THE BIRTH OF LIMMUD FSU

The very first Limmud FSU took place in June 2006, in “Dom Uchenih” (“House of Scientists”) in Moscow. Hundreds of community activists, age 18 - 45 years old, from throughout the former Soviet Union and the Russian capital participated at the opening ceremony of the one-day event. On that day, Limmud FSU was launched.

2006

2007

GETTING BIGGER IN MOSCOW

The second Limmud FSU took place in October in Moscow, with more than 700 participants. The pluralistic, volunteer-based gathering of Jewish learning was located just outside of Moscow on October 18-21, 2007. It focused on bringing together and empowering young Jewish adults who are reviving and revitalizing the Jewish communities and cultures of their respective countries.

2008

HOLY LAND ARRIVAL

In September 2008 Limmud FSU held a conference for the first time in Israel, in the city of Ashkelon with more than 1,200 participants. Gathering for an innovative festival of Jewish learning, at Ashkelon College, Limmud FSU launched its first program for Russian-speaking Israelis. A kaleidoscope of programs with 160 outstanding presenters and over 130 lectures, panels, performances, and discussions, all with Jewish themes, framed the content the for the two-day event. Many of the sessions were broadcast live over the Internet.

HOLY LAND ARRIVAL

In September 2008 Limmud FSU held a conference for the first time in Israel, in the city of Ashkelon with more than 1,200 participants. Gathering for an innovative festival of Jewish learning, at Ashkelon College, Limmud FSU launched its first program for Russian-speaking Israelis. A kaleidoscope of programs with 160 outstanding presenters and over 130 lectures, panels, performances, and discussions, all with Jewish themes, framed the content the for the two-day event. Many of the sessions were broadcast live over the Internet.

2009

PARTY IN THE USA

In August 2009 Limmud FSU had its first conference in the United States, and it took place at Westhampton Beach NY with more than 500 people. The participants from throughout the New York area exchanged ideas, thoughts and perspectives with more than 80 educators, lecturers and expert panelists at 35 sessions covering a wide variety of subjects, from anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, to Russian-Jewish cooking and dance, to Muslim-Jewish relations and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

2010

FAR EAST – HERE WE GO!

First ever Limmud FSU in Far East of Russia took place in September in Birobidzhan.  Over 300 young Russian Jews gathered in the capital city of Birobidzhan for four days of seminars, workshops, entertainment and just plain fun at the first ever Limmud in Russia’s Far East.Planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Oblast’s founding, the attendees were provided a window not only to their own heritage but an opportunity to connect to the global Jewish community.

ODESSA TALES

In 2010 Limmud FSU was held for the first time in Odessa in October with 500 participants. Over 500 young Russian-speaking adults from all over Ukraine and some from Russia, Moldova and Belarus, together with 50 presenters from Ukraine, Russia, Israel and the US, conducted workshops, seminars, discussions, round table panels and literary and cultural offerings on a multitude of topics. Odessa, with its remarkable role in Jewish cultural and literary life prior to the Second World War, was undoubtedly the star of the event, featuring its own special brand of Odessian language, literature and humor.

2011

WHEN NEGEV CAPITAL MEETS LIMMUD

Also in 2011, the very first Limmud FSU Israel took place in the capital of Negev Beer Sheva with 800 participants. The program was devoted to the topic Space, Science and Technology, which was especially chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight in space by the Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, in 1961.Among the guests at Limmud were the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov who was the first man to actually make a space walk. A film was shown in which the cosmonaut extended an invitation to Israelis to participate in Limmud Beer Sheva. Together with Leonov were Mikhail Kornyenko, another Russian cosmonaut and his partner in space, the American-Jewish astronaut Garrett Reisman.

2012

NEW JERSEY IS OURS!

In May Limmud FSU US held its first conference in New Jersey with more than 500 people. It offered classes and workshops on Jewish life, culture and arts, Torah, and Israel, often through the lens of those whose perspective had been shaped under oppressive communist regimes.The event also represented a coming-out party of sorts for the young members of the first- and second-generation immigrant community from the FSU. It drew an array of notables involved in Limmud from around the world, including Alexander Levin, president of the World Forum of Russian Jewry, who came from Kiev, Ukraine.

LET THE MOLDOVA GAMES BEGIN!

