Limmud FSU Official Newsletter - March 2018

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NewsLetter 02

Global Summit 2018

President Aaron G. Frenkel and International Steering Committee Chair Matthew Bronfman will light a candle in memory of Holocaust




Honoring Schindler


Limmud FSU initiated an event in memory of the famous Righteous Among the Nations in Jerusalem

I S S U E 1 , MAR CH 2 0 1 8

Limmud FSU New Era

The organization is moving to a new level of its operations worldwide in order to become even more successful







GETTING READY FOR THE GLOBAL SUMMIT 2018 The exciting event will take place in April 2018 with representatives from 9 countries.The delegation will take part in the March of the Living, where Limmud FSU President Aaron G. Frenkel and International Steering Committee Chairman Matthew Bronfman will light a candle in memory of the Holocaust victims.

Editor’s note Dear Limmudniks, our leadership and cherished donors and partners, We’re extremely happy and excited to present you the first ever Limmud FSU official newsletter! Our world is moving forward, the technology is getting better and better with every passing day, and the lives of all of us are filled with social media of all kinds. We’re at Limmud FSU are extremely proud to have all these different methods and opportunities to communicate with you, but somewhere in between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, our website and the blog we felt that something crucial was still missing from this puzzle. And so, the first issue of Limmud FSU official newsletter - or magazine, if you prefer - was born. It is the place where we feel it will be possible to show the full scope of all the exciting events that are happenning during the year in the amazing universe called Limmud FSU. This pioneer issue includes almost everything that went on in it in the past 6 months. It’s our hope that this very first issue will be the start of another wonderful way of communicating with you, and most importantly - another channel we could grow through to be bigger and stronger! Natasha Chechik Director of Public Affairs



Limmud FSU President Aaron G. Frenkel and International Steering Committee Chair Matthew Bronfman.


immud FSU Young Leadership Global Summit 2018 is just around the corner: it will take place on April 11-15, 2018 in Warsaw. The exciting event will include representatives from 9 countries. Additionally, the young leaders will participate in the annual March of the Living event : a 3-kilometer walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust. At its central event Aaron G. Frenkel and Matthew Bronfman will light a candle in memory of all those who perished during this dark time in history. During the summit, young leaders will take an active part in wide range of activities, sessions, workshops - everything with a goal of developing the future generation of Jewish leadership.

Chaim Chesler and Roman Kogan with Anna Azari, Israeli ambassador to Poland, during the preparatory visit.



ne-day Winter 2018 Limmud FSU Canada conference took place on February 11, 2018 at the Schwartz Reisman Centre, Vaughan with incredible lectures, seminars and workshops, an enjoyable reception and a Limmud-only viewing of JDY Theatre’s newest production.

Lili Haber, Chaim Chesler, Yitzhak Goldstein, Father Alberto, Shlomo Gur and Holocaust survivors next to Oscar Schindler’s grave at Mount Zion in Jerusalem.



o mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, a special event took place today in the Chamber of the Holocaust on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, during which a plaque was unveiled in honor of Oskar Schindler, who was responsible for saving some 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. The Chamber was the first museum devoted to the Holocaust in Israel, and was established in 1949. The event was initiated by Limmud FSU, with partnership of Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and March of the Living. Oskar Schindler died in 1974, and at his request, was buried in the Catholic Franciscan cemetery on Mount Zion, near to the Chamber of the Holocaust. During the first years after its establishment, the Chamber served as a symbolic cemetery, and its walls were covered by survivors with memorial plaques to their destroyed communities. The event began at the cemetery, with a short ceremony next to Schindler’s grave. The daughter of a Schindler’s list survivor Yaakov Lazar, Lili Haber, who also serves as chairman of Krakow survivors organization,

said that “Schindler saved not only 1,200 Jews while endangering his life, but tens of thousands of souls, descendants of the survivors. We must cherish and remember him.” Following the ceremony, a plaque honoring Schindler was unveiled in the Chamber of the Holocaust, and a special candle lightning took place in memory of the victims. Chaim Chesler, Limmud FSU founder and the initiator of the event, said that “the Chamber of the Holocaust is the place where the ashes of 250,000 Jews murdered in the Holocaust were buried, and this is the right place to commemorate one of the greatest Righteous Among the Nations.” Survivors and several senior officials took part in the ceremony, among them representative of the Catholic Franciscan church, Father Alberto(Italy), Vice-President of the Claims Conference in Israel, Shlomo Gur, Chairman of March of the Living, Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, Former Chief Rabbi of Romania Rabbi Menachem Hacohen, Chairman of the Chamber of the Holocaust, Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, CEO of Amigur Yuval Frenkel and others.

