The Limmud Programme is now LIVE!
You can view the full programme (including Families sessions) online here
You can also download our free app, which contains the programme and all other essential information for Conference. The app comes in Android and iOS (Apple) versions, can be downloaded from the relevant app store. Search for ‘Guidebook’, download it, and then open the app and search for ‘Limmud 2016’.
We look forward to welcoming more than 500 presenters and almost 3,000 participants to Limmud Conference this year. Unfortunately, the following presenters who were announced earlier in the year are now unable to attend: Mayim Bialik, Tzahi Gavrieli, Tova Hartman, Dov Lipman and Gary Rudoren. We hope to welcome them all to other Limmud events in the future.
If you've still not done so, you can book for Limmud Conference here, and find more information on the sidebar at the right of the page.
Check out the rest of this page for more than 100 presenters previously announced, and a selection of sessions - including the UK Jewish Film slate.
Presenters announced 13th December 2016
Yishai Fleisher is the International Spokesperson of the Hebron Jewish community and has been featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, and more. Yishai is also a radio show host on the Land of Israel Network, a graduate of the Cardozo School of Law in NYC, and lives on the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem.
Zev Farber Zev Farber is a fellow for Project TABS and editor of TheTorah.com. He holds a PhD (Emory University) in Hebrew Bible and two ordinations from YCT Rabbinical School. He edited Halakhic Realites: Collected Essays on Brain Death and is the author of Images of Joshua in the Bible and Their Reception.
Mark Goldsmith is rabbi at Alyth-North Western Reform Synagogue. He teaches Jewish Life Cycle and Homiletics at Leo Baeck College and has written and taught extensively on Judaism and business ethics. He is fascinated by new ways of discovering Jewish spirituality and loves teaching and studying Talmud.
Haviv Gur A veteran journalist and analyst, Haviv serves as The Times of Israel's senior analyst. He's reported from over 20 countries and served as director of communications for the Jewish Agency for Israel, Israel's largest NGO. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two sons.
Neil Levitan Neil is KeshetUK's programme director. He is also a PhD researcher; his project explores the role that youth and community work can play in tackling gender-related violence with and amongst young people.
Joel Levy is a Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He is from the UK, was ordained by Rabbi David Hartman z"l and for a decade led Rav Siach, a cross-denominational programme for rabbinical students. He is rabbi of Kol Nefesh, the UK's first fully egalitarian Masorti synagogue.
Aylana Meisel is director of strategic initiatives at the Tikvah Fund. Her background includes experience in policy, education, journalism and law. She obtained her J.D. at Georgetown University Law School and her B.A. in Jewish Studies at Macaulay Honors College at Queens College.
Michael Pollak is an educator. He has semicha from the legendary Hebron Yeshiva and studied philosophy at the LSE. Specialising in Talmud and Jewish Thought, he will be reviewing the highlights of the world of publishing over the past 12 months in addition to being part of the Beit Midrash Faculty, as well as teaching Limmud's Daf Yomi shiur.
Maurice Stone and Samuel Garas Maurice is Chairman of the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI) and works for UJIA. He has been teaching dance for many years at Limmud in the UK, Russia & Ukraine. Samuel is a young teacher and youth leader from Vilnius, Lithuania, who has been trained by the UK Israeli Dance Institute. They believes that Israeli dance is a fundamental educational tool promoting Jewish identity and a connection with Israel. So let’s dance!
Anna Wexler is a documentary filmmaker and writer, currently completing her PhD in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at MIT. She co-directed the feature documentary film Unorthodox (2013), which follows three rebellious Orthodox Jewish teenagers as they struggle with their faith.
Presenters announced 28th November 2016
Luciana Berger was elected MP for Liverpool Wavertree in 2010, aged 28. She shadowed Energy and Climate Change, Public Health, and until recently was the first Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health. She is president of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health. Before her election, Luciana was director of Labour Friends of Israel, worked for the NHS Confederation and management consultancy Accenture.
Yehoshua Engelman, psychotherapist, taught at Yeshivot, Heb.U and other adult education frameworks, founded Yakar in Tel Aviv and is working on his fifth album of compositions for Jewish and Israeli poetry. His reading of texts and forthcoming book of Torah essays are inspired by his clinical practice.
Ben Judah is a journalist. He was born in London and spent his childhood in the Balkans. He is the author of "Fragile Empire", a study of Putin's Russia, and "This Is London", a portrait of a city transformed.
Judy Klitsner is a senior lecturer at Pardes Institute. She delivers text-based interactive lectures. Judy is the author of "Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other", winner of a National Jewish book award.
Shmuel Klitsner is a rabbi and has taught Bible and Talmud the past 29 years at Jerusalem's Midreshet Lindenbaum, is the author of "Wrestling Jacob", and directs the Susi Bradfield Women's Institute for Halachic Leadership.
Peter Lerner is the head of the Foreign Press Branch of the Israel Defence Forces. He's the guy in uniform who appears on your TV making the IDF's case to the media. He made Aliyah from London, was involved in the Oslo talks and is the first native English-speaking chief IDF foreign spokesperson.
Avi Mayer is the spokesman to the international media for the Jewish Agency for Israel, the largest Jewish nonprofit organisation in the world. He was recently ranked directly behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the third most influential person on "Jewish Twitter". He lives in Jerusalem.
Khalid Mahmood was born in Pakistan and emigrated to the UK as a child. He served as one of Birmingham's youngest councillors in the early 1990s, and was elected as MP for Perry Barr, becoming England’s first Muslim MP. He served as PPS to Home Office Minister Tony McNulty, and as chair of a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups. He was recently appointed Shadow Minister for Europe.
