Limmud FSU Comes to Kishinev

Some 400 young Jews from the length and breadth of Moldova, will be participating in a special cultural program for young Russian speakers in Chișinău, (better known to the Jews as Kishinev), the country’s capital, for the third time, between 15-17 May. 


The program includes lectures, debates, workshops, round table discussions, music and cultural events in Russian English and Hebrew. As is usual with Limmud events, it will be entirely run by volunteers, in cooperation with the local Jewish community.


A focus of the program will be a salute to the poet Natan Alterman and the painter Nachum Gutman. Gutman was born in a small village in Teleneşti, Bessarabia, today’s Moldova and Alterman spent five years in Kishinev and started to write in the city. Taking part I n the program will be members of the two families, together with other artists and cultural figures.

“The Jewish community of Kishinev, of which Alterman and Gutman were an important part, is a small but dynamic and lively one which played a significant role in contemporary life in Israel and left a rich cultural heritage,” says Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU. “I am certain that with a the new generation of Russian-speaking young people throughout the world, the link to the Jewish heritage and culture as demonstrated by giants such as Alterman and Gutman will be strengthened – including identity and a sense of belonging, remembrance of the Holocaust and Jewish fortitude, ” he added.

A round table on contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe will take place with the participation of Limmud FSU leaders Matthew Bronfman, Sandra Cahn and, Chesler, as well as Alex Bilinkis, chairman of the Jewish community of Moldova.

The première of an exhibit of the art of Nahum Gutman will be introduced by his son, Prof. Hemi Gutman. The exhibit, which will show landscapes, portraits and biblical representations, is at the initiative of Nativ – Israel Prime Minister’s Office and the Gutman Museum in Tel Aviv.

Natan Slor, the grandson of Natan Alterman, will conduct a literary-musical  eveni ng featuring poems and songs written by his father , some of which were written during his childhood years in Kishinev.

Other artists appearing at this year’s event include the jazz pianist Leonid Ptashka, virtuoso violinist Sanya Kroiter and the singer Irena Rosenfeld; the famous Russian actor Veniamin Smechov ,who played in the Russian version of “The Three Musketeers” and a group of actors from Moscow who will present excepts from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Other participants include Mark Galesnik, the editor of the popular Israeli-Russian satirical magazine, Besder; Igor Schupak, founder and director of the Jewish Museum in Dnepopetrovsk and the Ukrainian writer, Marina Goncharova. Aaron Weiss of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will show a documentary movie on the rescue by neighbors  of a local family in Western Ukraine and the producer, Boris Maftsir, will show excepts from his new television project on the Holocaust  in the Soviet Union.