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Russian Limmud set for Sydney

Attendees at Australia's first Limmud FSU conference in Melbourne last year.
Attendees at Australia’s first Limmud FSU conference in Melbourne last year.

IT may still be several months away but planning is already underway for Australia’s second Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) conference, which is scheduled to take place in Sydney  in September.

The event is expected to attract hundreds of Russian-speakers for  the now-annual festival of Jewish values, Russian culture, traditions and identity.

Last year, the conference made its Australian debut in Melbourne with around 200 people attending the two-day gathering which featured a host of local and international guest presenters.

Founded in 2006, Limmud FSU engages young Russian-Jewish adults and empowers them to take ownership of their identity and connect with their communities through conferences around the world.

“We brought the Limmud FSU model to Australia last year in order to reach out to the Russian-speaking community of Australia and to empower them,” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU. “We wanted to create a unique, pluralistic and volunteer-driven communal project, which will open the door for hundreds of Australian Russian-speaking Jews to a Jewish life.”

He said the aim is to strengthen the connection to our Jewish identity, culture, heritage and the State of Israel.

“In 2016 we continue this dream. We hope to attract a very significant number of new participants from Sydney and from all over Australia to enjoy the magic of Limmud FSU.”

Tania Shvartsman, project manager of Limmud FSU Australia, said: “We are very excited about coming to Sydney in 2016. We have many ideas already, and of course we hope to create an even bigger and more exciting Limmud FSU festival for the Russian-speaking Jewish community.”

Stating that it is a “wonderful opportunity to bring together the Russian-Jewish population through collective experience”, Shvartsman added: “It will undoubtedly be an event for our community to remember!”

This year, the Kangarusski team – the Russian-speaking Jewish community department of the Zionist Federation of Australia – led by co-chairs Anna Maylis and Rami Teplitskiy will spearhead Limmud FSU.

“I am excited to participate in and coordinate my first Limmud FSU in Australia,” Teplitskiy said. “We have a strong group of people involved in the committee and it promises to be a fantastic event.”

Maylis added: “We are expecting guests from Israel, USA, countries of the former Soviet Union, and of course, from all over Australia. I look forward to being part of this huge event and sharing this experience with many other enthusiastic volunteers.”