(JTA) — Ilia Salita was appointed the new CEO of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which funds Jewish identity-building efforts for Russian-speaking Jews around the world.
The Genesis Philanthropy Group is a consortium launched by wealthy Jewish businessmen from the former Soviet Union, including Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and German Khan.
“We are confident that Genesis Philanthropy Group’s management team under the leadership of Ilia Salita will expand and deepen the organization’s impact on Russian-speaking Jewish communities around the world,” Fridman, co-founder of Genesis Philanthropy Group, said in a statement released Thursday.
Salita is currently the organization’s North American executive director. He replaces co-founder Stan Polovets, who has served as the group’s CEO since its founding seven years ago.
“I look forward to working with our exceptional team, our partners, our grantees and our constituency – the multilingual and multicultural Russian-Jewish community around the world – in ensuring that this community is an integral part of the wider Jewish landscape and a vibrant contributor to a successful and innovative Jewish future,” Salita said.
In 2012, the Genesis Philanthropy Group started the Genesis Prize Foundation, a separate entity that awards an annual $1 million prize to an inspiring Jewish individual. Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire, accpeted the inaugural Genesis Prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem earlier this year.
Polovets will continue to serve as the prize foundation’s chairman and CEO and will oversee a number of new initiatives for the prize, planned together with Bloomberg Philanthropies.