Limmud Festival 2017 - Presenters

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Presenters: S

Eve Sacks

Eve lives in Hendon with her husband Josh and their three children. She is a trustee of JOFA UK, and hosts the Hendon Partnership Minyan. Eve has been heavily involved in the drafting of a free school bid for a new Jewish secondary school.

Monday 13:20 Authentic Judaism?
Tuesday 10:40 Women and tzitzit
Wednesday 13:20 Women - still, seen and not heard!

Jessica Saffer

Jessica is a clinical psychologist working in the NHS with children, young people, and families with mental health difficulties. She is passionate about disability rights and inclusion. She previously volunteered as co-chair of Participant Care for Limmud, where she championed the first Limmud L'Am.

Monday 12:10 Living on a knife edge; the significant impact of recent changes in disability benefits

Mich Sampson

Mich Sampson is director of music at Finchley Reform Synagogue. An experienced and lively choir conductor and singer, she has also worked with various other communities such as East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue, Edinburgh Liberal Synagogue, Beit Klal Yisrael and St Albans Masorti.

Wednesday 13:20 For singing's sake

Dennis Sasso

Dennis Sasso is senior rabbi at Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, Indiana. He was born in the Republic of Panama, of Caribbean Sephardic ancestry & holds degrees from Brandeis & Temple Universities. He was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College & focuses on civic & interfaith leadership.

Sunday 16:00 Pioneers in the New World: the Jews of the Caribbean and Panama
Tuesday 10:40 Torah from Heaven: progressive views
Wednesday 09:20 The distinctiveness of Reconstructionist Judaism

Sandy Sasso

Sandy Sasso is director of the Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Butler University. She was the first woman ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1974) and is the author of 15 children's books and co-author of "Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage".

Friday 17:15 Jewish stories of love and marriage (Shabbat programme)
Monday 09:20 Tell me a story: nurturing the spiritual imagination of children through narrative
Monday 17:30 Dreaming with Jacob through art and poetry
Tuesday 17:30 The necessity of looking back

Ran Sasson

Ran is an entrepreneur, systems architect & community-arts projects manager. Currently managing the Eilot Accelerator in the Israeli Arava, leading innovation in renewable energy and cleantech, he has 18 years of initiating, planning and executing projects. He is co‐founder & treasurer of LimmudTLV.

Sunday 12:10 Hard times make the best entrepreneur.

Scott Saunders

Scott set up March of the Living UK in 2010. Its mission is to take young Jewish students/adults on an educational journey to Poland to learn about 1000 years of Jewish history and the Shoah (Holocaust). To date over 1500 young adults have participated.

Wednesday 18:50 My personal journey - a history of how March of the Living started

Florence Schechter

Florence Schechter is the founder of the world's first physical vagina museum and has been shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award 2017 in arts and culture. As a comedian, she has performed across the UK at the Science Museum Lates, Royal Society, and British Science Festival, to name a few.

Wednesday 16:00 Why do we need a Vagina Museum?
Wednesday 17:30 "What's wrong with you?" - live podcast taping
Wednesday 23:10 Limmud's Late Night Cabaret

Lawrence Schiffman

Lawrence H. Schiffman is the Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and Director of the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Judaism in late antiquity.

Sunday 20:10 The Temple Mount: past, present and future
Monday 10:40 The Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism and Christianity
Monday 18:50 Archaeology and the Bible: friends or foes
Wednesday 16:00 Rediscovering Bar Kokhba: evidence from the Judean Desert

Amos Schonfield

Amos is busy. He is the Youth & Student Outreach for Yachad, who he also represents at the Board of Deputies. This year, he is co-chairing Limmud Festival's Marketing & Communications team. He is a former Mazkir of Noam Masorti Youth, and a graduate of Leeds University and the Conservative Yeshiva.

Sunday 23:10 Jewish Stock Exchange
Thursday 12:10 How important are the settlements, really?

