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The event, initiated by Limmud FSU and “March of the Living,” marked the 90th birthday of Elie Wiesel in Sighet, Romania
Limmud FSU Australia
More than 250 participants gathered for the annual event in Sydney with more than 70 different activities
I S S U E 3 , OCTOB ER 2 0 1 8
Several volunteers day studies, with generous support of the Covenant Foundation, took place in New York and San Francisco
LIMMUD FSU AUSTRALIA 2018 EVENT IN SYDNEY
WEST COAST PREPARATORY SEMINAR
WIESEL’S 90TH BIRTHDAY IN SIGHET
GETTING READY FOR EU ROPE
PREPARATIO NS FOR BEL ARU S
ELIE WIESEL 90TH BIRTHDAY AT HIS HOMETOWN The event was initiated by Limmud FSU and March of the Living
ust two months after anti-Semitic graffiti were daubed on the walls of the Wiesel family home in Sighet, which is now a museum to Holocaust Remembrance, a special event in support of the local community’s war against anti-Semitism and violence was held on October 4, during which a multi-faith dialogue was held with the participation of members of the three religious communities of Romania. At the event, awards were made by the organizing bodies, the Jewish community of Sighet, and the Federation of the Jews of Romania, to the Mayor of Sighet, Horia Vasile Scubli and the local law authorities, who led the campaign against violence and anti-Semitism which resulted in the arrest of the suspected perpetrator a few days after the outrage. The multi-faith dialogue was attended by Chief rabbi of Romania, Rabbi Rafael Schaeffer, Chief rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, Aaron G. Frenkel, the President of Limmud FSU; Dr. Joel Rappel, founder of the Eli Wiesel Archives at Boston University; Prof. Aviad Hacohen, Dean of Editor’s note the Sha’arei Mishpat Academic College; Chaim Chesler, Founder of Limmud FSU; and Aharon Tamir, Deputy Chair of the “March of the Living”. The dialogue was devoted to the fight against hatred, anti-Semitism and violence, as inspired by the legacy of Elie Wiesel. Aaron G. Frenkel : “Elie Wiesel was always searching for peace. He was warrior for justice, warrior for unity, and most of all - an example of a great human being. It’s our obligation to follow his footsteps in order to reach peace and good for everybody.” Chaim Chesler : “The decision to hold today’s event in Sighet was taken after the graffiti incident at the family home of one of the greatest figures in contemporary Jewish history. Our purpose was to launch a heartfelt call that such events will not be repeated – neither here in Sighet nor in any other place in the world.” Aharon Tamir : “Behind the cooperation of our two organizations lies the belief that if we combine forces, we will be the stronger for it and in that way, we can strive for a better world. We believe that it is our mission to impart a strong and implacable attitude toward anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and there is nothing more symbolic to do so in the very place which nurtured Elie Wiesel.” Photos courtesy - Yossi Zeliger.
Aaron G. Frenkel, Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chaim Chesler and Aviad Hacohen next to Elie Wiesel’s statue at his home.
The official delegation next to the Holocaust memorial in Sighet. Photo courtesy - Yossi Zeliger.
A year ago - commemorative march in memory of Elie Wiesel in Sighet, the official delegation next to the train station named after WieseL Photo courtesy - Yossi Zeliger.
Limmud FSU Australia team and leadership at the closing event. Courtesy - Vera Kucko.
