Glenn Rosenkrantz, Limmud FSU, 052.890.4852

Jerusalem – July 2, 2009 – Limmud FSU Jerusalem 2009 unfurled with full force today, as 750 Russian-Israeli participants spent early morning to late night engaging with instructors, panelists and each other in more than 60 educational sessions examining topics as varied as Jewish humor, anti-Semitism, Russian-Israeli media and Israeli films.

Participants in the first Limmud FSU conference in Jerusalem packed the hallways and meeting rooms of Beit Avi Chai on the event’s second day to take part in what the Limmud model does best – challenging young Russian Jews to expand their minds and fortify their connections to Jewish community life on multiple levels.

“I am meeting fascinating professionals and experts from every field who I normally wouldn’t be able to see,” said Boris Shindler, 28, of Tel Aviv and a native of Ukraine. “It’s unbelievable.”

Those included prominent representatives from the realms of government, business, arts and culture, media, philanthropy and entertainment.

Limmud FSU Jerusalem 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of famed Jewish and Yiddish author, Sholem Aleichem. More than 200 sessions and workshops on issues relating to Judaism, Russian-Jewish heritage, leadership development, current affairs, culture, community building and continuity will be offered by the time the event ends on Friday.

“Limmud is full of interesting people, interesting teachers, and interesting atmosphere,” said Lena Makaranets, 28, of Tel Aviv and a native of Sverdlovsk, Russia. “Especially the teachers are interesting. You cannot meet them in life, so you find them here, and just to hear them and to take all of their knowledge and learn from them is great.”

Participants from throughout Israel, some who had immigrated to the Jewish homeland just months ago, said the Limmud educational experience is powerful, valuable and long lasting.

“I would not forgive myself if I missed this event,” said Alexander Koyfman, 35, of Jerusalem and originally from Ukraine. “For Russian Jews in Israel, this is the main event. Here, I can find information and knowledge. I need to have an experience like this at least once a year.”

Limmud FSU brings together and empowers young Russian-speaking Jewish adults who are reviving and revitalizing Jewish community and culture and restoring and maintaining the tradition of lifelong Jewish learning and a strong Jewish identity. This successful and unique model of learning, volunteerism, pluralism, networking, empowerment and leadership development is ensuring a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future.