Friday, June 19, is the deadline for early-bird registration for the seventh-annual LimmudFest weekend retreat.
LimmudFest is one of three multiday North American conferences of the worldwide Limmud network, which has spread to more than 60 nations since its founding in Britain 30 years ago.
The festival attracts Jews of all backgrounds, lifestyles and ages for lively, open learning sessions and worship. Participants choose from more than 70 workshops, discussions, speakers, musical performances, arts, text study, Jewish culture and ritual, all planned by Limmud’s diverse volunteers. Anyone who registers may propose a session.
“No other place in Jewish Atlanta looks like Limmud,” board chair Nina Rubin said. “We are a crossroad for singles, young families with kids, Gen Xers, millennials, boomers and beyond.”
The speakers and presenters are a mix of internationally recognized scholars and locals, including:
- Midrash scholar Yaffa Epstein from Israel’s Pardes Institute.
- Leah and Ari Sollish of Chabad Intown.
- University of Georgia professor Richard Elliott Friedman,author of “Who Wrote the Bible?”
- Peter Geffen, the founder of KIVUNIM, an organization that brings teens and college students to Israel to build lifelong connections.
- Brooklyn foodie Liz Alpern of The Gefilteria.
- Storyteller and Limmud favorite Janie Gracken.
- Billy Planer, the director of Etgar 36, a civil rights travel program.
- Helene and Michael Kates, the Baal Shem Tones.
- Tamara Cohen of Moving Traditions, which promotes self-discovery through work on body image and gender identity.
- Ruth Abusch-Magder, rabbi in residence of Be’chol Lashon, an organization devoted to the Jewish community’s diversity, and editor of its blog on MyJewishLearning.com.
LimmudFest is not aligned with any denomination, and participants range from Orthodox synagogue members to the unaffiliated, united by a love of learning and a desire to craft their personal Jewish journeys. LimmudFest drops such titles as rabbi, doctor and professor, and everyone is on a first-name basis.
“We’re a comfortable place for every level of Jewish observance,” Rubin said. “Limmud makes it work with love and respect for all.”
The Camp Ramah Darom staff will run Camp Ramah @ Limmud for children ages 5 to 12. “My daughter looks forward to LimmudFest all year long,” said ModernTribe owner Jennie Rivlin Roberts, a past chair of LimmudFest. “She loves her Limmud friends and especially the Havdalah bonfire, complete with kosher s’mores.”
Ramah Darom’s recreational options, including swimming, boating, hiking and rock climbing, are open to participants when they aren’t in learning sessions. The dining room porch serves as a central site for schmoozing during the day and a bar for ages 21 and older at night.
Registration includes all kosher meals and lodging, which ranges from camping ($180 per person early bird, $199 regular) to staying in a deluxe motel room ($540 early, $590 regular). Visit www.limmudse.org/limmudfest.html for full registration information.