Living, Learning and Loving Judaism at Limmud FSU Moldova

The Shuk; photo courtesy Ruben Landsberger.

Regardless of what the future may hold, the conference participants, with their black, almost Israeli humor, were engaged and fully aware of what was unfolding before them, which one would not be remiss in describing as almost a miracle - the resuscitation of Jewish life in the barren Soviet Union, which generations of oppression have not succeeded in stamping out. by Erica Schachne Touching down in the grass-lined fields of Moldova’s tiny airport, I had no idea what to expect. I had come to Chisinau, the capital of this landlocked republic, for the weekend of May 23-25 to attend the Limmud FSU conference, the festival of Jewish learning celebrating the rebirth of Judaism’s foothold in the former Soviet Union. I had heard great things about this dynamic “Jewish Woodstock,” which … [Read more...]

The Second Limmud FSU in Moldova

photo courtesy George Omen

by Mordechai Haimovitch The event opened modestly. Blue and orange balloons, a blue ribbon and a lone firework mark the opening of the second Limmud FSU conference in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Without the mass of people in New York, without the sparkle of Moscow and without the intellectual spirit of Odessa, but nevertheless, with a great deal of excitement and loads of welcome - people here smile at you, not just as a welcoming gesture but simply because that is the way they are. The fact that Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, changes nothing. An atmosphere of goodness pervades the air. In our hotel human engineering is somewhat lacking: the shower curtain doesn’t reach the floor and you end up surrounded by a small lake. The rooms have no telephone and the TVs have no remote … [Read more...]

Learning Together Through the Night – Limmud Launches Tikkun Leyl Shavuot E-Resource

Limmud Shavuoth

by Martin Joseph Limmud has just launched Learning - a resource for Tikkun Leyl Shavuot in time for the upcoming chag, when there is a tradition to stay up all night learning, known as a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Compiled by the Limmud Chavruta team, it is Limmud's first, downloadable Chavruta e-resource and an invitation to communities the world over to delve into Jewish texts with one or many partners on Shavuot, which begins Tuesday evening, June 3rd. Shavuot is also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, hence the organic connection between Limmud, which means learning, and the holiday. "Our international Chavruta team pulled together sources about learning which explore the relationship between teachers and students, God and scripture and the ultimate purpose of learning," said … [Read more...]

Limmud China: A Generator for Next-Gen Engagement

Photo by Liz Hingley

by Erica Lyons One week post-Limmud China, most of us are still on a high. Bringing together approximately 160 participants was a large achievement for the Jews of the Far East. The post-conference flurry of Facebook friend requests still continues (and this is fairly remarkable considering Facebook is for most purposes blocked in China) with photos being uploading even before bags are unpacked. Anyone who has been to a Limmud understands that there that we were all presenters and we were all participants, we were all volunteers and we were all attendees. Many of us were also there as parents. My eldest son and I have now attended all three Limmuds in China together. And while I would love to use this as an opportunity to kvell that my thirteen-year old son was a presenter (How Can I Talk … [Read more...]

Is the Jewish Code to Success Written in Russian?

3 countries of Russian speaking Jewry; copyright eJewish Philanthropy

"Walking through the halls of a high-tech company, one hears as much Russian as English. I see the influence of Russian-speaking Jews in every field.” Eli Etin, an innovator at Amdocs by Nathan Roi Many Russian speaking Jews are living the dream. After immigrating to North America or Israel, they have climbed the ladder of success, particularly in the high-tech industry. Their stories are also the stories of Google, Paypal and Whatsapp. Because of this remarkable success, Limmud FSU devoted its most recent conference to the subject of innovation and the Russian speaking Jew. Jan Koum is a Russian-speaking Jew. Ukrainian-born and raised in the States since 1992, he describes himself as having been a "rebellious" kid from early on. Not so long ago, Koum's family had to reinvent themselves as … [Read more...]

Limmud FSU Collaborates with The Fellowship; Expands to Canada, Australia and Western U.S.

Havdalah at Limmud FSU Innovation, March 29, 2014; photo by Nathan Roie.

On the heels of an extraordinarily successful fifth Limmud FSU program in the New York area, the organization announced a new global multi-year collaboration designed to enhance and develop the activities of Limmud FSU and expand their worldwide footprint. As part of the collaboration, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) has become a key partner to Limmud FSU and will provide funding that will allow Limmud FSU to engage more participants globally, most of whom are young Russian-speaking Jewish adults. The Fellowship's president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, will join Limmud FSU's leadership team as dean and member of the executive committee, alongside Matthew Bronfman, chairman of the International Steering Committee, and Aaron Frenkel, Limmud FSU's president. As an … [Read more...]

Limmud FSU Conference in N.J. to Explore What Makes Russian-American Jews Successful High-Tech Innovators


"Russian-speaking Jewish activists debunk the persistent myth of lack of interest in Jewish education and work tirelessly to create a conference for their peers with the understanding of this group’s unique cultural interests and intellectual approach." Alina Bitel, Chair, Limmud FSU-USA Over 800 young Russian-American Jews will come together this weekend for the annual Limmud FSU festival, the largest gathering of Russian-speaking Jews in North America. The three day event is a celebration of Jewish learning featuring a full program of lectures, workshops, round-table discussions, music and a wide-range of cultural events in three languages - Russian, English and Hebrew. The festival officially kicked off yesterday with a special New York City event in the presence of Speaker of the … [Read more...]