Limmud FSU Returns to Face-to-Face Programming with a One-Day Festival in Moscow
May 18, 2021: Limmud FSU is planning its first face-to-face event since the start of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, and on May 23, a one-day specially-designed open-air conference will take place in Moscow.
The event will run from 11:00 – 23:00 and will bring together nearly 1,000 Russian Jews, who will be able to choose from dozens of different sessions on such varied topics as Jewish history and culture, business development, education, culinary arts and musical performances. Adapted to Moscow’s social distancing regulations – sessions will be open to limited numbers and will take place in the open air or in a series of tents – this year the event will be more of a Jewish learning festival than a conference. The sessions will be interactive in nature – between the presenter and the audience, or between two or more speakers.
“This will be a celebration of our return to face-to-face programming,” notes Chaim Chesler, Limmud FSU founder, “and as such, it is very significant that it is taking place in Moscow,” where the first-ever Limmud FSU conference of Jewish learning was held in 2006. Sandy Cahn, Limmud FSU co-founder notes that: “We are returning to our traditional programming cautiously and carefully, while we are optimistic that over the next seven months, we will be able to mount a series of one and three-day events across the Russian-speaking Jewish world.”
Since that first conference 15 years ago, over 75 events have been mounted by 13 volunteer teams, and Limmud FSU events, led by the organization’s chair, Matthew Bronfman, and president, Aaron G. Frenkel, have reached out over these years to some 70,000 Russian-speaking Jews across the globe.
Marina Yudborovsky, GPG CEO said: “For Russian-speaking Jews, culture and community have long been the cornerstone to reclaiming and developing our Jewish identity. From its inception 15 years ago, Limmud FSU has been a flagship initiative in this regard, bringing thousands of RSJ worldwide to the next step of their Jewish journey. It is only fitting that, as the Jewish world emerges from the pandemic, Limmud FSU comes alive in Moscow, where it all began.”
Supporters of the event included Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), Claims Conference, Jewish National Fund (KKL), The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Prime Minister's Office “Nativ” and more.
In the best tradition of Limmud, the event was made possible by its team of local leaders and volunteers, led by Limmud FSU Acting Executive Director Natasha Chechik and the project manager Elena Zakharova, volunteers Mikhail Libkin, Elena Lvova, Alexander Piatigorskiy, Irina Dvoretzkaya, Anna Semyonova, Alya Zagitova, Polina Sokolova and others.