So You’re Registered For Limmud? How About Volunteering While You’re At It?

Volunteer.pngOne of the key values that all Limmud gatherings share is the emphasis on volunteer participation. There are many reasons for the key role this value has for Limmud–for starters, all Limmud sites are not-for-profit, and rely heavily on volunteers to make things run smoothly. Even more importantly, we want Limmud to be a new kind of community, one that crosses the usual divisions of religious denomination and levels of observance, age, gender, and geography. We want everyone to attends the Limmud gathering to feel the sense of ownership that goes along with actively participating in a communal endeavor.

Volunteering takes many forms. You can work to your strengths or use this opportunity build new skills. For some people, speaking out during a Limmud session and sharing an idea or experience is their form of volunteering. For others, sharing skills such as AV/technical prowess is appreciated. For others, skills of mediation can come in handy to help remind participants of the other values of respect and “arguments for the sake of heaven,” i.e. maintaining civility while discussing passionate topics. Others can offer their time by staffing the reception table, serving as room monitors, cleaning up after lunch, or directing participants to the proper rooms between each session. All of these are vital to the overall process. (you can check out some of our volunteer needs here and then email Deirdre at dbhirsch@umich.edu to sign up for one or more of those shifts)

You may even decide that you were inspired by participating in this first ever Limmud Michigan, and want to have a greater role in planning the event next year! If so, please let us know! Email askus@limmudmichigan.org.

– Mira


www.limmudmichigan.org

 

So You’re Registered For Limmud? How About Volunteering While You’re At It?

Fun for the Whole Family: Camp Limmud!

Did you know that Limmud is an experience for the whole family? For children grades K-8, Camp Ramah will be bringing the magic of Jewish summer camp to the Limmud MI community!

Camp.pngThe Ramah Metro-Detroit Fellows, a group of full-time camp professionals in the Metro Detroit area, will be leading Camp Limmud – a taste of Ramah right here in Ann Arbor! They will be running an 8-hour day camp packed with activities, programs, and field trips. Between Hanukkah Camp, their upcoming Pesach Camp, and other day-camp intensives that the Ramah Fellows have run throughout the three-year tenure of their program, daylong experiences like Camp Limmud have become their specialty.

Sign up your kiddos using our registration form: www.limmudmichigan.org/register ($15/child)

  1. What is Camp Ramah?

Camp Ramah is a network of 9 overnight camps, 4 day camps, and year-round programs that are affiliated with Conservative Judaism, and boast camper representation from Reform, Reconstructionist, Modern Orthodox, as well as unaffiliated backgrounds. Through Jewish summer camp and Israel programs, Camp Ramah aspires to transform children and young adults into upstanding Jewish leaders and role models, committed to leading a Jewish life.

  1. What can we expect from Camp Ramah at Limmud?

Camp Ramah at Limmud MI will offer a fun, safe, age-appropriate experience for children in grades K – 8. Planned and led by the Ramah Metro-Detroit Fellows, the camp will include exciting activities such as storytelling, music, art, sports, drama, Hebrew scavenger hunts, Israeli dancing and more. Children will also be able to choose their own electives, form new friendships, and benefit from activities led by Limmud presenters. Children will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that Ann Arbor has to offer, by going on field trips within walking distance of the Michigan Union. The day will include an outing to the National History Museum for a planetarium show, workshops from various University of Michigan student-led clubs, a visit to campus radio station WCBN, and excursions to public parks. The day will conclude with a family program led by Limmud presenters.

  1. Who are the Ramah Metro-Detroit Fellows?

Serving as ambassadors of the Ramah camping movement, the Ramah Metro-Detroit Fellows, Miles Greenspoon, Darrien Sherman, Jared Skoff, and Mai Tannen, are four full-time Jewish professionals working in the Detroit Jewish community. This fellowship, generously funded by The Davidson Foundation, is part of a grant that also provides scholarships to Ramah campers across the Metro-Detroit Jewish community.

Beyond Camp Limmud, the Fellows have led four different intensive day camp experiences, and are currently gearing up for their upcoming weeklong Pesach Camp at the end of April, which will feature music, cooking, dance, magic, and other specialists from around the United States, Canada, and Israel. In the three years of the program, hundreds of campers have enrolled in their day camps and dozens of teen volunteers have served as madrichim (counselors).

The 2016-2017 academic year will mark the fourth of hopefully many years of the Ramah Fellowship to come.

  1. What makes the Ramah experience unique, in the context of our Limmud values?

The Limmud values of community and mutual responsibility, enabling connections, learning, and expanding Jewish horizons are all core values that Ramah imprints on its campers, staff members, and alumni.

Camp Ramah represents a lifelong investment in community and personal Jewish growth. With a widespread alumni network and commitment to lifelong and year-round educational opportunities, Ramah provides a network of community that carries through one’s entire life. During their camp experience, campers acquire the necessary skills to return to their home communities and become active, conscientious Jewish leaders. Whether it is the skill of leading a shiva minyan or the opportunity to travel to Jewish communities around the globe, the Ramah experience nurtures every individual’s Jewish journey. Ramah provides an environment for campers and young adults to explore and develop a personalized connection and love for Judaism.