A Holocaust survivor from Belarus, Bronia Shkolnik (86), said that “this event is very moving - to be here in the State of Israel and to cherish the memory of those people who saved so many souls.” Shlomo Gur, vice president of the Claims Conference in Israel, said: “The award of the title of Righteous Among the Nations is an atonement to Oscar Schindler, whose memory has been forgotten over the years. The event today is a tribute to the courage he displayed in rescuing the 1,200 Jews, we must continue to remember and not to forget.“ Rabbi Yitzhak Goldstein, chairman of the Chamber of the Holocaust, said after a prayer in Schindler’s memory that “it is not self-evident that so many Jews have come here today to honor Schindler’s memory, and this is clear proof of the greatness of his actions.” The representative of the Catholic Franciscan Church in Israel, Father Alberto (Italy) said during the ceremony that “There is no doubt that Oskar Schindler serves as a symbol for the Righteous Among the Nations, whom we must remember and cherish.”




immud FSU Israel marked a decade of educational work with young Russian-speaking Jews in the Holy Land with a three-day Jewish volunteer-driven festival of learning in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat. The dynamic and pluralistic event gathered 2,000 participants and ran between December 21-23. The 10th Limmud FSU Israel festival featured hundreds of lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures, including businessman and philanthropist Aaron G. Frenkel, the president of Limmud FSU, CEO and Executive-Vice President of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress President Mikhail Mirilashvili, Chairman of “HaMachane HaTzioni ” Avi Gabbay , Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau, Member of Knesset Yair Lapid, Likud’s party member Gideon Saar, the singers Shlomi Shaban and Marina Max-



imilian, Professor Zeev Khanin, Holocaust survivor Shlomo Perel, theatre director Mark Rozovsky from Moscow and others. “Over the past decade, we truly have made a huge impact in Russian-Jewish community in Israel, which is one of the biggest communities in the country,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler. “We’re extremely excited to come back once again to Eilat, one of the world’s most beautiful resort cities, to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Israel with 2,000 young participants, our devoted team of talented volunteers, leading Israeli public figures and dozens of well-known lecturers and experts.” “The World Jewish Congress, which represents 100 Jewish communities worldwide, is proud to share with Limmud FSU this critical mission of strengthening Jewish identity, community, historical memory, and engagement, both in the Diaspora and the

State of Israel,” said CEO and Executive-Vice President of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer. Alexander (30), one of the first-time participants at the event said that “I was truly amazed by the spirit of volunteerism here. There are some wonderful people at this event, who devoted months of their life to make Limmud happen.” Festival supporters and partners include Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) , Claims Conference, World Jewish Congress, Sapir Center for Jewish Culture, Education Israel Way and Peres center for Peace and Innovation. Limmud FSU Israel in Eilat was made possible thanks to its devoted volunteers team, led by Rina Zaslavsky, chair of the program committee, Inna Byshevskaya, chair of volunteers committee and Limmud FSU Israel Project Manager Yan Birbraer.


ne of the most prominent participants in the Limmud FSU conference in Eilat was a large and rather overwhelming presence called Aaron G. Frenkel. He is the President of Limmud FSU, a regular visitor to its festivals and an avid member of the audience at many of the presentations. Frenkel is convinced that Limmud FSU is a phenomenal success; not just because of the number of participants in its various events and festivals, but because of the nature of its core aims. It was Frenkel who spoke on behalf of Limmud FSU leadership in the framework of the event opening ceremony: “I still remember the first Limmud FSU event in our history that took place in Moscow in 2006. It was an innovative and exciting start-up, and none of us - the founding donors, the volunteers, or the participants who came to experience the extraordinary project, was not sure what the future holds.”

