Limmud Baltics 2024 overview

Last 30 years Eastern European countries were considered as a territory with constantly decreasing Jewish population due to emigration and growing assimilation. This is definitely a case which requires attention and study, but at the same time Jewish Eastern Europe shows a tremendous growth in Jewish initiatives and innovation. Baltic states are not an exclusion in this trend, even though Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were part of the Soviet Union and got hit hard by its collapse. Communities and social organizations in Baltic states did not hesitate to experiment and developed wonderful projects while setting a basis for the future of thriving communities.
Limmud Baltics has been operating successfully in the Jewish community across the Baltics (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania) for over 6 years. During this period of time we organized 3 large-scale Limmud events (attracting ca. 200-250 people each time), several local gatherings and volunteer training sessions. Our project gained trust and respect from Jewish community of the Baltic states, Israel and other countries in Europe during recent years. 

Every Limmud Baltics conference has own meaning and was done in some sort of innovative way.
The very first Limmud Baltics conference took place in 2017 and showed that the organizational team is able to create a successful event from scratch. Our idea for that event was just to create a Jewish edutainment conference, which would set a new standard for Jewish social gatherings in the Baltic states. 
Limmud Baltics 2019 brought new challenges and achievements. It was the first conference with an established independent NGO Limmud Baltics MTÜ. We managed to attract even more volunteers helping during the conference. 
Limmud in the Woods 2022 festival was dedicated to understanding our Jewish present time through experience of our common memories. We raised important questions which found a response in Jewish communities and organizations. We tracked a continuation of the discussions in later events conducted by other organizations. Limmud Baltics team sees a need from Jewish society of the Baltics states in creating a vision for the future of Jewish presence in the region. Special dilemma comes from the Russian speaking part of Jewish community - what is the future of their native language in the region.
Limmud Baltics 2024 Festival asked an important question - how our common past and present forms the future of Jewish communities in the Baltic states. In terms of this topic we searched for the responses to the following questions:
- How do modern technologies influence Jewish tradition?
- What is modern Jewish art and culture and where does it move in future?
- What is the past, present and future of Yiddish language?
- What is the future of Jewish communities in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia?
- What happens with language, traditions and relations with the state?

Limmud Baltics 2024 conference became a common forum for sharing ideas and visions of Jewish life in future Europe in general and the Baltics in particular.
Jewish world was shaken by the events that happened in the Western Negev in early October, 2023. Unprecedented attack by HAMAS terrorists on the territory of Israel could leave no person indifferent to the pain it caused. Multiple pro-Palestinian rallies were conducted in many places of the world and as a rule, they turned to basic antisemitism. So the aftermatch events unfolding in Israel have influenced all the Diaspora as well. Increased security for Jewish sites and events, tense and even hostile environments and, as a result, permanent state of fear and stress follows Jews all over the world. Limmud Baltics sees its mission to empower Jews living in the Baltic states to stand their grounds with Israel and the whole Jewish world. We feel that a global Jewish family is one of the most important means of how to live through these times. Thus we see Limmud Baltics platform as a unique possibility to connect Jewish and non-Jewish participants from all the Baltics and the outer world.