Limmud Conference 2016

Limmud Conference 2016 – Tuesday 20:10

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Mikvah and me

Jessica Lucas 

Green 28

Using the mikvah as a step towards healing to deal with childhood sexual abuse. In this session I will talk (briefly) about my experiences in hospital as a child, but more importantly about my rabbi's suggestion for using the mikvah for the first time and my feelings about this and to open up the session to other women to speak about this. (15 people max)

Zoe Jacobs, Mich Sampson and Judith Silver in concert

Zoe Jacobs  Judith Silver  Mich Sampson 

Red 6

Zoe, Mich and Judith don’t get to sing together anywhere near as often as they’d like to; so every opportunity is imbued with their infectious enthusiasm and love of harmony. For this concert, they bring you some of their favourite songs from various traditions, including highlights from a recent concert of music of reflection and renewal.

Under the Chuppah with Superman and Lois Lane

Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik  Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik 

Marquee 1

Join “Dynamic duo” of an artist and rabbi, Isaac and Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik for a conversation on Jewish wisdom about love and marriage. Explore love stories featuring Isaac and Rebekah, Superman and Lois Lane, through ketubot designed by Isaac, called “one of the most innovative Jewish artists working in traditional papercut technique today.”

The Venice Ghetto at 500: how (not) to plan an anniversary

Shaul Bassi 

Orange 11

Shaul will discuss the strategy adopted by the Jewish community of Venice to mark the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Ghetto and the multiple projects associated with it. The quincentennial has been an occasion to evaluate the past, but also an opportune time to build for the future at a time of unprecedented challenges for Italian Jews.

The secret Jewish-Masonic plot

Zvi Solomons 

Turquoise 20

Jews are often very interested in Freemasonry - to the extent that Left and Right fringes level the accusation that we are in league to rule the world or worse. Mine's a Ferrari, please. This session will examine the nature of Freemasonry, and why it is so interesting to us Jews. No Secrets.

The Republic and the Jews: Religion, State, and Secularism in France

Ezra Margulies  Alain Nacache  Sacha Reingewirtz 

Blue 34

The burkini debate was only one example of the constant tension present in France between state and religious communities - centred on 'la laïcité', a principle dictating the exclusion of religious symbols from the public sphere. We shall explore the numerous implications of the concept of laïcité on the French Jewish community.

The pilgrim festivals: experiences in Israel and the Diaspora

Daniel Chinn 

Red 3

The celebration of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot has developed dramatically in Israel over the last decades. Two years ago, the Israeli Reform movement published its festival machzor which incorporates many of these themes. This session invites discussion of these themes based on textual study from the new machzor.

The Historical Memory of WW2 in the Former Soviet Union and the Quasi-Religion of "The Great Patriotic War"

Igor Shchupak 

Green 26

The session includes an interactive lecture-presentation on: Why World War II became "The Great Patriotic War"; what a "quasi-religion" means and what its adherents worship; dogmas, rituals, objects of worship, victimisation and the glorification of the state; and the myths of "The Great Patriotic War."

The Forgotten Refugees

Nizza Fluss  Lyn Julius 

Turquoise 16

"The Forgotten Refugees" (49 minutes) is an exceptional documentary that addresses one of the least recognized refugee groups of the 20th century— the nearly one million Jews from Arab countries and Iran who were either forcibly expelled from their homes or otherwise compelled to leave. Q&A to follow

Strictly Limmud Dancing

Maurice Stone 

Marquee 3

Experience the glitter, the glamour and excitement of the return of Strictly Limmud Dancing where six “celebrities” will be put through their paces by professionals to compete for the Nikki Millan trophy, and YOU decide who wins guided by four “experienced” judges.

Refugees in the Torah, Mishnah and today

Sam Grant  Benji Stanley 

Green 25

Part of Limmud’s Refugee Day. Humans have always migrated, so what do our Jewish texts suggest about issues of migration, refugees and and what can we learn that is helpful for 2016. We’ll look at various texts throughout this interactive session.

Pleased to "Meat" You

Gabriel Botnick 

Red 1

Where does your meat comes from? What makes kosher meat kosher? Is kosher slaughter actually better for animals? We'll explore these questions and more while introducing you to the world of Shechitah (Kosher Slaughter).

Penelope Solomon: I was a penis at the Royal Festival Hall

Penelope Solomon 

Red 7

Fresh from Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Penelope blends stand-up with character comedy and songs. Join her in this autobiographical romp as she explores her acting career, Jewish identity and parenthood. "Like a latter day Fanny Brice she brings funny Jewish bones to the stage and clowns around with great joie de vivre and humanity" -Jewish News

On the Possibility of a Jewish democracy in Israel

Zohar Raviv 

Orange 12

Although Judaism and Democracy have been Israel’s creed from birth, their articulation continue to haunt its political and social trajectories. This session explores conceptual and historical elements that are endemic to the Jewish condition and hinder Israel’s vision it then suggests a more concrete trajectory for Israel.

