Saint Petersburg today it is one of the most vibrant, flourishing Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union, with roughly 100,000 Jews, making it the second-largest Jewish community in Russia. Annual conferences, started in 2011, reflect high intellectual caliber and cultural-oriented programming, as one would expect from a Jewish learning festival held in Russia’s cultural capital.
“We take pride in playing a central role in one of the most dynamic Jewish communities in Russia” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, during the festival. “This project truly has it all – a wonderful atmosphere, high quality program and presenters, enthusiastic spirit and a very engaged audience hungry for a Jewish learning experience. This is our seventh event in St. Petersburg, and we look forward to continue the tradition for many years to come.”
Limmud FSU St. Petersburg featured over the long weekend more than 100 lectures, workshops, and discussions in the pluralistic spirit of Limmud. The top presenters this year included the economist Evgeny Kogan, the acclaimed animation director Garry Bardin, famous educator Dima Zicer, Director of the Religious Community of Saint Petersburg Rabbi Shaul Brook, Russian-Israeli Jewish-religious philosopher Pinchas Polonsky, Former Israeli Member of Knesset and head of Jewish Agency's representative office in St Petersburg and North-west Russia Orit Zuaretz and many more.
Alex Mershon, the Director of the Department of Culture and Education of Nativ in the Israel Prime-Minister’s office said: "We have supported Limmud FSU’s activity for many years. This wonderful platform enables young adults to conduct discussions and take part in lectures and sessions relating to the State of Israel, the Jewish world, education, culture and more in a great atmosphere. Nativ recommends Limmud FSU, because of the great importance and impact it has on the community.”
“This is my second time at Limmud,” said Masha Kagan (25) from St. Petersburg, “I was so excited after my first one in 2017 that this time I brought along my parents, and my best friend. It is such an amazing and unique experience; every member of the Jewish community here should experience it at least once. Next year I also plan to be a volunteer.”
Limmud FSU St. Petersburg was made possible thanks to a devoted team of volunteers, led by Executive Director Roman Kogan, together with Iulia Anokhina, Yulia Karasik, Faina Rokhlina, Irina Fatyanova, Regina Pritula and Alla Lemlekh among others. The Conference was made possible through the support of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, JDC, the St. Petersburg Jewish Religious Community, Nativ - Israel Prime-Minister's office, Jewish Culture House ESOD, the Russian Jewish Congress, the Jewish Agency, Joel Passick and others.