Limmud Conference 2016

Limmud Conference 2016 – Sunday 14:30

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Quieting the soul: why meditation isn't prayer but is still worth trying!

Sara Jo Ben Zvi 

Green 27

Presentation of a guided meditation method, with discussion of how eastern meditative techniques can make prayer a more meaningful experience.

Keep Quiet (97 mins)

Jonathan Wittenberg  UK Jewish Film 

Orange 13

Keep Quiet is the story of Hungarian politician Csanád Szegedi, who became vice-President of Jobbik, Hungary’s far-right, antisemitic party. When he discovers that he is Jewish and that his grandmother survived Auschwitz, he goes on an astonishing journey that takes him from the depths of hatred to repentance, self-acceptance and reconciliation. Dir Sam Blair & Joseph Martin, Hungary & UK, 2016

Women and mitzvot: what’s time got to do with it?

Valérie Rhein 

Blue 33

Why do the rabbis exempt women from time-bound mitzvot? An analysis of the addressees of the commandments in the Torah (the priests and the people) in the context of the destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent transition to a study-oriented rabbinic Judaism reveals a surprising answer independent of the classical notion of time.

Where is Jewish feminism now?

Gail Chester 

Yellow 22

Building on a brief introduction to previous Jewish feminist activity, this will be an experiential discussion session where everybody is encouraged to share their knowledge of current Jewish feminist activity and their aspirations for how we’d like it to develop. Come and share your experiences, your hopes and your dreams.

What do you stand for? The never-ending conflict between Greek and Jewish culture

Raphael Zarum 

Orange 15

Though our people have faced the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Persians, it could be argued that it was our encounter with the Greeks that had the most lasting effect on Judaism. We will contrast their ideological pillars and discuss models of interaction. Surprisingly, it's a lot to do with pomegranates and dates…

Traces of the Holocaust in Lithuania: How the Shoah is being presented in contemporary Lithuania

Ruta Vanagaite 

Red 9 (Boulevard Front)

This presentation will describe the situation in today's Lithuania: professional work by Holocaust historians, the distorted official narrative, poor Holocaust education, absence of official efforts to commemorate the victims or show the traces of once rich Jewish life in Lithuania and how this situation is changing after the publication of "Musiskiai" (Our People).

The story of the Zionist movement in Iraq

Mor Sofer 

Orange 10

Since their exile, the Jews of Iraq yearned to return to the holy land. For centuries, the Iraqi Jewish community thrived, but in 1941 a disaster struck and brought them to fight for their own country in the land of Israel. In this session, Mor will bring evidence about the efforts of the Zionist movement in Iraq through his family's personal story.

The book of Daniel: an insurrectionary text

Shira Solomons 

Orange 12

Who really didn’t see the writing on the wall? Why isn’t Daniel considered to be a prophet? And what’s it all got to do with Chanukah? Let’s get beyond the children’s story, look at the text and its history, and discover much deeper lessons about the limits of power, the power of faith, and the faith to remain Jewish in a non-Jewish world.

"...teach a man to fish and you feed him for life": why this isn't the answer for global poverty relief

Steve Miller 

Red 7

Come and hear a Rabbinic story, apply some critical analysis and consider how and what we really want to achieve in global poverty relief and development.

Limmud book club: Auto-da-Fé (1 of 4)

Shoshi Ish-Horowicz  Aviva Dautch 

Blue 32 (Millers)

This stand-alone session is a chance for book lovers to share insights. We will discuss our favourite extracts, characters and theories - for those who've already read the book and those who haven't but want to find out more. Today's choice is a demented tale of obsession and bibliophilia by Elias Canetti, winner of the Nobel prize for literature.

Jewish women in Rashi's community were way ahead of their time

Maggie Anton 

Yellow 24

Anton discusses the research behind her "Rashi's Daughters" historical novels. Amazing as it may seem, women in that medieval Jewish community wore tzitzit, blew the shofar, performed ritual circumcisions, and had aliyot to the Torah. They also created or popularised the ritual of lighting Shabbat candles and saying a blessing, as we do today.

Israel 2020: geopolitical self images - where is Israel located? (1 of 3)

David Newman 

Red 1

Countries often share alternative geopolitical locations. Geography alone is not sufficient. This session discusses six alternative locations for Israel - the Middle East, an extension of Europe, the 51st State of the USA, a country without borders (for Jews), the centre of the world, or as part of the Mediterranean region.

Innocents in Gaza

Noru Tsalic 

Green 25

One thing is clear: many of those killed in Gaza during Israel's 2014 Protective Edge operation were innocent civilians. How/why did that happen? The session will not rehash usual arguments. Instead, informed by the experience of soldiers in the field, it will seek to present answers untainted by slogans, propaganda and politicised narratives.

How can we encourage kindness? A perspective from evolutionary biology

Joel Peck 

Red 8 (Boulevard Back)

The quality of human life depends on how we treat each other. Evolutionary biologists often study “altruism” in humans and other animals. How can their results inform the development of social policy? Can they help us to reform our political system? What do the results of evolutionary studies suggest about kindness within Jewish communities?

Halacha for the terminally disinclined (1 of 2)

Joel Levy 

Yellow 23

In this series we will explore the meaning and practice of ritual for liberal Jews. We tend not to embrace the pious observance of halachah; we find it hard even to imagine why we might want a serious engagement with religious discipline. Come ready to think about religion, learn a lot of contemporary halachah and experiment with its observance.

Growing Up - What is it like at 20, at 40, at 60? 'Ad 120' - Twenties (1 of 3)

Yoav Landau-Pope 

Orange 11

We grow up throughout our lifespan. It never stops. How do we perceive growing up at various stages in our lives? What does it involve, the hopes and challenges? How do we relate to ourselves growing up, and to others - children, parents, siblings, peers, friends. A series of 3 sessions each focusing on a stage in life: twenties, forties, sixties

Everything you wanted to know about Israel but were afraid to ask

Michael Freeman 

Red 4

This session does exactly what it says on the tin! Here is the chance to ask anything that you like about Israel and its politics and policies. To ask that question that has always been bugging you, to clarify the thing you never quite managed to fully appreciate, or to just understand more about the headlines.

Drama and identity workshop: mitigating suspicion between Arabs and Jews

Peter Harris 

Red 6

The workshop will focus on drama processes designed to generate creative expression and to engage with questions of personal identity. Drama and theatre methodologies enable participants to ‘see the other’, allow safe self-exposure, reflection and a candid rapport to deal with the volatile issues of bias and prejudice.

Documentary film screening: The True Cost (120 min)

Dave Shaw  Lara Smallman 

Red 3

A story about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. This film asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing? The film will be followed by a Q&A session.

Can we save Europe from nationalism?

Benjamin Gerber 

Red 2

This year has been a depressing mess of Brexit, a polarising migration debate, terror attacks and the continued rise of the far right. Europe is experiencing quite a tumultuous time, but can the Jewish European experience offer any solutions to these issues?

Anxiety - antidotes and anecdotes

Laura Janner-Klausner  Benji Stanley 

Yellow 21

Join Benji Stanley and Laura Janner-Klausner, both rabbis, as they delve into the delicate subject of anxiety and learn from Jewish wisdom how to assuage our anxiety and build our coping strategies.

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