Adam Schwarz

Adam Schwarz is a civil servant and entrepreneur with a keen interest in history and politics. He works for UK government regulator the Single Source Regulations Office and is current chair of the UK Regulators Network Young Professionals Group. He has also written articles for newspapers.

Sunday 17:30 An Act of Defiance
Monday 10:40 My grandfather: refugee, anti-apartheid leader, Mandela’s top diplomat.

Jacquie Seemann Charak

Jacquie Seemann is an Australian employment, discrimination & education lawyer; a founder of Sydney's Women's Tefila Group and (with her husband) Or Chadash, a modern Orthodox synagogue; a soccer player; and mother of four diversely involved Jews. Jacquie has presented at LimmudOz for many years.

Sunday 14:40 Religion, schools and the law: an Antipodean view of an unholy alliance
Monday 09:20 What's law got to do with it? The Jewish obsession with law, from creation to child protection, and why it makes contemporary Jews who we are

Nathan Servi

Nathan has been involved in Jewish education for 20 years. He is head of education at Maccabi GB and manages Streetwise, the PSHE and RSE provider for Jewish schools, which engages 23,000 young people across the community each year. In 2017 he created ‘Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination’.

Tuesday 12:10 What you need to know for your children's online safety!
Tuesday 16:00 Stand Up! Education against discrimination - teaching about antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate to students in mainstream schools

Emma Sevitt

Emma is an experienced History teacher who has worked in Canada, Holland, and the UK. She focuses her teaching on the issue of race relations. In the summer she embarked on a journey to the American Deep South in order to write a curriculum about the US Civil Rights movement called "Facing South".

Monday 16:00 Facing South

Peter Sevitt

A lover of year round informal Jewish learning and a huge supporter of Limmud, Peter brings his passion and enthusiasm to all that he does. A CPA during the day advising business clients Peter was originally from the UK and immigrated with his wife to Toronto over 40 years ago.

Sunday 20:10 Explore the Jewish world of Leonard Cohen through his life and songs

Limmud Shabbat Team

The Limmud Festival Shabbat team are here to make sure your Limmud experience starts with a variety of stories, learning, peace and unity. We welcome you, whoever you are and wherever you're from. We will be on hand to help and answer questions and we wish you a Shabbat Shalom!

Friday 12:10 Nosh and natter (Shabbat programme)
Friday 12:10 Site sat nav (Shabbat programme)
Friday 12:10 Arts and crafts (Shabbat programme)
Friday 13:30 Site sat nav (Shabbat programme)
Friday 13:30 What is Shabbat? Shabbat rituals (Shabbat programme)
Friday 14:45 Candle lighting (Shabbat programme)
Friday 18:15 Kiddush (Shabbat programme)
Friday 22:30 Oneg Shabbat (Shabbat programme)
Friday 22:30 Board game central (Shabbat programme)
Friday 22:30 Shabbat icebreakers (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 10:00 Shabbat stroll (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 11:30 Exploring prayer on Shabbat - Chavruta (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 16:15 Speed dating seudah (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 16:15 Stories and songs Seudah Shlishit (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 18:00 Havdallah (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 23:00 Saturday night is Quiz night (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 23:00 Shavua tov DIY dance party (Shabbat programme)

Yael Shafritz

Yael grew up in London and is a long-time activist with Keshet UK and Jewdas. More recently, Yael made aliyah to NYC where they completed the Avodah Jewish Justice Fellowship and work as a community organizer. They are a member of Ifnotnow and active in Jewish campaigns against white supremacy.

Monday 17:30 Wrestling with grammar, gender and identity in Hebrew prayer
Tuesday 18:50 Are Jews white?

Noam Shalit

Noam Shalit was born in Haifa and served in the Yom Kippur war. His twin was killed in the battles in the Golan. He graduated from the Technion in 1982, the year he married Aviva. Noam is father to two sons and a daughter. In June 2006 his son, Gilad, was captured by Hamas during an attack in Israel serving in the IDF.

