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Sunday, May 31
 

2:00pm

Art Detectives: How to use Art to Understand the Hearts and Minds of Jews in Bygone Times
What are we looking for when we look at ‘Jewish art’? Are we attempting to ascertain how people dressed or what objects existed in people’s homes in earlier eras? Perhaps on a simple level. But we’re actually attempting something far more challenging: discovering what was in people’s hearts and minds, peering inside the consciousness of those who have gone before us.  

Speakers
avatar for Marc Michael Epstein

Marc Michael Epstein

Marc is Professor of Religion on the Mattie M. Paschall Davis and Norman H. Davis Chair and Director of Jewish Studies at Vassar College. He has written on various topics in visual and material culture produced by, for, and about Jews. His 2015 book, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 5

2:00pm

Hasidic Dynasties: Then and Now - A Sequel
Marcin will discuss the origins of the dynastic leadership in Hasidism and the different forms it adopted from the late eighteenth century until today. Special emphasis will be put on spatial aspects of Hasidic dynasties and their rule over specific territories, competition and cooperation. It will also focus on differing ethos and differing models of leadership.

Speakers
avatar for Marcin Wodziński

Marcin Wodziński

Marcin Wodziński is professor of Jewish History and literature at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.  His special field of interest are Jewish material culture and the social history of Jews in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, especially Hasidism and the Haskalah.  His publications... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 7

2:00pm

Spies, Lies and the Search for Pink Rabbit
In 1972, Craig Williamson joined the anti-apartheid group NUSAS and, after being elected its vice-president, fled the country to continue his activism in exile. He was unmasked as a spy in 1980. Jonathan wrote a book about Williamson's double life. The question he is asked most often about the book is: “Why Craig Williamson?”. The answer is: “A pink rabbit”. This was a standout session at Limmud SA 2019 and is back by popular demand.

Speakers
avatar for Jonathan Ancer

Jonathan Ancer

Jonathan has been a journalist at The Star, editor of Grocott’s Mail and a crossword columnist for the Cape Times. He has won awards for hard-news journalism, feature and creative writing. His books include ‘The Victor Within’ (with Victor Vermeluen), ‘Spy: Uncovering Craig... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 4

2:00pm

Lessons in Resilience: Stories of Survivors of the Holocaust and Genocide
Tali will share stories of Holocaust and Genocide survivors whose experiences teach us about resilience and the human spirit. Listening to them we will reflect together on how, despite the odds people found ways to resist and survive.

Speakers
avatar for Tali Nates

Tali Nates

Tali is the founding director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre. She lectures internationally and contributes to numerous publications, including ‘Remembering the Holocaust in Educational Settings’ as well as ‘God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 3

2:00pm

Defending the Zionist Story and Reaching Out to Palestinians: A New Model for a Hard Conversation
Yossi published "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor”, a series of letters to an imaginary Palestinian that explain what Israel and Zionism mean to Jews. Yossi invited Palestinians to respond with their own stories, and many did. The book, which became a New York Times bestseller, has been widely read, and reviewed - including in the Arab world. Yossi will explain what motivated him to write his book and what the responses - both negative and positive - say about the chances for peace.

Speakers
avatar for Yossi Klein Halevi

Yossi Klein Halevi

Yossi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His book "Like Dreamers," won the Jewish Book Council's Everett Book of the Year Award. His latest book, "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” is a New York Times bestseller.


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 8

2:00pm

Once Upon a Travel Tale: Jewish Communities in Morocco and India
Karen and Ryan love adventuring off the beaten track with their families - to explore new horizons, be embraced by foreign cultures, breathe in untouched nature, and meet individuals who will inspire us to share poignant, inspiring and sometimes challenging stories to anyone who wants to listen. Join us as we share colourful impressions of our most recent trips to Jewish India and Morocco respectively, and dream together of creating new unique travel memories.