Ronen Neuwirth is founder and president of Ve'AhavTA, a grassroots social movement that is forming a new narrative of unity in Israel based on Jewish identity. He is the former rabbi of Ohel Ari Congregation in Raannana and is the founder of Beit Hillel – Attentive Spiritual Leadership.
Presenters announced 3rd November 2016
Aviva Dautch teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the British Library and is Poet in Residence at the Jewish Museum, London. She has a PhD in Contemporary Poetics and her poems, reviews and literary essays are widely published.
Miri Eisen served in Israeli intelligence, retired as a Colonel (2004) & was the Israeli Prime Minister's international media advisor (2006-2007.) Miri teaches at the IDC, is a fellow at the center for international communication at Bar Ilan University & an associate at the ICT Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Gerald Fierst is a storyteller and author. His cd’s Tikun Olam and Monstrous Mischief won Parents Choice Awards. In 2017, Plum Street Press will release his illustrated books Bye, Bye, Big and Imagine the Moon.
Shmuel Klitsner has taught Bible and Talmud the past 29 years at Jerusalem's Midreshet Lindenbaum, is the author of Wrestling Jacob, and directs the Susi Bradfield Women's Institute for Halakhic Leadership.
Robin Moss is the Head of the UJIA Centre for Israel Engagement. He finds new and engaging ways to connect the British Jewish community to Israel, across the political and religious spectrum. He is also an Officer of Liberal Judaism, the Publications Co-Chair for Limmud and edits Limmud On One Leg.
Gary Rudoren is a co-founder of the Annoyance Theater and a former teacher at The Second City. He's been teaching improv comedy for over 25 years in Chicago & NY. His one-man play "So, I Killed A Few People", was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe 1999. He's the father of twins who drive him crazy.
Jodi Rudoren is deputy international editor of The New York Times. She was recently the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief. Jodi grew up in Newton, Mass., and graduated from Yale University in 1992. She and her husband, Gary, live in Montclair, NJ, with their 9-year-old twins.
Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz has a BA in archaeology & anthropology from Cambridge, an MA in prehistory from the Hebrew University, and (at last!) a PhD from UCL. She's a Teaching Fellow at LSJS, lectures at Cambridge and Oxford, and edits books for the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
Shlomo Zuckier is pursuing a PhD in Judaic Studies at Yale University, where he serves as a campus Rabbi. He studied at the Gush and received his BA, MAs and ordination from Yeshiva University.He edits for Lehrhaus, serves on Tradition’s Editorial Committee, and has edited several books on Jewish thought
Presenters announced 31st October 2016
Hamad Amar has been a Member of the Israeli Knesset for Yisrael Beiteinu since February 2009. He is Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and Chair of the Israel-Albania Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Sarah Aroeste is an international Ladino singer bringing Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) to new generations. Her most recent project, Ora de Despertar, is the first-ever all-original Ladino children’s album! Bringing a fresh new spin to Ladino culture, Aroeste has helped transform and revitalize a tradition.
Shaul Bassi teaches English literature at Ca'Foscari University of Venice. He is the founder of international literary festival Incroci di civiltà. He is the director of Beit Venezia. A Home for Jewish Culture and has coordinated the Committee for the 500 years of the Ghetto of Venice (1516-2016).
Gabriel Botnick is the “Rabbi of Venice Beach” (Mishkon Tephilo), a Mohel, and the only non-Orthodox Shochet in America certified by the Israeli Rabbinate. He is also the founder of Tekumah, which teaches the holy trades to any and all Jews interested in learning.
Dina Brawer founded JOFA UK, and is currently pursuing Orthodox rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat Maharat. She was listed in The Jewish Chronicle’s Power 100 List of individuals who are most influential in shaping the UK Jewish community. Dina has recently co-launched Mishkan: a community beyond borders.
Jess Gold, Rosalyn Miller and Naomi Charatan are performing together for the first time as Miriam’s Sisters. As well as all being singers, between them they play 10 instruments! Their unique voices intimately blend forming an exquisite, contemporary soundtrack for Jewish life. Enjoy traditional and original texts interspersed with Chanukah joy!
Janie Grackin is a Rabbi and community educator who uses the art of storytelling to inspire and educate; creating multi-sensory educational programs for intergenerational populations. She was recently recognized with the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Maria Kavala is an adjunct lecturer of modern Greek history, in the Department of Political Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is also an educational Associate, in the Hellenic Open University, teaching “Social and Economic History of Europe”; and teaches human rights at schools.
Naamah Kelman is a descendant of 10 generations of rabbis, becoming the first woman to be ordained in Israel by the Hebrew Union College in 1992, where she currently serves as Dean.
David King was appointed by the Foreign Secretary has as his new permanent Special Representative for Climate Change in September 2013. Sir David has published over 500 papers on science and policy, for which he has received numerous awards and holds 22 Honorary Degrees from universities around the world.
Judy Klitsner is a senior lecturer at Pardes Institute. She delivers text-based, interactive lectures. Judy is the author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other, winner of a National Jewish book ward.
Murry Sidlin is an internationally renowned conductor and educator, is President & Creative Director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, creator of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín; Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer; and the creative producer/music director of the film Defiant Requiem.
Julian Sinclair works in solar energy and teaches Talmud when he can. He is also Senior Rabbinical Scholar for Hazon. His book on Rav Kook's Shabbat Ha'aretz came out in 2014. Previously he was Jewish Chaplain at Cambridge. Julian studied at Oxford and Harvard, has Orthodox Semicha and lives in Jerusalem.
