I’ve mentioned this before, but now there’s a website, so it’s real – the first Limmud FSU Canada is coming in October. Of course you’ll be there, right?
The organizing committee went on a planning retreat in January (that’d be the one where I yakked about my bukvar and other awkward childhood moments), and I thought I’d share the little write-up I’d done on the retreat below. (This originally appeared in the Limmud FSU International newsletter). I’m excited to see something like this happening here, and only a tad weirded out to be planning an event partially in Russian.
“This coming out of the Russian-Jewish community and Limmud – it’s almost magical. B’sheret. Destiny.”
“It was a very authentic and genuine weekend.”
These were just some of the comments heard around the room as the planning retreat for the first ever Limmud FSU Canada wrapped up in early January. Ten months still to go until the conference, but the planning committee was already clear on one point – their sense of Russian-Jewish identity and community had undergone a profound transformation.
And that’s in large part because of the very process itself – a weekend retreat where gibbush and emotional connections were high on the agenda. Many of the 25-odd participants had never met before the two- night retreat at a resort just outside Toron to, Canada, but by the second night – at a Soviet artifacts and stories workshop, led by Project Okna out of New York – comments like, “It’s frightening how similar we are to each other. The same experiences. The same stories,” were getting emphatic nods from around the room.
It is a hopeful sign of things to come during the conference itself, which is set to take place In Deerhurst, also outside Toronto, from October 24-26, 2014.
As one participant put it in the retreat wrap- up, “Limmud is about the journey – the process – and not just the conference itself.” That journey is off to a fine start already.