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Sunday 31 March 2019.
Join us for our second Day Limmud! We were formerly called Limmud Birmingham WM, but we are now excited to have expanded further into the Midlands.
We are now… Limmud Midlands.
Where else can you learn about the parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity, hear an MP and a student activist about antisemitism in the Labour party, eat a meal which could have been eaten by our forebears, find the answer to the question “How Jewish is the Archers?”, discover Litvak fiction from one of the British Council’s 20 best young British novelists, enjoy a concert by Birmingham’s Kol Kinor choir and meet people from the Midlands and beyond you never knew shared your interests.
What can I expect on the day?
Click here to download our full handbook with all need to know information and our final programme. Start planning your day now!
- Registration starts at 9.00 am, with the first session starting at 9:45am. The day will finish at around 6:00pm.
- A choice of 5 sessions in each slot – no need to book, just choose and show up.
- A Kosher lunch, suitable for vegetarians, and all day refreshments
Education Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (First Floor), Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2TH
Please bring ID to show at security for entry to our event.
Adult: £40 per adult
Students: £10 discount on Adult prices with a valid student ID. £30 per student
Still time to sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is open on Sunday morning to sign up on the day.
Nasir is a British born and trained Imam. He has served in Birmingham and Sandwell since 2005. Nasir’s passion, however, is in community activism. In 2009, he helped co-found The Abrahamic Foundation which was set up to be a beacon of 100% Muslim yet 100% British Islam. Session Title: An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi Meet in Shul…
Muhammad Amin Evans
Muhammad has been a Muslim for nearly thirty years and is a graduate of the Al-Mahdi Institute. As Director of Theology to the Association of British Muslims, a member of the Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies, Imam, and teacher he promotes the deeper reading of all textual sources and accepting differences as blessings for humanity that should cause honest conversation. Session Title: An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi Meet in Shul…
Ian Austin has been the MP for Dudley North since 2005. He served as a minister in Gordon Brown’s government from 2008-2010. He is a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel. Ian left the Labour Party in February 2019 because of antisemitism. Session Title: Why I Support Israel but Not the Labour Party: An MP’s Story
Nechama Atlas, of the Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation, is a trained Child Counsellor and has an M.Ed in Tanach. She is Yahel Center trained counsellor, addressing intimacy issues with Orthodox couples. She worked as an Educational Counsellor in Israeli schools and was Rebbetzen at the Port Elizabeth Hebrew Congregation in South Africa and at the Birmingham Central Synagogue. She is a graduate of the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan Programme. Nechama particularly enjoyed the Ma’ayan training which encourages women to take part in the Halachic and learning development within the Orthodox community. Nechama, loves hiking and Torah study, was born and raised in Israel, is married to Chanan and is a mother of five. Session Title: Can Women become Orthodox Rabbis?
Ross Bradshaw has been the publisher at Five Leaves since 1995. Their list includes a number of titles related to secular Jewish culture and history, and the only book published in the UK on Yiddish film and in Ladino! He opened Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham in 2013 and last year Five Leaves won the Independent Bookshop of the Year accolade at the British Book Awards. He has written for Jewish Socialist, Jewish Renaissance and European Judaism, and has presented at Glasgow and Leeds Limmud. Session Title: Jewish Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
Dr. Margaret Brearley studied at Oxford, Cambridge, and Münster, Germany. She has held academic posts at Birmingham University (as Lecturer in German Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature), Selly Oak Centre for Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations and the Institute of Jewish Affairs. She founded and ran the Kinmos Day Centre for mentally ill people in Birmingham and the West Midlands Israel Information Centre. She has lectured and published widely in Britain, Israel, the USA and Europe, and has been consultant to films and TV documentaries, judge of the Times Preacher of the Year Award,a member of WIZO’s National Executive, and full-time Chair of The Compassionate Friends, the national charity supporting bereaved parents. Session Title: Our Unknown Brother: Roma/Gypsies in Europe from 1400 until today
Philip Carmel has held senior positions in major European Jewish organisations for almost 20 years. Born in Manchester, he made Aliyah in 1987. In 2004, he was appointed International Relations Director for the Conference of European Rabbis, based in Brussels, and subsequently worked as Special Advisor on European Affairs for the European Jewish Congress. He is a former co-chair of the Israel Foreign Ministry’s Global Forum on Antisemitism. Philip set up the ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative in 2015 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since its foundation. He currently lives in Birmingham.
