Limmud 2013: Evening entertainment photoblog

By Daniel Easterman, December 23, 2013

As the last of Limmud's sessions concluded just before 11pm on the event's first main day, the night's festivities, which the conference is renowned for, were just getting under way. Opening up proceedings was the spiritual reggae-infused music of former Shotei Hanavuah singer/songwriter, Roi Levy.



Limmud's ethos of volunteering

By Daniel Easterman, December 23, 2013

Limmud was founded on an ethos of volunteering, and without its legions of Yad (youth adult development) volunteers who provide a helping hand for hundreds of conference-goers, the event could not take place.

Some 350 will be deployed this year. Three of them reveal what the volunteer experience is like.



How Limmud has grown

By Daniel Easterman, December 23, 2013

From its humble beginnings at a provincial boarding school in 1980, Limmud has grown into a global phenomenon spanning 60 Jewish communities across five continents.

1980: The first Limmud Conference takes place at Carmel College, Oxfordshire, with 80 people in attendance. Lord Sacks, before he becomes Chief Rabbi, is one of the participants. He does not return during his time in office.


A rebbetzin who clowns around

By Charlotte Oliver, December 23, 2013

Like any caped crusader, Freda Kaplan has an alias identity.

As the wife of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue's senior rabbi, Dov Kaplan, she is known by their 3,000-strong congregation as the community's stalwart Rebbetzin.

But soon enough, she loses the costume and lets her "true self" shine - comedy wig, oversized shoes and balloon animals included.


Young activists lift the gloom over Jews in Europe

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2013

On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the European Union published a poll which showed a high level of anxiety among Jewish communities across the continent.

Two-thirds thought antisemitism was a problem in their country, three-quarters felt it had got worse in the past five years and nearly half of Jews in France and Hungary had considered leaving for safer shores.


Meet Limmud's team leaders

December 23, 2013


Limmud executive director, from Hertfordshire

Day job: She is the only full-time Limmud worker.

Years at Limmud:

“14 or so.”

What made you first want to
be involved?

“It was a fantastic opportunity to work with a grassroots organisation.”

What makes Limmud so special?


Star Wars, synagogues and sex all at Limmud

By JC Reporters, December 23, 2013

It was only a few hours old but Limmud was already showing it could accommodate everything from the kooky to the philosophical.

At the “Teshuvah of the Jedi” discussion, Rabbi Rick Brody led participants in a rendition of the Star Wars theme music. It was a light-hearted start but soon serious religious themes were being teased out.


Thousands flock to biggest-ever Limmud

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2013

The annual Limmud winter conference, which opened at Warwick University on Sunday, is the most popular ever with more than 2,600 coming to the five-day event.


A range of events at Limmud to make a song and dance about

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2013

While Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s talks will be historic as the first given by an Orthodox Chief Rabbi at the event, and other big Jewish names such as Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky will be speaking, there is no hierarchy at Limmud.


Thinking aloud

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2013

A leading Jewish philanthropist asked me what the value of Limmud was: it could hardly compete with the sustained,in-depth study, say, of a university course.

Firstly, Limmud is a gateway for many people, opening areas of Jewish interest which they might never have thought of exploring before.