Tomorrow, 700 Russian-speaking Jews from around Israel will gather at Jerusalem’s Beit Avi Chai for three days of education, engagement and community building. Using the occasion of Shalom Aleichem’s 150th birthday to celebrate and explore their Jewish connections, they will be joined by representatives of government, business, the arts, media, philanthropy and the entertainment world.
Dynamic events, seminars, lectures, workshops and discussions will focus on a wide range of topics within Jewish communities and around the world with a program that runs the gambit from discussions on Israel’s political scene to Jewish cooking; from traditional texts to Jewish theater.
Timed to the conference, a new, independent survey finds that 64 percent of immigrants from the countries of the former Soviet Union prefer life in Israel to that in their country of origin. This majority [of those surveyed] said they want to continue living in Israel even if they could immigrate to another country, in contrast to 28 percent who said they would like to live in the United States, Western Europe or Russia.
The survey also reveals strong ties among respondents to the culture of their native countries. Sixty-two percent of those originally from the FSU are convinced that the standard of Russian culture is higher than Israeli culture, compared to 6 percent who consider Israeli culture preferable.
“Results of the survey prove that there is a need for a project that gives the young generation of expatriates from the FSU an independent framework that allows them to feel connected to Israel and to Judaism, without giving up on the culture and values on which they were raised,” said Chaim Chesler, founder of The Limmud Institute for the FSU and chairman and co-founder of Limmud FSU.
Stay tuned; we’ll have more on Limmud FSU in Jerusalem once they are under way.
about: Limmud FSU brings together and empowers young Russian-speaking Jewish adults who are reviving and revitalizing Jewish community and culture and restoring and maintaining the tradition of lifelong Jewish learning and a strong Jewish identity. This successful and unique model of learning, volunteerism, pluralism, networking, empowerment and leadership development is ensuring a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future.