ore than 250 members of the Russian-speaking Jewish community of Australia, gathered on October 14 for the annual volunteer-driven festival of Jewish learning organized by Limmud FSU. The oneday conference took place at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and included more than 70 seminars, lectures, presentations and workshops, given by an array of international and local speakers, as well as a full-day program for children. One of the prominent speakers at the event was Emmanuel Gruzman, PhD Candidate at Monash University in Melbourne, who talked about his ongoing PhD research on Jewish identity of Russianspeaking Jews in Melbourne, where the majority of them reside today (7,000 out of an estimated 11,000 in Australia). According to Gruzman’s PhD study to be published in 2019, the proportion of Jews from the FSU who have a partner or spouse who is non-Jewish is lower (18% among secular and traditional) than among Israelis living in Melbourne (23%). This number is substantial lower than the rate of intermarriages in USA – 58% between 2000-
LIMMUD FSU AUSTRALIA SYDNEY 2018
2013, according to PEW study from 2013. Among keynote speakers at the festival were Mark Sofer, Israel’s Ambassador to Australia; Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia; Ruta Vanagaite, a bestselling Lithuanian writer; Ron Weiser from the Zionist Federation of Australia; Emile Sherman, an Academy Award winning film producer; Rabbi Dovid Slavin, Executive Director of the Rabbinical College of Sydney; Emma Lippa, former concertmaster of the Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow; Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, spiritual leader of the Russian-Jewish community of Sydney, and many more. Ambassador Mark Sofer said during the event; “The main reason I am here today is because I think that the FSU communities around the world, including here in Australia, are among the most beautiful, wonderful, and contributing communities to Jewish history and its future. Israel’s loss is Australia’s gain.” Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, said; “We are proud to continue to develop our activities here in Australia, so as to contribute to strengthening the integration
One of the activities for kids during the conference. Courtesy - Vera Kucko.
of Russian-speakers into the country’s Jewish community.” Semyon Teplitskiy, one of the participants, remarked; “I really admire the volunteers’ effort, and hope to be able to join this wonderful team next time” Limmud FSU Australia is made possible by a team of local leaders and volunteers, led by Project Manager Anna Maylis, together with Rina Kuczko, Inna Polura, Anatol Romanov and others. Maylis said; “I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the participants, who so much appreciate the efforts made by the volunteers in organizing such an important and remarkable event for our community. The festival has brought together hundreds of Russian Jews and demonstrates the unity of our community and its strong connection to Jewish culture and heritage.” The festival took place thanks to the generous support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Harry Triguboff, the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Conference for Material Claims against Germany and several other Limmud FSU donors.
Ambassador Mark Sofer, Ron Weiser, Chaim Chesler, Dr. Danny Lamm and Roman Kogan.
LIMMUD FSU EUROPE 2019 - VIENNA IT IS!
ore than 40 members of Limmud FSU Europe organizing committee met in the end of July in Vienna, including the ambassadors, new members from Vienna who joined the committee, Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler and Executive Director Roman Kogan. The meeting included representatives of 13 European countries: the UK, Switzerland, Lithuania, France, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, Slovakia, Ireland, Israel, and Russia. The focus of the meeting - planning and preparing for the Pan-European Conference to be held in Vienna in 2019. The new organizing committee will be headed by Julia Tuchinskaia and Igor Zinkov, and the work of the ambassadors will be coordinated by Laurina Todesaite. The seminar was held at the Lauder Business School, and the program focused on drawing conclusions from Limmud FSU London 2017, building the work program and placing it in the new structure, as well as imparting leadership skills and others. This part was presented to the participants mainly by a special guest lecturer from the Jewish Agency - Vadim Blumin. Also, in the framework of the event, Limmud FSU’s founder Chaim Chesler and Executive Director Roman Kogan held several important meetings with: - The Chansellor’s foreign policy advisor Mr Gerold Vollmer from whom we were delighted to learn about the Chancellor’s acceptance in principle to Mr. Matthew Bronfman’s invitation to participate in the Limmud FSU Europe conference. - Israeli Ambassador to Austria Talya Lador-Fresher. - in IKG (ISRAELITISCHEN KULTUSGEMEINDE WIEN) with President of the Jewish Community of Austria Oskar Deutsch and Vice-President Dezoni Dawaraschwili. - Rabbi Arie Folger, Chief rabbi of Vienna; Rabbi Jacob Biderman of Chabad Vienna; Prof. Shlomo Ustaniazov, president of the Bukharian community of Vienna; Edward Serotta, director general of Centropa organization.