“Loving the Torah More Than God”: The ethical philosophy and Jewish writings of Emmanuel Levinas (3 of 3)

Tamra Wright 

Red 4

Levinas was one of the most influential and intriguing Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. We will explore his philosophy of the “face-to-face” relation, his understanding of Judaism as ethical teaching, and the connections between the two. No prior knowledge of philosophy required. Today: the ethical meaning of the mitzvot.

Limmud volunteering happy hour

David Hoffman  Eli Ovits 


Want to know more about volunteering for Limmud? Join some Limmud volunteers, including the chair and members of the board of trustees at the bar for a drink and a chat and see what you can do to help keep Limmud growing and developing.

Jewish Articulate

Lucy Prevezer 

Blue 32 (Millers)

Learn while also playing the well loved board game! Come join in this version of Jewish Articulate with Jewish characters, places, culture and entertainment, objects and maybe a few Yiddish words!

Jeremiah: agony and ecstasy: The tortured soul (2 of 2)

Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz 

Blue 33

In these two sessions, we’ll explore both the tragedy and the hope that can be found in the book of Jeremiah. Our second session will focus on the unique glimpses the book gives of Jeremiah’s psycho-spiritual state, and we’ll study his ‘confessions’ with the aid of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

JDOV: Jewish Dreams, Observations, and Visions (2 of 2)

Robbie Duschinsky  Shoshana Boyd Gelfand  Benjamin Gampel  Mimi Feigelson  Susan Silverman 

Orange 15

Ever wondered what it would look like if you crossed Limmud with TED (the popular conference where inspiring speakers give "the talk of their life")? Launched at Limmud Conference 2011, JDOV is back for our sixth year. Join us as four inspiring speakers give the “Jewish talk of their life.” Previous talks can be found at

Israeli security, 50 years on

Ethan Schwartz 

Orange 14

Israel has controlled the West Bank and its civilian population since June 1967, yet leading former security officials say that Israel’s long-term security needs require a withdrawal from the West Bank and a political agreement with the Palestinian people. Join Yachad as we discuss how to ensure Israeli security after 50 years of occupation.

Israel and the NGO controversy: foreign funding and democracy

Abraham Bell 

Red 2

There's been a lot of talk and a lot of hysteria about Israel's new law regarding foreign funding of non-governmental organisations. How much of it is true, and how much of it is justified? You might discover it's a lot more reasonable than some people would have you believe.

Is Benjamin Netanyahu a force for good?

Gilad Halpern  Haviv Gur  Jonathan Neumann  Annika Hernroth-Rothstein  Tal Grunspan 

Yellow 24

Benjamin Netanyahu provokes passionate criticism and acclaim. Behind the passion, though, has he been a good leader for Israel? And has his impact on Diaspora Jewry been a positive one? From tent protests to Iran, his speech in Paris and the return of Gilad Shalit, this panel of journalists and activists has much to assess!

IBM, American big business and the Holocaust

Mark Creeger 

Purple 31

We live within a sea of data analytics, where multinational corporations know more about our movements, spending habits and future choices than governments. But the history of Big Data is not pretty. Based on Edwin Black’s award winning books, we explore the extent to which American big business was proactively instrumental in European genocide.

"Four miles from the tramway terminus": In а no man's land - "Slow reading" of a Joseph Brodsky poem

Simon Parizhsky 

Turquoise 19

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky is almost unanimously considered to be the greatest Russian poet of the post-War period. Since Brodsky was a poet par excellence and not a publicist, it is to his poetry that we must turn for a condensed expression and symbolic embodiment of his complicated relationship with Judaism and Jewish culture.

Calves, crates and kashrut:Part Two of Three

Ian Gamse 

Yellow 21

R. Moshe Feinstein was the outstanding halachic authority of the 20th century. In a remarkable essay written in 1982 he explores the ethics of food production, defining the limits on what he regarded as compatible with the values of Torah. Last year we looked at cruelty; now we turn to marketing.

An overview of Greek-Jewish history

Maria Kavala 

Orange 10

This overview of Greek-Jewish history will focus on Jews (Romaniote Sephardi, Ashkenazi) in the area of Greece earlier than the creation of the Greek state and after that. The session will address the 19th and 20th century, the Ottoman rule, the Greek state, the political and economic changes and their impact.

You are Jewish - where will you be buried?

David Freeman 

Green 27

Not members of s synagogue - what steps can you take to plan for the inevitable.

Why is the Labour Party in such a mess over Israel, Jews and antisemitism?

Luke Akehurst 

Red 5

Luke Akehurst uses his unique insider knowledge as a former Labour National Executive member and expert on the forces behind anti-Zionism to explain how and why the Labour Party has got into such a dire predicament regarding Israel, Jews and antisemitism.

2016: the year of politics

Luciana Berger 

Yellow 23

The world of politics is ever changing, but 2016 has proved to be a year of political upheaval. From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump to the White House, join Luciana Berger MP to discuss, debate and challenge the results of the past year, and where we go from here.

Maoz Tsur and the virtue of assimilation

Raphael Zarum 

Marquee 2

It’s a great one to sing-a-long to, but what does it actually mean? We’ll uncover the underlying pattern of the verses and discover its special relationship to Chanukah. Maoz Tsur turns out to be a radical retelling of Jewish survival.

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