Limmud Conference 2016 — Wednesday 09:15

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A Jewish view of extra-terrestrial life

Mark Creeger 

Green 25

Could we really be the only life in the created universe? Just a single planet? Even before 20th century science fiction and Hollywood movies, we find Tanach, Talmud and Rabbinic thought had views on extra-terrestrial life. Who, what and where might “others” be? How might the halachic status of intelligent alien beings have an impact on us today?

Beer Sheva - a microcosm of Israel society

Dagan Livny 

Yellow 21

A sociological review of Israeli society in the capital of the negev, Beer Sheva, as a case study. We will discuss the five main divisions in Israeli society: Religious, Ethnic, Ideological, Socio-Economic and National, and will show how these are reflected in the city, a fascinating place that contains a variety of people.

Bestiary of fears

Jacqueline Nicholls 

Yellow 22

What stops us in our tracks, paralyses us with fear and stops us developing? Taking inspiration from the monsters and beasties in the marginalia of Jewish medieval manuscripts, Jacqueline used the Omer cycle to confront these fears with daily drawings.

Chair yoga

Maxine Levy 

Marquee 1

A seated yoga practice incorporating meditation, breathing techniques and yoga postures - this session is offered to the more senior attendees - no previous experience required. Enjoy the opportunity to experience your inner self as well as the opportunity to stretch those limbs after so much sitting.

Cultural policy and the Israeli art world

Diti Ronen 

Blue 33

In this session, Diti will review the art scene quantitatively, while assessing the problems and the main issues the world of art and culture in Israel is facing today.

Does the New York Times hate Israel? (No.)

Jodi Rudoren 

Orange 14

This session will present a more discursive answer, plus engagement with specific examples/complaints about the news organisation's coverage of the conflict in Israel.

Forgotten or Sidelined? Historical female leadership in Orthodoxy 1500-1900

Arthur Weiss 

Green 26

Today women are being sidelined in Orthodoxy. This wasn't always the case. Women like Temerl Bergson, Hannah Verbermacher, Asenath Barzani and Freha Bat Avraham held key positions in their respective Orthodox and Chasidic communities. Their names are almost forgotten but their stories have lessons for women and their roles within Orthodoxy today.

Governments NGOs and the BDS wars: public opposition, private support?

Shaun Sacks 

Purple 31

Explaining the role of foreign government funded NGOs that play a central role in politicised campaigns in Israel and abroad.

Healthcare - spiritual needs and spiritual distress

Jason Demant 

Marquee 2

When ill, distress felt can be spiritual or emotional besides physical discomfort, with some experiencing ‘spiritual distress’. Palliative care centres, such as hospices, aim to treat the spiritual aspects of illness. We will ask how personal spiritual needs are assessed, discuss what is ‘spiritual distress’ and how it may be reduced or ‘treated’.

Infiltrating Europe: how Jihadists exploited the migrant crisis

Tom Wilson  Annika Hernroth-Rothstein 

Yellow 24

Even before the peak of the migrant crisis IS had called for attacks in the West. Ignoring that threat, Europe’s leaders failed to check who was entering the continent or to rethink its open borders policy. Militants soon capitalised on the opportunity, allowing fighters to enter European cities with devastating consequences. What are the lessons?

Israel and Pakistan: where do they stand today?

Sohail Raza 

Orange 11

Pakistan and Israel are two countries that were created at around the same time in history and for similar reasons. While one is blameless at the terror it exports, the other is a truly developing nation standing as the only robust democracy in the Middle East. How did this happen?

Jewish life in Greece today

Maria Kavala 

Orange 12

The presentation will focus on the reconstruction of Jewish communities in Greece after the WW2. Moreover it will present the current challenges the Jewish community faces given the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece, and the high levels of anti-Semitism in Greek society, but also the changing in ideas that education brings.

Jewish journeys: Sicily

Chaim Weiner 

Red 8 (Boulevard Back)

Perched in the centre of Europe, periodically under the influence of Greece, Rome, Spain and Italy, the island of Sicily has a unique story to tell. From the old town of Syracuse and the churches of Palermo to the heights of Mount Etna, Judaism thrived and then when into hiding, but still persists today.

Lights, Chutzpah, Action! Jews in British Cinema

Rachel Kolsky  UK Jewish Film 

Red 5

As part of UK Jewish Film's inter-generational heritage project, Rachel celebrates the contribution to British Cinema and film by Jewish producers, directors, designers and actors. From Gaumont to Gainsborough, Ealing to Essoldo, Korda to Klinger and Skikne to Steiner, sit back and enjoy these magic cinematic memories.

