Manchester Limmud 2017 Sessions


Hagai Segal - Topics have been swapped for the two sessions in Session 1 and 3
Edie Friedman - Session on the refugee crisis moved from Session 2, Room D14, to Session 5, Room D16


Jo Richler - Learning to learn in Session 1 - cancelled
Penelope Solomon - comedy performance in Session 6 - cancelled

Session 1 - 09:30 - 10:30

A time to be born and a time to die; quality and sanctity of life and dying in the Talmud and the Midrash
Fabian Sborovsky - Room D13

Medical advances have made it possible to extend life or defy death as it was known for centuries. In this Chavruta style discussion and study session we’ll examine some rabbinic text dealing with end of life and dying to help us consider some of the related ethical and moral dilemmas in our time. This session does not aim to provide answers or resolutions but to present important elements of a pertinent value system as we consider individual opinions and choices.

The New Manchester Jewish Museum
Max Dunbar - Room D15

In 2019 Manchester Jewish Museum plans to open a major new extension. A new gallery is being planned, enabling the museum to showcase more of its collection and share more stories about Jewish Manchester. New learning and community spaces will be built. The museum’s historic synagogue will also be restored. Come and learn more about the museum’s exciting plans. The museum team are keen to get your thoughts. What do you want to see in Manchester’s new Jewish Museum?

Biblio-hypnosis – Matan Torah at Mount Sinai
Michael Capek - Room D18
Hypnosis and meditation allow us to use our minds to generate images and develop it for personal enhancement. Biblio-hypnosis is the telling of a story using guided imagery in a meditative state. Using the power of your own mind, you will experience the giving of the Ten Commandments as though you were there in person. It is open to all. No previous meditative experience required.

Israelis in the UK – explained
Or Nehushtan - Room D19
I will explain Israelis in the UK – their motivations for moving, the variety of opinions and characteristics of Israelis moving to London, Manchester and Leeds etc., and hold a discussion about differences between Israelis living in Jewish communities in Britain, to the British-born members of the Jewish communities.

We are not drowning, we are waving! Resilience in small communities
Ed Horwich - Room D22
The number of small Jewish communities is growing in the UK. How are they surviving or reviving, when keeping up momentum is so difficult? A year on from his last presentation, which challenged the notion that small communities are simply big communities that are dying, Ed Horwich looks at the phenomenon of creating and sustaining Jewish life away from the main centres of Jewish resource in the UK. Ed also talks about how, as part of this trend, the Jewish Small Communities Network is working with communities and individuals to share knowledge and expertise.

CANCELLED - Learning to Learn
Jo Richler

Nisa-Nashim: Can Jews and Muslims be friends?
Joanne Feldman, Elinor Chohan - Room D24
Interaction between Jews and Muslims can change preconceptions and replace anger and fear with positive soul nourishing experiences. Nisa-Nashim is a Jewish Muslim women’s network that aims to bring our communities together and promote ways in which Jewish and Muslim women can understand that their similarities are greater than their differences, through a range of shared initiatives that support their leadership journeys and encourage them to form meaningful personal relationships, while benefiting the wider society in which they live.

The British Union’s Women’s Peace Campaign and the Feminisation of the “Jews” War 1938-1940
Julie Gottlieb - Room D25
From 1938, Mosley’s fascist movement launched an anti-war campaign. Fascist women, figured as innately conciliatory and nurturing, had seemingly less difficulty in channelling their fascist militancy into anti-war activities, and they launched their own Women’s Peace Campaign in 1940. But they were unlikely pacifists. They opposed the war because it was, as they called it, the ‘Jews’ War’, their activities giving free reign to their ‘motherly hate’, obsessive anti-Semitism, vitriol against refugees, and myopic isolationism. This lecture will make sense of the seeming paradox of fascist pacifism, and situate fascist women’s peace campaigns within the wider context of the women’s peace movement in the period after appeasement.

