For many decades, Jews from the countries of the former USSR, who make up more than 10% of the Jewish community in the United States, were underrepresented among its leaders, but in recent years the situation has begun to change. So, a few months ago, 39-year-old Igor Alterman became the new president and executive director of the Jewish Federation of Dallas.
Alterman was born and raised in Bryansk (Russia), graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Judaica. While studying at the university, Igor participated in the activities of the Jewish youth organization "Hillel".
In 2005, Igor studied in Israel under the MASA program, studying Hebrew and Jewish literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 2007, Alterman began his studies at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, and received a second degree in nonprofit management in New York (USA). For several years, Igor Alterman worked in the international Jewish organization Hillel, at Cornell University, and then headed the departments of this organization at Ithaca College and the University of Miami.
Igor Alterman is not the first director of the Jewish Federation to represent communities of immigrants from the countries of the former USSR. Ana Sazonov has been the head of the Columbia Jewish Federation in South Carolina for about two years.
Ana was born in Ukraine and grew up in a family where her father's Jewish origin was hidden. After the collapse of the USSR, Ana's family repatriated to Israel. While serving in the army, Ana participated in the Nativ program to strengthen Jewish and Israeli identity. This program helped her discover her Jewish identity and connection to Israel, find a sense of belonging, and join the Jewish people by converting.
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Ana received her bachelor's degree from the Academic Center. Ruppin in Israel and continued her education at Emory University. During her studies, Ana founded a Russian-speaking Jewish community in Atlanta. This work led her to Brandeis University, where she received her second degree in business and leadership.
Jewish Professional Leadership Program, Master's Degree in Jewish Professional Leadership. At the height of the war in Ukraine, Ana helped Ukrainian refugees as a member of a volunteer mission organized by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).
“The appointment of Igor Alterman is another example of how Russian-speaking professionals are gaining recognition in the North American Jewish community. For the last 10 years, Igor has been involved in the development of the Jewish community in Russia and the USA, having accumulated unique experience and knowledge. Igor Alterman represents a new and new generation: creative, purposeful and applying the knowledge and traditions of the Russian-speaking Jewish community in new realities,” said Olga Markus, director of programs for working with Russian-speaking Jews Jewish Federations of North America.
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