In March 2018, nearly 400 participated in “Big Tent Jewish Learning” at the biennial New Orleans LimmudFest. The weekend of learning, arts, culture and spirituality returns next year, from March 20 to 22.
LimmudFest is part of a global movement inspired by the idea that when Jews from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate and learn about everything Jewish, the entire community is enriched.
In New Orleans, that is taken to a unique level, as Gates of Prayer in Metairie hosts the Shabbat events, including Orthodox, Conservative and Reform services under one roof.
Limmud is a volunteer-led group dedicated to making some of the world’s most dynamic Jewish educators, performers and teachers, working in a variety of educational styles – lectures, workshops, text-study sessions, film, meditation, discussions, exhibits and performance – accessible to everyone, no matter what their level of Jewish knowledge or commitment to Jewish life.
“Wherever you find yourself, Limmud will take you one step further on your Jewish journey,” says Dana Keren, chair of LimmudFest 2020.
After the Shabbat experience in Metairie, programming moves to the Uptown Jewish Community Center for Havdalah and the Sunday sessions.
“We are working on a full list of thoughtful and passionate presenters who will be appearing at LimmudFest,” Keren says. Advisors who are providing mentorship are past LimmudFest chairs Gail Chalew and Aleeza Adelman, and rabbinical advisors from all the New Orleans area congregations.
Organizers hope to attract participants from around the region, and provisions can be made for those who need to be within walking distance of Gates of Prayer during Shabbat.
Working alongside Keren are all-volunteer teams. Orchestrating programming are Cathy Glaser, Jacquelyn Stern and Toby David. Sandy Cohen and Peter Seltzer are spearheading coordination of meals and snacks, which are included in the registration.
Other teams include marketing, logistics, home hospitality, volunteer coordination, fundraising and finance. Those who want to join in planning LimmudFest 2020 should contact the steering committee.
Registration will open this fall, and pricing will be announced soon. The weekend will begin at 4:30 p.m. on March 20 and run through 6 p.m. on March 22. All food and snacks will be kosher, and meals are included in registration.
For more information about LimmudFest 2020, go to http://limmudnola.org/.