid of ethnic markers. In 2007-2008 Anna was a Fulbright IIE Scholar to Brazil. Anna teaches in the English Departments of the Lander College for Women and Medgar Evers College.

Anna Khalamayzer Man is Not a Rock

Anya Khalamayzer is a writer with a homestead in New York and roots looping the world. After graduating CUNY Bernard Baruch College in 2011, she explored a variety of topics through a journalistic lens with editorial positions covering business and the arts. She is the author of a full-length screenplay, Smoke Over Paloma, set for production in 2015. She currently works with nonprofit organizations, and strives to give as much to the world through her craft as it gifts her.

Leonid Khanin The Purim Spiel Shadow Theater

Leonid Khanin is an architect and an artist. He has been involved in a variety of art projects utilizing conceptual design and realization. His art projects combine set design, video and photography. Through the Blueprint Fellowship, in partnership with Luba Proger, Leonid created a unique theater experience through a staging of The Purim Spiel Shadow Theater which gave new life to the Jewish tradition of the Purim Spiel. The show was performed on an inflatable sphere and accompanied by new musical arrangements of well-known songs from Russian cartoons. Luba Proger and Leonid Khanin have been collaborating since 2004 under the name L2coLab. Their combined multidisciplinary education and experience in fine art, architecture and photography has allowed them to create multidisciplinary art and theater projects, addressing ideas of inner beauty, multiculturalism, and belonging. They are experimenting with immersive environments by use of space, innovative video and audio sampling techniques that stimulate viewers’ perception between themselves and their environment.  

Dmitriy Khavin Across the Narrow Bridge

Dmitriy Khavin was born in Odessa, Ukraine. His first job in film was working as a lighting assistant at the Odessa Film Studios. Since 1992 Dmitriy has lived in New York where he works as a director, producer, editor and cinematographer on documentaries and television programs. Dmitriy’s television credits include programs for HBO, PBS, Discovery, MTV, Link TV, Jewish Life TV and many others.

Lenny Khmel KlezMixed

Ilya Khodosh Moscow to Manhattan

Ilya Khodosh is a writer and performer in New York. He was a company member of the storytelling/spoken-word show Birthright Israel Monologues, which toured nationwide. He was published in the anthology, “What We Brought Back: Jewish Life After Birthright.” He recently served as the Associate Artistic Director of the United Solo Theater Festival, the largest solo performance festival in the world, where he also premiered his second one-person show. A graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course, he is a regular contributor to the Berkshire Review for the Arts. He is also a freelance Russian translator and has written for Radio Free Europe. At Williams College, he was awarded the Hutchinson Fellowship for outstanding work in theater. Read Ilya’s blog.

Olga Khodosh Jewish Choices

Irina Khokhlova Distanced from the Source

Irina Khokhlova is a filmmaker, video artist, television, and web video producer living and working in New York City. Originally from Moscow, Russia, she moved to NY in 1992 .She received her Master of Arts degree in Filmmaking from The New School University in 2006. She began her career as a TV and film editor, later moving on to producing and directing for television and the web. Her independent work includes documentaries, short narrative films, fashion films and video art. In 2009 the Television program Irina produced received an NY Emmy nomination in the Arts: Program/Special category.

Lisa Klig Mishpucha Camping

Lisa Klig is a community organizer and social entrepreneur. Born in Kiev, Ukraine and raised in NJ, she discovered her passion for Jewish community building while at college. As Program Manager at RJeneration, Lisa designed and implemented innovative engagement programs for Russian-speaking Jewish young adults. Concurrently, with the support of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship, she founded her own nonprofit initiative, Mishpucha – providing culturally authentic, adventurous engagement for RSJ families throughout the East Coast. In 2011, Lisa joined the COJECO team as Program Director, overseeing all program development, marketing, and grant management. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their very fat cat, Yura.

Yevgeniy Klig KinoFERMA

Yevgeniy Klig was born in Odessa, Ukraine and immigrated to United States in 1997. After graduating from Stony Brook University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Yevgeniy worked for a major telecommunication company involved in the implementation of the high-tech communication solutions. During his tenure as an engineer, Yevgeniy went on the Taglit trip that inspired his interest in Jewish identity exploration. From 2007, Yevgeniy participated in a number of Jewish identity and leadership development seminars and fellowships, becoming an active lay leader. Having been selected as one of the first four recipients of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship Grant, Yevgeniy created a Russian-speaking Jewish film festival "KinoFERMA." Motivated by this experience to become a Jewish community professional, Yevgeniy began working for a JCC in Brooklyn (Marks JCH of Bensonhurst) as Director of Teen Services, consulted with COJECO as a volunteer coordinator during Superstorm Sandy, and created various young adult social programs for the NYC Russian-speaking community. Prior to joining GPG, Yevgeniy worked as a Senior Director of Russian-speaking Programming at Moishe House, managing 12 RSJ Moishe Houses across the globe and organizing multiple learning and training conferences for the young adult Russian-speaking Jewish community. Yevgeniy resides in Brooklyn, NYC with his wife Lisa and a fat cat named Yuriy.

