Limmud Festival 2018 - Presenters

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Presenters: B

Gabor Balazs

Gabor received his PhD. at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He is a professor of Jewish and Israeli Philosophy at the University of Jewish Studies, and he is active in numerous frameworks of Jewish adult education.

Monday 20:30 Can we read Yuval Noah Harari's books as Jewish philosophy?

Banot Band

Banot is a NYC based band, created for the love of Jewish & Israeli music. Co-founded by Berklee graduates Yonit, Tali, Ella Joy, Mikhal, Marian, and Lihi, they seek new ways to interpret traditional Jewish & modern Israeli music. Banot recently released their debut album Bakesh Shalom.

Monday 21:50 Banot LIVE in concert!
Tuesday 12:00 Singing with Banot

Daphna Baram

Daphna is Jerusalem born, London based, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, UK Chapter (ICAHD UK) and a stand up comedian, with background in journalism and human rights law. Her book Disenchantment: The Guardian and Israel, was published in 2004.

Wednesday 13:20 But apart from Mel Brooks, Bette Midler, Larry David, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, David Baddiel, Sarah Silverman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jackie Mason and Mrs Maisel….what have the Jews ever Done For Comedy
Wednesday 17:30 Is the Israeli government doing enough to promote peace with the Palestinians?
Wednesday 21:50 Late Night Laughs at Limmud!

Isabel Bard

Isabel is in her final year at the University of Birmingham, studying English Literature and Philosophy. She's an alumna of the Drisha High School Programme, Yeshivat Hadar, and the Conservative Yeshiva. Her interests include the philosophy of charitable obligations, and tzitzit.

Sunday 18:40 Shevet Dinah Podcast Launch

Genna Barnett

Originally from Scotland, Genna has lived and worked in London, Tel Aviv, Burundi and Ghana. She was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of seven. After years of feeling embarrassed by it, she’s happy to share her experiences and embrace it as a unique and interesting part of her identity.

Sunday 17:30 Jews who tic (1 of 2)
Monday 21:50 In God's image #inclusion style (2 of 2)

Nikki Barnett

Nikki is currently studying International Development at Sussex University. She was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and ADHD at five years old, and has experienced cycles of severity of the conditions throughout her life. She is happy to share her experiences and what she has learned.

Sunday 17:30 Jews who tic (1 of 2)
Monday 21:50 In God's image #inclusion style (2 of 2)

Eldad Beck

Berlin-based Europe-Correspondent of the daily "Israel Hayom", author of "Beyond the Border - Travels to forbidden countries", "Germany, at Odds“, "Merkel, Israel and the Jews". Born in Haifa, Eldad studied Arabic and Islam at the Sorbonne, Paris

Sunday 21:50 The unbelievable story of Angela Merkel
Monday 12:00 Israel at 2019
Monday 19:10 Why isn’t there peace in the Middle East? Personal perspectives
Tuesday 19:10 Germany at Odds: where is Germany heading to?

Barbara Bell

Barbara is a teacher and artist. As well as exhibiting her paintings, she has also contributed to the Raul Wallenberg Foundation Art book, set up Community Arts projects and initiated Interfaith study groups. In her current work, Barbara explores the relationship between faith and the Shoah.

Sunday 16:00 The big no and the unforgotten: An artist's engagement with Holocaust theology

Amir Ben Hur

As JAFI’s emissary in Leeds, Amir aims to engage the community to become actively involved in securing a vital Jewish future. He studied music and biomedicine, took part and led “HaZamir”, and was involved in youth movements and voluntary organisations. Amir served in the Air Force Military Band.

Tuesday 12:00 Music and the military

Geoffrey Ben-Nathan

Born in London 1944, Geoffrey was educated at St. Paul's and SOAS with a degree in Anthropology and Ethiopian Studies. He has authored two books and conducts private research on Israelites, Canaanites, Jews and Palestinians.

Sunday 12:00 Parashat Vayechi - A Comparison of the Masoretic and Samaritan Texts
Monday 09:10 Re-Animating an Ancient Land and Family Relationship

Aaron Benderski

Aaron is from Ashdod and is an emissary on campuses throughout the UK. He has a B.A. in Political Science and IR from Hebrew U, is a former tour guide in the Knesset and was involved with an Israeli-Palestinian program through which he interned in U.S Congress. Aaron was born in Belarus and is fluent in Russian, Hebrew and English.

Tuesday 20:30 Party all the time!

Jon Benjamin

A lawyer with over 20 years’ senior leadership experience in the charity sector, Jon now runs a busy consultancy, advising charities (and others) on how to navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment, and trustees on their responsibilities and good governance.

Tuesday 19:10 Volunteering with confidence - charity governance, GDPR and all that

Siona Benjamin

Siona is a painter from Bombay, now living in the US. Her work reflects her background of being brought up Jewish in a Hindu and Muslim India. She combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by illuminated manuscripts.

