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)