Alice Kogan The Cheburashka Project

Alice Kogan was born in Moscow and immigrated to the US at the age of three. Her family settled in New Jersey, where they were embraced by the local American Jewish community, an experience that eased her family’s transition and introduced them to Jewish customs. She went to Dartmouth College where she studied Economics and History and traveled to Western Ukraine on a Hillel trip called “Project Preservation,” an initiative in which a group of students from diverse backgrounds restore an abandoned Jewish cemetery in Eastern Europe. After college, Alice worked in strategy consulting, corporate strategy and finance. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Columbia Business School. Alice is interested in human behavior and experience and the way in which both art and science can express and explain it.

Margarita Korol Spoils of War: Ode to a Refusenik Mother

Margarita Korol is an urban pop artist, designer, and writer in New York City producing media in the publishing and public worlds including art directing, editing, and illustrating for several online and print magazines. Her writing, illustrations, paintings, and arts and culture propaganda are vibrant expressions of urban progress in directed contexts. Born the week of Chernobyl in Ukraine to refuseniks, Korol’s focus on empowering individuals in disadvantaged struggles against their political systems is an ongoing theme in her work. Her most recent exhibit for Brooklyn’s ArtOnBrighton exhibition on the Coney Island/ Brighton Beach boardwalk featured a series of propaganda posters directed to the area’s SovJew immigrant community in Korol’s generation. Previously, Propaglasnost: The Transparency Projects series was on view at NYC’s KGB Bar May and June 2011. Meanwhile, her Berlin Wall installation Die Mauer is housed at Chicago’s DANK-Haus German Cultural Center.

Michael Korosty 100 Views of New Jerusalem

Michael Korosty was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He started his education as an artist at the age of seven, and upon moving to the U.S. in 1989, completed his formal art education at the Pratt Institute. Michael is works in the mediums of painting and drawing.  He has been teaching art to adults and children at his studio, as well as at various private institutions since 1994. Having provided art services to the local South Brooklyn community for years, after the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the studio was relocated to Manhattan Beach.

Ekaterina Kovalenko Handmade Charity NYC

Ekaterina was born in Moscow, Russia in 1987. After graduating from university, she continued her career in the finance sector. Ekaterina started working in a Big 4 company and got experience in Russian oil and gas sector. She continue her career abroad and moved to Switzerland, where she worked in a multinational company. During these years Ekaterina has travelled all over the world with her new job, from the US to South Africa and China, and has also worked a lot in many European countries. At the beginning of 2014 she moved back to Moscow, working for an IT company. Ekaterina and her husband now live in New York.

Yuri Kruman The Egypt In My Looking Glass: A Novella

Yuri Kruman is an American entrepreneur, author and blogger based in New York. Yuri has published two books of fiction, including a novel, “Returns and Exchanges” (2013, Author House) and novella, “The Egypt In My Looking Glass” (2014, Author House). He has made appearances at the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, JCC of Manhattan Salon Series, Russian American Cultural Center and Roger Smith Hotel Creative Program. He is a recipient of the UJA Shapiro Family and COJECO BluePrint Fellowships (2012-2013) and is also a member of the Asylum Arts International Jewish Artist community and the Jewish Book Council.

Yuliya Lanina Gentleman from Cracow Ballet

Yuliya Lanina is a Russian- born American multimedia artist living and working in New York City. She has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Her work has been displayed at the Seoul Art Museum, SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 (Tokyo, Japan), Beijing Biennial 2009, Yeosu/Seoul Biennial 2008, KunstFilmBienalle (Cologne, Germany) and other venues. Yuliya’s work has been reviewed by many publications, including the NYTimes, NYArts Magazine, Bloomberg News, Brooklyn Rail and others. She has been a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. To see her works please visit www.yuliyalanina.com

Nika Leoni Queen Esther

The Russian-born soprano Nika Leoni has toured internationally, appearing in opera and concert at theaters throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Her performance repertoire ranges from large-scale opera roles to intimate art songs, and she also made her recent debut as a dramatic actress/singer in a Broadway-style musical play.  Earlier this year, Nika Leoni’s first recorded album of Russian Romances and Traditional Songs titled “Dark Eyes” was released on Larion Records.

Ronit Levin Delgado Blender Bodies

Ronit Levin Delgado (born Tel-Aviv, Israel) a multi media artist and a Fulbright scholar, lives and works in NYC. Levin Delgado holds a MFA in the Studio Art at MSU, NJ (2013) and a BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem (2008). Levin Delgado has won many honors and awards bestowed on her, including the Ministry of Culture scholarship, 2011-2013 Fulbright scholarship and in 2014 she was chosen to be the recipient of the First Annual Prize for Bezalel Alumni Ambassador. Levin Delgado has had solo exhibitions and participated in numerous international group exhibitions in Israel, Europe and the US.

