Limmud Conference 2014
Limmud Conference 2014 Jerrold Bennett

Thousands of Jews from 27 world countries are expected to converge at the Limmud Conference 2014. The learning festival will be held from December 28 - January 1 at the University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom. 

The conference offers a mix of 1,201 varied sessions, including He-brew cocktail workshops, Ethiopian dancing, and an analysis of MAD Magazine as a secular Talmud. 

Notable presents include Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, Udi Lion, creator of the award-winning Israeli TV series Me’orav Yerushalmi (“Jerusalem Brew”), and Hollywood comedian Avi Liberman. They will join former Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevich, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky, and Palestinian human rights activists Aziz Abu Sarah and Bassem Eid.

Natan Sharansky and Yosef Mendelevich will share memories and lessons from the struggle for Soviet Jewish emigration from Russia to Israel as a special feature. 

Also among the 514 presenters: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Joseph Dweck, senior rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese community in the UK, Caroline Wyatt, BBC religious affairs corresponden, and the artist Jacqueline Nicholls, who is behind “Draw Yomi,” an on-line project which follows the daf yomi and responds each day with a drawing. 

“With up to 30 sessions per time slot, Limmudniks will have ample opportunity to stretch their minds and souls,” Limmud Conference Co-Chair Jonathan Robinson stated of long and engaging list of programming and speakers.

“Limmud is very much about learning which inspires us to improve the world,” said the Limmud Conference's other Co-Chair Shana Boltin. “That’s why this year, which coincides with Shmita year 5775, Social Action features front and center.

“And, in the best Limmud tradition, we continue to confront the thorniest issues facing Israel and Jews the world over – be it anti-Semitism in Europe, engaging the disengaged or the ongoing impact of last summer’s conflict in Gaza."

“Limmud is also about rejoicing in all things Jewish. Think cooking, comedy, debate, dance, meditation, music. On New Year’s Eve, we’ve got a kaleidoscope of learning, performances, games and dancing on tap.”

Highlights of Limmud Conference 2014 also include: the Jewish Museum's "From Ridley Road to Radlett" photo exhibit, which portrays the migration of Jews from London's East End to the suburbs; and Chavruta in the Spotlight, where handpicked presenters discuss their favorite texts. 

In addition to the educational aspect of the conference, Limmud also stressed the volunteers working to improve the worldwide Jewish community. 

"Limmud’s cross-communal, multi-generational, volunteer model continues to draw ever greater numbers of people embracing the opportunity to take the next step on their Jewish journey,” said Limmud Chair Kevin Sefton.

“Limmud Conference is the flagship of a global movement.  In 2014, 3,000 volunteers in 80 communities spanning six continents drew 28,500 participants in Limmuds from Haifa to Moscow to Uruguay.”