Limmud-Oz: The organisers report

June 17, 2011 Agencies
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On a rainy and windy long weekend, over 1000 people heard over 200 presenters talk, act, sing, and argue about everything from Israel to asylum seekers.

“The atmosphere was amazing! It was abuzz from Saturday night through to Monday evening” said Program Director Michael Misrachi. Headline international presenters like Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, Israeli singer Efrat Gosh and former Knesset member Naomi Chazan drew the largest crowds, but participants enjoyed the opportunity to choose from a truly diverse array of sessions and subjects.
Limmud-Oz is one of the few opportunities for the entire Jewish community to come together. Religious and secular Jews dined together, left-wing and right-wing participants engaged in vigorous discussion. Israeli music sensation Efrat Gosh performed while sessions on Jewish identity, interfaith dialogue, and Martin Buber carried on elsewhere.
The majority of participants came from Sydney, but there were also a number of attendees from Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia. Limmud-Oz also hosted a number of outstanding interstate presenters including David Solomon from Perth, whose one hour summaries of Jewish philosophy, history and the Jewish future, proved hugely popular.
“With all the amazing lectures to choose from, I felt like a kid in a candy store” said participant Lynn Langman, whose children also enjoyed the Young Limmud program.
The Young Limmud program for children aged 5-12 was also a great success, with numbers of participants almost doubling.
The Limmud-Oz experience went far beyond the intellectual, with sessions on whisky tasting, juggling, chocolate making, yoga, art, and musical performances.
“Limmud-Oz reflected an amazing outpouring of community spirit” Misrachi added, “From the presenters who give so generously of their time and talents and the volunteer organisers, to the thousands of participants who savour the diversity and dynamism of the experience”.
Limmud-Oz is one of 50 annual Limmud events worldwide, all modelled on Limmud in the UK, which began in 1980.

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