Although he immigrated from Lviv, Ukraine to Chicago when he was just four years old, Ilya Trakhtenberg has never let go of his heritage. He has taken several leadership roles in Chicago's Russian Jewish community since college, from the days of Russian Hillel to what is now JUF's Russian Jewish Division, helping grow connections and community among Russian-speaking Jews.
Most notably, Ilya, along with past 36 Under 36 honoree Alex Turik, co-founded the Russian Jewish Leadership Forum, which serves as a base for RJD. Currently, Ilya serves as the chair of the RJD Advisory Board, overseeing many other passionate Russian-Jewish leaders and volunteers.
Ilya has worked at
for most of the last decade and recently became a principal. He resides in Deerfield with his wife and three daughters.
Principal at L.E.K. Consulting (management consulting)
ON THE SIDE:
Practice yoga, read/write poetry, play tennis, travel, collect antique books
Married (10 years!)
HOW DO YOU GIVE BACK:
Volunteering with JUF. Raising my daughters to have a Jewish identity and to understand the importance of supporting the Jewish community.
SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME:
Despite a very demanding work schedule, I am home almost every night for bedtime to read to my girls (currently "Harry Potter" Book 5!)
A JEW WHO INSPIRES YOU:
My grandfather Semyon, who passed away last year, was an incredible human being who helped raise me. He was a WWII veteran (Soviet paratroops), a brilliant chemist (PhD), and a remarkably modest and loving man who preserved a Jewish identity in a difficult time and place.