Tatyana Levina Ghost of The Ancient City

Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Tanya Levina is a Brooklyn based painter. Her artistic inclinations showed at a very young age as she started compulsively drawing on every surface in sight including books, walls and papers around the house. As she grew older, Tanya gave up defacing household property and started using drawing and painting as an outlet for documenting surroundings and expressing affection for things she liked, especially horses. To this day horses remain a dominant theme in her work. Tanya often sets her subjects in extremely colorful, exaggerated and slightly surrealistic settings, drawing inspiration from her surroundings, travel experiences, as well as works by Dali, Klimt and Monet. Her artwork can be found at www.tanyalevina.com Aside from painting, Tanya studied Economics at Brandeis University, and after a couple of stints at various strategy consulting firms landed as a Research Manager at Scholastic.

Yuliya Levit Speak Memory

Yuliya was born in Moscow in 1979 and graduated from RGGU with degree in IT in 2001. She moved to New York, along with all my family: my parents, my 84 year old grandfather, two of my 83 year old grandmothers, our dog, our cat, a violin, a guitar, my father’s bike and sewing machine that same year. Ever since she can remember she was interested in the link between the photo and a story, but she got serious about photography only 9 years ago. I currently reside in New York and work as a professional photographer. See her work at www.ylevit.com

Felix Lipov JewTrek

Zhenya Lopatnik Yiddish-Tish

Zhenya is from Kharkov, Ukraine. Her first encounter with the Jewish community was at 13 years of age. Since then she constantly added to her Jewish identity, since she felt a huge lack of knowledge due to her family being totally and completely assimilated. After getting a taste of it, Zhenya immersed herself into learning Tanakh, Jewish history and Hebrew. Zhenya always tries to vary her interests in the Jewish culture dabbling in various fields. Her works include a children’s book, self-learning discs, seminars using new methods of informal education and several CDs with her own Yiddish songs.

Valentina Loseva Inseparable Borders

Valentina Loseva is a New York City based painter working primarily in the classical oil and water based mediums. Though her work grounded in Jewish values and Biblical narrative, she retells the classical stories using contemporary characters and representations of the modern world. She has exhibited in New York and Paris and received her BFA from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. Valentina has been teaching art and languages to children for over seven years and is currently working on her MA/MFA in art education at Brooklyn College.

Anna Loshkin Our Suitcase (Nash Chemodan)

Anna Loshkin was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and immigrated with her family to Boston in 1988. She worked in the internet field for ten years before pursuing photography and journalism. Her work has been featured in BBC Russia, VICE, Grazia, Tablet Mag and others. Her photographs have been exhibited in the US and UK, as well at the on-line International Museum of Women. Anna’s project on influential Afghan women will be featured in the Other One Hundred, an upcoming book and travelling exhibition, and received an honorable mention in the 2014 International Photography Awards. You can see more of her work at www.annaloshkin.com.

Biana Lupa ChaiLighter

Biana Lupa has been working in the Jewish communal world for five years with organizations such as RAJE, Hillel at Baruch and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island. Biana received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration (non-profit concentration) from Bernard M. Baruch College and a cum laude Bachelor’s Degree in International Criminal Justice and Government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has always been a service-oriented individual who enjoys helping others. Biana has received several awards and honors, most notably, the John Jay Scholarship and Service Award, and a certificate of appreciation in recognition of ongoing support of the Russian Jewish Heritage in New York. She is also being honored as a dedicated alumnus at the RAJE Annual Dinner on March 15, 2012. Aside from volunteering, in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and being a published writer.

Essie Martsinkovsky About Face

Essie Martsinkovsky is a playwright who recently received her graduate degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Since then, she has co-produced a play that she wrote as part of the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Nadya Meykson Speak Memory

Nadya Meykson and Victoria Schwartzman plan to make a recoding of contemporary Russian-Jewish emigre composers. The recording will include works that are rarely heard and which they feel deserve to be introduced to a wider audience. The recording will be followed by two public concerts. Nadya Meykson moved to the US in 1996 from Moscow. She holds a Master’s Degree in Music from the Eastman School of Music. She has performed in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, The Bohemian National Hall, The State Kremlin Palace Concert Hall, All-Union House of Composers in Moscow and The Glinka State Central Museum of Musical Culture in Moscow. Nadya has appeared as soloist with OSSIA Orchestra, Shoals Symphony Orchestra, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Alabama Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has won various prizes, including Concert Festival, Noel Levine, First Prize at Ray Dunmyer Youth Concerto Competition, and First Prize at Shoals Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.

Alla Milchtein Musical Journey through the Jewish Diaspora

Alla Milchtein was born in Kurgan, Russia and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. After winning a second prize at the International piano competition in Netherlands, Alla was granted a scholarship to continue her studies at the Rotterdam Conservatory where she completed her Bachelor and then Master’s degree in Piano solo and Chamber Music. After completing her studies, Alla was offered a position as a staff pianist at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence, Italy where she worked for several years. In 2010 Alla moved to the United  States where she received a full scholarship to pursue her Professional Studies Diploma in Collaborative piano at the Mannes College of Music (2012). In the US, Alla has served as a staff pianist at Beverly Hills Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Glimmerglass Festival and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia. A collaborative and solo pianist in New York, she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall. Currently she is a staff pianist at the Mannes College of Music. Alla is fluent in Russian, Spanish, English, Italian and Dutch.

