Daniel Aronov was born in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, back in 1978 and immigrated with his family to New York in 1992. Daniel spent four years of high school in a private Jewish school, Beer Hagolah and went on to get a double major in Computer Science/Applied Math and Statistics from Stony Brook University. Later he received a Master's degree in Information Systems Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. Throughout his career, Daniel worked as a developer, business/data analyst and now holds a role of Product Manager in a startup called Vestwell which he joined almost three years ago. Daniel loves to travel, play sports and root for his kids competing in chess, soccer and swimming. He can cook a mean steak and also has a pretty solid three point shot. Daniel lives with his wife Alla and two awesome boys, Leor (8) and Zack (5).
Elina was born in Minsk, Belarus. In 1989, she immigrated with her parents, brother and grandparents to NYC. She graduated from Brooklyn College with BS degree in Psychology and later from LIU with Bachelors in Science Physician Assistant studies. She worked in Ob/Gyn for over 20 yrs, but for the past 1.5 yrs she partially joined her husband’s practice. She is married and has 3 wonderful children ages 18, 13, and almost 11. She likes reading, traveling, active nature hikes, skiing, and spending time with her family.
Olga Benis was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1991, on the heels of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though she grew up in a primarily assimilated family, Olga’s Jewish identity has been an important ingredient in her life. Over the years she has participated in various projects that helped her learn and understand her Jewish roots. One such endeavor is a short book she authored, The Hidden Matzo Chronicles, which was selected for COJECO BluePrint Fellowship. The book is a culinary exploration of the Soviet Jewish Identity through the prism of food traditions. Olga holds a BBA in Accounting and works as a Controller for a boutique investment management firm. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their three kids. When not working, Olga enjoys cooking, traveling the world and dancing tango. Olga is excited to be joining a growing community of JPA.
Dhimiter Bozo was born in Tirana, Albania. He immigrated to the United States in 1991 but his first stop was Ladispoli, Italy where he spent 6 months. Dhimiter attended Sinai Academy Yeshiva for one year and then transferred to FDR High School. He graduated from SUNY at Stony Brook with a BS in Computer Science. He works at Viacom and leads a global software engineering organization. He is happily married with two teenagers ages 13 and 16. Dhimiter loves to bike, travel and hopes to go overlanding in the near future.
Tatyana was born in Cherepovets, RSFSR to a family of a career military officer. As her father
moved from one duty station to another, Tatyana and the family followed him around and they
have resided in various locations of the former Soviet Union. In 1994 Tatyana immigrated to
the United States and eventually ended up in NYC. Tatyana received a BS in Biology in 1999, MS
in Physical Therapy in 2002, and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Long Island university
in 2006. Tatyana has experience in various areas of Physical Therapy, but Pediatric Physical
Therapy has been her main focus for the last 18 years. Tatyana is married, has a daughter who
is 8 years old and a cat. Tatyana enjoys traveling, classical music, reading, Yoga, Pilates, self-
development, and hiking.
Tatyana immigrated to the US from Kiev, Ukraine in 1988 at the age of 11 with her family. She graduated from Edward R Murrow HS, and then received a BA from Barnard College and Doctor of Optometry degree from SUNY College of Optometry. She lives in Sheepshead Bay with her husband and 2 daughters, 14 and 8. She currently works at her practice in Brooklyn, specializing in pediatric eye care. Some of her hobbies include going to see shows, and spending quality time with her family. She was never truly connected with her Jewish roots as a child, but now, participating in many Jewish-related programs and activated, she feels as though she has truly connected to her Jewish background. Now, she can pass on these crucial priorities down to her children, and she hopes that this can continue for as many generations as possible.
Flora Itskovich is an attorney, currently practicing in New York and New Jersey. Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Flora immigrated with her family to the United States in 1991. She is grateful to have the opportunity to expand her knowledge and to gain a new perspective through a shared Jewish experience with fellow Russian-speaking Jewish parents at Jewish Parent Academy.
Nick was born in Odessa, Ukraine, but moved to Moscow when he was five. All of his family however is from Odessa so that’s the city that he has deep roots in and strong associations with. He left to the United States when he was 15, to live with his aunt and 2 cousins, eventually moving out on his own. He went to Murrow HS, then Pace University for Business Economics, then to Southern Connecticut State for his MBA in Management. He has been in the auto export and leasing industry for 15 years, and for the past 6 years he has been developing, managing and operating a chain of daycares in Brooklyn, NY called Little Scholars. He is married for 13 years and has 2 boys, 11 and 7, named Dylan and Brandon.
