Limmud Fest- a weekend to remember

December 3, 2014 by Sharon Berger
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An electrifying silent disco topped off an uplifting Shabbat of intellectual and spiritual nourishment at Limmud Fest last weekend.

Limmud400One hundred and sixty participants and presenters aged 4 – 76 enjoyed a jam-packed weekend filled with diverse sessions, entertainment, delicious food and relaxation. The third Limmud Fest (Sydney) took place in the beautiful natural surrounds of the Central Coast, NSW, to great acclaim.

Participants from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne were spoilt for choice with three to four sessions running concurrently. Particularly popular were the international presenters: Middle East analyst Hagai Segal, Israel studies lecturer Dr David Mendelsson, musician Max Jared and Save a Child’s Heart advocate Dr Yayehyirad Mekonnen.

Limmud-300Participants hailed from all walks of Jewish life and enjoyed a relaxed Shabbat atmosphere with a range of prayer and session options throughout. Everyone joined together for Kabbalat Shabbat, meals and Havdalah, creating a lovely community atmosphere. Havdalah was followed by a fun line-up of entertainment options which included two live music sets and a silent disco under the stars.

Volunteer co-chairs Dane Stern and David Rusnak said “Limmud Fest is a wonderful and unique experience that brings the community together, across ages, backgrounds and religious practices.”

The Young Limmud program had over 20 primary age children who participated in a wide variety of activities and learning opportunities, including baking, singing, rock climbing, bushwalking, acting, meditating, sports carnival, trivia, puzzles, and badge-making.

In the spirit of Limmud, everyone volunteered over the course of the weekend to help things run smoothly, whether in the dining room, the children’s program or sessions. Stern and Rusnak added, “It was a wonderful opportunity to lead such an amazing community event with a great team of dedicated volunteers. The ultimate reward was seeing how much people enjoyed the opportunity to socialise and learn together.”

Stern and Rusnak encourage anyone interested in getting involved in Limmud to volunteer for Limmud-Oz 2015 which will be held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, 6-8 June at UNSW by contacting

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