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What is Limmud FSU?

Limmud FSU is an experience! It is a fun, dynamic and pluralistic gathering of Russian speaking Jewish adults, and young families, for a weekend learning retreat.

Organized entirely by volunteers, Limmud FSU is a conference-style “staycation retreat” designed to re-energize and empower our community, to connect with each other, and to explore our common culture, heritage and identity.

Limmud comes from Hebrew and means "to learn". FSU is the abbreviation for Former Soviet Union.

An international movement, Limmud FSU gatherings have been hosted in Russian speaking Jewish communities around the world for nearly a decade. In 2017 Limmud FSU comes to the West Coast for the first time with a premiere event in Los Angeles.

Join us November 17-19, 2017 for an unforgettable weekend at the trendy Westin Hotel in Pasadena!

LIMMUD FSU AVANT GARDE 2017 Conference starts in:

Our Story

Limmud is a Jewish grassroots cultural initiative, driven entirely by volunteers. It started more than 30 years ago in the U.K. when a small group of friends wanted to get together in a relaxed setting to share ideas, discuss important Jewish issues, learn and connect with each other. Limmud gatherings were an opportunity to disconnect from the daily grind, and plug into something meaningful.

This simple concept quickly grew into an international movement. Annual Limmud retreats sprung up in countries around the world. Hundreds of participants returned home full of enthusiasm and desire to introduce it within their own local Jewish community.

In 2006, Chaim Chesler (Israel) and Sandy Cahn (USA) partnered with Mikhail Chlenov (Russia) to initiate Limmud gatherings in Russian speaking countries. Their goal was to give Jewish communities across the Former Soviet Union an opportunity to come together, learn and express their Judaism on their own terms. With generous funding from the Bronfman family, the pilot project was successfully launched in Moscow later than year.

"Every place that has Jews should have its own Limmud"
The Jerusalem Post.

Nearly one decade later, Limmud FSU gatherings have attracted over 30,000 participants across Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Israel, Canada, Australia, and the U.S. East Coast.

In 2016, Limmud FSU premiered for the first time on the West Coast.

The West Coast Organizing Committee will host the first annual Limmud FSU West Coast at the stylish Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California (191 N. Robles Ave., Pasadena CA 91101).

Join guests from across the United States, Canada, Israel, Russia and Ukraine for an unforgettable Limmud FSU weekend November 17-19, 2017.

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Why do Limmud FSU?

Choice is what makes each Limmud FSU a unique experience. Culture, pluralism and fun are the foundation of every retreat.

Dozens of learning sessions are available concurrently throughout the weekend on a range of topics including: art, politics, society, literature, personal growth and family life, Jewish humor and culture, identity, and even Kosher sex. As a participant you are free to design your own schedule and choose as many (or few) as you want to attend.

Limmud FSU West Coast is your forum to explore, express and experience our common Russian Jewish heritage.

More than 60 sessions including workshops, discussions, masterclasses, film screenings, lectures, and a full teenage and children programs. Did we also mention stand-up comedy, music, dancing, spirited Shabbat celebration, Saturday Night Awards Gala and concert, and late night jam sessions.

Wherever you are on your Jewish journey, you'll find yourself at home at Limmud FSU!

...Still not convinced... ?

1) It's a cool and meaningful 'staycation' weekend, for young adults, the young at heart, and families.

2) A special time to (re)connect with your Jewish identity, in a fun and humorous way.

3) Saturday nigh dinner, wine and dessert reception, live entertainment and concert L.O.V.E. with Andrey Makarevich -- and so much more!

Join your new and old friends for Limmud FSU on November 17-19, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena (191 N. Robles Ave., Pasadena CA 91101).

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What Can I Expect?

Whether you are a young professional, student, child, parent or grandparent; involved or just curious about Judaism - you'll find yourself at home at Limmud FSU!

Do you like...

  • Cultural, social and educational activities
  • Spirited Shabbat celebration
  • Saturday night dinner and red carpet reception
  • Live music and concert
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Film screenings and photography exhibit
  • Kids program
  • Weekend retreat
  • Fun with new and old friends

#idoLimmud because...

  • Oksana g

    Limmud FSU is my chance to, against all odds, be uniquely Russian-Jewish and American in a space that is designed uniquely for our experiences. It's a place to defy all cultural limitations, learn about (y)our past/present/future, and come [read more]

    Oksana G.

  • Alex g

    Limmud is a good "what else" place. It is a good place to get out of the everyday stuff and to think about "what else" and to see people you otherwise woudn't see, hear things you otherwise wouldn't hear and do things you otherwise wouldn't [read more]

    Alex G.