– Darrien Sherman & Jared Skoff

Sign up your kiddos using our registration form: www.limmudmichigan.org/register ($15/child)


www.limmudmichigan.org

Fun for the Whole Family: Camp Limmud!

Who’s Presenting? Sid Schwarz

Before our inaugural Limmud Michigan event arrives, we want to offer our participants a chance to get to know some of our fantastic presenters. Check out how Sid Schwarz answered our questions about who his favorite Jewish superhero is, among other things:

  1. What’s your favorite Jewish topic to struggle with?
    If I simply clocked the hours I spend reading, thinking and acting on different issues of Jewish life, the future of Israel would top my list as the issue I most struggle with. I think that the creation of the State of Israel is the single most important development for the Jewish people in the last 100 years. That so many younger Jews can shape their Jewish identity without even engaging with the implications of having a Jewish homeland, boggles my mind. Yet I am also deeply worried about how Israel is navigating its present and its future and what it means for the way people view Judaism and the Jewish people.
  1. Take a look at our Limmud values. Which one of these speaks to you most right now? Why?
    I am especially drawn to the value of empowerment. I founded a synagogue in the late 1980’s (Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD) and one of its key features was an ethos of empowerment. I was committed not to have Judaism only be delivered by “the sage on the stage” (me?). We created a communal culture where every Jew was challenged to grow in their knowledge and was given opportunities to offer leadership in a wide range of activities from chesed work (acts of lovingkindness and personal support) to social justice, to speaking from the bima. I am blessed to still be playing a rabbinic role in a community that now numbers close to 500 households. Every time I walk out of the place I am inspired at the way the community continues to grow, not only in size, but in depth.
  1. What’s your best memory of being in Jewish community this past year?
    Clearly the privilege of founding and leading Adat Shalom.
  1. Who’s your Jewish superhero, historical or current?
    We, as a people, are blessed to have many heroes, both past and present. I will mention one that few American Jews know about. Rene Cassin (1887-1976) was a French Jew, a lawyer and a member of the French Supreme Court. As prominent as he became in legal and political circles, he never left his Jewish commitments behind. In fact he organized the first pan-European association of Jewish communities (the CCJO). He was a leading human rights advocate and worked closely with Eleanor Roosevelt to write the core charter of international human right–the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In 1968 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. We need more such Jews today—committed to our Jewish heritage but also committed to creating a better world for all.

 

Sid-cropped-400x400Sid Schwarz is a senior fellow at CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he directs the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI), a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders. He is also the director of the Rene Cassin Fellowship Program, a year-long fellowship on Judaism and human rights for young professionals with hubs in New York, London and Jerusalem. Sid founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for 21 years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD where he continues to teach and lead services. Rabbi Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history and is the author of two groundbreaking books: Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue (Jewish Lights, 2000) and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World (Jewish Lights, 2006). He was awarded the prestigious Covenant Award for his pioneering work in the field of Jewish education and was named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Sid’s newest book is Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future (Jewish Lights, 2013).

Sid’s presentations are made possible by a grant from The Covenant Foundation.


www.limmudmichigan.org

 

Who’s Presenting? Sid Schwarz

Who’s Presenting? Kirsten Fermaglich

Before our inaugural Limmud Michigan event arrives, we want to offer our participants a chance to get to know some of our fantastic presenters. Check out how Kirsten Fermaglich answered our questions about who her favorite Jewish superhero is, among other things:

  1. What’s your favorite Jewish topic to struggle with?
    I’m interested in thinking about secular Jews at the edge of the community—what makes these people Jewish?
  1. Take a look at our Limmud values. Which one of these speaks to you most right now? Why?
    Learning changes people, inspires action and opens new worlds I like to think about the ways that learning changes me as well as my students. I am working on my own research this year, and it’s exciting to think about how it exposes me to new things and changes how I see the world.
  1. What’s your best memory of being in Jewish community this past year?
    My synagogue had a sing-a-long Fiddler on the Roof event that united children with parents and grandchildren. My kids loved it, and we all had a wonderful time.
  1. Who’s your Jewish superhero, historical or current?
    Betty Friedan is my historical Jewish superhero. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is my current Jewish superhero.

a172Kirsten Fermaglich has been teaching history and Jewish Studies at Michigan State since 2001. Her interests center around the historical meanings and problematic nature of ethnic identity in the United States: she is particularly interested in secular Jews as both members of and outsiders to the Jewish community. She is also interested in the ways that gender, race, class, and family intersect with ethnic identity. Prof. Fermaglich’s first book, American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares (Brandeis University Press, 2006) looked at secular Jewish intellectuals’ uses of the Holocaust in the early 1960s. Her current project, tentatively entitled A Rosenberg by Any Other Name, explores the history of name changing in the United States in the twentieth century. She also co-edited, with Lisa Fine, the Norton Critical Edition of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (2013).


www.limmudmichigan.org

 

Who’s Presenting? Kirsten Fermaglich

The Program 2016

We are so excited to publish the schedule of Limmud Michigan 2016! You can find the program either on our website or by going to the Sched.org site. Two options, same information!

