Our Melbourne Team of Volunteers
Anna Maylis
Limmud FSU Australia Project Manager
Anna was born in Ukraine in 1973, moved to Israel at 17, and then to Sydney 25 years ago. After more than 20 years of teaching Hebrew at Sydney schools, Anna followed her passion for acting and opened a theatre for young stars, called "JeSTAR".

In 2015, she became the Director of Kangarusski – Sydney's Russian-speaking Jewish community organisation, and later became a Project Manager of Limmud FSU Aust. Anna believes that Limmud FSU is an exciting and unique opportunity for the Russian speaking community to meet amazing local and international presenters, learn from the world known intellectuals and professionals and celebrate the fascinating history and heritage of Jewish people from Former Soviet Union.

Anna is passionately involved in community life and truly believes that love, knowledge and a good sense of humour will save the world.
Ilan Maylis
Member of Limmud Committee
Ilan was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine and at the age of 10, moved to Israel with his family. Growing up as a Russian – Israeli, his constant exposure to two different cultures was inexplicably unique. Combination of Soviet films, mayonnaise-based salads and hummus on the same plate, Jewish humour, Israeli hutzpa, - all mixed together, formed a big part of his identity.
Five years ago, Ilan moved to Australia, so let's add to this mix a Vegemite flavour!
In Israel, Ilan joined the IDF and served in the Givati Brigade. Obtained his B.A. degree in Industrial Engineering, MBA majoring in Finance and currently works as a Sales Director in the Security and Defence industry.
During his free time, Ilan practices Judo, enjoys hiking or chilling at the beach with his family.
After his first Limmud FSU experience in 2015, he became a Limmud volunteer, and later joined the Organizing Committee.
For Ilan Limmud FSU is the manifestation of cultural diversity. Despite the fact that most participants of the festival are coming from a similar background, each person brings their own unique stories, opinions, and experience, which makes this festival so alive and something to look forward to.

Irina Maylis
Member of Limmud Committee
Irina was born and raised in Russia, at the age of 10 she began attending Jewish school and received her education within Jewish traditions, culture and history of Jewish people, which later led to her moving to Israel with Naale Youth movement when she was 15.
Irina served as a sergeant and was responsible for reservists recruits in the IDF. She graduated from Ben Gurion University, holds B.A. in Human Resources and MBA specialising in Human Resources and Organisational Consultancy.
In Australia Irina discovered Limmud FSU, and after her first Limmud FSU experience in 2015, she became a Limmud volunteer and later joined the Organizing Committee.
Irina believes that Limmud FSU is a great platform for Russian Jewish communities to learn and come together for a joyful learning experience. Limmud FSU provides participants with an amazing opportunity to expand their knowledge, meet intelligent and ambitious individuals, and connect with their Russian - Jewish community.
Keren Gengut-Mushinski
Member of Limmud Committee
Keren is a Hebrew teacher at The King David School, in Armadale Melbourne. She has been teaching at the school for many years and recently decided to expand the repertoire to other areas, such as Learning Support and Humanities. Keren is very passionate about teaching and she really enjoys working with children and adolescents.
Kere began her journey in Australia in 2010, arriving with her husband and four-year-old daughter from Israel. This journey had its difficulties, especially when she was a Master's student at Deakin University and had to juggle work and family. Nevertheless, Keren immediately fell in love with Melbourne and it became the city of her heart.

Marina Prostakova
Member of Limmud Committee
Marina was born in Ukraine. After graduation from Latvian State University, she has become a secondary school teacher.
In 1992, Marina and her family migrated to Melbourne.
After graduation from the Diploma of education in Melbourne University, she focused on educational institutions where she gained experience for over 20 years in teaching, non-teaching and management roles in both government and private sectors.
Most of the rewarding Marina's positions to date have been, being the Principal of Lider Russian Sunday School. For the last 12 years she has operated a rapidly growing ethnic School which focused on providing a fun and educational experience to over 150 students aged from 4 to 16 years of age.
Maria Gelvan
Member of Limmud Committee
Maria is a big believer in Tikkun Olam, and that volunteering can enhance the quality of life and ensure psychological and social fulfilment.
Maria is a public health specialist currently working in aged care. You can find her exploring natural parks, hanging out with friends, or cooking in her free time. While Maria is still new to Australia, she is very excited to be a part of the developing Russian-Speaking Jewish community.
Maria participated in Limmud FSU in Israel, Russia. When she learned about Limmud FSU Australia, she eagerly joined the team.
Maria believes that Limmud is a place to be if you wish to meet like-minded people who think out of scope and if you believe in the importance of Jewish traditions alongside ever-changing reality. Maria thinks that Limmud is a delightful and memorable event, and she invites everyone to give it a go.

