Lim­mud mat­ters

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT & ANALYSIS -

As we cel­e­brate the 175th an­niver­sary year, this leader is a first for the pa­per. On Tues­day, our leader con­fer­ence was held at Lim­mud, and its con­tents crowd-sourced. How ap­pro­pri­ate that one of our com­mu­nity’s rel­a­tive new­com­ers should col­lab­o­rate with our old­est news­pa­per — both icons of Bri­tish Jewry. This year, Lim­mud moved into a more up­mar­ket venue. Some of the old in­for­mal­ity has been lost but, uniquely per­haps for a Jewish au­di­ence, there seems to be near unan­i­mous praise for the change — es­pe­cially the ac­com­mo­da­tion. Since its found­ing in 1980, Lim­mud has been repli­cated world­wide. In a ra­tio­nal world, the mere fact that it is cross-communal might seem the least of its achieve­ments; but ra­tio­nal­ity does not al­ways pre­vail, so such a joint en­ter­prise is one of its most sig­nif­i­cant el­e­ments. That said, the un­der-rep­re­sen­ta­tion of main­stream Or­tho­doxy re­mains a prob­lem. The Chief Rabbi’s pres­ence in 2013 and 2014 was im­por­tant, but there are still Ortho­dox rab­bis who warn con­gre­gants against Lim­mud. In that con­text, the plea by some Lim­mud­niks to re­tain its spirit for the other 51 weeks of the year may be a vain hope — but it is an im­por­tant one.

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