Saturday 18:30 Blue like me: - documentary film and q&a
Sunday 18:40 Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin - documentary film and art project
Tuesday 09:10 The Making of Super Heroes and Heroines
Tuesday 17:30 Indian/Persian Miniature Painting Workshop
Wednesday 14:40 Midrash and megillah painting workshop

David Benkof

David is a Jerusalem-based teacher whose sessions at Limmuds worldwide analyze Jewish cultural products – fiction, poetry, musicals, films, lyrics. His other hats include Jewish historian, political analyst, six-language polyglot, essayist, theater enthusiast, philanthropist, and trivia buff.

Saturday 11:45 Keep Today’s Segregated Kotel Architecture: Change My Mind
Monday 23:00 Beatles Torah
Tuesday 12:00 Philip Roth 101
Thursday 12:00 Polyglatt: be a maven in Hebrew and other languages

Janet Berenson

Teacher, author, poet, meditator, imperfect Kabbalist, procrastinator, singer and God-wrestler. These don't sum Janet up, but explain why she seeks enlightenment in every encounter. After working in the Reform movement she now offers courses, day study and personal guidance.

Saturday 18:30 Every life tells a story
Sunday 10:40 Bring the wisdom of kabbalah into your life (1 of 3)
Monday 20:30 Bring the wisdom of kabbalah into your life (2 of 3)
Tuesday 09:10 Bring the wisdom of kabbalah into your life (3 of 3)

Jake Berger

Jake was born and raised in Manchester. He previously lived in Helsinki, spent a year at Pardes in Jerusalem, and holds a B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy from the University of Oxford (where he also founded the Oxford Schnitzel Society). Jake now works at the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Wednesday 17:30 Around the world in 7 tales

Rahel Berkovits

Rahel is a senior lecturer in Mishnah, Talmud and Halachah at the Pardes Institute. She is the halachic editor of JOFA’s Hilkhot Nashim, to be published by Koren and serves on Shirah Hadasha’s halachah committee. Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber.

Sunday 20:30 Sexuality and Sanctity: Consent in Sexual Relations (1 of 3)
Monday 10:40 Is Jewish theology dead?
Monday 13:20 Sexuality and sanctity: the pleasure principle - sex acts and positions (2 of 3)
Monday 23:00 Mikva the Musical: Music and Monologues from the Deep – excerpts and discussion
Tuesday 21:50 Limmud Festival, First Century CE style! The Mishnah’s view on teachers, learners, and the power of diversity
Wednesday 09:20 Sexuality and sanctity: sex between women - a halakhic opening? (3 of 3)

Linda Berkowitz

While teaching Film in Brighton 22 years ago, Linda joined the Board of UK Jewish Film (it was Brighton Jewish Film Festival) & has remained associated ever since. She looks forward to joining the wonderful Limmud audiences in appreciating the wide range & high quality of films from UKJF .

Sunday 13:30 Winter Hunt
Sunday 21:50 Pears Short Film Fund Winners
Monday 09:20 Forgotten Soldier
Monday 16:00 Antenna
Tuesday 13:20 93 Queen
Tuesday 17:30 Refuge Britain: Stories of Émigré Designers
Tuesday 21:50 Goodbye Columbus
Wednesday 10:40 Remember Baghdad

Uri Berkowitz

Uri is a graphic designer whose clients are often Jewish. He was originally drawn into the web of Limmud by designing the second chavruta book. 20 books later he has since volunteered on programming, training, the board and Limmud internationally. Uri is a graduate of Lead’s Gamechangers programme.

Saturday 19:00 Judge a book by its cover
Tuesday 14:40 The year in scandal

Adele Berlin

Adele Berlin is Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies at the University of Maryland. She is especially interested in biblical narrative and poetry, and in ancient and modern interpretations of the Bible.

Sunday 13:20 The book of Esther as comedy
Monday 19:10 Reading Biblical poetry (1 of 2)
Tuesday 16:00 Reading Biblical Poetry (2 of 2)
Wednesday 12:00 Translating the Bible: what do the words really mean?

George Berlin

George Berlin was Professor of Jewish History and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Baltimore Hebrew University. He is now Professor Emeritus at Towson University. His specialty is American Jewish History.

Sunday 12:00 The Hebrew Bible in Early American Culture
Tuesday 10:40 American Jews and Zionism
Wednesday 16:00 American Jews: How they attained their civil and political rights

Robby Berman

Robert Berman graduated from Harvard University, Baruch College, Yeshiva University (MPA, MBA, BA), Gruss Kollel and Yeshivat Hakotel. Published in the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz, he is the founder and director of the Halachic Organ Donor Society and the Alliance for Organ Donor Incentives.

