Limmud Former Soviet Union comes to Australia
By Sarah Bendetsky:
Among the approximately 120,000 Jews living in Australia, nearly 30,000 are immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Reaching out to the Russian-Jewish population, the international Jewish organisation Limmud FSU (Former Soviet Union) is planning its first festival on the Australian shores in March. The newest outpost of the Limmud learning will focus on Jewish values, traditions, identity and family fun.
The inaugural volunteer-driven festival is going to feature over 70 local presenters and international guests including jazz musician Leon Ptashka, famous Chef and great-grandson of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Gil Hovav and many other famous politicians, actors, Rabbis, businessmen and artists. So too, an exciting children’s program, concerts and delicious kosher meals will provide a memorable experience for people of all ages and levels of religious affiliation.
“Limmud FSU was established as a branch of the global Limmud initiative, known for its stimulating festivals of Jewish learning and cultural exchange across the world,” said Chaim Chesler, Founder of Limmud FSU. “We empower Russian-Jewish adults to connect with their communities and feel inspired by their identity through pluralistic, volunteer-driven conferences in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. We’ve been to Russia US, Canada, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel… and now, it’s Australia’s turn!”
Over 300 participants are expected to attend the Limmud FSU Festival, scheduled to take place in the beautiful Mantra Lorne Hotel on 8-9 March over the Labour Day Weekend.
The Limmud FSU Australia Organising Committee is chaired by Sasha Klyachkina, with volunteers from the Russian Jewish community, and is proudly supported by the ZFA, JAFI and AFRJ.
“The inaugural Limmud FSU Australia festival heralds the recognition of the large number of Jewish Australians from FSU and the importance of their Jewish identification,” said Dr Danny Lamm, President of the ZFA. “Following the successful launch of the ZFA’s Birthright Kangarusski in 2013, we are proud to partner with Limmud FSU as a further step in encouraging the involvement of the Jewish Australians from FSU with the wider Jewish community.”
“We are working hard on making the very first Australian Limmud FSU special,” said Sasha Klyachkina. “Everyone is welcome to participate and present on topics of their interest. So come along with family and friends and be prepared for a rewarding weekend of exciting lectures and workshops, lots of smiles and new friendships. You’ll enjoy it, that’s for sure.”