An invigorating day of Jewish learning brought a diverse crowd together.
Nearly 450 people soaked up Jewish learning from a variety of educators during Limmud Michigan March 11 at the Student Center at Wayne State University.
Participants had 70 sessions to choose from during the full day, including topics such as arts and culture, current events, social justice, Israel, our community, text and thought, Jewish life and practice, history, identity, and body and soul. A new track was for teachers by teachers.
In between sessions, people stopped to chat, comparing thoughts about different speakers and topics.
Limmud, a Hebrew word meaning “learning,” started in the early 1980s in England, as an activity for Jews during the Christmas holiday week when not much else was going on. It has spread around the world, with 88 cities on six continents holding Limmud programs.
Dr. Jeff Veidlinger, director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at U-M, presents “Anti-Semitism and the Alt-Right.”
Members of the Limmud Michigan Steering Committee
Ariella Nadel of Farber Hebrew Day School presents “The Prophet You Thought You Already Knew – Elijah.”
Limmud volunteers Wendy Kohlenberg and Carol Fogel, both of West Bloomfield, flank Debbie Levin of Southfield.
Rabbi Alana Alpert of Congregation T’chiyah and Detroit Jews for Justice presents “Mayim Hayyim – A Jewish Perspective on Water Justice.”
“When you work professionally in the Jewish community you get bogged down in the day-to-day minutia. Limmud is an opportunity to pause and reflect on Jewish teachings and traditions from an angle I do not normally contact on a day-to-day basis. The day helps me take a breath and clarifies why Judaism and my work within the Jewish community is important to me.” — Eleanor Gamalski, Hamtramck, community organizer for Detroit Jews for Justice
“What a beautiful cross-section of the Jewish community. It is incredible to behold so many people gathered together just to grow Jewishly. There really is strength in numbers. Seeing people talking with strangers … is just beautiful. I enjoyed feeling the excitement and thirst of people who came in wanting to learn, and the contentment of people at the close of the program who have spent the day in learning.” — Mark Nadel, Southfield
“Today was a great coming together of a diversity of Jews who represented different ages, viewpoints, and religious and cultural backgrounds. I saw many familiar faces as well as many new faces and spoke to people I had never met before. It was great to have conversations and learn across all these (demographic) lines within the Jewish community.” — Essie Shachar-Hill, grad student, Jewish Community Leaderhip Program, U-M
Phyllis Soltz, Deborah Cymerint, Katelyn Cymerint and Madelyne Soltz
“Jewish learning continues to be important to me as I spent a gap year in Israel between high school and college with Young Judaea. I saw this day as a time to learn about Judaism with my grandmother, aunt and cousin and to continue my passion for Jewish learning and involvement.”
— Madelyne Soltz, 23, Royal Oak
“It has been a joy to learn with the women in my family. All the classes we attended sparked an interest in learning for my daughter that left her with the desire to learn even more.”
— Deborah Cymerint, Livonia