Limmud Conference 2016

Limmud Conference 2016 – Tuesday 10:30

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The Charedi world: does free choice exist and what drives communal loyalty?

Stephen Frosh  Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz  Linda Turner  Izzy Posen  Etan Blass 

Red 3

An exploration of the driving forces behind the UKs fast-growing Charedi community. Is communal loyalty motivated by personal faith based on halachah, wider cultural norms and ideologies, or the control mechanisms of its leaders? Join the discussion.

Sacred Sperm (74 mins)

Zev Farber  Elie Jesner  UK Jewish Film 

Orange 13

Sensitive and deeply complex, Sacred Sperm explores one of the most suppressed and hidden issues of the Orthodox Jewish community: the sin of ‘wasting sperm’. Opening a rare window onto the taboos of sex and masturbation, director Ori Gruder sets out to understand the prohibition of male self-pleasure. Dir Ori Gruder, Israel, 2014

Through the eyes of power: a new look at paradigmatic tales

Susan Silverman 

Red 4

Many texts offer ways to give us hope in a world that has marginalised and battered us. Now that we have a strong and vibrant Jewish state, how might we read these stories anew? How might they inform the nation we are creating? We will look at biblical and rabbinic texts - not through the lens of our historic powerlessness, but of our power.

The other F-word: is feminism kosher?

Hannah Brady  Ilana Ordman  Doreen Samuels  Miriam Shaviv 

Marquee 2

Miriam Shaviv chairs a panel of four Jewish women - from Progressive to Orthodox - who will give their contrasting views on the meaning of feminism, and its place within modern Jewish life.

Subversive texts in the Torah: Levirate marriage and the suspected adultress

Ariel Abel  Shira Solomons 

Green 27

The Torah justifies slavery, patriarchy, even rape. Is this merely a ruse to fool the powerful into accepting laws that actually overturn the social order? We tease out paradoxical texts whose literal meanings contradict their social impact. Today: If the adulteress is condemned to death by ordeal, why is pregnancy evidence of her innocence?

Rus, Muscovy, Russia: Old and New History

Igor Shchupak 

Yellow 22

An interactive presentation on the history of "Rus", "Rusyns" and "Russians", Mongols in the history of Russia and Muscovy, and past battles in Russian history.

Rebbetzins, Maharats, and Rabbis: Women as Orthodox Religious Authorities

Shmuel Klitsner  Mimi Feigelson  Lindsay Simmonds 

Yellow 24

A panel discussion on women's religious status within the confines of Orthodox Judaism with three leading activists. Our discussion will explore the progress accomplished in certain areas to increase the participation of women in the judicial-halakhic process, the obstacles that still lie ahead, and the tensions inherent in the entire endeavour.

People of the book

Judith Hauptman  Rex Bloomstein  Irene Wise  Aviva Dautch 

Blue 34

Jews are known as the "people of the book," but if you take the Bible as a given, what other reading matter would you bring to your desert island? Some of Limmud’s best-read presenters offer us their essential lists of Jewish books and Jew-"ish" books, and discuss their literary lives.

It's not just about the presents...

Rose Prevezer 

Green 26

From birth to death, life is punctuated by moments of profound transition. While some are marked or celebrated through a Jewish lens, many others are not. This session will explore how we can mine the trove of Jewish traditions to spiritually elevate these significant moments in our lives.

Home and away: Israel's English-language media and its Jewish-American readers

Gilad Halpern 

Red 5

The advent of the internet has had a devastating effect on the traditional media worldwide. For Israel's Anglo press, it facilitated access to a huge, hitherto untapped readership, raising the number of titles from two a mere 20 years ago to more than a dozen today, thereby reshaping and enriching the understanding of Israel among diaspora Jews.

He said, she said: a mother and son talk 'Global Torah'

Yarden Zornberg  Shani Rosenbaum  Avivah Zornberg 

Orange 15

What can be learned when we bring our tradition in conversation with our world’s most pressing challenges? In this live spin-off of OLAM and Pardes’s Global Torah podcast, Torah scholar Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and her son, global service professional Yarden Zornberg, explore “otherness” in the Book of Ruth and talk about modern social responsibility.

Halachah and morality (2 of 3)

Ethan Tucker 

Orange 14

Difficulties with halachah (Jewish law) often come down to perceived conflicts between the divine will and human morality. Both the observant and the non-observant often agree that this conflict exists and that one side must triumph. We will explore a third path, one that insists that these conversations must be unified into a holistic quest.

Great openings to Talmudic tractates. Avodah Zarah: Jews, Limmud and Christmas (1 of 2)

Julian Sinclair 

Orange 11

The Talmud is, among much else, a great work of Jewish thought. Themes and ideas developed in each tractate are subtly announced in the opening pages and can be elicited by literary readings. Avodah Zarah illuminates dynamics and dilemmas of our relationships with non-Jews, their religions and cultures that we still face. Open to all levels.

Got a light? Using business as a force to do good

Saul Kaye 

Green 25

How to harness the entrepreneurial spirit towards the service of others. When a patient story becomes an international platform; the story of iCAN:israel-cannabis.

