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Sessions for Wednesday, 12:00 - 13:00

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Acoustic lunch

Limmud Acoustic Cafe Team
Location: Rootes Bar Rectangle

Acoustic lunch is a lunchtime jam session and melting pot - come and meet other performers, play or sing together, see which of our visiting musicians drops by, or just come and listen while you eat your lunch.

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Authority in the Jewish legal system

Ian Gamse
Location: Hum 3

What is the nature of rabbinic authority? In this session, based on detailed analysis of key talmudic texts, we will explore how the conceptual underpinnings of the rabbinic legal system were disrupted by the fourth century collapse of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael – and perhaps ask what implications this has for today.

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Baby-naming and initiation ceremonies

Jessica Overlander-Kaye
Location: Hum 4

Welcoming your baby into your home, culture, religion, community and family can be a very special time. Explore the traditions, text, and interpretations of Brit Milah, Simchat Bat, Pidyon Haben and more. Look at ways to develop a ceremony that reflects you and your values.

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Chief Rabbi then and now - Rabbi Soloveitchik and the Chief Rabbinate elections

Jeffrey Saks
Location: Sci 7

The UK and Israel recently selected new Chief Rabbis. In 1960 R. Joseph Soloveitchik, considered a candidate for the spot in Israel, said, 'The Chief Rabbi must be the leading teacher of Torah, otherwise in what way is he 'chief'?' Ultimately he didn't run – but what does that chapter in his biography tell us about the position today?

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Contemporary challenges for Jewish life in Europe

Helise Lieberman, Diego Ornique, Jean-Jacques Wahl, Chaim Weiner
Location: Sci 2

Engaging with unaffiliated and newly affiliated Jews; dealing with legal objections to shechitah and brit milah; maintaining the viability of communities with tiny or dwindling numbers; combating antisemitism; integrating the current surge of innovative grass-roots projects. The challenges for Jewish life in Europe today are varied and complex. How are communities responding, and what might the future hold?

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Gematria, atbash, Bible codes, and more!

Jerry Silverman
Location: Sci 1

What do tzitzit, Haman, and the number pi have in common? The only requirements to find out are the ability to count up to 613, identify Hebrew letters, have a sense of humour, and an eagerness to learn. Be forewarned: this is not a heavy-duty, scholarly presentation, though it will be filled with surprising and worthwhile, educational information.

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Hassidic intuitions: the heart of the matter (2 of 2)

Jonathan Wittenberg
Location: Soc 1

Rebbe Yehuda Aryeh-Leib of Ger was one of the most popular Hasidic teachers of the late-nineteenth century. At the core of his teaching is deep faith in what the can heart truly know. Study focuses on texts (in Hebrew and English) from the Sefat Emet, and his letter describing the essence of 'all the mystical formulations in the world'.

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Impact investing and social enterprise: Maimonides meets the market

Shawn Landres
Location: Sci 4

The UK leads the world in impact investing and social enterprise, but global Jewry is playing catch-up. Yet they are 21st-century versions of Maimonides's highest levels of tzedakah: they create job opportunities and enable beneficiaries to sustain themselves. We'll explore the spectrum from pure profit to pure impact and discuss the latest trends in doing good while doing well.

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Is there a different Jewish identity in the making in Europe?

Barbara Lerner Spectre
Location: Soc 3

Throughout Europe people as adults are reclaiming their Jewish identity. What is the role of Jewish literacy in their emerging identity? What types of frameworks can sustain this not-necessarily-religious Jewish life, and what elements of Jewish life are less appropriate? This session will be a challenging examination of an emerging type of European Jewish identity and question its sustainability.

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Is this love? How to know if your relationship is healthy (3 of 4)

Elana Sztokman
Location: Soc 6

This session will explore the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and give guidance on identifying and creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and compassion.

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Jew-dicial review

Amy Woolfson
Location: Sci 6

Can you judicially review the Chief Rabbi? What is a judicial review anyway? How does English law interact with the Jewish faith and does it get it right? No legal knowledge required.

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Jewishness and gentility in Modern Britain (3 of 3)

Todd Endelman
Location: Sci 8

The Last Anglo-Jewish Gentleman. This talk explores the life of one of the last representative figures of the Anglo-Jewish notability - Redcliffe Nathan Salaman (1874-1955) - a distinguished geneticist, country gentleman, Jewish nationalist, and social historian of the potato.

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Marriage in Israel: do we have to invite the State?

Yael Yechieli
Location: Soc 7

Every engaged couple decides who they will invite to their wedding, but in the State of Israel the law forces you to invite the State. We will examine the sensitive issue of weddings in Israel, and the contemporary developments by progresive religious and social movements on this issue.

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Tachles - conversational Hebrew course (3 of 4)

Nir Cohen
Location: Rootes Chancellors 1

Tachles is not a traditional Hebrew language learning programme which focuses on grammar, reading and writing. Instead, we give the participants an instant vocabulary that will allow them to interact in Hebrew. Each of the four sessions offers usueful vocabulary for every day life in Israel such as how to shop, how to order in a restaurant and more.

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The wells of Gerar: a Biblical story of water management

Paul Kay
Location: Sci 5

Abraham and Isaac contended with Avimelech of Gerar regarding access to water in the northern Negev. Traditional commentaries say these stories show the enmity of Israel's neighbours. Whether these stories report historic incident(s) or are ahistoric myth, they can also be read through an environmental lens as an example of how a scarce resource might be shared

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This is it!

Paul Glantz
Location: Soc 8 (HaMakom)

We will discuss the idea that 'this happening of the moment' is everything and is all there is.

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Why they hate the two Satans: antisemitism and anti-Americanism

Michael Widlanski
Location: Soc 2

Tyrants and terrorists tend to focus on Jews, Israelis and Americans because of their very democratic and idealistic nature. They also attack Jews, Israelis and Americans because they are convenient targets that help terrorists and tyrants enlist volunteers and money, while distracting from their own faults.

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Why would I go to cheder to learn about Muslims?

Debbie Young-Somers
Location: Soc 4

Interfaith dialogue is an incredibly powerful tool of Jewish education. We will explore why and look at its use in Religion Schools as well as Jewish Day Schools, and will unpack Jewish models for dialogue that might help us. Come to learn and/or to share your experience.

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Why you shouldn't be here - the Orthodox battles of Limmud

Gideon Sylvester
Location: Sci 3

You've all heard the blood curdling screams as rabbis and dayanim slog it out over whether they should come to Limmud. Once I was a rebel for coming, now I'm mainstream. Why? What historical and theological precedents are the battles based on? If by the end you decide you shouldn't be at Limmud, you can ask for your money back!

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