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Muslim Republic of Tatarstan in Russia Hosts Global Jewish Conference

KAZAN,  The Limmud FSU Volga-Urals conference of Russian-speaking Jews opened in this Muslim Russian republic last week, bringing together some 600 participants including Tatar and Muslim leaders, Kazan Jewish communal leaders, Russian and Israeli cultural figures, Israeli politicians and religious leaders, and Israel Defense Forces generals.

Limmud FSU Volga-Urals, which ran through Sept. 4, featured more than 100 sessions on a broad range of topics including the Russian economy; balancing national security and press freedom; Israel and global instability; and a roundtable on Israeli-Russian trade featuring the Honorary Limmud FSU Volga-Urals Conference Chair and Chair of the Israeli-Russian Business Council, Timor Khikhinashvili; Limmud FSU President Aaron Frenkel; Limmud FSU International Steering Committee Chair Matthew Bronfman; and local business leaders.

Other participants included the chairman of the Jewish community of Kazan, Michael Skoblionok; the chief rabbi of Tatarstan, Yitzhak Gorelik; and the president of the Moscow-based Institute of the Middle East, Yevgeny Satanovsky.

This was the second-ever Russian-Jewish conference in Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. There are more than 10,000 Jews in Kazan, and its century-old synagogue was returned to the Jewish community in 1996. The restoration of the synagogue, which had fallen into disrepair after it was taken over by Soviet authorities, was completed last year.

Other participants included Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler and Co-Founder Sandra Cahn. “We are honored to be part of this historic event, uniting leaders of so many religious and national backgrounds,” said Chesler and Cahn. “We are also thrilled to be returning again to the beautiful city of Kazan, which holds such rich history for Muslims, Jews and the people of Tatarstan.”

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