Nepal earthquake aftermath: Jewish approach to disaster response

Eliran Douenias 

Blue 34

When Eliran decided to take part in the recovery efforts in Nepal, he didn't know what to expect. Nepal challenged him in many ways, personally and professionally. Nepal also taught and inspired him more than any other country. Join this session to learn about the Jewish involvement in disaster management, resiliency and hope.

Re-discovering a Hasidic Master: a Shi'ur in the Me'or 'Eynayim

Arthur Green 

Orange 15

A chance to engage in text study (texts in both Hebrew and English) with a scholar of Hasidism who is currently completing a translation of this work; and a discussion of why the Me'or 'Eynayim remains his favourite from the many Hasidic masters.

Rescuers and the righteous - the courage and choices of the glorious few

Antony Lishak 

Red 4

Rescuer stories will be presented, and the importance of putting these acts of courage and self sacrifice in their historical context will be discussed, including their modern day relevance and ways in which they can be misused and manipulated for political ends.

Saving Religious Liberty in America: the Jewish Angle

Aylana Meisel 

Orange 13

America's unique conception of religious liberty has allowed its Jewish community to thrive like no other in the Diaspora. In this session, we examine how this concept allowed for true liberalism in American society, and how cultural changes of the past several decades might now threaten the security of traditional faith communities in the years ahead

Sex, food and the Lush Garden of Sepharad: religious piety confronts sensual pleasure

Benjamin Gampel 

Green 27

Andalusi Jews, in the 10th and 11th centuries, enjoyed economic and political success, and were religiously and culturally creative. Instead of wondering if this golden age was truly a time of Muslim tolerance, we will explore how living under Islam in al-Andalus affected Jewish culture, and investigate if Sephardic Jewish values were compromised.

Solomon's proverbs: the sexiest piece of the Bible you've never read

Naftali Moses 

Blue 32 (Millers)

The Book of Proverbs is one of the Bible's most neglected. This session will present a picture of Proverbs' take on adolescent lust, the power of the metaphoric, alongside the problem of Mobius strips and spirituality. If you've ever wondered what the wisest of men had to teach, now's your chance to find out.

The Last Goodbye - Chevra Kadisha and the Tahara mitzvah

Ruth Soetendorp  David Soetendorp 

Red 2

The rituals of Tahara have become better known in recent years. But for many people they are still shrouded in mystery. Take this opportunity to look at the history of the Chevra Kadisha, understand the role tahara plays in the life of a Jewish community, and explore your attitudes to this mitzvah.

The imagery of Jerusalem in early Israeli films

Oshra Schwartz Reim 

Red 3

Jerusalem is set in early Israeli cinema as a frontier, caught between nature and culture, a broken existence that tries to escape its past and myth. A study of the films: "In Jerusalem" (David Perlov), "My Michael" (Dan Wolman) and "Three Days and a Child" (Uri Zohar).

‘The world was created for my sake’

Margaret Jacobi 

Red 9 (Boulevard Front)

Is this saying egotism or a recognition of the value of every life? The context of the saying is a discussion of the death penalty in Mishnah Sanhedrin. How does the Mishnah get there and what does this tell us about our place in the world?

Trends and challenges in Israel-Diaspora relations

Elan Ezrachi  Michael Wegier 

Red 6

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948 there has been a question regarding the nature of the relationship between Israel and world Jewry. As we are approaching Israel's 70th anniversary it is important to analyse this issue and look into the future and sustainability of the relationship.

What can you do for the future of Israel/Palestine?

Rutie Atsmon  Raghad Bahar  Wejdan Abd 

Orange 10

In a creative workshop, the audience will discuss the questions and dilemmas regarding the need and legitimacy for UK citizens to get involved in shaping the future of Israel/Palestine, closing a circle that opened 100 years ago with the contribution of the British Empire to the developments in the Middle East.

Will our community exist 20 years from now?

Jonathan Arkush 

Yellow 23

Whether it is antisemitism - from the far right or far left - or assimilation and intermarriage, the Jewish community in Britain faces formidable challenges. In this talk and discussion, Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, addresses these concerns. Can we cope with the challenges, or are there good reasons for optimism?

Zionism in the Diaspora

Joshua Weinberg 

Marquee 3

It was once said that one could not be a Zionist without living in Israel. As times, definitions and philosophies have evolved we will explore different options for Jews to be Zionists outside the Land of Israel. This session will include examination of modern Jewish thinkers and innovative approaches that seek to alter common and accepted norms.

As clay in the hands of the potter

Abigail Morris  Maureen Kendler 

Red 1

The Jewish Museum’s current exhibition, Shaping Ceramics, shows the revolutionary effect Jewish potters had on post-war British ceramics. Abigail and Maureen will go back a little further in time and explore potters and clay from biblical times onwards. You may also get a peek at some of the gorgeous pots in the exhibition.

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