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Ruben Shimonov

Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network
Executive Director and Co-founder
New York, New York
Born in Uzbekistan, raised in Seattle, and currently based in New York City, Ruben Shimonov is a Jewish educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur focusing on Jewish diversity and pluralism. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement & Education at Queens College Hillel. Currently, Ruben is the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network—a grassroots movement building a supportive and vibrant community for an often-overlooked segment of the Jewish world: LGBTQ+ Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. The organization works to create a dynamic and much-needed communal platform for the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Sephardic-Mizrahi life—a platform that uplifts and celebrates the full, multilayered identities of queer Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews. He also serves as Vice-President of Education & Community Engagement on the Young Leadership Board of the American Sephardi Federation, as well as Director of Educational Experiences & Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. In 2018, Ruben was listed among The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” young Jewish community leaders and changemakers. Ruben has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of various Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. Among his speaking engagements, Ruben has been invited to present at Limmud Seattle, Limmud NY and Limmud Festival in the U.K. He is also an alumnus of the COJECO Blueprint and Nahum Goldmann Fellowships for his work in Jewish social innovation.