Early Registration Opens for LimmudFest New Orleans 2020

Photo from LimmudFest New Orleans 2018

Registration is now open for LimmudFest New Orleans 2020, the weekend of Big Tent Jewish Learning.

Held from March 20 to 22, LimmudFest will have over 90 sessions in a variety of tracks, from text study to cultural exploration, Jewish food, social justice, art and history. Each congregation in the community participates in an environment that crosses denominational lines and levels of observance, including Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Shabbat services under one roof. There is also a children’s track.

The weekend begins with services, Shabbat dinner and educational sessions at Gates of Prayer in Metairie. On Shabbat morning, there are services and additional sessions after lunch, then Havdalah and community programming. A full day of sessions will continue at the Uptown Jewish Community Center on March 22.

This month, LimmudFest partnered with the Greater New Orleans Jewish Community Council and 929 North America for a taste of Limmud, through the mini-course “Ego and Leadership: A Crash Course in the Prophets.” Sessions were scheduled at Gates of Prayer, Touro Synagogue and Beth Israel.

On Nov. 14 at Touro Synagogue, the topic will be “David: The Warrior, Creative, Morally Flawed King,” led by Rabbi Marc Gitler of 929 America. Panelists include Rabbi Todd Silverman of Touro Synagogue; Rachel Van Voorhees, the principal harpist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; and Merissa Nathan Gerson, a writer, speaker and spiritual consultant.

On Nov. 21, at Beth Israel in Metairie, Rabbi Josh Pernick will lead a discussion on “Solomon: The Heir to the Kingship.” Confirmed panelists for this event include Bill Hess, former vice-president of ARZA and president of AZM.

Volunteers are encouraged to work on the LimmudFest marketing, programming, logistics, participant care and volunteer development teams. LimmudFest is entirely locally-planned and run by volunteers, and all meals and snacks are under rabbinic supervision.

An international movement, Limmud has conferences in 80 communities around the world. Limmud operates on the core value that everyone is a learner and everyone can be a teacher, and sessions are designed to be interactive. All presenters are volunteering their time, and many of them travel to New Orleans from around the country to present.

Organizers hope to draw participants from the region, and arrangements can be made for those who need home hospitality within walking distance over Shabbat.

Early Bird registrations are being taken through Jan. 31. Adult registration is $85 for the weekend, $60 for just Sunday. Young adult registration for the weekend is $50 and children’s registration is $18.

There is also a LimmudFest Mensch registration of $180, which covers the true, non-subsidized cost for a participant and helps offset registration for someone who can’t afford it.

Registration and more information are available here. The lineup of speakers will be announced soon.