Let My People Know

“Let my People Know” was published to mark the first decade of the work of Limmud FSU. In tracing the story in more than 400 pages
, with over 80 full-color photographs, the book written by Mordechai Haimovitch and translated and edited by Asher Weill, crosses continents and cities from Moscow and St. Petersburg, from Kiev to Odessa, to Toronto, New York and Melbourne and in Israel, and highlights the exciting story of how Russian-speaking Jews, deprived of Jewish life and experience during 70 years of Communist repression, are now finding their way back and rediscovering their heritage, their sense of identity, their culture, history, arts  and literature. In so doing, the book traces the story of some of the eminent men and women who came out of the Russian-speaking areas of Eastern Europe during the past 150 years and whose descendants have spoken at Limmud events across the world, including such iconic figures as Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Zeev Jabotinsky,
2017
LFSU Europe

Yasnaya Polyana Comes to Windsor

The First Limmud FSU Event in Western Europe Has Attracted Some Interesting Guests and Brought Up a Discussion About the Differences Between East and West

ch. 48, p. 398
At the Windsor Castle Hotel, not far from the royal residence, in the cold of early February, 700 people have congregated for the first Limmud FSU in Western Europe, coming from the UK and all over the continent, and as far away as Russia, Ukraine, Albania and Kazakhstan. It has taken us two years to get them here,” said Semyon Dovzhik (45), chairman of the organizing committee of Limmud FSU Europe. We talk about assimilation as a threat to Judaism in Europe, and about the cultural differences between Jews from East and West Europe. Ron Proson, ex ambassador to the United Nations in New York, talked to the Limmud FSU audience about the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Malcolm Hoenlein, ex chief executive of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was also one of the speakers. “Limmud FSU is an example of Jewish unity. When we are united, we can overcome antisemitism.” One hundred sessions given by dozens of presenters filled the program that weened in Windsor. On the eve of Netanyahu’s visit to London, talks by Israeli guest politicians including MKs Merav Michaeli and David Bitan, were popular. Other participants, who had hastily left for London to watch the Arsenal-Chelsea football match, hurried back to the lecture halls after the final whistle had been blown.
About No Name

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

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2017
LFSU West Coast

Rabbis and Hollywood Stardust

The Second Limmud FSU East Coast and Second in San Francisco Area - Presentors, Volunteers and Guests

ch. 47, p. 390
After ten years of annual events on the East Coast of the United States, more than 800 people have gathered for a second Limmud FSU West Coast and first-ever in the San Francisco area. Among the presenters were WhatsApp founder Jan Koum; the American astronaut Garrett Reisman; historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt; CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Danny Grossman; and the musicians Hemi Rodner, Josh Nelson and the Russian Undervud band. A highlight of the event was the launch of the special exhibition “Shimon Peres – Vision and Innovation,” produced by Limmud FSU, working in close collaboration with the family of the late president and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. Prof. Tsvia Walden, the daughter of Shimon Peres, curated the exhibition and opened the exhibition on behalf of the Peres’ family. A very special event was an award ceremony, honoring former American secretary of state George P. Shultz, who was deeply involved in the struggle of Soviet Jewry during the 1980’s and 1990’s, when immigration from USSR was denied. Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Shransky, who himself spent nine years in the Soviet prisons, together with Ofir Akunis, the then Israeli minister of science, technology and space, and Claims Conference president Julius Berman, presented Shultz with an award. Among the speakers were also: Doreen and Chaim Seidler-Feller – Doreen lectured about sexuality in Jewish life, Rabbi Chaim is a widely-appreciated teacher. Rabbi David Wolpe (57) is a superstar. For the last 20 years he has spent Thursdays studying Torah with Kirk Douglas. Also participating was Rabbi Marc Schneier, rabbi at one of the wealthiest synagogues in the United States, in Westhampton, Long Island, New York. Chesler and Sandra Cahn had invited the actor Ed Asner, mostly known for his role as the journalist, Lou Grant, to attend Limmud FSU. We also take the time to hear the stories of Paulina Berlin (33) and Alexander Polovitz (80).