Monday 20:30 Organ donation for transplantation in Judaism
Tuesday 17:30 Buying kidneys from poor people is illegal, but is it moral?
Wednesday 10:40 Brain Death and Organ Donation in Halacha

Yoni Berrous

Yoni was born in France and made Aliyah with his family in 1992. He is the Head of the European Jewish Programming at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem.

Sunday 21:50 The Holocaust and film - truth or distortion?
Monday 12:00 Generation Z - how do we engage them with the Holocaust?
Tuesday 10:40 The Yad Vashem educational philosophy: Are we still relevant in the 21st century?
Wednesday 16:00 No laughing matter - Holocaust and humour

David Bilchitz

David is a Professor of Fundamental Rights at the University of Johannesburg and Secretary-General of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He co-founded Limmud South Africa, co-chaired the first Limmud Connect event for Global Limmud Volunteers and is on the Limmud Board.

Sunday 19:10 The Jewish Quarterly presents: Are progressive voices being crowded out in the Jewish community?
Monday 21:50 Creating a future in the shadow of a difficult past: reflections on living a year of Jewish life in Berlin
Wednesday 13:20 From pride to protest: reflections on Israel at 70

Shoshana Bloom

Shoshana created LivLuv, a disability inclusion consultancy to enable the meaningful inclusion of people with additional needs in their communities. A passionate Limmudnik, ROIer, Schusterman Fellow & Makaton teacher, she’s also a Limmud trustee & founder of the international Limmud L’Am programme.

Monday 21:50 Get inspired: Lightning talks by ROI

Rebecca Blumenfeld

Rebecca (Bex) lives in Oxford with her husband and young son. Ordained as a chazzan with a Masters in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College, she works with several Masorti communities in the UK, focusing on Jewish liturgy, text, music and family education.

Sunday 13:20 Shabbat Musaf - The whole Shebang (1 of 3)
Monday 10:40 Shabbat Musaf - The whole shebang (2 of 3)
Tuesday 09:10 Shabbat Musaf - The whole Shebang (3 of 3)

Sam Blustin

Sam is a fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is also the co-founder of Shira B'dira, a bi-monthly prayer community specialising in beautiful, traditional egalitarian davening.

Tuesday 23:00 Why do we pray?

Kenneth Bob

Kenneth Bob is national President of Ameinu, Chair of Project Rozana USA, on the J Street Board of Directors and a member of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors Executive Committee. Ken’s “day job” is a management consultant, having previously served as CEO for technology companies.

Sunday 16:00 Corbyn’s Labour and the American Democratic Party on Israel and the Jewish Community
Monday 12:00 Why are American Jews democratic voters? Will that change in the future?
Tuesday 17:30 Is Trump's foreign policy good for Israel?
Wednesday 13:20 Progressive Zionism in 2018: where do we go from here?
Wednesday 16:00 Understanding Israeli politics - how do you run a country with 12 parties represented in the Parliament?
Wednesday 21:50 Hot off the press! New elections in Israel- what does it mean? Who are the players? What will the result be?
Thursday 09:20 Building Israeli-Palestinian understanding through healthcare

Yoni Bock

Yoni has more than 15 years international disaster relief/humanitarian assistance experience, participating, leading, and educating on best practices and civil-military coordination. He is a proud Bostonian and alumnus of Orthodox high school, Israeli yeshiva, McGill and Tufts Universities. Yoni married his husband in 2011.

Monday 21:50 Why do we care about earthquakes and war?

Alexander Bodin Saphir

Alexander is a filmmaker and writer who produced and co-directed the award-winning film, 'Who's Gonna Love Me Now?'. He is currently the publisher of the Jewish Quarterly. And his new play, 'Rosenbaum's Rescue' about Denmark during WWII, will premiere at Park Theatre in January 2019.

Sunday 19:10 The Jewish Quarterly presents: Are progressive voices being crowded out in the Jewish community?
Wednesday 09:10 Writing stories - it's simple, see!
Wednesday 16:00 Who's Gonna Love me Now?

Shana Boltin

Originally from Melbourne, Shana works as an children's occupational therapist. A coffee, Ottolenghi and Yiddish enthusiast, she previously chaired Limmud Conference and is currently a Limmud Board member with a volunteer training support role. But most excitingly, she is DJing again this year!

Monday 16:00 Gefiltefest: These are a few of my favourite Ottolenghi things
Tuesday 22:00 Silent Disco: The Challah Back Girls and DJ Van Der Kleij

Bat-el Borenstein

Bat-el is an actress, writer, producer, and lecturer. She is the sole creator and performer of the enormously successful and inspirational one-woman show I am Bat-El viewed by over one million people in Israel.

Tuesday 13:20 I am Bat-el - An inspirational comedy show

Emma Boyar

Emma is passionate about promoting the power of giving. A Senior Consultant for Charidy Australia, Emma partners with amazing causes to help them achieve their philanthropic outcomes and exceed fundraising budgets.