Alex Minkin Ticun Brasil

Alex Minkin created an online Jewish Brazil website outlining various volunteer opportunities for Jews traveling in Brazil. Visit TicunBrasil for information on how you can volunteer in Brazil!

Marina Mirchevskaya Kruzhok

Marina Mirchevskaya is originally from Moscow and has been living in New York for almost twenty years. An artist early in life, she now works as an art director and designer in the advertising industry. After earning her BA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, she worked for a number of design agencies, start-ups, and nonprofits. Her work extends to the Russian Jewish community in various capacities, running enriching camps in Israel, volunteering at community centers in New York, and participating in leadership programs and fellowships.

Artem Mirolevich Russian Pavilion – Migration

Artem Mirolevich’s multimedia work gives him a unique voice: an urban mix of Surrealism, Impressionism, and Japanese printmaking.  In 2000, Artem debuted his New York show at a foregone Neva Gallery in Greenwich Village, where he humorously proclaimed his relationship with the world as “Post-Apocalyptic Romanticism. America made me the artist that I am.” The scale of his work spans from small-scale objects to large oil canvases and installations, including “Babylon Tower”- the seashell-shaped multimedia project of galvanized wire at the Chelsea Art Museum in 2012.

Artem’s work paints the meticulous deconstruction of the physical earth into its figurative elements, turning to such media as oil, gouache, wire, and ink. He is also occasionally an engraver– like Durer or Piranesi, using a craft that the world has no immediate use for anymore, yet is peacefully nostalgic and ravishing to look at. For his COJECO BluePrint Fellowship community project, Artem will create a separate track of Russian Jewish art as part of his large initiative “Russian Pavilion.”

Igor Molochevski Kaddish for the Machine

Igor Molochevsky is a new media artist, documentary filmmaker, and photographer. His work is based on mixed media and technology reintegration. His workflow includes live coding, interactive and generative programming, kinetic sculptures, sound design, and digital imaging. His work is defined by de-structuralization of visual and conceptual paridigms.  His installations have been exhibited alongside such artists as Ai Wei Wei, Komar & Melamid, Ernst Neizvestny, and Michael Chemiakin.

Olga Monastyrskaya Reflecting on History or What Became of My Red Star

Olga Monastyrskaya immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16. Having graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2003, she has been working as a graphic designer in advertising and publishing industries. Olga has 5 years of classical art school education both from the Ukraine and the United States.
Olga says, “My story is not in any way different… Being such, I am convinced that through the form of visual expression, it will spark a beautiful dialogue with other artists who have their unique stories to tell as well as with the audience, who I hope will recognize their internal and external world in the works on view.”

Yevgenia Nayberg “The Secret Society” A Russian Language Picture Book

Yevgenia is an award-winning illustrator, painter and stage designer. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, she graduated from The National School of Arts. Yevgenia’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Moscow as well as in numerous international group art shows. She designed sets and costumes for over 40 theatrical productions and received a number of prestigious awards for her stage designs. Her illustrations appeared in magazines and children’s books as well as on album covers, book covers and theatre posters.

Alon Nechushtan Survival Codes

Elizaveta Pantiukhova JEvents NY & NJ

Masha Pekurovsky The Red Tent

Masha Pekurovsky was born in Kiev Ukraine. She was 9 years old when her family repatriated to Israel in the wave of 1990. Masha holds a Cum Laude Bachelors degree of Arch. from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. She immigrated to California in 2003 and has been calling New York “home” since 2007. Her project “Passageways” is a dance and video tribute to the feminine – An exploration of the Jewish female identity through the eyes of the artist. Building upon her passion for design, video art and tribal belly dance, Masha seeks to bring a multi-disciplinary performance experience to the audience.  Masha is a designer at HOK. She is also a member of the East Coast Tribal dance community and has been performing live video art under the stage name VJ nasha_masha.

Steven Perchikov Jewish Meditation for Russian-speaking Jews

Steven Perchikov was born in Belarus and immigrated to the United States at the age of 4. Steven is interested in poetry, spirituality and entrepreneurship. Steven currently works at a technology startup, as well as volunteers, brainstorms social businesses and spends a lot of time with close family and friends. For his COJECO BluePrint Fellowship community project, Steven created a workshop series on Jewish meditation for the Russian-speaking Jewish community.

Alex Pergament Helga and the Life-sized Carl Sagan

Alex Pergament is a Jersey City-based photographer and attorney.  His photographs reflect on the relationship between community and individual identity.  He primarily shoots with Polaroids, and incorporates them into large-scale hand-made books.  Alex is an artist-in-residence at 660 Studios. He has edited and published The Escape Anthology for the Young Photographers Alliance, and received the Young Artists fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  He has exhibited solo and group shows in New York, D.C., Chicago, and New Jersey. Alex is also an intellectual property attorney, serving artists and small businesses in New Jersey and New York.  He served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was a Magna Cum Laude graduate of George Washington University Law School.

