Cosmonauts Over the Skies of Beersheba
In May 2011, an FSU Festival in Beersheba, Marking 50 Years for the First Flight to Space by Yuri Gagarin, Hosted Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov
In May 2011, a Limmud FSU festival took place in Beersheba, marking the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by the soviet Cosmonaut, Yuri Garagin, in May 1961.
Amongst the speakers of the festival were the American-Jewish astronaut, Dr. Garret Reisman, his Soviet-Russian counterpart, Mikhail Kornyenko and General Alexei Archipovitch Leonov.
This Limmud FSU festival was held under the slogan “Space and Technology,” and was attended by Moshe Arens, former Minister of Defense and himself former professor of aeronautics, Minister of Health, Yuli Edelstein, (then Minister of Diaspora) and Rona Ramon, widow of Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.
Ramon was killed in February 2003, with the tragic disintegration of the Columbia space craft as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. His son, Capt. Assaf Ramon, was killed in an F-16 training accident over the Negev Desert in 2009.
The Beersheba event was also attended by a phalanx of high-level Russians including Alexander Kriyukov, director of the Russian Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, and the Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver.
The audience was excited to witness Brig. Gen. Roman Yagel (Ritter), Chair of the Association of Wounded Soldiers and Partisans in Israel, mounting the stage to bestow awards on the three cosmonauts.
Coming down from the stratosphere, the 800 participants faced the usual agonizing choice between the lectures, workshops, master classes, films, debates, round table discussions, yoga and dance classes – as many as six sessions taking place simultaneously.
In one session on song writing, the attendees brought along lyrics and singer Marina Maximilian Blumin, born in Ukraine, helped to match them to melodies.
About Alexei Leonov
The first person to conduct a spacewalk
Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov[a] (30 May 1934 – 11 October 2019) was a Soviet and Russian cosmonaut, Air Force major general, writer, and artist. On 18 March 1965, he became the first person to conduct a spacewalk, exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
In July 1975, Leonov commanded the Soyuz capsule in the Soyuz–Apollo mission, which docked in space for two days with an American Apollo capsule.