Limmud awarded the Jerusalem Unity Prize

March 19, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The Jerusalem Unity Prize has announced the 2017 prize in the “global” category will be awarded to Limmud, the international network of Jewish learning communities.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1980, Limmud today has spread to 84 communities in 44 countries on six continents. In 2016, Limmud’s 4,000 volunteers produced 64 Jewish learning festivals around the world, which drew over 35,000 people.

The prize will be awarded in a ceremony hosted at the residence of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin on June 7th, 2017, which will also mark Global Jewish Unity Day with commemorations and educational events taking place all over the world.

The Jerusalem Unity Prize was developed in by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, together with the Fraenkel, Shaer, and Ifrach families and GESHER, in memory of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaer and Eyal Ifrach, the three teens who were kidnapped and subsequently murdered in the summer of 2014. Now in its third year, the 2017 prize was awarded to initiatives and recipients in three categories: local, national and global.

Mayor Barkat the Chair of the Prize Committee said, “We are honored to bestow this year’s prize on Limmud as an initiative which has so positively impacted people here in Jerusalem, Israel and all over the globe. Limmud, together with the other award recipients, serve as  uniting forces by creating a sense of pride and appreciation for the common bonds within human society both here in Israel and around the world.”

“We are grateful for this meaningful honor,” said Limmud Chair David Hoffman. “Limmud promotes Jewish unity by offering an inclusive cross-communal space for Jews of all ages and backgrounds, to meet, learn, volunteer and build community. Unity is created by Jews working together to build their community and create a dynamic Jewish future, which is embodied by what Limmud does.”

The Prize Committee also announced that the national prize winner, Tzav Pius, which “works to develop an Israeli society in which Jews of differing perceptions along the secular-orthodox spectrum, share a strong commitment to Jewish and democratic values, thus encouraging social and educational changes”.

The award in the local category will be presented to two recipients. The first non-Jewish candidate for the prize, award recipient Dr. Janaan Frajj Falah has worked to advanced initiatives that bridge social gaps between women of diverse  backgrounds in Israel’s North.  The second winner is Kehilat Hadar, based in Haifa, which works to promote social and cultural harmony between local groups of various religions and ethnicities.

Anat Schwarz Weil, Director of the Jerusalem Unity Prize saluted the announced winners saying, “We were once again encouraged to welcome candidates from all around the world promoting the ideals of unity in so many different ways.  The winners demonstrate that the concept of social and communal togetherness is one that spans the globe and is relevant for peoples of all backgrounds and faiths.”

In Sydney, Limmud said:  “Limmud Sydney is proud to be part of the global Limmud movement that has just won the Jerusalem Unity Prize in the category of Global Jewish Unity.

Limmud embodies and promotes Jewish unity by offering an inclusive cross-communal space for people of all ages and backgrounds, to meet, learn, volunteer and build community.

Limmud-Oz 2017 is taking place in Sydney on June 10th -12th. Limmud is a unique, diverse, cross-communal and inter-generational event, where you can hear inspirational talks, awesome international presenters, live music and local experts, take part in debates and arguments, and share big Jewish ideas!

Limmud-Oz offers a broad choice of programming – at any one time there will be three or four talks, performances and workshops – and there is a special program for kids and teens. Topic areas include Israel and the Middle East, society today, memory and history, Jewish thought, arts and creativity, and more! Follow our Facebook for regular updates. Local presenters are encouraged to apply by April 5 at http://www.shalom.edu.au/event/limmud-oz-2017/

Announcing international speakers:
Cnaan Liphshiz – European and Jewish affairs journalist based in the Netherlands – interest area: rising anti-semitism in Europe
Shelley Cohen –  Founder of the Jewish Inclusion Project and advocates for inclusion of children with disabilities in Jewish educational and recreational settings
Steve Greenberg – Founder and co-director of Eshel, a support, education and advocacy organisation for Orthodox LGBT Jews
Sigal Samuel – Religious Affairs editor at The Atlantic, focusing on Jews of colour in the media and whether Trump is good for the Jews

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