Russian Jewish group mourns ex-employee who died in Sinai air crash

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The Jewish student organization Hillel Russia commemorated on its website a former program director from St. Petersburg who reportedly died in an airplane crash in Sinai.

Anna Tishinskaya,27, died Saturday as flight KGL9268, operated by the Russian Kogalymavia airline, crashed in the Sinai peninsula while flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, according to the website of Hillel Russia.

All 224 people on board died in the crash, Egyptian officials said. Radical Islamists claimed on social media they downed the plane, but security experts say a plane flying at 31,000 feet — the altitude at which KGL9268 dropped off the radar — would be beyond the range of a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile, which Sinai militants are known to possess, the BBC reported.

Egyptian authorities are working to retrieve the plane’s black box to determine what caused the crash, in which mostly Russians, many of them tourists, perished.

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Tishinskaya worked at a travel agency after graduating from St. Petersburg State University, where she studied history, according to a report on the Russian-language website She took part in activities of Hillel Russia and the Israeli Culture Center in St. Petersburg, where she was organizing events as late as 2012.

“This is a great shock and a great loss for us,” Hillel Russia wrote in a page in Tishinskaya‘s memory. She “was part of the family” even after finishing her employment for a number of years as program director for Hillel Russia in St. Petersburg.

“Anya, you were incredibly talented, swift, fearless, sincere, kind and bright. You were a truly extraordinary person,” the statement read.

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