Zhenya Plechkina Solomon’s Chair

Zhenya Plechkina is a Ukranian-born artist living in South Brooklyn. Zhenya studied art at the Pratt Institute and the Tisch School of the Arts, and Art Education at the Pratt Institute.Zhenya's teaching experience includes New York City public and private schools, camps and Riker's Island vocational school. Zhenya leads her own Museum Education Series for children and adults. She has exhibited works in a variety of venues in the US and abroad, including the Queens Museum of Art, the Venice Architectural and Moscow Biennials. After the BluePrint Fellowship, Zhenya went on to become the first Russian-speaking Jewish Joshua Venture Group fellow, where she further developed her initiative, Zshuk Art Initiative.

Eugene Plotkin New York Jewish Music Festival

Eugene Plotkin was born in Belarus and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1995. He graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and currently works as a Business Manager at one of the largest global advertising networks in the industry. Eugene is also a Vice President and Co-Founder of Forte International Music Competition and Festivals, Corp.,  a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering and developing talented musicians through competitions, festivals, and other performing opportunities.

Veronica Price We|Come To America

Veronica was born in Kharkov and raised in Khmelnitsky Ukraine. She immigrated to the US during the early 1988 wave and settled in Brooklyn with her family where she found herself as the only Russian immigrant in a junior high school class full of tough Italian-American kids.  Veronica reconnected with her immigrant roots in high school and college inside a group of diverse and friendly nerds, one that may only be found in NY, a welcoming immigrant capital. Veronica has taken part in and chaired many Russian-Jewish initiatives in NYC and looks forward to helping create stronger identities in creative ways.

Luba Proger The Purim Spiel Shadow Theater

Luba Proger has a background and education in fine arts, graphic design, and photography.  Upon moving to the United States, Luba continued her studies and earned a degree in photography and graphic design from the Pratt Institute, NYC. Luba has been making photographs for over a decade. In recent years she got involved in curatorial work, where she conceived, and developed a number of arts, photography and theater projects. She currently resides and works in New York City. Luba Proger and Leonid Khanin have been collaborating since 2004 under the name L2coLab. Their combined multidisciplinary education and experience in fine art, architecture and photography has allowed them to create multidisciplinary art and theater projects, addressing ideas of inner beauty, multiculturalism, and belonging. They are experimenting with immersive environments by use of space, innovative video and audio sampling techniques that stimulate viewers’ perception between themselves and their environment.

Dina Pruzhansky Central Park: An Original Musical Story

Dina Pruzhansky is a Russian-Israeli pianist and composer based in New York. After winning a number of nationwide music competition in her native country Azerbaijan, she moved to Israel. Since 2006, Ms. Pruzhansky resides in New York City. An alumna from Mannes College for Music, she has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States, Russia, Israel, Belgium and Germany, and has shared the stage with many leading artists, including the soloists of the Metropolitan and San Francisco opera houses and the soloists of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. New York City recital venues include Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Steinway Hall, Bechstein Piano Center, Union Club, the Yamaha Piano Salon, Scandinavia House, The Ukrainian Institute, the Russian Permanent Mission to the U.N. and others.  

Oksana Rosenblum Kultur-lige Movement in Ukraine, 1918-1930s

Oksana Rosenblum graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Jewish Art and Visual Culture in 2005. She received a Diploma in Jewish Studies from Oxford University in 1999, and gained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Cultural Anthropology from Ukraine in 1998 and 2001. Since 2005, Oksana has been free-lancing as a visual researcher in the field of Jewish art and history, working for the newly created museums of Jewish History in Warsaw and Moscow, among others. Her field of expertise and interest is the history of Jews in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and contemporary Ukraine. As a hobby, Oksana studies Persian and Indian music, and occasionally performs with ethnic group ensembles.

Anya Rozenblat Yidishe Mame

Anna Rozenblat is a New York based freelance photographer specializing in weddings and events photography, as well as fashion and experimental work. After studying art at Art Students League, and graphic design at FIT, Anna finally chose photography as her medium of choice for its ability to instantly capture spirit, depth and the essence of passing moments.is a New York based freelance photographer specializing in weddings and events photography, as well as fashion and experimental work. After studying art at Art Students League, and graphic design at FIT, Anna finally chose photography as her medium of choice for its ability to instantly capture spirit, depth and the essence of passing moments.

Anna Rozenboym South Brooklyn Art and Science Culture Club

Anna Rozenboym was born in Moscow and immigrated to United States with her family in 1994. She received her BA in Psychology from Pace University and Masters Degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. Although Anna’s educational career began with a passion for clinical work and a desire to provide quality services to patients, she continued to explore her interest and fascination with the workings of the brain by engaging in research and pursuing her PhD in Neural and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Downstate. A scientist and an educator, she is proud to serve Brooklyn Community as an Assistant Professor in the Department of the Biological Sciences at Kingsborough Community College.

