WHY WE MUST AGREE TO DISAGREE AT LIMMUD
Last week’s column by Melanie Phillips, together with Richard Bolchover’s letter ( JC, Jan 15) came on the back of a large amount of coverage and social media posts scrutinising my decision to ask Tuvia Tenenbom to step down from a Limmud session to which I had previously invited him.
My decision had nothing to do with his political views.
Rather, the decision was made because the format of the session allowed for no more than three speakers and I had booked one too many in error, and what had started out as a light-hearted affair turned out, when speakers began talking to me about what they wanted to present, to be a rather more serious enterprise.
Given the more satirical tone of his written work, it felt that this session was no longer the right space for Mr. Tenenbom’s more combative style.
Limmud should always seek to work hard to be a welcoming space for Jews with a diverse range of views. This is why I organised and facilitated a successful panel entitled ‘‘Is Limmud Biased?’’. As someone who believes passionately in dialogue, pluralism and Jewish peoplehood, I take seriously the criticisms made, even though many have been inaccurate and hurtful. Balancing competing interests and opinions is never easy, but I will keep trying. Keith Kahn-Harris London