The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

The UK Jewish com­mu­nity is rightly proud of Lim­mud’s amaz­ing ar­ray of ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the UK. Per­haps less well known are the Lim­mud in­ter­na­tional events that have sprung up in the last few years, based on the UK model. Th­ese plu­ral­is­tic cel­e­bra­tions of Jewish learn­ing and cul­ture are a credit to the Bri­tish Jewish com­mu­nity and a tes­ta­ment to its vi­tal­ity.

At the end of Septem­ber, Lim­mud FSU held its first ever event for Rus­sian-speak­ers in Is­rael; 1,450 Is­raelis from the FSU came to the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Ashkelon and spent two days learn­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the very best of Jewish and Is­raeli cul­ture with a unique Rus­sian di­men­sion.

Many Jews from the FSU are deeply alien­ated from tra­di­tional Jewish learn­ing and ideas. This is a pro­foundly sec­u­lar pop­u­la­tion which is not nat­u­rally drawn to Is­raeli (largely Or­tho­dox) Ju­daism. Pub­lic ef­forts to en­gage this pop­u­la­tion have achieved very lit­tle and Lim­mud FSU both re­sponded to, and cre­ated a thirst for, creative Jewish ex­pe­ri­ences. Teach­ers from the very sec­u­lar to deeply Or­tho­dox cre­ated learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for th­ese new Lim­mud­niks to en­counter a rich­ness of Jewish life on their own terms and with no fear of co­er­cion. Lim­mud can be proud of this con­tri­bu­tion to im­mi­grant ab­sorp­tion. Michael Wegier Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Melitz Jerusalem, Is­rael

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