Speakers
avatar for Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

Ryan is a People Development Consultant and Coach. His company, Next Peak, partners with individuals, teams and organisations to design and implement solutions that enhance people’s lives and communities. A passionate Limmud volunteer for many years, Ryan has volunteered in many... Read More →
avatar for Karen Kallmann

Karen Kallmann

Karen is a passionate Limmudnik, engaged Jew, adventurous world traveller, concerned environmentalist and unrepentant feminist. Karen is a wife and the mother of 5 curious, courageous children.


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 2

2:00pm

But Ruth Cleaved to Her: Social Intimacies in a World Awry
Ruth and Naomi’s relationship is perhaps the emblematic narrative on social intimacy in the Torah. In this session, we shall consider the concept of deveikut or cleaving using midrashic and psychoanalytic sources. While we are all grappling with social distancing, we shall consider the meanings and vicissitudes of intimate friendship with another and wonder – can the world survive without it?

Speakers
avatar for Adina Roth

Adina Roth

Adina Roth is a Jewish educator and Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Johannesburg. She founded B’tocham Education where she teaches Torah classes to a range of people, from little kids to adults and she runs a programme for bar and bat mitzvah, to usher them in to early... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 6

3:00pm

An Infinity of Hallelujahs: Unlocking the Secret Chords of Leonard Cohen's Masterpiece
Since its low-key release in 1984, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" has become one of the great anthems of popular music. Weaving in biblical themes and allusions, the song explores the spiritual and physical dimensions of love and life. It has also become a song of solace and soothing, offering the hope of healing in times of brokenness. But what is "Hallelujah" really about, and what are the secrets of its enduring hold on the global imagination?

Speakers
avatar for Gus Silber

Gus Silber

Gus is an award-winning journalist, author, scriptwriter, speechwriter and media trainer. He has an extensive background in newspaper and magazine journalism as a reporter, columnist, feature writer and editor. He is the author of several commercially-published books, covering a diversity... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 6

3:00pm

Unpacking Fauda: The Jagged Line Between Justice and Revenge
This session is intended for people who have watched Fauda Season 3 on Netflix and are interested in exploring the many ethical questions it raises about the role Israelis and Palestinians play in perpetuating the conflict.

Speakers
avatar for Ittay Flescher

Ittay Flescher

Based in Jerusalem, Ittay is the Education Director at Kids4Peace, an interfaith movement for Israelis and Palestinians that empowers youth to build relationships and embrace meaningful dialogue while coming of age in a complex city. He is also the Israel correspondent for the Jewish... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 3

3:00pm

Beyond Bravery: the Volunteer who Infiltrated Auschwitz
Witold Pilecki is perhaps the greatest unsung hero of World War II. A non-Jewish Polish soldier, he volunteered to be infiltrated into Auschwitz and spent two and a half years there, not only surviving but organising an extensive resistance network in the camp. He chronicled the murders and tortures meted out, and the transformation of a modest labour camp into the giant centrepiece of Hitler’s extermination of the Jews. His first-hand accounts were smuggled to the Polish government-in-exile, from which they reached the Allied leadership.

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Barnett

Daniel Barnett

Daniel Barnett grew up in Cape Town and holds a BSocSci and LLB from UCT. After serving as Rosh Machaneh of Habonim Dror, he worked for a number of years in South Africa-Israel relations. Today, he manages the Gauteng division of his family’s 101-year-old metals business. He is... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 5

3:00pm

Israel and the Left: Irreconcilable Differences?
In the April 2019 elections, left-wing parties in Israel received their worst results in history - just 20 seats in total; the Zionist left-wing parties Meretz and Labor won only ten seats. In March 2020, the lone Zionist left party won just seven seats, then Labor collapsed during coalition negotiations. Does electoral failure indicate the death of the left in Israel or an opportunity for rebirth and renewal? Does the left in Israel have a future?