How diets can ruin your health
Carmel Berke - Room D29
64% of the UK population is overweight or obese and2 in 3 women have dieted in the last year. I specialise in helping people from all walks of life to achieve a healthy lifestyle by making the right choices and by empowering them through understanding how food works in relation to our bodies. Do you wonder why is it so hard to keep the weight off for a long period of time after dieting? I will challenge the many myths and bad science associated with so much diet ‘advice’ and send you on a journey to a healthier life.

Trump, Israel and the Middle East
(SESSION on The IS/ISIS/Daesh threat MOVED TO Session 3, PAC 1)
Hagai Segal - Donner 2nd Floor Common Room
Yes, you are going to have to accept it, Donald Trump is now the US president! But what will this mean for US Foreign Policy, especially in regards Israel and the Middle- East? Hagai, expert in geopolitics who has also participated in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, will reveal all!

2017 - The Year of Israel Anniversaries
Simon Johnson - Room PAC 1
In 2017, there are at least six major Israel anniversaries, including the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration and the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War. How will our community, with its varying attitudes to Israel and Zionism, mark these significant anniversaries. Join JLC CEO Simon Johnson and a varied panel to discuss the various perspectives and explore if any common messaging is possible.

Getting it wrong: What we can learn from Maimonides and Moshe Hayim Luzzatto in dealing with misconceptions in Judaism
Joseph Dweck - Room PAC 2
Looking at the approaches of both these sages and their similarities and how they deal with misconceptions in Judaism and what key points we might draw from their lives.

Session 2 - 10:50 - 11:50

Heinrich Heine; Poet and Radical
Jonathan Davies - Room D13
We will look at the Romantic German Poet, Heinrich Heine; his relationship to Judaism, the controversies that surround him and also play some songs of his poetry set to music by Schubert and Schumann.

The History of the Bagel
Clarissa Hyman - Room D14
Given the widespread popularity of the bagel today, it is hard to imagine that only a few decades ago it was largely unknown outside Jewish circles. The session will examine the history, culture and unique characteristics of the ‘roll with a hole’ tracing its origins in Poland and beyond through to its arrival in the US and the UK. Methodology, ingredients, the frozen bagel, the New York bagel workers’ union and controversial changes to quality are all issues that will be included in this mouth-watering lecture!

Jewish Lives: a study of 1000 children from age 11 & their parents: 5 years on
Helena Miller - Room D15
This unique longitudinal study is following 1000 children to observe how their Jewish lives develop over time. The children were 11 years old in 2011 at the start of the study and we are now analysing the results of the data we collected now that they are 16. This study, supported by the Pears Foundation, intends to follow the children into their adulthood. Come to this session to learn about how and why we are doing this study and hear some of our fascinating results so far.

How long does the pain stay?
Chava Erlanger - Room D17
How long does the pain stay? Looking at trauma and war and its long lasting effect and how one may express it through art. A workshop using clay.

Discovering Reiki; a powerful alternative
John Blaskey - Room D18
John Blaskey will illustrate with hands on – or actually hands-off – examples of healing energy. The session includes an energy exchange, and an explanation of how Reiki addresses physical, emotional and psychological ailments. John will relate case studies of sessions he has delivered for a wide range of conditions from car sickness to cancer. John will also report on his recent trip up Mount Kurama in Kyoto Japan where Reiki was originally discovered by Dr Mikao Usui.

Almonds and Raisins, a social and cultural history of the Jews of America told through Yiddish talkies
Alex Klein - Room D19
Almonds and Raisins narrated by Orson Welles tells of the Jews who arrived in America how they effected society and society effected them. Was this land of opportunity a way of escaping the pogroms of Europe paved with gold? Hundreds of talkies were made between 1928 and 1939. This was history captured on film. The yearning of the shtetl life of old wrestling with becoming an American leaving behind old values. Some of the greatest names in Yiddish Theatre and film will tell their story followed by Q&A.

