Limmud in the Woods 2016 Programme

(Draft Programme subject to additions and amendments)

The Limmud in the Woods programme is a magical mixture of programmed sessions and presenters, and spontaneous discussions, workshops and creative engagement that emerges from the diverse community we bring together over the Bank Holiday weekend. New sessions may be added at any time – including at Woods itself – so this selection is here to give you a sense of what you will experience at Woods 2016.

Download and print our Programme

Thursday 25 August

Debbie Young-Somers

Immersive Immersion We are all equally impure, and the Mikveh isn't going to fix that. So what is it for? How can we engage with it more meaningfully and widely regardless of gender?

Gabriela Pomeroy

Alephs in the Woods For kids and parents, let's make big Alefs out of cardboard and decorate them with paint, collage, material, patterns & anything you can forage. We'll hang them from the branches of the Enchanted Alef Tree.

Jess Gold and Rosalyn Miller in Harmony

Jess Gold and Rosalyn Miller perform together for the first time, Jewish music they love and you will love too.

Elya Steinberg

Are you touched by the Holocaust? Transgenerational Trauma and its Transmission This workshop offers a space in which to explore, share and reflect upon our experiences of transgenerational & intragenerational trauma.

Karen Orange

Board gaming for fun Come and relax with some board, card and other games. Do bring your own if you have one with you.

Joseph Symons-Smyth

Jewish text study in chavruta style

LITW outdoors specialists

Collecting Firewood with Julian Off to collect firewood, with LITW's residential outdoors expert

Rosalyn Miller

"Casual Fling" Come hear singer-songwriter Rosalyn Miller present a short set of comedy and pop songs on piano and ukulele including a few from her new musical- "Casual Fling."

Angela Gluck

“If you prick us, do we not bleed?” portrayals of the iconic Shylock in film Shakespeare’s 400th, Venice Ghetto’s 500th... a perfect time to focus on ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and ask whether Shakespeare’s Shylock is a positive representation of the Jew.

Dan Mackenzie & Jonathan Hunter

An introduction to Modern Jive Come and experience the fun of learning to dance without the complications and difficulties of learning the footwork :p Modern jive is a fun, relaxed partner dance that is very easy to learn. Beginners welcome.

Seth Breitman: Mountain Spring Music

Things That Come From the Heart, Enter the Heart This is one man’s funny, heart-breaking, very messy and epic search for and discovery of meaning in his life. The story will be punctuated with songs written over the last 20 years of his journey.

Acoustic Café Team

Open Mic Night A night for open mic music, poetry, whatever you feel like expressing (double session)

Layla Tov team

Join our lovely Layla Tov team with PJ Library for a beautiful bedtime session in the Young Woods area

Friday 26 August

Paul Silk

Stand up and be counted Qi Gung aka 'standing for health' benefits the joints and cardiovascular system with slow, gentle movements and calms the mind due to its meditative focus.

Naomi Webber

V'yarutz vayomer Fancy stretching your legs and enjoying more of the countryside? Come for a run and chat.

Jemma Jacobs

Yom Kippur, broiguses, Karma and Hawaii Kabbalah reminds us, we are not our stories, we are the storyteller. Discover the history of and practice an extraordinary Hawaiian forgiveness meditation with breath-work, to transform your Yom Kippur experience.

Joseph Symons-Smyth

Tzitzit What are tzitzit, why do (or don't) we wear them, and how do you make them? While practising the "how", we'll talk about the "what" and "why".

Navleen Kaur, Harnoor Kaur, Kamal Singh

Taking a magical journey into healing through sacred chants and stories. Our music and stories will create a mesmerising environment and hold a sacred safe space for people to search within for creativity and wisdom.

Nicky Spencer-Hutchings

Reflexology informed relaxation technique to promote emotional wellbeing in children Learn a taster of functional reflex therapy to practice on your child's hands.

Or Erlich

AbraCadabra - "I create as I speak." We will gather together, trying to take off the familiar and known, free our body & mind and explore Movement, Connection and Creation.

Debbie Young-Somers

Jews in Tents Camping is a long and honourable Jewish tradition. What can Torah and the Rabbis add to our woods values and experience?