  • Testimonial no pic

    Limmud is my passion. I do Limmud because I want to make a difference to our Russian Jewish Community on the West Coast. The best part about Limmud is that it is a life experience, which connects Russian Jewish Community all over the world; [read more]

    Avital K.

  • Testimonial no pic

    At Limmud I really enjoy the connection to the Russian Jewish part of my identity. I don't have a lot of it in my everyday life and spending a weekend with people who share same culture, come from similar background and enjoy things I enjoy is an [read more]

    Alexandra B.

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Our Presenters

Natan Sharansky

Human rights activist and former political p...

Victor Shenderovich

Satirist, writer, script writer and radio host

Sandra F. Cahn

Co-founder, Limmud FSU and Philanthropist

Chaim Chesler

Founder and Chair Executive Committee, Limmu...

Jon Voight


Ilya Khinsky

Jewish Educator

Igor Klibanov

CEO of Fitness Solutions Plus

Roman Kogan

Executive Director, Limmud FSU

Yuri Foreman

Former World boxing Champion, Rabbi

Igor Schupak

Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Holo...

Ilya Akselrod

Israeli comedian and TV host

George Itzhak

Filmmaker, photographer and storyteller

Alina Bitel

Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Fou...

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Rabbi, Executive Director, Hillel at UCLA

Doreen Seidler-Feller

Clinical Psychologist, Assoociate Clinical P...

Yigal Kotler

Educator, Historian

Ilana Baird

Rabbi, Jewish educator

Eric Fingerhut

President and CEO of Hillel International

Matthew Bronfman

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Chairman, ...

Natalie Shnaiderman

Director of Development & Activities for Ru...

Steve Linde

Editor, The Jerusalem post

Rose Kramer

Holocaust Survivor

Jenny Vainstein

Jewish educator

Lawrence Kulinsky

Project Scientist in the Mechanical and Aero...

Andrei Lopatenko

director of engineering in walmartlabs

Zhenya Gershman

internationally reknowned artist

Yevgeniy Dukhovny

host of intellectual games

Eugene Fooksman

software engineer at Facebook

Masha Merkulova

founder and executive director of Club Z

Dana Sherman

Zumba instructor

Yuliya Levit

documentary and lifestyle photographer

Marina Eisen

producer of online docu film

Alex Eisen

Internet scientist, researcher, educator

Tatiana Slavina

Certified psychologist-sexologist

Ron Furman

educator/engagement outreach coordinator

Boris Kievsky


Avram Mandell


Konstantin Fam

writer, director and producer

Zhenya Lopatnik

Singer, composer, author of songs in Yiddish

Gidi Grinstein

President and Founder of the Reut Institute

Zack Lodmer

founder of Om Shalom Yoga

Dovid Gurevich

chabad rabbi

Boris Dolin


Alina Latinsky

jewish educator

Maxwell Gordon

ex lone soldier from IDF

Benzion Klatzko

Founder of, Rabbi, Music produce...

Alexander Polovets

Novelist and journalist

Marina Eybelman

founder of Speak Memory Project

Olga Karasik

PhD; Associate professor, Department of Russ...

Olga Nesmelova

PhD; Professor; Head of the Department of Ru...

Mordehai Haimovich

Senior Writer, Ma’ariv

Nachman Shai

Doctor, Journalist, politician

Dayan, Uzi

Chairman of Mifal Ha-Payis

Gabrielle Birkner

JTA, Managing Editor

Donna Weiser


Leonid Ptashka

World-renowned Pianist and Composer

Maya Kadosh

Consul for Public Diplomacy and Culture in L...

Aryeh Katzin

Rabbi, educator, Jewish activist

David Suissa

President of Tribe Media/Jewish Journal

Lori Palatnik

Writer and Jewish educator

Gary Cherkassky

Comedian, actor

Saul Blinkoff

Animator, Director

Russell Simmons

Chairman, Rush Communications

Marc Schneier

Founder and President of The Foundation for ...

Jay Sanderson

President and CEO of The Jewish Federation o...

Scott Greenberg

Co-Founder and CEO Bento Box Entertainment

Yoav Krakovsky


Iryna Rosenfeld

Ukrainian-Israeli Singer, Actress, and Composer

Adam Milstein

Co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Fam...

Sharren Haskel

Israeli member of the Knesset for Likud

Michal Grayevsky

President, investment & acquisition, JCS Gro...

Ada Horwich

Honorary Chair, Limmud FSU West Coast

Diane Wohl

Philanthropist. Honorary chair, limmud fsu w...