Leadership and Management

The members of the Executive Committee set operational policy for Limmud FSU, authorize budgetary adjustments between International Executive Committee sessions, and set guidelines for the preparation of the annual work plan. Moreover, they work closely with the team of our organization’s high-quality professionals in order to carry out the events all around the globe

Matthew Bronfman
Chairman of the International Steering Committee

Matthew Bronfman is our major supporter and has been involved with Limmud FSU in a leadership role since 2009. American businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bronfman serves as Chairman and CEO of BHB Holdings. Bronfman is a member of the Bronfman family, the son of prominent businessman and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman. As one of the largest American Jewish investors in the Israeli economy, Bronfman is also the main shareholder in IKEA Israel. He attended Harvard Business School where he graduated in 1985. Matthew’s major philanthropic interests besides Limmud FSU include, among others - national chairman, American Jewish Committee’s ACCESS program; chairman, Teamwork Foundation; and member of the board of 92nd Street Y.

Aaron G. Frenkel
President of Limmud FSU International

International businessman and visionary entrepreneur with a passionate commitment to Israel and the Jewish people. In the 90’s provided major assistance in bringing the Aliyah from the former Soviet Union. Plays an active and major role in public initiatives worldwide, and was awarded the The French Legion D'honneur; Chevalier De L'ordre De Grimaldi Medal of Honour; Mecenate of Russia and The Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation; “Yakir Keren Hayesod” award and more. Also serves as a Vice President of the World Jewish Congress; Chairman of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress; honorary consul of the Republic of Croatia; President of the Monaco Jewish community; Member of the Board of Trustees of Tel Aviv Museum of Fine Arts; Member of The Board of Governors of Beit Hatfutzot and more.

Chaim Chesler
Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee

Founder of Limmud FSU. Chaim is in charge of programs and activities, presentation of initiatives and the execution of policy directives approved by the Executive Committee. As Chairman of the Executive Committee, Chaim leads the negotiations with organizations and foundations, and facilitates the inclusion of their representatives in Limmud FSU’s forums. Chaim headed the Jewish Agency for Israel’s delegation to the former Soviet Union and the United States, and served as treasurer of the Jewish Agency.

Sandra F. Cahn
Limmud FSU’s Co-Founder and its FRD Committee Chair

Sandra was instrumental in enlisting crucial support for organization’s creating and has been active in promoting its activities and fundraising efforts ever since. She has long been involved in fundraising for major organizations. She co-founded UJA-Federation of New York’s Women’s Executive Circle, a group serving female CEOs, CFOs, and presidents of significant corporations. Serves on the boards of the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, UJA-Federation of New York and is a past president of the Queens College Hillel.

Roman Kogan
Executive Director for Limmud FSU International

Roman reports directly to the Chairman of the Executive and is responsible for Limmud FSU’s day to day operations, agreements with partner organizations and contractors, budget management and the release of funds. He supervises and counsels the country - based Limmud FSU project managers and promotes the growth of Limmud’s volunteer leadership. He directs the development of new projects, as approved by the Executive and International Steering Committees, and serves also as the Executive Director of Limmud FSU International Foundation Inc. as well as of the Israel based non- profit association Limmud Russian - Speakers, Israel.

Chaim Nagus
Financial and Management Consultant to Limmud FSU

Chaim works directly with the Chairman of the Executive and the Executive Director in the preparation of all budgetary materials and the operation of financial control mechanisms. He is responsible for the compilation of financial reports and Limmud FSU’s general accounts for presentation to supporting organizations and its governing bodies. Chaim advises and assists the Executive Director in the preparation and implementation of all forms of contractual arrangements, and coordinates the employment conditions
for senior personnel.

Natasha Chechik
Director of Public Affairs and Communications

Natasha coordinates Limmud FSU’s governmental and institutional relations, handles the press relations and public image of the entire organization, and manages its marketing activities. Reporting directly to the Chairman of the Executive and working closely with the Executive Director, Natasha is responsible for organization’s public image in the global media, management of consulting firms and advisers, in charge of organization’s social media platforms, online fundraisers and campaigns, the creative aspects (including the newsletters, reports and more), development and managment of the official website and the official blog.