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2015
LFSU Australia

A Promised Land in the Outback

Melech Ravitch's Attemp at Starting a Jewish State in Australia

ch. 44, p. 371
Limmud FSU has gone on an expedition following the one made by Melech Ravitch in 1933, in the hopes of establishing a Jewish state in the Kimberley region of North-West Australia. Before leaving for Australia we have visited his son, the painter Yosl Bergner, at his studio. He showed us a series of paintings of depressed Aboriginal people based on his father’s Australian odyssey. Because of a shortage of time, this was to be a hurried visit. Not to Kimberley in the footsteps of Ravitch, but just two days around Alice Springs, from where he had set out. On checking before we left for Australia, we have been assured there were no Jews in Alice but in a coffee bar over an avocado salad, we met Elly Polin. She and her husband, Ted Steinberecker, are the only Jews in town. The Australians wanted to cultivate the wilderness of Kimberley. They hoped that dense settlement in the area would fend off the threat of Japanese invasion from the direction of Darwin. The official government “White Australia” policy would allow potential Jewish settlers to be granted visas. Ravitch wrote to his readers that the land was wonderful, miracles could be achieved there. The tropical weather was easy to bear, and if the water supply could be properly dealt with, agriculture would flourish. In 1934, Ravtich nearing the end of his odyssey, published an article in the Yiddish magazine, Die Frieland, maintaining that the ambition of establishing a Jewish Uganda, a Jewish Angola, a Jewish Australia, was not a fantasy. But the Polish Jewish intellectuals barely read the magazine and the article withered on the vine. Ravitch wrote in 1936 passionately, “All Jews should leave Poland and take the headstones of their dear ones with them.” In 1937 his articles were published in Yiddish in a collection called “The Length and Breadth of Australia.” But by the time the book was published, Ravtich had abandoned his dream of mass rescue and was more concerned with the individual rescue of his family – he brought them over to Melbourne. Faced with the Holocaust and the objections of the Australian government, the Kimberley Plan was buried once and for all.
About Yosl Berger

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Yosl Bergner (13 October 1920 – 18 January 2017), also known as Josl, was an Israeli painter. He was born in Vienna, Austria, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, lived in Melbourne, Australia from 1937 until 1948, when he moved to Israel. Bergner designed scenery and costumes for the Yiddish and Hebrew theatres, particularly for the plays of Nisim Aloni, and has illustrated many books. The acme of Bergner's paintings is his allegorical works; he uses kitchen tools such as squashed pots, oil lamps, wrecks and cracked jugs and he anthropomorphizes them. These old instruments symbolize distorted and poor world of wars, secrets and darkness. one of his student was Nurit Shany, a painter and a multidisciplinary Israeli artist.
2015
LFSU Australia

Kangarusskis

A Recap of Jewish Communities in Australia

ch. 43, p. 358
The Limmud FSU delegation was warming up for the coming conference in Melbourne. Jews first began to arrive in the new continent in the 1820s with the first waves of free immigration – except for a handful of Jewish convicts beginning with the First Fleet of 1787. Growing antisemitism in Europe made Australia a favored destination. Later on, there were also economic benefits, especially during the feverish excitement of the Gold Rush. Most of the early immigrants were from the British Isles, many of them from Scotland and Ireland. But there were also some from Eastern Europe. Today, there are some 12,000 Jews in the continent, mostly in Melbourne and Sydney, with smaller communities in Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and even in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. It is estimated that some 30,000 or nearly 30 percent of these people, are of Russian-speaking origin. Limmud FSU has arrived Down Under because Australia is a preferred destination, like the USA and Canada, for many Russian-speaking Jews from the former Soviet Union. The event has hosted 400 people and took place in the small town of Lorne, on the scenic Great Ocean Road. Conducting the Limmud FSU Australian happening were Alexandra (Sasha) Klyachkina, chair of the organizing committee and an emissary of the Jewish Agency to the Russian-speaking community of the Australian Zionist Federation, and project manager, Tania Shvartsman. We talked to the volunteers and participants and learned about Jewish and Jewish Russian-speaking life and Australia, about the difficulties of fitting in and finding the right community. If history had been different, the Aboriginals that portrayed in Yosl Bergner exhibition “A Land for the Jews?”, in subject poverty and misery, in long coats buttoned up to the neck, could well have been the neighbors of the Jews in the Outback of the Southern Continent.

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2014
LFSU Canada

A Little House in the Canadian Prairie

A Recap of the Attempt to Start an Independent Jewish State in Saskatchewn, Canada

ch. 42, p. 350
We visited Saskatchewan. The local Indians gave it the name, which means “Waters flowing from the mountain.” In aerial photographs this province in the south-west of Canada in the shape of an oblong, is 652,000 square kilometers of arid steppes, frozen and empty. One million inhabitants with a density of 1.6 people to the square kilometer. In 1903, the Sixth Zionist Congress buried the Uganda proposal for Jewish settlement but did not suggest an alternative. As opposed to the promotors of Zion who declared “Eretz Israel at all costs,” some Jewish leaders thought differently. The British writer, Israel Zangwill advocated mass Jewish settlement, preferably within the boundaries of the British Empire. He found an ally in Winston Churchill, the then British deputy minister for the colonies, who responded, “The plan has spirit, energy and the ability to be implemented – I will do everything in my power to help bring it to happen. The settlement was meant to be in the province of Saskatchewan, as some Jews who had fled from earlier pogroms in Eastern Europe had already settled there. They would absorb the new immigrants and teach them how to work the land. The notion of resettling the Jews in Canada was dropped from the national agenda in 1906. We landed in Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. In 1891 there were nine Jews here, by 1911, the community numbered 130, including a Shoceht. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought the number to 1,000 among the 2,500 Jews in all of Saskatchewan. Mixed marriages, the bright lights of Toronto and the friendly border with the United States have drawn away almost everyone. We met the little Jews left in the area.