Leon Pein

Why does Kosher meat cost much more than conventional meat? Everything you did (and didn't!) want to know about the production of kosher meat and poultry, from a layman. Warning: some previous attendees have turned vegetarian ;)

Mountain Spring Music

Come Write a Song in an Hour with Us! We’ll write lyrics, make a beat, a melody, harmony, and a sing-a-long chorus. This is going to be a blast!!!

Rachel Rose Reid

Altars, Ritual, Embodiment, Earth Some Jews yearn for an embodied, authentic spirituality that some dismiss as 'pagan' or 'hippy.' However, Judaism has deep roots in this direction. Renewal of this knowledge is spreading. Learn, sing, and take some ideas home with you.

Adele Silk

What is Montessori? Find out some background to Maria Montessori and her educational philosophy, and try for yourself the process of 'control of error' in Montessori materials.

Anna Lawton

"Boys" and "girls" - how do classical Jewish texts cope with a challenge to the binary Classical Jewish thought loves binaries. 'Male' or 'female' was always an important binary, and yet traditional Jewish texts recognised that it was a complicated topic 2,000 years ago. We will explore and discuss these texts and their relevance to Halacha today.

David Hoffman

Jam in the Woods Live music work out for any budding instrumentalists or singers; new tunes and classics; or just come and listen.

Elya Steinberg

“All grown-ups were once children – although few of them remember it.” (The Little Prince, Antonie de Saint-Exupéry) Our childhood experiences have influenced us in determining our identities on all levels. We will explore how this process occurs according to neuroscience, medicine and biodynamic psychology.

Jonathan Schick

A photographic amble If a Limmudnik takes photographs in the woods but nobody sees, did it really happen? Bring a camera (or your phone) for a wander and let's find out

Jumana Moon & Debbie Young-Somers

Friendships and fault lines: a look at interfaith in today's world We will look at some contemporary interfaith projects, exploring the ethos of the groups involved, the rewards and come of the challenges.

Leon Pein

Why is Kosher slaughter more ethical, less cruel & less stressful than conventional slaughter Find out why Kosher slaughter, despite being thousands of years old, is arguably more ethical, less cruel & less stressful than conventional slaughter

Nechama Goldman Barash

Rupture, Reconciliation and Falling off a Roof: How Not to Say I'm Sorry Talmud Stories of Rupture and Reconciliation. The Talmud is filled with familiar stories about insult to pride and injury to heart, which we will use to talk about mindful reconciliation.

Stav Cohen & Siv Anderson Enchanted Adventure In this workshop we will play magical games, hear enchanted stories, delve into secret gardens in our soul, and create harmony through music.

Sara Joy Leviten

Assessing housing needs for 21-35 year olds Do you rent in London and think you'll never afford a place of your own? We are currently assessing the real needs and what you have to say is extremely important.

Katie Shaw & Tommy Molotov

Interconnected: Man vs Nature What does it mean to be human, how do we depict the relationship between us and our environment? We will look at how elements of nature and our ecosystems are deeply interconnected

David Hoffman & Judith Silver

Shir Chadash (A New Song) Come learn some lively and contemporary Jewish music including Shabbat tunes for use in services. Play, sing or just listen.

Debbie Young-Somers

Kuddle Up Shabbat Come sing, dance and celebrate Shabbat with someone you really love to cuddle! Ideal for 5's and under but all are welcome!

Genevieve Passamonte

Working with nature and artistic expression. A brief introduction into the relationship between Jewish identity and nature and opportunity for discussion. No experience necessary but be prepared to get your hands dirty and touch the earth.

Jumana Moon

The eggshell boat and other Muslim stories from around the world Jumana will tell a selection of stories from Muslim folklore - come and find the threads and themes that run through both our traditions!

Izzy Posen

From Chareidism to Judaism; how I abandoned God and discovered my people Having been raised to believe that Judaism meant a life of dedication to technical minutiae and unquestionable obedience to texts, Izzy Posen had to rediscover his Jewish identity.

Jason Demant

Men's Group Back for a fourth year! We will share ideas about what it means to be a man, and a Jewish man in today’s world. This is a confidential space to consider where you are and where you wish to be.

Rachel Rose Reid

Sing the Night In / Songs and Silence to Welcome Shabbat A joyful, relaxing way to let go of the past week, and bring in a day of rest. A Renewal-inspired hour of songs, poetry, chants and moments of meditation.

