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“Inspire your Intellect” – the Sixth Limmud FSU NY Festival to open this weekend

More than 800 Russian-speaking Jews will participate in the festival to be held in New Jersey on March 27-29.

Among the approximately 1.7 million Jews living in New York and the US East Coast are nearly 300,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Reaching out to this Russian-speaking population, the international Jewish educational organization Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union), festival will take place for the second year running at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, New Jersey.

For the schedule press here: Limmud FSU NY 2015 Schedule

The event, like all Limmud FSU events, is organized, planned and run entirely by volunteers and is a unique opportunity for young Russian speakers to connect or reconnect with their Jewish heritage and identity, to create their own educational and social program, and to meet up with hundreds of people like them who share the same interests and concerns.

Limmud FSU, founded nearly ten years ago by Chaim Chesler, brings together young Jewish adults in all the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as those with Russian-speaking backgrounds in the US, Canada, Australia and Israel. It has revolutionized pluralistic Jewish engagement of Russian-speaking Jews by involving them in a packed array of debates, workshops, intellectually-stimulating presentations on a multitude of topics, controversial round-table discussions, musical performances, theater and dance, festive Shabbat celebrations and much more. Among the presenters are leading academics and scholars, prominent politicians, journalists, writers, artists, entrepreneurs and musicians.

“Limmud FSU was established as a branch of the global Limmud initiative, known for its stimulating festivals of Jewish learning and cultural exchange across the world,” says Sandra Cahn, co-founder of Limmud FSU. “We empower Russian-speaking Jews to connect with their communities and feel inspired by their identity through our educational conferences held in a fun, exciting and relaxed atmosphere.”

Limmud is a volunteer-driven pluralistic and egalitarian Jewish learning experience which started in Great Britain 35 years ago and is now active in more than 60 communities world-wide. At Limmud events, all participants are equal; all are free to choose the topics of interest to them and select the sessions they wish to attend and all the lecturers and presenters are volunteers.

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Among the presenters and guests in New Jersey will be many local and international celebrities, among them Matthew Bronfman, the entrepreneur and philanthropist; Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League; Israel Tapoohi, President of Israel Bonds; Greg Schneider, Executive Vice-President of the Conference for Jewish Material Claims against Germany; Victor Shenderovich, famous satirist , writer and radio host; Igor Irten’ev, a Russian-Israeli poet; Alexander Genis, writer and literary critic; Iryna Rosenfeld, Ukrainian-born Israeli vocalist; Eric Goldstein, Vice-President of the UJA Jewish Federation of New York; Rabbi Mordechai Becher of Yeshiva University; Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger, the noted Israeli historian and many more.

The event will open with an art exhibition “Private Tolkatchev at the Gates of Hell,” featuring the art of Zinovii Tolkatchev, a Red Army soldier and witness to the events, marking 70 years from the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Second World War. “I did what I had to do. My heart commanded. I couldn’t refrain from doing it. My conscience demanded it.” (The exhibit presented be American Society of Yad Vashem)