Monday 10:40 Noam Shalit in conversation with Leah Golan
Monday 20:10 The story of the five year-long campaign to free Gilad Shalit
Tuesday 13:20 Noam Shalit in conversation with Michael Wegier

Dave Shaw

Dave is a marketing communications specialist and a founding trustee of KeshetUK – the charity ensuring that no person should have to choose between their Jewish and LGBT+ identity. He also chairs Gay Jews in London, providing social activities for those identifying as gay and Jewish in London.

Tuesday 17:30 Purim - reading the megillah with pink-tinted spectacles

Marvin Shaw

Marvin J Shaw is an accomplished author and poet. "Mindful Judaism-A Jewish Guide to Beating Stress and Anxiety" (2017) is his 5th book. Marvin's mission is to facilitate those with and without mental health problems to heal and express themselves through Judaism and the creative arts.

Sunday 20:10 "Girls I've Loved and Lost" - a poetic memoir in spoken verse
Monday 09:20 Identity and empowerment - Judaism, Mental Health and the Creative Arts
Tuesday 14:40 How to write a poetic memoir
Wednesday 12:10 Mindful Judaism - a Jewish guide to beating stress and anxiety

Daniella Shaw-Gabay

Daniella's research explores how traditional communities negotiate the modern transient world, centring on practice, belonging and identity. She draws on ten years' experience developing grassroots interfaith programmes. In her spare time she is a career and personal development coach.

Monday 14:40 Is life coaching an essentially Jewish journey?
Tuesday 13:20 My summer in 'Amish Country'

Sybil Sheridan

Sybil Sheridan is a rabbi currently working at the West London Synagogue and the Newcastle Reform Synagogue. A long-time presenter at Limmud, Sybil has taken a break for the last few years. Now she’s back and keen to share fresh ideas on some of the issues she is passionate about.

Monday 09:20 Will there always be Jews in Ethiopia?
Tuesday 14:40 Martin Luther... good or bad for the Jews?

Adina Shine

Adina has been singing with her father's band Neshama since she was 13 years old. Now at Birmingham University, she is a member of a gospel group and also sings at top singing clubs in London and Birmingham.

Monday 18:50 Shine - the concert

Daniel Shine

Danny has been coming with his family to Limmud for over 20 years. His sessions are usually spontaneous and can bring up all sorts of feelings and he relies on the quality of the audience, so please only come to the session if you are a top quality person.

Sunday 23:10 Death
Monday 18:50 Shine - the concert
Tuesday 17:30 Go vegan you cow-sucking perverts!

Yoni Shine

11-year-old Yoni has been singing for 4 years and has reached the finals of the Emunah Competition. He sings regularly with his father's band Neshama and at Ciro's, the London Live music venue.

Monday 18:50 Shine - the concert

Michael Shire

Michael is the Dean and Chief Academic Officer at Hebrew College Boston. He is a Jewish educator and author of books and articles on Jewish Spiritual Education.

Monday 09:20 Tell me a story: nurturing the spiritual imagination of children through narrative
Monday 17:30 Of money and morals

Edwin Shuker

Edwin Shuker is an Iraqi-born activist, philanthropist and public speaker who works to preserve Jewish shrines, sites and archives to keep the link between the Arab world and its displaced Jewish community. Edwin has also supported many projects promoting human rights and freedom in the Middle East.

Sunday 14:40 Remember Baghdad: screening and discussion
Tuesday 12:10 Sephardi Voices: are Arab countries rediscovering their Jewish heritage?

Mathew Shurka

Mathew Shurka is the leading global advocate for ending conversion therapy. Driven to prevent others from being subjected to this therapeutic abuse by licensed practitioners, he has worked in conjunction with the #BornPerfect campaign for legal, mental, and social justice.

Sunday 16:00 ‘Praying the gay away’ - experiences of conversion therapy for same sex attraction
Monday 21:50 Love and acceptance through conversion therapy
Tuesday 20:10 Being LGBT in Trump’s America
Wednesday 10:40 The campaign to outlaw conversion therapy in the USA

Sharoni Sibony

Sharoni Sibony is currently making and teaching ceramics in Toronto. She holds several degrees in English Literature and worked for nearly a decade in non-profit management at Toronto's Jewish Community Centres. She has served as Festival Chair and Board Member of Limmud Toronto.

