Limmud NY’s Annual Festival of Jewish Learning and Culture Evolves to Offer Participants More Choice

Courtesy: Limmud NY

Hundreds of participants of all ages and background are expected at LimmudFest NY 2020, over Presidents Weekend, to celebrate the rich diversity of Jewish culture and learning through text, music, film, performances and more.

Limmud NY’s annual festival, newly rebranded as LimmudFest NY, will be among the first public events to take place on the newly expanded campus of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights. 

The new urban location offers local participants the option of commuting from home or staying at a nearby hotel. For the first time this year, participants will be able to register for one, two, three, or all four days, with at-door ticket sales available on both Sunday and Monday, February 16th and 17th.

“Each year, an increasing number of people asked if they could attend Limmud NY’s residential conference for just a portion of the weekend. The cost and accessibility of a hotel were also a concern for some,” said Board President Rebecca Buzen Coleman.

The new multi-day LimmudFest NY format follows on the success of Limmud NY’s Global Day of Jewish Learning event at the JCC Manhattan last fall. “We are excited to bring together all the best features of Limmud NY’s previous residential conferences in a convenient, urban location,” Coleman added.

The upcoming LimmudFest NY program offers a smorgasbord of over 200 sessions, covering a wide range of Jewish themes, including: 

  • Is There Such a Thing as “Jewish Mindfulness”? – Marcelo Bronstein
  • The Power of One: What Can Jewish Texts Teach Us About Jewish Unity? – Yaffa Epstein
  • Let’s Talk about Reparations, Then and Now – Tamara Fish
  • Bukharian Jews and The Silk Road: What is the Connection? – Manashe Khaimov
  • Sinai to AI: The Implications of Artificial Intelligence for Jewish Law – Daniel Nevins
  • The Challenges of Pluralism and Religious Freedom in Israel – Ariel Picard
  • Childhood Anxiety: A Growing Epidemic – Meredith Englander Polsky
  • Politics from the Pulpit: Moral Imperative or Moral Concern? – Rachel Rosenthal

In addition, LimmudFest will offer special half-day sessions on Monday morning, allowing participants to explore a single topic in-depth or learn a new skill. The diverse offerings range from a Mussar intensive to a Hebrew reading marathon, and a walking tour of the Jewish Upper West Side to a workshop on rethinking Jewish ritual.

Faculty members from the Shalom Hartman Institute, an anchor partner for the event, will be offering several sessions specifically for rabbinical students. Other event partners include 929, Avodah, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Hadar, Hunter Hillel, Minyan M’at, PJ Library, The Covenant Foundation, The Mussar Institute, and The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.

“I love being involved with Limmud because it brings Jews together from across the Jewish spectrum for great Jewish learning,” said Ben Varon, a JTS rabbinical student, who is co-chairing LimmudFest NY with educator Ilana Gatoff. “I am particularly excited about the opportunity to engage fellow rabbinical students with their peers and the broader community,” he added.

Limmud NY is part of the global Limmud movement. Founded in the UK in 1980, 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. There are now Limmuds in over 90 communities across 42 countries, all offering Jewish learning and cultural events organized by local volunteers. 

For further information about LimmudFest NY, or to register, visit