Limmud FSU Europe organizing committee members.
Veronika Geller, co-chair of the program committee, Roman Kogan, Israeli Ambassador to Austria Talya Lador-Fresher, Chaim Chesler.
Limmud FSU Europe organizing committee members.
Chaim Chesler, co - chair of the organizing committee Julia Tuchinskaia, Mr. Gerold Vollmer and Roman Kogan.
President of the Jewish Community of Austria Oskar Deutsch, vice-President Dezoni Dawaraschwili , Chaim Chesler, Roman Kogan and volunteers Ksenia Ornest and Alex Feller.
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE IN MELBOURNE
ust a moment before Limmud FSU Australia 2018, a special event took place on October 11 in Melbourne: Lithuanian writer Ruta Vanagaite spoke about her bestseller book “Ours” on Holocaust in Lithuania at the Holocaust centre in Melbourne. This amazing event couldn’t be possible without all our partners : Zionist Federation of Australia and its President Dr. Danny Lamm, Genesis Philanthropy Group, Claims Conference, International March of the Living, Australian Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry - AFRJ, Jewish Holocaust Centre and its Director Michael Cohen, Kangarusski, all the organizers, our volunteers - especially Lucy Zoubkova, and of course, Ruta. During the special event, Dr. Lamm informed the audience that the Zionist Federation just received 1 million dollars in security funding for the Jewish institutions in the country. The great news was announced the same morning by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit at the Beit Weizmann community center. Photos courtesy of Michael Rose, Jewish Holocaust Centre Melbourne.
Ruta Vanagaite, Roman Kogan and our Melbourne volunteers.
Ruta Vanagaite during the event.
Anna Maylis (Limmud FSU Australia project manager), Ruta Vanagaite, Dr Ron Weiser AM, ZFA Public Affairs Chairman, and RL Smith at Kehilat Kadimah.
GETTING READY FOR LIMMUD FSU WEST COAST 2019 On October 12- 14, a special Limmud FSU event took place, thanks to the generous support of the Covenant Foundation: More than 30 team members of the West Coast organizing committee participated in a preparatory seminar in San Francisco. The event was held at the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco, where our volunteers have already started working on our next Limmud FSU West Coast conference which will take place in 2019 in San Francisco. During the packed seminar multiple discussions were held on a wide range of topics, such as logistics, upcoming program, the vision of Limmud and many, many more. Also, two new co- chairs of the upcoming conference were chosen by the committee - Mara Khaimov and Alex Punyansky. We wish them both a lot of luck!
Limmud FSU West Coast organizing committee members.
Shabbat candles lightning with Leo Hmelnitsky, member of the organizing committee.
SAVE THE DATES : NEXT LIMMUD FSU EVENTS November November December February
Limmud FSU Ukraine
Limmud FSU Canada
fter 1,000 participants in Odessa in 2017, Limmud FSU is back in Lviv with a packed program, hundreds activities and the best lecturers! November 1-4, 2018
fter an incredible experience that was the one-day event in February, Limmud FSU Canada is coming back for a full, 3 day conference at the beautiful Blue Mountain Resort ! November 9-11, 2018
Limmud FSU Israel
fter a record breaking event in 2017 in Eilat, this year Limmud FSU Israel is coming back to the capital of Israel. at Kyriat Moriah, Jerusalem. December 20-22, 2018
Limmud FSU Limmud FSU St. Petersburg Moscow
n 2018 they broke records - and this February Limmud FSU Saint Petersburg will be back again with a packed and inspiring program. February 1-3, 2019
immud FSUâ€™s flagship event will be returning once again, with the best lecturers, activites and exceptional atmosphere!. April 11-14 , 2019
SUPPORT OUR FAMILY! DONATE LIMMUD FSU www.SupportLimmudFSU.com
VOLUNTEERS STUDIES IN UNITED STATES S