Saturday 21:45 Stories of Spadina: Toronto's Jewish community (Shabbat programme)
Thursday 12:10 Crafting and designing Zionism: the early years of the Bezalel

Danny Siegel

Danny is an American freelance author, poet and lecturer, and has been on the road in synagogues and other Jewish institutions since 1962. He is mostly known in North America for his tzedakah work through the non-profit he founded, the Ziv Tzedakah Fund.

Friday 17:15 Shabbat poetry to soothe your soul (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 15:00 So you fell asleep during services - do you still count for a minyan? (Shabbat programme)
Sunday 18:30 Mitzvah heroes: what kind of person do I want to be? (Families programme)
Wednesday 16:15 Easy peasy mitzvah projects (Families programme)
Wednesday 17:30 The very best Tikkun Olam for you (Families programme)

Paul Silver-Myer

Paul has been an accountant in private practice for over 25 years. He also has a smaller private practice as an existential psychotherapist because he realised that all of his accountancy training was about the numbers, rather than, or as well as, the people behind those numbers.

Monday 17:30 Of money and morals

Dan Simons

Dan Simons is STEM programme manager at the Marine Society and Sea Cadets but in his spare time is a member of Kol Nefesh Masorti and former movement worker for Noam Masorti Youth.

Sunday 23:10 Jewish Stock Exchange
Monday 21:50 Young Jews chatting s***

Raymond Simonson

Raymond is CEO of JW3, London's JCC; sits on the Limmud FSU International Steering Committee, and the advisory boards of Mitzvah Day and the London Jewish Forum; has a BA in Jewish History; MA in Applied Anthropology and Community & Youth Work; and 20+ years in the Jewish identity/community game.

Sunday 20:10 Raymond Simonson in conversation with Joshua Harmon
Tuesday 18:50 What does a Jew look like?
Wednesday 18:30 Bubbelas love to boogie! (Families programme)
Wednesday 23:10 The Rebbetzins' Disco

Maya Skaarbrevik

Jeneration is the student outreach project of Reform Judaism supporting progressive Jewish student life across the UK. Jeneration host both campus events as well as residential trips throughout the year, and work closely with Alliance Chaplaincy between Reform and Liberal Judaism.

Tuesday 20:10 Your space or mine?

Yiscah Smith

Yiscah is a spiritual activist, addressing the inner soul dimension of authentic living. She employs her prior gender transition journey when sharing the joys and struggles with spirituality & gender identity. Yiscah lives in Jerusalem, teaches hassidut, & provides spiritual guidance to individuals.

Friday 21:15 "It is not good for a person to be alone." Really? Then why were we created this way? (Shabbat programme)
Sunday 10:40 Lech Lecha - go to yourself: heeding the still small voice within.
Tuesday 17:30 What does the future hold for religious LGBT Jews?
Wednesday 09:20 Teshuva: encountering the Divine Presence within - for real!

Alex Sobel

Alex Sobel is the Labour and Cooperative MP for Leeds North West. He was the only new Jewish MP to be elected in the General Election in 2017. He is a Councillor for Moortown, and is a longstanding senior activist of the Jewish Labour Movement.

Wednesday 16:00 Jon Lansman of Momentum meets Jewish leaders one year on

Mor Sofer

Mor grew up in Bet Ezra, and was a member of the Young Journalists Organisation. He served as a reporter in the IDF's magazine 'Bamahane' and was the digital and creative director in an advertising company focusing on soldiers. Today he is the Jewish Agency's shaliach to FZY in Manchester.

Tuesday 18:50 Under the uniforms

Shira Solomons

Community Director at the Jewish Community of Berkshire in Reading, Shira organises cheder, community events, and Judaism talks at schools. She is passionate about practical spirituality and Jewish education that enables children, women, and men to expand their intellectual and spiritual horizons.

