Jewish learning festival Jan. 19-20

The Puget Sound area will host the second annual Limmud Seattle at Bellevue Community College.

  • Friday, January 18, 2019 9:48am
  • Life

The Puget Sound area will host the second annual Limmud Seattle at Bellevue Community College Jan. 19-20.

The event will draw Jewish people of all ages from Washington as well as attracting participants from Portland, Ore., Vancouver and as far as Jerusalem.

Limmud, which comes from the Hebrew word meaning “learning,” provides sessions on a range of Jewish topics, from arts and culture, to history and philosophy to parenting for singles and couples. Sessions are led by educators, professionals or passionate community experts. “We are thrilled by the diversity of programming and attendance for the 2019 Limmud Festival,” said Cara Abrams-Simonton, co-chair of Limmud Seattle. “With over 150 volunteers we’ve created a festival where everyone can find something relevant for their life.”

Examples of programming include:

• Modern Society and Societal Change conversations that bring together issues that matter to society at large and their impact on Jewish communities.

• Mind, Body and Soul sessions open to beginners and experienced practitioners of yoga, meditation and other holistic approaches to center physical and mental well-being

• Philosophy and Culture, offering multiple ways to delve into Jewish sacred texts with insights that are meaningful and inclusive.

• Social Justice and Ethics, confronting anti-semitism, what it means to be Jewish, gender and non-binary issues in the Torah will be discussed during several sessions.

• Programming for Youth including hands-on activities to celebrate the trees, learn about saving the planet, bring alive human virtue through art making, and Jewish culture and tradition through song.

Participation is a cornerstone of the Limmud Festival with opportunities to be part of performances, sing-a-longs and a drum circle.

Local, national and international performers include Alicia Jo Rabins and Texas native Joe Buchanan. Participants can join a pick-up Klezmer band with local artists Harvey Niebulski and Jay Krulewitch.

Other opportunities include presentations by David Moss an internationally recognized illustrator and animator, who will demonstrate how color, form and design are used to expresses Jewish text and values through Ketubbot (Jewish marital agreements), books and prints, Marge Eiseman, an award-winning Jewish educator and singer-songwriter who will conduct a workshop on creating comfort shawls, and Simon Emein, a Jewish educator known for his interactive youth programs, will lead participants in a session about the beauty of Jewish scribal arts through calligraphy.

“Once again we scheduled this event to coincide with Martin Luther King weekend,” explained Limmud Seattle co-founder Robert Hovden. “The festival will feature a tribute titled Melodies for Martin, where participants will gather to sing songs from the civil rights, labor and anti-war movements.”

Limmud is part of a global movement of volunteer-led Jewish learning festivals hosted in 85 communities in 44 countries across six continents ranging from the first event in London in 1980 to more recent festivals in Hong Kong, India, Peru and Colombia.

To learn more or purchase tickets ($36-$72) go online to

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