Calgarians find new opportunities for Jewish learning

Calgarians were warmly welcomed and quickly made friends with Winnipegers at the 10th annual Limmud Winnipeg held last month at the Asper Jewish Community Campus in Winnipeg

By Michele Doctoroff – Winnipeg may soon be a new winter travel destination for Alberta Jews.  While the air outside was definitely brisk, the warmth radiated through the tenth annual Limmud Winnipeg at the Asper Jewish Community Campus, Feb. 29 – March 1.

This year 3 current/former Calgarian speakers shared their insights and expertise in 5 separate sessions. Accompanying them were 5 more Calgarians, many experiencing their first, but probably not last Limmud weekend.

Limmud is an international Jewish learning experience, happening worldwide for the past 40 years in over 90 different communities in 38 countries.  This past December Limmud England held a 5-day Limmud with over 1000 sessions.  Winnipeg Limmud is more modest with over 30 sessions spread over 1 ½ days, attracting approximately 450 participants.

From live Kirtan music, Kosher cooking demos, cultural, historical and political presentations and more, there was something for everyone as participants chose 7 different sessions to attend.  The Saturday-night dessert table offered amazing tortes and cheesecakes, including the Winnipeg famous shmoo torte. Sunday’s breakfast, lunch, and snacks were also included in the very reasonable $60 registration fee.

Rabbi Mark Glickman from Temple B’nai Tikvah in Calgary engaged his audiences with the fascinating story of the Cairo Genizah, where nearly 300,000 individual documents, many over 1,000 years old have been recovered, and what this discovery has meant for our understanding of our past.  In his second session, he shared an epic tale of cultural destruction and survival of how the Nazis plundered tens of millions of Jewish books, highlighting the many books from the collection that survived.

Calgary Temple B’nai Tikvah’s Rabbi Mark Glickman shared the fascinating story of the Cairo Genizah with Limmud attendees.

With deep emotion, Andrea Davis from Calgary shared her terrifying experience of having to make a decision to jump into the ocean from a sinking cruise ship. Her gratitude for all the smallest kindnesses extended to her and her husband as they survived the horrific night and its aftermath, brought a tear to the faces of all in the room.  As Andrea shared her resiliency and healing, she brought audience members to a place of gratitude and love.

Sydney Switzer, originally from Calgary, was one of several international speakers, arriving from her current home in Glasgow.  She shared from her unique experience working as a Jewish educator in the vibrant Jewish community in Mumbai, telling of the many customs and traditions unique to Indian Jewry.  Her second presentation discussed new approaches and thinking for engaging young adults in a Jewish world that has meaning for them, and she highlighted many opportunities that are available to young Jewish adults worldwide.

All the Calgary participants and speakers were very impressed with the diversity and expertise of the speakers.  The biggest challenge was deciding which sessions to attend.

For more information on how to present at Limmud Winnipeg, March 6 and 7, 2021, or to attend as a participant contact Florencia Katz

For more information on connecting with Albertans attending, contact Michele Doctoroff

Michele Doctoroff is a three-time Winnipeg Limmud attendee and passionate about bringing people together for unique & meaningful Jewish experiences.

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