In May Limmud FSU US held its first conference in New Jersey with more than 500 people. It offered classes and workshops on Jewish life, culture and arts, Torah, and Israel, often through the lens of those whose perspective had been shaped under oppressive communist regimes.The event also represented a coming-out party of sorts for the young members of the first- and second-generation immigrant community from the FSU. It drew an array of notables involved in Limmud from around the world, including Alexander Levin, president of the World Forum of Russian Jewry, who came from Kiev, Ukraine.

THE TALE OF UZHGOROD

2012 marked also the first time that Limmud FSU Ukraine was held in Uzhgorod. The conference on November 1 and was dedicated to the themes of tolerance and pluralism. Highlights of the opening night also included performances by internationally celebrated Jewish singer Iryna Rozenfeld of Kiev, an Uzhgorod folk-ethnographic ensemble, and an excerpt from My Fair Lady, performed by the Transcarpathian Regional Music and Drama Theater. Among the speakers were world renowned academics and journalists, as well as general Jewish enthusiasts who came to share their passion.

2013

LIMMUD COLORS WHITE RUSSIA

2013 was the year the first Limmud FSU Belarus was launched, in the city of Vitebsk, in June. The Conference was an intensive celebration of Jewish culture and identity. More than 100 presenters, panelists, and moderators included prominent journalists, artists, educators, and philanthropists from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, and the United States. The conference included a number of special events, including the opening of a permanent photo exhibition to mark the 90th birthday of President Shimon Peres, who was born in Vishnyeva; and the unveiling of a plaque marking Shimon Peres' birthplace.

2014

ON THE SHORES OF KINNERET

Limmud FSU Israel was held on the Kinneret in December 2014. The festival of the Sea of Galilee, which included many first-time participants, celebrated the Zionist poet Rachel Bluwstein, known as Rachel the Poetess (Rachel HaMeshosheret in Hebrew). Rachel was born in Saratov, Russia, then lived and worked in the Galilee. She is considered the founding mother of modern Hebrew poetry by women. At the opening event on Dec. 11, an original musical based on Rachel’s songs and produced by the Acting School “Beit Zvi” premiered, while musician and singer Marina Maximilian closed the event with a gala concert.

2015

MAKING PEACE IN KAZAN

First ever Limmud FSU Volga-Urals regions of the Russian Federation took place in the city of Kazan in September. Only ten thousand Jews live in Kazan, a small but significant minority. The conference featured a series of exceptional events. The first of these - “Interfaith Dialogue – Islam, Judaism, Christianity”, a conversation between religious leaders in the region with the participation of the Chief Rabbi of Russia, the Chief Rabbi of Tatarstan, the head of the local Russian-Orthodox church, the Grand Mufti of Tatarstan, senior Islamic clerics and two prominent rabbis from Israel. Later in the festival, Tatar President Rustam Minnikhanov, leaders of the local Jewish community and the Israeli Ambassador to Russia took part in a ceremony to rededicate the 100-year-old Great Synagogue of Kazan.

FOURTH CONTINENT-CHECKED!

In March 2015 Limmud FSU arrived for the first time to the continent of Australia, in Melbourne. It featured a total of 45 presenters from Australia itself and beyond, including the jazz virtuoso Leon Ptashka from Israel, and Gil Hovav, the celebrity Israeli chef who was guest of honor at Limmud FSU’s conference in Belarus – the birthplace of Hovav’s grandfather and the innovator of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehuda.A special event at the festival was an exhibit of paintings by the distinguished Israeli artist, Yosl Bergner, “A Land for the Jews.”

2016

MINSK IS OURS

Limmud FSU Belarus was held in May for the first time in the capital of the country- Minsk. It included about 150 trainings, workshops, concerts, tours and exhibitions. Among top speakers at the conference was former Israel Defense Forces Gen. Uzi Dayan, whose family roots trace back to Belarus. Other guest speakers included descendants of Abba Ahimeir, a right-wing Zionist activist, and Berl Katznelson, a socialist founder of Israel, both of whom hail from Belarus.

2017

MULTI-NATIONAL JOURNEY IS ON

The first multi-national Limmud FSU conference for West European countries was held near London in February 2017, with more than 750 people. The conference included more than 100 lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures including British members of Parliament; Israeli members of Knesset Merav Michaeli and David Bitan; French, Russian and American presenters. Ambassador of Israel to the U.K. Mark Regev; former Ambassador of Israel to the U.N. Ron Prosor; American historian Deborah Lipstadt; Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar; and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein. The event marked the first time in its decade-long history that Limmud FSU was not geared toward Russian-speaking Jews of a specific city or country. It also featured a special centennial celebration of the Balfour Declaration.