Angela Gluck, Helena Miller, Clive Lawton, Mountain Spring Music

What should Jews be offering to the world in the 21st Century? (Should we be offering anything at all?)

Saturday 27 August

Karen Orange & David Hoffman

Jewish board games for Shabbat Join us for some Shabbat afternoon board games, including Prophet Top Trumps, Yeshivah Bocher (the game of Pirkei Avot and much more) and even Limmud - the Board game!

Paul Silk

Shake it up baby This is an interactive, inter-generational games session. It will involve foolishness, moving in new and interesting ways, cooperation, competition and foolishness. Kids are responsible for parents at all times.

Rachel Rose Reid

Charms, Amulets & Soul Candles Salt healing rituals? Candlewick grave-encircling? Bowls to bury demons beneath your house? Some Jewish rituals just didn't make the cut for the siddur.

Angela Gluck

Wisdom of the Week—an exploration of the Torah portion, Eikev What does it mean to love God with all our heart and also to circumcise—yes, really!—our hearts? And how would we do that?

Elya Steinberg, Zoe Jacobs, Michael, Nechama Goldman Barash

Teaching challenging Jewish issues to future generations

Elya Steinberg

The Use of Martial Arts as Transformative Tools in Body Psychotherapy This experiential workshop immerses participants in martial arts activities to repair their capacity towards empowering and embodied forms of self-expression and social decision-making.

Gary Somers Eruv: mixing it up Come & explore the concept of the Eruv, its importance, function and meaning.

Judith Silver

Companion Voices: singing for the end of life Companion Voices are singers who can be called to the bedside of people who are dying. Come if this speaks (or sings) to you!

Steve Miller

Responsibility - to the world, the Jewish people, family & community, self & God Using a Limmud study anthology we will study traditional Jewish sources in pairs and small groups. No Hebrew required.

Helena Miller

Jewish Lives: a study of 1000 children from age 11 and their parents: five years on This unique longitudinal study is following 1000 children to observe how their Jewish Lives develop over time. Learn about how and why we are doing this study and hear some of our fascinating results so far.

Naomi Webber

Chareidi schools and children's rights A school that provides no secular education. Is this a breach of children’s rights?

Nechama Goldman Barash

Permitted but Prohibited: A Look at Women's Role in Contemporary Jewish Practice We will explore the rabbinic and Jewish legal approach to women, dating back 2000 years. While many things may be technically permitted, society and community play a tremendous role.

Katie Shaw & Siv Anderson

Sharing circle: A safe happy space We will create a safe, non-judgmental bubble in which to explore and practice the art of listening as well as talking from the heart, rather than the mind.

Harry Marin

Simply Singing at Sunset on Shabbat Bidding farewell to Shabbat, sitting and singing, where there is no talking but simply delving into the melodies. Many of the tunes will be wordless "niggunim" and songsheets will be provided for the songs.

Michael Picardie

Practical Kabbalah meditation techniques Prayer is seen as guided visualisation of sacred myth whilst in a mild trance state which is produced by controlled breathing and yogic posture and psychoanalytic theorisation of the self in social interaction.

George and Matt Halfin

Learning To Live From Your Heart and Not Your Head During this session we will explore what becomes possible when we start to feel rather than think our way through life.

Siv Anderson & Stav Cohen

Realizing your dream Do you have a dream that you haven’t followed with a list of 10 reasons why not? If so, then this is a session you want to go to!

Judith Silver

Sing, sing together... A family sing-song. Influenced by childhood years of singing on long car journeys, Judith offers an opportunity to share the joys of intergenerational singing...

Rachel Rose Reid

Maariv Medicine Walk The light is changing, the darkness descending. What are you wondering about at the moment? In life, or just this evening? Will you find answers on our walk?

Zoe Jacobs

Ceilidh! Gay gordons, flying Scotsman, military twostep...and many many many more! Old favourites and new dances to try!

Guest DJs

Silent Disco Grab your headphones and dance the night away

Sunday 28 August

Paul Silk Stand up and be counted Qi Gung aka 'standing for health' benefits the joints and cardiovascular system with slow, gentle movements and calms the mind due to its meditative focus.