Karina Veal works with leaders across developing Asia to narrow the education divide. Moving to the Philippines to follow her professional interests through joining the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, Karina discovered a vibrant and welcoming Jewish community with a fascinating history. Who knew?
Julia Wagner is a writer, lecturer and public speaker specialising in film. She is Film Reviewer for the Jewish Quarterly journal and her blog on film and memory is published on the Huffington Post UK. She holds a PhD in Film Studies from UCL.
Presenters announced 20th October 2016
Yosef Abramowitz is a founder of the solar industries in Israel and Africa. Named by CNN of as one of the world's leading six Green Pioneers, Yossi is a life-long activist, educator, Impact Investor and all-around trouble maker who served on the Israeli delegation to the Paris Climate Conference.
Ilana Epstein is half of the Rabbinic team at Cockfosters & Southgate US, together with her husband, Daniel, they provide spiritual guidance to over 1,100 shul members. In 2015, she joined the Living & Learning Department of the US where she develops educational content and delivers programmes and resources
Benny Fischer is the President of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) For years he worked in youth movements & introduced a broad public to Judaism through activism. EUJS is pluralistic, supports European Jewish students & represents them at the EU, the OSCE & the UN.
Michael Freund served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Deputy Communications Director. He founded Shavei Israel, which assists Lost Tribes and hidden Jews to return to the Jewish people. A graduate of Princeton and Columbia, he made Aliya in 1995, and is a veteran Jerusalem Post columnist.
Annika Hernroth-Rothstein is a syndicated columnist for Israel Hayom and a contributor to such publications as Commentary Magazine, Mosaic Magazine and the Jerusalem Post. She is formerly a political advisor for the conservative coalition of Sweden and is currently working on a book on diaspora Jewry
Sara Hirschhorn is the University Research Lecturer in Israel Studies at the University of Oxford. Her first book is City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Harvard, May 2017). She is a frequent public speaker and media pundit on Israel/Jewish affairs.
Zoe Jacobs is the Cantor at Finchley Reform Synagogue. Passionate about community singing & harmonising, Zoe was inspired at Hebrew Union College, where she was ordained. Working part-time for the Reform Movement, she created 'Shirei Chagigah'; an inspiring, biennial music & prayer leading conference!
Neil Janes is Director of the Lyons Learning Project and rabbi at West London Synagogue. Neil is a PhD student at Haifa University and lecturer in Talmud and Jewish education. Professionally devoted to Jewish education, now a parent, he sees the experience of teaching the next generation through new eyes
Michael Laitner is director of education for US Living & Learning, a vibrant hub for publications, Judaica support, education & heritage trips. Current work includes the anniversaries of the Balfour Declaration & the 6 Day War. He is assistant rabbi at Finchley Synagogue (Kinloss) and a qualified solicitor.
Daniel Lee is a historian of the Second World War at the University of Sheffield. His work examines the lives of Jews in France and North Africa during the war. Lee is currently writing a book that follows the career of one SS officer. He is a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker.
Abby Margulies’ inspiration stems from alchemy in the creative magic of art, ideas and content. She recently joined the team at the Jerusalem Biennale, where Jewish creativity in visual arts is catalyzed. Abby holds an M.A. in Food Studies from NYU, a Pastry Arts certificate, and is a certified life coach.
Mountain Spring Music are a global collective of musicians, working together across borders to create unique performances as well as interactive musical workshops and discussions that revolve around a much needed message of togetherness above differences.
Ashley Perry (Perez) is currently President of Reconectar, which is reconnecting with 100 million descendants of Sephardi communities. Perry was adviser to Israel's Foreign Minister from 2009 until 2015, and has also worked with Ministers of Defense, Tourism, Immigrant Absorption and in the PMO.
Ruta Vanagaite is a writer,theatre/TV producer, political consultant. Her latest book, Mūsiškiai (Our People; Journey with an Enemy), co-authored with Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a runaway bestseller, has deeply affected public discourse on the participation of Lithuanians in the Shoa.
Chaim Weiner is one of the leading Masorti Rabbis in Europe. He founded and heads the European Masorti Bet Din and Masorti Europe, developing and supporting new communities. Known for innovative work in Jewish education, and fascinating tours to destinations around the world
Maayan Zweig made Aliyah in 1998, was drafted to a combat unit in the IDF & lives 4km from the Gaza border. Mother of 3 & married to a farmer, she is a senior lecturer at a leading Israeli coaching and consulting company. She works in the field of entrepreneurship, innovation & achieving goals.
Presenters announced 13th October 2016
Avivah Zornberg lives in Jerusalem where she teaches biblical narrative through the prism of midrash and psychoanalysis. She also lectures throughout the Jewish world. Her new book, Moses: A Human Life, was recently published by Yale University Press.
Andrew Silow-Carroll is Editor in Chief of JTA, the global Jewish news service. The former CEO of the New Jersey Jewish News and managing editor of the Forward, he is an alum of the Jerusalem Fellows, and author, in 2016, of a Jewish humour curriculum for the Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning.
Diti Ronen is a poet and a lecturer of Cultural Policy at the Hebrew University. Born in Tel Aviv and a mother of 5, she has published six poetry books. Her poetry has been translated and published in many languages. She was awarded three International poetry awards and two national awards.
Michael Ipgrave is Bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Lichfield and Chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews. He was previously Inter Faith Relations Adviser to the Archbishops' Council & was Bishop of Woolwich 2012-2016.
Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik cuts up comic books and reassembles them into papercuts that explore the stories of the Jewish people, connecting popular culture with sacred texts. He has shown his work in galleries across the United States, and his work is in the hands of collectors around the world.
Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik adapts traditional Jewish concepts to a modern Reform context, and brings that synergy to students of all ages. A feminist devotee of Midrash and Jewish history, Shawna is an engaging teacher of Torah - bringing text to life with her unique, modern perspective.
Jew Salsa – a unique French community of artists, David el Shatran’s group combines Klezmer, Salsa & Oriental music, reinterpreting Jewish songs in new and lively ways.
Marc Michael Epstein is the author of numerous works on art produced by and for Jews including "The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, & Religious Imagination" (2011 TLS "Best Books Of The Year), & “Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Manuscript Illumination,“ (2015 National Jewish Book Award).
Catriona Robertson directs the Christian Muslim Forum. Born in a manse in the Scottish Highlands, she has lived and worked in India & the South Pacific & travelled across North Africa & the Middle East. Catriona is interested in how we live well and equitably together without having to be the same.
David Newman - David Newman was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben Gurion University in Israel from 2010-2016. Until 2014 he was the chief editor of the academic journal, Geopolitics. Originally from the UK, he is presently on Sabbatical as a visiting professor at the University of London. In 2013 he was awarded the OBE for promoting scientific cooperation between Israel and the UK.
Shir - The "complete" Jewish music group, Shir have been entertaining audiences for 19 years with their uplifting, energetic and spiritual brand of Klezmer, Israeli, Ladino, Yiddish, Simcha, Sefardi and Mizrahi music. Back at Limmud for their 4th visit. Get ready to move and to be moved!
Yarden Zornberg has been Project Ten's director since its founding in 2012, in which time he has established eight volunteer centers worldwide. He has worked extensively with under-served populations including Bedouin and Druze communities, and facilitated joint activities for Palestinian and Jewish children.
Richard Verber is World Jewish Relief’s Head of External Affairs. Last year he was elected the youngest ever Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He volunteers for March of the Living UK and was co-chair of Limmud Conference 2013. He also supports Manchester United.
Yoav Oved is an Israeli musician currently living in London. He studied music at Royal Holloway and now performs as a freelancer in and around London. He sings at varied events ranging from opera to Israeli folk music
Presenters announced 29th September 2016
Avner Bernheimer - A well known screen writer, journalist and publicist, Avner is best known for writing the film Yossi@Jagger, and as the creator of popular Israeli TVs drama series such as Blue Natalie, Until the Wedding, and Mom and Dads
Elie Jesner - Elie is a psychotherapist, educator and writer. He is Director of The Honest Theology Project, a new initiative of the Louis Jacobs Foundation. He also heads the JCoSS bet midrash and helps organise the Finchley Partnership Minyan. His writing appears regularly in Haaretz.
Clive Lawton – Clive is CEO of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, scholar-in-residence at JW3, and Limmud's Senior Consultant. Clive works worldwide in educational development and community cohesion and diversity issues and has recently published 'Judaism GCSE: The Definitive Resource'
Eran Kraus – Eran is the director of the Balagina Theatre. Balagina uses comedy to make Jewish texts more accessible and as a tool to create original, Jewish culture on the basis of Jewish heritage and the Israeli experience.
Deborah Lipstadt – Deborah is Professor of Jewish Studies at, Emory University, Atlanta; and the author of Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, The Eichmann Trial, and Holocaust: An American Understanding. The newly-released movie DENIAL recounts her libel defense when she was sued by Holocaust denier David Irving.
Jacqueline Nicholls - Jacqueline is a visual artist and Jewish educator. Her art engages with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates Arts & Culture at JW3, teaches at LSJS. And contributes to BBC R2 Pause For Thought. Jacqueline exhibits internationally, and artist-in-resident for Beit Venezia.
Simon Parizhsky – Simon is the Program director of the Eshkolot Project, an educational initiative focused on engaging Moscow’s young and young professional Jews via a series of structured, text-based, ongoing study programs
Haviv Retting Gur – Haviv is The Times of Israel's senior analyst and political correspondent. He has served as the Director of Communications for the Jewish Agency, and as the Jewish world correspondent for The Jerusalem Post
Limmud are also delighted that Conference will be attended this year by senior rabbinic figures from all five major UK denominations. Presenters will include:
- the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis
- Laura Janner-Klausner , Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism
- Danny Rich , Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism
- Jonathan Wittenberg , Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK
- Shalom Morris , Rabbi of Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest continually operating synagogue in the world
Presenters announced 23rd September 2016
Maggie Anton - Maggie is the award-winning author of historical fiction series "Rashi's Daughters" and "Rav Hisda's Daughter", plus a Talmud scholar with expertise in Jewish women's history. Her latest work is the nonfiction "Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know What."
Mishka (Moshe) Ben-David - Miskha is the author of 17 books including novels, short stories, spy novels, philosophy and a children's tale. He holds a Ph.D in Hebrew Literature, was a lecturer of Hebrew Literature, the Principal of an Israeli High-school, and served in Israel's Intelligence services.
Sarah Chandler - Sarah Shamirah Chandler is the CCO (Chief Compassion Officer) and team leader at Jewish Initiative for Animals where she works to support Jewish institutions to establish meaningful food policies rooted in Jewish ethics and animal welfare. She recently served as the Director of Earth Based Spiritual Practice for Hazon’s Adamah Farm and teaches, writes and consults on a national level on issues related to Judaism, the environment, mindfulness, food values, and farming.
Mimi Feigelson - Mimi is an Israeli orthodox rabbi and scholar of Chassidic Thought, who seves as Mashpi’ah Ruchanit (spiritual mentor) and Lecturer of Rabbinic Literature and Chassidic Thought at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.
