Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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

    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.

    There are no keynote speakers or highlighted sessions: the programme makes no distinction between world experts and young amateurs giving a debut presentation.

    From breakfast yoga to midnight rock, participants can choose from up to a couple of dozen sessions offered in any one slot, running the gamut of Jewish experience from archaeology to Zionism.

    ISRAEL CHALLENGE

    New Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman and former Israeli government spokesman Miri Eisen are among a large cast of guest speakers from Israel. Sessions will cover a host of issues, including African refugees, the peace process and the Women of the Wall. Verbal fireworks are likely at a panel discussion featuring veteran settler activist Yisrael Medad and a member of the anti-occupation soldiers’ group, Breaking the Silence.

    THE BIG QUESTION

    Are rabbis relevant in the internet age? What does it mean to be a Zionist in the 21st century? How far are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Jews accepted when same-sex marriage is increasingly being introduced in Western societies? Just a few of the issues on the table.

    BACK TO THE SOURCES

    Limmud has a record of attracting the world’s top rabbis and religious scholars to lead study of the Bible, Talmud and other Jewish texts. Among those at Warwick this year are the Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe — voted as Newsweek’s most influential American rabbi last year — Israeli modern Orthodox yeshivah head Rabbi Yuval Cherlow and Orthodox Bible scholar James Kugel.

    THE OUTER LIMITS

    Limmud would not be Limmud without a few off-the-wall sessions. There’s a group of sci-fi sessions looking at the Jewish sub-text of Dr Who and Star Trek, with titles such as “The teshuvah of the Jedi”, and an investigation into whether cartoon hero Bugs is a semitic bunny.

    JEWISH LIVING

    Are there better ways to celebrate Shabbat? Does the religious definition of charity only encompass aid to the poor? Environmentalism, euthanasia and defamation in the media (examined by a member of the Israeli press council) are some of the other subjects that will be explored from a Jewish point of view.

    BRAINWAVES

    Educators in particular can refresh their repertoire by discovering new techniques. There are sessions on learning Ivrit through games, using animation in adult education classes and dramatising Talmud stories

    SONG AND DANCE

    A strong arts and culture programme, which increasingly has become a conference attraction, boasts comic song-writers like Daniel Cainer and Dave Cohen, along with Hagit Yaso, the winner of Israel’s equivalent of Pop Idol. There is also more religiously-flavoured music, with new composers of synagogue song and a 20-minute electronic composition, The Sounds of Sinai.

    THEN AND NOW

    Leading scholars such Dead Sea Caves archaeologist Richard Freund provide fresh insights into the past, while veteran South African-Israeli journalist Benjamin Pogrund, author of a book on Nelson Mandela, is one of those looking at Jewish societies in modern times.

    WELLBEING

    One room, “Hamakom” (“The Place” in Hebrew) has been dedicated to meditation and other spiritual techniques, including Hebrew mantra and adaptations of Asian movement disciplines such as Shin Ghi.

    HAND AND MOUTH

    It is not all heavy duty thinking or schmoozing by the bar. Some sessions have a practical bent: you can learn to make sushi with a rebbetzin from Japan, find out if parev desserts can really be as good as dairy, make your own tallit or learn the finer arts of ganache with a kosher chocolatier.

UK News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
UK News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
UK News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
UK News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
UK News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
UK News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
UK News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
UK News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'