From when we founded it in 2008, the national Jewish community embraced the annual Jewish Learning Conference, run by the Zionist Federation of New Zealand. When we started the JLC, we discovered that the community was hungry for more Jewish learning. And each year, we have strived to reach more people and make the conference even bigger and better. In 2010, we joined the international Limmud Federation. For the past 30 years, Limmud has brought Jewish education to communities around the world. Limmud brings together Jews of all strands, stripes and flavours, in an atmosphere of shared passion for and dedication to learning. We’re very proud to be part of the global Limmud community. We’ve got an exciting line-up this year, with presenters from near and far, presenting on a diverse range of scintillating topics. Check our facebook page and this website for frequent updates, photos, presenter bios, and registration details. We’re always looking for volunteers – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
August 2010: “Wherever you are going, Limmud will take you one step further along your Jewish journey”
Adina Halpern, one of the Organising Committee for Limmud NZ, tells us what to expect from the first ever Limmud conference in NZ.
Adina – What is Limmud?
Limmud is a cross-communal ‘festival of learning’ which last year attracted over 25000 participants to its events, held across five continents, in almost forty countries. It started in the UK 30 years ago where the annual five-day event now attracts 2,500 people from across the religious spectrum and boasts 350 presenters offering some 900 sessions. Limmud aims to enable each participant to go one step further on their own Jewish journey. One of the key principles behind what has now become an international cross-communal movement is that we all have something to contribute and can learn from each other. Presenters are treated as part of the community, they are volunteers like those who organise the events and all are rewarded by the opportunity of learning from each other. Becoming Limmud NZ makes us part of an exciting worldwide movement. Limmud has core principles that we feel reflect our community. The catch phrase behind Limmud is “every Jew should be a student and everyone can be a teacher”. This seems very much to capture what our organising committee believes, and we are eager for more local presenters to put themselves forward and to encourage people to volunteer. Even an hour will make a huge difference to the success of the first Limmud conference on 18/19 August. Expanding Jewish horizons, empowering individuals to contribute to their community and enabling connections to be made between individuals and across communities are the values behind Limmud International and behind Limmud NZ. We also love the emphasis on ensuring all participants feel equally respected and comfortable at Limmud, no matter which shul they go to, or don’t go to. All Limmud events will be strictly kosher to enable participants to eat and enjoy together. What has the Limmud NZ August event have to offer the community as a whole? Limmud, of course, means learning and it is about learning but not in a formalised way. The great thing about the format is it is “pick and mix”. Each session runs for an hour, and there are five different streams to choose from.You just pick what you want to go to – discussion of an ethical dilemma with local and international experts, an intimate text study, a film discussion, or sessions relating to parenting issues. If you need a break for a session, grab a coffee and schmooze. The only thing we can’t do for you is arrange for you to be at two sessions at once – although some sessions are repeated.