THE BIGGEST JEWISH EVENT IN MOLDOVA ATTRACTS MORE THAN 300 PARTICIPANTS

The Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament Zinaida Greceanii was among the attendees

Limmud FSU Moldova team of volunteers. Courtesy of Ruslan Krechun.

More than 300 young Jewish adults gathered this Sunday in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova, for a 2 days-long Limmud FSU Moldova festival. The packed event, which is geared towards Russian-speaking Jews, featured an array of world-class programs and international speakers, with more than 60 lectures, activities, master classes, performances and many more.

The exciting event also included a special ceremony of inauguration of a new synagogue in JCC KEDEM, taking place Sunday evening. Alexander Bilinkis, president of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova, along with Alexander Weinstein and Emmanuil Grinshpun, donated the funds for the reopening of the original “Wooden” Synagogue, which was established in 1835 and nationalized in 1940.

Chaim Chesler, Zinaida Grecianni and Emmanuil Grinshpun at the synagogue reopening.

The Speaker of the Parliament Zinaida Greceanii attended the official opening and addressed the Limmud FSU participants with a special greeting: “Our task is to preserve and amplify this tradition. It is difficult to correct what happened during the most terrible tragedy of the twentieth century - the Holocaust. However, at present new cultural centers are being built, synagogues restored.” Greceanii added that “The fact that the historical building of the “Woodcutters” synagogue is returning is an eloquent demonstration that the new generation is ready to revive the glory of the ancestors, the glory of the Jewish Moldovan community.”

Limmud FSU Moldova, a dynamic and pluralistic Jewish festival of culture, creativity and learning, proved to be one of the organization’s largest local Jewish gatherings in recent years. The event, which took place at the JCC KEDEM featured well-known presenters as the Vice President of community relations in the Genesis Philanthropy Group and former ambassador of Israel to Russia Dorit Golender, IDF major general (res.) and head of the Institute for National Security Research at Tel Aviv University Amos Yadlin, Rabbi of the Jewish community of Moldova Shimshon (Daniel) Isakson, Chief scientist of the Ministry of Aliya and Absorption in Israel Ze’ev Khanin, Jewish comedian and actress from Russia Klara Novikova, a well-known writer and television presenter Boris Burda from Ukraine, historian Mark Tkachuk (Moldova), leading architect Maxim Kalyuzak, and the musician Konstantin Moskovici.

“Our annual events in Moldova have become an integral part of the rich communal life of the Moldovan Jewry. The passionate commitment of the volunteers, the amazing attendance of the participants we see here today, and the high level of the program are the definite proof of the flourish of the Jewish community in this country.” said Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler at the opening ceremony.

Vice President of community relations in the Genesis Philanthropy Group Dorit Golender: “Genesis Philanthropy Group’s mission is to develop and enhance a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide by supporting initiatives that ensure preservation of Jewish culture, heritage, and values in Russians-speaking Jewish communities across the globe. Since its inauguration, Limmud FSU has proven itself to be one of the leading global Russian-speaking Jewish projects, and we are happy to be partners in this commendable enterprise.”

“It’s my third time at Limmud FSU in Chisinau, and I just can’t get enough of it”, said participant Vlad Plot (24). “It feels like the best things in our community come together in this beautiful orchestra of Jewish learning, culture and networking with great people.”

Rabbi Rafael Shaffer, the chief rabbi of Romania with young participant. Courtesy of Shendy Copitman.

Limmud FSU Moldova was sponsored by the Jewish Community of Moldova, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Euro - Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), Claims Conference, Nativ, Joel Passick.

The event was made possible by a team of local leaders and volunteers, led by Limmud FSU Executive Director Roman Kogan and Project Manager Galina Rybnikova including Julia Sheinman (Chair), Egor Yertagayev, Riva Koksharova and others.