What's around the bend on your Jewish adventure?
Don’t miss your chance to be part of Jewish Seattle community history! In only two weeks, Seattle will experience its first ever Limmud — a festival of Jewish life, culture, community and learning.
The festival program is now online and there are more than 70 sessions in 18 different categories. This is your moment to check out the offerings and chart the course of your unique Limmud Adventure.
Choose from sessions about community and identity, Torah study, film, food, visual arts, holidays and prayer, civil discourse on Israel — and more. Some presenters are flying from afar to be with us Jan. 13 and 14, 2018; most are from right here in the Pacific Northwest.Read more
A division exists in contemporary Israeli society where most people fall into one of two camps: the very secular or the very religious.
Dr. Ruth Calderon believes that there should be no division between civil life and religious life, and that the richness and depth of Torah study can — and should —
be accessible to all. Today, she is one of the leading figures in Israel dedicated to creating a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity and reviving Hebrew Culture.
In 1989, Calderon established Elul, the first secular, pluralistic, egalitarian beit
midrash in Israel where men and women, whether observant or non observant,
can come together to study Jewish texts. Elul has grown to provide a variety of
Jewish and Israeli cultural and educational events that give expression to the
diverse voices within Israel. (Quick note: beit midrash is Hebrew for house of
learning, and infers a place for Torah study and for interpretation and development
of Jewish law, a.k.a. halakha).
The days are getting shorter, but you can add some light to the community and to your life. A smidge of your time and talent will go a long way to making the Puget Sound area’s first-ever Limmud a big success. Limmud celebrates Jewish life, learning and culture. The first Limmud was in England in 1980 and has now expanded to 80+ communities in 40 countries around the world.
Each Limmud is designed and run by volunteers in the communities in which it is held. Opportunities run the gamut from heading up a core team to taking on a simple task. From presenter to name tag collector, setup to cleanup, Limmud participants pay to attend, and volunteer to help keep the events affordable and accessible to all.
We need you!
With two-ish months until the inaugural Limmud Seattle kicks off Jan. 13, 2018 (early bird prices available through Nov. 19) there are lots of ways to get into Limmud. Here are a few opportunities that can make a big impact right now:
Musician Joshua Horowitz Helped Spark a Resurgence in Traditional Eastern European Jewish Dance Music
In the mid-1980s, Joshua Horowitz was part of an avant garde composers’ group while finishing his graduate studies at the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, when an uptick in anti-Semitism during the Waldheim years* sparked his interest in traditional Jewish folk music.
At the time there were about 20 to 40 songs in the standard klezmer repertoire, and Horowitz felt the genre had to be broader than that.
Compelled to “reinstate music where it had been destroyed,” he traveled to more than 15 Eastern European countries to unearth traditional music. It wasn’t an easy task. Folk music wasn’t documented in the same way that music of the upper class — like classical music was.Read more
That was my question when I sat down with good pal Deb Arnold, who went to her first Limmud
(Limmud UK) in 2011, and is one of thems who set the Limmud Seattle ball rolling after
attending the Vancouver, BC, Limmud in 2016.
Here’s what she said:
“It’s like being in a big, beautiful Jewish bubble with a bunch of people who also want to be in a
big beautiful Jewish bubble.”
Sounds nice, I said, but what else?
“It’s an opportunity to scratch a whole bunch of Jewish itches, as it were, in one place –
intellectual, nostalgic, emotional, visual, auditory. There’s really nothing else I know of that
offers such diversity and vibrancy to Jews of all backgrounds.
What’s so compelling to you about Limmud?
“It’s the diversity, energy and passion. People come together to plug in, learn, experience, and
be in community with all kinds of other Jews who want to do the same. There’s a lot of joy about
celebrating being Jewish with other people who, no matter how differently they practice or
identify, value that celebration and togetherness.”
There’s something unique about Limmud: Each event is designed and created by volunteers within the community in which it is held — and the event is best when people from the diverse threads of the Jewish community participate.
Some who volunteer already have strong connections to the Jewish community. For others, the draw is that Limmud offers something that can be hard to find — a way to connect Jewishly that is personally meaningful and relevant.
“I was looking for a stimulating volunteer opportunity with when some friends told me about Limmud. I like using my organization skills, and I wanted a challenge, and I was surprised and pleased at what a wonderful learning opportunity this has been. I formed a good team and I realized I didn’t need to know how to do everything — I just need to work with people who could do what needed to be done.
I hope everyone gets involved to see what it’s all about. You can meet new people, learn new skills and be part of something really big.” - Margot, Marketing Team lead
If you’re new to Limmud like I am, it’s easy to get interested about the idea, but hard to wrap your head around exactly what it is.
There’s learning, but it’s not like a conference or coursework. It’s social and vibrant, but it’s not a party. It will be playful, fun and energizing, but…
Limmud (which basically means “to learn”) has been called a happening, a festival, a learningfest, and a gathering (to name a few). By any name, it’s a celebration of Jewish life, learning and culture that started in England in 1980 and has expanded to 80+ communities in more than 40 countries around the world.
One of the unique and fabulous things about Limmud is that each event is designed by and for the Jews within the community in which it is held — and the event is best when people from all threads of Jewish life participate, whether they are affiliated or not, Jewishly active or inactive, Sephardic, Ashkenazi, religious, spiritual, cultural, repairers-of-the-world, secular, curious, of every age.Read more
In one year from today, Limmud Seattle will bring together hundreds of Jewish learners from around the area. The Limmud committee is already hard at work, organizing a schedule and getting together a team. We're excited about this event--and hope you are too!