Naomi Webber

V'yarutz vayomer Fancy stretching your legs and enjoying more of the countryside? Come for a run and chat. Depending on ability we will run for 30min - 1 hour.

Helena Miller

Israeli artists paint Israel 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. We will explore ways that Israeli artists have represented Israel and Israelis

Jason Demant

Suffering and/or Silence Using (translated) classical texts, we will look at some classic and not so classic approaches to the experience of human suffering, and explore examples of human and Divine silence in Jewish texts.

Max Kohanzad

Happy Is The New Rich There's real science about "Happiness" which includes gut bacteria, nutrition, exercise, emotional healing, mental resilience, purpose and self-realization.

Navleen Kaur & Harnoor Kaur

Yoga and mindfulness Learning to awaken our inner silence.

Harry Marin & Gary Somers

"Machloket Matters": Argument speed-dating Have strong opinions on Israel-Palestine, Judaism and/or Politics? We'll pair you up for short debates. The ability to listen and consider other perspectives is essential.

Judith Devons & Eva Frojmovic

Screen printing your own Judaica papercuts Make your own Judaica paper cuts to screen-print colourful designs on paper or fabric.

Lilac Sheer

Group Guided Meditation The sessions may be held while sitting or lying down, incorporating breathing exercises or movement, while being closely or loosely guided.

Michie Yana-Berger

The Mother of Abraham: a little-known story of the first Jewish Mother For a religion that values families and emphasises genealogy, we know very little about the mother of Abraham, the first Jew. This session looks at traditional texts and popular culture.

Tommy Molotov, Seth Breitman & Mountain Spring Music

How to Make the Stars Align We are a product of billions of years of development. If we can balance all of those natural forces in us, the natural world outside of us will come into balance.

David Hoffman

Volunteering for Limmud - everything you wanted to know but didn't know who to ask Learn about the Limmud community's ideas and plans, share your ideas for what Limmud should be doing and how best to do it and volunteer to make it happen!

George and Matt Halfin

Finding the reset button Woodland walk to explore why being surrounded by nature often makes us feel calmer & have more perspective how to bring that experience into our everyday lives

Angela Gluck

Written All Over Our History: the refugee experience for Jews and others Jewish tradition says much about the nature of migration and asylum. Using traditional and modern texts and images, we’ll explore what this means today.

Marcus Dysch, Michael Rubin, Shira Solomons

Populism, demonstrations, and anger: what's happened to British politics? Political debate - such as on the EU vote, US elections, or Labour Party infighting- seem to have become more fraught recently. Has populism and anger increased in politics? And, can we go back to a more-tolerant political discourse?

Elya Steinberg

"It was the first time she had noticed that the walls of my room are pink”: Perceived Stress and Biodynamic Psychology Stress and anxiety exist not only in our minds but also in our bodies. In biodynamic psychology we work with our bodies, minds, energy and spirit to support our well-being.

Max Kohanzad

Connecting In The Woods Reb Nachman of Breslov was a wild Chassidic Master who encouraged his disciples to go out into Nature and talk to Hashem every day.

Zvi Solomons

Building Community, sustaining Jewish Resilience outside the centre: How to be Jewish anywhere For the last 40 years, there has been a drift to London and Aliyah, depleting Jewish life outside the metropolis. How can you make living outside the Centre work for you and your children?

Elena Markham

The bard in the Woods In honour of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death we will explore what Shakespeare had to offer the modern day Limmudnik.

Kalela Lancaster

Beyond Tribes: Towards a Mosaic of Israeli Society “Israel’s tribal schisms are threatening to tear it apart”, President Rubi Rivlin, 2015. What is the cause and extent of this crisis, and what is being done to advance social cohesion in Israel?

Michael Green

Foraging, wild food and Jews Introduction to foraging, including identifying popular edible wild plants and fungi, plus a wild food tour of the woods.

Nechama Goldman Barash

Sexuality and Sanctity: Is It Possible Today? Judaism has always had a progressive attitude towards sexuality. We will use rabbinic texts to examine contemporary sexual experience and see whether Jewish values can help us reframe some of the challenges face today.

Will Schreiber

Our food system: a health check An interactive introduction from farm to fork on understanding the current and future trends of what and how we eat.

