It’s been a long time coming, but Limmud, the global Jewish learning movement, will hold its first big bash ever in Tel Aviv this week. More than 120 sessions are scheduled for the two-day event that opens Thursday morning and will be held at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Ruth Daniel Residence in Jaffa.
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Since it was founded in England 35 years ago, Limmud has spread far and wide, sponsoring events in 80 diverse communities located in 40 countries around the world, including Israel. But thus far, it has somehow managed to bypass the first modern Hebrew city.
According to local organizers, “hundreds” of participants have registered to participate in Limmud TLV, though barely a handful among them from outside the country. Presenters include Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein; Natalie Marcus and Asaf Beiser, the creators and chief writers of the popular TV satire “Hayehudim Ba’im” (The Jews are Coming); Mishy Harman and Yochai Maital, the creators and anchors of the popular “Israel Story” radio series, inspired by NPR’s “This American Life”; and choreographer Renana Raz.
“Our goal is to bring the Limmud experience to Tel Aviv’s secular, high tech, entrepreneurial, cosmopolitan crowd,” said Tal Grunspan, founder and chair of Limmud TLV. “ It is an important addition to the city’s rich cultural scene.”
Organized by a team of young volunteers, Limmud TLV will offer sessions in both Hebrew and English ranging from “Tel Aviv - the Holy City” and “Is James Bond Jewish?” to “50 Shades of Shavuot”; “Queering Judaism: Redefining Judaism as a Culture of Inclusion”; and, “Is Jewishness an Eating Disorder?” A Tel Aviv vampire expert will explore the origins of the Jewish vampire and photography aficionados will be offered an outdoor session titled “Jaffa through the Camera Lens.”
Over the past year, Limmud has sponsored other inaugural events in Italy, Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Denmark and Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Limmud FSU, which caters specifically to Russian-speakers, held first-time events this year in Canada and Australia. Limmud will hold its first event ever in Chile next month.
In Israel, Limmud is already active in various localities, most recently in the southern town of Yerucham.
“We welcome Limmud Tel Aviv to the global Limmud community,” said Limmud International Chair David Bilchitz. “It will no doubt add a vibrancy and dynamism to the exciting Limmud scene already established in Israel.”