Meet the Team
Max and Irina were born in Kiev and moved to Chicago in their early teens. They share a passion for Jewish history, pro-Israeli causes and the Russian Jewish community. Max has an MBA from the University of Chicago and is Principal of Pritok Capital. Irina was Hillel President at Loyola University and now works closely with Max at Pritok. Irina is also an experienced matchmaker on sawyouatstsinai.com. Max and Irina founded J-Life in 2005, after being founders and acitivitsts in a number of Jewish communal organizations, and provide the vision and logistics for J-Life.
Daniel is the Director of the DEEP (Developing Excellence in Educational Practice) High School District of the Chicago Jewish community schools. Dan holds Masters in Mathematics and Educational Leadership. Anya is a Senior Web Designer with a BFA from UIC. The Alkhovskys have been dedicated J-Life volunteers from its very inception; staffing Israel trips, hosting Shabbat and holiday meals and connecting with J-Lifers.
Rabbi Yaakov & Shira are J-Life Directors. Rabbi Frankiel (pronounced Frank-ELL) hails from California and came to Chicago for the weather :-) . Shira is Chicago born but grew up in Israel. They juggle three passions of his life: their awesome family; debating Jewish stuff; and a great social scene. They bring 10 years of community-building experience from work in Israel, Ohio, and Chicago. They'd love to have you over for a Shabbos meal!
MAX AND IRINA STESEL
DANIEL & ANYA ALKHOVKSY
rabbi YAAKOV & SHIRA FRANKIEL - Directors
Born in Volgograd, Russia, Rabbi Zaslavsky made Aliyah at 13 years old. Aryeh has studied at some of the world's top yeshivas and kollels in Israel and abroad. Alongside his studies, he trained and competed in krav maga. He teaches at the Yeshiva Touray Zaav and the Internet program Beerot Isaac in addition to serving as an outreach liaison for J-life.
ALIZA ROSENBAUM is a celebrated educator in Chicago, having one awards for her dedication to her students and creativity and clarity in the classroom. She brings all of that and more to J-Life as she coordinates events, hosts guests, and, as often as she can, imparts deep Jewish messages to her J-Life woman's group.
rabbi Aryeh Zaslavsky