is a non-profit organization dedicated to educational outreach to the Jews of Russian background. Our mission is to strengthen Jewish tradition and Jewish roots among Jews of Russian decent.
Seventy years of communist regime have stripped Jews of Russia of their cultural identity. As a result, most of the Jewish families that emigrated from Russia in the last 30 years are completely disenfranchised from the Jewish community at large, conducting their lives devoid even of basic Jewish practices, having neither communal representation nor viable grass-roots leadership. Simxa Company founders clearly understand the cultural crisis that surrounds and permeates Russian Jewish community of Los Angeles as well as other cities of California and the United States. We believe that what is required to mitigate this cultural crisis is a grass-roots approach. People helping people... It is not a military parade. What we do is connecting with each Jew or a Jewish familiy at a time, making connections with people year after year, introducing the light of Torah and Jewish tradition into their lives.
SimXa Company, Inc
was conceived in 1996 by Moshe and Esther Davidoff and was inspired by Rabbi Shimon Grilus, our guest speaker from the Shvut Ami Jerusalem Yeshiva for Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants. Our vision has been to help Jewish Russian immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as well as their children, come back to their Jewish roots. Finding our heritage and our rich Jewish tradition that we ourselves were robbed of, growing up within the rigid anti-Semite Soviet regime, is a beautiful voyage for us and we are happy to share it with our Jewish brethren.
we believe, is the key to rediscovering our roots and embracing our beautiful mesorah (tradition), and can and should be made available to Jews of any age and background. However, it is the in-depth Torah learning and scrupulous adherence to observance of mitzvos, that has been the key and the secret to our survival as a nation throughout generations, even under the most difficult conditions imaginable. Both, holding MBA degrees from Babson College of Wellesley, MA, Esther and Moshe had a vision to create and build up this organization, where every Russian Jew would feel welcome and comfortable and encouraged to progress in his or her own learning. Throughout the years, based on our seminars and learning activities, young men and ladies have been compelled to explore deeper learning opportunities in pursuit of Torah study and observance of mitzvos, and thus many of our students have been placed and spent years learning in seminaries (such as Neve, Yerushalayim) and yeshivas (such as Shvut Ami, Ohr Sameach, Aish HaTorah, and others) in Israel.
Additionally, having attended a local yeshiva for many years and having taken classes in Gemorah and Halocha, Moshe has been sharing his knowledge with the community at large through our many annual events, classes and Shabbatons. Esther, having gotten her seminary education at Maalot, Los Angeles, went on to receive an Early Childhood Education Certificate and holds a Site Supervisor Permit in Child Development. This has enabled her to recently open a Jewish Preschool for children from Russian-speaking families. This preschool, called Gan SimXa, is where our littlest talmidim embrace our beautiful Mesorah and Jewish values in a loving Torah atmosphere through music, songs, arts, movement, and other creative activities. Throughout our history of the past 16 years, we have offered a variety of classes, lectures, teleconferences, satellite learning groups, and of course, what has become the staple of our program, the Annual SimXa Shabbaton.
We started out
by holding classes in our home and in local synagogues and community centers, such as the Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Center and later incorporated into our program the get-away weekends at various Southern California resorts, hotels, and conference centers. In year 2000 SimXa Company, Inc was incorporated and applied for a non-profit status with the IRS. At first we were granted a temporary 501(c)(3) standing, and in 2005 upon a rigorous review of our support organization, donations, and events we had received a permanent non-profit status standing.
Over the years
our organization has hosted hundreds of young Jewish singles and families with various educational events, which included a multitude of guest lecturers and speakers. We have had the honor of hosting many special visitors from New York, Chicago, Israel, and other places around the globe, as well as many guests from our local resourceful community. Some of our special guests and keynote speakers have included Rabbi Shimon Grilus, Rabbi Moshe Pantelyat, Rabbi Eliahu Essas, Rabbi Aryeh Katzin, Rabbi Levy Gdalevich, Rabbi Mordechai Dubin, Rabbi Michoel Gitik, Rabbi Tzvi Patlas, Rabbi Reuven Wolf, Rabbi Ezriel Tauber, Rabbi Motti Berger, Rabbi Shlomo Gottesman, Rabbi Aryeh Levitan, Rabbi Asher Brander, Rabbi Asher Kushnir, Rabbi Eli Stern, Rabbi Berl Zaltsman, Rabbi Sholom Rodal, Rabbi Ben Tzion Zilber, Mrs. Carmella Raiz, Mrs. Bella Gottesman, Mrs. Rika Gdalevich, Mrs. Suri Kest, Mrs. Katya Kapelnikova, and Mrs. Batya Brander. Countless Russian Jews of all ages and walks of life bonded and experienced true spiritual growth through these enriching encounters. Our annual (and some years bi-annual) Shabbaton has grown in attendance in the past 12 years from 60 to almost 300 participants. Our retreats, having gotten a great reputation nation-wide, have been attended not only by members of our local community, but also by visitors from Orange County, San Diego, San Fernando Valley, Monterey, South Bay Area, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, and even cities as far away from us as Chicago, Baltimore, and New York.
Our many success stories
include families that have come to us over the years with virtually no knowledge of what being Jewish is all about, and who currently not only lead a fully Torah observant life, but also have children learning in Jewish elementary schools, high schools, yeshivas, and seminaries around the world.
SimXa Board members
have recently spun off more activity in bringing Russian Jews of Los Angeles closer to their roots. We have been facilitating the application process and acceptance of a few of our local graduates to study at various learning institutions in Eretz Yisrael. As our vision grows beyond Los Angeles, we envision promoting development of spiritual identity growth among our fellow Russian immigrants and their children well beyond the boundaries of what the current Western culture can offer. We are gearing up for bringing small groups of local Jewish Russian singles and young families on educational tours of Israel with the goal of having them pursue learning in Israeli yeshivas and seminaries, such as Shvut Ami and Neve, Yerushalayim.
is simple and direct. We have no payroll expense and are operated strictly by the board members and community volunteers. 100% of donations, contributions, and grants go to work for the benefit of our outreach educational programs. Any family is welcome to participate in organizing events and learning opportunities in their respective communities as well as reaching across local communities. Our annual Shabbatons have attracted a number of families that have become an integral link in SimXa’s grass-roots outreach. Children’s programs, registration, and logistical support are just some of the functions that are handled by volunteer families. We always welcome your initiative to become part of the Simxa organization.
CEO and SimXa Co-Founder
Director, Development, Trustee
President SimXa Co-Founder
Site Supervisor at Gan SimXa Preschool.
Dr. Eliza Ladyzhensky
Secretary and SimXa Co-Founder
Rabbinical Advisory Board:
Rabbi Chaim Citron, Congr. Ahavas Yisrael
Rabbi Yakov Krause, Congr. Young Israel of Hancock Park
Rabbi Nachum Sauer, YOLA
Rabbi Elchonon Tauber, Congr. Bais Yehuda
Rabbi Shimon Grilius
Rabbi Feivel Smiles
Rabbi Mordechai Yaroslawitz
Tzippy Kin, Director
Bais Yakov Student Volunteers Program
Mrs Dena Wolmark