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2011
LFSU NY

New York and the Pull of Mother Russia

Limmud FSU Conference in New York is a Chance to Talk to Ex-USSR Jews Living There and to Hear of How They See Their Identity

ch. 39, p. 331
The Limmud FSU conference has about 700 guests, former USSR citizens. We speak to some of the participants and hear their stories: Irina Rosenfeld, the 27-year-old singer, a Chozeret Bitshuva, who is not yet ready to give up the microphone. Back in Ukraine, she appeared before 52 million people and reached second place in the Ukrainian version of “A Star is Born.” In Israel that star has not quite been reborn yet. Oren Heimna, 46, a Yored from Israel, chairman of the local council – an organization of some 150 leaders of local Israeli communities in the New York area. He is a lawyer and specializes in Israeli businesses. Naftali Friedman was born in New York, to a father from Slovakia and a mother from Belgium. He wears a kippa and is teaching his five-and-a-half-year-old son, Avi, the words of Ma Nishtana in four languages no less – Hebrew, English, Russian and Yiddish. Natasha Leiner, 32, a management consultant, born in St. Petersburg, who landed in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. Leonid Shapira, 65, has lived in Vilna for ten years, and emigrated to the USA in 1983.

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2009
LFSU Far East

Birobidzhan: Steps in the Steppes

A Recap of the Attempt to Start an Independent Jewish Oblast in Birobidzhan, in the Far East Edge of the USSR

ch. 38, p.325
In his “Atlas of Jewish History,” Sir Martin Gilbert enumerated no less than 20 attempts to set up an independent Jewish state across the world. Uganda is certainly the best-known, but there were others in Angola, Mesopotamia, Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles, Cyrenaica in Libya, Grand Island near the Niagara Falls, Saskatchewan in Canada and the Kimberly Region, deep in the Australian Outback. At the USSR, the most celebrated of all the alternative hopes for redemption was in the Autonomous Jewish Oblast of Birobidzhan in the Russian Far East, near the border with China. There is a fundamental difference with this and other regions described by Martin Gilbert. If Theodor Herzl, or Israel Zangwill, the founder in 1905 of the Territorialist Movement, saw Uganda or Saskatchewan as a temporary alternative to Zion, Stalin intended Birobidzhan as a way of extinguishing Zion. The remote region at the far extremity of the Soviet Empire would not be a temporary solution but a permanent one aimed at preventing any Zionist influence. The Soviets liked the idea of a Jewish Kibbutz in the USSR, they believed that, in supporting it, the superiority of Communism over Socialist Zionism would be proved. The Red Jewish Pioneers were allotted an area of abandoned farm land in Yevpatoria, west of Simferopol, the capital of Crimea. The language spoken in the Crimean Kibbutz Voyo Novo (Esperanto for the “New Way,”) was Hebrew, but the pioneers had to resort to the language invented by Ludvik Zamenhoff, as Stalin had forbidden the use of Hebrew and the pioneers refused to speak Russian or Yiddish. However, inevitably, a few years later, the Communist regime lost interest in the anti-Zionist propaganda value of the commune. Most of the members left. With the invasion of Hitler, the remaining men of Voyo Nova joined the Soviet forces, a Russian neighbor betrayed the women and children who were left behind to the occupying German forces and they were rounded up and drowned in the communal well. Soviet propaganda was so successful that even several hundred dreamers in Palestine were swept up in the vision of the New Utopia, but the decline was in sight when in the mid-1930’s, Stalin began persecuting the Jews. Prominent leaders disappeared and Yiddish schools were shut down across the USSR. Birobidzhan today is still called the Jewish Autonomous Region, but it is almost devoid of Jews - Limmud FSU has visited those who are left and heard what they had to say.

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2014
LFSU Ukraine

From Fania to Fania

Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger, the Daugher of Amos Oz, is Accompanied by Limmud FSU on the Way to Rovno, Where Her Grandfather Was Born

ch. 34, p. 287
Limmud FSU has accompanied Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger on the way to Rovno – now called Rivne – no longer Polish, and in the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism. It was here that her great-gradnfather, Naphtali Hertz Mussman, the grandfather of her father, Amos Oz, was born in 1889, and it was here that he married Itta Schuster, who was born in 1891. Their daughter Fania, after whom Oz-Salzberger is named, was born in 1913 and her sisters Haya in 1911 and Sonia in 1916. Fania never knew her grandmother who suffered from depression and committed suicide in Israel in 1951, when Amos was 12 years old. The focal point of the visit is for Fania to unveil a plaque that has been attached to the side of the building her grandmother was born in. Fania said her father had no desire to visit his mother’s home town because he was afraid that reality will clash with the descriptions which he heard so vividly from his mother and aunts. Back in the golden days of the Jewish community in Rovno, all Jewish high-school students went to the Tarbut high-school, which followed a secular, Zionist-oriented curriculum. The building of the Tarbut high-school still stands but it is no longer Tarbut, nor are there any Jewish pupils – but it is still an educational center – rather run-down at the heels, cracked linoleum, rickety stairs and a pervading odor of mildew and sewage. We go over the history of the town, as well as the family story. Rovno, like thousands of others that were once towns and villages with thriving and vibrant Jewish populations, no longer has Jewish life of any significance. Jewish culture, tradition, literature, music, language, in this part of the world is largely a thing of the past. For the Oz’s of our generation live elsewhere.
The Oz family

