polish jews jlem 224 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Shevei Israel)
Limmud has hired Magda Rubenfeld Koralewska, a Warsaw- based social entrepreneur, to be the educational organization’s first Central and Eastern Europe regional coordinator.
With this appointment, Limmud seeks to enhance support for local groups and Jewish life across the region.
“There are a lot of exciting things going on in these communities that are sometimes overlooked, there’s a lot of creativity and entrepreneurship,” Koralewska told The Jerusalem Post
in a phone call on Monday.
“As a decentralized movement with an emphasis on volunteer empowerment, Limmud has always been ahead of its time,” she said.
“I’ve been inspired by the Limmud model for a long time. It’s a forward-thinking and timely model. And as these communities are reinventing and looking for new ways to organize themselves and empower their leadership, I hope Limmud can be one of the platforms to strengthen their communities and to bring more visibility to them,” Koralewska said.
The new role was made possible with the support of UJA-Federation of New York and other partners of Limmud.
“Magda has a wonderful entrepreneurial spirit and a track record of initiating cross communal programs,” said Debbie Staniland, who heads the Limmud Connections Team. “Our selection committee was impressed with her enthusiasm, as well as her skill set and experience.”
The multi-lingual Koralewska will work with Limmud communities in the Baltics, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey and the former Yugoslavia.
An ROI Community member and alumna of Sweden’s Paideia European Institute for Jewish Studies, she cofounded Festivalt, a performance and visual arts program celebrating the complexities of the contemporary Jewish Polish landscape; Envision Symposium, which convenes representatives of Jewish communities in Belarus, Poland, and the UK to explore cross-border collaborations; and the Beit Krakow Jewish Community, the first Reform congregation to be established in southern Poland since the post-Holocaust and post-Communist vacuum.
“Not only has Magda advanced Jewish life in Poland, she has brought together people across borders to explore collaborative projects and programs,” said Limmud CEO Eli Ovits. “At a time when some have preached pessimism, Limmud and its partners are investing in learning and volunteerism in communities across the continent.”