The Golem Returns: From German Romantic Literature to Global Jewish Culture
Cathy Gelbin - Room D22
The Hulk, Superman, the Terminator; they are all modern popular culture echoes of the golem, that mystical Jewish artificial man of legend, a sort of friendly Jewish Frankenstein. Widely seen as an icon of authentically Jewish lore, the golem has inspired a broad range of Jewish and non-Jewish writers and film makers in Europe, the United States and Israel. Among them are the diverse versions by Jakob Grimm, Paul Wegener, and more recently Amos Gitai and Michael Chabon. By focusing on key literary texts and films such as the ones above, this talk explores the special role that the golem has played in the formation of modern Jewish culture and identity.

The burglar, the carpenter, the aboriculturalist and the dustbin men
Steve Miller - Room D23
Four rabbinic stories and what they tell us about core Jewish values, critical thinking, social responsibility, sustainability and the reasons why we should do the right thing.

Researching Rebecca; What was her family name and where did they come from?
Errol Gross - Room D25
To research one’s Jewish ancestors, one needs at least a family name, and the village, shtetl or town of origin. When looking for a woman’s maiden name it can be even more difficult, with variant spellings and very few clues to follow. Join me in a quest to unravel the mystery of her family name and where they came from. Along the way I make some surprising discoveries using conventional and unconventional resources, explore previously unknown branches of the tree, and follow the routes they took from Eastern Europe to the shores of South Africa, Israel and the USA.

Does the Jewish Mother Syndrome exist? An understanding at a genetic level
Ian Ellis - Room D29
Our children and sages have argued for generations over the existence of the Jewish mother syndrome. We have experienced the love and chicken soup of a Jewish mother, but whether our achievements are maternally inherited or the consequence of our environment remains unclear. The mapping of the human genome coupled with the wide availability of rapid, low cost genetic sequencing has opened the Jewish genome for exploration. Our knowledge of Jews and their genes now extends well beyond Tay-Sachs and other common recessive disorders that we carry at increased frequency. This update in modern genetics requires no prior technical knowledge, only an enquiring mind. We will explore what it means to have a Jewish mother, what genes may be passed on including the BRCA1 and BRCA2, breast and ovarian cancer genes and the resulting risks for sons and daughters. The phenomenon of genetic imprinting, whereby environmental experiences such as stress and survival can be passed on through a parent’s genes to their children will be discussed. Prepare to be challenged by this talk that poses as many questions as answers.

What are the real problems facing Jews today?
Clive Lawton - Donner 2nd Floor Common Room
So much to worry about, so little time to worry in! What should we really be worrying about and what is simply distraction from the important issues we should be addressing? Clive will offer his usual trenchant but entirely accurate(!) analysis of the state of play. Come along. Be prepared to argue!

The Other Divine Sarah
Maureen Kendler - Room PAC1
Sarah Bernhardt: the first truly global female celebrity. She was an adored actress and French icon. Although a self-proclaimed atheist and practising Catholic, there was a strong thread of Jewishness in her life that provided both a force and an obstacle to her great achievements in the arts. Come and hear her story and learn about her legacy to divas ever after.

Elisheva: The Surprising Story of the Forgotten Midwife
Raphael Zarum - Room PAC 2
Below the surface, bubbling up with mystery and meaning, there is a whole ‘other world’ of Torah. Known as ‘midrash’, it is not really meant for children, although this is the age group to whom it is normally, and often over-simplistically, taught. Rather, midrash is a sophisticated literary and associative genre of rabbinic texts that reveals the essence of Judaism. In this session we will study the life and influence of Elisheva bat Aminadav. She turns out to be a key figure in the redemption and revival of the Jewish People. Only through her eyes can we fully understand who we are…

Easy Israeli Dancing for all
Sharon Copitch, Linda Saleh - Activities room
We will do fun beginner Israeli dances, including circle and line dances, learning a few basic steps as we go. No experience or skill is required – the aim is to enjoy the movement, the upbeat music and the sociability of dance. Israeli dancing is done in places as far-flung as Poland, the USA, Japan, Israel (of course) and now both Liverpool and South Manchester! Dip your toe in for this taster session; you are guaranteed to leave with a smile.

