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Some 700 Russian-speaking Jews have sold out the first-ever Limmud FSU West Coast conference, which takes places this Jan. 29-31 at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena. A dynamic and pluralistic Jewish festival of learning, culture and creativity, Limmud FSU West Coast will feature an array of prominent speakers, including Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight.

Other major participants will include Jewish Agency Chair and Soviet Jewry hero Natan Sharansky; Israeli film star Tamara Klingon; LA City Councilor Zev Yaraslovsky; Limmud FSU Chair Matthew Bronfman; Russian rock star Andrey Makarevich; Russian satirist and authorVictor Shenderovich; Russian-Israeli singer Irene Talia Rosenfeld; jazz musician LeonidPtashka; Jewish Women’s Renaissance Founder Lori Palatnik; former Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan; Reut Institute President Gidi Grinstein; Rabbi David Wolpe; and Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut.

Co-chairing Limmud FSU West Coast are Sasha Shteyn of LA and Leo Hmelnitsky of San Francisco. Honorary chairs include Limmud FSU Board members and philanthropists Michal Grayevsky and Diane Wohl and philanthropist Ada Horwich.

“Limmud FSU has revolutionized how we strengthen the Russian-speaking Jewish community worldwide, and Limmud FSU West Coast offers a historic opportunity to engage and inspire this emerging community for generations to come,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the premier Limmud FSU experience to the West Coast, with its fascinating Jewish history and growing Russian-speaking population,” said Limmud FSU Co-Founder Sandra Cahn.

Limmud FSU West Coast will feature an eclectic lineup, from a concert by Makarevich to spiritually stirring Shabbat and Havdalah (end of Shabbat) ceremonies, to interactive improv, and film screenings. The conference will also offer over 60 fascinating sessions on such issues as Russian-Jewish identity, the Russian-Jewish community in LA and Jewish perspectives on relationships. There are an estimated 80,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the greater LA area, with other large Russian-speaking Jewish communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in California. There are some 700,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the U.S. altogether.

To learn more about the conference and see the full program, please visit:http://westcoast.limmudfsuus.org.


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