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Late night revelling and early morning learning

November 24, 2016 22:53

‬Yesterday‭ ‬morning‭, 2,000 ‬people‭ ‬checked‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬halls‭ ‬of‭ ‬residence‭ ‬of Warwick‭ ‬University‭, ‬England‭ ‬joining‭ ‬the‭ 500 ‬participants‭ ‬who‭ ‬have ‬already‭ ‬spent‭ ‬Christmas‭ ‬Day‭ ‬away‭ ‬from‭ ‬festivities‭ ‬and‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬Shabbat ‬atmosphere‭ ‬instead‭. Participants‭ have been arriving‭, ‬weather‭ ‬conditions‭ ‬permitting‭, ‬from‭ ‬all‭ ‬over the‭ ‬world‭. Limmud has now been exported to almost 50 communities across teh world and that international‭ ‬diversity‭ has been represented‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬queues‭ ‬for‭ ‬registration‭, ‬which‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬filled‭ ‬with almost‭ ‬as‭ ‬many‭ ‬Americans‭, ‬Israelis‭, ‬Canadians‭, ‬French‭, ‬Hungarians‭, ‬Poles and‭ ‬other‭ ‬far‭ ‬flung‭ ‬individuals‭, ‬as‭ ‬it‭ ‬has‭ ‬been‭ ‬by‭ ‬home‭ ‬grown‭ ‬British Jews‭. ‬

‬Presenters‭ ‬too‭ have come‭ ‬from‭ ‬far‭ ‬and‭ ‬wide‭ - ‬often‭ ‬citing‭ ‬the‭ ‬diverse‭, inquistive‭, ‬lively‭ ‬Limmud‭ ‬audiences‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬highlight‭ ‬of‭ ‬their‭ ‬Conference seasons‭. ‬This‭ ‬year‭ ‬Conference‭ ‬is‭ ‬looking‭ ‬forward‭ ‬to‭ ‬David‭ ‬Saperstein from‭ ‬the‭ ‬US‭ ‬and‭ ‬Italian‭ ‬Demographer‭ ‬Sergio‭ ‬DellaPergola‭ ‬amongst‭ ‬the highlights‭. ‬Designated‭ ‬in‭ ‬Newsweek‮’‬s‭ 2009 ‬list‭ ‬as‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬influential rabbi‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬U‭.‬S‭. ‬and‭ ‬described‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬Washington‭ ‬Post‭ ‬profile‭ ‬as‭ "‬the quintessential‭ ‬religious‭ ‬lobbyist‭ ‬on‭ ‬Capitol‭ ‬Hill‭," ‬David‭ ‬Saperstein represents‭ ‬the‭ ‬national‭ ‬Reform‭ ‬Jewish‭ ‬Movement‭ ‬to‭ ‬Congress‭. ‬In‭ 2009 ‬he was‭ ‬appointed‭ ‬by‭ ‬President‭ ‬Obama‭ ‬as‭ ‬a‭ ‬member‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬White‭ ‬House Council‭ ‬on‭ ‬Faith‭-‬Based‭ ‬and‭ ‬Neighborhood‭ ‬Partnerships‭. ‬Sergio DellaPergola‭ ‬is‭ ‬the‭ ‬Shlomo‭ ‬Argov‭ ‬Professor‭ ‬of‭ ‬Israel‭ ‬Diaspora‭ ‬Relations at‭ ‬the‭ ‬Hebrew‭ ‬University‭ ‬of‭ ‬Jerusalem‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬internationally‭ ‬known expert‭ ‬on‭ ‬Jewish‭ ‬demography‭.‬

‬Also‭ ‬joining‭ ‬us‭ ‬from‭ ‬Israel‭ ‬are‭ ‬former‭ ‬Eurvision‭ ‬star‭ ‬Kobi‭ ‬Oz‭ ‬and‭ ‬Yair Sheleg‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Israel‭ ‬Democracy‭ ‬Institute‭.‬

‬‬The‭ ‬past‭ ‬couple‭ ‬of‭ ‬nights‭ ‬have‭ ‬seen‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬Conference‭ ‬musicians take‭ ‬advantage‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬lower‭ ‬key‭ ‬atmosphere‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬start‭ ‬of‭ ‬Conference‭ ‬to ‬test‭ ‬some‭ ‬more‭ ‬acoustic‭ ‬offerings‭. ‬Naomi‭ ‬Less‭, ‬performer‭ ‬and‭ ‬host‭ ‬of ‬www‭.‬jewishchicksrock‭.‬com‭, ‬led‭ ‬Conference‭ ‬in‭ ‬a‭ ‬musical‭ ‬Havdala‭ ‬service‭ ‬in the‭ ‬ampitheatre‭ ‬outside‭. ‬The‭ ‬session‭ ‬included‭ ‬dancing‭ ‬and‭ ‬lighting ‬giant‭ ‬lanterns‭ ‬that‭ ‬were‭ ‬allowed‭ ‬to‭ ‬float‭ ‬off‭ ‬into‭ ‬the‭ ‬nights‭ ‬sky‭ ‬to culminate‭ ‬the‭ ‬service‭. ‬American‭ ‬pop‭ ‬songstress‭, ‬Michelle‭ ‬Citrin‭, ‬famous for‭ ‬her‭ ‬YouTube‭ ‬following‭ ‬for‭ ‬such‭ ‬hits‭ ‬as‭ '‬I‭ ‬Gotta‭ ‬Love‭ ‬Rosh‭ ‬Hashana‭' and‭ '20 ‬Things‭ ‬to‭ ‬Do‭ ‬with‭ ‬Matza‭' ‬performed‭ ‬some‭ ‬acoustic‭ ‬versions‭ ‬of‭ ‬her more‭ ‬soulful‭ ‬tunes‭. ‬On‭ ‬Friday‭ ‬night‭, ‬the‭ ‬New‭ ‬York‭ ‬based‭ ‬Hip‭ ‬Hop‭ ‬duo‭,Darshan‭ ‬hosted‭ ‬an‭ ‬oneg‭ ‬mixing‭ ‬original‭ ‬niggunim‭ ‬with‭ ‬some‭ ‬freestyle‭ ‬rap‭.‬

‬But‭ ‬despite‭ ‬all‭ ‬this‭ ‬late‭ ‬night‭ ‬revelling‭, ‬it‭ ‬didn‭'‬t‭ ‬stop‭ ‬Conference waking‭ ‬up‭ ‬early‭ ‬Sunday‭ ‬morning‭, ‬with‭ ‬a‭ ‬full‭ ‬day‭ ‬of‭ ‬learning‭ ‬kicking‭ ‬in‭. Already‭ ‬yesterday‭ ‬participants‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬exposed‭ ‬to‭ ‬presentations‭ ‬and workshops‭ ‬covering‭ ‬topics‭ ‬as‭ ‬varied‭ ‬as‭ ‬Politcal‭ ‬Cartooning‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬Middle East‭, ‬Reiki‭'‬s‭ ‬Role‭ ‬in‭ ‬Judaism‭, ‬Talmudic‭ ‬Responses‭ ‬to‭ ‬Tyranny‭, ‬and Adventures‭ ‬in‭ ‬Tikkun‭ ‬Olam‭. ‬For‭ ‬the‭ ‬more‭ ‬artisitc‭ ‬amongst‭ ‬us‭, ‬there‭'‬s been‭ ‬opportunities‭ ‬to‭ ‬try‭ ‬your‭ ‬hand‭ ‬at‭ ‬Jewish‭ ‬Origami‭ ‬and‭ ‬Henna‭ ‬Body Art‭.‬

November 24, 2016 22:53

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