First-Ever Limmud FSU to be Held in Moldova

Chisinau, May 29, 2012 – Over 400 young Jewish adults from Moldova and the southern region of Ukraine will come together in the city of Chisinau, June 7th-10th, for the first Limmud FSU conference in Moldova.

More than 22,000 Jews live in Moldova today, with about 15,000 concentrated in the capital. For more than 100 years, Chisinau (formerly known by its Russian name of Kishinev) has been known for the county’s rich Jewish history. Today, this once remote part of the former Russian Empire is the vibrant capital of the newly independent Republic of Moldova, with a once-again vibrant Jewish community.

As the norm with all Limmud programs around the globe, the entire program is organized by a team of local volunteers and a local programming committee. In the best Limmud FSU tradition, the conference will include over 40 lectures, presentations, cultural performances, workshops, excursions and round-table discussions. Among the presenters will be prominent historians, scientists, artists, politicians, businessmen, educators and musicians from Israel, the U.S. and the FSU. The participants will also have the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister of Moldova, Vlad Filat.

An interesting part of the conference will be when Matthew Bronfman, the chair of the International Steering Committee for Limmud FSU, will visit Ataki in Moldova, where the Bronfman family lived before his grandfather, Samuel Bronfman, immigrated to Canada at the end of the 19th Century. Matthew will represent his family and attend a ceremony, where he will be awarded as an honorary citizen by the city’s mayor.

Participants at the conference will also have the opportunity to meet Baron Arthur Cherar, who is known as the “The Gypsy King”. Cherar lives in a town called Soroki in Moldova which is known as the Gypsy capital of the world. Baron Cherar will speak about the relationship between Jews and the Gypsy community and the common history that they shared, including the Holocaust where both were persecuted by the Nazis.

image Chisinau train station exterior; courtesy Brian Dell