He elaborated and told the participants and the distinguished guests that: ”One thing was clear to all of us - it was the beginning of a major breakthrough in everything related to the Jewish identity of Jews from the former Soviet Union, wherever they may be. Whether in the CIS countries, North America, Australia, Israel, and anywhere else where the Jewish people were located following the fall of the Iron Curtain.” He added that they knew that if they continue to succeed as they did, “we will bring with us the spirit, the pride and the Jewish brotherhood to more and more places around the globe, thereby making a significant and invaluable contribution to the unity of Israel and the Jewish people.” Frenkel also emphasized the importance of preserving the spirit of a start-up and “not to enter into permanence, and built-in standards. We have to preserve this spirit and keep on innovating and learning all

the time. Albert Einstein once said, while addressing the graduates of UCLA, that he wishes everyone not only to be successful, but to be a person with values. Successful people take everything they can from the world, as opposed to people with values, that give everything to the world.” Regarding the particular success of the project in Israel, said Frenkel that: “The wonderful concept of Limmud has touched so many people in such a short time, and the success of the project in Israel is an achievement in itself. There are more than 2,000 Russian-speaking Israelis and their families here with us today. They all came here to feel the sense of togetherness, to experience, to learn, to broaden horizons and to join together to look into the future of the Jewish people, out of a shared sense of identity, unity of destiny, and in pursuit of common values for ​​ every Jew wherever he or she may be.”

Limmud FSU President Aaron G. Frenkel during his speech at Limmud FSU Israel 2017 in Eilat.



Aaron G. Frenkel, Aviad Hacohen, Rabbi Lau, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Prof. Dvorah Hacohen, Rabbi Menachem Hacohen and Chaim Chesler.

uring the events of Limmud FSU Israel in Eilat a special exhibition honoring Rabbi Menachem Hacohen was launched. It was initiated by Limmud FSU and curated by his son Prof. Aviad Hacohen, President of Sha’arei Mishpat Academic Center. 20th Chief of Staff of the IDF Lt. General Benny (Benyamin) Gantz, and Chief Rabbi Lau came to the event as a honorary guests of Rabbi Hacohen. Rabbi Menachem Hacohen is an Israeli Rabbi, writer, thinker, former politician, and serves as Limmud FSU Rabbi. He headed the Religious Worker faction in the Histadrut trade union, was member of the Knesset for the Maarach and served as chief rabbi of the Moshavim Movement and the Histadrut. Between 1997 and 2011 he held the post of Chief Rabbi of Romanian Jewry.




After 11 years of activity, and becoming the most successful Jewish gross-roots volunteer-driven project in the Russian-speaking Jewish community worldwide, Limmud FSU has announced that the organization is moving to a new level of its operations in order to be even more successful in its goal of strengthening the Jewish identity of young Russian-speaking Jews worldwide

At Limmud FSU St. Petersburg, December 2017


s the organization continues to grow, flourish and develop its 12 Limmud FSU projects around the world imaginative strategic thinking is needed to embark on Limmud FSU’s next steps. The leadership, led by Chairman Matthew Bronfman and President Aaron G. Frenkel, and the professional team headed by Executive Director Roman Kogan, together with a devoted team of volunteers drawn from all four continents, embarked in the last few weeks on a process of strategic assessment to address the challenges facing the organization, while working towards a vibrant and sustainable future for Rus-

sian-speaking Jewry. Although Limmud FSU has proven its ability to attract the unaffiliated young Jews, one of the most important targets in the next few years, starting with 2018, will be to attract new audiences that weren’t involved with Limmud FSU or any other Jewish organization or initiative heretofore, with an emphasize on young adults’ demographics. For instance, in 2018, for the first time Limmud FSU NY will take place in the heart of New York City, with high hopes that the new location will attract new audiences as well. Moreover, thanks to the generous grant of





e are glad to announce the appointment of Tanya Pashaeva as Project Manager for Limmud FSU Israel. This will be added to her current responsibilities as Project Manager for Limmud FSU Europe, Limmud FSU St. Petersburg and Limmud FSU Volga-Urals. Tanya replaces Yan Birbraer, who has filled this position during the last four years with great success, including the recent Israeli festival in Eilat, which broke every attendance record. Yan will continue to serve as Logistics Director for Limmud FSU International. Roman Kogan, Executive Director of Limmud FSU, said: “We wish Tanya the best of luck at her new position, and wish to express our deep gratitude to Yan Birbraer for everything he has done for Limmud FSU Israel’s devoted team of volunteers and

