With a heavy heart, we’re writing to share the sad news that Ilia Salita passed away on June 29, from cancer.

Ilia was a dear friend, colleague, mentor and leader, especially in these challenging times. We will feel his loss profoundly. He left an indelible mark on our organization, those who knew and loved him, and on the Jewish people.

After graduating from Moscow State University, Ilia started his career in academia before moving into philanthropy, ultimately serving as president and CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group, where he led a significant and highly regarded expansion of the foundation’s work. His leadership touched the lives of countless people across three continents, inspiring the young and supporting the most vulnerable among us.

Ilia is survived by his wife, Irina, his two sons, Joshua and Robert and his father, Mikhail.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jewish Studies Department at Moscow State University (MSU). Ilia was an alumnus of MSU and took great pride in the fact that his alma mater in Moscow now has a Jewish Studies Department. The Jewish Funders Network is coordinating this memorial fund. Checks should be made payable to Jewish Funders Network, with a memo saying “Ilia Salita Memorial Fund.” The mailing address is: 

Jewish Funders Network
150 W. 30th Street, Suite 900 
NY, NY 10001  

If someone prefers to donate by credit card, please follow the link

Those of us who were fortunate enough to count him as a friend mourn the enormity of his loss, even as we reflect on the scope of his contributions to the world through the relationships he nurtured, as well as the passion he showed in his life and for his life’s work. 

May his memory be for a blessing and may his family and loved ones be comforted among the mourners of Jerusalem and Zion.


Gennady Gazin
Chairman of the Board
Genesis Philanthropy Group