Gilad Halpern - Gilad is an Israeli journalist who, for the better part of the last decade, held prominent positions in Israel's English-language media (Assignments Editor for Haaretz English Edition, managing editor for Ynetnews.com, among others). He is currently host of the podcast "The Tel Aviv Review - Ideas from Israel."
Aaron Henne - Aaron is the artistic director of theatre dybbuk and has taught workshops at Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Aaron is a board member of The Association for Jewish Theatre, a Wexner Field Fellow, and has also been a Dream Lab Teaching Fellow at AJU.
Ilana Kaufman - Ilana is Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay, for the Jewish Community Relations Council. She has twenty years of leadership, community building and organizational development experience, and is a nationally regarded thought leader on the importance of grappling with race and racism in the Jewish community,
Benny Morris - Benny Morris, who was born in Israel, is professor of Middle East history in Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and is currently a visiting professor in Georgetown University. Among his books are "1948, a History of the First Arab-Israeli War" (2008) and "Righteous Victims" (1999).
Ahmad Nawaz - Ahmad is 15 years old and is originally from Pakistan, he is a survivor of a Taliban attack on his school. Ahmad is passionate about the rights of education for children. He is a United Nations Global Education Ambassador and has spoken publically about his experience and passions in a range of forms.
Melissa Raphael - Professor Melissa Raphael teaches at the University of Gloucestershire and Leo Baeck College, London. Author of The Female Face of God in Auschwitz andJudaism and the Visual Image, she is internationally recognised for her expertise in the fields of religion, feminism and gender and religion and art. She is best known for her work on Jewish feminist theology and the theological dimensions of Jewish art.
Maurice Glasman - Maurice Glasman, Baron Glasman is an English academic, social thinker and Labour life peer. He is a senior lecturer in Political Theory at London Metropolitan University, and Director of its Faith and Citizenship Programme. He is best known as a founder of Blue Labour, a term he coined in 2009
Rafi Zarum - Rafi is the dean of LSJS, a rabbi (Montefiore Kollel), PhD (theoretical physics), MA (adult education), and Jerusalem Fellow (Mandel Foundation). He trains rabbis, teachers and educators; finds new meanings in classic Jewish texts; and gives museum tours.
Presenters announced 16th September 2016
Noah Aronson - Noah Aronson is an energetic and soulful composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across the country and in Israel. Noah is currently serving as the Creative Director of Sacred Music NY, a non-profit organisation he helped to create, that organises concert around New York City bringing together spiritual musicians from diverse backgrounds to inspire interfaith dialogue and social change.
Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu - Amnon is the Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a non-governmental organization that works to advance coexistence, equality and cooperation between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens
Anthony Clavane - Anthony is an award-winning sportswriter whose books include “Promised Land”, “Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here?”, and the newly-released “A Yorkshire Tragedy; The Rise and Fall of a Sporting Powerhouse”
Simon Glass - Brought up on a healthy diet of boiled fish and religious guilt, Simon’s taste for storytelling can be traced back to the tales he would use as a child to skip cheder. His documentary THE LAST TRIBE – where a 19th Century Russian searches for Jews in modern Leeds for - was selected for the BFI’s Mediatheque Yorkshire Collection.
Judith Hauptman - Judith is the Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is widely published, including: "Women and Prayer: An Attempt to Dispel Some Fallacies”, "A Time to Mourn, A Time to Heal" "Judaism and a Just Economy”.
Adi Keissar - Adi is a poet and journalist, and the founder of the "Ars Poetica" Poetry Project. Her first book "Black on Black" won The Bernstein Literary award. Winner of Ministry of Culture and Sport poetry award for young poets (2015). Her second book "Loud Music" was published in the summer of 2016.
Maureen Kendler - Maureen is proud to have been involved in Limmud since the beginning. She is a teaching fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies, writes and broadcasts. She loves teaching texts, ancient and modern, preferably at the same time.
Sam Lebens – Sam is co-founder of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism, and teaches at Rutgers Center for the Philosophy of Religion exploring the notions of non-propositional content, make-believe, the philosophy of fiction, and more, as they apply to various issues in the philosophy of religion.
Ruth Messinger - Ruth was the president and CEO of American Jewish World Service for 18 years, and is now their Global Ambassador. AJWS is a human rights and development organization doing grant making and advocacy group. She now expands and coordinates work with rabbis and interfaith leaders
Howard and Beatriz Rypp – Howard and Beatriz are the co-founder and dramaturge of Nephesh Theatre, an award-winning company whose work reflects a plurality of beliefs, depicting different communities within Israeli society who strive to develop a common language and achieve mutual respect.
Ethan Tucker - Ethan is co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar, chair in Jewish Law, and directs Mechon Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values. He is an authority on Egalitarianism in Jewish law
Efraim Zuroff – Efraim is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the founder and director of its Israel office. A Holocaust historian, his most recent book “Our People: Journey With an Enemy” (co-authored with Ruta Vanagaite, also presenting at Limmud this year) was a controversial best-seller in Lithuania this year.
Sessions announced 28th November 2016
Is the Commonwealth still really a thing?Clive Lawton - Clive became CEO of the rejuvenated Commonwealth Jewish Council last year. In that time, he's discovered wonderful communities dotted around the globe, bound by the twin facts of being Jews and being in the Commonwealth. Blow your mind on how Jews do Jewish around the world.
The Chief Rabbi's Desert Island Picks - A twist on the classic format. The Chief Rabbi is cast away on a desert island. Find out what he'll take with him for inspiration. Moderated by Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum.
