Following the success of its first conference in Canada, Limmud FSU’s second conference in Canada opens tomorrow at Blue Mountain resort north of Toronto.
The conference, as with all Limmud international events world-wide, is organized and administered by volunteers and will be held in cooperation with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Several hundred mostly young Russian-speaking Jews will be taking part in the three-day event where more than 80 presentations, lectures, master-classes, workshops and cultural events touching upon a wide range of Jewish lifestyle issues and culture, history, current affairs, the Arab-Israel conflict, the Middle East and more, will be offered.
Among prominent speakers will be Yosef Mendelevich, a noted “Prisoner of Zion,” who, together with a small group of young Jews, attempted to hijack an airplane and fly it out of the USSR in 1970; Gidi Greenstein, head of Israel’s Re’ut Institute; jazz virtuoso Leonid Ptashka together with singer Irena Rosenfeld; Asaf Bracha, Israel’s Consul General in Toronto, philanthropist Shoel Silver and Limmud FSU co-founder Sandra Cahn.
During the event, a special photographic exhibit, “Opening the Gates” marking 25 years since the opening of the gates of the Soviet Union to free Jewish emigration, will be shown. The over 50 historic photographs include several depicting the role played by Canadians in that struggle. The exhibit has already been shown in the Knesset and is featured in other Limmud FSU events around the world. According to Mendelevitch, “The struggle of the refuseniks and the Prisoners of Zion, was one of the factors that shook the Soviet Union to its foundations and contributed to the eventual fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Communist regime, and that it is important that young Jews today see this exhibition.”
Speaking with eJP just prior to the Conference, Chaim Chesler, Limmud FSU’s said, “This second conference in Canada is a direct follow-up to last year’s success. Moreover, it is evidence of the phenomenal growth of Limmud FSU in our tenth year of activities and our ever-expanding reach to more and more Russian-speaking young people in different communities across the world.”