Speakers
avatar for Dahlia Scheindlin

Dahlia Scheindlin

A public opinion expert and international political and strategic consultant who has advised eight national campaigns in Israel and worked in over 15 other countries, Dahlia conducts extensive public opinion research and policy analysis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, comparative... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 8

3:00pm

Analysing Results from the Jewish Community Survey of South Africa
Join Adam as he analyses the data from the recently completed national community survey, and considers what this means for the present and future of the South African Jewish community. This is the first time Adam will present the data to a public audience.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Mendelsohn

Adam Mendelsohn

Adam is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at UCT and curator of exhibitions at the Princeton University Art Museum, New-York Historical Society and Center for Jewish History. His book ‘The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 4

3:00pm

Bereshit as a Template for Navigating Pandemic
In the creation story, we are introduced to a sense of primordial chaos through the words Tohu V’vohu as well as to the clarity of order and light in the words, Yehi Or. As we move through creation we also enter into a sacred Garden, yet its promise does not last. In this session, I will explore these texts to offer sacred language and tools that can hold and navigate us through these challenging times.

Speakers
avatar for Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein is a clinical Psychologist, Rabbi, and Mindfulness facilitator. He served as senior Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan for twenty-four years where he taught Jewish mindfulness with his beloved friend Rabbi Rachel Cowan. Marcelo’s reverence for... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 7

3:00pm

Mikva in the Time of Coronavirus
Covid-19 has presented specific challenges for women using the ritual bath/mikva. In this session, I will outline the questions that have arisen that have impacted intimacy and sexuality along with solutions and resources that have developed in response to the pandemic. What is most significant is that the "battle" has been led by women knowledgeable in Jewish law.

Speakers
avatar for Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama has a master’s degree in Talmud and teaches classes in rabbinic text, women and Judaism, and contemporary Jewish law at Machon Pardes and Matan in Jerusalem. She provides halachic education and counselling for women seeking to use the mikva as a way to sanctify sexual i... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 2

4:00pm

My Great (and Short) Great Grandfather, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, and the Revival of the Hebrew Language
Gil reveals the real story of the revival of the Hebrew language, from a personal point of view. Hebrew was practically dead for 2000 years. The man who revived it almost single-handedly was Eliezer Ben Yehuda, one of the founding fathers of Zionism. Gil Hovav, his great grandson, tells the story of this unprecedented miracle through the little secrets that were kept by his family for more than a hundred years.

Speakers
avatar for Gil Hovav

Gil Hovav

Gil Hovav is Israel’s leading culinary journalist and a popular television personality. He hails from one of the most respected lineages in the Jewish world: he is the great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language; the grandson of Itamar Ben-Avi, who began... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 6

4:00pm

Power and Citizenship in the COVID-19 Pandemic
As well triggering a sudden health and economic emergency, the Covid-19 outbreak has placed huge stress on the relationship between governors and governed. The discussion explores what the emergency has revealed about the exercise of power and nature of citizenship in South Africa. How is South Africa being policed in the midst of the crisis? How are ministers using the wide powers suddenly at their disposal? It also explores the relationship between politics and science and the increasingly vexing question of socio-economic rights.

Speakers
avatar for Jonny Steinberg

Jonny Steinberg

Jonny is Professor of African Studies at Oxford University. He has written extensively on everyday life after apartheid. Among his books are The Number, A Man of Good Hope and One Day in Bethlehem. He has twice won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize and was an inaugural winner of the... Read More →
avatar for Carol Steinberg

Carol Steinberg

Carol is an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar, specialising in public and constitutional law. Before going to the Bar, she was a senior member of the Department of Arts and Culture and later advisor to the Minister. She is a published playwright who worked with Junction Avenue Theatre... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 2

4:00pm

Israel 2.0: What the Heck is Going on in the Israeli Government?
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a unity government in April with his rival, leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, many were surprised. The move might have saved the country from a fourth round of elections, but how will it work in practice? Is Israel finally out of the electoral impasse in which she's been stuck? we take a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on.

Speakers
avatar for Paula Slier

Paula Slier

Paula has worked in broadcasting for over 20 years as a foreign correspondent, anchorwoman and news editor, and has received numerous awards for her work. Her assignments have taken her across the globe and she can often be seen reporting as Russia Today's Middle East Bureau Chief... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 3

4:00pm

Jews, Tattoos & Other Taboos
Join Heidi on a humorously philosophical journey as she tries to makes sense of why she doesn't have tattoos, why she ate bread this Pesach for the first time, and why she has mixed feelings about male circumcision. She explores the reasons behind certain taboos and their effects on our choices, and suggests that we need to think a bit more about these 'unthinkable' things.