Anna Rozhdestvenskaya Ancestor Blueprint

Anya Roz is an artist, photographer and designer residing in New York on the Spanish side of Harlem, was born and raised in Moscow in an eclectic family of artists, musicians and photographers, learning to live in the middle of a self generated art scene – visual material being the source of both self exploration and collaboration.
Anya says, “Although I have worked in mediums ranging from oil to video, and had made a living as a graphic designer for the past ten years in New York, my work has focused on photography and painting, and finding a unique visual link between the two mediums. I have also explored lots of antique archival photographs, using their digital replicas in my collage and mixed media work.”

Marina Rubin Stealing Cherries

Marina Rubin was born in the small town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. Her family immigrated to United States in 1989 seeking asylum. Her first chapbook Ode to Hotels(2002) was followed by Once(2004) and Logic(2007). Her work had appeared in over seventy magazines and anthologies including 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM, Nano Fiction, Coal  City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish, the Tribeca literary and art magazine. Her work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and again in 2012. She is a 2013 recipient of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship. Her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories Stealing Cherries was released in November 2013 from Manic D Press and is available on Amazon, B&N and other booksellers nationwide.

Yelizaveta Rudnitsky Our Journey Home

Yelizaveta was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1982.  In 1989, she immigrated to the United States of America with her family.  In 2005, after graduating Brooklyn College with dual degrees in Computer Science & Fine Art, she attended New York University’s Masters program in Digital Imaging and Design.  Yelizaveta has been working as an Application Support Specialist and Project Manager for several of New York’s largest arts institutions.  During which time, she has volunteered for various Jewish agencies in New York and abroad.  She’s participated in various non-profit informal education programs with young adults traveling to Israel. Since 2013, she’s taught computer programming at Baruch College (CUNY).

Olga Rukovets The Things We Carry

Olga Rukovets was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but immigrated to the US when crying was still her primary form of communication (and her fellow passengers were not happy about it). She is a first-year MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Florida. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Jelly Bucket, Brink Magazine, 5X5, Punchnel's,Mixed Fruit, Opium Magazine, The Fiddleback, and others.

Alex Ryaboy Le Grand Voyage

Ekaterina Schaltuper Handmade Charity NYC

Ekaterina Schaltuper was born in Moscow in 1986. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics and Marketing in Russian State University named after G.V. Plekhanov. She started her career at the age of eighteen as an account executive at a British PR company MMD. After graduation Ekaterina started working for a restaurant group "Novikov Group", doing brand management for eight leading restaurants in Moscow. She immigrated to New York in 2008 where she got involved in the fine jewelry industry for several international brands. Currently Ekaterina works for a consulting company Mega Projects as a Sales Director for nine emerging jewelry brands. Outside of professional interests, Katya is learning to play piano and vocal, she travels widely and enjoys living with her husband Mark.

Irina Sheynfeld Strange Pilgrims No More

Irina Sheynfeld is an artist, illustrator and designer born in Odessa, Ukraine, where she studied painting at the Odessa College of Art. Upon arriving to New York, Irina earned her BFA from Parsons School of Design and MFA from School of Visual Arts. She worked as a designer and illustrator for The Wall Street Journal, Time Warner and Oxygen Media. For several years Irina illustrated a weekly column for Editor and Publisher magazine. Irina just had her first solo show at Tagine Gallery in NYC and her work could be currently seen at Amsterdam Art Gallery and at Iridium Jazz Club. She was one of the winners of the Printmaking Completion and recipient of the New Media Award for the best web design.

Masha Shkolnik Bobe Mayces

Masha Shkolnik is a journalist and a songwriter who was born in Moscow, Russia. Masha is known for her journalistic career with RTVi cable network as a reporter followed by working as a host and a manager for Russian radio stations in New York such as Novaya Zhizn’ and Davidzon Radio. Masha has recorded two CDs with her songs and is working on recording the 3rd.  Masha develops her career in the areas of learning and development and as a hobby organizes creative events and camps for kids: www.children123.com. Masha’s articles, poems, lyrics, and MP3s as well as CDs for sale can be found at www.mashashkolnik.com

Yelena Shmulenson Me and Ethel Rosenberg

Yelena Shmulenson emigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1993 from Simferopol, Ukraine. She decided to become an actress instead of getting a real job, and now spends her life making silly faces. Her theater credits include five seasons with the Folksbiene, two seasons at the Ellis Island Theatre, “Enemies: A Love Story” in Russian, Frank (‘Klezmatics’) London’s musical of “A Night In the Old Marketplace”, and “The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum”, which was a big hit in Sweden. On film, she was a spy in Robert DeNiro’s “The Good Shepherd”, she played Lady Capulet in “Romeo & Juliet in Yiddish”, she burned in “Fire At The Triangle” (PBS), and she fought a dybbuk in the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man”. She can be heard in the NPR radio drama ”The Witches of Lublin” (with Tovah Feldshuh) as Leah, the bass-playing Witch. She has also recorded several audio books, winning the Earphones Award for her recordings of “Train to Trieste” and Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl” and “Rosa”. Recently she has appeared on Season Three of “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO) and "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix). She is fluent in five languages.