Palmyra - the Jewish legacy: Syria and beyond Adam Blitz - This session explores the Jewish legacy of Palmyra: the UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Syrian desert where the cross-roads of the Hellenistic, Roman and Parthian empires once met. Though subject to much news coverage, little attention has been paid to Palmyra's Jewish past and the early attempts of Julius Euting (1883) to document it.
The regional turmoil - overview and implications for Israel Miri Eisen - At the end of six years of turmoil, where is the Middle East looking toward 2017? We will get to know the newly structured states, the non state actors and the outer forces in the Middle East today.
He said, she said: a mother and son talk 'Global Torah'Yarden Zornberg, Avivah Gottleib Zornberg - What can be learned when we bring our tradition in conversation with our world’s most pressing challenges? In this live spin-off of OLAM and Pardes’s Global Torah podcast, Torah scholar Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and her son, global service professional Yarden Zornberg, explore “otherness” in the Book of Ruth and talk about modern social responsibility.
Surviving terrorists Ahmad Nawaz - Aged 14, Ahmad Nawaz, survived a Taliban attack on his school in Peshawar Pakistan. 132 of his schoolmates (including his brother) and 10 teachers died. Come and listen to this inspiring young man, in conversation with Clive Lawton, explain how he now campaigns against violent extremism here in the UK.
History, the Bible and the modern Jewish world: a conversation Andrew Silow Caroll - Certain ideas in Judaism have always provoked controversy and disagreement, leading many people to avoid them. Others have felt differently, that a commitment to truth has to be a part of one's religious life and development. Elie and Zev will discuss and share reflections on some of these topics, and encourage the audience to participate.
What do you stand for? The never-ending conflict between Greek and Jewish culture Raphael Zarum - Though our people have faced the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Persians, it could be argued that it was our encounter with the Greeks that had the most lasting effect on Judaism. We will contrast their ideological pillars and discuss models of interaction. Surprisingly, it's a lot to do with pomegranates and dates…
Is Brexit good for the Jews?Jonathan Neumann, Peter Mason, Simon Gordon, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, Ruvi Ziegler - Did you succumb to "Project Fear" or the lies of the Leavers? Or maybe you just made up your mind based on the facts. However you voted, Brexit means Brexit. But is it good for the Jews? From the economy to EU-Israel relations, and shechitah to terrorism, this panel will consider how Brexit might impact the Jewish communities of the UK and Europe.
The frontline against anti-Semitism Luciana Berger - As a prominent Jewish MP, Luciana Berger is no stranger to being in the public eye. Hear her story of the abhorrent antisemitic abuse she has faced, the multiple convictions she has fought for and won, and her thoughts on how we can combat antisemitism wherever we find it.
Being and being Jewish: an exploration of Jewish ethics and spiritualityArthur Green, Jonathan Wittenberg - Come and listen to two of the most thoughtful and inspiring speakers at Limmud discuss issues of Jewish spirituality and ethics.
Yossi and Jagger Avner Bernheimer - Yossi and Jagger is an internationally acclaimed feature film written by Avner Bernheimer. It's a ground breaking film about gay love in the Israeli army. We will watch the film followed by Avner talking about the true story behind it, the way it was received, the controversy around it and its important role in the gay rights movement.
Mysticism, messianism and marranos: the story of early Anglo-Jewry Shalom Morris - The 17th century was a period in transition. Part medieval, part modern, these decades witnessed the emergence of the British Empire, the decline of sectarian violence, and the establishment of an Anglo-Jewish community. We examine the primary Jewish texts that were at the heart of this emerging world.
Strategic threats to Israel - what does the future hold?Peter Lerner - The Middle East is in turmoil. With Islamic State on the border in Sinai, Hezbollah on the border in Lebanon, Syria's civil war ongoing, Hamas struggling to govern Gaza, and Judea and Samaria ever unstable, come have your questions answered about the state of the region, terrorism, and what it all means for Israel's security.
20 years of learning at Limmud - celebrating the Chavruta ProjectSteve Miller, Robin Moss, Hannah Skolnick, Chani Smith - It's a Limmud institution, an international collaboration and an incredible annual gift to the Jewish world - and 2016 is its 20th anniversary! To celebrate two decades of the Limmud Chavruta Project, three past editors and the long-time designer will share with you some of the highlights, challenges and changes since the first book in 1996.
Jews and Muslims. This is not a dialogue - this is not interfaithLaura Janner-Klausner, Alex Fenton - Laura Janner-Klausner and Alex Fenton have been working particularly in Bradford to change Muslim perceptions of Jews and Israel and Jewish perceptions of Muslims and Islam. Come and discuss this not-interfaith-dialogue and how it will impact on Britain for the future.
Jewish teachings and experiences of the criminal justice systemRobert Prager, Danny Rich - As the criminal justice system remains a hot topic of public debate, does Jewish teaching, the Jewish experience or the experiences of Jews tell us anything of relevance? In three linked but separate sessions a Jewish teacher and a Jew with relevant experience will facilitate a discussion on current realities and future possibilities for the criminal justice system.
Sessions announced 14th November 2016
Trumpus Interruptus: Democrats, Republicans and the fractures of American Jewry Andrew Silow Caroll - This strangest of all U.S. presidential elections only seemed to intensify political trends that are dividing up the Jewish community into rival tribes. We'll discuss the religious, gender and generational shifts shaping America's Jewish voters.
