Source: eJewish Philanthropy
The city of Lviv in Western Ukraine welcomed this weekend an influx of over 750 (mostly) young participants to a Limmud FSU conference. The opening was addressed by the Mayor of Lviv, Andrei Sudovey, who welcomed the Jewish participants to what was historically a major Jewish city and by Eliav Belotserkovsky, the Israeli ambassador in Ukraine. Lviv is in itself both a microcosm of Jewish history for better or worse (usually worse) and a small resurgent modern community, reborn on the ashes of the past. So it is to Lviv that Limmud has arrived. Three hotels had been taken over in their entirety and during the three-day pluralistic, egalitarian conference, which, like all Limmud FSU events, is entirely planned and run by young local volunteers.
The participants had the choice of more than 150 lectures, presentations, discussions, master-classes, workshops and study groups on many different subjects, from Jewish history, prose and poetry, theater and dance, Yiddish and Hebrew languages, the Middle East and the Israel-Arab conflict, musical performances and much more, all planned to widen their Jewish knowledge, pride and identity. A talk was given by Eitan Haber, the chief of staff of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on “The Effect of the Murder of Rabin on the Political and Social Life of Israel,” and another by historian Yoel Rappel on the Jewish history of Lviv. David Yonatan Greenberg, the son of the noted Israeli poet, Uri Zvi Greenberg, who was born in the nearby town of Bilyi Kamin and studied and wrote in Lviv, spoke about his father in a talk, “The Poet and Prophet.” Other speakers included the former “Prisoner of Zion,” Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch, Gennady Polishuk, the head of Nativ in the Israel Prime Minister’s Office, the poet Igor Irtenev, Zeev Hanin, the Chief Scientist in the Israel Ministry of Absorption, the historian Igor Schupak, the Yiddish scholar, Velvel Chernin, and many others. The closing gala event featured a unique performance of Yiddish jazz with the Russian musical star Andrei Makarevich, who recently received Israeli citizenship.
A major feature of all Limmud events, is that all the planning, organization and administration are carried out entirely on a volunteer basis. In the countries of the Former Soviet Union, many of the young volunteers who make Limmud possible come with virtually no Jewish background or knowledge (which is hardly surprising, after 70 years of Communist suppression).
Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.