Dina Katz is excited to be a part of the JPA community of like- minded parents. She is very involved in her children’s education and served three years as a PTA President in her local middle school. She encourages her kids to be involved in Jewish clubs and activities and hopes to learn even more through her involvement with JPA.
Olga grew up in Russia for the first decade of her life where she had very little exposure to Judaism and knew very little about her Jewish heritage and identity. Upon coming to America her family started celebrating and gathering for high holidays a tradition which they keep and pass on to the younger generations for the past 27 years. She also got involved with JCH where she spent most of her time as teenager and formed some lasting friendships. She didn’t get too much into Judaism until she had her kids, her two boys. She started understanding and appreciating how important it is to get more educated about her culture and background in order to better educate her boys. As a family they are involved in a few Jewish organizations and attend some holidays and Shabbat dinners at their local synagogue. She works full time as an optometrist and resides in Brooklyn.
Irina Kogan was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and immigrated to the US with her family in 1989. Irina graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Accounting and subsequently took classes towards an MBA degree at NYU Stern School of Business. She is currently working for a boutique investment bank. Irina enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, traveling, hiking and reading.
Irina is very excited to be part of the JPA 2020 cohort and is looking forward to interesting lectures, meaningful conversations and new friends.
Vadim Korol was born in Khmelnytski, Ukraine, and immigrated to the United States in 1993 with his parents and older brother. He joined AKO Design Center as a sales associate in 2000, becoming a partner in the company in 2007. The same year, he co-founded Regata USA, a marketing content production company which went on to win 3 AdVision Awards for outstanding marketing achievements in the multicultural community. Vadim is an avid reader and traveler, who enjoys exploring NYC’s vibrant cultural life. He resides in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn with his wife, daughter and wheaten terrier.
Marina immigrated from Khmelnitsky, Ukraine in 1991. She graduated from the Downstate Medical Center in 1995. She works as an occupational therapist in the Public School System. She enjoys yoga and dancing. She is excited to be a part of JPA and to have an opportunity to learn more about Judaism, make new friendships and become an active member of herJewish community.
Lona was born in southern Ukraine and was raised in a predominantly Jewish community of a shtettle called Bershad. In the late 80s through early 90s, the majority of her community immigrated to various parts of the world, including her family: her parents and younger brother. They settled in New York in 1991, where she graduated from college with a degree in Nutrition and Food science, currently practicing Renal Nutrition. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons and enjoys traveling, reading and hiking.
Julie was born in Uzbekistan, Tashkent in 1984 and Immigrated with her entire family to the United States in 1989. She completed her Masters in physician assistant studies at SUNY downstate and currently works as a physician assistant in Brooklyn Methodist emergency room. She lives with her husband and twins in Williamsburg Brooklyn. She loves quality family time, travel and her passion is to revolutionize the medical field and create an integrative holistic practice.
Irina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and immigrated to New York with her family in 1994. She received a BA in Economics and English from Syracuse University and an MPA degree in Public Finance from New York University. Irina has over 16 years of experience in the Office of NYC Comptroller. Currently, she is a Head of the Cash Division in the Bureau of Budget, where she monitors and forecasts the City’s daily cash balances. Irina lives in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. During her spare time she enjoys reading, biking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Alexander Livson was born in Bobruysk, Belarus. He came to America in 1979 as a child with his parents and older brother. They came to Baltimore, MD since it was easier for the parents to find the job there. Alex didn't grow up in the Russian environment, wasn't exposed to Russian culture, and barely spoke the Russian language. After his Bar Mitzvah, the family moved to New York. He wasn't that close to the Russian-Jewish community until he met his future wife and she re-introduced him to the culture. Now, Alex is happily married with 2 wonderful children, making sure that his children are familiar with the culture, laws, and traditions. He enjoys spending time with his friends and family, they travel a lot and explore other countries. Alex loves going to the gym and watching football on Sundays.
Natalya was born in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine, and moved to the United States with her family in 1993. She graduated with BA in Management and Certification in Project Management and works in the public health industry. In addition, Natalya is a Certified Russian language translator and interpreter.
Natalya resides with her husband and two children, ages 18 and 12, in Marine Park, Brooklyn.
