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For the week ending 11 January 2014 / 10 Shevat 5774

High-Yield Spiritual Investments

by Daniel Keebler
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Ilya Ishayev

UCLA – Major: Economics
Financial Consultant
JLE Alumnus

Accomplished, determined, and inspired – a fiery combination of traits makes Ilya Ishayev, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, a dazzling JLE alumnus. Far from any Jewish education, Ilya attended public school in L.A. his whole life until he came to UCLA for his major in economics. During breaks between classes, Ilya finally got to discuss Judaism with Ohr Somayach alumnus Rabbi Jacob Rupp.

Amidst discussions with Rabbi Rupp and full-time university studies, Ilya also worked full-time at a bank. He quickly rose from the starting position as a bank teller to become a Registered Personal Banker who discussed funds with clients. Ilya now works as a financial consultant and is aiming for a Master’s degree and title as Certified Financial Planner.

Since his inspiring trip with JLE, Ilya has formulated a spiritual plan of his own: Prayers every morning with tefillin (received as a gift on JLE), beginning to keep Shabbat, attending the JLE Shabbaton in Lakewood, meeting with his JLE Mentor, and a determination to one day send his children to Jewish schools. When asked to put a dollar value on his JLE trip, Ilya said the trip is “a little seed planted in me…How can you put a price on a seed? It’s going to grow into a whole tree that has fruits!”

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