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Amos Oz (born Amos Klausner; 4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018) was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual. He was also a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 1967 onwards, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He was the author of 40 books, including novels, short story collections, children's books, and essays, and his work has been published in 45 languages, more than that of any other Israeli writer. He was the recipient of many honours and awards, among them the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, the Legion of Honour of France, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize. Oz is regarded as one of "Israel's most prolific writers and respected intellectuals", as The New York Times worded it in an obituary.
2015

“The Silver Platter”

Natan Slor, Grandson of Natan Alterman, Joined a Limmud FSU Conference in Kishinev, Where His Grandfather Grew Up

ch. 32, p. 273
Sixteen years after Bialik described the “City of Slaughter”, Natan Alterman arrived in Kishinev. Nearly 95 years later, his grandson, also called Natan, Natan Slor, has arrived in the capital of Moldova, as a guest artist at the opening of the Limmud FSU conference in Kishinev. Natan Alterman was one of the leading Hebrew poets of the modern era. He grew up in Kiev, then part of Romania, but left it with his family at 1919 following the annexation of it by the Bolsheviks. He arrived at Kishinev and lived there until 1925, when his family decided to move to Israel. In Israel he had a daughter – Tirza Atar, a well-known songwriter, singer, poet, writer, actress and translator on her own. Tirza started her career at the entertainment troupe of the IDF Armored Corps. In 1961 she married Oded Kotler and they moved to New York to study acting. There she started suffering from depression, and her father came to take her back home. That was the end of her marriage. In Israel she was treated at Tel Hashomer Hospital and her condition began to improve. Aged 23, she acted in Yehuda Amichai’s “No Man’s Land” and met and married Benjamin Slor. The two had two children – Yael and Natan, and when Natan was 5 his mother died tragically in unclear circumstances. Yael and Natan were taken care of by their grandmother, the actress Rachel Marcus, who lived opposite them. Natan too is an artist. At the age of 36, his mother already had a long history of cultural creation behind her. Slor at the age of 34 has produced his first CD called “25 hours” He says he decided early on to break the barrier and to give shows with family connections. Now at the age of 44, he tries to forge a dialogue with what could be seen as an oppressive weight. And he still feels guilty that he doesn’t do enough with own materials.
the Alterman family

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Nathan Alterman (August 14, 1910 – March 28, 1970) was an Israeli poet, playwright, journalist, and translator. Though never holding any elected office, Alterman was highly influential in Socialist Zionist politics, both before and after the establishment of the State of Israel.
2013
LFSU Ukraine

Odessa–Tel Aviv, Corner of Bialik

Meeting the Participants of Limmud FSU Ukraine

ch. 31, p. 267
Chaim Nachman Bialik, 140 years after his birth, is close to the heart of the participants in this Limmud FSU Ukraine taking place in Odessa. More than 600 people from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova, have paid in order to learn about him, but not only about him. A slogan of Limmud is intellectual pluralism and in Odessa this is clearly evident. Jewish organizations, that at the beginning perhaps greeted Limmud with a certain degree of skepticism, have representatives there. Interestingly, Yona Kreminetsky, the first chairman of Jewish National Fund, was born in Odessa. We talk to participants, such as: Ayelet Bitan-Shlonsky, the director and curator of Bialik House in Tel Aviv, Prof. Dvora Hacohen, “The social and cultural absorption of immigrants from the former Soviet Union”, her husband, Rabbi Menachem Hacohen, their son, Aviad Hacohen, Asi Mendel, and his parents, Dorit Reuveni and Yankele Mandel, Larissa Popovskaya, a member of the organizing committee, Margarita Lopatina, Yulia Dor, Igor Shchupa, Larissa Patrishov, and more

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

2014
LFSU Ukraine

“City of Slaughter”

Limmud FSU Modova Weekend in Kishinev, Dealing with the 1903 Pogrom

ch. 30, p. 264
Limmud FSU Moldova has arranged a weekend in Kishinev for its participants, in the memory of the 1903 pogroms that took place there against the Jewish people of the city. About 250 Jews from Moldova participated, with a burning desire to share in the Jewish narrative as well as the Israeli story. We meet some of the volunteers and hear their stories.

