Limmud Conference 2016

Limmud Conference 2016 – Sunday 16:40

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Lighting a Candle, Becoming a Menorah

Mordechai Zeller 

Red 1

Light - emanating and surrounding the faces of great masters or saints - is a common sight in traditional art and ancient scriptures. In this session, we will explore a wide array of sources from different religious traditions describing the experience and nature of this light.

Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan – seekers of faith; finders of different fates

Daniel Goldfarb 

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Their Jewish backgrounds, different in many ways, are important to both singers. We’ll look at song texts and Jewish texts, and see how they connect. The Akeda in a Dylan song, Untenah Tokef in Leonard Cohen, and more. And we’ll sing - is there anything more Jewish than that? The answer to that question, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind.

With an outstretched arm... communicating with great (Makaton) signs and wonders

Shoshana Bloom 

Green 27

Communicating verbally is easier for some than others. Makaton - a communication signing system used by many children and adults with additional needs is a great way to make this easier and help to build inclusive communities. Come for a fun and eye-opening taster session and learn your first signs!

Why don’t the frum write love songs?

Jessica Sacks 

Red 2

Orthodoxy is all for romance – if the participants are married. Love with no ketuba is at best an embarrassing preamble. Yet what would Judaism be without love, wonder, fantasy, desire? We will explore biblical, rabbinic and secular sources to remap the relationship between Torah and love poetry.

“Who shall live and who shall die?” The High Holiday prayer we love and hate, and the fascinating secrets behind it

Lawrence Hoffman 

Blue 34

Nothing matters more than the stories we tell – about our history, ourselves, and our world. Un’taneh Tokef is said to be written by a medieval martyr on his death bed. But who really wrote it and why? We will find out, using newly translated medieval texts, and ask the question: What stories do we really want to tell about who we are?

Under the uniforms

Mor Sofer 

Blue 33

Mostly, IDF soldiers are busy with military tasks and missions. But in their spare time they have a new hobby, obtaining likes, shares, even protesting on social media against their own army. In this session Mor will review viral posts and discuss why soldiers are taking to social media, if this new hobby serves the IDF and how it is viewed by Israelis.

Trumpus interruptus: Democrats, Republicans and the fractures of American Jewry

Andrew Silow-Carroll 

Yellow 23

This strangest of all U.S. presidential elections only seemed to intensify political trends that are dividing up the Jewish community into rival tribes. We'll discuss the religious, gender and generational shifts shaping America's Jewish voters.

The Nuremberg Trials and human rights: the hidden link

Adam Wagner  Sam Grant 

Orange 11

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Nuremberg Trials, where leading Nazis were prosecuted and sentenced to death. This session explores the lost story of British prosecutor and leading Conservative David Maxwell Ffye who went on to be central to the movement to bring binding human rights laws in Europe.

The hard man of Chasidism

Larry Tabick 

Orange 12

Menachem Mendel of Kotzk (1787-1859) was a hard man to get along with, a rabbi who demanded much from his followers, above all absolute honesty. Drawing on Larry’s book, The Aura of Torah, we take a brief tour of the life and Torah comments of this warrior for Truth.

Jewish animal ethics from Torah to today

Aaron Gross 

Orange 14

This lively survey of Jewish animal ethics will consider passages from the Tanach, rabbinic writings, contemporary Jewish thought, and the remarkable contributions Jews have made to secular animal ethics from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Jacques Derrida. All Hebrew texts will include English translation. Accessible for all levels.

How the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community supported its poor during the 18th and 19th centuries

Rachel Montagu 

Red 3

The Bevis Marks synagogue developed an elaborate system of donations to support the poor as well as the work of the congregation and charities to support the needy from cradle to grave and help them find employment.

How important are the settlements, really?

Ethan Schwartz 

Green 26

Building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has come under an increasing spotlight in recent years. But the speed at which the settlements have grown, and what that means for the viability of a Palestinian state, is rarely discussed in much detail. This session will aim to demystify some of these increasingly controversial questions.

Honored and Venerable Sir...

Vanessa Freedman 

Red 6

Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was a global celebrity and he and his wife Judith received tributes from all over the world. As well as beautiful artefacts, they are a rich source of historical information. This illustrated talk will present some of the tributes held at UCL, which are digitised and freely available online.

From the ends of the earth: lost tribes and hidden Jewish communities

Michael Freund 

Yellow 21

Michael Freund has spent the past 15 years seeking out lost tribes and hidden Jews to help them to return to our people. He will discuss far-flung communities such as the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, the Bnei Menashe of India and the Hidden Jews of Poland from the Holocaust, and what this says about the power of Jewish memory and destiny.

Four Entered Parodies

Stuart Lewis 

Purple 31

This session will be divided into two parts. At the beginning we will look at some examples of song parodies and discuss why this genre is especially suited to Jewish humor. The second half will be an interactive workshop in which participants will write their own parodies.

Dilemmas and ethics in Jewish international development (tikkun olam)

Yarden Zornberg 

Orange 10

A school guard is hitting the children, medical technology to developing areas, is there a question here? In his years working in developing areas of the world, Yarden Zornberg has encountered confusing dilemmas that raise ethical questions for us as humans and Jews. We'll dig in to some of these challenges and discuss a range of Jewish ethical approaches.

Being and being Jewish: an exploration of Jewish ethics and spirituality

Shoshana Boyd Gelfand  Arthur Green  Jonathan Wittenberg 

Yellow 24

Come and listen to two of the most thoughtful and inspiring speakers at Limmud discuss issues of Jewish spirituality and ethics.

Attracting, selecting, and transitioning to a new congregational rabbi

Greg Davidson  Jeffrey Ward 

Red 4

We present our best practices for attracting, selecting, and transitioning to a new congregational rabbi, combining Jewish values and effective project management approaches. Key topics include: identifying your community’s values, developing collaboration and community consensus, designing successful transition in from the start.

A still-small voice: finding God after the melody

Zoe Jacobs 

Red 7

"The voice that summoned the universe into being is still and small, hardly louder than a whisper" - R. Jonathan Sacks. How often do we give ourselves the chance to connect to this Voice? Join us as we use both music and 'silence' between the songs to seek the still small voice. Expect new and familiar melodies, and the space to both sing and listen.

A short visit to the Mexican Jewish community (1 of 2)

Renato Huarte Cuéllar 

Green 25

Mexico's Jewish community is quite singular because of many circumstances. It is one of the few Jewish communities whose numbers are stable and not decreasing, has six "ethnic" communities, eleven Jewish day schools, twelve youth movements, a thriving cultural life, and also problems of its own. In this session we will have a look at its origins.

An American Tale: the story of Jews in Eastern Europe from Fievel Mousekevitz to now

Richard Verber 

Yellow 22

Given the huge waves of Jewish emigration from the Former Soviet Union to Europe, America and Israel, why do large numbers of Jews still live in Eastern Europe, with many in poverty? This session will bring these communities to life.

Yossi and Jagger: Screening and Q&A (110 minutes)

Avner Bernheimer 

Orange 13

Yossi and Jagger is an internationally acclaimed feature film written by Avner Bernheimer. It's a ground breaking film about gay love in the Israeli army. We will watch the film followed by Avner talking about the true story behind it, the way it was received, the controversy around it and its important role in the gay rights movement.

Crafternoon Tea: Make Your Own Mosaic

Limmud Social Programming Team 


Give your intellect a break and let your creativity shine in this crafty afternoon session. No artistic ability necessary!

Bag Storage

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