Australia Holds First Limmud FSU Conference

Some 400 people attend event tailored for Russian-speaking Jews, in effort to connect them to Judaism.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Limmud Conference, U.K., Dec. 23, 2013.
Limmud Conference, U.K., Dec. 23, 2013.Credit: Flix'n'Pics

About 400 people attended Australia’s first Limmud conference tailored especially for Russian-speaking Jews.

The events held last week in Sydney and near Melbourne were organized by the local branch of Limmud FSU, a network of groups that uses the concept of Limmud conferences to connect communities of Russian-speaking Jews on four continents.

Chaim Chesler, a former Jewish Agency executive who founded Limmud FSU in 2006, told JTA that the event in Sydney “reflects a determination to leave no stone unturned in the endeavor to connect Jews from the former Soviet Union to Judaism, Israel and the Jewish agenda wherever they live. Where they can be found, we will follow.”

Since its establishment in countries that used to belong to the USSR, Limmud FSU has branched out to other countries containing large concentrations of Jews from the former Soviet Union, including the United States, Israel, Germany and Canada. Australia has approximately 20,000 Jews who meet that description, according to Chesler.

The two conferences featured a total of 45 presenters from Australia itself and beyond, including the jazz virtuoso Leon Ptashka from Israel, and Gil Hovav, the celebrity Israeli chef who last year was guest of honor at Limmud FSU’s conference in Belarus – the birthplace of Hovav’s grandfather and the innovator of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehuda.

Noting he was proud to host Limmud FSU’s first Australia event, David Southwick, a lawmaker from the parliament of the Australian state of Victoria, said at a Melbourne gala that the event will “enrich the local Jewish community and strengthen its ties with Israel.”

Rob Weiser, president of the Zionist Federation of New South Wales, said his organization was “looking forward to hosting the next Limmud FSU festival in Sydney” next year.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can