BGI Senior Commencement Speech


Julian Olidort delivers the commencement speech. 

I believe there are only a handful of people in this audience who remember the foundations of the BGI program at Brandeis, just over two years ago.

It started out with a brainstorming session hosted by Dan Terris. (Free pizza was provided, of course).  

From that summer until now, the institute, along with it's programming, fellowship, and recognition on this campus have grown tremendously through our dedication.   ...Read More

BGI Graduation Ceremony

The first ever BGI graduation ceremony took place on May 13th 2011. Graduation ceremony is not unlike ship setting sail - congratulatory speeches, atmosphere of a celebration. First graduation, just like the first sail of the boat, becomes an indication of its successful performance in the future. Graduates of the Institute are an excellent testament to its strength.

All graduates have different specialties: there are future doctors and lawyers, financial analysts and artists, marketing specialists and social workers. However, 9 first graduates (6 are undergraduates and 3 graduate students) are all united by one thing: they are all real leaders and advocates of the Russian Jewish community.

The importance of the first graduation ceremony can also be denoted by the presence of the newly elected President of the Brandeis University, Frederick Lawrence, as well as of the CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, North America - Ilia Salita. President Lawrence emphasized the fact that the sense of belonging, and a sense of "us" is a moving force of the Global Jewish Peoplehood and that involvement of the Russian Jewish community is a pertinent factor in the achievement of the global "us". This sense of belonging will be instrumental for the BGI graduates as they build up the history and the future of our community.

A commencement ceremony is not the end of the journey - it is only the beginning of graduates' future sails.

BGI Class 2011


Left to right. Ilia Salita, Executive Director, Genesis Philanthropy Group, Helen Shapiro ‘11, Eli (Avraham) Tukachinsky ‘11, Diana Aronin ‘11, Julia Rabkin ‘11, President Frederick Lawrence, Vlad Lukashevsky ‘11, Dmitry Levin '11 (MA/MBA), Victor Vitkin, BGI Executive Director, Vladislav Judah Khaykin '11 (MA/MA), Julian Olidort ‘11, Daniel Terris, Vice President for Global Affairs.

BGI Fellows

group photo

Left to right. Misha Gurevich ‘13, Helen Shapiro ‘11, Eli (Avraham) Tukachinsky ‘11, Karina Gaft ‘14, Julia Livit ‘13, Julia Rabkin ‘11, Vlad Lukashevsky ‘11, Freddy Rozenshteyn ‘13, Annie Livit ‘13, Victor Zhivich ‘13, Lev Gorfinkel ‘13, Esther Tandetnik ‘13, Danny Shpolyanksy '14, Dina Kapengut ‘14, Dan Koch ‘13, Julian Olidort ‘11.