Nearly 2,500 Jews from the United Kingdom, together with Limmud International activists from 20 communities, will “Occupy Limmud” at the University of Warwick during Christmas week, December 25-29, 2011. To capture the excitement of Chanukah, which this year coincides with Christmas, a thousand dreidel enthusiasts are expected to break the world record for simultaneous dreidel spinning. Beyond the first-class cadre of presenters, including Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, Israeli social protest leader Dafni Leef and Turkish Ambassador to the U.K. Unal Cevikoz, Limmud 2011 will see the launch of other firsts:

  • An inclusive pilot project integrating learning disabled presenters and adult participants taking one more step in their Jewish journey in a project initiated by Conference Co-Chair Shoshana Bloom.
  • Experts on alternative education coming to Conference to discover how they can apply this grassroots, DIY learning model outside the Jewish community.
  • TED Talks-inspired J-DOV: Jewish Dreams Observations and Visions (a play on Dov/TED). Immediately prior to Chanukah candle lighting, nine of the most inspiring Limmud presenters will offer “the talk of their life.”

“This year we saw grassroots activists in country after country waking up and demanding a role in determining their own future,” said Limmud Chair Carolyn Bogush. “Limmud is a proven model of a successful grassroots, volunteer-led, cross-communal, multi-generational Jewish model to learn about our past, revel in our present and set the course for our future.”

The program is packed with interfaith dialoguers and Mideast peace process analyzers, world-class Torah and Talmud scholars, renowned authors, artists and musicians, and hands-on workshops, to say nothing of the pop-up encounter sessions that ignite spontaneously in the round-the-clock learning environment.

Conference livestreaming will be available on eJewishPhilanthropy.com; details to follow.

The outstanding success of Limmud in the UK has inspired over 60 communities in 24 countries to run local Limmud gatherings. Limmud International’s credo is “wherever you find yourself, Limmud will take you one step further on your Jewish journey.” It facilitates the establishment of new Limmud communities, provides training, mentoring and support for Limmud groups around the world, and creates a forum for the sharing of ideas and best practices.

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