Leeds ignites Limmud fireworks

By John Fisher, November 8, 2012
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Sparkling quartet: Leeds Day Limmud  co-chair Judge Robert Bartfield (second left) with  volunteers Judith Conway, Helen Frais and Martyn Phillips

Sparkling quartet: Leeds Day Limmud co-chair Judge Robert Bartfield (second left) with volunteers Judith Conway, Helen Frais and Martyn Phillips

With a suitably Guy Fawkes analogy, Leeds Day Limmud co-chairs Judge Robert Bartfield and Eleanor Taylor described Sunday’s event as offering “plenty of firecrackers”. Close-on 50 sessions on topics as diverse as domestic violence and the Jewish contribution to the English countryside were available to the 340 participants. The one disappointment was the low turnout of youngsters, for whom a special programme had been arranged, including menorah-making and painting Israeli flags.

Judge Bartfield said the “enduring appeal” of the event was evidenced by visitors from London, Cambridge and other regions.

“What we really need are new volunteers willing to join our committee and bring fresh ideas to provide the organic growth that we need for the next day Limmud in 2014.”

Although delighted at the turnout, Regional Day Limmud co-ordinator Simon Phillips said the younger generation needed to “buy into” the Limmud concept.

“People have a misconception that the event is solely about religion,” he explained.
“So it is important to clarify it is not just a series of hard lectures. However, there is no easy fix.”

Last updated: 12:24pm, November 8 2012