DAVAI! is an outreach nonprofit organization that aims to create various educational and social opportunities for Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals residing in the Greater Philadelphia area. Its major aims are to build up the Russian Jewish community, enhance Jewish self-identity within our participants, bridge the gap between the Russian-American and the greater American Jewry, help participants develop leadership skill, engage participants in volunteer service and promote the importance of Israel among others.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dima immigrated to Buffalo, NY with his family at the tender age of 12. Upon graduating high school, Dima moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in Computer Science at Drexel University. Being a part of the Russian Jewish Philadelphia community, Dima is actively engaging young Russian-speaking professionals in various Jewish social and educational activities with aims to enhance Jewish awareness and self-identity.
Press: Millions Approved for Jewish Programs
Update from Dima: DAVAI received a $20,000 grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to pilot it's new program, the Hatikvah Fellowship. Participants of the Fellowship will gather for 2 weekend retreats and 8 monthly sessions. Topics will include “Russian Jews Then And Now”, “Current Trends in Global Jewish Community” and “Jewish Pluralism Today: The Era of Multiple Jewish Identities”. In addition, participants will develop a project or program for the Russian community and implement it, with microgrants of up to $1,000 and a mentor assigned to each participant. DAVAI has also launched a new initiative, "Mazel Tov", a subgroup for young families run by a committee of four volunteers. This summer, in collaboration with another Tribe 12 Fellow, Danielle Selber, DAVAI hosted a shorehouse weekend for over 30 Russian-speaking Jewish young professionals.