Our Team

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Director - Board Member

Diana Lapkis

Diana is an expert in project management and marketing. She has more than seven years of experience in international expansion. Her background in the international banking industry comes from working in this field both in Latvia and Switzerland. She also worked in for large communication companies in Israel – Bezeq and Orange. Diana is the co-founder of an NGO LabākKopā (better together) that pairs up needy children from underprivileged backgrounds with university students who act as their tutors giving personal attention (often sorely lacking) to the children and serving as a role model. She worked and volunteered with different organisations in the field of informal education; was a camp counsellor with the Jewish Agency for Israel and volunteered at the Perach project that pairs up children from underprivileged backgrounds with university students who act as their tutors. For many years Diana was active at Elem working with youth in distress and providing extra-curricular educational help to the youth at risk; she was part of the inter-faith initiative Peace at Home. Diana holds a BA in communications and international relations from the Bar-Ilan University, Israel as well as an MBA from Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration.

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Board Member

Maria Povilaite

Owner of PORTA GROUP (creative agency), Founder of PORTA FILMS (non-profit film studio), Business manager of Valdemāra Pasāža (real estate). Maria Povilaite is a business developer with the professional experience in managing a company through a crisis to improvement and setting up new businesses. A business manager that knows how to build a creative team of professionals and lead them to reach objectives, while enjoying the work process, Maria filled leadership positions in creative, real estate, wholesale, publishing and other industries. She has also produced several artistic projects in fields of academic music, film and education.

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Board Member

Olga Kotova

Olga holds a MSc in Economics. Her successful Business Development experience of over 20 years stretches across a value chain from Manufacturing, to FMCG, Wholesale and Retail, leading multinational projects in Europe and Scandinavia. Currently Olga is an owner and CEO of Baltic Commercial Aviation Training company that specializes in professional pilot training and aviation consulting for clients in EU and Asian countries. Olga is also highly valued as a motivational speaker at multinational corporate events and conferences, where she shares her business leader insights through a prism of personal extreme expeditions and mountain climbing.

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Julia Reider

Project coordinator

Bachelor of Management (RISEBA), Master of Law & Finance (RGSL). More than 10 years of experience in project management and more than 6 years of executive assistance to CEO of teh Group of companies. Experience in IT and e-commerce in Latvia, the UK and in the USA. Journalist, editor of Luxury Real Estate magazine. Entrepreneur in the sphere of tourism and health products. At the moment main activities associated with the development of startup projects in the field of real estate and IT. The founder of the charitable organization You and Me Charity, which since 2013 congratulates the children from orhphans with Birthdays. Will pay attention to project activities planning, responsibilities, budgeting, project presentation, teaser or other marketing materials texts editing.

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Vladislava Vovchenko

Social Entrepreneurship Projects Coordinator, “Hamama”.

Vladislava graduated from Shimon Dubnov Riga Jewish High School. At the moment she is studying at Riga Technical University under the professional bachelor’s programme Total Quality Management. She is an administrator in the social innovation programme New Do(o)r Riga and also an administrator and group leader in the professional community for education and culture Migrash.

Apart from studying and working, she has been a dancer for over 10 years. In addition, she takes part in the musical of the theatre AbaZhur.

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Anna Zharova

Lector & international expert

The expert from Israel in the field of social entrepreneurship and development of network projects. The main field of competence – social businesses and volunteer initiatives. At the moment Anna is a director of grant competition “Best Practices,” which is responsible for the overall development of the networking community initiatives in the CIS countries, and co-founder of NGO Israeli Friends of Ukraine.°
Participation: 2013-2016

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Michael Bogomolny

Initiator of the project in the Baltic States

Michael Bogomolny, originally from Russia, is an architect and an educator. Michael has a degree (B.Arch) in Architecture and Urban Design from Jerusalem Academy of Art and Design ‘Bezalel and received his Master in Architecture and Urban Planning from Technion. He is also an alumnus of the research programme at the Pratt Institute in New York. The research themes he develops are Identity, Memory, The Exploration and Monitoring of Processes of Change and Meaningful Daily Practices of City Dwellers. The area of his professional interest is creating educational spaces.

Michael has been for many years a director of informal education in JAFI. He is the founder of Milhauz Institute of Education, Art, and Identity. Michael is the originator of Urban Studio Summer School – the interdisciplinary platform for collaboration of architects, urban developers, sociologists and representatives of other fields concerned with creation and development of urban environment today. Michael is the co-author of the Hamama programe which supports Jewish communities and has been implemented by the Jewish Agency since 2006, as well as a series of interdisciplinary programs in the area of social entrepreneurship, pedagogy of creativity and art.
Participation: 2013-2016

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Eliezer Lesovoy (New Door 2013-2015)

Educational Director, JAFI

Eliezer was Born in Kiev in 1976, has been living in Israel since 2004. Translator, journalist and lecturer in the field of Jewish history, Jewish literature and tradition. At present, Eliezer is the educational director of the Russian-Speaking Jewry Unit of the Jewish Agency, also is in charge for student initiatives in the FSU (Hamama Incubator). The member of Limmud Programming Committee in Israel and one of the founders of Midrasha Tzionit educational network.

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Yael Falko (Gerchikov) (New Door 2013-2015)

New Do(o)r Riga program curator

Yael’s professional background focuses on strategic planning, public relations and project management in the international non-profit arena, leading various educational, social and cultural projects in Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Latvia. Yael lived, studied and worked in Israel, USA, Russia and Thailand, and volunteered in different organizations, as well as in Kenya – teaching English and world history in underprivileged schools and orphanages. In addition to project management Yael is an interpreter, translator and copywriter of three languages – Hebrew, Russian and English.

Yael took a big part in the foundation and strategic management of New Door Riga, traveling to Riga every couple of months to get the program going; one of the main tasks was to engage local support, thus creating an ecosystem for this project to grow in. Yael also represented New Door Riga in an international entrepreneurship forum in Budapest, Hungary.

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Daniel Freidlin (New Door 2014-2015)

Director of Business Development and Programs

Daniel is the Director of Business Development and Programmes and is an active member of the social and social-business entrepreneurship community. Alongside his Bachelor’s degree in Communal Social Work at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he was one of the founders of the Osim Shinui movement (social workers for a change in the government’s priorities) and Salon Shabazi, a community centre in Nachlaot, Jerusalem. Daniel also worked in lobbying and marketing for a variety of social organisations. He served in the IDF as part of a Garin Nachal of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement.

Daniel has been living in Jerusalem for the past seven years; actively participates in cross-sector social and cultural projects and in formation of new communities. At present, he is a graduate student at the Business School of the Hebrew University focusing on organisational behaviour.