Covenant Foundation, Limmud FSU is able to concentrate on intensive volunteer leadership and Jewish education which will add a new dimension to its activities in US, as never before. The programs approved will create a ripple effect of enriched Jewish community, leadership, and learning among RSJs in the United State. Sandra F. Cahn, co-founder of Limmud FSU: “There are approximately 3 million Russian-speaking Jews in the world and while they are bound together by many diverse threads they are often not affiliated with established Jewish institutions, and many grew up with

thousands of participants.” Tanya Pashaeva was born in 1989 in the small town of Millerovo, in the Rostov region of Russia. From childhood she played an active role in different youth organizations. After graduating high school she left her hometown for Moscow, and graduated from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow with BA and MA degrees in marketing management. Eight years ago she attended her first Limmud FSU Moscow Conference. She enjoyed the event so much that the following year she decided to become a volunteer and during the next few years made her way to become Limmud FSU Project Manager for Russia and Europe. In 2016 she made Aliyah and lives in Tel Aviv.


up with limited Jewish knowledge. There is an acute need for programs that nourish their group identity and in the next decade we will reach out for many more Jews who are hungry for knowledge.” Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU added that “In order to harness the enormous potential for leadership, engagement and impact, and to ensure continuity, we will put a strong emphasize in order to provide young potential leaders with an experience of Jewish learning and culture in ways that are intellectually challenging, spiritually compelling, and relevant to their lives.” Additionally, Limmud FSU has engaged Ukeles Associates firm, thanks to financial support from UJA – Jewish Federation of New York and GPG. The main goal of the process to address critical choices of direction facing the rapid growth and challenges of Limmud FSU on the international Jewish communal scene. The strategic planning comes after an

extremely successful year with a record number of participants of 10,000 (including a record-breaking partiicpants attendance of 2,000 in Israel and 750 in St Petersburg in December 2017), which makes an impressive total of 50,000 Limmud FSU participants over the years of organization’s activity worldwide. In terms of the upcoming events in 2018, Limmud FSU is planning a Global volunteer leadership summit for the organization’s leaders from 9 countries in Poland in partnership with the “March of the Living”, with a goal of forming a network of young leaders who are educated in Jewish history, heritage, and culture, and who have the connections, skills, and tools to shape the future of the Russian-speaking Jewish community. Moreover, the flagship conference in Moscow that will take place also in April 2018, Limmud FSU NY that was already mentioned above, Limmud FSU Volga-Urals, Limmud FSU Canada, Limmud FSU Ukraine that will take place in Autumn 2018, Limmud FSU Israel and other


locations as well. There are new promising partnerships with prominent and influential Jewish organizations to assist with reaching out for as many of new potential audiences as possible: Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), Koret Foundation, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), Jim Joseph Foundation, Blavatnik Family Foundation and the World Jewish Congress. “The conclusions and the operative goals that were agreed on will be set in motion immediately” says Matthew Bronfman, Chairman of Limmud FSU International steering committee. Aaron Frenkel, Limmud FSU President added that “As we enter our second decade, we strongly believe that our proven educational and communal model will help to ensure a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future for young Russian-speaking adults, wherever they may live. We’re very proud of all we have accomplished together.”



LIMMUD FSU ST. PETERSBURG 2018 Record number of 750 gathered for the largest Jewish event in cultural capital of Russia


he three-day Jewish festival of learning and culture Limmud FSU St Petersburg took place in December in Crowne Plaza hotel in the city. The dynamic, volunteers-driver and pluralistic event gathered a record number of 750 participants, the largest St. Petersburg festival ever, and ran from Friday through Sunday noon. “We are extremely excited to be a part of one of the most vibrant and flourishing Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, with a rich cultural life” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, during the conference. “This is our sixth event in Saint Petersburg, which is an important millstone for us and for the entire Jewish community in the area.” Limmud FSU St. Petersburg featured lectures, workshops, and discussions in the pluralistic spirit of Limmud. “This event is a hotbed for the expression and strengthening of Jewish identity, connection to the Jewish people and the Jewish tradition” says Director of the Orthodox Community of Saint Petersburg Rabbi Shaul Brook, “It is an excellent project and a model for finding paths to the hearts and souls of the participants.” The top presenters this year included Linor Goralik, a Russian-speaking flash fiction author, poet and essayist, Elhanan Nir, Israeli poet and laureate of international and Israeli literary honors including: the Wertheim Prize (2008) and the Prime Minister’s Prize (2011), Olga Slov, consul general of the State of Israel, Haim Ben Yacov, executive director of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Yana Agmon, regional director of “Nativ” in Russia and Be-



