Limmud Shabbat

I hear there is this amazing thing that happens just before the main Festival starts! Can you tell me more?

Of course, we’d be delighted to! Make yourself comfortable and we’ll begin:

Every year, Limmud participants old and new come together for an enriching Shabbat before main Festival kicks off. This year, Shabbat will be bigger and better than ever and will take place from Friday 22nd - Saturday 23rd December.

Shabbat at Limmud Festival is always a more intimate and relaxed affair, and for many it’s a great chance to get settled in, meet people and get familiar with our Festival site before the influx of participants on Sunday.

Sounds fabulous! So what actually happens on Shabbat at Limmud Festival?

All programming on Shabbat will take place inside the Hilton Metropole Hotel, which we have exclusive use of for our stay. From the moment you arrive there’ll be plenty to do, whether you want to go to sessions, get to know the site, find a quiet corner, catch up with friends or make new ones.

For those who want to participate in prayer, there will be prayer services organised by participants from a range of religious denominations spaced through the day - Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday evening and, on Saturday, the Shacharit or morning service, Mincha or afternoon service and Ma’ariv or evening service.

On Friday night, many people engage in a celebration called Oneg Shabbat, meaning the “joy of Shabbat”. There’ll be several options, maybe some singing, there could be some storytelling, almost certainly chatting and quite possibly a Shabbat tipple.

Meals are as important on Shabbat as they always are in Jewish community! Join the whole of the Shabbat Limmud community as we enjoy our wonderful Shabbat meals together.

In fact, you’ll find that Shabbat at Limmud Festival provides many of the rare times for everyone on site to come together to celebrate the amazing community we create.

This year we will be exploring stories through our programme and around the site - we encourage you to share yours, listen to others and connect with people through them.

What about Shabbat Observance?

In the spirit of making everyone feel welcome, we ask that everyone who comes to Limmud Shabbat to observe a halachic Shabbat in public spaces - if you’re unsure at any time of what this means, there will be plenty of volunteers who are more than happy to explain on site.

Please be aware that all bedrooms at the hotel use electronic locks, though we will have provisions in place to ensure that everyone can access their rooms securely throughout Shabbat. Whilst manual locks will not be available, each room will be equipped with a safe to store high value items, and facilities will be available to store larger items safely if necessary.

There will not be an Eruv (ritual boundary) installed outside as all accommodation and programming for Shabbat will be inside the Hilton.

I’d love to come. Can I bring the kids too?

We love welcoming families on Shabbat at Limmud Festival, and we’re very excited to see more young Limmud participants join us this year. We’re making an extra effort to ensure that our main Shabbat events are as accessible and enjoyable as possible for both parents and kids before Young & Teen Limmud and other childcare provisions become available on Sunday afternoon.

Families will also have a separate ‘early bird’ chance to move out of the Shabbat accommodation in the Hilton and into the dedicated families accommodation at the Crowne Plaza, where Yads will be on hand to ensure the change is as easy for you as it can be.

That all sounds great, but I still have questions! Who do I get in touch with?

If you have any questions about Shabbat at Festival, please contact our Shabbat Chairs by clicking here!

Donate your books to the Limmud Festival Shabbat!

Over Shabbat this year on Limmud Festival you will find book corners, mini-libraries if you will, in communal spaces. We are looking for books fact or fiction, of Jewish interest and loosely based around:

1) Journeys/ Identity

2) History and politics

3) Spirituality and Faith

We will have several drop off points for book collection throughout November at the Limmud Office and Alyth Synagogue. See below for more details on drop off instructions and opening times.

We encourage book swapping so please note that we cannot guarantee books you bring will be returned to you. Please only bring books you are happy to pass on to others.

Bring a book, take a book, share a book.

Available drop offs

Tuesday 14th November - 10th December

The Limmud Office: Monday - Thursday: 9.30am - 4.30pm Box labelled Limmud Festival 2017 Book Collection

Alyth Synagogue: Sunday - Thursday: 8am - 9pm Box labelled Limmud Festival 2017 Book Collection

If you’d like to offer a space for collection, or your organisation has books they wish to donate, please contact