Milena lives in Millburn, NJ with her husband, Alexy and their 2 kids Daniella (9) and Leighton (5). She was Born in Kiev and immigrated to the US when she was 9 years old. She grew up in Woodhaven, Queens (where there were no Russian speaking Jews at all) and later Little Neck Long Island. She only began to have Russian Jewish friends when she married her husband who had a good group of Russian Jewish friends.
Milena went to Pace University downtown, majored in Finance and Psychology and got her first job at Goldman Sachs. While working at Goldman she obtained her MBA from NYU. Milena's career has spanned from finance into Human Resources and across various companies and industries. Milena currently works in HR at Prudential.
Milena enjoys anything outdoors with her family from hiking, skiing (big chasing the snow family!), camping, kayaking and committed to working out almost every day including F45 and Barre both in town. She also loves healthy, seasonal, local food, cooking without following a recipe and sharing her creations with family and friends.
Born in Gomel Belarus, Mila’s family emigrated to the United States in 1989. Even though she did not attend Jewish school, her family kept Jewish traditions and both grandparents spoke Yiddish.
Mila received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from New York University. For the past 11 years she has been working as an emergency room RN until recently transitioning to a transfer coordinator role. Mila has 4 children and hopes to instill in them a strong Jewish identity. In her spare time, she enjoys meeting up with friends, volunteering and traveling. She is excited to be part of JPA and hopes to meet new Russian Jewish parents.
Tamara was born in Moscow, USSR. She moved to New Jersey in 2011 with her husband, Michael, and two young sons. In 2016 they had a baby girl and settled down in Livingston, NJ.
After 12 years in the IT and banking industry, Tamara is currently working in consulting, supporting pharma companies sales planning departments. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, watching movies and playing board games with her family and friends.
Having multiple opportunities, both as a teen and an adult, to see Israel while visiting relatives there, Tamara fell in love with this State and its people. She is looking forward to another trip, so she and her husband could share their affection for Israel with their kids, who are now 14, 12 and 6 years old.
She is very excited to join the JPA program to learn more about being Jewish and get in touch with new people in the Livingston Jewish community.
Victoria was born in Uzhgorod, Ukraine and immigrated to US fresh out of high school, with her family. After graduating from Baruch College- Zicklin School of Business, she has worked in a variety of companies, focusing on Program/Project management. Victoria currently lives in Livingston, NJ with her husband and two children and is very excited to join the JPA program.
Stan and his parents immigrated from Eastern Europe and settled in the US when he was 3 years old. When Stan arrived to the US with his parents, they moved to Elizabeth, NJ. From there, they moved to Clark, NJ and ultimately West Orange, NJ.
Stan and his wife are parents to 2 daughters, ages 12 and 17 years old. When starting their family, they wanted a town with a Jewish presence, so they decided on Livingston, NJ. They have been in Livingston for 18 years now and love where they live.
For the past 20 years, Stan works as a full time Realtor, currently with Compass, located in Short Hills Mall.
Slav was born in Minsk, Belarus and moved to Brooklyn, NY in 1994 at the age of 18 with his parents. While growing up, Jewish education was unavailable, and most of the Jews were hiding their identity due to high level of antisemitism in the country, which he experienced from a very early age. Once introduced to the Jewish community of New Jersey, he became interested in learning more about Jewish history and traditions.
Slav currently resides in Livingston, NJ with his wife and 6 children.
Yevgeniy was born in Vitebsk, Belarus and lived there until immigrating to Brooklyn, New York in 1992 with his parents, younger brother and grandmother. Yevgeniy attended Be'er Hagolah Institutes and Abraham Lincoln HS, before receiving BBA from Pace University in 2002. Yevgeniy held a number of positions in the financial services industry and currently works for GroupM as a Manager of Finance.
In September of 2021, Yevgeniy moved to Livingston, NJ, where he resides with his wife and two children. Yevgeniy enjoys staying active through various sports and is very excited to join the JPA community.
