Both the JLC and its Lead Division had a strong presence at the latest Limmud Conference with sessions given by Interim Chief Executive Simon Johnson, Public Affairs Manager Gabi Kobrin, Head of Policy & Research Yoni Zlotogorski and Lead Programme Manager Karen Danker.
This year was an historic year at Limmud with a record number of 2,600 participants; over 1,000 sessions and over 30,000 kosher meals served. Limmud has successfully and organically bridged the divide between the grassroots of the community and the institutions of British Jewry. The conference was enhanced this year by the presence of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis whose sessions were jammed packed. Natan Sharansky and Ambassador Daniel Taub were also key highlights on the extensive programme. The JLC were amongst a plethora of community organisations who presented a wide range of sessions at the Conference.
The blend of the establishment and grassroots was typified at the session run by Lead, entitled “Grassroots Leaders and Community Establishment – mortal rivals or a marriage made in heaven?” This comprised of panellists who represented both sides. The conversation kicked off with the proposal that the two may not be so far apart, with yesterday’s grassroots initiatives often going on to become part of today’s ‘establishment’. Indeed Limmud was quoted as a prime example of something which started life as grassroots and now, some 30 years later, is very much a key event within mainstream UK Jewry. A lively discussion ensued with plenty of Q & A with the audience. There was a heated discussion on the role of each and if and how they interact.
Simon Johnson, Interim CEO at the JLC eloquently commented that:
Today’s grassroots are tomorrow’s establishment.
If this is the case, British Jewry is in good stead as it was obvious from attending Limmud Conference.