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 5.37.54 PM.png

Some of the special features of this schedule:

  • If you click one of the tracks (i.e. “Arts & Culture” or “Jewish Life & Practice”), you’ll be able to see only the sessions on that track.
    • fyi: you’ll see the tracks listed on the bottom of the Limmud Michigan website version and on the right side of the page when you go to the Sched.org version.
  • If you hover over a certain session, a brief description of it will appear along with the speaker, the location, and the tracks that it falls under. If you click on the session, all of this information will pop up in a new screen.
  • There are a number of ways to view the schedule. Hover over the “Schedule” button at the top of the screen to see these options.
  • When you click on the “Presenters” tab at the top of the screen, you’ll be able to see all the presenters listed. When you click into a presenter, scroll down and you’ll be able to see which sessions they’re offering.
  • The schedule looks really pretty on your phone. Check it out: http://limmudmichigan2016a.sched.org/mobile

Have any questions about how to access the schedule or how to navigate it? Ask!


www.limmudmichigan.org

 

The Program 2016

Who’s Presenting? Blair Nosan

Before our inaugural Limmud Michigan event arrives, we want to offer our participants a chance to get to know some of our fantastic presenters. Check out how Blair Nosan answered our questions about who her favorite Jewish superhero is, among other things:

  1. What’s your favorite Jewish topic to struggle with?
    My favorite Jewish topic to struggle with is kashrut.  I love trying to understand the laws and what they tell us about our food (and how our relationship with food has changed) and how we think about community/communal norms.  I often struggle with questions of boundaries, universalism, and particularism through kashrut and always feel pushed and pulled to think about my own values.
  1. Take a look at our Limmud values. Which one of these speaks to you most right now? Why?
    Everyone should be a student and anyone can be a teacher.  As someone who didn’t grow up with a strong Jewish education, I often felt timid in Jewish learning settings in my young adult life.  It has been a transformative part of my own education that teachers and guides have helped me to see myself both for what I can teach but also for what I can learn as a teacher.
  1. What has been a highlight of your Jewish journey?
    Living at Isabella Freedman for 8 months in 2008 was one of my best Jewish experiences to date, because it so seamlessly integrated the physical, intellectual, and spiritual realms of Jewish life.
  1. Who’s your Jewish superhero, historical or current?
    Probably Alicia Jo Rabins right now, she’s a female rock singer and jewish educator who writes midrash about female biblical characters and puts them to wonderful music.  I love that she is making deep and complex art from women’s stories for popular consumption.

self


Blair Nosan
is a Jewish pickler, a self-titled “Spontaneous Preservationist.” She was born in Detroit’s suburbs, first learned to pickle at Adamah in the summer of 2008, and has been thinking about Jews, preservation, and transformation ever since. She lives in Detroit.

 

Who’s Presenting? Blair Nosan

Who’s Presenting? Menachem Kaiser

Before our inaugural Limmud Michigan event arrives, we want to offer our participants a chance to get to know some of our fantastic presenters. Check out how Menachem Kaiser answered our questions about who his favorite Jewish superhero is, among other things:

  1. What’s your favorite Jewish topic to struggle with?
    Whew, this is a tough one. I spend most of my time writing (trying to write) fiction, and Jews and Jewish things somehow always seem to sneak their way in there, whether or not they’ve been invited. So my struggles here are abstract but real: like, how much Jewish is too Jewish? Which audience am I going to alienate? Do I have responsibilities to uphold? respect? subvert? invert? transgress? the Jewish values, ideas, ideals, representations I’m used to?
  1. Take a look at our Limmud values. Which one of these speaks to you most right now? Why?
    Arguments for the sake of heaven – though I choose to read this as a little differently: arguments l’shma: arguments that aren’t meant to be resolved, that are less about the conclusion than the process. We have a great tradition of argument. It’s my favorite feature of Judaism.
  1. What’s your best memory of being in Jewish community this past year? I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a Beis Din. While not necessarily my best memory (it was a little traumatic, to be honest), it’s certainly the most memorable.
  1. Who’s your Jewish superhero, historical or current?
    Saul Bellow.

Kaiser_Menachem

Menachem Kaiser is a writer and journalist. His work has appeared in the Wall Street JournalLos Angeles Review of BooksThe Atlantic and elsewhere. In 2010-2011, Menachem was a Fulbright Fellow in Lithuania, where he studied post-Holocaust memory and narrative, and was a visiting professor at Vilnius University. Menachem is a graduate of Columbia University, and is pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Michigan. He is a current Wexner Graduate Fellow.


www.limmudmichigan.org

Who’s Presenting? Menachem Kaiser