London, December 28, 2014 – Thousands of Jews from 27 countries are converging at Limmud Conference 2014. Encompassing “Jew Year’s Eve,” the global movement’s flagship learning festival will take place at University of Warwick in Coventry, from today through Thursday, January 1st.
Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, best-selling author and Israeli political analyst Ari Shavit, and Hollywood comedian Avi Liberman will join former Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevich, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky, and Palestinian human rights activists Aziz Abu Sarah and Bassem Eid.
Also among the 514 presenters: Udi Lion, creator of award-winning Israeli TV series Me’orav Yerushalmi (“Jerusalem Brew”) and Avodah Aravit (“Arab Labor”), Jewish-Muslim slam poet team Hannah Halpern and Amina Iro, as well as Caroline Wyatt, BBC religious affairs correspondent, to name but a few.
“Limmud is very much about learning which inspires us to improve the world,” said Limmud Conference Co-Chair Shana Boltin. “That’s why this year, which coincides with Shmita year 5775, Social Action features front and center.
“And, in the best Limmud tradition, we continue to confront the thorniest issues facing Israel and Jews the world over – be it anti-Semitism in Europe, engaging the disengaged or the ongoing impact of last summer’s conflict in Gaza.
“Limmud is also about rejoicing in all things Jewish. Think cooking, comedy, debate, dance, meditation, music. On New Year’s Eve, we’ve got a kaleidoscope of performances, learning, games and dancing on tap.”
Limmud Conference 2014 offers 1,201 sessions, including a beguiling mix of He-brew cocktail workshops, Ethiopian dancing, and an analysis of MAD Magazine as a secular Talmud.
“With up to 30 sessions per time slot, Limmudniks will have ample opportunity to stretch their minds and souls,” added Limmud Conference Co-Chair Jonathan Robinson.
Among the Limmud Conference 2014 highlights:
- The premiere of artist Maciej Hoffman’s “Be Free for Art” exhibition, which explores concepts of freedom and the creative life.
- The Jewish Museum’s “From Ridley Road to Radlett” photo exhibit, created in collaboration with oral historian Alan Dein, portrays the migration of Jews from London’s East End to the suburbs.
- Inspired new presentation formats, like “Chai Powered,” where speakers give a talk based on 18 slides displayed for 18 seconds each; and, “Parpar,” for aspiring storytellers. “Chavruta in the Spotlight,” where handpicked presenters discuss their favorite texts from this year’s Chavruta book, devoted to food.
- “Rainbow Jews,” a unique oral history and archive project featuring the diverse range of Jewish LGBT voices.
“Limmud’s cross-communal, multi-generational, volunteer model continues to draw ever greater numbers of people embracing the opportunity to take the next step on their Jewish journey,” said Limmud Chair Kevin Sefton. “Limmud Conference is the flagship of a global movement. In 2014, 3,000 volunteers in 80 communities spanning six continents drew 28,500 participants in Limmuds from Haifa to Moscow to Uruguay.”
Note: Some Conference sessions will be live-streamed; information can be found here.