150 Limmud Activists Gather for Inaugural “Limmud Connect” Global Volunteer Forum

Jerusalem, May 3, 2018: What’s the best way to build and strengthen the Jewish future? One hundred and fifty Limmud leaders from 50 communities in 25 countries, spanning Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, India, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more – will converge on Israel May 3-6 to anticipate challenges and brainstorm innovations at Limmud Connect, Limmud’s first-ever Global Volunteer Forum.

Limmud Connect is the first gathering of its kind since Limmud was founded 38 years ago. Designed and produced by volunteers for volunteers, participants will explore the Jewish future in a changing world and chart the course for the global network of Jewish learning communities. Israel’s 70th anniversary provides an ideal opportunity to strategize how to strengthen existing communities, recruit and nurture Jewish leaders, expand Jewish learning, arts and culture, promote Jewish diversity, and engage more Jews of all ages.

“At Limmud Connect we will envision and create a vibrant Jewish future that reflects the rich diversity of Jews and Jewishness,” said Limmud Connect Co-Chair David Bilchitz. “How do we continue to ignite curiosity and connect Jews? Our leading activists will engage in intense deliberations over where the Jewish people are headed and Limmud’s role in improving the Jewish world everywhere.”

Every volunteer at Limmud Connect is a pillar of their local Limmud. The Global Volunteer Forum recognizes their commitment and creativity. And, it represents a significant investment to take Limmud and all Jewish communities to the next level of involvement.

“Limmud Connect is one of many new strategic initiatives we are developing to reach more volunteers, participants and partners,” said Limmud Chief Executive Eli Ovits. “Heartfelt thanks to the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, ROI Community, the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, the Pincus Fund for Jewish Education, Beit Hatfutsot, UIA Canada, the Nadav Fund and Limmud Tel Aviv for their partnership and support.”

Participants will hear from thought leaders on leadership and innovation. Among them:

  • Futurist Roi Tzezana on harnessing technology for the Jewish future;
  • Demographer Sergio Della Pergola on population trends.
  • Jewish Agency for Israel’s Global Leadership Institute Director Sarah Mali on adaptive leadership;
  • JDC-Ashalim Director of Knowledge Development Liora Arnon, Midburn and JAFI Project Ten social entrepreneurs on empowering volunteers and volunteerism;
  • International Director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning Morey Schwartz and Pardes master educator Nechama Goldman Barash on future trends in adult Jewish learning.

“I’m excited to be in Israel setting out ways to scale Limmud’s success and reach countless more,” said Abigail Jacobi, 26, who co-chaired Limmud Festival 2017, the annual flagship gathering for 2,600 in the UK. “It’s inspiring to meet and learn with and from Limmud activists and role models who are impacting upon their cities and countries. This global volunteer forum and the ones to come will help develop a vibrant Jewish future where Limmud is a significant player.”

From Maaleh Hahamisha, the Limmud Connect participants will explore Jerusalem and the Judean Hills, and close their deliberations at Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People in Ramat Aviv. The global forum includes representatives from Limmud communities across Israel: Limmud Arava, Limmud Galil, Limmud Haifa, Limmud Jerusalem, Limmud Modiin, Limmud Tel Aviv, and Limmud Yerucham.

“Limmud aims to enable every participant to take one step further on his or her Jewish journey – no matter their age, gender, level of Jewish knowledge or commitment to Jewish life,” said Limmud Connect Co-Chair Nadia Lipsey. “In 1980, 75 Jewish educators took part in the first Limmud Conference. In 2017, 40,000 people participated in a Limmud gathering. At this gathering, we are setting the course to involve thousands more Jews in the coming years.”