Hundreds of Jews attend first-ever Limmud event in Venezuela

There are an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Jews in Venezuela – out of a total population of 29 million – down from 20,000 in 1999.

By
November 27, 2017 02:37
3 minute read.
Hundreds of Jews attend first-ever Limmud event in Venezuela

A LIMMUD volunteer entertains some of the younger attendees at the group’s event in Caracas. (photo credit: LIMMUD)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

More than 300 Jews gathered in Caracas on Sunday for the first-ever Limmud event held in Venezuela.

“It was thrilling to see grandparents, grandchildren, young adults, students, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, secular, religious – people from every part of the community – streaming in,” said Limmud Caracas steering group member Anabella G. de Jaroslavsky, who addressed the audience by saying, “A big thank you to our mentors from Limmud Buenos Aires and to our sponsors, the JDC, the Moral y Luces Herzl Bialik School and Hebraica Caracas.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


There are an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Jews in Venezuela – out of a total population of 29 million – down from 20,000 in 1999. Many have emigrated to Israel, Miami and Spain, as a result of ongoing political, economic and personal security challenges.

“Despite many problems, we are more active than ever,” Jaroslavsky emphasized. “We have to take care of the spiritual health of the people in our very special community. Limmud feeds the soul of the members of Venezuelan communities.”

One of the attendees, Lilit Monis, 75, from Caracas, believes that despite its challenges, the community is there to stay, and events such as the one held over the weekend are important in bringing the community together and keeping it strong.

“Our political situation is very bad and we really need this kind of event to get us out of our routine and make us think of other good things,” she told The Jerusalem Post in a phone call.

“I’m just amazed to see how beautiful and organized it is and I can’t believe that they have put on such a great event in such a short time,” Monis said enthusiastically. “It’s incredible, the environment and everyone is so happy and the speakers are very interesting.”

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Joanna Lustgarten, 15, from Caracas, said she found the event illuminating with regard to other Jewish communities around the world. “The talks make you realize the impact of Jewish communities around the world,” she told the Post.

Joanna volunteers with Maccabi Hatzair and used the event to raise money via a raffle and a sale for month-long visits to Israel that are organized by the youth movement.

The 25-member Limmud Caracas steering committee and 80 volunteers offered more than 30 sessions at the event on topics that included, among others, Israel, tzedaka (charity), Israeli film, cooking, art and Yiddish. Leading Venezuelan comedian Laureano Marquez also performed.

Limmud has spread to communities across Latin America with the support of its partner, the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee. Since the first Limmud conference was held in Buenos Aires 10 years ago, Limmud communities have developed in Mar del Plata, Argentina; Bogota, Colombia; Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

“We heard about Limmud Buenos Aires, Peru, Miami and we wanted to bring it here,” Limmud Caracas spokeswoman Anita Katz said. “Limmud adds new light and hope to our community. Today was marked by happiness and a different way for each participant to experience belonging to a people. It has been deeply meaningful.”

The youngest participant at the event was one year of age and the oldest was 90.

Founded in the UK in 1980, Limmud aims to enable participants to deepen their connection to their Jewish identity – regardless of age, gender, level of Jewish knowledge or commitment to Jewish life. There are now Limmud chapters in more than 80 communities in some 40-plus countries, all offering Jewish learning and cultural events organized by local volunteers.

“Limmud is proud of our volunteers and partners in Venezuela and across Latin America for launching our newest Limmud community,” Limmud CEO Eli Ovits said. “This sends a positive message of solidarity and investment in Jewish life at a challenging time. Limmud stands with the Jews and people of Venezuela – working together to strengthen Jewish leadership and create learning opportunities for all."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

MEMBERS OF the Nogradi family light candles for Shabbat in their home in Budapest
October 23, 2018
Shabbat in Myanmar? The Shabbat Project's influence grows in 2018

By YVETTE J. DEANE