Eva Frojmovic

My private (Jewish) museum - talking about objects that hold identity and memory Jews are often called "People of the Book". What about objects that anchor our sense of being Jewish, that help us remember or be remembered by?

Jewish Vegetarian Society; Luke Berman

Everything you ever wanted to know about veganism, but were too shy to ask There is a growing consensus that a vegan diet is consistent with the highest ideals in Judaism. Come along with any questions you have, plus a chance to try some vegan food.

Labour Friends of Israel/Michael Rubin

The Left and Israel: Where Next? With the recent rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on the left, how do we make the progressive case for Israel?

Lilac Sheer

A Different Country Lilac sings of her experiences of the world through the eyes of a girl who grew up in a religious home, served in the army, lived on different continents and wrote music intensively throughout.

Michie Yana-Berger

Her Royal Majesties: Jewish queens through history Although Jewish queens are mostly royal spouses, a number of them ruled on their own rights. They range from cruel tyrants, benevolent rulers, victims of family feuds, to warrior queens. Come learn about their fascinating stories.

Steve Miller

Backwoods cooking - cooking over a fire with no or very few utensils A survival skill or just for fun - we will learn about the best cooking fires, and cook up a couple of tasty dishes,

LITW outdoors specialists

Collecting Firewood with Julian Off to collect firewood, with LITW's residential outdoors expert

Jen Charlton Live

Jen Charlton performs a mixture of upbeat numbers – and more introspective tracks that accentuate her warm vocals and sonorous piano. Originals and covers; English and Hebrew

Kalela Lancaster

Israel's Democracy in Crisis? Growing legislative and public pressures are clamping down on critical voices in Israel. Should we be worried about the state of Israel's democracy?

Steve Miller

...teach a man to fish and you feed him for life'; why this cute saying isn't really the answer for global poverty relief We will apply some critical analysis and think about how and what we really want to achieve in global development.

Mountain Spring Music

Make a Joyful Sound A celebration. A coming together. An interactive concert experience of singing, learning and feeling. Incorporating ancient songs and brand new songs written at LITW.

Rachel Rose Reid

Jewish Dream Divination "Dreams are 1/60 prophecy" (Talmud); "There cannot be a dream without some nonsense" (also Talmud) Share your dreams and learn about Jewish dream practices & customs.

Georg and Nikki

Layla Tov Join our lovely Layla Tov team with PJ Library for a beautiful bedtime session in the Young Woods area

Guest DJs

Silent Disco Grab your headphones and dance the night away

Monday 29 August

Elya Steinberg

Managing Stress and Anxiety through Qigong and Tai Chi Exercises In this talk/workshop we will discuss the research being done in the field and experience some Qigong and Tai Chi first-hand.

Jason Demant

Mindful, Meditative Judaism In this meditation session we will explore Creation, Self Creation and Breath, using the Biblical creation story and its rabbinic commentaries. New and experienced meditators all welcome

Jemma Jacobs

Divine Kabbalah Dance (in the Woods/with Trees) Epigenetics shows we hold ancestral energy in our cells. Honour your ancestors, grandmothers and mothers through dance in the trees.

Paul Silk

A Jew and a Taoist walk into a bar Is Buddhism a cold-hearted faith? Are Taoists inherently untrustworthy? Is Confucianism more preoccupied with status, or Judaism? Come and take part in a textual-based discussion.

Jen Charlton

Jewish Songwriters and Composers: A few of my favourites An interesting romp through some favourite Jewish songwriters and composers

Max Kohanzad

Hacking The Matrix Sci-Fi, Kabbalah Mashup. The Universe is a self-aware supercomputer, reality is virtual, we're avatar programmers and the Torah is code.

Katie Shaw

Community: A think tank This is a session for anybody for whom the word "community" touches you for whatever reason – let’s take a relaxed walk in the woods, share stories and talk about what this word means for us personally.

Dan Jacobs, Leon Pein, Will Schreiber, Jess Gold

What would a Jewish UK climate movement look like?

Jess Gold

Jess Gold's Famous Family Show Expect some old favourites, a couple of new creations and performances from Young Woods as well.

Leon Pein

2nd Annual Hasbara Workshop - How to Counter anti-Israel bias Bring along all your questions / complaints about Israel, that you have trouble countering. Together, we will "crowdsource" responses for you to use.