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November 17, 2016 7:47 am

Hundreds Gather in Russia for Largest-Ever Limmud FSU Jewish Education Confab

avatar by JNS.org

Bestselling Israeli author Etgar Keret (left) speaks at the recent Limmud FSU conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Limmud FSU.

Bestselling Israeli author Etgar Keret (left) speaks at the recent Limmud FSU conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Limmud FSU.

JNS.org — More than 650 people recently gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the largest-ever conference in that city hosted by Limmud FSU, a decade-old international Jewish education organization.

Limmud FSU seeks to encourage Russian-Jewish adults to take ownership of their identity and to connect with their communities, while working to revitalize Jewish communities within the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

The Nov. 11-13 conference—which was Limmud FSU’s fifth gathering in St. Petersburg—included a number of lectures, workshops, and discussions from various leading figures in the Russian-Jewish community and in Israel. Conference presenter Etgar Keret, a bestselling Israeli author, described how Russian literature has influenced his writing.

“Israeli writers are known for their epic novels, but these Russian writers helped me understand the power of shorter stories and they influenced my work,” Keret told Limmud FSU participants.

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Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, praised the event and its setting, noting the richness of the Jewish community in St. Petersburg.

“St. Petersburg has one of the most vibrant and flourishing Jewish communities in Eastern Europe with a rich cultural life, and we are thrilled to be part of it,” said Chesler. “We are so proud to have held our fifth conference in St. Petersburg, bringing together the largest crowd we have seen.”

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