Limmud FSU 1st-ever Pan-European Conference Opens Friday

An unparalleled European gathering for Russian-speaking Jews will convene outside London later this week.

650 Russian-speaking Jews from more than 20 European countries will gather in Windsor (U.K.) for the first-ever Limmud FSU Europe regional conference, Feb. 3rd-5th. More than 250,000 Russian-speaking Jews currently reside in Europe, making it one of the world’s largest Russian-speaking Jewish communities.

The conference will be the first extra-territorial Limmud FSU and will feature more than 100 lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures including British members of Parliament; Israeli members of Knesset; French, Russian and American presenters. Ambassador of Israel to the U.K. Mark Regev; former Ambassador of Israel to the U.N. Ron Prosor; American historian Deborah Lipstadt; Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar; and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein are just some of the many who will be addressing the audience.

In preparing for the event, Limmud FSU Europe Chairman Semyon Dovzhik tells us: “Limmud FSU Europe is a unique platform, uniting Russian-speaking Jews from different communities and backgrounds. Russian-European Jews see Limmud FSU as an outstanding opportunity to reconnect with their Jewish roots and preserve their cultural heritage.”

eJP will be hosting a panel discussion, “The Art of Giving” with: Ukraine-born American businessman, investor and philanthropist Len Blavatnik; businessman and philanthropist Matthew Bronfman, who is chairman of Limmud FSU’s international steering committee; Limmud FSU President Aaron Frenkel; World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder; Genesis Philanthropy Group President and CEO Ilia Salita; and NY philanthropist Diane Wohl.

Speaking exclusively to eJP prior to setting out for Europe, Ilia Salita said: “Bringing together Russian-speaking Jewish young adults from many corners of the continent at Limmud FSU Europe is about celebrating their Jewishness, empowering their activism and forging a sense of community. Genesis Philanthropy Group focuses on developing Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews around the world. Investing in this project goes beyond supporting an inspirational weekend in London. We see Limmud FSU as a worthy and ambitious endeavor and we believe that this gathering will be a vital catalyst for the long-lasting engagement of its participants and their families in local communities across Europe.”

Upcoming North American Limmud FSU events include Limmud FSU Canada (Ontario, March 24-26), Limmud FSU New York (May 12-14) and Limmud FSU West Coast (San Francisco, Nov. 17-19).

Limmud FSU Europe is being held in partnership with the Genesis Philanthropy Group.

About: Limmud FSU was founded 10 years ago by Chaim Chesler, former treasurer of The Jewish Agency, and Sandra Cahn, a philanthropist from New York. Since its inaugural conference in Moscow (2006), Limmud FSU has created an independent educational and communal network of annual conferences and festivals, attracting more than 45,000 participants in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Israel, North America, and Australia.