larus, Dmitry Dikman, senior advisor to the chairman of the board at Genesis Philanthropy Group, Dr. Aaron Weiss from JDC’s FSU Department and more. “We’re attracted by existing projects where people are united by their interest in their Jewish roots and history,” said Dmitry Dikman, senior advisor to the chairman of the board at Genesis Philanthropy Group, “In this sense Limmud FSU conferences gather the most relevant audience for us - they unite students, families with children, lecturers and volunteers for several days.” Euro-Asian Jewish Congress President Mikhail Mirilashvili also congratulated the participants and expressed his commitment to the project: “We are pleased to be active partners of Limmud FSU. EAJC is committed to ensuring that community institutions actively participate in all stages of the event, and that participants would receive information and motivation to become active members of the community life after the conference. In Limmud FSU St. Petersburg this year was just the exact atmosphere, and we’re extremely happy for it.” “The format of Limmud, which is based on the freedom of election of each participant, cannot characterize better the multifaceted modern Israel” says Yana Agmon, regional director of “Nativ” in Russia and Belarus,” and it provides an opportunity to plunge into the realities of modern Israeli society. We are pleased to see how the Jewish community of St. Petersburg acquaints itself with topics related to Israel and meets with Israeli representatives.”



he first Jews appeared in St. Petersburg right after its foundation in the 18th century. Today it is one of the most vibrant, flourishing Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union, with roughly 100,000 Jews, making it the second-largest Jewish community in Russia. Also, the cultural, social, and religious life in the Jewish community of the city showcases a very active and exciting place to explore with Limmud FSU. Annual conferences, started in 2011, reflect high intellectual caliber and cultural-oriented programming, as one would expect from a Jewish learning festival held in Russia’s cultural capital. “I flew especially to Limmud St. Petersburg to see how it is done in another country,” says Daniel Jezmer, 25, a volunteer from Israel, “I wanted to share experiences and adopt some ideas and initiatives for the

Israeli Limmud FSU.” “I was deeply impressed by this conference” said Dr. Aaron Weiss, from JDC’s FSU Department, “It was remarkable in terms of the unprecedented number of participants, the amazing work done by a committed team of the volunteers, and in terms of abundance and variety of activities, all of which were at the highest level.” Limmud FSU St. Petersburg was made possible thanks to its devoted team of volunteers, led by Yulia Karasik, Natalia Emelyanova, Regina Pritula, Iulia Anokhina, Faina Rokhlina, Alla Lemleh, and others. Conference supporters include Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group, JDC, Jewish Religious Community, Nativ, Jewish Culture House ESOD, Russian Jewish Congress, Community of Progressive Judaism “Sha’arey Shalom”.



ore than three decades after his release from Soviet imprisonment, Natan Sharansky, the former refusenik and Chairman of the Jewish Agency met former US Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, and presented him with a life achievement award for his contribution to the struggle of Soviet Jewry. The event took place in the framework of the 2017 Limmud FSU West Coast conference in San Francisco, with more than 800 Russian-speaking Jewish participants. Julius Berman, President of the Claims Conference for Material Claims against Germany and Israel’s Minister of Sci-

ence and Technology, Ofir Akunis, also took part. Sharansky’s incarceration in the USSR became a major human rights cause for Shultz and President Reagan, who campaigned for his release which eventually took place in 1986. The plight of Soviet Jewry was one of the most prominent issues on Shultz’s agenda. “Shultz was the first to call me after my release, even before President Reagan,” Sharansky told the audience. “You played a crucial role in bringing down the Iron Curtain and giving freedom to the people. I can assure you that your name will remain with us forever as a liberator of

millions of Soviet Jews.” “I have a great sense of gratitude to the Soviet Jews because they showed us what courage is all about,” said Shultz after he was given the award by Natan Sharansky. “They showed us how important it is to stand up for what you believe in and never give up.”