From academia to the Secret Service and back: how my biography as Second Generation and current affairs influenced my life.

Mishka (Moshe) Ben-David 

Red 2

Mishka (Moshe) Ben-David wrote his first novel as a young soldier after the Yom Kippur war (1973) and ever since found himself in between the literary world (gaining a PhD in Literature, lecturing and writing many more books) - and serving his country, which he felt as an obligation. Mishka will describe how this conflict influenced his life.

Filming guilt: Jewish films and guilty feelings

Julia Wagner 

Red 6

How is guilt portrayed in films by Jewish filmmakers? From guilty feelings to investigating and accusing others, guilt is a prevalent theme in many genres of filmmaking, spanning Hollywood noir to Holocaust documentaries - and not forgetting Woody Allen. This session explores some striking and pertinent examples, using clips and discussion.

Crimes, misdemeanors and other infractions by Biblical leaders: the Tower of Babel and the midwives of Egypt: comparing an unlikely pair (2 of 3)

Judy Klitsner 

Yellow 21

What does the story of building the world’s largest structure in Babel have in common with a tale of subjugation in Egypt? We will note the actions and motivations of a number of outstanding female characters in the Exodus narrative, whose acts of individual heroism help to repair the fractured connection with the Divine.

Creating an ethical food policy that can change public policy

Sarah Chandler  Aaron Gross 

Orange 10

Learn about how creating an ethical food policy - what some are calling community food covenants - at your local Jewish institution can help create a better future for global agriculture and build community. Learn about past victories that have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of animals and how to duplicate them!

Collaborative working spaces - what's the draw?

Michelle Jacobs  Daniel Infeld  Lara Smallman  Amy Braier 

Blue 32 (Millers)

Collaborative working spaces are popping up everywhere and the Jewish Community has not been immune to their benefits. We will discuss why they are so popular, why they work and why they are a great opportunity for the community to support innovation and entrepreneurship whilst also gaining from new perspectives.

Best Israeli films of recent years

Amy Kronish 

Blue 33

Take a look at the issues and developments of contemporary Israel during the last few years, as seen through the lens of some of the best recent productions.

Beit Midrash Group C: The Tunneler (2 of 4)

Shlomo Zuckier  Limmud Beit Midrash Group C 

Red 8 (Boulevard Back)

Limmud's Beit Midrash is studying Chapter 8 of Sanhedrin “Wanton and Rebellious Son”. Today’s section deals with The Tunneler, an intriguing legal category sanctioning standing one’s ground and protecting one’s household against an intruder. This is a double-length session.

Beit Midrash group B: be killed rather than transgress (2 of 4)

Shoshana Cohen  Limmud Beit Midrash Group B 

Red 8 (Boulevard Back)

Limmud's Beit Midrash is studying Chapter 8 of Sanhedrin “Wanton and Rebellious Son”. This lesson will analyse the Talmudic text that explores the connection between keeping mitzvot and staying alive. When is it preferable to live and when to die in the name of God? [We will also compare the conclusions of this text to others that deal with the question of martrydom in different ways. This is a double-length session.

Beit Midrash Group A: 20th century perspective (2 of 4)

Michael Pollak  Limmud Beit Midrash Group A 

Red 8 (Boulevard Back)

Limmud's Beit Midrash programme is studying Chapter 8 of Sanhedrin “Wanton and Rebellious Son”.In this session our perspective on the text moves to early 20th century and the yeshiva of Brisk listening to the intellectual revolutionary – Rav Chaim Soloveitchik. This is a double-length session.

2017: The year of anniversaries - how will the community respond?

Simon Johnson 

Orange 12

2017 is the year of Israel anniversaries including: the centenary of the Balfour declaration, the centenary of Allenby marching into Jerusalem, 120 years since the First Zionist Congress, 70 years since the UN vote in favour of Partition Plan, 50 years since the Six Day War and 40 years since Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel.

You voted for WHOM?? Jewish perspectives on the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Andrew Silow-Carroll  Leonard Saxe  Jodi Rudoren  Aylana Meisel  Ariela Migdal 

Yellow 23

The 2016 US presidential election was polarising and has created deep fissures in America's political landscape. The panel will provide perspective on the election and assess the role of the Jewish vote, how it divided or unified Jews, and how the results alter the map of Jewish political positions. The panel will consider the implications of the election for policy issues of concern to Jewish voters, in particular Israel.

200 years of Reform Judaism - bicentennial reflections, review and celebrations

Naamah Kelman  Paul Freedman  Lawrence Hoffman 

Red 1

Three Reform rabbis representing the evolving story of Reform, from Europe, to the US and to Israel will critically discuss and lovingly assess Reform Judaism as it prepares to reach the 200th anniversary of the founding of the first Reform Synagogue in 1817. What have we accomplished and what is the next frontier? Would our founders recognise us?

Passion and politics of Islam

Sohail Raza  Raheel Raza 

Purple 29 (Monarch Overflow)

Today Islam and Muslims are seen generally through the lens of terror and turmoil. However there is a history that has not been fully told. This session will explain what went wrong

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