Session Title: The Future of Jews in Europe
Henry taught European history at the universities of Glasgow, Leicester and, latterly, Warwick, and researches in German history. He is Vice-President of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, but now lives with family as a member of Alyth Reform in the North London ghetto. Session Title: Two Breslau Jews face the Nazis: Willy and Ernst Cohn
In 2004 Stephan Collishaw was selected as one of the British Council’s 20 best young British novelists. The Guardian wrote that his first novel was ‘Immediately impressive’, while Newsweek called it ‘spectacular’. He has written four novels. Alongside writing and teaching he runs Noir Press, a boutique publishing house dedicated to showcasing fiction in translation from Central and Eastern Europe. Session Title: Litvak Fiction
Dr Ann Conway-Jones is an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham, specialising in early Jewish-Christian relations and biblical interpretation. She has been involved in interfaith dialogue for over thirty years, and is Chair of Birmingham Council of Christians and Jews. Session Title: Sibling Rivalry: Early Jewish-Christian Relations and Their Legacy Today
Angela is a lawyer and mediator who is intrigued by the Bible as a recipe book. Using it as a starting point she has developed a menu which might have sustained our ancestors.
Session Title: Inside the Ancient Hebrew Kitchen. Hints, Tips and Recipes
Jeremy Dronfield is a biographer, historian and novelist. His previous books include Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time. His latest, the Sunday Times bestseller The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, was published in 2019 by Michael Joseph.
Session Title: The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz
David is a writer of songs and performance pieces which bring to life aspects of modern Jewish history. Session Title: How Rich They Are: The Life Story of Yehuda Amichai
Stephen Games is editor and publisher of Booklaunch, the UK’s second biggest literary magazine. A graduate of Central St Martins and Cambridge University, he won a British Press Award for his writings on architecture for the Guardian and made radio programmes about architecture for Radio 3. In his architectural career he worked on the expansion of Southern Tripoli and the maintenance of Blenheim Palace. He has taught at British and American universities, and published extensively. In his spare time he works. He has a daughter who plays ice hockey and a wife who edits for BBC News. Session Title: Jewish Architects after the Bauhaus
Barry is a lifelong member of the Labour Party. He has been a Birmingham City Councillor for Brandwood Ward and held various Party offices including Secretary of a Constituency Labour Party (Selly Oak) and of a Branch Labour Party in Moseley and Kings Heath. He has worked in industry in the UK, Asia and Australia; headed up a University faculty of engineering and computing; and worked in the NHS for 10 years as a non-executive director. Barry is Chair of the Trustees of Birmingham Jewish Community Care and a former Chair of Governors of King David School. Session Title: Mental Health and the Jewish Community
Session Title: Personal Experiences of Antisemitism in the Labour Party
Maya is the deputy director of Yachad. She has previously worked in Parliament for senior Labour MP Ian Austin. Growing up in Israel, Maya served in the IDF for three years as a journalist and presenter in the official forces radio station, broadcast across the country.
Session Title: The attack on Free Speech in Israel
Margaret Jacobi is the rabbi of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue. She studied medicine at the University of Birmingham and was a medical researcher before becoming a rabbi. She bridges the arts and sciences with PhDs in Physiology and Talmud. She has published articles on Jewish medical ethics and has a fascination with Talmudic logic. Session Title: Medicine or Magic? How Do We Decide?
Born in Birmingham in 1937 and educated at Abbotsholme School, Cambridge University and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Anthony qualified as a medical practitioner in 1961.He has been a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists since 1970 and is the author of “My Ancestors were Jewish ”. Anthony is a member of the executive of the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry, a Founder member and Emeritus President Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and a past president of the Jewish Historical Society of England. Corresponding Member for UK Since 1966 he has been corresponding member for the UK of the Australian Jewish Historical Society and was member at large of the Council of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies from 2000 to 2004. Session Title: A Lifetime (Mis?)spent in Searching For Ancestry
One of the founders of Limmud, Clive has just stood down after more than 10 years as its Senior Consultant. He is currently CEO of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, scholar-in-residence at JW3, London’s flagship community centre, of which he was a founding trustee, and is a magistrate on the Bristol Bench. He has published over a dozen books, broadcast widely on BBC radio, founded the field of school-aged Holocaust education in the UK in the 80s, is currently President of Shap, the premier Religious Education lobby group, and has Masters’ degrees in Theatre and Film Studies, Management Science and Hinduism and Islam. His first degree was in Literature and Education. Session Title: The Hidden Dynamics of the Seder
Lior Kaminetsky is the Rabbi of Birmingham Central Synagogue. He has established a Madrasa / Beit Midrash Learning Programme for Abrahamic faith leaders from the West Midlands. The group recently gathered for four intense weekly sessions to learn together as chavruta about the similarities and differences regarding some core theological issues between the three Abrahamic Faiths. Session Title: An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi Meet in Shul…
Anna is a political risk analyst for a London-based boutique consultancy and specialises in the Middle East North Africa region, with a particular focus on Iran. She previously worked as a journalist for a global media organisation, covering political developments in the Middle East. Session Title: Amid Signs of Warming Ties, What Prospects for Israeli-Gulf Relations?
