At the opening gala of Limmud FSU’s Festival in Vitebsk (Belarus), the organization saluted Ralph Goldman on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Those in attendance responded with enthusiastic applause and the singing of happy birthday in 3 languages – English, Hebrew and Russian.
In remarks, Chaim Chesler – founder of Limmud FSU – thanked Goldman for his support of Limmud FSU since its founding nine years ago. At the time, Goldman stated, “Limmud FSU is the best way to attract young unaffiliated Russian-speaking Jews around the world.”
The gala, held this afternoon at the National Theatre of Vitebsk, was attended by 700 participants. Joining the celebration was Israel’s Ambassador to Belarus Yosef Shagal; Chair of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Organizations Boris Gersten; and Minister of Culture of the Vitebsk province, Larissa Olanskaya. The ambassador thanked Limmud FSU for its contribution to strengthening cultural relations and tourism between the Jewish people and Belarus.
The gala included entertainment by well-known Jewish theatre actors from Moscow along with top Belarusian performers.
Limmud FSU was founded nine years ago by Chaim Chesler and Sandra Cahn of New York City. Matthew Bronfman is the long-standing chair of the International Steering Committee. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein recently joined the organization as Dean.
photos by Yossi Aloni