Samantha Shokin Fabula/Syuzhet: A Memoir Through Music

Samantha Shokin graduated from NYU Gallatin with an individualized concentration in literary journalism. Though she was born in the US, Samantha’s parents were in the first wave of Soviet refugees coming to the US in the late 70’s. Samantha’s writing has been published in VICE magazine, The Forward, and the Village Voice, among others. Samantha’s hobby is to write music, and currently Samantha sings lead in a rock band. Learn more about Sam at www.samshokin.com.

Radik Shvarts Ticket to Jerusalem

Dmitri Slepovitch Zing Along Shabes

Dmitry Slepovich is a Jewish educator, musician, and music scholar focusing on Ashkenazi Jewish musical tradition. As the founder of the bands Minsker Kapelye and Litvakus, Slepovitch has scored and performed music and acted for film and theater productions in Europe and the US. He has been continuously collaborating on many levels with the National Yiddish Theatre–Folksbiene in New York. Slepovitch earned his Ph.D. at Belarus State Academy of Music where he taught in the position of Assistant Professor prior to his emigration to the US in 2008. He has collaboratively initiated and taught at a number of educational music seminars for Jewish musicians in Belarus and co-produced a festival KlezmerShock in Minsk. He taught at seminars and presented at conferences held by the SEFER Moscow Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, Intercollegiate Center for Jewish Education, New Jewish School Center in St.Peterstburg, Eshkolot project in Moscow, and other educational, scholarly, and performing events in the FSU, Europe, Israel, Canada, and the US.

Katya Stepanov The Inheritance Project

Mira Stroika Moscow to Manhattan

Mira Stroika is a multimedia performance artist and accordion playing singer-songwriter, with extensive training and experience in the performing arts. She studied classical piano since the age of 4 with a Russian-Jewish instructor, continued with performance and composition classes at Yale University and studied voice with Bel Canto master Nicola Verussi. She has had additional acting and playwriting training with Deb Margolin, an OBIE award winning Jewish playwright and has studied video art with Pia Lindman and Jennie Livingston (Paris is Burning). As a professional performer, Mira Stroika has made headway in the Russian and Jewish music scene in New York having performed and collaborated with Frank London (Grammy award-winning bandleader of the Klezmatics), Metropolitan Klezmer, Slavic Soul Party, Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad and Romashka. Her playing and singing were also featured in an exhibit on Chagall and the Yiddish theater at the Jewish Museum. She has performed at the Oshman Family JCC in California including the grand opening and a sold-out show with an audience of nearly 400. As an indie cabaret artist, she has performed at numerous events and venues in non-Jewish/non-Russian settings and received media recognition including from the Huffington Post:
Take two cups of Edith Piaf, one half cup Eartha Kitt, a sprinkle of Betty Boop plus a serious portion of that je ne sais quoi that enthralls audiences, and you have what I see as one of New York’s most exciting new cabaret singers: Mira Stroika.
Find more about Mira Stroika at www.mirastroika.com

Alex Teplish Survivor: Aron’s Story

Alex Teplish was born in Odessa, Ukraine. Alex graduated from Stony Brook University and has since become a leading expert in Web/Mobile Technologies, Graphic design, and Digital Marketing.  His work has enabled him to architect applications and campaigns for major corporations, international brands, as well as startups. He has also had a significant role in the ever-developing internet since its inception, including the founding of Brower Based Solutions (BBS), a web/mobile-focused, digital agency. Alex collaborated with a colleague and co-authored the Finance/Investment strategy book, “When Buy Means Sell”, with his chapter concentrating on the history and future of investing.  The work was published by McGraw Hill, in September 2003. Most recently, Alex published a science-fiction graphic novel titled “In The Beginning: The Epic of the Anunnaki.”

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado GOGA

Lara Traum Meaning in Melody

Lara Traum, the daughter of Russian immigrants who came to New York in 1979, grew up in Queens. She graduated from New York University with a BA in Music, Literature, and Judaic Studies and is currently studying for a Juris Doctorate at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Before pursuing a career as a lawyer and mediator, Lara worked with the Zamir Choral Foundation as one of their choral conductors. Lara is a frequent soloist in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Jane Tuv Arlekino Theatre