Yan Birbraer
Logistics Director for Limmud FSU International

Serving as the logistics director, Yan is responsible for the logistics of Limmud FSU activities worldwide. He coordinates travel arrangements for overseas guest presenters attending conferences in different countries, and provides support with special logistics and the production of cultural events, exhibitions, summits and more. Former Limmud FSU Israel project manager, he was responsible for the logistics of activities in Israel, as well as the programmatic aspects and the coordination of the volunteer committees.

Deborah Lipson

Deborah is responsible for the English-language programs / booklets of conferences (in non-English speaking countries), as well as fundraising and development. She was born in London and studied Russian and French at university in England, as well as in Paris and Moscow.She made Aliya in 1983 and worked, with Chaim Chesler, in the campaign for Soviet Jewry, and later in the Jewish Agency.She worked for the Soviet Jewry Zionist Forum and then for JDC. For the past 17 years she has dealt with fundraising for Jewish Agency educational projects from Holocaust-related funds.

Asher Weill

English language consultant and editor for all publications, conference brochures, reports, and correspondence. Was the one to introduce western publishing standards to Israel and published the biographies and writings of a very large number of Israel's political leaders; edited the country's leading arts magazine for over 20 years; was a founding director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair, the Israel Debating Society, and the Anglo-Israel Colloquium; and recipient of the Jerusalem Book Fair's Friend of Jerusalem and the Nefesh beNefesh Bonei Zion Awards.

Gabi Farberov

Gabi is the Project Manager of the new joint project with the Israel Ministry for Diaspora Affairs - Limmud FSU Community Labs. She was born in Latvia and made Aliyah in 1994. Gabi has a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Educational System Development. For the last 12 years, Gabi has worked in the Oranim College of Education, developing and directing international programs for teenagers, students, young adults and families from Israel, FSU, Germany, South America and the United States. In addition, she has led educational workshops and courses on topics such as Jewish Communities in the World, Jewish Peoplehood, and many more.

Limmud FSU Project Managers

Ira Zdanovich
Israel and West Europe

Ira was born in Odessa and at the age of 19 made Aliyah to Israel. After her military service she got a social work bachelor degree (B.S.W.) in Tel Aviv University. Ira worked as a Jewish Professional for the last 15 years in different community projects and organisations in Israel, FSU and USA. She was first introduced to Limmud in 2008 as a participant, and since then has taken a part as a volunteer and as an organizing committee member later.

Elena Zakharova
                                                         Moscow

Elena Zakharova, Limmud FSU Moscow project manager since 2018, is the Director general of “Zebra” event agency. She also organizes the “J-Camp”- edutainment jewish camp. Elena graduated from Moscow State University (mechanics and mathematics faculty). During last 20 years, Elena has successfully developed and implemented the principles of informal education in different international projects.

Galina Rybnikova
Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova

Galina commenced work as Project Manager for the Limmud conference in the Ukraine, whose venue varies within the country. Soon afterwards, she undertook the organization of two annual conferences. Galina assumed responsibility for Limmud FSU activities in Belarus and Moldova in addition to Ukraine. She is also the General Manager of the charitable foundation, Limmud in Ukraine, which is now Limmud FSU’s operating arm for that country.

Noam Shumakh-Khaimov
New York and West Coast

Originally from Donetsk, Ukraine Noam spent several years in Israel working in the informal Jewish education. She came to the United States in 2008 as an emissary of the Jewish Agency. Noam oversees the organization and operation of the annual conference for the Greater New York (Tri-State) area and also responsible for Limmud FSU West Coast conference which took place for the first time in January 2016, following over eighteen months of intensive preparations, with emphasis on volunteer leadership development.

Mila Voihanski
Canada

Originally from Lvov, Ukraine, Mila’s family moved to Toronto, Canada in 1974.Mila earned a Bachelor of Social Work at York University in Toronto and then a Master of Social Work at Wurzweiler School of Social Work in New York. She rose through the ranks at Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) to become a team supervisor, then executive director of JIAS Toronto, and then CEO of JIAS Canada. Mila is also responsible for outreach, recruitment events and other Limmud FSU activities throughout Canada.

Anna Maylis
Australia

Anna Maylis was born in Ukraine in 1973, made aliya at 17, and moved to Sydney 20 years ago. Anna has been working as a Hebrew teacher for 20 years, as well as the Director of the Kids Theatre –“JeSTAR” for 6 years. In 2015, Anna became an event coordinator for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in Sydney, and served as co-chair of Limmud FSU Australia organizing committee.