Growing up in Kiev, Eleonora was always ashamed of being a Jew. She hated being Eleonora in a classroom of Olenkas and Oksanas, and dreamed of getting married to “Ivanov”, for her future children to not have any trace of Jewish race.
She never understood why she had to suffer for eating matza once a year (after all it didn’t taste so good). But since moving to the US, Eleonora has transformed from a self-hating Jew to a proud one. She loves learning about her heritage and is very excited to join the JPA NJ cohort.
Eleonora lives in Livingston, has 2 teenagers, and a passion for travel and the stage. She recently started doing standup and boutique travel planning after years of working in corporate IT. One of her future projects is organizing Jewish heritage tours.
Anna was born in Voronezh, Russia and immigrated to the US in 1984 as a young child. Her family lived in Brooklyn, NY for a few years and then moved to NJ when she was eight years old. Anna graduated from Rutgers University majoring in Math and Economics and then received an MBA from Zicklin School of Business. She has been working for major financial institutions in the areas of Risk Management, technology, and governance.
Anna currently lives in Springfield, NJ with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys traveling, working out, exploring different cuisines and chauffeuring her daughters to various activities. She is looking forward to the JPA experience to enrich herself, learn how to instill Jewish values in her family and make new friends.
Olga immigrated from Kiev, Ukraine in 1989, taking the journey to Austria and Italy before arriving in the United States. She grew up in New Jersey, attending a Jewish day school for two years. After receiving a Political Science degree from the University of Michigan, Olga taught English in Japan and worked in Washington. She received a graduate degree in International Business Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Olga spent several years working in market research, first for a technology research firm, and then for a consulting firm with a focus on green consumers. More recently, she has been running a children's theater program.
Olga has two children, ages 10 and 12, and lives in Millburn, NJ. She enjoys writing plays, attending theater performances, dancing, hiking, and creating various communities based on mutual interests and affinities. She is looking forward to participating in the JPA community.
Stella grew up in Chernovtsy, Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 1997 when she was 15 years old. Stella and her husband Alex reside in Westfield, NJ with their two children and a Goldendoodle puppy named Pawz.
Stella earned her master’s degree in social work from New York University and a law degree from Rutgers Law School. After practicing law for a decade, Stella pivoted into legal recruitment and loves her job at Robert Half as a Legal Recruiting Manager.
Stella is passionate about meditation, listening to her kids play piano, daily walks, and Ted talks.
Roman was born in Azerbaijan and moved to the to the United States with his family when he was 14 years old. Brooklyn, NY became his second home where he made new friends and learned a lot about Jews from different parts of the world. Roman finished Polytechnic University with a degree in Computer Science, and earned a Masters in Information Systems from Brooklyn College.
Originating from the Caucus region, he always felt special knowing the Jewish community he belongs to is close knit and traditional. Roman is proud to be joining JPA, given the organization’s emphasis on community, Jewish advocacy and learning. Roman currently resides in Livingston, NJ with his daughter and works in the financial technology sector. In his spare time, he loves exploring new music, connecting with friends and family, and playing an occasional soccer game.
Yelena was born in Moscow and lived there until 1987 when her family immigrated to San Francisco. She attended University of Iowa and University of Vermont, College of Medicine. Currently, she is working at Whole Child center, as a physician. She lives with her husband children and a Goldendoodle in Chatham, NJ.
Her father instilled in her the importance of supporting Israel and maintaining a Jewish identity. She wants to ensure that her children value their Jewishness and continue the link.
Victoria Portnoy lives in Short Hills, New Jersey with her husband Alex and her children, Philip (5) and Remy (2). Victoria was born in Vinnitsa, Ukraine and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Manhattan for 10+ years before moving back to Brooklyn, and ultimately, to Short Hills in 2022. Victoria is a Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance and Group Legal Affairs at Blackstone, where she oversees corporate legal matters across the world’s largest alternative asset manager. Prior to joining Blackstone in 2015, Victoria was a corporate associate at Cleary Gottlieb. Victoria has a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University. She is looking forward to forging meaningful connections with like-minded Russian-Jewish parents as part of the 2023 JPA Cohort.
