Source: Limmud FSU
More than 400 young Russian-speaking Jewish Americans gathered in force at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, NY on Aug. 9, 2009 for A Taste of Limmud: 150 Years of Shalom Aleichem, a unique day of education, community-building, networking and entertainment designed to enhance and strengthen Jewish identity, involvement and community leadership.
A Taste of Limmud was the first-ever Limmud FSU event in the United States, and participants from throughout the New York area exchanged ideas, thoughts and perspectives with more than 80 educators, lecturers and expert panelists at 35 sessions covering a wide variety of subjects, from anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, to Russian-Jewish cooking and dance, to Muslim-Jewish relations and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The one-day event was dedicated to famed Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth. His granddaughter, 98-year-old author Bel Kaufman, linked his legacy with the Limmud FSU mission in an address to participants.
An organizing committee comprised of more than 40 young adult Jewish volunteers from the Russian-American community designed the program and all aspects of the day, from logistics to entertainment, underscoring a key value of the Limmud movement, volunteerism.
Over the past three years, Limmud FSU has held conferences not only in major cities like Moscow, but in Minsk, Vilnius and the Ukrainian resort city of Yalta as well. In 2008, Limmud FSU held a successful conference in Ashkelon, giving Israeli Russian-speakers a chance to express their own perspective. With A Taste of Limmud in Westhampton Beach, Limmud FSU has now succeeded in reaching members of the third-largest community of Russian-speaking Jews in the world: the more than 300,000-plus living in greater New York, and as many as a million spread across the United States.