Claims Conference President Julius Berman,Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, Chaim Chesler, Minister Ofir Akunis, MK Yossi Yonah, Natan Sharansky, Sandy Cahn, Israeli Consul in SF Shlomi Kofman and George Shultz.



ome 800 Jews gathered on November 17-19 for the first ever Limmud FSU West Coast conference in the San Francisco Bay Area, the biggest Jewish event geared towards the Russian-speaking Jewish community in the whole region. It took place at Marriott City Center Oakland, after months of work done by a devoted team of young adult volunteers and leadership, and featured an array of more than 100 diverse sessions and speakers from around the world on various subjects, with a special focus on the field of innovation, hi-tech and technology. “The Russian-speaking Jewish community in the West Coast is flourishing, and a record number of participants in our first event in the Bay Area – is the proof,” said Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler.



Among the featured presenters at the conference were the Jewish-Ukrainian born WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, with a special Q&A session that was attended by hundreds of the participants, first Jewish astronaut Garrett Reisman, who gave a highly anticipated lecture about his experience in space, Historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific North West Shlomi Kofman, Undervud band from Russia, and more.



“Our previous West Coast 2016 conference in Los Angeles was such a great experience that the decision to have our next Limmud FSU conference in the Bay area was an easy one”, said the co-founder of Limmud FSU, Sandra Cahn,” and this year’s strong lineup and remarkable attendance is another testimony of the powerful appeal of Jewish learning in a pluralistic, dynamic and engaging environment.”



Leo Hmelnitsky, the chair of the organizing committee: “I want to thank all volunteers who dedicated countless hours over the last year developing an incredibly rich program and working on all the logistics for the conference. Our main goal was and will continue to be inspiring participants to strengthen their Jewish identity, to learn about and celebrate our heritage, to connect to Israel and many local Jewish organizations, and to ultimately take the next step on their personal Jewish journey.”



This event could not have happened without the generous support of Koret Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Fooksman Family Charitable Fund, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), Israeli Consulate General of the Pacific Northwest, World Jewish Congress, Claims Conference, Jewish Community Foundation of East Bay, Ukrainian Jewish Encounter and other donors and partners.


LIMMUD FSU UKRAINE 2017 More than 950 Ukranian Jews gathered for the largest ever Limmud FSU event in the country


CELEBRATING BOB DYLAN JEWISH ROOTS Limmud FSU Ukraine featured a concert celebrating Bob Dylan, one of the most prominent Jewish musicians of our time. Dylan’s paternal mother, together with her husband emigrated from Odessa to the US. The event also included an exhibition on Dylan’s life “Forever young: behind Dylan’s revolution and legacy”, created by the Museum of Diaspora in Tel Aviv, and presented by one of its curators, Amitai Achiman.



ome 950 people gathered over the weekend of October 19-22 for Limmud FSU Ukraine, the biggest event geared towards the Jewish community in the country. The event took place in Odessa, one of the most important cities of Jewish and Zionist movement’s history in the former Soviet Union. Today there are about 400,000 Jews living in Ukraine, with more than 45,000 in Odessa. Limmud FSU Ukraine featured an array of more than 180 worldclass speakers from around the world on a multitude of subjects ranging from art, to Jewish culture and tradition, literature, music, theater, history, politics, business and lifestyle. Also, special recognition was given to the 120th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress of 1897, to be celebrated this year, including a concert and several activities relating to the World Zionist Organization, with the participation of WZO Chair, Avraham Duvdevani.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled on the house where the distinguished Hebrew poet, Shaul Tchernichovsky, lived, in the framework of an official ceremony made possible by the efforts of Nativ and WZO. “The Ukrainian-Jewish community is among the most thriving Jewish communities in the world, while the city of Odessa is one of the most important cities in Jewish history. We confidently expect that this Limmud FSU 11th festival in Ukraine will be an important part in the life of the Jewish community,” said founder Chaim Chesler, “and we look forward to an inspiring gathering, especially the celebration of Bob Dylan’s Jewish roots in Odessa.” Among the presenters were Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine Eliav Belotserkovsky; Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) Vice-President for External Relations and former Israeli Ambassador to Russia, Dorit Golender; Executive Director of

the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Haim Ben Yakov; Nativ’s countrty director for Ukraine Gennady Polischuk; Director of The Ukrainian Institute for the Study of the Holocaust Tkuma, Igor Shchupak; Board Member of Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Adrian Karatnycky, popular Russian satirist and writer, Victor Shenderovich, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany representatives, and many more. The exciting event took place with the generous support of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE), Nativ, Claims Conference and All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress. “The key to Limmud FSU’s success lies in its unique combination of learning, recreation and communication, which harmoniously unite and create a unique “Limmud FSU” atmosphere” said during the event Osik Axelrod, the Chairman of Limmud FSU Ukraine.