Speakers
avatar for Heidi Matisonn

Heidi Matisonn

A Durban girl born and bred, Heidi worked in Cape Town as a copywriter and briefly, as Tony Leon's speechwriter, before moving to London to study. Having accepted that she was not going to fulfil her ambition of being the benevolent dictator of the Central African Republic, she moved... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 7

4:00pm

Up Close and Personal: Relationships during Lockdown
Has your relationship flourished or floundered? Some report they’ve coped extremely well and remain happy; others tell of interminable conflicts and arguments. Is this trivial or more important to your family dynamic? Join Michael, an experienced couples' therapist on what the crisis means for relationships and their stability.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Kallenbach

Michael Kallenbach

Michael Kallenbach is a couples therapist in Johannesburg. He trained at the Tavistock Institute in London and worked as a journalist before retraining as a psychotherapist. His first job was at The Star newspaper as a “cub” reporter; he was for several years the United Nations... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 5

4:00pm

An Argument for Creation
A powerpoint class presenting Saadya Gaon's argument that there was a creation.

Speakers
avatar for Sam Lebens

Sam Lebens

Samuel Lebens is a philosopher at the University of Haifa and, in addition to his academic work, is an Orthodox Rabbi. He has taught at many Limmud events and in Jewish communities around the world. Born in England, he now lives with his wife and children in Haifa. He co-founded the... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 8

4:00pm

The Power of Garlic, in the Talmud and Now!
Why did the Romans call us "garlic eaters"? Why does Ezra the Scribe link garlic to Friday night conjugal responsibilities, and why did Rav Yehuda, recognized as a leading Torah authority in Babylon, have heads of garlic on his shabbes table? Judaism gives us powerful tools to deal with crises - is garlic one of them? We will sing a niggun, explore talmudic texts, munch some raw garlic and stay healthy in a global pandemic.

Speakers
avatar for Greg Alexander

Greg Alexander

Greg is a teacher and spiritual guide currently working on the Rabbinic team at the Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation and at the Melton School. He has studied and taught in many different yeshivot of all denominations across the world and is a passionate Limmudnik. He is married... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Room 4

5:00pm

The Israel Story Story
Benji Shulman will interview Israel Story podcast host Mishy Harman to get a behind the scenes account of the beloved show. We will learn about what worked, what fell apart and what was just too risky to tackle. Mishy will also dwell on his hopes and dreams for the show, and the country.

Speakers
avatar for Mishy Harman

Mishy Harman

Mishy is the host and co-founder of the Israel Story podcast. He’s a curly-haired Jerusalemite who stumbled upon radio by chance. He studied History at Harvard, Archaeology at Cambridge and wrote his PhD – a biography of the first Protestant missionary in Ethiopia – at the Hebrew... Read More →
avatar for Benji Shulman

Benji Shulman

Benji is the director of public policy at the SA Zionist Federation. He has a masters degree in Geography and has worked in a range of fields in the Jewish community including education, advocacy, environment, outreach and lots of Limmud volunteering. He loves radio and has hosted... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 3

5:00pm

Exploring Genetic Inheritance through Film
One in forty Ashkenazi Jews carry the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genetic mutation, which results in a higher chance of breast and ovarian cancer. This presentation focuses on Gabriella's personal journey relating to her familial history of breast cancer, and its intersection with her passion and career - that of a filmmaker. The films shown act as a catalyst to speak about the impact of genetic testing on the individual and the community.

