Some 950-people gathered over the weekend for Limmud FSU Ukraine, the biggest event geared towards the Jewish community in the country. The event took place in Odessa, one of the most important cities of Jewish and Zionist movement’s history in the former Soviet Union. Today there are about 400,000 Jews living in Ukraine, with more than 45,000 in Odessa

The crowd at Limmud FSU Ukraine 2017 session

Limmud FSU Ukraine featured an array of more than 180 world-class speakers from around the world on a multitude of subjects ranging from art, to Jewish culture and tradition, literature, music, theater, history, politics, business and lifestyle.

The event featured a special ceremony and a concert celebrating Bob Dylan, one of the most prominent Jewish composers and musicians of our time. Dylan’s paternal mother, Anna Zimmerman, together with her husband Zigman, emigrated from Odessa to the US in 1910. The event also included an exhibition on Dylan’s life "Forever young: behind Dylan's revolution and legacy", created by the Museum of Diaspora in Tel Aviv, and presented by one of its curators, Amitai Achiman.

"Ukrainian-Jewish community is among the most thriving Jewish communities in the world, while the city of Odessa is one of the most important cities in Jewish history. We’re happy that Limmud FSU festival in Ukraine is an important part in the life of the Jewish community", said Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler.

Among the presenters were Israel's ambassador to Ukraine Eliav Belotserkovsky; WZO Chair, Avraham Duvdevani ;Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) Vice-President for External Relations and former Israeli Ambassador to Russia, Dorit Golender; Maj. General (res.), Uzi Dayan, Executive Director  of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Haim Ben Yakov; Nativ's countrty director for Ukraine Gennady Polischuk; Director of The Ukrainian Institute for the Study of the Holocaust Tkuma, Igor Shchupak; Board Member of Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter Adrian Karatnycky, popular Russian satirist and writer, Victor Shenderovich, and many more.

Sandy Cahn, Limmud FSU co-founder : "Odessa is the city of Ze’ev Jabitinsky, Meir Dizengoff, Shaul Tchernichovsy. We are more than proud to have our 11th Limmud FSU Ukraine in this important city for the Jewish people."

This event took place with the generous support of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE), Nativ, Claims Conference and All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress.

"The key to Limmud's success lies in its unique combination of learning, recreation and communication, which harmoniously unite and create a unique Limmud atmosphere", said Osik Axelrod, the Chairman of Limmud FSU Ukraine.