Who or what is the problem between the Labour Party and Jews - and can it be repaired? Jon Lansman, Jeremy Newmark, Luke Akehurst, Sarah Sackman, Maurice Glasman - Who better to give the answers than a peer ennobled by Ed Miliband; the Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement; the Jewish Labour Candidate for Finchley & Golders Green from last general election; The director of We Believe in Israel who is also Secretary of Labour First; and in his first visit to Limmud the Jewish founder and chair of Momentum.
A New Look at the 1948 War Benny Morris - The lecture will look at various aspects of the 1948 War, some of them untreated or little regarded in conventional historiography. It will look at the nature of the war, the aims of the various participants; at the refugee problems created by the war (the Palestinian, Israeli, and Jews from Arab lands); and at the balance of forces between the various participants.
Will my child get a place? The rise and rise of Jewish schools in Britain Jon Boyd - More and more British Jews are choosing to send their children to Jewish schools, and anxiety about getting a place seems to be rising year on year. But will demand continue to grow, do we need to build more Jewish schools, and what impact do they really have anyway?
Gefilte Fish & Chips - Stories in Song from a Master Songwriter Daniel Cainer - Join this 5 Star Edinburgh Fringe award-winner for a selection of deeply-moving, smart, funny story-songs about his family and the Jewish world. 'Some have music in their soul, some have mirth, some have melancholy. That Daniel Cainer has the lot' - Howard Jacobson
Damaged Beauty: The Jewishness of Modern Jewish Art Melissa Raphael - This illustrated talk explores how modern Jewish art uses permitted idoloclastic techniques to produce images that both cancel and restore glory. It will be suggested that 'Jewish' images offer an important critique of our contemporary image-saturated culture.
A portrait of a spy as a young liberal, humanist and Zionist artist Mishka ben David - I wrote my first novel as a young soldier after the Yom Kippur war (1973) and ever since found myself in between the literary world (gaining a Ph,D in Literature , lecturing and writing many more books) - and serving my country, which I felt as an obligation. I will describe how this conflict influenced my life.
Ethical Kosher and the Future of Food Aaron Gross - Hear from a United States based animal advocate about recent trends in ethical kosher, humane certification for animal products, and how anyone, from meat lover to vegan, can support a more sustainable food system.
Our Personal Exodus Narratives: Leadership and the Art of Storytelling Aaron Henne - In this session, all participants identify and develop their own unique "exodus" stories. They then share them, utilizing them as an opportunity to explore a primary Jewish narrative as an entry point to communication. A structured feedback model is utilized to help create productive conversations and open spaces for empathetic listening.
“Rabbi, I have a Problem…”- Naftali Brawer, Jonathan Romain - The Jewish Chronicle’s two rabbinic columnists will respond (and sometimes contradict each other) to questions that are submitted at the session (and any you send in advance to rabromain[at]aol.com), giving both the Orthodox and Progressive approach on any matter you want them to tackle.
Is the Hunt for Nazi War Criminals Over? Efraim Zuroff - A look at the Wiesenthal Center's "Operation Last Chance" project which offers money in return for information which facilitates prosecution of Nazi war criminals, and the new dramatic developments in Germany which led to dozens of new investigations.
The (Judicial) gatekeepers: The Supreme Court and Israel’s Jewish Identity Ruvi Ziegler - The session demonstrates how the Israeli Supreme Court (as a High Court of Justice) has articulated a (legal) vision of the state's identity in its judgments on family unification, asylum, and the 'nationality clause'. Is the court's approach inevitable, is it desirable, and what can we learn from it about the interrelations between law & politics?
An Israeli vision for fighting climate change Yosef Abramowitz - There are five actions that can enable humanity to win the climate challenge facing the world. Come hear from the winner of Israel's Green Globe--Israel's highest environmental and climate award--on how to turn the tide and be part of the revolution.
“Israel: reshaping the global landscape with medical cannabis” Saul Kaye - Israel is recognized as the global leader in the study of cannabis. This session sheds light on some of the innovation & the unique policies that allow Israel to influence on such a wide scale using modern science & technology as a force to do good.
No place like home: poetry and Jazz Aviva Dautch, Michal Ish Horowitz, Adi Keissar, Diti Ronen, Chani Smith - As part of Limmud's refugee track, poets from Israel and the diaspora will be reading their poems on themes of home, exile and asylum with jazz interludes from a specially assembled group of Limmud musicians. This will be a thoughtful, creative, mellow and musical session to lead you gently into the night.
The Syrian chaos - what happened and what are the options for the future? Miri Eisen - After 5 years Syria is a fragmented violent arena. The war is not in rhetoric -it is in actual harsh fighting with horrific casualties. Miri will describe the events and try to understand the implications for Israel, who now borders a variety of warring factions
Behind the X-Men: Jews, Gender and Sexuality Nathan Abrams, Dalia Fleming, Rafi Zarum - The X-Men comics and movies have had a huge impact on popular culture. This session will explore some of the surprisingly disturbing and controversial themes that these superheroes elicit. Auschwitz, assimilation, ‘coming out’, alienation and ‘chosenness’ to name but a few…
Whose Sugiya is it anyway? Joseph Grabiner, Maureen Kendler, Clive Lawton, Raymond Simonson, Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz, Ben Crowne - In celebration of The Chavruta Project’s big birthday we're inviting you to be part of our live studio audience as we pit 2 teams of Limmud legends against one another in a competition of wit, knowledge, & silliness. One part Chavruta Project session, one part Radio 4 panel show, two parts totally Limmud! No knowledge needed- just a willingness to laugh
Songs Of Protest, Inspiration and Prayer: If It Be Your Will. Maureen Kendler – Singer/songwriters Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon used Biblical images in some of their greatest songs. We will explore the power and beauty of their best -Jewish- work.
