We were pleased to come across this headline, “Medvedev Follows Limmud FSU to Birobidzhan” on eJewish Philanthropy‘s website. Seems that President Medvedev made a trip to Russia’s Far East, specifically to visit the Jewish community of Birobidzhan, the capital city of the area’s Jewish Autonomous Region. The community is home to more than 2,000 Jews, some of whom JDC supports in partnership with two local Jewish organizations. The majority of our programs consist of social and welfare help for the vulnerable elderly and at-risk children and Jewish renewal activities for people of all ages, including a Jewish book festival and a theater group. Medvedev visited various Jewish cultural attractions and received a guided tour from Russia’s Chief Rabbi and the Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities.
The visit (the first one ever by a sitting president) comes about a year after Birobidzhan played host to Limmud, a creative and experiential Jewish learning event, of which JDC is a supporter, that offers a series of seminars, workshops, and social events in an effort to foster Jewish identity and connectedness. The event proved to be a huge success, attracting more than 300 participants. We’re proud to count Birobidzhan’s Jews among the JDC family and we hope the President’s trip only helped to reinforce their importance to both the Russian and the global Jewish community.
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