Meet the team

Rami Teplitskiy

Co-Chair of Limmud FSU Australia Organising Committee

Rami Teplitskiy is the Shaliach (Israeli Emissary) of Kangarusski - Russian Speaking Jewish Community in Australia. Rami will soon receive a Masters degree in Political, legal and Economic Philosophy (PLEP) at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Recently, he interned at the United Nations in New York in Capacity Development in the Headquarter Committee on Contracts. He graduated with a Bachelor in Political Science and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University. Rami has experience in the educational profession as a volunteer tutor for children with special needs and as a teacher in after school science classes. Rami made Aliyah to Israel with his family early in his childhood. During his IDF service, he trained and commanded new recruits in basic combat training.

Tania Shvartsman

Limmud FSU Australia Project Manager.

In 2010 Tania went on a Birthright program to Israel, and that is when her Jewish identity and career took a turn. She began to work in the ZFA Israel Programs department, then transitioning to Hagshama young adult events and activities. She has been actively involved with KangaRusski since its inception in 2012, as a volunteer, as a madricha, and as anything else that is required!

Her own Jewish journey is the reason she feels so passionate about the success of KangaRusski and the Russian Speaking Jewish Community in Australia.

"My first encounter with Limmud was via the KangaRusski Leadership program. As many other Russian Jews in Australia, I had no idea such a thing existed. I believe that Limmud FSU Australia will be  catalyst for future engagement of the RSJC in Australia. The RSJC is a huge untapped market, and we are here to make that change!"

Rina Binder-Kuczko

Chair of Logistics Committee

Rina is an Event Manager at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW. A Russian-speaking Jew from Latvia. Rina attended the first Jewish school that was opened in USSR during Perestroika in Riga. "That was the best decision my parents made, because the experience and friends I gained from this period are irreplaceable".

In 1996, Rina immigrated to Sydney with no English, no friends and very little relatives. It took her and her family a long time to get to know people and make friends.

"I will do everything I can to help Limmud FSU to be successful. I want my kids to experience the happy memories I have from my school years in Riga. The concept of Limmud FSU is something that has been missing from our lives for a long time". 

Shailee Mendelevich

Member of the Logistics Committee

Shailee sees Limmud FSU Australia as wonderful festival to celebrate the diverse history, traditions and impact of the Soviet Jewry to Australia and the world. Volunteer driven, and empowering the participants to choose their learning journey is the key highlight about Limmud FSU Australia, and she can’t wait for everyone to meet each other and feel like they belong.

Shailee is a Program Manager at The Shalom Institute, and has been creating events for the FSU community in Sydney for the last two years, as well as many other programs voluntarily and professionally for seven years. She completed her Masters in Law, Media and Journalism at UNSW in 2015 and is currently a Fellow with the Centre for Australian Progress.

Anna Maylis

 Co-Chair of Limmud FSU Australia Organising Committee

Anna 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. This year Anna is passionately involved in organising the Limmud FSU festival. She believes that Limmud FSU is an exciting and unique opportunity for the Sydney community to meet interesting presenters, learn from world known intellectuals and professionals and share their own experience and expertise. Most importantly, Limmud FSU will unite the community to celebrate Jewish culture and identity.

Margarita Stein

 Member of the programming committee

Margarita Stein believes her biography is simple – she was born in the USSR. The Limmud project sounded very exciting for her as it interests her because of her possibilities. She believes that freedom is very precious and should come with responsibilities as two sides of the same coin. She enjoys music (out of her youth such as Setor Gaza, Kino, Nautilus,  Machina Vremeni, Krematoriy and definitely opera). Her favourite quote is, ‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the looser,’ by Socrates

 

Stella Dvuchbabny

 Member of the Programming Committee

Stella was born in Ukraine, lived in Israel for 16 years, and moved to Australia in 2006 with her family. Stella is a nurse at Sutherland hospital, and lives in St.George NSW where nearly no Jewish community is present. To fulfill her need of communication and to get a feeling of belonging to the community, she started participating in different projects. Stella became a member of the Sydney Jewish Museum and recently became a guide in the museum. Stella believes that Limmud is an amazing opportunity to come together, meet interesting people, learn, relax and have a lot of fun. Last year her teenage children participated in Limmud Fest and now her whole family is looking forward to Limmud FSU. See you there!

Sarah Bendetsky

 Member of the Subbotnik committee

Sarah is a Melbourne-based writer, journalist and blogger who moved to Australia from New York, where she moved from Montreal, where she moved from Pittsburgh, where she moved from Moscow. Well, that’s complicated. She has a BA in English and Communications from Touro College and Masters in Publishing and Communications from The University of Melbourne. Sarah loves travelling, photography and... chocolate. For many years, she's been involved with voluntary work and believes that everyone can make a difference to make the world a better place. She feels excited about Limmud as it creates an opportunity to bring together so many different people in our community, giving them a chance to learn from each other.

 

Avi Bendetsky

 Member of the budgeting committee

An experienced accountant at BASNMORE and a passionate community activist, Avi always finds time to help others. He regularly volunteers for Jewish Care’s elderly care facilities and takes residents on fun trips. Currently, he is working hard to arrange community Shabbat dinners for Russian-speaking Jews in Melbourne. He believes that Limmud FSU is a wonderful initiative which will help to bring everyone closer.