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

The Kishinev pogrom was an anti-Jewish riot that took place in Kishinev (modern Chișinău, Moldova), then the capital of the Bessarabia Governorate in the Russian Empire, on April 19–21 [O.S. April 6–8] 1903. Further rioting erupted in October 1905. In the first wave of violence, beginning on Easter Day, 49 Jews were killed, a number of Jewish women were raped and 1,500 homes were damaged. American Jews began large-scale organized financial help, and assisted in emigration. The incident focused worldwide attention on the persecution of Jews in Russia and led Theodor Herzl to propose the Uganda Scheme for resettlement of the Jews.
2013
LFSU Ukraine

The Zhitomiri

A Limmud FSU Deligation Traveled Ukraine in the Footstpes of Chaim Nachman Bialik

ch. 29, p. 245
A Limmud FSU delegation has traveled through Ukraine following the fascinating life story of the national poet – Chaim Nachman Bialik. The delegation had many stops along the way: Bialik’s date and place of birth are unknown, but what is known is that he was raised in Radi until the age of 5, then his family moved to Smolyanka district of Zhitomir. Bialik’s father died when he was only 10, which led to him moving to live with his strict religious grandfather in a suburb of Zhitomir. Because of his scholastic abilities he suffered from the jealousy of his cousins and faced their antagonism daily, but he found solace in his grandfather’s sacred books. The delegation has visited the grandfather’s house, now the home of a 76-year-old Jewish woman, Perla Gershovna Heller. At some point Bialik has left his father’s house and went to the Volozhin Yeshiva, where he received the nickname Zhitomiri, after the place he came from, made some close friends, and wrote some of his famous poems. After three months in Volozhin Yeshiva, Bialik’s interest waned. He continued to write poems and to be active in the Zionist movement, Netzach Israel. At one stage, he bitterly came to the conclusion that Volozhin was “just Gemara, Gemara, Gemara,” and he decided to leave. He arrived at Odessa with special interest in the group of Hebrew poets in the city. He met Lillienblum and let him read his poem “To a Bird”. Lillienblum sent Bialik to Ahad Ha’am, who was impressed and sent him to Yehoshua Ravnitzky, who was the editor and publisher of the influential literary journal “Pardess”, and was happy to publish the poem. In march 1982 Bialik suddenly left Odessa. He was worried that his grandfather would find out that he was no longer a student in Volozhin so he hurried back to Zhtomir. There he found out his grandfather was dying. Hid grandfather wanted to secure his financial future and had him marry Manya Averbuch. Bialik started working at her father’s business but failed so he took a position as a teacher in Sosnowiec. He returned to Odessa in June 1900, this time as a man with a solid reputation behind him. He lived there for 21 years.
about Chaim Nachman Bialik

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Hayim Nahman Bialik (January 9, 1873 – July 4, 1934), also Chaim or Haim, was a Jewish poet who wrote primarily in Hebrew but also in Yiddish. Bialik was one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew poetry. He was part of the vanguard of Jewish thinkers who gave voice to the breath of new life in Jewish life. Although he died before Israel became a state, Bialik ultimately came to be recognized as Israel's national poet.
2014
LFSU Belarus

The Acropolis of Volozhin

Ex Head of the Mossad, Ephrayim Halevy, Went to Visit the Volozhin Yeshiva in Belarus, Where his Great-Great Grandfather Used to Teach, in the Hopes to Rebuild It

ch. 27, p. 232
At the age of nearly 80, Ephraim Halevy is visiting the Volozhin Yeshiva in Belarus. His mother was the great-granddaughter of Rabbi Naphtali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (known by the Hebrew acronym, the Natziv) one of the founders of the yeshiva. Grigori Haitovitch, one of the leaders of the local Jewish community, would like the yeshiva to be restored, not for regular studies, but for study periods of a few days each. Halevy is not enthusiastic about the idea of a rebuilt yeshiva for study, he thinks it should serve as a center that will preserve and memorialize the tradition of Jewish learning that was destroyed here. The Volozhin Yeshiva ceased to exist after the Nazi invasion when its students were deported to ghettos and then murdered. A working meeting concerning the possible restoration of the yeshiva takes place after a visit to the Yama (“Pit” in Russian), a site where some 5,000 Jews were murdered. The Israeli ambassador to Belarus, Yosef Shagal, surmises that the restoration will cost some two million dollars. We meet the governor of Minsk province, Semen Shapiro. Shapiro is willing to talk about rebuilding the yeshiva but would like to hear some concrete ideas. In the meantime, he agrees to let Ephraim Halevy go see it. The ride gave Halevy and us a chance to talk, and resulted in some interesting insights. As we entered the yeshiva, we found that the windows were sealed up with bricks, the shutters are immovable, the neon lights are rusted to the walls, there is black mildew between the doors and the ceiling. Once this place was bursting with activity. The visit ended with a hope expressed by Halevy that a Jewish cultural center will be established here and that he would get to come back and visit.
About Ephraim Halevy

