Lynn Schusterman: Unintimidated Philanthropist

by Eetta Prince-Gibson The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF), chaired by Lynn Schusterman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a primary supporter of Bat Kol, the Israeli organization for religious lesbians. CLSFF is one of the largest Jewish-centric philanthropic foundations and donates, according to most estimates, some $70 million annually to a wide range of primarily, but not solely, Jewish projects. Bat Kol is part of ROI, one of CLSFF's flagship projects, which, according to its publications, "aims to support young leaders worldwide who are making Jewish life more exciting and accessible." In and extensive and telephone interview with The Jerusalem Report, Schusterman, 70, discusses her support for ROI, her engagement with the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) … [Read more...]

The Power of An Idea; The Power of Limmud New York

Limmud New York, the first child of Limmud International, recently concluded their 6th annual conference. Launched in 2005 by six volunteers, and assistance from UJA Federation of New York, The Picower Foundation and Bikkurim, last weekend's conference featured over 300 sessions for the 700 participants along with heat! With attendees from three weeks to 97 years old, there was programming for all. 100 kids and teenagers participated in a winter camp and a vibrant group of college students helped keep the tempo high. Here's a sampling of what's being said: Tamar Fox writing in Limmud NY 2010: The Quintessential Limmud Experience The thing I always love about Limmud is the sheer number of times every day that my world is completely rocked by brilliance. In any … [Read more...]

Limmud’s Global Chavruta Project


Combine globalization and technology and what do you get? Limmud Conference’s first worldwide, 100% virtual team! The Co-Chairs of Limmud’s 2009 Chavruta Project span four continents across fourteen time zones - from New York to Sydney who joined together for a unique collaboration to create Jewish learning that transcended boundaries. The Chavruta project was conceived by Limmud in the UK 13 years ago and has since been exported to Jewish communities around the world. For those unfamiliar, chavruta means 'friendship' or 'partnership.' It is a form of traditional Jewish learning involving pairs of people, usually with similar levels of ability and knowledge, exploring texts together. At Limmud, these can range from ancient materials to modern scholarship, song lyrics and more. Everyone is … [Read more...]

The Phenomenon Called Limmud


55,000 meals served; 900 sessions; 320 presenters, a 380 page program book and 2500 participants from 40 countries. Those attending ranged from eight weeks to 90 years; 1000 were first-timers and 300 were between 5 and 18. Such were some of the stats from last month's LimmudUK. Known simply as "Conference" this annual independent event is, in the words of Sir Jonathan Sacks, "British Jewry's greatest export." Held in the week between Christmas and New Year's, this year's Conference was the biggest ever. Bringing together religious and secular, affiliated and not, traditional and alternative to celebrate, to create and to provide a catalyst for individuals to further their own Jewish learning in an inclusive atmosphere. Conference took place on the campus of the University of Warwick in the … [Read more...]

Limmud UK: The Mother of All Conferences


by Adam Rattner Some 2,000 people checked into the halls of residence at Warwick University, West Midlands, yesterday morning, joining the 500 participants who had already spent the Christmas weekend away from festivities and in a Shabbat atmosphere instead. Long unsure about what to do with themselves as the rest the country celebrates Christmas, Britain's Jews have found an unlikely answer - go to university for a week. The Limmud conference, the world's biggest Jewish educational get-together, offers the chance to sleep in university dorms and spend the day in lecture theaters listening to academics, rabbis and lay people presenting on just about every Jewish topic conceivable. Participants were still arriving on Sunday, weather conditions permitting, from all over the world. Since its … [Read more...]

Why Should We Care?

PT9 cover

Over the past year or so, we've often written about the projects and the people, connected to the PresenTense network. Most of the stories have centered around their flagship fellowship program that takes place here in Jerusalem each summer. However, before there was a summer institute, there was PresenTense Magazine. Like eJewish Philanthropy, the magazine is as an all volunteer effort; and one that "provides a nurturing environment where Jewish youth are able to explore and enrich their Jewish identity within a pioneering framework." Their most recent issue deals with Philanthropy; currently at the printers it will be available shortly. Some of the questions the issue addresses are: what is the point of volunteering for non-Jews? Is the Jewish Philanthropic establishment relevant anymore? What … [Read more...]

In Israel for Sukkot? Come Join in The Future of the Jewish People


Visit the PresenTense Open House to experience first hand the future of Israel and meet the social entrepreneurs who are lunching and managing ventures that take on social challenges facing Israel and the Jewish People. Located in the heart of the German Colony, PresenTense's Hub offers workspace, a conference room, conversation clusters and an environment that is both inspiring and animating. Come hear about PresenTense's range of activities, speakers and events - and how you can contribute to the future, wherever you are. Open House: October 5th; 10 am- 12 noon Emek Refaim 64, Jerusalem … [Read more...]

From WestHampton, New York to Russia’s Far East, Limmud FSU Makes Inroads


Seven time-zones from Moscow, about as far east as one can travel in Russia, lies the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, or Region. Established in 1934 “for the Jewish population of the Soviet Union to receive a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage within a socialist framework” this out-of-the-way region is today largely forgotten by world Jewry. But here, last week over 300 [mostly] young Russian Jews gathered in the capital city of Birobidzhan for four days of seminars, workshops, entertainment and just plain fun at the first ever Limmud in Russia’s Far East. Planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Oblast’s founding, the attendees were provided a window not only to their own heritage but an opportunity to connect to the global Jewish community. Taking … [Read more...]