 

Boris Knizhnik

 member of the logistics committee

Boris is our resident BBQ chef. He can make a boring kosher steak taste like heaven and a chicken wing melt in your mouth. When he is not cooking up a storm Borya loves to travel the world, explore the cheap eats of Melbourne and go on adventures.

He has been actively involved in the KangaRusski community, participating and facilitating in various events and activities.

When not doing any of the above, he is a construction professional in commercial construction.

Inna Polura

 Member of the Logistics Committee

Inna was born in Odessa, Ukraine. In 1989 she immigrated to Australia with her family (husband and 14 month old son). Her younger son was born in Sydney in 1994. Inna and her husband have been running a videography business for the past 25 years, and for the past 10 years she has also been working at Jewish Care.

Inna really likes the Limmud FSU project, because it gives an opportunity for many young Russian Jews to get in touch with our culture, traditions and just to meet people with the same interests. She will do her best to help this event be a success.

Jeanne Alifanova

 Member of the Marketing Committee

Born and raised in Moscow Jeanne, an Australian government scholarship winner, came to Australia in 1991 to complete her Master of Commerce (Honours) at UNSW . Now a successful business manager, event coordinator, the vice-president of Australian Multicultural Arts and Media Association, journalist and radio producer (Russian Radio Australia), Jeanne continues to maintain close ties with the Russian-Jewish community in Australia: “I truly believe it is very important to remember your roots, respect your ancestors and stay close to those who think alike. And this is what Limmud is all about – learning about Jewish history, culture and way of life.” Jeanne is well known in the community for her outstanding and never ending volunteering work: “It’s addictive. Once you start helping others you can’t stop. Then again it is always a two way street - people appreciate even the tiniest assistance and reward you generously with incredible honour and respect.  It’s a very humbling experience indeed. “ A dedicated art lover, Jeanne sees Limmud FSU as a fantastic opportunity for the ex-USSR Jewish community to showcase its spectacular talents.  

Jessica Roze

 Chair of the Children's Programming Committee

Jessica believes that Limmud FSU Au has the potential tounite the younger generation from the Former Soviet Union. In her opinion, Limmud can provide a pathway for the younger population to re-establish their Russian Jewish cultural roots.

Having a Ukranian-Jewish background, Jessica has participated for many years in the Jewish community as a volunteer at the Burger Centre, Montefiorie Home, Sydney Jewish Museum, Jewish Care and went on Birthright following the completion of her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy (USYD).

Jessica’s role as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist as well as her ability to engage and assist children and young individuals from different walks of life and settings provides her with a creative avenue to facilitate the children’s program at Limmud FSU.

She feels excited about Limmud FSU’s progression and hopes the younger Russian Jewish community will become increasingly aware and involved in these programs.

Mila Rodov

Member of the Logistics Committee and festival caterer

Mila Rodov of Mila's Catering is Sydney's premier Kosher caterer. She has fed the Jewish community for 8 years prior to which she enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a restauranteur. Her delicious Eastern European cuisine is made with heart and soul. She migrated to Australia in 1989 from the Former Soviet Union, and has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

Mila has been involved with Limmud and Kangarusski for a few years and it brings her so much happiness to be part of this wonderful initiative, working with beautiful people for a wonderful cause.

Lucy Zoubkova

 Member of the marketing committee

Lucy was born in the Ukraine and moved to Australia in 1989. She is a trained journalist. Lucy worked in large-circulating, regional and allied newspapers. In Australia, her Jewish dignity always lived with her. This helped her participate in social work for more than 20 years on the ‘Shalom’ committee. There she organised Jewish holiday celebration and memorial days and literary and musical evenings in memory of V. Vysotsky, A. Galich, Sholom Aleichem. Now Lucy is in a committee for the Australian Forum of Russian Jewry. She publishes articles in the magazine “Menorah” and in the newspaper "Panorama". She also attends lectures on Jewish livelihood, loves to read, go to musicals, concerts and opera and watch movies. Maybe you will see her do some Israeli dancing, if you’re lucky. “I enjoy collaborating in Limmud with young, intelligent and business-minded people,” says Lucy.

Sagie Shaposhnykov

 member of the marketing committee

Sagie has been involved in Limmud FSU Australia since its inception and is part of the marketing team. He currently works in advertising and was a Madrich on Kangarusski Birthright 2014. He has been involved in the Jewish community for the past 5 years, volunteering for an array of organisations. Outside of the professional world, Sagie loves to play soccer, eat good food and spend his time with family and friends.

Natalya Mendelevich

 Chair of marketing Committee

Natalya is involved in several community projects (Subbotnik in Sydney, Limmud’s ( Limmud –OZ, Yom Limmud, Limmud Fest and Limmud FSU Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) as a participant, volunteer and in professional capacity as a graphic designer. Natalya joined Limmud FSU team to help build more of a community channel, volunteering, participation and involvement ideas to the wider Jewry in Australia and to learn about the engaged community.

She also attends lectures, supports Jewish events, loves to read, go to musicals, concerts and opera and watch foreign films.

‘Our highest value is learning, there is no greater Mitzvah than learning. Limmud FSU Australia will showcase our talents, achievements, values, strength and commitment to Jewish unity.’

‘I am very excited to be apart of Limmud and motivated to bring together Russian Speaking Australian Jew from all backgrounds, ages, and levels of Jewish observance.’

‘Bring your family, bring your friends and lets make great Limmud FSU in Sydney!’