(IsraelNN.com) The Limmud FSU Jerusalem 2009 conference and festival at Beit Avi Chai began Wednesday with 750 Russian-Israeli young adults. For three days, the group will participate in more than 200 sessions and workshops on issues relating to Judaism, Russian-Jewish heritage, leadership development, current affairs, culture, community building and continuity, as well as entertainment and social events, all part of an effort to build a stronger Jewish community.

“It is a special and wonderful gathering every time we bring this community together,” said Matthew Bronfman, chairman of the International Steering Committee of Limmud FSU, in his opening remarks.

Natan Sharansky, newly-elected chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel and a well-loved figure within the Russian-Jewish community worldwide, also addressed participants. “We have to build bridges between Jews all over the world and make it the same as if we are one family. We have to learn our heritage and we have to go learn and study what it means to be a Jew. The process must bring us to the same root, the same culture and the same Jerusalem,” he said.