Natalya has been engaged with the Russian speaking Jewish community since 2009, helped organize and execute many programs aimed at increasing Jewish education.
Boris was born in Ukraine in a small town - Gorlovka. When he was 16 he went to Israel to study in the religious high school Migdal Ohr which was part of Naale program. After living in Israel for 9 years he won a green card and moved to USA. He is married and father of 2 amazing kids (4 years old and 2 years old).
Ruslana was born in El’sk, Belarus but spent her entire childhood in Mozyr. She immigrated with her parents and sister to the United States in February of 1998. In 2003 she received her Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Pace University and in 2007 a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from The College of New Jersey. She lives in Brooklyn. She is married and has 3 boys. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Alexandra immigrated to the United States with her parents, sister and grandmother from Odessa, Ukraine in early spring of 1989. After a stopover in Vienna, Austria and Santa Marinella, Italy they arrived in NYC. She attended a PS Junior High as well as High School and attended Brooklyn College for her Computer Science degree. However, she discovered that she prefers to work with people rather than computers. She has spent 15+ years working in Human Resources for and with Financial Services organizations. She is a mother of a 15-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. She loves reading, writing, fine/performing arts and watching HGTV. She loves traveling with her family and spending time with them during the holidays.
Dr. Svetlana Pyatigorskaya is a mom of two Jewish boys. She was born in the former Soviet Union, Moscow. Brooklyn has been been her home since 1994. At home she is bilingual and has taught her 4 year old to be fluent in Russian. She was fortunate to attend Yeshiva before high school which imparted on her more knowledge and identity on being a Jew. She wants to pass on this torch of Judaism to her children through knowledge and our history.
She is a practicing Nephrologist and Internal Medicine doctor, proudly serving the Brooklyn community in multispecialty practice.
Irina Shiyan was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine. In 1991 she immigrated to Brooklyn, NY where she attended Edward R Murrow HS. She completed her undergraduate studies at NYU with a major in Economics and received her graduate degree at SUNY College of Optometry. She opened her first practice in East Village, NYC in 2009.
Irina lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, NY.
Irene was born in Bobruysk, Belarus, where she graduated high school and immigrated with her family to United States in 1989. Since 1996 completion of Bachelor Degree of Science in Pharmacy, she has been working as a registered pharmacist. She is married, and hasthree beautiful children ages 19, 17, and 9. She enjoys traveling and spending meaningful time with her family. She has always been interested in her Jewish identity, and it’s important for her that her family follows Jewish traditions. Her brother Michael, who serves the board of JPA, has been an inspiration to herto join this great organization. She appreciates this opportunity to deepen her knowledge of Jewish history and culture, and to share this information with younger generation, family and friends.
Rita immigrated to America with her family in 1979. Her parents came here to give their kids a better life and to enjoy religious freedom. They first arrived to Miami, Fl but eventually settled in Brooklyn. She graduated with a degree in pharmacy and now works as a pharmacist for the state of New York. She lives in Brooklyn with herfamily and has two wonderful kids. In her spare time she loves to be with herfamily and also enjoys traveling.
Alex was born in Odessa, Ukraine and immigrated to United States in 1990 with his family. He graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor degree in Management Information Systems and has over 20+ years of experience in Information Technology industry. He currently works for Dell Technologies as a technology consultant and product specialist. He lives in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and has two daughters, and both attend Hebrew schools. He enjoys art exhibits, theatre, concerts, sports and travel. He is excited to be part of JPA to further his Jewish education and be part of the growing and exciting community.
Inessa was born and experienced her early childhood in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine. Her parents
decided to immigrate in 1989 due to unrest of the political situation and rise of anti-Semitism. Following
a stopover in Austria and Italy they ended up in the United States, specifically in New York. She attempted to
attend a public school, however felt out of place, so her parents chose to provide her with a private
Jewish education. She graduated from a yeshiva, received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech
and Language Pathology, minoring in Russian Literature. She utilized her education to treat patients with a
variety of speech, language, cognitive and feeding disorders of all age groups in both clinical and
educational settings. Currently she is working with children with severe developmental delays in a non-
for-profit preschool. She also teachs undergraduate courses in Speech, Language and Communication
Sciences at Touro College. She is married, with two teenage daughters. Within her family they maintain a
deep appreciation of both their Jewish and European heritage, language, literature and culture.