Friday 17:15 An idiot’s guide to Shabbat (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 16:15 Families Seudah Shlishit (Shabbat programme)
Thursday 10:40 An idiot’s guide to kashrut

Zvi Solomons

Founding rabbi of Jewish Community of Berkshire, Zvi was Minister in Norwich, Potters Bar and Liverpool Old Hebrews. Keen on Single malt, fountain pens, his garden and sailing, Zvi loves growing his community while sipping on a nice Highland Park. He and Shira have three wonderful kids.

Friday 21:15 Glug. There goes the Highland Park (Shabbat programme)
Saturday 15:00 A Black or White issue? Race in Jewish text (Shabbat programme)
Tuesday 12:10 It ain't necessarily so

Zehorit Sorek

Zehorit is a candidate and chair of the LGBT wing in the “Yesh Atid” party led by Yair Lapid. She established the LGBT religious community in Israel & has been honoured as a Distinguished Member of the LGBT Community. Zehorit is an Orthodox lesbian & lives in Tel Aviv with her wife & 2 kids (19,15).

Saturday 11:30 Israel is a Jewish democratic state? (Shabbat programme)
Sunday 10:40 How to make change happen for LGBT Israel
Sunday 18:50 To be an Israeli orthodox lesbian

Simon Spungin

Simon Spungin is a British-born journalist, editor, and translator who has been living and working in Israel for over 30 years. He is an ardent supporter of Newcastle United.

Sunday 21:50 Is Bibi's time up?
Monday 14:40 Lost in Translation
Tuesday 08:00 Morning news review! Simon Spungin from Haaretz
Wednesday 18:50 Warts and all

Dean Staker

Dean is an award-winning songwriter, recording artist and producer with extensive experience as a busker, studio session player and rock musician touring Australia, Japan and the UK. He is currently musician in residence at Finchley Progressive Synagogue where he leads the ‘Shabbat Resouled’ band.

Wednesday 12:10 Jamming workshop
Wednesday 14:40 Jess Gold in Concert
Wednesday 23:10 Beatles tribute concert

Benji Stanley

Benji is the rabbi of Westminster Synagogue. He lives in London with his partner, Rabbi Leah Jordan. He is passionate about the close reading of texts, and has helped to organise the Limmud Bet Midrash this year.

Sunday 20:10 Godness Grief
Monday 10:40 Give me Yavneh and her Sages (Experienced Morning Intensive) (1 of 4)
Tuesday 10:40 "A plastered well to a cracked oven..." (Experienced Morning Intensive) (2 of 4)
Wednesday 10:40 "Come let us remove him" (Experience morning intensive) (3 of 4)
Thursday 10:40 "On that day" (Experienced Morning Intensive) (4 of 4)

Janine Stein

Janine Stein has worked as an advertising copywriter on three continents. Her addiction to Talmud started with kollel, developed into a fully-fledged habit doing her MA and continues to grow. Once upon a time, she won two Emmy awards for TV commercials she wrote.

Wednesday 16:00 How the Talmud saved my life

Carole Sterling

Carole Sterling serves as the chair of the World Union for Progressive Judaism-the umbrella organization representing more than two million Reform, Progressive, Liberal Jews in 50 countries. She lives in Toronto, and is a student at Rachael's Centre for Torah, Mussar and Ethics.

Tuesday 21:50 Judaism's minority within a minority
Wednesday 13:20 Women - still, seen and not heard!

David-Yehuda Stern

David-Yehuda is a rabbinical student at Leo Baeck College. He holds a BA in Film and Television Studies from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Jewish Education from the London School of Jewish Studies. He has worked in the Jewish community for a decade and lives with his family in Borehamwood.

