TORONTO, June 24, 2022: This past weekend, Limmud FSU mounted its first three-day conference in Canada since the start of the corona pandemic. Some 350 Jews from the New York area and East Coast, primarily young adults and young families, gathered near Toronto for a weekend-long celebration of Jewish learning.
“We are back in business in Canada,” Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler declared as he officially opened the conference, “The community of the FSU Jews in Canada, and particularly in Toronto, is very strong. That’s why we came here, especially in difficult times, to show solidarity with this community.”
The conference brought together an array of speakers from all around the globe, who discussed such varied topics as animal protection in Canada, missile defense from the time of the Bible to today, interpreting dreams in Judaism, introducing kabala into daily life, cookery workshops and natural skincare.
These topics sat happily alongside sessions that dealt with the geo-political situation in the Middle East – veteran Israeli journalist and the Jewish Agency representative in Canada, Yaron Dekel, discussed the situation in Israel in times of political turbulence; Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and formerly a lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and one of Israel's experts in understanding the Arab world, examined the truth behind the struggle over Jerusalem.
The event also paid homage to Julia Koschitzky, a pillar of Toronto’s Jewish community who died this year at age 78. Among other accomplishments, the longtime Limmud FSU supporter helped raise $100 million from Canadian donors alone to help fly hundreds of thousands of FSU Jews to Israel.
Since the first Limmud FSU conference 16 years ago, at least 80 events across the globe have been hosted by 13 volunteer teams with over 75,000 participants. The organization’s leaders are Chairman Matthew Bronfman, President Aaron Frenkel, founder Chaim Chesler and co-founder Sandra Cahn. Key supporters of Limmud FSU and Limmud FSU Canada are Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Claims Conference, the Jewish National Fund (KKL), UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, philanthropists Harry Rosenbaum, Diane Wohl, Shoel Silver, Warren Kimel, Henry Koschitzky and Tom Blumberg, among others.
In the best tradition of Limmud, the event was made possible by its team of local leaders and volunteers, led by Limmud FSU Executive Director, Natasha Chechik, and Canada country director, Mila Voihanski.