One week from today, 2,500 British Jews and activists from 40 Limmud communities around the world will converge on the University of Warwick to celebrate Jewish learning at Limmud 2012, known to participants and volunteers alike simply as Conference.
This annual Christmas week event, founded in 1980, will feature over 900 sessions spanning the arts, culture, current events, Torah, philosophy, history and interfaith dialogue, as well as hands-on workshops, and pop up encounters that ignite spontaneously in a round-the-clock learning environment.
Conference – being what it is – continues to innovate, and this year offers dynamic presenters and new formats, including:
- Later…at Limmud – modeled from BBC Two’s Later…with Jools Holland – will bring together top musicians, artists, actors – even a puppeteer – to fashion and discuss a new creation inspired by a Jewish text. One night, reggae performer Matisyahu and fine artist Jacqueline Nicholls, who is behind “Draw Yomi” based on Daf Yomi and has exhibited in New York, London and Israel, will be interviewed by philosopher Sam Lebens. Another night, Y Love, the first African-American Orthodox Jewish hip-hop artist, will share the stage with Robbie Gringras, who has performed his own plays on London’s West End and throughout the world.
- The first Cairo Genizah exhibit to feature new discoveries in medicine and midrash as reflected in the everyday lives of 11th, 12th and 13th century Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, comes from The Interdisciplinary Center for the Broader Application of Genizah Research at the University of Haifa. One medical nugget: Eleventh century prescriptions reveal that sugar was one of the top 10 contemporary medications in Fustat, or Old Cairo. And, fragments of midrash in Arabic attest to better days in the encounter between Judaism and Islam.
- Panels offering new and refreshing perspectives on the complicated relationship between Jews and Christmas.
For those attending, whether for a day or the week, Conference offers something for everyone, regardless of age or mind-set. And for those who wish to partake from afar, eJewish Philanthropy will once again be hosting live-stream sessions direct from the U.K.