August 18, 2010
'Limmud FSU' brought over 800 Russian American Jews to the Long Island vacation spot to learn about their Jewish heritage and ties to Israel.
By Shlomo Shamir
Over 800 Jewish Americans from Russian descent travelled down to the southern-most tip of Long Island Sunday to participate in a special project called "Limmud FSU" aimed at educating them about their unique Jewish heritage and strengthen their ties to Israel.
The large show expressed just how much the younger generation of Jewish New Yorkers from Russian descent wanted to strengthen their Jewish identity and insert more Jewish content into their lives.
The event, which took place in the Orthodox synagogue in the Hamptons, brought together Jews from the entire region, all of whom were united by the joint desire to learn more about Judaism.
The meeting was organized in order to kindle the ties between the Russian-American Jewish community and Israel, as well as to strengthen the community's' relationship with their own unique heritage.
Chaim Chesler, the event's organizer, mentioned that one in every four Jews living in N.Y. was from Russian descent.
Mathew Bronfman, a major shareholder in Discount Bank and co-funder of the educational event, said that due to the many years of living under the oppressive communist regime, the Russian Jews have forgotten what it means to be Jewish.
"I feel like we have given the participant's part of their identity back to them," he said.
The event included lectures and workshops, some of them given in English and some in Russian, dealing with issues of relevance to the Russian Jews who immigrated either to Israel or the U.S.
The project has been erected with donations money alone, and works in collaborating with the Jewish Agency.