It’s not often New Yorkers open their homes to strangers, but many will be doing just that on Sunday, April 25 as part of Limmud Across NY, a day of “simultaneous intimate learning sessions.” Throughout the metropolitan area, individuals will be hosting participants in celebration of Jewish life, learning, and community. Limmud — which JInsider has previously awarded a Yasher Koach heksher — has been covered extensively in The Jewish Week for its grassroots effort to offer Jewish learning in its broadest definition to Jews of all backgrounds, interests and levels of expertise.
For this week’s column we spoke with co-chair of the event, Erica Phillips, about the importance of Limmud and what to expect at the April 25 event. Phillips is a member of Limmud’s board of directors and the associate director of alumni affairs at Yeshiva University. For more information, visit www.limmudny.org, call 212-284-6968 or e-mail email@example.com.
Along with Rachel Gershman, my co-chair for this event, we sought to create a diverse and exciting schedule of learning options. Participants can choose between learning text study with Dovber Pinson, Arthur Kurzweil or Judith Hauptman, discussing topics such as “Modern Israel” with Steven Bayme or “Jews and Gender” with Joy Ladin. There will also be an Israeli wine tasting with Aron Ritter, kosher cheese tasting with the 5-Spoke Creamery, comedy with Joel Chasnoff or a film screening with Avishai Mekonen.
While our goal for Limmud Across NY is to raise money for Limmud NY, we chose to do this type of event rather than a traditional fundraising dinner because it is important to us to align [fundraising] goals with the organization’s core values of learning and volunteerism. We hope the people who attend a Limmud Across NY event will not only think of their donation to Limmud NY, but appreciate the intimate and rare learning opportunity they will experience by being educated in such a small setting by a top presenter.
Limmud NY is unique in its ability to bring together Jews of all ages, backgrounds, and denominations to embrace Jewish learning. Each year at our annual conference, hundreds of Jews immerse themselves in a four-day festival of teaching and learning all that Judaism has to offer. After being involved in the organization for five years, I can honestly say that the experience of attending a Limmud NY conference is absolutely incredible and that within a religion that often seems more divisive than cohesive, I think the existence of Limmud NY is critical in sustaining the NY Jewish community.
Sample of Events
The Sweet Taste of Shabbat with Nancy Wolfson-Moche
$54 per adult ticket and $18 per child ticket (Family Event)
Through music, movement, art, practicing cooking skills, preparing and tasting food we will explore sweetness as a flavor, as Shabbat food and as a concept in connection with Shabbat. Families (with children ages 2 to 8) will take home recipes and new ideas for making eating on Shabbat healthy, joyful, seasonal and … sweet. A series of activities (“work”) will strengthen children’s skills in math, language arts, fine-motor and eye-hand coordination. The session will encourage children to work both independently and as part of a team (family).
Gender and Judaism with Joy Ladin • $72 per ticket
Some religions downplay or even attack the body; Judaism embraces it. But human bodies are gendered — assigned male or female identities that connect individuals to broad networks of roles and assumptions. While traditional Judaism is organized around gender, some Jews question the gendering of Jewish worship and community. Together, we will discuss how gender affects our Jewish lives.
One Foot: What is the Jewish Perspective on Life after Death?
$180 per ticket, includes dinner (JInsider Event)
Want to learn more about Jewish mystical approaches to the soul, death and purpose in life? The program‘s format is inspired by the question asked to Hillel, “Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot.” Guaranteed to be quick-paced but thoughtful, the program will be lead by Rabbi Dovber Pinson, who will answer all your questions on reincarnation in the form of enduring and practical sound bytes (180 seconds). Money back guarantee in this life or the next.
For more information and to register for Limmud Across New York, please visit www.limmudny.org
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