The Cello Music of Offenbach and Popper
Jonathan Stone, Hannah Roberts, Simon Parkin - School Hall
Jacques Offenbach and David Popper had two big things in common: they were both sons of cantors, and they were both virtuoso cellists who composed for the instrument. In his second session at Manchester Limmud, Jonny Stone is privileged to be joined by internationally renowned cello/piano duo, Hannah Roberts and Simon Parkin, to explore the romantic and virtuosic music of these composers. Be prepared for some cellistic fireworks as well as some beautiful romantic melodies, closing with a performance of a work for two cellos uncovering the Jewish roots in Offenbach’s most famous work, composed for and premièred at 2016 Liverpool Limmud.

Session 3 - 12:15 - 13:15

‘Bored’ of Deputies
Richard Verber - Room D13
The Board of Deputies is the only national representative body for Jews in the UK today. It is cross community, secular and religious – and often misunderstood. Some say it is too right wing, others too left wing and others accuse it of not being relevant. Come and find out for yourself!

The refugee crisis 16 months on – what exactly is happening?
Edie Friedman
MOVED TO SESSION 5, ROOM D16 - see Session 5 for details

Progressions in Feminism in Israel
Or Nehushtan - Room D16
In this session I describe recent changes of the feminist movement in Israel in the past few years, by talking about (1) Prostitution in Israel; (2) Women in the public sphere; and (3) changes through social media.

Zentangle for beginners
Lynne Dover, Kate Lurie - Room D17
Zentangle is souped up doodling and if you like the current complex colouring craze but find it doesn’t quite tick your creative box then Zentangle might be for you. It is a great way to relax, de-stress and pass time and requires little specialist equipment. Great on journeys or if there is a long wait. You don’t have to be particularly artistic to do it. Come along and give it a try...

Cursed Curses: Women, Villains and the Garden of Eden
Barbara Spectre - Room D19
A re-reading of the curse given to Eve in the Garden of Eden. This session presents a very surprising re-reading of Genesis II and III, locating a very sinister but heretofore unsuspected villain. After this study it will be hard to read the story in the “old” way again – the way that was used for centuries as a source of negative attitudes towards women. There is blame to be placed, but not where one would think...

The Zionist movement in Iraq
Mor Sofer - Room D22
Since the Babylon exile, the Jews of Iraq yearned to return to the holy land. For hundreds of years, the Jewish community in Iraq thrived, but in 1941, with Nazi support, a disaster struck the community and brought the Jews of Iraq to fight for their own country in the land of Israel. In this session, Mor will bring evidence and stories about the efforts of the Zionist movement in Iraq, through the personal story of his family.

Losing their religion in Fifty Shades of Grey; scandalous memoirs of the ex-Orthodox
Karen Skinazi - Room D23
In 2014, Tablet Magazine called memoirs of ex-frum writers “New York publishing’s hottest trend.” The genre was full of scandalous stories, as could be seen in the subtitle of Reva Mann’s The Rabbi’s Daughter – “A True Story of Sex, Drugs, and Orthodoxy.” Since then, the publications have continued apace, and most recently the genre has come to include Leah Lax’s memoir, Uncovered, heralded the “first to chronicle the saga of a lesbian . . . in the Chasidic world.” Is each memoir attempting to up the sensationalist ante while further discrediting the (presumably misogynistic, homophobic, restrictive) Haredi world? Or are these memoirs actually teaching readers about the possibilities of reclaiming Judaism for the modern woman?

Writing your first book
Eric Moonman - Room D24
How taxing is getting your first book into print? Analysis and guidance as well as a look at the absurdities of trying to write a winner.

Making Britain Fairer – a personal and professional look at equality in 2016
Rebecca Hilsenrath - Room D25
How fair do you think we really are? Rebecca will outline the operation and functions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and talk about life as its CEO, looking at past and present challenges and discussing in particular and from her own perspective the Commission’s work on race, religion and on gender equality in the workplace.