Speakers
avatar for Gabriella Blumberg

Gabriella Blumberg

Gabriella Blumberg is a South African-born filmmaker and drama teacher (ATCL, LTCL). She completed her BA in Film and Television cum laude at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and attained an MA in Directing at the MET Film School London; where she thrived directing... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 4

5:00pm

Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity
This session will consider how attention to neglected media, such as ancient graffiti, reveals rare and otherwise forgotten information about the daily lives of their Jewish creators. Graffiti embed information about how Jews once prayed, remembered the dead, and participated in civic life throughout Egypt, Arabia, Europe, Judea, and North Africa.

Speakers
avatar for Karen Stern

Karen Stern

Karen uses archaeology to investigate the daily lives of ancient Jews. She is associate professor of History at Brooklyn College of City University of New York and author of Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity.


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 5

5:00pm

The COVID-19 Economic Catastrophe - What Can Government Do?
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures taken to deal with its fallout, have resulted in a global economic crisis, from which South Africa will not be spared. The country’s real GDP for 2020 is forecast to fall by around 10%, with at least 1 million accompanying job losses, even with the current economic rescue package. In this session, two economists - involved in developing COVID-19 economic policy - explore the measures taken by the South African government and ask: are they enough?

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Altman

Miriam Altman

Miriam is a strategist, economist, and social activist who, for many years has been at the forefront of thinking about employment. Most recently, Miriam brought together the Covid-19 Economists Group to identify solutions aimed at mitigating social and economic effects of Covid-19... Read More →
avatar for Gilad Isaacs

Gilad Isaacs

Gilad is a Co-Director at the Institute for Economic Justice. He is also an economist at Wits University, where he coordinates the National Minimum Wage Research Initiative and lectures. Gilad has a PhD and Masters in Economics from SOAS University of London, and a Masters in Political... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 7

5:00pm

The Gonzo Journalistic World of Two Jewish Photographers and Videographers during a Nationwide Lockdown
Dive deep into the gonzo journalistic world of two photographers and videographers, as they uncover the true South Africa during its nationwide lockdown. From exposing the truce between two rival gangs in the Cape Flats to portraying the tight knit communities in Langa and Lavender Hill (two of the most volatile areas in the Western Cape), these two crazy cats will reveal what is really happening outside of your home during lockdown.

Speakers
avatar for Chad Nathan

Chad Nathan

Chad Nathan is a 26 year old digital nomad, a part-time adventurer and global wanderer with a passion for storytelling. His passion began when he realised he could touch lives through the lens of his camera. He has used his degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship to help launch his... Read More →
avatar for Josh Rubin

Josh Rubin

Joshua Rubin is a documentary photographer and videographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. For the past few years he has been telling the stories of everyday South Africans. He covers stories about people and places that usually go unnoticed and tries to bring more attention to... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 2

5:00pm

Ritual Studio
Over time, many of our rituals becomes habit. Today we deconstruct a ritual like candle lighting, a prayer, or your favorite song into its elements of space, time, story, sound, and magic, for deeper understanding and awakened practice.

Speakers
avatar for Shira Kline

Shira Kline

Recognised as a revolutionary educator and named one of the few new re-engineers of Jewish life, Shira works worldwide as a performance and ritual artist specialising in creative worship and children's spirituality. A co-founder of Storahtelling and Lab/Shul NYC, Shira also presents... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 5:50pm
Room 6

5:00pm

The Religious Meaning of the Coronavirus: Great Challenges and Huge Opportunities
Our world has changed in an instant and with it we are seeing great challenges to Jewish communal life. What are the implications of these changes for our great 3000 year old tradition? In this session, we shall consider this moment and explore the challenges and opportunities it presents to Judaism.

Speakers
avatar for Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Cardozo is a Rabbi and dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem. He heads a think-tank focused on finding new halachic and philosophical approaches to dealing with the crisis of religion and identity amongst Jews and the State of Israel... Read More →


Sunday May 31, 2020 5:00pm - 6:15pm
Room 8

6:10pm

Schmooze Room - It's the post eLimmud hangout zone!
Our Schmooze Room will be open following the conclusion of the final sessions. Please join us there to chat with old friends, connect with new friends, and engage with the presenters.

Sunday May 31, 2020 6:10pm - 7:00pm