Misogynist Film Club: The Musical! Jacqueline Nichols, Rose Prevezer, Claire Berliner, Alex Davidson - There is nothing like a dame! And there is nothing like a musical to bring out the sexism. Tragic divas, perky gals, Disney Princesses etc will be under the scrunity of JW3’s Misogynist Film Club. As they say: it isn’t over till the body-shamed, female victim sings.
Limmud Book Club: One Night, Markovitch Aviva Dautch, Shoshi Ish-Horowicz - This stand-alone session is a chance for book lovers to share insights. We will discuss our favourite extracts, characters and theories - for those who've already read the book and those who haven't but want to find out more. Today's choice is Ayelet Gunder-Goshen’s debut, a magical story of love and survival in pre-State Israel.
Aida's Secrets (Film) UKJFF (introduced by Lawrence Harris)- Born in a post war displaced persons camp and separated as toddlers, Shep and Izak grew up unaware of each other’s existence. Reunited six decades on, they put the pieces together. Their biological mother Aida holds key information about their identities that she refuses to share. When they find out, they understand her years of silence.
UK Jewish Film programme
Aida's Secrets: Screening and Q&A (120 mins) Born in a post war displaced persons camp and separated as toddlers, Shep and Izak grew up unaware of each other’s existence. Reunited six decades on, they put the pieces together. Their biological mother Aida holds key information about their identities that she refuses to share. When they find out, they understand her years of silence. Co-presented by Stephen Frosh & Laurence Harris
Deli Man (92 mins) A dazzling showcase of Jewish food and its inseparable link to American Jewish culture. Once there were thousands, there are now fewer than 200 delis across America. Guided by the irrepressibly ebullient Ziggy Gruber – a leading third-generation deli owner – Deli Man charts a mouthwatering history of the deli as a cornerstone of American cuisine. Dir Erik Anjou, 2014 Co-presented by Aaron Gross
Hummus! The movie (70 mins) An eclectic, touching film about hummus, the delicious super food sweeping across Europe and America. Secret recipes, a Guinness World Record and the power of hummus to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together – in the Middle East, America and around the world. Dir Oren Rosenfeld, Israel, 2016. Co-presented by Avner Bernheimer and Sigalit Freeman
It Always Rains on Sunday (92 mins) Under relentless sheets of cold rain, a former barmaid offers sanctuary to her fugitive ex-lover. The intertwined destines of a neighbourhood of London’s East Enders add to the suspense, prefiguring the ensemble work of Robert Altman. A rare film from this era set in a Jewish milieu. Dir Robert Hamer, UK (1947) Co-presented by Nizza Fluss and Rachel Kolsky
Keep Quiet (97 mins) Keep Quiet is the story of Hungarian politician Csanád Szegedi, who became vice-President of Jobbik, Hungary’s far-right, antisemitic party. When he discovers that he is Jewish and that his grandmother survived Auschwitz, he goes on an astonishing journey that takes him from the depths of hatred to repentance, self-acceptance and reconciliation. Dir Sam Blair & Joseph Martin, Hungary & UK, 2016. Co-presented by Jonathan Wittenberg
Lights, Chutzpah, Action! Jews in British Cinema As part of UK Jewish Film's inter-generational heritage project, Rachel Kolsky celebrates the contribution to British Cinema and film by Jewish producers, directors, designers and actors. From Gaumont to Gainsborough, Ealing to Essoldo, Korda to Klinger and Skikne to Steiner, sit back and enjoy these magic cinematic memories.
Pears Short Film Fund winners 2016 The Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film creates opportunities for emerging filmmakers in the UK. The fund encourages and supports the production and exhibition of short films on themes that engage with Jewish life, history and culture. Many of our previous winning films have gone on to receive awards at top international film festivals. Co-presented by Oshra Schwartz Reim, Julia Wagner and Anna Wexler
Pickle Recipe (98 mins) Seeing his sound equipment trashed in a freak accident, Joey Miller's in dire need of money. Against his better judgement he partners up with his shady uncle Morty to steal his grandmother’s highly guarded pickle recipe to sell it for a small fortune. As expected, the plan goes horribly wrong, but the lesson Joey learns in the process is priceless. Dir Michael Manasseri, USA, 2016. Co-presented by Daniel Cainer
Sacred Sperm (74 mins) Sensitive and deeply complex, Sacred Sperm explores one of the most suppressed and hidden issues of the Orthodox Jewish community: the sin of ‘wasting sperm’. Opening a rare window onto the taboos of sex and masturbation, director Ori Gruder sets out to understand the prohibition of male self-pleasure. Dir Ori Gruder, Israel, 2014. Co-presented by Zev Farber and Elie Jesner
The Small World of Sammy Lee (104 mins) The Small World of Sammy Lee is the dark, funny, 1963 British-Jewish crime thriller directed by Ken Hughes and starring Anthony Newley, Julia Foster, Robert Stephens and Warren Mitchell. A Jewish peep-show compere races to escape the vicious debt collectors who chase him across the seedy underworld of London and the Jewish East End. Dir Ken Hughes, UK, 1963. Co-presented by Nathan Abrams and Rachel Kolsky.
The Venice Ghetto, 500 years of life (55 mins) The remarkable story of Venice, the oldest ghetto in Europe, is reconstructed in this fascinating documentary told through the eyes of a Jewish teenager. Lorenzo, born and raised in New York, is guided through Jewish Venice, exploring its origins and the eclectic panoply of experiences that have formed its glorious history. France & Italy, 2015. Co-presented by Shaul Bassi and Celia Piperno