Lockshen Horror, the session everyone’s talking about
Jackie Lewis, Judi Rose - Donner 1st floor Food Tech Room
For healthy yet mouth-watering recipes, and the latest thinking on healthier eating in the Jewish kitchen, join cookbook author and daughter of Evelyn Rose, Judi Rose, and Whitefield-based GP with a special interest in nutrition and well-being, Dr Jackie Lewis. In this interactive cookery demonstration and Q&A Judi and Jackie will show how to bring a rainbow of super foods into the kosher kitchen with flavour-packed recipes inspired by traditional Jewish and modern Israeli cuisine, while discussing the protective and health-giving properties of the ingredients to help you nosh your way to a healthy and delicious 2017.

Brexit, Trump, Corbyn, Politics in turmoil – What’s going on?
Ivan Lewis - Donner 2nd Floor Common Room
The session is ‘in conversation with’ and will also have Q&A.

The IS/ISIS/Daesh threat
(SESSION on Trump, Israel and the Middle East MOVED to Session 1, 2nd Floor Common Room)
Hagai Segal - Room PAC 1
Hagai, who works with counter-terror agencies and police forces across the globe, will explore the threat posed, to the Middle-East, UK/Europe, and indeed the globe, by IS/ISIS/Daesh. Who are they, what do they want, and what is being done to limit their influence and impact?

When is a Jew not a Jew?
Raphael Zarum - Room PAC 2
What makes you a Jew? Is it family and culture? Nostalgia and inertia? Schooling and education? Observance and commitment? Rabbinic documentation and recognition? Israeli citizenship? A short enigmatic piece of Talmud presents three identifying marks that constitute a Jew, and they are none of the above... We will study this fascinating text and try to get to the heart of Jewish identity. It won’t be easy as, over time, many sociological, survivalist and political agendas have clouded and reframed this vitally important topic. But just ask yourself, what is it that defines your Jewishness more than anything else?

Session 4 - 13:40 - 14:40

WJR – An American Tale: the story of Jews in Eastern Europe from Fievel Mousekevitz to now
Richard Verber - Room D13
Given the huge waves of Jewish emigration from the Former Soviet Union to Europe, America and Israel, why do large numbers of Jews still live in Eastern Europe, with many in poverty? This session will bring these communities to life.

A promised Land: the voices of those who dare to dream
David Finlay - Room D14
In this performance piece David Finlay tells the story of the years leading up to the creation of the state of Israel through the speeches, diaries, and writing of those who were a part of realising this dream. Hear the words and the hopes of Herzl, Weizmann, Ben Gurion, Peres, Rabin and many others as they strove to create a homeland for the Jewish people.

From Lenin to King Arthur: devising a strategy to defeat BDS?
Michael Freeman - Room D15
Many present the BDS movement and those who want to boycott Israel as the greatest threat to Israel. They use the language of human rights and peace, but in reality are committed to the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world. In this session we will examine the organisation, understand the threat it presents and to whom and present a strategy to defeat it.

The Chutzpah of Ritzpah; a biblical woman’s silent vigil
Maureen Kendler - Room D16
How Rizpah, an overlooked, ignored woman from the Book of Samuel, teaches King David how to be a social activist and follow his conscience. Time to spread the news about this unknown role model and inspiration...

All that schmaltz. How eating fat can make you slim, improve your mood and stave off dementia (and wrinkles!)
Suzy Glaskie - Room D17
Dietary fat has suffered a terrible rap over the past few decades, ever since saturated fat was (incorrectly) maligned as the cause of heart disease. Since then, the low fat movement has dominated – and, with it, obesity has rocketed along with Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. But science is finally exonerating fat. After all, it’s not only the thing that makes food taste good and keeps us full, it’s also essential for the health of our brain, hormones, skin, mood – and our whole system. Come and learn fat from fiction and prepare to fall back in love with butter.

Comedy, the overlooked ingredient of Modern Judaism
Ashley Boroda - Room D18
Why are Jews funny? The perceived wisdom is, especially in European Jewry, humour was used as a way of dealing with horrendous situations. This cannot be accurately qualified. What is certain is that Jews have heavily influenced modern comedy, a key ingredient to modern life. Being able to think, write and perform funny is a very useful skill. Time to give it a go!

