Shvut Ami was founded by former soviet refusenik Shimon
Like many Soviet Jews, he was pained by his ignorance of Judaism, and during his incarceration in Siberia,
vowed to create an organization that would bring Jewish teachings to his Soviet brethren.
After five years behind barbed wire, Grilius arrived in Israel.
There he met Rabbi Eliezer Kugel, a grandson of Rabbi Aryeh Levin. Rabbi Levin had inspired Rabbi Kugel
with the mission of reaching out to Russian arrivals to Israel, to kindle within them the flame of Torah.
Rabbi Grilius and Rabbi Kugel opened Shvut Ami in Yerushalayim, the first Russian yeshiva.
As of today, well over two hundred rabbonim have been trained by Shvut Ami.
They in turn have established Torah education programs.