Kol Kinor or Voice of the Lyre took this title on its formation in 1993. A mixed voice, cross community group, they aim to perform Jewish music at the highest standard to a wide range of Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. The choir sings a wide range of Jewish music from synagogue, secular and folk music traditions and always aim to sing in the original language of the song, usually in Hebrew, Yiddish or Ladino. Over the years they have performed in many venues around the country and the USA. Session Title: Community Concert
Together with his wife Brocha, Mendy Lent has co-directed the popular Nottingham Chabad house since 2008. Hundreds of people each year enjoy the warm hospitality and engaging programming and inspiring classes. Mendy previously worked as a researcher and editor at Kol Menachem Publishing House, and as a Jewish educator in Connecticut. Originally from Manchester, he studied at various Yeshivot worldwide and studied for his Semicha in Melbourne. He was also part of a team running Jewish educational and social activities for teenagers in Leeds. His current hobbies include graphic design and looking after his vegetable plot with the help of his children. Session Title: Cardiac Jews
Annette came back to the UK after living in Latina near Rome for 23 years, and discovered that life in Ambridge, Borsetshire, hadn’t changed very much. She is a member of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue where she teaches basic Hebrew. Session Title: Shtetl to Ambridge – Haimishing the Archers
Naomi Paul writes and performs her own work UK-wide. She premiered her debut solo show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. She also headlined a new writing festival for Pulse Ensemble Theatre in New York. She comperes events, performs at spoken word nights, and runs writing workshops. She has recently toured a double bill story-cabaret show Truth and Truffles to rural venues. Her song The Librarian’s Lament was runner-up in the Best Original Song category at the Stratford-upon-Avon Fringe. Naomi has an MA in Creative Writing and is a member of Birmingham-based Big Script. Session Title: Despite Everything, Price Still Includes Biscuits
David Prager was born in Manchester in 1952. A chemist by profession, he retired following a prestigious career in BP Chemicals and its successor companies.
He has studied the recordings, films, music and biographies of the leading cantors of the world. He has analysed the integration of beautiful, emotionally-intense singing with traditional Ashkenazi prayer modes. David is married to Jill and lives in Surbiton.
Session Title: The Almost Lost Tradition of Dazzling Ashkenazi Chazanut with Specific Modes for Defined Seasonal Prayers
Alison is Co-Superintendent of Birmingham Methodist Circuit and Minister of Lozells Methodist Church and Community Centre and Villa Road Methodist Church, Handsworth. Before studying at Queens Ecumenical Foundation College, she worked as a nurse for 30 years. Alison was ordained in 2010 and served in Malvern for 7 years before moving to Handsworth. Her interests include Social Justice issues and community engagement. Session Title: An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi Meet in Shul…
Anna Roiser is the Engagement & Outreach Coordinator at the New Israel Fund (“NIF”). NIF is a partnership of Israelis and supporters of Israel worldwide who are dedicated to a vision of Israel as the Jewish homeland, a thriving democracy, and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours, as enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. We support Israeli organisations promoting democracy, equality and justice for all. Previously a family lawyer, Anna spent seven months in 2017 living in Jerusalem where she discovered her passion for progressive Israeli causes. Session Title: The Attack on Free Speech in Israel
Estelle Rowe studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and came to the West Midlands to work in engineering. After her career break she moved to the charity sector to encourage young people to make well informed decisions about their futures. She ran Young Enterprise in Birmingham and then the Engineering Development Trust. She was appointed MBE for services to education and engineering. Estelle wanted to make a contribution to the local Jewish community so became a Trustee of BJCC and then Director. Her husband’s family connections to Singers Hill go back 5 generations. Session Title: Mental Health and the Jewish Community.