It ain’t over until the Progressive Lady sings; the Kotel saga and the battle for Israel’s religious pluralism
Graham Carpenter, Giacomo Paoloni - Room D19
An astounding 84% of Knesset Ministers support freedom of religion in Israel, but the battle for Israel’s religious pluralism is intensifying daily. A recent draft bill proposes to ban women from acts like wearing a tallit or blowing the shofar in the entire Western Wall vicinity months after another bill promised greater religious pluralism in the same space. And similar battles are occurring on issues of marriage, divorce, conversion, mikvaot and even extending to women’s place in the public sphere. Who holds the power? And what does the future hold for those who want greater separation of religion and state?

Blessed are you who did not make me a slave
Sam Grant, Benjy Rickman - Room D23
The ‘great human rights issue of our time’ is what Theresa May recently called modern day slavery. Slavery certainly looms large in Jewish text, history and memory. Join us as we examine what forms modern day slavery and human trafficking in 2017. We’ll discuss where slavery exists and uncover its pervasiveness. We’ll also look into our Jewish text for possible responses to the issue. Finally, we’ll look at what the Jewish community can do to tackle this ever growing problem.

Great Cantors of 20th Century Manchester
David Prager - Room D24
During the middle years of the 20th century, Manchester was home to some of the world’s greatest cantors. 1930s appointees included star Russian tenor Misha Alexandrovitch and world famous chazzan Moshe Preis. Hear their remarkable biographies and listen to some rare examples of their beautiful vocal art.

Israeli artists paint Israel
Helena Miller - Room D29
A piece of art tells a story. See Israel through the eyes of artists whose works lets us enter into a world of creativity and interpretation. In this session we will look at works by Guttman, Ticho, Rubin and others to explore ways that Israeli artists have represented Israel and Israelis. No artistic background or expertise necessary to enjoy this session!

Desert Island Discs
Clive Lawton, Laura Janner-Klausner - Donner 2nd Floor Common Room
Laura Janner-Klausner talks to Clive Lawton about the music that would accompany him to his desert island.

The Balance of Health: Physicians, patients and medications from Medieval Cairo
Gabriele Ferrario - Room PAC 1
What was it like to be ill in the Middle Ages? Which drugs would a medieval doctor prescribe? The 300,000 manuscript fragments recovered from the storage room (genizah) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo offer a unique entry into the life and culture of Jewish communities of the medieval Mediterranean world. This session will look at medical books, prescriptions and legal documents from the Genizah to reveal the ways in which health was conserved, restored (and lost!) during the Middle Ages.

My Dear Ones – One family and the Final Solution
Jonathan Wittenberg - Room PAC 2
Jonathan Wittenberg reads from his recent book on the fate of his father’s family during the Holocaust. He reflects on what it means to him to have got to know through their letters relatives he never met and how they met their destiny and why it matters to tell their story. This session is dedicated to the memory of Professor David Cesarani.

Shir Chadash! (A New Song)
Shir Chadash - School Hall
Jewish music can be lively and contemporary – don’t believe us? Come and have a listen. David Hoffman and the Shir Chadash band present a selection of original songs and liturgical tunes, including a taste of the Shir Chadash version of a Friday night service, and songs from their CDs. All welcome!

Session 5 - 15:00 - 16:00

The refugee crisis 16 months on – what exactly is happening?
Edie Friedman - Room D16
It is 16 months since the pictures of toddler Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish Beach, shocked people into taking action to help refugees. What has changed since then and what is happening to refugees today.

2000 Years in 60 Minutes
Dovid Lewis - Room D13
Journey through the first 2000 years of our history. See the entire Book of Bereshis unfold in this bespoke audio visual presentation. Get a bird’s eye view but also swoop in for more details; see the whole picture and understand the context, content and connection. Gain an understanding of where we come from as a Nation and Religion, explore our earliest roots to be able to appreciate our freshest fruits.

Avraham Avinu; sharing a common father
Benjy Rickman, Jamila Kossar - Room D14
Both Jews and Muslims recognise Abraham/Avraham/Ibrahim as a significant figure in the development of their religion. Who is the Avraham of the Bible and the Ibrahim of the Koran. Are the traditions similar? What can we learn from the two faiths? Is this a case of sharing or each going their separate way?

