Limmud FSU: The Learning Adventure Continues
As typical with all Limmud events, there was a diversity of sessions and presenters. The latter ranged from Dr. Yael Blau, a Ben-Gurion University professor who is the granddaughter of S.Y. Agnon to Yuval Rabin, a software engineer and son of the late prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, to Alexander Duchovny, chief Rabbi of the communities of Progressive Judaism in Kiev and the Ukraine to Dasha Privalko, Hillel’s CASE Regional Development Director for six FSU countries. In total, almost 80 presenters kept the program moving daily from 7:30 am until way past midnight.
Each year, Limmud FSU focuses on one aspect of Jewish life. This year, the theme is based on Jewish-Russian and Israeli Nobel laureates and their many global contributions since the first prizes were awarded in 1907. Limmud Ukraine, as the first Limmud FSU event of 2010, kicked off Limmud Nobel, for which events are already being planned for Moscow, Jerusalem and WestHampton, New York.
Roald Hoffmann, the recipient of the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1981, sent a powerful video message to the participants on Judaism and Science, and concluded with a plea to remember that “spiritual things are of immense value”.
In both the countries of the FSU and among the Jewish-Russian demographic in others, Limmud FSU has tasked itself with the mission of helping to restore a tradition of lifelong Jewish learning while providing opportunities to strengthen Jewish identity. No small task; but with the diversity of locales, a full range of sessions and presenters at each conference, along with the opportunities to interact with a wide range of participants, exchange ideas, and acquire new knowledge and experiences, a strong foundation is being laid. Limmud FSU is quickly becoming an indispensable part of Jewish communal life within and for this demographic.