Limmud Conference 2016

Limmud Conference 2016 – Wednesday 12:00

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The Zionist rise to power: the Jewish community of Bulgaria before Second World War

Angel Chorapchiev 

Red 2

The session will give the audience a brief introduction to the history of the Jews and the Jewish community in today's Bulgaria, the birth of Zionism there, and its rise to power after the First World War. It will present a unique example of a Zionist community that came to its end by emigration and not by a Holocaust destruction.

In conversation with Shyam Bhatia, diplomatic journalist

Richard Verber  Shyam Bhatia 

Yellow 23

Shyam Bhatia was the Middle East correspondent and diplomatic editor of The Observer during the height of the peace process in the 1990s, where he had direct access to the most influential figures of the time. He will recount his near-death experiences, as well as his interaction with figures including Rabin, Peres and Arafat.

Welcome to Yesod: professional development and Jewish learning initiatives for Jewish communal professionals, educators and activists in Europe

Dani Serlin 

Red 5

Yesod, a collaborative partnership, aims to strengthen European Jewish life by investing in key individual Jewish communal professionals, educators and activists, via professional development and Jewish learning opportunities. Learn about our programmes and resources for 2017 and meet other people working to lead Jewish communities across Europe.

Transgender Jewish Voices

Neil Levitan  Surat-Shaan Knan  Isabella Segal 

Red 3

At KeshetUK we believe that an important part of the inclusion journey is to create spaces where people can come and tell their stories. In this session, transgender Jews tell their stories.

The prophet margin: translator’s notes on the Book of Isaiah.

Jessica Sacks 

Green 28

Prophecy is a mystery to us, hard to reduce to the models of creativity we know. But it is also a form of mediation, bridging between God and man, man and his better self. As translator I have much to learn from this master go-between. Join me on my journey as I work on the new Koren English Isaiah.

The Holocaust from a Jewish feminist theological perspective

Melissa Raphael 

Red 4

Post-Holocaust theology was written by men, most of whom emphasise God's hiddenness during the catastrophe. This talk, given by the author of The Female Face of God in Auschwitz, uses female survivors' memoirs to ask whether these suggest a different way of thinking theologically about the Holocaust: one grounded in presence rather than absence.

The Hillel sandwich generation: caring for our children, grandchildren and aging parents

Naamah Kelman 

Marquee 2

What does our tradition say about this new phenomenon? Baby boomers who are juggling work and at times 3 generations of responsibilities. A radical reading of the sacrifice of Isaac story will provide real insight, as well as other sacred texts, to help us develop a spiritual practice for supporting ourselves as we support other family members.

The Babylonian Exile: Is That Why the Prophets "Won"?

Robert Goldenberg 

Green 27

Before the exile many Israelites persisted in worshiping other gods, and the prophets' repeated warnings met failure after failure. Why should this have been before the Exile, and did the Exile now make a difference? What happened to Israelite "idolatry" after that? Did it really disappear?

Tell Me Texts: The weird and the wonderful

Zev Farber  Maureen Kendler  Yehoshua Engelman  Oliver Joseph 

Yellow 24

What are the strangest Jewish texts out there and what are they trying to tell us? Join us as we each share a text that inspire us, even if they are a little bit odd.

Strategic threats to Israel - what does the future hold?

Peter Lerner 

Red 1

The Middle East is in turmoil. With Islamic State on the border in Sinai, Hezbollah on the border in Lebanon, Syria's civil war ongoing, Hamas struggling to govern Gaza, and Judea and Samaria ever unstable, come have your questions answered about the state of the region, terrorism, and what it all means for Israel's security.

Songleading within worship

Noah Aronson 

Red 6

As songleaders, an important role we're often given is shaliach tzibur, prayer leader for the community. In this session we will review the unique practical skills employed by prayer leaders who know how to hold a prayer space, elevate communities and find creative ways to introduce new music during worship.

Seeding controversy: did Israel "invent" the cherry tomato?

Anna Wexler 

Orange 14

Several years ago, the Israeli government launched a “hasbarah” campaign to improve its image worldwide; as part of the campaign, it claimed that Israel “invented” the cherry tomato. But how could an entire country lay claim to inventing a fruit? This session covers the contentious history of the cherry tomato, based on my recent published research.

Positive policy reform vs. negative public opinion: analysis of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel

Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu  Thabet Abu Rass  Alex Brummer 

Orange 11

Despite a number of recent Israeli government decisions signaling a change in attitude towards Arab citizens, mainstream Israeli discourse continues to be charged by racism and incitement. TAFI co-CEOs will provide their insight, offering a blueprint for widespread change.

