November 12, 2020: Since the COVID-19 lockdown has made physical conferences impossible, for the time being, Limmud FSU teams worldwide have mounted a series of digital e-learning opportunities on Jewish, general – and coronavirus – topics that have attracted thousands. These online gatherings are an opportunity for Russian-speaking Jews to learn and be together virtually, until traditional format festivals can again be held.
The first Limmud FSU festival in Canada was mounted in 2013; since then, the project has impacted the lives of thousands of the country's Russian-speaking Jews. Indeed, Canada has been an important centre for Russian-Jewish emigration since the end of the Soviet era 30 years ago, since when some 60,000 – 70,000 Russian-speaking Jews have settled in Canada, some directly from the FSU, some after first moving to Israel.
Limmud FSU Canada has quickly become an important engine for community development; it has encouraged countless young Russian-speaking Jewish adults to learn about their Jewish roots and become involved in community life.
The online Limmud FSU Canada event will take place on Sunday, November 15, from 11.00 am EST (18.00 Israel time). It will include a special greeting from Israel's Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Omer Yankelevich, alongside noted speakers and performers, including:
• Andrey Makarevich, musician and founder of "Mashina Vremeni" (Time Machine), the longest established rock band in Russia and the Soviet Union;
• Leonid Mlechin, Russian television journalist and host;
• Efraim Halevy, former head of Israel's Mossad and National Security Council;
• Ronit Asheri and Gera Sandler, actors from the much-acclaimed Netflix series, "Unorthodox";
• Roy Chen, playwright and theater writer at Israel's Gesher Theater company.