everal seminars and day studies took place in the past few months with the generous support of the Covenant Foundation in New York and West Coast : - Limmud FSU New York held a unique study program in August for past, present and future volunteers - an educational walking tour with Yigal Kotler of the Lower East Side that covered the history of the waves of Jewish emigration from Russia in the end of the 19th through the beginning of the 20th century, with a focus on the role of Russian Jews in the development of the New York Jewish landscape. The tour, designed as an interactive walking workshop, took the 30 participants to places associated with the various aspects of this history and its characters – actors, gangsters, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, writers, paupers and millionaires. - A West Coast Volunteers Study Sunday took place in in San Francisco on July 29 and was attended by some 40. Its study component featured lectures by Professor Zvi Gitelman, a professor of political science and Judaic studies, and Rabbi Dov Dukhovny, a member of the Jewish Studies Network in Palo Alto. - Volunteer learning study day on May 3 took place at COJECO, and was attended by the members of the organizing committee and the conference volunteers, as well as last year’s conference volunteers, together with 2 Limmud FSU staff members. The program was divided into two: The study section focused on modern antisemitism in general, the situation in Europe in particular and Holocaust denial. The main speaker was Ruta Vanagaite from Lithuania a, non-Jewish writer, whose third book, Mūsiškiai (Our People; Journey with an Enemy), co-authored with Efraim Zuroff, focused on the complicity of Lithuanians in Holocaust crimes and the efforts of all Lithuanian governments since independence to hide the role played by local Nazi collaborators. The concept of the study section was to provide the Organizing Committee and volunteers with an opportunity to meet, one on one, in an informal framework, with one of the keynote presenters of the Limmud FSU festival. The training section discussed Limmud FSU from the perspective of volunteer learning and leadership development, and addressed logistics of the New York festival. It was addressed by the executive director of Limmud FSU, Roman Kogan, and the USA Limmud FSU program manager, Noam Shumakh-Khaimov, and reviewed, with the festival leadership, the work of the organizing committee and the volunteers. September 27 : Shashlik in the sukkah .This multicultural event was hosted in partnership with JCC Manhattan, GenerationR, the Bukharian Jewish Union. September 6th : Rosh HaShana class/seder with Rabbi Asher Altshul.
Limmud in FSU event in New York. Shashlik theSukkot Sukkah in New York.
Jewish tour with Yigal Kotler in New York. York, August 2018. Walking tour with Yigal Kotler,
Shashlik in the Sukkah in New York. Limmud FSU Sukkot event in New York.
Study Sunday in San Francisco with Prof. Zvi Gitelman.
PREPARATORY SEMINAR FOR LIMMUD FSU UKRAINE L
immud FSU Ukraine volunteers met during the Jewish September holidays in Rivne (also - Rovno) for a preparatory seminar for the November 1-4 conference in Lviv. The exciting event was made possible thanks to generous support of Pincus Fund. For 3 days the participants discussed, shared and did everything in order for the upcoming conference to be held in the best way possible, in the best tradition of Limmud FSU.
Meeting of Limmud FSU Ukraine volunteers.
Limmud FSU Ukraine volunteers.
PREPARATIONS FOR LIMMUD FSU BELARUS 2019
articipants in the organizational seminar of Limmud FSU Belarus come together! During the event, that was made possible thanks to the support of Pincus fund, our team of volunteers have begun preparations for the most ambitious and long-awaited conference, set to take place in May 2019 !
Limmud FSU Belarus volunteers at the preparatory event.
special event took place thanks to the effort made by Limmud FSU Canada team - an unforgettable and inspiring evening with Sasha (Israel) Demidov in Toronto. An extremely talented actor and incredible person, Sasha Demidov is a true ambassador of professional Israeli theater. An evening full of positive energy, great life stories and an unbelievable connection with the audience. We wish our dear team of Canadian volunteers a lot of success with the 3-day annual Limmud FSU Canada event, taking place on November 9 - 11 !
