Limmud Festival 2017

Limmud Festival 2017 – Monday 21:50

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A Complicated Love Triangle: rabbis, their wives, and Torah

Sarah Charak 

Red 4

Torah study in ancient Babylonian yeshivot imposed infinite demands on its students. What happens when a rabbi is so ‘married’ to academia his own wife is a ‘whore’? When he is so immersed in his world of ideas that he forgets the names of his children? Most importantly, how can we all engage in Torah without neglecting the real people around us?

Conspiracy theories

Jonathan Jacobson 

Green 26

Conspiracy theories (CTs) are associated with ridicule, paranoia and even insanity and such ideas abound on the internet including many about Jews/Israel. But the term CT itself is a relatively recent one. We'll investigate the history of CTs, try to understand the phenomenon and look into a few to see whether there may be some truth to any of them.

Documentary photography: visual stories of communities in crisis

Eli Gaventa 

Orange 14

This session will explore visual stories of NGOs in the UK and Ghana working to combat similar issues in vastly different contexts and how photography can ethically represent ‘the other’. Hear from a young Jewish photographer and his approach to documenting challenging issues such as extreme poverty, the refugee crisis, and homelessness.

Eric and Happie in concert

Happie Hoffman  Eric Hunker 

Yellow 24

Eric and Happie performing a selection of their original music and prayer settings. The Tulsa, Oklahoma based duo's first album, It's Yours, debuted at #11 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter Top 20 chart and just released their first album of Jewish music this month. They will also play songs off their upcoming album to be released in Autumn 2018.

From shatnez to Brexit - what can mixed fibres can tell us about being "citizens of nowhere"?

Benjamin Ellis 

Red 6

In his bestselling book "The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics", David Goodhart sees society divided into those with an identity rooted in a particular place pitted against a mobile elite. From Cain and Abel to shatnez, it’s an argument that’s as old as the Bible itself…

Hakhamemes - Sephardic Hashkafah through quotable sages

Adam Zagoria-Moffet 

Green 27

This session will be a purposefully-superficial attempt to try and get a sense of the hashkafah (outlook) of modern Sephardi sages. By learning their teachings through pithy, meme-ified quotes, you will be able to gain a basic familiarity with what distinguishes the Sephardi approach to Judaism from others.

Is the Kotel an Orthodox synagogue?

Benjamin Brown  Avi Mayer  Jill Jacobs  Yoel Finkelman  Arieh King 

Orange 15

A controversial plan by the Israeli government to create a dignified egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel – a plan celebrated by diaspora communities, especially in the USA – has been shelved at the behest of Haredi parties, which believe that the space should be governed by Orthodox tradition. Who is right, and is there a middle ground?

Jewnetic engineering - a look at the Jewish views on genetic modification

Joel Rosenberg 

Yellow 22

Over the past few of years, the term Genetic Modification (GM) has becoming increasingly prevalent in the healines, in both positive and negative ways, due to its ethical implications. In this session we will look at how Judaism views genetic modification and engineering; questioning the application of halacha on genetics in the 21st century.

Jews Have Celebrated Christmas!

Michael Hilton 

Orange 12

Vienna’s Chief Rabbi visited Herzl in 1895 to discuss his new book "Judenstaat" and found him lighting up the family Christmas tree. Discuss the fascinating history of 200 years of Jewish cultural involvement with Christmas. Share memories from your own past or present, and let’s build a picture together of what’s happening now.

Late night singalong with Dan and Simon

Simon Style  Dan Patterson 

Red 7

Bring your drums, guitars or just your voices to a singalong where we will sing our hearts out to British and Israeli songs. Suitable for everyone who likes to pretend we are at camp!

Love and acceptance through conversion therapy

Mathew Shurka 

Orange 11

Survivor and leading global advocate to end conversion therapy, Mathew is driven to prevent others from being subjected to this therapeutic abuse. In this discussion, hear Mathew's story of estrangement and reconciliation with his family, and how he became a leading voice in his community and around the world to create love and acceptance.

Mea Shearim to Harvard

Menachem Bombach 

Red 3

A fascinating story of a Hasid, born and raised within the deep recesses of Mea Shearim, Jerusalem to socially insular, zealous ultra-orthodox Jews. At age twenty, his only language was Yiddish; in November 2016 he graduated from Harvard Business School. Join him as he reflects on his journey and its wider implications for the Jewish world today.

My untold Jewish story: circumcision (2 of 3)

Alma Reisel 

Blue 34

My untold Jewish story is a safe and private space to explore challenging conversations that deepen, diversify and complicate our Jewish identities. A few brave speakers have chosen to share their stories relating to circumcision with the support of our session moderator Alma. Come along to share your Jewish story, or just to listen to and reflect upon fresh perspectives.

Opportunities in artificial intelligence (1 of 2)

Zac Kenton 

Orange 13

We are on the cusp of a technological revolution due to artificial intelligence. In this first session, I’ll give a brief introduction to modern AI, focussing on machine learning, and will present some of the positive opportunities that AI may bring. The second session looks at the challenges that society faces.

Speed debating!

Social Programming Team 

Yellow 21

Get to know a whole group of new people in these quick-fire debates on topical issues!

Can you hire a hitman? Talmud with the backstory left in

Ben Crowne 

Red 5

An obscure Talmudic discussion on messengers stumbles without warning into the nature of divine and human justice, prophetic and rabbinic authority, a startlingly novel interpretation a famous Biblical story and the last stand of civil society in Roman Palestine. All sources in Hebrew and English - no prior knowledge is required.

That daft old man: Zohar as fantasy novel (2 of 2)

Larry Tabick 

Green 25

Traditional midrash often contains stories or anecdotes to illustrate a point. Uniquely, the Zohar occasionally presents narratives that contain midrash, interpretations of Biblical texts. Is this a forerunner of the modern novel?

The secret Jewish history of vodka – with tastings!

Richard Verber 

Purple 29

Many of our ancestors would have kept warm at night with a bottle of vodka while managing inns and taverns in Eastern Europe. Come and learn about its Jewish history and taste some samples from Ukraine, Poland and Russia.

Two Jews, five opinions

Noa Metuki  Hadas Nir 

Red 2

We laugh at ourselves, knowing that we are opinionated and often, can't make up our minds. This stereotype is actually embedded in our history, culture and values. But what do you do when you are faced with a clashing opinion? Through texts, we will discover what we can learn from these situations and how we act when faced with adversity.

Wait, did my boss just call me a Princess? A candid discussion on gender bias and our roles in perpetuating and preventing it.

Laura Janner-Klausner  Sally Patterson  Sarah Mali 

Red 1

An invitation to talk about the intimate, complex and confusing experiences we face frequently on the issue of gender-bias and to think together about the kinds of behaviours that contribute towards it and what we might begin to do differently.

Young Jews chatting s***

Rebecca Heller  Daniel Fenster Simons  Josh Martin  Daniel Heller 

Orange 10

Ever wondered what Jewish scripture tells us about the brown stuff? Thought about how Jewish rituals and Jewish cuisines impact our digestive systems? And what are the top toilet humour jokes by Jewish comedians? This light-hearted session will get down and dirty to learn about faeces from different Jewish perspectives.

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