In a festive event at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv this evening, Limmud FSU 2010 on the theme of Jewish Nobel prize winners was launched.

In the presence of Matthew Bronfman, chair of Limmud’s International Steering Committee, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz ,Minister of Science and Technology, Dalia Rabin, Alexander Kriyukov, the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation and director of the Russian Cultural Center in Israel, MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkowitz (Kadima), MK Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) and other distinguished guests, together with Limmud activists and volunteers, the launching of Limmud FSU Nobel 2010 was celebrated. The theme of this year’s Limmud festivals honors the 26 Jewish scientists and statesmen originating in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and Israel who were awarded the Nobel prize.

In introducing the speakers, Chaim Chesler, co-founder of Limmud FSU, said that Limmud Nobel conferences have already taken place in Truskavets, Ukraine and in Moscow. Other Nobel events will be held this year in Jerusalem in July, New York in August and Odessa in October, with the participation of several thousand Russian-speaking young adults.

In opening the event, Prof. Hershkowitz drew a parallel between the Vision of the Dry Bones as related in the biblical book of Ezekiel, the Holocaust and the subsequent creation of the State of Israel. In his view, this was the closing of a historical circle. “The Israel Defense Forces in 1948 were created from nothing but dry bones, and the creation of the State was the covering of the bones by muscles and skin as in the prophet’s vision. It is that depth of belief that has kept the Jewish people alive through the millennia, and it is that sort of vision that Limmud is inculcating among so many young Russian Jews who were cut off from their roots for so long. The Vision of the Dry Bones is neither abstract nor theory, but is our story. ”

Matthew Bronfman said that the Limmud program is central to his and his family foundation’s activities and that it “gives every participant the chance to develop his own brand of Judaism in his own way and that is the secret of Limmud.” Dalia Rabin said that “Limmud is at the heart of the activities of the Rabin Center, and we are proud to be a part of it. I am delighted that I was able to be present at the last Limmud conference in Moscow.”

Limmud – founded in England 30 years ago – has grown exponentially and now takes place in many parts of the world. In 2006, Limmud FSU was founded by Chaim Chesler, who had been head of the Aliya Delegation to the FSU and treasurer of the Jewish Agency, together with Sandy Cahn of New York and Michael Chlenov, president of the Federation of Jewish Organizations of Russia. The role of Limmud FSU is to bring the Jewish learning experience and a heightened sense of Jewish identity to Russian-speaking Jews wherever they may live.

Photograph caption
1665: Left to right: Chaim Chesler, Matthew Bronfman, Dalia Rabin, Daniel Hershkowitz; at the launching of Limmud FSU – the Nobel Year

For further details contact:
Roman Kogan, Limmud COO