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Efraim Halevy (born 2 December 1934) is a lawyer and an Israeli intelligence expert. He was the ninth director of Mossad and the 4th head of the Israeli National Security Council. Above all, he is remembered for his part in bringing about the Israel-Jordan peace treaty. The special relationship he developed with King Hussein of Jordan made it possible for Halevy to open Jordan to the awareness that only a peace agreement with Israel would extricate the Hashemite kingdom from the crisis after the Gulf War.
2012
LFSU Moldova

Matthew Bronfman discovers Ataki

Limmud FSU Festival in Kishinev Has Mathew Bronfman Looking Throught the Family History

ch 23, p.205
“To this day, I ask myself, from where did he gather the strength to uproot his whole family and bring them to the New World”? Matthew Bronfman, the great-grandson tells the audience at the opening of the Limmud FSU festival in Kishinev. “What is quite clear is that by doing so, he saved his family and ensured the future of the generations that followed.” Mathew Bronfman has arrived at Ataki, the home town of this great-grandparents, Yechiel-Eikel and Midel-Golda Bronfman, to explore the family history. On May 1882, following a wave of pogroms throughout the southwest of the Russian Empire, they have tethered together their three children, one of whom was two-month old Samuel, the children’s nanny and two rabbis so that a Jewish community could be created in their new home and left for Canada. The Bronfman family found itself in Winnipeg in south-west Canada. They began to explore their surroundings and started out by selling fish. Yechiel also cut timber in the forests. In 1903 Yechiel-Eikel purchased a house in the town of Emerson in the Province of Manitoba and turned it into a hotel with four rooms. Samuel was given the job of running it. He quickly learned that they could make more money by selling whiskey in the bar rather than renting out rooms. In 1919 his father died and Sam took up the reins and bought out a liquor company founded in 1857, creating a new enterprise – The Seagram Company. When Sam Bronfman died, at the age of 82, in 1971, Seagram’s was the world’s largest manufacturer of alcoholic drinks and the Bronfman family was one of the wealthiest Jewish families in the world. Mathew Bronfman has arrived at Balti, better known to us as Beltz, in the company jet. Ataki is situated 250 km north of Kishinev. The Bronfman family left Ataki 150 years ago, so there is no evidence of where they lived nor has anyone any real idea. In order to seek out a connection, he made his way to the Jewish cemetery in Bolchenitz.it is virtually impossible to identify who is buried where but it is certain that it holds the ancestors of the Bronfman family. Bronfman also visited the town of Soroka, where his great-grandmother was born. He visited the local Jewish community center and met with whatever Jews left here. In the evening he arrived in Kishinev, for the Limmud FSU festival, where he spoke about his family history and all that he has learned during the day.
About Bronfman Family

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Matthew Bronfman (born July 16, 1959) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. A member of the Bronfman family, he is the son of prominent businessman and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
1886
LFSU Ukraine

In Search of Nehemiah Rabin

A Limmud FSU Deligation Made the Pilgrimage to Nehemia Rabin's Birthplace, Marking 20 Years Since the Murder of His Son, Yitzhak Rabin

ch.17, p. 147
In 2016 a Limmud FSU delegation has pilgrimaged to the birth place of Nehemiah Rabin, marking 20 years since the murder of his son, Yitzhak Rabin. His daughter, Rachel Ya’akov, aged 91, lives at Kibbutz Manara, and hasn’t been traveling abroad since the death of her husband, Rafi. Therefore, she could not join the delegation. Members of the delegation who did make the visit included Eitan Haber, director of Rabin’s bureau in the Prime Minister’s office and Mully Dor, Rabin’s personal aide. Rachel Ya’akov has helped us track the lifeline of her father from his childhood in Ukraine, to migrating alone to the United States, through joining the brigade and moving to Israel, marrying Rosa, having two children – Yitzhak and Rachel, being an active part of social life in Israel, losing his wife at an early age, living alone as a widow in Tel-Aviv for years, and all the way to his Last days, in Kibbutz Manara, with his daughter, Rachel. During the 1990’s, when Chaim Chesler was head of the Jewish Agency’s delegation to the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Rabin visited Moscow and Chesler arranged a visit to the Great Synagogue. Some six year ago, Chesler, determined to try and locate the birthplace of Nehemiah, came up with the name of “Syderovitch”. He called Rachel, who confirmed that that was indeed the name on her father’s passport. In 2010 a memorial plaque was unveiled by Yuval Rabin, the son of Yitzhak, together with a Limmud FSU delegation.
About Yitzhak Rabin

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Nehemiah Rabin was born as Nehemiah Rubitzov in the shtetl Sydorovychi near Ivankiv in the southern Pale of Settlement (present-day Ukraine). His father Menachem died when he was a boy, and Nehemiah worked to support his family from an early age. At the age of 18, he emigrated to the United States, where he joined the Poale Zion party and changed his surname to Rabin. In 1917, Nehemiah Rabin went to Mandatory Palestine with a group of volunteers from the Jewish Legion.
2016
LFSU Israel

