Monday, February 23, 2009

The Torah is for Kvelling (revisited): LimmudPhilly

I spent this past weekend at the first LimmudPhilly, the latest franchise of independent Jewish learning conferences operating undering the “Limmud” name. It was great. On the heals of CAJE’s announcement that it was closing it doors, this conference was a signal that Jewish learning, communal gatherings and Jewish continuity are not dead. I presented a session called “Back to Basics: An Introduction to the Talmud” that drew over 40 people and got very good reviews from participants. I got to meet with representatives of the Jewish Publication Society and hear of their exciting new project, the Tagged Bible/Yavnet, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s director of the PJ Library, and Israeli shlichim. I saw performances by educators and artists who I will soon bring to MRT. I was especially impressed by Miss Lisa and Miraj.

But the best part of LimmudPhilly was the kvell factor. A few weeks ago I wrote of my kvelling as my older son read from the Torah for the first time. Limmud was a great bookend to that experience – my mother-in-law (and MRT member), Rita Siegle was co-chair and head organizer of the entire event. I had been hearing about Limmud Philly for over a year but nothing prepared me for the scale and impression of such a large, professional and deep conference. Rita has always been involved in the Jewish community, especially Federation, but there was nothing like seeing her lead havdallah with her planning committee as Elizabeth and the boys and I joined along from the gathered crowd. Sure, there's nothing like watching your own child chant from the Torah. But when he gets to watch his grandmother do something similar.... That's kvelling.

1 comment:

  1. Good meeting. Looks like Ms Lisa would do well to meet with our schoolkids and parents. I looked up Limmud, a big educational organization. Thank you for the note. Bob G.