Former European pole vault champion, Alex Averbuch, chairperson of Limmud FSU Nazareth Illit, presented a recent planning meeting of volunteers with the program for the forthcoming Limmud Olympics Festival which will be taking place in this small Lower Galilee development town (pop.42,000) this coming August, 30-31.
Hundreds of young people are expected to participate in the workshops and lectures that will last through the night (“White Night”). The planning seminar was launched by Shimon Gapso, mayor of the town and Alexander Gadalkin, a member of the town council and chair of its community centers, who will be hosting the event together with Limmud FSU and the Israeli Olympic Committee.
The volunteer organizers are planning a rich cultural program and dozens of lecturers are expected to attend including leading public figures and past and present Israeli Olympic Games participants, who will speak about a range of topics including Judaism, science and, of course, sport.
In opening the planning meeting, Chaim Chesler, founder and chair of Limmud FSU, said that he expects that Limmud Nazareth Illit will be the biggest and best of Limmud FSU events to be held in Israel so far. “I am delighted that our dream of Limmud FSU festivals reaching the smaller towns is about to materialize and will provide a quality intellectual treat for the whole population, especially the youngsters”.
Mayor Gapso said how important the town regards the event and Gadalkin, himself a Limmud FSU volunteer since 2008, stressed its importance for the town’s young people, many of whom are Russian-speaking immigrants. Nazareth Illit has one of the highest proportions in Israel of immigrants from the former Soviet Union which is why this year’s Limmud FSU festival has particular resonance. The event will take place in the town’s Country Club and the adjoining Berkovitz Community Center, and will focus on sport and a healthy lifestyle.
After the planning meeting, an Oneg Shabbat,, was led by Alexandra Baranova, a young architect from Jerusalem.