Mark B. Levin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO

 

Lesley L. Weiss, Deputy Director

 

David S. Shulman, Senior Program Associate

 

Benjamin E. Cohen, Program Associate

 

Demna Devdariani, Research Fellow

 

Ilya Bezruchko, Ukraine Representative

 

 

 

 

 

 

NCSEJ Staff  

She served in 2005 as a Public Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and Intolerance in Cordoba, Spain, and in 2007, to the follow-up Conference on Combating Discrimination and Promoting Mutual Respect and Understanding in Bucharest, Romania. In addition, she has represented NCSEJ at other OSCE meetings, including the 2006 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, the 2010 Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination in Astana, Kazakhstan and the 2014 Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Working Group on Anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union at the 2013 Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism Conference in Jerusalem.  

 

In April 2011, President Obama appointed Ms. Weiss as a Member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. In January 2013, the President designated her as Chair of the Commission.

 

The Commission is charged by law with identifying cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in the Central and Eastern Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens. It also seeks assurances from governments that these cultural properties will be protected and preserved.

 

In April 2013, Ms. Weiss served as a member of a U.S. Presidential Delegation to Poland for the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She was also a member of the U.S. Presidential Delegation to Poland for the opening of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in 2014. Ms. Weiss is a member of the U.S. Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

 

A daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Ms. Weiss accompanied her mother, Irene Weiss to the 70th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 2015 and was with her mother, who was a co-plaintiff in the trial of former SS Sergeant Oskar Groening in May 2015 in Lueneberg Germany.

 

Ms. Weiss is a graduate of the Baltimore Institute for Jewish Communal Service (now the Darrell D. Friedman Institute). She received a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies from American University, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a Master’s Degree in modern Jewish history from the Baltimore Hebrew University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David holds a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in political science from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, a top ten liberal arts college, where he was co-president of the Jewish student association. He participated in Birthright Israel in 2002, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Government at Johns Hopkins University.

 

 

 

 

Ilya Bezruchko is NCSEJ's Ukraine representative on the ground. Ilya is a journalist and blogger based in Kyiv, and travel throughout Ukraine, reporting directly on the well-being of Jewish communities. He maintains contact with Ukraine's government and the diplomatic community, particular the U.S. and Israeli embassies. Ilya Bezruchko has worked at Kyiv's Jewish News One Channel. He is a member of the Union of Progressive Judaism in Ukraine's coordinating council and a leader in the Netzer Youth Movement in Ukraine.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark B. Levin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NCSEJ (former NCSJ) since 1992, is one of the organized Jewish community’s leading experts on national and international political and legislative issues.  

In November 2008, Mr. Levin was the Soviet Jewry Freedom Award recipient at the Boston-based Russian Jewish Community Foundation's annual gala. In September 2008, Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko awarded him the Order of Merit medal in New York City. And, in June 2006, Mr. Levin was honored for 25 years of distinguished service with NCSEJ at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

 

Warsaw, the June 2003 Conference on Anti-Semitism, in Vienna, and the November 1994 Review Meeting, in Budapest. In addition, Mr. Levin has represented NCSEJ at many other OSCE meetings, and served as a Public Advisor for the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE's April 2004 Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism.

 

Mr. Levin is a leader in the organized Jewish community effort to support financial and technical assistance to the former Soviet Union, and has traveled extensively, representing NCSEJ and the Soviet Jewry advocacy movement. In October 1992, Mr. Levin was the Scholar-in-Residence for the UJA Young Leadership Chazak Mission to Russia and Israel. Mr. Levin made his first trip to Russia in 1982, leading a Congressional delegation which met with Soviet officials and Jewish activists. He organized the First International Parliamentary Spouses for Soviet Jews Conference in Washington, DC. Mr. Levin played an instrumental role in the creation of the Congressional Coalition for Soviet Jews – one of the largest Congressional caucuses ever formed. He has also represented NCSEJ at Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1980.

 

In December 1987, as a member of the Summit Task Force, Mr. Levin was a key figure in organizing the Washington Mobilization on behalf of Soviet Jews which brought more than 250,000 people to the nation’s capital. In 2002, he again worked closely with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and other NCSEJ member agencies to organize the massive April 15 National Rally for Israel.

 

From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Levin served as Director of the NCSEJ’s Washington office. He has been a member of the organization’s professional staff since 1980. Prior to coming to NCSJ, he worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Mr. Levin is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

 

 

Mr. Levin has served three times as a Public Member of the U.S. Delegation to meetings of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): the October 2004 Human Dimensions Implementation Meeting, in

Lesley L. Weiss is Deputy Director. She travels frequently to Eurasia and Eastern Europe, where she coordinates democracy initiatives, community education and outreach efforts, and promotes partnerships between American Jewish communities and communities in the region. She monitors compliance by the governments of the region in the areas of free emigration and religious and cultural rights. 

 

Lesley has extensive experience in program development and fundraising, community relations, legislative outreach, hate crimes training, combating anti-Semitism, and Holocaust education. She works closely with the governments and the Jewish communities in the region on the restitution and preservation of Jewish communal property.

 

 

 

David S. Shulman is NCSEJ's Senior Program Officer. He supports the governmental relations work of NCSEJ, tracking legislation, researching and reporting on regional developments, drafting policy documents, and producing publications. He attends Congressional hearings and other briefings, and organizes and staffs events. 

 

David formerly worked as a staff assistant for then-U.S. Representative Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), with legislative responsibilities for defense, veterans affairs, and crime prevention. He has also interned at the Washington offices of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

 

 

Benjamin Cohen is NCSEJ’s Program Associate. He monitors English, Russian, and Ukrainian language media, translates articles and documents, drafts memos, and conducts research for the NCSEJ team. 

 

Prior to joining NCSEJ, Benjamin served as a Fulbright U.S. Student grantee to Ukraine, where he researched Jewish community relations and preservation of local Jewish heritage. He completed a two-month internship under the direction of Russian Studies expert Dr. Leon Aron at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in 2015.

 

Benjamin received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Russian and Eastern European Studies magna cum laude from Pomona College in Claremont, California where he completed senior theses on the European Union Eastern Partnership Policy and the writings of Sholem Aleichem. He is a native of Moorestown, New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

Demna Devdariani is NCSEJ’s Research Fellow from the Atlas Corps. He analyzes, tracks, and researches information disseminated by Russian and Ukrainian media regarding Jewish communities and human rights in general. Demna closely works on Country Reports and primarily focuses on political developments in South Caucasus states. He also attends various hearings and briefings on the subject of human rights and political areas that fall under NCSEJ’s mandate.  

 

Demna formerly worked with the government of Georgia as a Policy Analyst and Researcher. He also has a solid professional background in working with different international organizations based in Georgia as a Lawyer and Legal Officer.

 

Demna holds a Bachelor of Law from the Georgian Technical University and Master Degree in Social Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven and the Ilia State University.