Luiza Levenfus
Events and Logistics Manager
Luiza was born in the Former Soviet Union (Baku, Azerbaijan). At the age of 11 her family moved to Israel where she lived for 6 years. In 1996 Luiza moved to Australia and made it her home.
Luiza holds a Master's Degree in Human Resources and over the last ten years worked for the Victorian State Government where she held senior roles heading projects and leading teams through policy development and change initiatives.
Luiza's recent role was Diversity and Inclusion practitioner, where she was involved in developing an environment where people from all walks of life felt included. This work enhanced her desire in celebrating diversity and establishing her own events business - Roze Gold Events.
Luiza loves seeing joy and happiness on people's faces and loves knowing that she played a role in creating that happiness. She loves seeing people celebrate the beautiful life milestones they have reached.
Whether it's a wedding, an engagement, bar or bat mitzvah or any other important event, Louza is bringing individuality and uniqueness in celebrating it in inclusive way!
Luiza is very excited to represent the events and logistics team at Limmud FSU 2021! She is looking forward to meeting new people and expanding her network.

Lucy Zoubkova
Member of Limmud Committee
Люся приехала в Мельбурн в 1989 году и сразу занялась общественной деятельностью. Тогда была организована ассоциация Шалом и там она начала с выпуска ежемесячного бюллетеня, где освещались текущие дела организации, а также наши усилия по воссоединению семей в связи с усиливающимися проявлениями антисемитизма в бывшем Советском Союзе. Люся была секретарём и одновременно начала организовывать музыкально-литературные вечера, а потом и спектакли на еврейские темы.
Когда был организован Всемирный Форум русскоязычного еврейства, мельбурнские активисты создали Австралийский Форум в комитете которого Люся стала секретарём и как и раньше организовывала вечера.
Совместно с JCCV (Jewish Community Council of Victoria) Люся принимала участие в организации вечера, посвящённого трагедии Бабьего Яра, встречи с Рутой Ванагайте, известной далеко за пределами своей родины Литвы смелым разоблачением участия литовцев в гибели евреев во время Второй мировой войны. В содружестве с организацией Субботник участвовала в еврейских праздниках и других мероприятиях, которые устраивались для русскоязычной еврейской общины. Люся ведёт Фейсбук страницу Австралийского Форума.
Люся была в комитете Лиммуда, прошедшего впервые в Мельбурне в 2015 году.
Nadya Rizvash
Member of Limmud Committee
Nadya was born in Ukraine, migrated to Israel at age 14 without parents, got her Engineering Degree, served the army as an officer for 7 years, and then continued working as a Construction Project Manager for a few years in the private sector. Last year, finally decided to move to Australia to broaden her cultural exposure and enjoy nature.
Nadya believes that life is a journey, and we can make it more colourful by meeting other individuals and get exposed to other cultures and places. She enjoys meeting other people and learn about their traditions, national cuisines and stories.
It is always important to Nadya to stay with the Jewish community, and she always enjoys seeing different opinions and interpretations on religion.
Nadya is proud to be a part of the Jewish community that always helps other members and taking care of those in need.
Helen Snitkovsky
Member of Limmud Committee
Helen was born in Ukraine and moved to Israel when she was 17. She graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from Ben-Gurion University and pursued a successful IT career afterwards. She later moved to Australia with her family. Helen is an IT professional who loves growing communities and believes in peer-to-peer mentoring as the best way for individual and professional development. She holds a number of Board and Committee roles, such as Mensa committee member, PMI mentoring member, and more. Helen is passionate about Limmud and believes it provides a unique opportunity to preserve the Russian Jewish culture mix.
Alya Peress
Member of Limmud Committee
Alya was born in Belarus in 1982 and made Aliyah to Israel with her family in 1991. For most of her adolescent life, she spent in Israel.
Alya served in the IDF and acquired a B.A. in Nursing from Tel-Aviv University and M.A in Health Administration from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She is married and has two kids. Her family decided to move to Melbourne, Australia, in 2015.
Alya works as a Registered Nurse in one of the biggest hospitals in Victoria and helps her husband with his new business initiative.
Anna Gontmakher
Anna was born in the former Soviet Union (Russian Federation, Ussuriysk). After graduating from high school in 1993, Anna moved to Israel alone and then to Melbourne in 2008 where she has been living ever since. Anna has a successful career in education, specialising in International Business and Trade. Anna is an extrovert and people person with excellent communication skills. She enjoys and proud to be an active member of Jewish community.

Anna joined our team this year and she is very excited about Limmud FSU. She acknowledges the importance of Limmud FSU as a unique way of preserving Russian Jewish Israeli cultures and reminder of Jewish heritage.