Tuesday 18:40 The future of fundraising in the Jewish world

Hannah Brady

Passionate about women's and disabled empowerment, Hannah loves to start challenging conversations with a touch of humour. She works in public health marketing, delivering high profile national campaigns such as Change4Life, Drink Free Days and the upcoming mental health campaign Every Mind Matters.

Tuesday 14:40 Meet the Chairs!
Wednesday 16:00 One in every minyan: navigating intersectionality in the Jewish world

Sam Brandman

Sam is CEO of Two Generations, a new Social Enterprise that matches older people (looking for a bit of company and help around the house) with friendly younger people (looking for cheaper accommodation).

Tuesday 10:40 My Yiddishe Momma gets lonely at home sometimes...

Laurence Brass

Laurence is a retired asylum judge who spent six years as vice president of the Board of Deputies, which is a different type of asylum! He is now a JCORE trustee and vice chair of Oasis of Peace UK which promotes "Neve Shalom/Wahat-al-Salam" Israel's unique peace village.

Tuesday 16:00 Village of hope

Aviva Braun-Finkler

Aviva Braun L.C.S.W. is a feminist psychotherapist with a private practice in NYC. She is a speaker, writer and photographer. Her exhibit the emBODYment of Jewish femininty (2016). She has been profiled and has been a contributor to The Sisterhood blog of the Forward and

Tuesday 10:40 Feminist and modern day perspectives on Jewish women’s bodies from biblical times until now
Wednesday 16:00 One in every minyan: navigating intersectionality in the Jewish world
Thursday 09:20 The emBODYment of Jewish femininty- the female body as seen through the lens of a photographer/therapist

Alina Bricman

Alina is the elected president of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS). She grew up in Bucharest and studied Political Science in universities in Bucharest and Budapest. Before taking over her current role, Alina volunteered and then served as EUJS Program Officer between 2015-2017.

Monday 17:30 Is Campus a safe space for Jewish students?

Robert Brody

Robert has been a tenor soloist for over 50 years presenting both secular and cantorial music with many Jewish choirs as well as recording with the BBC Singers for Radio 3. He has acted as chazan in many countries and recently was soloist in an international cantorial conference in Prague.

Monday 13:20 The cantorial art

Sarah Bronzite

Previously a social researcher, now a primary school teacher, Sarah's current academic research aims to change the UK sex education curriculum so that it meets young people's needs. She also writes about childfree women and gender-based violence. Judaism is her second religion, after choral singing.

Sunday 17:30 Jewish women taking on the patriarchy
Monday 13:20 The sex education (‘RSE’) edition! Who wants to be a millionaire?
Wednesday 21:50 “But you’d be such a great mum…”: understanding the views of childfree women

Mekella Broomberg

Mekella Broomberg is head of Arts and Culture at JW3, the first Jewish Community Centre and arts venue of its kind to exist in London. The team curate year-round events which showcase the very best of Jewish music, film, theatre and literature.

Sunday 12:00 JW3's Arts Salon - Refugees
Sunday 16:00 JW3's Misogynist Film Club; #MeToo
Sunday 17:30 Jewish women taking on the patriarchy

Leilah Broukhim

Flamenco dancer and artistic director Leilah Broukhim moved to Madrid from New York after receiving a B.A. from Columbia University. She performs in Spain's principal tablaos, teaches workshops globally and currently tours with her own dance company in international theaters and festivals.

Monday 20:30 Flamenco dance workshop
Tuesday 17:30 Flamenco and the influence of Sephardic culture
Wednesday 10:40 Music and spirituality

Sara Bucciarelli Zanardo

Sara has taught and worked with modern foreign languages in Europe and Israel for over 10 years. Currently Sara lives in Hove with her husband, three children and Amelia the cat, where she teaches MFL, including Hebrew, in schools, after school clubs and cheder.

Wednesday 21:50 How Akiva could have changed 40 years of his life

Libby Burkeman

Libby is Head of Grants for a Trust that supports the work of other charities. She has volunteered & worked in education at Reform Judaism, Tzedek, the Science Museum & even Limmud! She's DJed at Limmud since 2013 & is excited for 2018. Libby likes lunch for £4, follow her on Insta & join the hunt!

Tuesday 22:00 Silent Disco: The Challah Back Girls and DJ Van Der Kleij

Georgina Bye

Georgina has been heavily involved in building inclusive, cross-communal Jewish communities and is a seasoned Jewish educator. She works for JDC Entwine and OLAM, organisations involved with international development. She's also passionate about women's spaces, feminism, food and travelling.

Monday 10:40 Tikkun olam throughout the ages
Tuesday 21:50 What does a village in Rwanda have to do with me?
Wednesday 09:10 Improving the world, together
Wednesday 17:30 Around the world in 7 tales

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