Why should we care about Israel?
Eldan Kaye - Room D15
Why should you care about Israel? Israel has always been at the forefront of our Jewish identity but is it still as relevant to our lives today as it was in the first 6 decades of its existence? Does Israel still need the diaspora or is it a strong successful powerhouse no longer needing our support? In this session we will combine some key facts that will help form a discussion on these crucial topics.

5 Real Issues in England that Judaism needs to address
Ben Samuel - Room D19
What attracted you to Jewish life? One of the best contributions has been the concept of “tikun olam” or making the world a better place. To focus the mind on the narrative of “tikun olam” drawing from Torah sources such as Rabbi Hillel, Schindler’s list, and “I, Daniel Blake”... Learn how 5 projects apply big Jewish values to the ways our everyday lives are touched by (1) racism, (2) Israel, (3) welfare, and (4) climate action. The 5th initiative will be personal stories which I hope some of you will bring along.

Master-stories: The Narratives of Three Cultures
Barbara Spectre - Room D22
Moses, Siddhartha and Oedipus – what the stories of three young lives can reveal to us about our own perspectives on time, self, and purpose. This is study in comparative religions, using cultural heroes as models of differing world-views. This session sharpens the definition of what makes Judaism and Jews different and unique... and why it is sometimes so difficult yet wonderful to be a Jew.

Faith in the face of Abuse
Yehudis Fletcher - Room D23
First person account of being sexually abused and then testifying at two criminal trials.

Speaking Walls; Israeli art of Grafitti
Amir Levi - Room D25
Every city in the world has its own magic: The urban environment, the architecture, its restaurants, cafes, the people, etc. What are we looking at while exploring a new place? What catches our eyes and thoughts? In this session, Amir will try to draw your attention into what became ‘Everyone’s Canvas’ – the street walls. The session will also allow you to experience Graffiti Painting.

Under the uniforms
Mor Sofer - Room D29
Most of the time, the soldiers of the IDF are busy with military tasks and missions. But in their spare time – they maintain a new hobby, gaining internet glory by obtaining dozens of likes, shares and sometimes even protesting on social media – against their own army. In this session Mor will review the most viral posts by soldiers, and will discuss why soldiers are taking to social media, if the soldiers new hobby serves the IDF, and how it is viewed by Israelis.

Middle Eastern Cookery
Nina Mellman - Donner 1st floor Food Tech Room
Middle Eastern Cookery made easy. Tips and advice for successful cooking. Demonstration with Q&A. Book signing with her mother as well.

Torah teachings about dementia
Laura Janner-Klausner - Room PAC 1
One in three people in the UK will develop dementia. Join me in looking at Torah guidance on how to look after those we love the most, or find most challenging in our lives who develop dementia.

Ask the Rabbi
Angela Epstein (c), Chanan Atlas, Fabian Sborovsky, Jonathan Wittenberg - PAC 2
Bringing to life the popular column from the Jewish Chronicle, hear answers from some of our best-loved community rabbis, chaired by Angela Epstein. Don’t forget to bring your questions...

Come and Dance
Debbie Hilton - Activities Room
The session will be a dance class that is open to everyone! Simple accessible movement to music, to lift spirits, work the body and create a sense of unity. We will warm up, learn and practise some simple moves and then perform it!

Session 6 - 16:20 - 17:20

CANCELLED - I was a penis at the Royal Festival Hall
Penelope Solomon

Jonathan Wittenberg - Room D14
We will study and debate texts on the refugee and the stranger from Torah, rabbinic literature and the modern period, leading us to reflect on the current suffering of so many people and what we should and could do to help.

A world where no Jewish LGBT+ person has to chose between their Jewish and LGBT identities: an introduction to Keshet UK
Benjamin Ellis, Neil Levitan - Room D15
Keshet UK works within the Jewish community to create a world where no one has to choose between their LGBT+ and Jewish identities. We work with synagogues (including orthodox, masorti, reform and liberal), schools, youth groups/movements and on university campuses to create Jewish communities where LGBT Jews and their families feel included. In this session we will introduce our current work, and future plans to support the Manchester communities to become more inclusive.

