400 Jewish young adults from the Russian-speaking community attended Limmud FSU’s conference at Columbia University in New York yesterday.
The program included numerous lectures, sessions, panels and performances. Among them: a panel with businessmen and philanthropists Leonard Blavatnik and Matthew Bronfman on the “Art of Giving;” a session by transgender activist and former Hasidic Rabbi Abby Stein on her life’s journey; a special session by Professor Alan Dershowitz on BDS and Israel; and Howard Rosenman, who told his story as an academy award winning gay Jewish producer.
Speaking at the event, Founder of Limmud FSU, Chaim Chesler, said: “We are extremely happy to be here for the first time at Columbia University, on the 70th anniversary of Israel, and to celebrate Jewish learning together with hundreds of young Jews from the East Coast.”
The event was generously funded by Genesis Philanthropy Group, Claims Conference, IDB Bank, Tom Blumberg and Covenant Foundation, who provided a grant for volunteer education and leadership training programs for United States based Limmud FSU volunteers. The first session was held last week.
Sandy Cahn, Limmud FSU co-founder added, “Thanks to the Covenant foundation grant, we have begun to create an enhanced 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 in the United States.”
In the best tradition of Limmud FSU, the event was made possible by its team of local leaders and volunteers, including Project Manager Noam Shumakh-Khaimov, co-chairs Alina Bitel and Roman Sidler, as well as volunteers committee chair Estee Bardanashvili, programming committee chair Nina Faynberg and many others.
Photos courtesy Igor Khodzinskiy