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YOUNG RUSSIAN-SPEAKING JEWISH AMERICANS SET TO GATHER AUGUST 9 FOR “A TASTE OF LIMMUD” IN WESTHAMPTON BEACH
Major Figures from Philanthropy, Education, Jewish Organizational Life, and Government in Israel and the U.S. Slated to Speak
Westhampton Beach, NY – Aug. 4, 2009 – Hundreds of young Russian-speaking Jewish Americans will gather here on Sunday for A Taste of Limmud: 150 Years of Shalom Aleichem, a unique day of education, community-building, networking and entertainment designed to enhance and strengthen Jewish identity, involvement and community leadership.
Prominent philanthropists, scholars and educators, communal leaders, American officials and high-ranking Russian-Israeli ministers and Knesset members will join participants at formal panels and informal gatherings as attendees explore their background and future as engaged and active members and leaders in the Jewish community.
“The day marks an important milestone for young Russian Jews in particular, and for the entire Jewish community more broadly,” said Matthew Bronfman, Limmud FSU International Steering Committee Chairman. “By participating in an intense day of wide-ranging programming, by engaging with prominent leaders across fields, and by being in a communal environment, participants will learn, absorb and strengthen their ties to each other and to Jewish community, helping to ensure a strong and vibrant Jewish future. This is just one example of what Limmud FSU seeks to do around the world.”
Panels of experts will explore some of the most compelling issues facing the Jewish community and the entire world, such as the Iranian nuclear threat, Jewish-Muslim relations, philanthropy in the wake of the Madoff scandal, Holocaust denial, and anti-Semitism, among others.
The event, during the 150th anniversary year of the birth of famed Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem, takes place 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 9, on the grounds of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, NY.
Expected presenters include some of the most well-known and accomplished figures from the fields of philanthropy, business, education, media, government, public policy and Jewish life.
In addition to Bronfman, these include: Yoram Dori, senior advisor to Israeli President Shimon Peres; Ze’ev Elkin, member of the Israeli Knesset; Feliks Frenkel, chairman of the Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO) and honorary co-chair of the event; David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee and expert on international affairs; Bel Kaufman, noted author and granddaughter of Shalom Aleichem; Fania Kirshenbaum, member of the Israeli Knesset; David Kislin, president of COJECO; Jerry Levin, chair of the board of UJA-Federation of New York and honorary co-chair of the event; Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University; Sofa Landver, Israeli Minister of Immigrant Absorption; Leon Litinetsky, former Israeli Knesset member; U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler; Michael Schneider, Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress; and Rabbi Marc Schneier, head of the Hampton Synagogue and founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
A programming committee of 40 young adult Jewish volunteers from the Russian-American community, has designed the program, which will include sessions on Russian-Jewish heritage, Jewish culture, current affairs, Israeli affairs and the future of the Jewish homeland, and the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. Also, prominent philanthropists will speak on a panel on the current state of philanthropy and giving.
A Taste of Limmud will bring young Russian-speaking Jewish Americans, many of them leaders or potential leaders in the community, together to connect and explore potent, relevant issues in a pluralistic, welcoming environment, officials said. In a spirit of open dialogue, the Limmud model encourages participants, volunteers, and presenters to engage in an active journey that combines Jewish learning, thought, and practice in many forms and venues.
The official program for Limmud Shalom Aleichem is posted at www.limmudfsu.org.
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. Dynamic events, seminars, lectures, workshops and discussions focus on an enormous range of topics from social and political trends within Jewish communities and around the world to Israeli politics; from dilemmas to Jewish cooking; from traditional texts to Jewish theatre. This successful and unique model of informal Jewish learning in a pluralistic setting, combined with volunteerism, networking, empowerment and leadership development, is ensuring a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future.