Limmud Conference 2015

JDOV - Adina Tal - It's Perfect to be Imperfect

Adina Tal

This talk recounts the story of how Adina came to found the world-renowned Nalaga'at ('Please Touch') Theater Company after accepting an invitation to teach drama to a group of deaf-blind individuals. It changed not only the course of her life but also the lives of the deaf-blind; and it was a transformative experience for the hundreds of thousands in Israel and abroad who saw their performances. It also recounts the story of slowly understanding that only imperfect people can change the world -understanding that the saying "nobody is perfect" is an important truth as we are all imperfect. Her conclusion being: "it's perfect to be imperfect."


JDOV - Don't tell me. Show me.

Sharon Brous

Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR, a thriving Jewish community that stands at the intersection of soulful, inventive spiritual and religious practice and a deep commitment to social justice. Brous has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading rabbis by Newsweek/ The Daily Beast and among the 50 most influential American Jews by the Forward. In 2013 she topped the Daily Beast list, which credited her with reanimating Jewish community and reenergizing prayer at a time of growing disaffection and declining affiliation. In 2013 she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT, and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary. She serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and rabbinic advisory to American Jewish World Service. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three children.


JDOV - I am an Impostor

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University.


JDOV - Pump up the volume

Raymond Simonson

Raymond is CEO of JW3, London’s first Jewish Community Centre, and sits on the advisory boards of various Jewish communal organisations in the UK. He has a BA in Jewish History, an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community & Youth Work, and over 20 years’ experience in informal Jewish education, leadership development and community building. He has always worked cross-communally, and was the first full time Executive Director of Limmud, a former UJIA Director of Informal Jewish Education, and spent a decade serving in the education department of the Jewish Agency for Israel, working with thousands of Jewish educators and youth leaders across the UK. Raymond is the proud author of the chapter “Limmud: A Unique Model of Transformative Jewish Learning” published in the ‘International Handbook of Jewish Education’. He is grateful that his wife and two children are incredibly patient.


JDOV - The Box of Errors

Josh Baum

UK based artist Josh Baum studied and worked in Israel for many years as a Hebrew scribe. A graduate from Central Saint Martins and award winning contemporary sculptor, his work seeks to bring together the worlds of the Hebrew scribe and the fine artist. Looking at themes of listening, transcription, the hidden mechanics of words, poetry and the ancient beauty of the Hebrew alphabet.


JDOV - The Jewish Guide to Plate Spinning

Yonatan Ariel

Jonny Ariel is Executive Director of Makom: The Israel Education Lab of the Jewish Agency. Makom incubates ideas, creates materials and trains leaders to hug and wrestle with Israel and the Jewish People. He has designed and delivered experiential adult education for 30 years, seeking to explore how Jewish ideas and culture can lead to ethical action. He is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Hebrew University. He volunteers on the boards of Hazon and the Weitz Center for Development Studies.


JDOV - Tikkun Olam - The Dark Side

Aron Turest-Swartz

Aron Turest-Swartz is a musician, producer, TV presenter and social entrepreneur from Cape Town, South Africa. In 2002, he started a band called Freshlyground – one of the most successful multicultural bands to come out of post-Apartheid South Africa. Aron was recently appointed as Deputy Director of the United Jewish Campaign in Cape Town, and is passionately committed to creating and sustaining a vibrant and thriving global Jewish community.


JDOV - Yidlife Crisis: the Great Debate

Yidlife Crisis

Nu, so what exactly is a “YidLife Crisis”? Friends and philosophical rivals Jamie “Chaimie” Elman and Eli “Leizer” Batalion, co-creators of the world’s first 18+ (Chai and older) Yiddish web series, discuss age-old issues of religious practice versus cultural identity with some "friendly" disagreements.


JDOV - “For there is me”: The Paradox of Humility

Dyonna Ginsburg

Dyonna Ginsburg is the Executive Director of OLAM, a collaborative venture to promote global Jewish service and international development. Prior to OLAM, Dyonna served as Director of Education and Service Learning at MAKOM / The Jewish Agency; Executive Director of Bema’aglei Tzedek, an Israeli social change NGO; and co-founder of Siach, a global network of Jewish social justice and environmental professionals. She has a BA in international relations from Columbia University and an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University. Originally from New York, she has been proud resident of Jerusalem for the past 13 years.


The wretched, the wicked, the weak - what are the worst portrayals of women in the Bible and can these readings be challenged?

Deborah Kahn-Harris, Jacqueline Nicholls and Toni Rickenback

We all know that women aren't always portrayed in the most positive light in the Bible, but what can we do about it? Join four of the very best female presenters here at Limmud to hear about the very worst presentations of women and femininity, and their views as to what we might do about this today to re-interpret and challenge these readings. Tilla Crowne, Deborah Kahn-Harris, Jacqueline Nicholls, Toni Rickenback, Danya Ruttenberg