LIMMUD FSU CANADA HOSTS DEMIDOV
LIMMUD FSU ISRAEL BACK TO JERUSALEM
immud FSU Israel will be back this yeat in Jerusalem, and soon, the festival that won the hearts of many Israelis, will open its doors again in a very picturesque place, not far from the very heart of the capital, in the complex â€œKiryat Moriaâ€?. The conference will be held from December 20 to December 22, and the team of the organizing committee met in early autumn in Kiryat Moria to discuss the aspects of the festival related to program, logistics, registration, work with the participants, atmosphere of Limmud and many other issues. The retreat had several goals. The first was to understand the principles of teamwork in this particular place, and most importantly - to feel part of a real team. The second was to approve the work plan of each of the committees and merge everything into a common plan. Following the seminar, many important decisions were made - this year Limmud Israel will be different from the events of recent years, as we plan to hold a very homely festival in which participants can get closer and meet each other.
LIMMUD AFTER DARK IN TEL AVIV o
n October 22, Limmud FSU had a great opportunity to cooperate with Limmud International on Limmud after Dark event, taking place at Brodet Insitute for Jewish Culture in Tel Aviv with 300 participants. The event, in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly, featured presentations by Natan Sharansky, Ruth Calderon, Jon Medved and an array of other Israeli thought leaders in politics, finance, high tech, media, and culture offered their perspectives and engaged in frank discussion with participants. Limmud Chief Executive Eli Ovits thanked all the event partners. “We are especially grateful to all our Israeli and international partners, and to the volunteer team that made this launch possible.“ We call on visionary organizations and individuals to join us to help Limmud reach a new level of impact across Israel.” Limmud Israel – After Dark in Tel Aviv was produced in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America, Limmud FSU, Am Yisrael Foundation, Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Brodt Center for Jewish Culture, Tel Aviv International Salon, White City Shabbat, Hillel Israel, Aleph VC, OurCrowd, The Times Of Israel, Golan Heights Winery, Limmud, and Limmud Jerusalem.
Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler presents Ruth Calderon.
Limmud FSU Executive Director Roman Kogan at one of the sessions.
OUR SPONSORS AND DONORS, WITHOUT YOU NOTHING OF THIS COULD BE POSSIBLE : • Matthew Bronfman • Aaron G. Frenkel • Ronald Lauder • Michal Grayevsky • Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) • Diane Wohl • Euro-Asian Jewish Congress • Jewish National Fund (KKL) • Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) • Nativ - Israel Prime - Ministers Office • Koret Fund • Yuri Zelvenskiy • Blavatnik Family Foundation • Jewish Agency for Israel • Benevity Fund • Covenant Fund • Dr Nona International • Edward Mermelstein • Eugene Grant • Eva & Louis Galpern Foundation
• Fooksman Family Charitable Fund • IKEA • International March of the Living • Jim Joseph Foundation • Israel Bonds • Joe Cooper • Joel Passick • Keren HaYesod • LA Pincus Fund • Merill Kraines • Michael Zurakhinsky • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel • Ruben Landsberger • Sandra and Stewart Cahn • Samuel Bronfman Fund • Shulem Fisher • Wilf Family Foundations • World Zionist Organization • World Jewish Congress • UJA Jewish Federation of New York • UJA Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto • Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE)
JOIN OUR FAMILY - BECOME LIMMUD FSU SUPPORTER TODAY!
www.SupportLimmudFSU.com LIMMUD FSU LEADERSHIP MATTHEW BRONFMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE AARON G. FRENKEL, PRESIDENT EDITOR AND DESIGN - NATASHA CHECHIK
CHAIM CHESLER, FOUNDER
PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, LIMMUD FSU
Limmud FSU International Foundation EIN 26-1870256 www.limmudfsu.org 80 Central Park West, Suite 2D, New York NY 10023, USA
SANDRA F. CAHN, CO-FOUNDER DIANE WOHL, SECRETARY GENERAL ROMAN KOGAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Limmud FSU Official Newsletter - October 2018