Roman Polonsky
Regional Director for the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Germany The Jewish Agency for Israel

Roman Polonsky joined The Jewish Agency for Israel after a long and storied career in

Russian media and Israeli politics. In 2009 he served as a senior advisor to then-Agency

Chairman Natan Sharansky and was the head of The Agency’s Unit for Russian-Speaking

Jewry (RSJ) for many years before becoming the Regional Director for the Former Soviet

Union (FSU), Eastern Europe and Germany.

In his current position, Roman is responsible for overseeing Aliyah from the region, as well

as camps and other informal Jewish education programs, Sunday schools, Hebrew studies,

young leadership programs, and enrollment in Masa Israel Journey and Taglit-Birthright.

Prior to his engagement with The Jewish Agency, Roman worked closely with Natan

Sharansky to establish and promote Yisrael BaAliyah, the political party devoted to

representing the interests of Israel’s Russian immigrants. Later, Roman served as senior

media advisor and spokesman for Sharansky throughout Sharansky’s tenures as Minister

of Housing and Construction, Minister of Industry and Trade and as a Chief of Staff for

Interior Minister and Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs. He translated Sharansky’s

two books – “The Case for Democracy” and “Defending Identity” into Russian.

Roman is a graduate of Kishinev State Academy in Moldova and the State Academy

of St. Petersburg. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and Stage Direction, and

is an accomplished pianist. After emigrating to Israel in 1990, Roman headed the

news operations at Vremya, the Israeli Russian-language weekly, worked as a political

commentator for the Russian daily Vesti, and later as a political analyst for Israel’s leading

radio station, Kol Yisrael— the Voice of Israel. He also served as a host of a political show

on Channel 9 (Israeli Russian language TV)