Jane Tuv is the Director of Russian-speaking Children & Families Programs. Under her leadership, program offerings catering to Russian-speaking Jewish families and children at the JCC tripled, with participants coming from all boroughs of New York for classes, holiday events, Shabbat dinners, and performances. Through Jane's meaningful programs for the Russian-speaking Jewish community and her dedication to high-quality, progressive early childhood education, a vast number of underserved Russian-speaking families who felt disconnected from the greater American-Jewish community, have shown a significant spike in involvement in Jewish life, and have brought the traditions experienced at Generation R programs into their home. In addition to her role at Generation R, Jane is the founding director of Arlekino Theater Troupe, a performing and fine arts program, which strives to instill an appreciation for Jewish heritage in the arts in young children whose parents emigrated from the Former Soviet Union. She has partnered with more than 20 Jewish organizations in the Tri-State Area to bring expressive arts education to the Russian-speaking Jewish diaspora. An informal Jewish educator, Jane designs programs with a focus on the Reggio Emilia approach, nurturing children's curiosities, imagination, and self-expression. This year, Jane became one of five recipients of the Jewish Education Project's Young Pioneers Award for her work at Arlekino and Generation R and was also selected as one of Jewish Week's "36 Under 36." This past February Jane also launched a progressive Russian language program for infants and toddlers in her neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, which has garnered high acclaim. Jane's teaching career spans Pushkin Academy of Russian Heritage, the Farber-Bruch Early Childhood Center at the Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, the Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School at the JCC Manhattan, and the Parenting Program at Temple Shaaray Tefila.

Andrew Tuzhilin Lyagushki

Andrew Tuzhilin is a musician and educator who has been working with children for the past 5 years. At a young age Andrew attended Green Meadow Waldorf School where he began his musical journey, and was introduced to the world of theater. He received his education from the Berklee College of Music and worked on a multi-media project at Brown University. Andrew is currently working on the children’s project Rolie Polie Guacamole.

Natasha Tverdynin Racic From the Past and In the Now

Laura Vladimirova Resilience Garden

Laura Vladimirova was born in Kiev, Ukraine. Her family, like many others, immigrated to the United States in the late 80’s. The transience of her youth created an insatiable wanderlust in Laura, which she has tried to fill by traveling and living abroad for most of her young adult life. Then, after her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, Laura realized that planting roots was the next phase of her growth. Thus, she now works with plants and people in community gardens, rooftops, and anywhere else community can be created around the more natural concepts of life.

Masha (Mariya) Vlasova Unknown Woman in Three-Quarter View: Letters to an Imaginary Lover

Masha (Mariya) Vlasova is a Russian born artist who lives and works in New York City. She is the recipient of a Robert Breer Film and Video Award, an IIE Fulbright grant in filmmaking (Kyrgyz Republic), a CASI Foreign Research Fellowship, an ACANSRS Film Grant and COJECO BluePrint Fellowship. Masha Vlasova's photographs and videos have recently been exhibited at La MaMa La Galleria, Leeds College of Art, UK and Hadas Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Department of Sculpture at Yale.

Marina Webb Family Reunion

Karina Weinstein Her Journey

Karina Weinstein was born in Odessa, Ukraine and moved to New York when she was 11 years old. Karina graduated from Tufts University in 2002 with a Bachelor degree in International Relations and from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 2008 with a Master in Public Policy. Karina is passionate about local and global community development having worked with community organizations in India, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico. Karina is determined to raise her Mexican American Russian Jewish son with a strong sense of identity and commitment to improving the lives of others.

Elena Zaveleva Shmata

Diana Zeltser FRUJELI

Diana Zeltser is from Odessa, Ukraine, and immigrated with her family in 1995. Her performing arts background led to her projects starting Mommy&Me enrichment programs, becoming a licensed Kindermusik educator and Maestro of the Year, and founding Happy Tunes, which specializes in early childhood education, enrichment, and family events. As an educator, her philosophy holds that parents are the most important teachers for children, and lives with her husband and sons on Long Island.

Dmitry Zhernovsky Jewish and Connected

Dmitry Zhernovsky considers himself to be an entrepreneur. Although he has advanced knowledge in the fields of insurance and risk management, he is always on the lookout for new ventures and business ideas – of areas where development or improvement is needed and would be of benefit to the community.

Alexander Zhuravsky Talking to Seniors

Alex Zhuravsky works as an occupational therapist in Brooklyn.  For his project he decided to bring his skills as a therapist to the senior community of Brooklyn.

Michael Zurakhinsky The Art Story: Jewish Themes in Modern Art

Michael Zurakhinsky is a graduate of Manhattan College with an MBA from New York University. His background includes extensive experience in web technology, business and finance and a passion for art and literature. He has been involved as a lay leader and volunteer in many aspects of the NYC Russian Jewish community.  He also founded the modern art appreciation organization TheArtStory.org.

pavel sklyar Banany Chronicles

Pavel Sklyar was born in Kiev, Ukraine.  He was initially introduced to Jewish history, culture and traditions at the Jewish school, which was established in Kiev by Rabbi Bleich in 1991.  At the age of 13 he, together with his family, immigrated to New York City, where he continued his study and explore Judaism.  His other interests include traveling, photography, film, and investing.  Pavel graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Currently he works full time as a Business Planning Analyst at a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. He is also the President and co-founder of MMIC Investment club.