Vol. 24 No. 12 WINNIPEG, WEDNESDAY, February 23, 2011 19 Days in Adar 1, 5771
“Limmud” coming to Winnipeg March 12 & 13
By REBECA KUROPATWA
A festival like no other, “Limmud – Festival of Jewish Learning”, is coming to town this spring.
Taking place at the Asper JCC on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, Limmud will offer an incredible array of options all under one roof – from Krav Maga martial arts to the first Afro-American Jewish Orthodox Hip Hop artist, meditation, Jewish cooking, and an extensive choice of Jewish learning options.
The idea for the festival was born 30 years ago in England, according to Faye Rosenberg-Cohen, Planning Director/GrowWinnipeg Coordinator, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
After getting its start in the UK, the Limmud (“learning,” in Hebrew) concept spread to communities worldwide. It is an organization known for creating events with a live- ly approach to Jewish learning for people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience.
“In Winnipeg, we’ve been discussing it since Shaul Wachsstock brought the idea to a planning session and talked with me, Tamar [Barr], and others about seven years ago, recognizing how perfect it would be for our community,” said Rosenberg-Cohen.
“Limmud is a no brainer to anyone who hears about the wonderful- ly diverse learning opportunities. If you’re interested in traditional Jewish learning, or just a Jewish approach to culture, or anything that creates a comfortable Jewish context, Limmud is for you.
“Jewish tradition is all about learning, debating, and discussing how to be better Jews, better as a people, and improving the world in which we live. What’s Talmud if not Jewish debating? Limmud is also about solidifying Jewish identity and community, reinforcing our tra- dition, as well as our diversity and desire to build community for each other.”
Events feature all educational styles including lectures, workshops, text-study sessions, film, meditation, and discussions to ensure there is something for everyone. Children’s programming (for ages three-10) will also be available.
The multi-organizational festival includes a selection of 60 sessions offered by a diverse range of local and international Jewish thinkers, artists, and educators.
“This year will be wonderful, but hopefully only a glimmer of what
it will end up becoming in the future,” said Avi Posen, Jewish Engagement Coordinator, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
On Saturday., March 12, registra- tion will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by Havdallah, an hour of sessions, and then food and music on Main St.
On Sunday., March 13, registration and breakfast will start at 8 a.m., fol- lowed by sessions from 9 a.m. until
about 6 p.m. (with lunch and periodic snack breaks through- out).
Lisa Alcalay Klug, one of the event presenters is an award- winning journalist who has published hundreds of articles in publications like The New York Times and Forward. Since the 2008 release of her book, “Cool Jew – The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe,” she has presented at over 100 events in North America and Europe. To get a glimpse of what she will discuss, search “Cool Jew” on YouTube.com, where she reveals that “The King, Elvis, was a yid.”
The festival is open to the public. “We’ve already had a few inquiries from non-Jews as to whether they could register,” said Rosenberg- Cohen. “Limmud is primarily targeted to the Jewish community – as an opportunity for us and our families, some of whom are non-Jews. In fact, there are a couple of sessions that might be of particular inter- est to people who are new to the Jewish community, like the one on Jewish Vocabulary 101.
“We hope we have 500 people or more, because I really don’t want anyone with the slightest interest to miss out and be sorry they weren’t there. I can’t wait to be there to absorb the atmosphere and learn.”
Limmud is presented by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Rady JCC, Chesed Shel Emet, Winnipeg Board of Jewish Education, Congregation Etz Chayim, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, and the local chapter of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University.
For more festival information or to register, visit www.limmudwin- nipeg.org. Also on the website is a list of the sessions, and out-of-town and local presenters. The early bird registration fee (including all ses- sions and food) is $54 until March 7 and $65 after that.
AVI POSEN Jewish Engagement
Coordinator, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
Photos courtesy of Avi Posen.