At a very young age, Regina immigrated from Ukraine with her parents and great-grandmother to a Russian-speaking community in Far Rockaway, Queens. She attended yeshiva through the middle of elementary school. Then moved to Brooklyn to complete her basic education in secular schools. Regina earned her BFA in Graphic Design at a private New York college and worked simultaneously at a small NYC design firm.
While longing for a more Jewish connection she became kosher at the age of 25. After losing her best friend in the 9/11 tragedy she turned to Aish in search of answers why G-d could allow such a Tsadik to be taken from Earth. After getting married and having 2 incredible children, it was important to her that they understand their heritage and culture to fully appreciate their identity. At home, they speak Russian, know Ukrainian culture, and follow basic Jewish traditions. In the summer, they attend a Jewish camp and are members of USY and Chabad during the year.
Regina's spiritual commitment and self-growth have been unwavering. On a non-spiritual level, she started her own digital design business and held executive-level roles at several well-known brands. Additionally, Regina finds gratification in devoting time to her children, family & friends, growing orchids/plants, organizing/designing, traveling/discovering, and art/architecture.
Regina is looking forward to a culturally and socially stimulating experience at JPA.
Asya was born in St. Petersburg. After leaving Russia in early 2000s she lived in Israel for one year and then came to New York City. Growing up, Asya was constantly exposed to Jewish music, literature and art, and always felt strongly about her Jewish identity.
Currently Asya lives in Millburn, NJ with her husband Leonid and two children. Asya works as a psychotherapist in her private practice. In her free time, she likes to travel, read, take a walk with her friends, attend theaters, museums, and concerts.
Ilya was born in Saratov region, Russia. Later on, he had studied physics at the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently working in the financial services industry in New York, and is living in Chatham, New Jersey with his wife and two kids.
Vika was born in Leningrad and moved to Israel with her family in 1990. In 1993 she moved to the US. She studied in Russia, Israel, and the US and is now working in the finance industry.
Victoria lives in Livingston, NJ with her husband and their 3 year-old daughter. She enjoys travel, art, music, and being a mom.
Victoria is a mother of four daughters, ages ranging from 20 to 11 years old. She is very passionate about keeping Judaism active in her family and strongly believes that Judaism needs to be passed on to her children and so forth. Victoria’s husband is an American Jew and does not quite understand the Russian Jewish culture and she is very passionate about her heritage and want to pass these values on to her four girls.
Victoria lives in Short Hills, NJ.
Slava was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine andcame to the US in 2004. He received an MBA from Babson College. Slava previously worked in corporate finance andswitched carriers during COVID. He is currently the owner and general manager of a concrete coating company.
Slava resides in Livingston, NJ. He is a proud Jew and a big supporter of Israel.
Lana was born in Minsk, Belarus. In 1989, she immigrated to NY with her parents and grandparents via Austria and Italy. After a 2-year stint in Brooklyn, her parents moved to Michigan where Lana finished school and attended the University of Michigan. Lana returned to NYC for her Ph.D. at NYU and is now a professor at CUNY.
Lana lives in Millburn, NJ with her husband and 2 kids.
Yuliya was born in Dnipro and came to the US as a college student in 1996. She started her career in Finance after getting her MBA from NYU, and a few years later she transitioned to the business transformation space. She is currently at Cigna, focusing on process optimization and automation.
Yuliya is a recent transplant to Livingston, NJ where she lives with her husband Arik, their energetic twin boys Eli and Max (5.5yo), and their firstborn - a doodle.
Yuliya is very excited about her JPA experience and looks forward to learning more about the Jewish heritage and becoming part of a like-minded community.