Zionist Youth Movements in the Lviv Opera with Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovoy (back row, center left) and Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler (back row, center right..
(photo credit: BORIS BUKHMAN)
Some 900 young Jewish people gathered over the weekend for a Limmud FSU conference featuring educational programs and activities hosted in the Ukrainian cultural capital of Lviv. The conference, which ran Nov. 3-6, featured senior representatives of the most important Ukrainian Zionist Youth Movements. Two of them, “Hashomer Hatzair” and “Bnei Akiva” have deep roots and extensive history in Lviv.
The main headquarters of “Bnei Akiva,” which are in the area of the Eastern Galicia, were first opened in Lviv in 1930. All the conferences of the movement were held there. Lviv also was the place where “Hashomer Hatzair” first got its name, a movement that was mainly influenced by Lviv’ based “Hashomer”. The most important meetings of the movement leadership were held in in Lviv, where its main offices were located.
One of the most exciting moments of the Limmud events was when senior representatives of “Bnei Akiva” and “Hashomer Atzair,” Gael Grunewald and Avshalom Vilan, went together with the participants to the historical places and locations that once belonged to the movements, bringing life to the stories participants heard during the conference.
“Lviv is one of the most important cities in the Jewish history, and in particular in the Zionist history because of its deep relation to the Zionist Youth movements and the founders of the State of Israel,” said Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU. “We are more than proud to have held the 10th Limmud FSU event in Lviv, which, against all odds, remains today a home for the members of its Jewish community.”
Top presenters at the conference included Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Eliav Belotserkovsky, singer, composer and songwriter Vladimir Bystryakov; Ukrainian Catholic University professor and historian Yaroslav Gritzak; celebrated Russian poet Andrey Orlov Orlusha; writer and TV and radio host Viktor Shendereivich; Russian actor, writer and theater director Veniamin Smekhov; and writer, playwright and screenwriter Aleksander Volodarsky.
“The greatness of Limmud FSU is its ability to gather different people together, make them think, work and cooperate, and even more important – to find together innovative ways to make our world a better place,” said Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovoy, who attended the event’s closing ceremony recognizing Limmud FSU’s supporters. The ceremony also featured a concert at the Lviv Opera by the Tel Aviv-based band Los Caparos.