By Leon Symons
December 28, 2009
We're up and running. Limmud Day One was long and very interesting. There is a rhythm to the day with a constant flow of people to the different venues around the University of Warwick campus.
All the buildings - and indeed the accommodation - are within a reasonable walking distance of the centre of activities, which is the Rootes building, a name that will be familiar to those of you who have an interest in the British car industry. This building houses the main restaurant, the bar and a number of session rooms. It's the main meeting place and somewhere people can sort out just where they might be going - me included.
I learned that you have to factor in walking time when you've decided which session you want to visit. But people seem fairly relaxed about the comings and goings in sessions.
At the end of the day, literally hundreds of people crowded in to the Rootes building to chat, mingle, drink and just be. At one point during the day, three women set up a charity busking point, singing a variety of songs and raising money.
The atmosphere is excellent, with everyone helping everyone else. One must also remember that Limmud is an outstanding example of inclusivity, with almost every branch of Anglo-Jewry represented from mainstream Orthodox to Liberal and Progressive, all rubbing shoulders very happily.
There have been one or two disappointments. Arguably one of the most interesting sessions was about the Jews of Nigeria but unfortunately the two presenters did not make it. The recent attempt to attack an American aircraft might have had an effect as some of the American participants seem to have been delayed by the extra security imposed. Day two is beckoning!