Among keynote speakers were Joel Lion, Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine; Dorit Golender, Genesis Philanthropy Group and former Israeli Ambassador to Russia; Dr. Zeev Khanin, Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption; the famous Russian-Jewish actor, Immanuil Vitorgan from Moscow; Alex Mershon, Director of the Department of Culture and Education at Nativ; Dr. Igor Shchupak, Director of “Tkuma” - the Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies; Rabbi Grigoriy Abramovich from Belarusand many others.
Ambassador Lion told the participants during the opening event on Thursday night; “I am very happy to be here together with so many members of the proud Jewish community of Ukraine, which was also the homeland of such Zionist leaders as Zeev Jabotinsky, Moshe Sharett and Golda Meir. Be proud to be a Jew, and always know that you have a homeland in the State of Israel.”
During the opening event, the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, said: “No one in the world achieved what the Jewish people did with the establishment of the State of Israel. My wish is that the people of Ukraine should believe in themselves in the same that the Jewish people believe in their state”
Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, said; “We are proud to celebrate our 11th event in Ukraine, home to one of the most thriving Jewish communities in the world and a city rich in Jewish history and culture”. Osik Akselrod Limmud FSU Ukraine Chair added; “The key to Limmud's success lies in its unique combination of learning, recreation and communication, which harmoniously unite in creating the unique Limmud” atmosphere.”
Limmud FSU Ukraine was made possible thanks to the team of local leaders and volunteers, led by Project Manager Galina Rybnikova and Limmud FSU executive director Roman Kogan, together with the volunteers’ committee chair, Dasha Yefimenko from Rovno; program committee chair, Valeria Ogorodnik from Uzhgorod, public relations and marketing committee chair, Zhenya Khorzhevskiy, from Odessa, and the participants’ experience committee chair, Olena Kolpakova, from Dnepr.
The festival enjoyed the generous support of the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund (JHF), Genesis Philanthropy Group, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, the Conference for Material Claims against Germany, Israeli Foreign Ministry, Nativ – Israel Prime-minister’s office, All-Ukrainian Jewish congress headed by Vadim Rabinovich and Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE).
Photos courtesy of Boris Bukhman