Pluralism, diversity & Jewish evolution

Zohar Raviv 

Blue 34

Contrary to popular belief, pluralism and diversity are not a modern phenomenon but have always been components of a healthy Jewish life. This presentation explores the conceptual forces that shaped the multifaceted evolution of Judaism, with attention to the role of pluralistic expression and diversity of opinions throughout Jewish history.

Mutasim Ali: Sudanese refugee and social justice leader in Israel

Mutasim Ali 

Orange 10

After the Sudanese military regime destroyed his village, Mutasim fled to Israel. Since arriving, he has spent a total of 14 months in the Holot detention facility. Following lengthy legal action, Mutasim became the first Sudanese asylum seeker to be granted refugee status in Israel. Come and listen to his powerful testimony.

Mental health in Jewish scripture and history

Daniel Heller 

Green 26

An exploration of how Jewish writings and history have dealt with issues surrounding mental illness.

Meet the Conference chairs!

Anna Lawton  Abigail Jacobi 


Limmud Conference happens every year because of the dedication, ideas and energy of dozens of volunteers throughout the year. If you would like to be part of the team that creates Conference 2017 then come along and have a chat with the event chairs. No previous Limmud experience necessary!

Limmud choir: The choral hits of Stephen Glass (3 of 3)

Cantor Jason Green 

Red 7

Adults and teens, come and experience the joy of making brilliant and fun, 4- or 5-part, choral concert music (SATB - soprano, alto, tenor, bass - with piano accompaniment). Learn your part as a section using some serious 'work ethic' in a safe space. For all music reading levels. Cantor Jason is an expert choral conductor/teacher. Possible concert to follow.

'Let me see that good land.' The story of a human life

Avivah Zornberg 

Orange 12

'Moses fails to enter Canaan not because his life is too short but because it is a human life.' (Kafka) Moses' fundamental sense of himself as 'not a man of words' comes to a poignant consummation in his last long speeches to his people. What is his desire in these speeches, and particularly in his prayer to 'cross over to the other side'?

Justice and mercy – Hindu and Jewish parallels

Robert Stone 

Yellow 22

The Jewish and Hindu traditions both struggle with how justice and mercy can be reconciled. Exploring this rich seam of wisdom, crucial to our political and personal lives, we will draw on a range of sources including the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, the Jewish Zohar, the Nobel prizewinning philosopher and economist Amartya Sen and the poetry of T.S. Eliot.

Holocaust looted art: Egon Schiele's Jewish portraits and patrons

Ian Vellins 

Green 25

This illustrated session explores the portraits painted by Egon Schiele, the Austrian painter and contemporary of Gustav Klimt, his Jewish patrons, the fate of the families during the Holocaust, the Nazi theft of the paintings, and the attempts of the heirs to obtain restitution.

Holocaust and humor in Israeli theatre

Gur Koren  Eran Kraus 

Purple 31

The session will explore how both the Shoah and humour intersect to influence Israeli Arts and Theatre. We will look at excerpts from the play "5 Kilos of Sugar", which has achieved international acclaim and sell-out success in Edinburgh 2015


Hannah Style 

Blue 32 (Millers)

Are you someone who can't throw away food? Do you care about the homeless? If so, this is the ideal session for you! FEAST! is a local social action project using food surplus to feed the homeless, running every Thursday in Kilburn. Hannah will excitably tell you about how she founded FEAST!, and how you can get involved! All are welcome!

Breaking the ice: addressing tough questions about Israel

Michael Freeman 

Blue 33

When people ask questions about Israel and her actions, at work, at university or around the dinner table, how can we address them in a way that makes us comfortable and doesn't betray our values and beliefs? Aimed at those who are not experts, we will explore together how to address the issues and broach the subject.

A meeting of styles: Zoe Jacobs with Shir in concert

Zoe Jacobs  Maurice Chernick  Ivor Goldberg  Ronen Kozokaro  Piotr Jordan 

Marquee 3

A collaboration between cantor Zoe Jacobs and Shir, after performing together at FRS. This is their response to the eternal debate between tradition and modernity. Expect a concert of prayerful melodies incorporating Mizrachi, Ashkenazi, contemporary, modern, traditional flavours, with a little nusach thrown in! Bring your voices!

The frontline against anti-Semitism

Luciana Berger 

Orange 15

As a prominent Jewish MP, Luciana Berger is no stranger to being in the public eye. Hear her story of the abhorrent antisemitic abuse she has faced, the multiple convictions she has fought for and won, and her thoughts on how we can combat antisemitism wherever we find it.

No swimming on Shabbes!

Roni Tabick 

Yellow 21

How does Jewish law, halachah, change over time? Through the lens of one particular law, a rule against swimming on shabbat, we will see how Jewish law changes to meet the needs and values of each generation.

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