Roman Polonsky joined The Jewish Agency for Israel after a long career in Russian media and Israeli politics. In 2009 he served as a senior advisor to Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and currently heads The Agency’s Unit for Russian-speaking Jewry (RSJ). As director of the RSJ unit, Polonsky oversees The Agency’s network of summer camps, Israel engagement programs and Aliyah from the FSU and Germany, and informal Jewish education programming in North America, Australia, Germany and the former Soviet Union.
Prior to his engagement with The Jewish Agency, Polonsky worked closely with Sharansky to establish and promote Yisrael BaAliyah, the political party devoted to representing the interests of Israel’s Russian immigrants. He 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.
Polonsky 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, Polonsky 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 political show on Channel 9 (Israeli Russian language TV).