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SA Organisations

Limmud wins a prize for uniting Jews

  • Limmud1
Limmud, the international network of Jewish learning communities, will receive the Jerusalem Unity Prize in the Diaspora category on Unity Day, June 7, in recognition of its global success in bringing Jews together. The award will be bestowed in Jerusalem by President Reuven Rivlin.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Mar 23, 2017

“We are grateful for this fabulous honour,” said Limmud global chairman, David Hoffman. “Limmud promotes Jewish unity by offering an inclusive cross-communal space for Jews of all ages and backgrounds, to meet, learn, volunteer and build community.

“Unity is about celebrating our diversity while working together to build community and create a dynamic Jewish future. This is what Limmud does.”

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1980, Limmud today has expanded to 84 communities in 44 countries on six continents. Last year Limmud’s 4 000 volunteers produced 74 Jewish learning festivals and events around the world, which drew over 40 000 people.

Limmud South Africa takes place across three cities during the month of August, drawing over 2 000 participants. It is considered one of the success stories of World Limmud. 

Adina Roth, Limmud SA national chairman, said: “When Limmud SA started in 2007, we hoped to emulate the world-class conferences in England and make Limmud SA our own with a unique South African, Jewish flavour.

“However, what we did not anticipate was that the Limmud volunteer culture would develop a community of volunteers and leaders who take responsibility and communal spearhead initiatives throughout the year. 

“It is very gratifying to see our Limmud volunteers assume positions in Jewish public office, become thought leaders and go on to develop other start-ups in the Jewish community and more broadly in the South African community. 

“Eleven years on, we consider Limmud SA’s volunteer culture to be a greenhouse that grows and nurtures Jewish leadership in South Africa. We have become much more than an annual conference.”

Limmud board member and head of strategic development, South African David Bilchitz, says: “Today, when deep schisms separate Jews - politically, religiously, within communities and between the Diaspora and Israel - the Limmud model and message is more necessary than ever.

“Building and sustaining unity takes hard work and a constant effort to understand and bridge our differences. Owing to Limmud’s shared values, it offers a platform to explore, understand and discuss differences, emphasising common denominators and what we can learn from each other.

“It is thus a beacon of light in building the future of community through respect and accepting diverse Jewish identities.”

The Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day recognise individuals, organisations, and initiatives in Israel and throughout the Jewish world, which advance mutual respect among the Jewish people.

"Limmud has shown that in an increasingly polarised world, we are strongest when
 we work together,” said Limmud Chief Executive Eli Ovits. “As one people, across 
Israel and the Diaspora, hand in hand with all denominations and parts of society, 
unity becomes reality.” 

 

 

 

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