This year, for the first time since 2008, February came and went without a LimmudLA conference.
LimmudLA honored its founders, Linda Fife and Shep Rosenman, in an evening of dinner, music and study on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens. LimmudLA is the local outlet of an international model of interdisciplinary, interdenominational, no-boundaries Jewish conferences and events. Founded in the United Kingdom more than 30 years ago, Limmud now conducts 60 conferences in 30 countries, all of them almost entirely run by volunteers.
On May 8, in a very cool space in Culver City, I listened to a hundred very cool people talk about their very cool vision for the Jewish future.
As part of their visit to Los Angeles last week, the outgoing class of Joshua Venture Fellows, all leaders of innovative Jewish organizations that are less than five years old, spent a few hours one evening talking to a group of L.A. Jews.
“Must I suffer the indignity of being the only pornographic lecturer?” said Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, kicking off the annual LimmudLA learning conference this year with a decidedly risqué bang.
I am a child of a mixed marriage. I was raised in a completely secular environment. My discovery of Judaism has been an ongoing revelation over many decades. I studied for more than 12 years in yeshivot and spent many years studying secular philosophy.
Organizers are hoping to attract more people to an annual festival of Jewish learning and culture by shortening the conference and lowering the price. LimmudLA, which debuted on Presidents Day weekend 2008 with a 600-person conference at the Costa Mesa Hilton, will shift its schedule to end on Sunday night, while maintaining the bulk of the programming, according to Yossi Kastan, executive director of LimmudLA.
If it was a bit easier than usual to find a seat or a parking spot at your synagogue over Presidents’ Day weekend, you may be able to thank the organizers of the LimmudLA conference. More than 500 Jews from Los Angeles and beyond traveled to the Hilton in Costa Mesa for the fourth annual gathering of cross-denominational learning. LimmudLA is one of 50 annual Limmud conferences worldwide, all of them modeled after the United Kingdom Limmud, begun in 1980.
Journalist and author Lisa Alcalay Klug flew across the country this month to present at the annual New York version of Limmud, one of the Jewish learning gatherings that occur worldwide. She’ll fly in the other direction next month to attend the fourth annual LimmudLA, Feb. 18-21 in Costa Mesa. LimmudLA will be Klug’s eighth Limmud gathering in 12 months. Like the hundreds of other Limmud presenters whose paths she crosses, she doesn’t get paid for her time. “I’ve met amazing people, developed new friendships and reinforced past relationships,” said Klug, who splits her time among California, New York and Israel. “My world has grown exponentially because of it.”
Now that the election is over and campaign exaggerations can give way to reality, in schools, and everywhere else, people are making efforts to put things back into perspective. While a lot of healing may still be needed before that sort of unity can move beyond a Saturday night at the beach, one uniting factor all agree on is that this election brought a new level of political awareness and passion across party lines and across ages.
The largest recipients of the Jewish Community Foundation's (JCF) Cutting Edge Grants, announced this week and totaling $1.6 million, were three programs promoting Jewish identity and connection with Israel through art, music and community leadership
It turns out there is something eternal and topical about the ancient wedding ritual of breaking the glass at the wedding, of the Jewish reality being forever black and white, of the Nazi in the hot tub.
LimmudLA -- by the numbers.
Diary of activities at LimmudLA.
Thank you. That's the profound message of this column: Thank you. The instigators, organizers and volunteers who brought Limmud to Los Angeles last weekend deserve our gratitude for challenging one of the long-held orthodoxies of the L.A. Jewish community: There is no Jewish community.
The occasion was not a party, but rather a "Taste of Limmud," a precursor to something called LimmudLA. The Presidents' Day weekend conference will be volunteer-led, and organizers expect it to bring together hundreds of local Jews of all denominations for three days of conversation and learning.
Limmud was founded 25 years ago in England, where each December more than 2,000 people gather for a five-day conference. In the last six or seven years, the Limmud model has spread around the world, with conferences in Russia, France, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Australia and New York.The goal of LimmudLA, slated for Febrary during President's Day Weekend at the Costa Mesa Hilton, is to bring together the broad spectrum of Los Angeles Jewry to experience the richness of Judaism through intense days packed with the arts, shared meals and conversations, and a quirky and diverse offering of text studies, lectures and workshops. At Limmud, all the teachers are participants, and many of the participants are teachers, so everyone learns from each other.