MARCHING FOR ELIE WIESEL Limmud FSU initiative: more than 1,500 residents of Elie Wiesel’s hometown in Romania commemorated him in a special march on September 10, 2017

Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University Prof. Steven Katz and more. MK Yair Lapid, who was among the speakers at the unveiling of the memorial plaque at the train station, said: “We came here to pay our respects to the late Elie Weisel, a dear person ore than 1,500 residents of the city of whose private memory has become the collecSighet in northern Romania marched tive memory of an entire people. Elie Wiesel was a close friend of my father’s, and I had known on September 10, together with senior officials from Israel and abroad and members of him and his work since childhood. We are here the Jewish community in Romania, in an event to honor him for his contribution to the memocommemorating Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust sur- ry of the Holocaust, the fight against anti-Semitism and his work for the State of Israel.” vivor and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Lapid also referred to the increasing pheThe events were organized by Limmud nomenon of anti-Semitism, particularly in the FSU and March of the Living in cooperation United States: “I believe that Trump is a true with the Claims Conference and the World supporter of Israel, but I must admit that I was Zionist Organization. deeply disappointed by his lack of adequate reThe special procession left Elie Wiesel’s sponse to the horrific expressions of anti-Semihome and continued through the city until it reached the railway station from which Wiesel, tism, which remind us all of the darkest periods in history and bring us back to the 1930s in his family and Jews from the entire region Europe.” were sent to Auschwitz. During the ceremoMinister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel ny, a memorial plaque was unveiled and the name of the train station was changed to “Elie said at the event: “Unfortunately, we still find ourselves having to deal with the hatred of Wiesel Station”. The event was attended by senior figures Holocaust deniers and their supporters, the constant manifestation of anti-Semitism and from Israel and the world, including MK Yair Lapid; Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel; the dangers caused by the ignorance of many. JNF Chairman Danny Atar; Limmud FSU Chair Therefore, it is our duty to continue this struggle waged by Elie Wiesel against hatred, fanaticism, Matthew Bronfman; Executive President of the Claims Conference Greg Schneider; Pres- and demons of the past.” Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU and ident of the Romanian Jewish Community Dr. Aurel Vainer; former Deputy Vice President of the initiator of the special event said during the Israeli Supreme Court Elyakim Rubinstein; the closing ceremony that: ”We fulfilled tonight our commitment to Limmud FSU’s mentor, Elie Dr. Zvi Berkovich, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Wiesel - to present the unique opportunity to physician; WZO Head of The Department for the Promotion of Aliyah Marina Koritny, Rabbi commemorate the memory of this city most Yitzhak Greenberg; Director of the Elie Wiesel prominent and admired citizen”.

Next to the Holocaust memorial in Sighet.


Local children dressed in traditional costumes.

The delegation next to the train station in Sighet.

Romanian locals in traditional costumes during the march.




e are glad to announce the appointment of Galina Murakhovskaya as Project Manager for Limmud FSU Moscow. She has replaced Anna Kaller-Adamskaya, who filled this position during during the last two years. Roman Kogan, Executive Director of Limmud FSU, expressed his deep admiration for Anna Kaller-Adamskaya’s work and devotion, first as a volunteer and then as a member of the Organizing Committee, culminating in her leadership of Limmud FSU Moscow. Galina Murakhovskaya is a graduate of the ORT School in Moscow. She obtained a first degree in economics at the People’s Friendship University of Russia and later received a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, Arizona. As an active member of the Jewish community of Moscow she subsequently joined the Moscow office of the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and led its KAET (School of Social Entrepreneurship) program. In 2015, she headed the Ralph Goldman JCC in Nikitskaya.

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 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 • 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




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