Yom Limmud set for Sydney

Ari Hershkowitz in his religious days. He will share insights into his journey leaving the world of Orthodoxy, as revealed in Netflix doco One of Us.

ACROSS one immersive day of thought-provoking sessions set for Sunday, June 17 in Sydney, Yom Limmud will celebrate Jewish identity, raise difficult questions and provoke stimulating discussion.

Talks and presentations will explore core themes of Jewish text and traditions, society and politics, history and memories, Israel-related affairs, and arts and culture.

Held in the recently refurbished Roundhouse at UNSW, Shalom delivers some fresh offerings in this year’s festival with a series of hands-on workshops from pickling to painting, and a marketplace with arts, crafts, books, stationary and Judaica.

Limmud volunteer chair Sarah Charak commented, “For me, as a student and an avid reader, Limmud is about moving from words on a page to conversations that happen in real life: fascinating and pressing conversations about where our community is and where we want it to be.”

Kicking off the day will be writer, commentator and educator Haroon Moghul, speaking on the topic ‘Between the head and the heart: rationalism and mysticism in Judaism and Islam’, alongside Raf Dascalu, an Adjunct Research Associate at Monash University.

Other festival speakers include Ari Hershkowitz, who will share his insights into leaving the world of orthodoxy, as recently revealed in the acclaimed Netflix documentary One of Us.

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ha’aretz journalist and regular on the popular podcast The Promised, will also headline at Limmud, as will Adi Keissar, an Israeli poet of Yemenite descent, and Emily Filler, chair and assistant professor of Jewish Studies at Earlham College, where she teachers modern philosophy and ethics alongside Jewish text.

Local acts will touch on a variety of social, political, cultural and religious issues, among them producer and director Moira Blumenthal, Newtown Synagogue’s Rabbi Eli Cohen, and Shoshana Faire, who will speak on ‘Developing a Jewish response to people seeking asylum’.

To balance the many intellectually stimulating sessions, live music and performances will entertain, while an informative and fun-filled kids and teens program will see kosher theatresports, disco dancing and Israeli themed arts and crafts take centre stage.

As a precursor to Yom Limmud, Rabbi Yaffa Epstein, Director of Education in North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, will speak on learning and teaching the Talmud, and rabbinic thought, on June 3 at Double Bay Library.

For more info and to buy tickets, visit www.shalom.edu.au/LIMMUD.

SOPHIE DEUTSCH