EILAT, Israel, Dec.24 – Limmud 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 starting Thursday through Saturday night.
The 10th Limmud FSU Israel festival featured hundreds of lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures, including businessman and philanthropist Aaron Frenkel, the president of Limmud FSU, CEO and Executive-Vice President of the World Jewish Congress Robert Singer, Chairman of “HaMachane HaTzioni ” Avi Gabbay , Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau, Member of Knesset Yair Lapid, 20th Chief of Staff of the IDF General Benny (Benyamin) Ganz, Likud’s party member Gideon Saar, the singers Shlomi Shaban and Marina Maximilian who performed at the opening ceremony, 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.”
Limmud FSU president Aaron Frenkel said during his speech at the opening ceremony that “The wonderful concept of Limmud has been able to touch in such a short time so many people, and the success of the project in Israel is an achievement in particular. It is not self-evident that we have here with us about 2000 immigrants from the Soviet Union. What is important to us is to continue with the spirit of learning and innovating all the time, in pursuit of common values for every Jew. ”
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, and they’re always so happy to help and to assist every participant. It shouldn’t be taken for granted”.
“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 “We are in fact one global Jewish community, and we are strongest when we work together and empower one another. The future of the Jewish world depends on us all.”
For Victoria (25) it was her third Limmud FSU Israel:” I just can’t get enough. I wish the event would have lasted for a whole week. There is nothing that can match the energy and spirit of this event for the Russian speaking Israelis, and the team of the young volunteers is truly the heart of all”.
Festival supporters and partners include Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group, Claims Conference, World Jewish Congress, Sapir Center for Jewish Culture, Education Israel Way and Peres center for Peace and Innovation.