The Grandson’s Revenge

Baruch Shub Came to the Limmud FSU Festivel in Eliat 2016 to Tell His Story, From His Days as a Partisan, Through a Soldier in the Red Army and all the Way to the Israeli Independence War

ch.16, p. 138
Baruch Shub was born in Vilna, Lithuania, to a religious but not extreme family. His father had a thriving paper business and the family lived a comfortable life. In 1940 the Red Army occupied the Baltic States and the Communists requisitioned the family business. In 1941 the Germans invaded Russia – many Jews were killed and the Shub family found itself living in the Jewish Ghetto with another five people in one room. Baruch had fled with his father and sister, but got back to Vilna later on, where he had escaped the Ghetto to join the partisans. Baruch has participated in missions such as taking down telephone wires, bombing of train rails and obtaining food and weapons from Nazis’ camps. On July 7, 1944 his unit received instructions to emerge from the forests and to participate in the retaking of Vilna. Back in Vilna Baruch had learnt that his whole family had been murdered, his father just two days before his arrival at the city. A German officer had beaten him to death after he had refused to make a bag from Torah parchment scrolls – he was found with a note in his clenched fist saying “If you see my son, tell him to avenge our death” Baruch joined the Dror camp, by Aliya Bet, the organization of “illegal” immigration to Palestine, where he has also met Nelly, his future wife, for the first time. When they arrived to Israel, she went to Kibbutz Shefayim and he to Kibbutz Beit Zera, and they met again two year later at the beach of Tel Aviv. They got married and had two sons, both grew up to be pilots at the Israeli air force. The Yom Kippur War turned them into a fighting family – Baruch delivered bombs from America in civilian aircraft, Ronny, the younger son, unloaded them at Lod and Yossi dropped them on the enemy positions. One eve, on Memorial Day 2017, more than 100 people gathered in the house of Dr. Yossi Shub and his wife Vered in Moshav Zovit to hear the story of Baruch Shub. When asked if his decision to become a pilot was related to his father’s story, Yossi answered: “I have no particular sentiments with regard to Masada or Jerusalem. My determination to be a fighter – not necessarily in the air force – was connected to the 100 years of experiences of my close family, starting with my grandfather, whom I never knew, who was a soldier in the First World War.” Yossi says the revenge in his grandfather’s note was achieved by his father starting a family in Israel.
About Baruch Shub

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Baruch Shub was a partisan in World War 2 and is the head of the Organization of Partisans, Underground and Ghetto Fighters, a member of the Yad Vashem board and of the Righteous Among Nations Committee, of the Claims Conference and of the Holocaust Survivors Center in Israel.
1928
LFSU NY

New York: Dressing the President

Maximilian Grunfeld Made a Long Journey From Learning How to Use a Needle in Auschwitz to Owning His Own Business and Making Suits for American Presidents, Basketball Players and Movie Stars

ch 11, p. 95
In April, 1944, the Germans surrounded the Jewish quarter of the village of Pavlovo in Czechoslovakia (now in Ukraine), rounded up the Jews and loaded them into cattle wagons on trains bound for Auschwitz. In order to save his 14-year-old son, Maximilian’s father said to Mengele, “Prisoner A4406 is a skilled mechanic.” Actually, Maximilian received his mechanical training at a brothel in Budapest. Grunfeld was then transferred to the Buna forced labour camp. Later he was forced to join a death march to Gleiwitz, where the prisoners were loaded on to a train to Buchenwald, where he was liberated by the Americans. Immediately following his liberation, Grunfeld joined the Aliyah Bet, the then “illegal” Jewish underground organization for immigration to Palestine. He aided in transferring 12 shipments of refugees to Italy on their way to Palestine and was going to go there himself. But a letter from Baltimore had changed his path – the letter was from Irving Berger, his dead mother’s wealthy uncle, who Grunfeld has never heard of. His uncle urged him to come to the United States and said he would send him a ticket. In September 1947 he made his journey to New York. His uncle bought him a suit from GGG, a well-known outfitter, so he would look respectable in job interviews. The tailoring company of William, Manny and Morris Goldman was considered a leading label in men’s wear. Maximilian Grunfeld then became Martin Greenfield and got a job at GGG, where he slowly learned all the tasks in the tailoring profession. In the mid-1970s, like many other firms in Brooklyn, the Goldman brothers decided to close down. Martin took a loan at a crazy interest and reopened the business. At the beginning he would make suits for other outfitters and only then begin to market his own brand. His business grew and grew and ended up employing 120 people in Brooklyn, making everything by hand, and selling stylish clothes, at an average of 2,000-3,000$ a suit, dressing American presidents and politicians, movie stars, basketball players, television anchors, and many more well-known public figures.
About Martin Greenfield

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Martin Greenfield (born Maxmilian Grunfeld on August 9, 1928 in Pavlovo, Czechoslovakia) is an American master tailor, based in Brooklyn, New York, specializing in men's suits. He has been described as the best men’s tailor in the United States.[3] His list of clients includes six U.S. Presidents, as well as other notable politicians and celebrities. His company, Martin Greenfield Clothiers, has also fashioned men's suits for clothing lines DKNY and Rag & Bone, and the television show Boardwalk Empire. Greenfield is a Holocaust survivor, having been imprisoned as a teenager at Auschwitz, where the rest of his immediate family were murdered.
1943
LFSU Belarus