Michael Rowe is well known in the Birmingham Jewish community for his musical performances. He studied chazanut under Cantor Steve Robins and singing under David Wynne of the Birmingham Conservatoire. He regularly performs at events across the city and sings with the Singers Hill Synagogue Choir, regularly performing solos. He is also the first recipient of the Kol Kinor music scholarship. He is a keen piano player and very much enjoys sharing his music with others. Michael is currently studying Political Science at the University of Birmingham where he has also been awarded a music scholarship. Aside from this, Michael Chairs the Birmingham Young Conservatives and is always willing to share his views with others!He can be found on Twitter @MichaelRowe150. Session Title: Community Concert
Naomi is a HCPC registered music therapist who moved back to Birmingham over 3 years ago to pursue her career. She specialises in working with children and young people, those with learning difficulties and the neurodiverse as well as the LGBT+ community, but is open to working with clients of any age and background. Her website is https://www.linkedin.com/in/naomi-rowe-mt/
Naomi is the concert organiser for Limmud Midlands 2019 and will be performing as part of the Kol Kinor choir and as a solo vocalist. Session Title: Community Concert
Ruth was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove in 2015. Ruth was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but was educated in London and Bristol. She graduated with a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Birmingham in 2000. Ruth is a former trade union officer, who has also worked in the private and not for profit sectors. Immediately prior to her election she ran HOPE not hate, the anti-extremism campaign. Since being elected to Parliament Ruth has run campaigns to tackle child poverty and to protect local ceramics jobs in Stoke-on-Trent. She is a member of the Defence Select Committee and a strong advocate of Armed Forces and veteran’s issues. Session Title: Personal Experiences of Antisemitism in the Labour Party
Norman Solomon was born in Cardiff in 1933, and educated there and at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He served as rabbi to Congregations in Manchester, Liverpool and London and in 1983 founded an interfaith institute in Birmingham. Since 1995 he has lived in Oxford, where in addition to teaching at the University he has published many books and articles, including A Very Short Introduction to Judaism, Historical Dictionary of Judaism, The Talmud: A Selection (Penguin Classics), and Torah from Heaven. Session Title: Conversion to Judaism. Why Make It So Difficult?
Dr Len Smith was born and educated in London. He attended the London School of Economics, gaining an MSc degree in Economic History in 1969. He subsequently qualified as a psychiatric social worker, and has worked in mental health services throughout his professional career. He gained his PhD in social history at the University of Birmingham in 1982. He has published several historical books and numerous articles in academic journals. He is currently an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham. Session Title: The Working Lives of Earlier Generations: Jewish Cabinet Makers, 1880-1960
Dr Alan Stanton is a Consultant Community Paediatrician working for UHB NHS Trust. He is a Designated Doctor for BSOL CCG Safeguarding Children, and has held senior honorary academic posts at Warwick, Birmingham and UCL. At the other end of the age range, he is Gabbai at the Andrew Cohen House synagogue. Session Title: Can you beat Judaism into your child?
Carrie Supple, director of Journey to Justice Carrie has 40 years’ experience of working in education and human rights as a teacher and project manager. She set up Youth Act at the Citizenship Foundation which trained intergenerational groups how to campaign and in 2013, working with scores of volunteers, created Journey to Justice. Her website is www.teachingforsolidarity.com. Session Title: The Civil Rights Movement Through the Lens of “Ordinary Heroes”
Gerry is currently Vicar of St Alban’s Church, Chaplain to Ark St Alban’s Academy, and is a member of Highgate Interfaith Forum. Gerry’s first career was in science: using biochemistry to study fossil shells. It was only after 10 years that Gerry felt called to the ministry and started training in a seminary. A scientific, analytical outlook and a passion for human rights has always informed his theological thinking. A desire to learn from other faiths has led Gerry to be involved in interfaith work throughout his ministry. Session Title: An Imam, a Priest and a Rabbi Meet in Shul…
Elazar Symon was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating from high-school, Elazar studied for two years at the Otniel Yeshiva. In 2012 he joined the IDF where he served as a commander. After his army service he completed his rabbinical studies and served as an assistant rabbi in Otniel.
Elazar has been immersed in the pedagogy of Talmud, participating in and establishing diverse learning groups in Jerusalem. At the same time, he is studying for a BA in Philosophy.
Elazar currently works as the Jewish chaplain in Nottingham, and is married to Alissa.
Session Title: Do We Have a Right to Damage Ourselves?
Ella Taylor-Fagan is a recent graduate of the University of Oxford. She was involved in Oxford’s Labour Club in 2016 when issues of antisemitism were brought to the fore. She has written and campaigned for a more transparent system within the party for tackling antisemitism after she felt betrayed by the party’s poor dealings with her complaints. Ella is currently undertaking a law conversion course in London. She remains passionate about activism and edits the journal Zionish and is a member of Yachad Youth. Session Title: Personal Experiences of Antisemitism in the Labour Party
Noru is Jewish by identity, Romanian by birth, Israeli by citizenship and British by current residence. He is a management consultant by occupation and a political commentator by passion. Noru writes for Politically-incorrect Politics, the Times of Israel and Israel National News. He also delivers presentations and participates in debates in front of Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. A former IDF soldier, Noru serves as the UK envoy for the Israeli NGO Reservists On Duty. Session Title: Is Israel “a racist endeavour”?