Limmud is back with a bang for 2012

By Anna Sheinman, December 21, 2012

Four hundred and thirty-three presenters, 1,035 sessions, 42 kilograms of hummus — Limmud is back.

This weekend 2,500 people will descend on Warwick University for seven days of sessions ranging from a debate on Israel’s African asylum problem, to a late night game of Pirates v Ninjas.

The biggest draws at this year’s conference include an intimate solo acoustic session with formerly Charedi reggae star Matisyahu and an expert studded panel debate on the impact of the Arab Spring on Israel’s international relations.

Limmud conference director David Renton says he is particularly excited about the art: “We have been really fortunate to secure some first-rate exhibitions,” he said.

One of those is the award-winning Judah Passow exhibition of photos on Jewish life in Britain and there will be a session in conversation with the photographer.

The highlights of an impressive interfaith programme are the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Interreligious expert asking “Does the Church of England still listen to Anglo-Jewry?”, a four faith panel on how religious leaders make difficult decisions and lessons from the Sikhs on Tikkun Olam.

Joseph Miller and Ben Richardson who have moved away from strictly Orthodox observance, may stir controversy with their presentation, “Secrets of the shtetl”.

And financial crime expert Nick Kochan will talk about corruption in the Israeli political class, while gay African-American Orthodox hip hop artist Y-Love will be performing.

Strictly Limmud, the Israeli Dance Institute’s twist on a classic format, is back this year. Audiences will be treated to sequins, tambourines and a performance from the JC Limmud reporter.

As ever, Limmud 2012 will attract Jews of every sort. The youngest this year are under one year old, the oldest 91. The biggest group attending is the Limmud International group from the Galiliee.

● For regular Limmud updates from Sunday onwards, visit Anna Sheinman's blog.

Last updated: 10:45am, December 21 2012