In the Werewolf bunker

Hitler's bunker outside of Vinnyesta, Ukraine, named the Warewolf, has been the location of many hiystorical decisions, as a source of knowledge about the man himself

ch 10, p.89
Hitler visited the Werewolf bunker outside Vinnysta three times: from July 16 to October 30, 1942; from February 19 to March 13, 1943; and from August 27 to September 15, 1943. When the war was over Stalin has ordered to compile a “Hitler File.” Not just regarding the critical war decisions but also the most banal and esoteric: his coats with their pointed collars, the funeral music to which he was addicted, his irrational fear of mosquitos and other flying insects. For most of the time, Hitler stayed at Werewolf in a delusionary world of his own making. He thought that he would be pushing the Russians back over the Volga and instructed Ling, his adjutant, to bring him writing materials, drawing instruments, an atlas, magnifying glass and a coloured map of Russia’s mineral resources. He pointed at Rostov on the map and said: “Once we are in control here, we can continue the war with no fears.” Werewolf was also where Fritz Saukel, who had set up the Buchenwald concentration camp was informed that he was to be given the responsibility for the mass expulsion from the USSR and other areas of Europe. But it was also in Werewolf where Hitler was a recipient of bad news. The Stalingrad campaign was bogged down, the attack on the Caucasus had been halted. When Hitler heard the reverberations of approaching Soviet artillery, he abandoned Vinnysta but left behind him signs which are visible to this day. Peled, the Holocaust survivor and above all, an armoured corps officer, during his visit to the site, was surprised by the thickness of the bunker and its sheer size. “I wonder what my father would have said”, mused Peled, “had he seen me now in this place.”
About Yossi Peled

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Yossi Peled is an Israeli general and politician, the former Alluf of the Northern Command in the Israel Defence Forces. Peled served in the Israel Defence Forces for 30 years. During the Six-Day War, Peled was a company commander in the 9th Battalion of the 7th Armoured Brigade of the 84th Armoured Division, under General Israel Tal. In the War of Attrition, he served as a battalion commander on the Suez Canal.[2] In the Yom Kippur War, Peled was in command of the reservist 205th Armoured Brigade, under Moshe Peled's division. His brigade moved from Jerusalem to the Golan Heights and engaged the Syrian Army on the northern front. Later in the 1970s, Peled was placed in command of the 252nd Division in the Sinai Peninsula. In the First Lebanon War, he commanded a provision unit nicknamed Yossi's Force, east of Lake Qaraoun. Peled's final military position was the command of the IDF's Northern Command, which he held from 1986 to 1991.
1953
LFSU

The Tsarina of a Cosmetics Empire

Nona Kochina Has Been Through Several Near-Death Experiences Before Struggling to Leave the Soviet Union With Her Family and Starting a Cosmetics Empire in Israel

ch.7, p.70
Dr. Nona Kochina was born to Raya and Grisha Kochina in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg). Her parents were considering an abortion but changed their mind on the last minute. At the age of four, together with 32 children in her Kindergarten, following a botched vaccination, she contracted infantile paralysis; 30 of the children died but she survived. At the age of 12 she climbed a high tree, a branch on which she was standing broke and she fell from a height of four meters on her back. Her spine was badly injured and she spent a year in a plaster cast. That was when she has decided to become a doctor as well. As she was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Minsk, she has been diagnosed with a deadly cancer – a lymphatic sarcoma. She went through radiations and a surgery that nearly killed her, and was eventually saved by two Chinese students who were experts in Chines medicine. A year later she started studying medicine. She completed her studies but could not find work as a Jewish doctor at the Soviet Union. She applied to leave the country but was denied, as the daughter of a colonel in the Red Army, who studied medicine at the expense of the state. After another attempt, she received the permit, just as her mom died of cancer and left for Israel with her two kids and grandfather. In Israel she took a job at as a lecturer in anatomy at the Faulty of Medicine at The Aviv University and started, along with Misha Schneersohn, a clinic for alternative medicine, which grew to be the Dr. Nona International, an empire of medicines, cosmetic creams and food additives made from the Dead Sea, with thousands of distributors, all over the world and in the ex-USSR states.
About Nona Kochina

The first person to conduct a spacewalk

Dr. Nona continues to lead the international operations of the Dr. Nona brand, and also serves as a member of the Russian Academy of Nature Sciences and the Academy of Technological and Social Studies in New York. She has written more than 60 science articles in addition to nine novels, and was awarded the 2000 Israeli Woman of the
2015
LFSU Israel

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

ch. 6, p. 66
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.
2000
Limmud FSU Israel

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.  

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."
ch. 6, p. 66
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