Sunday 17:30 So, I'm not a kid anymore? (Families programme)
Tuesday 20:10 Kosher ink: Jews and tattoos
Wednesday 18:45 Bedtime stories for sleepy kinderlach (Families programme)

Beverley-Jane Stewart

Beverley-Jane Stewart is an award-winning artist from St John’s Wood in London. She sees herself as a visual writer, enjoying an on-going exploration of the relationship between Jewish and British identity. Her latest work celebrates this year’s centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Wednesday 10:40 Balfour Accomplished

Wendy Stolerman

Wendy Stolerman is the senior community support worker with Jewish Care's Family Carers Team, offering practical and emotional support and advice to people caring for a relative or friend, and with a particular interest in dementia.

Wednesday 16:00 Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young.

Maurice Stone

Maurice is chair of the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI) and works for UJIA. He has been teaching dance for many years at Limmud in the UK, Russia, and Ukraine. He believes that Israeli dance is a fundamental educational tool promoting Jewish identity and a connection with Israel. So let’s dance!

Sunday 14:40 Tayelet
Tuesday 14:40 Ohavim lirkod
Tuesday 18:30 Hamishpacha shelanu: family dancing (Families programme)
Wednesday 09:20 Providing a Kad Shemen for Jewish life - dance as food for the soul

Jeremy Stowe-Lindner

Jeremy is Bialik College’s Principal, having previously been founding Headteacher of JCoSS. Both schools are cross-communal, non-denominational Jewish school. A history and philosophy teacher by training and temperament and an MBA graduate, Jeremy has a tolerant wife and two wonderful children.

Tuesday 12:10 Who is a Jew? Do we agree with Hitler or Orthodoxy?
Wednesday 13:20 A Christian and a Jew walk into a bar....

Harry Style

Harry is a pianist and accompanist. He recently played for the up and coming artist Autumn Shariff at an Amnesty International event in London. He also regularly accompanies various musical theatre artists across London venues including The Pheasantry and the Phoenix Artist Club.

Wednesday 12:10 Jamming workshop
Wednesday 23:10 Beatles tribute concert

Sally Style

Sally is a librarian and researcher at the Montefiore Endowment in London, with a focus on letters and petitions sent to Sir Moses Montefiore in the 19th century by Jews living in Eretz Israel.

Tuesday 13:20 Letters to Sir Moses Montefiore from Jewish petitioners living in Israel in the 1830s and 1840s

Simon Style

Simon is a longtime singer and arranger with a cappella band "Jonah and the Wailers". Decades of endless singalongs to the delight of only some....

Monday 21:50 Late night singalong with Dan and Simon

Ilana Sumka

Ilana Sumka is the founder and director of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization committed to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza through nonviolent activism.

Wednesday 10:40 Calling all activists: recharge and reconnect with your Neshama
Wednesday 17:30 Is East Jerusalem a settlement?
Thursday 09:20 Jewish nonviolence: you shall love…Israeli violence?

Yoel Sykes

Yoel studied music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in Seville, Spain. He is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem. He has composed many new melodies to traditional prayers, influenced by a variety of musical cultures.

Monday 18:50 The Art of Chant Leading: workshop for singers, musicians, cantors, rabbis, and lay leaders
Tuesday 20:10 Nava Tehila in concert
Wednesday 21:50 Chant Circle with Nava Tehila

Gideon Sylvester

Gideon Sylvester is the United Synagogue's Israel Rabbi. He worked in the Office of the Prime Minister and taught Torah and Human Rights to rabbinical students. He is writing his doctorate about West Bank rabbis in talking peace with Palestinians and teaches at Midreshet Emunah V'Omanut.

Sunday 21:50 The West Bank rabbis who are making peace with Palestinians
Monday 12:10 Great artists paint the Bible
Wednesday 10:40 "I would never set foot in Poland!" A virtual walking tour of the Warsaw Ghetto

Abi Symons

Abi is a writer and has worked as a comedian and comedy producer. Until recently she moonlighted as a community programmer at JW3. She is a fierce feminist advocate and has a great love for stories and coffee in equal measure.

Tuesday 10:40 Around the world in 7 tales
Tuesday 18:50 The Tent of Secrets

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