The Greatest Source of Poetry of all time; Marc Chagall and the Bible
Monica Bohm-Duchen - Room D19
Born in 1887 into a poor Hasidic Jewish family living in Vitebsk in the Russian Pale of Settlement, the Old Testament formed an intimate and integral part of artist Marc Chagall’s upbringing. Although he early on ceased to be an observant Jew, its continuing influence on him during a colourful and chequered career that spanned eight decades is borne out not only by his many paintings and prints on Biblical themes (as well as tapestries, mosaics, and images in stained glass, ceramic and stone) but by ample written testimony, poems as well as prose. This illustrated talk will look closely at the nature of that influence.

Supporting Israel in the era of Donald Trump
Hannah Weisfeld - Room D23
President Donald Trump is a controversial figure when it comes to support for Israel. He’s pledged to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move seen to be highly controversial. His nominee for US ambassador to Israel does not believe in a two-state solution, is pro- settlements and thinks it’s possible for Israel to annex large swathes of the West Bank. In this session we will discuss how supporters of Israel who believe in a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can best express their support for Israel in this new era of American leadership.

The deeper meaning of the Shmoneh Esreh
Amir Ellituv - Room D24
We are meant to say the Amidah 3 times a day, often we may just skim read it without understanding or meaning. Rabbi Amir Ellituv wishes to follow on from last year’s session when he covered the first few blessings of the Amidah and after keeping you all in suspense what happens next!! He will conclude the Amidah, sharing with you different hidden patterns and deeper meanings behind each blessing.

Inside Islamic State; the world’s most dangerous terrorist organisation
Daniel J. Levy - Room D25
What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what does it believe? How does it operate, and how much of a danger does it currently pose to the UK? Join this session for an overview of the Islamic State’s origins, ideology and tactics, as well future prospects in the West and Islamic world.

Religious OCD, Off The Derech Syndrome and Same Sex attraction: the challenges facing a psychologist working in the orthodox community
Sandi Mann - Room D29
Being an orthodox Jew can lead to some mental health conditions that those outside the community are unlikely to experience – or understand. For example, obsessive washing of lettuce leaves or Pesach cleaning is no joke, nor is the angst of a parent who wants you to treat their child who refuses to go to shul three times a day. Same sex attraction and other issues of sexual orientation are still regarded as conditions that need psychological intervention to ‘cure’; a view that is anathema to that held by the wider community. These challenges will be outlined sympathetically in this session.

This crazy world we live in
Chanan Atlas - Donner 2nd Floor Common Room
A person who would have left this world 30 years or so ago and come back today, might very well not recognise our society as the same one he had left. So much has changed and in such a short time! The normalisation of homosexuality, assisted euthanasia, late stage abortion – were all unheard of. Gender was then a word referring only to grammar. What was once considered pornography, is today mainstream entertainment. The understanding of sexuality and gender and what constitutes a family – were totally different to today. According to today’s norms – society of only 30 years ago, definitely longer ago – was an immoral society! It was oppressive to minorities and its norms bigoted. On the other hand, today’s society, according to old standards, is an abominated society. Who’s right? Are there any criteria on which one may call to make this judgement? The talk will attempt to give a Jewish answer to these questions.

Just a Minute
John Blaskey (c), Clive Lawton, Angela Epstein, Jonathan Davies, Marilyn Berg - Room PAC 1
Come and join our panel to see who can speak for a minute about your favourite Jewish topics without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Guaranteed to bring the house down...

Why is the Labour party in such a mess over Israel, Jews and Anti-Semitism?
Luke Akehurst - Room PAC 2
Luke Akehurst uses his unique insider knowledge as a former Labour National Executive member and expert on the forces behind anti-Zionism to explain how and why the Labour Party has got into such a dire predicament regarding Israel, Jews and anti-semitism.

Best of Short British Films about Jewish Life
Judith Gordon - School Hall
A funny, engrossing and poignant set of films representing the latest in British Jewish life shown though short films. Including the two 2016 winners of the Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film.