All set for Sydney’s Limmud Oz

Some of the volunteers in this year’s Limmud Oz organising committee.

VOLUNTEERS are the lifeblood of Shalom’s Limmud Oz, prompting festival co-chair Donny Janks to remark, “They’re not just the oil that keeps the machine running, they’re the whole machine.”

During National Volunteer Week, around 25 volunteers who form the Limmud Oz organising committee met to finalise the details for the immersive three-day festival, which will offer engaging workshops, panel discussions and moving performances from June 15-17.

Dane Stern, who sits on the Limmud Sydney advisory board, remarked, “Our Limmud volunteers tell us they’re attracted by the opportunity to give back to the Jewish community – it’s immensely satisfying when an event you’ve helped organise draws over a thousand appreciative participants.

“Our volunteers benefit in so many ways – they develop the leadership skills to run major projects, while meeting new friends and feeling part of a meaningful Limmud volunteer opportunity.”

Janks and his co-chair, Sarah Charak, are both volunteers themselves, and attended the International Limmud Festival in the UK where they received training on how to run Limmud.

“The scale both in terms of attendees and presenters is hugely impressive, as is the ambition of the variety of the event,” Charak said of Limmud UK. 

“You can’t go to Limmud Festival UK without finding a new speaker, a new concept or session style to bring home.”

Though assistance is provided from Shalom staff, Janks commented, “Many people don’t realise that not a single person is paid to present at or organise Limmud Oz. What we offer is a culmination of the passion and hard work of a huge range of people.”

On the weekend itself, many more are anticipated to lend a hand by manning the registration desk, taking photos, helping to set up, driving international presenters to the event and more.

For more information, visit