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I’m in Limmud for Love

Why I love Limmud.

I love Limmud. My husband calls it summer camp for Jewish eggheads. He means it in the best possible sense. There’s plenty of intellectual stimulation for those of us craving it. There’s spirituality and Jewish learning for those looking for religious connection. And, like camp, it’s just plain fun. The social dimension of living and eating together with 250 other Jews for three days can’t quite be described. It’s a little like being in a modern shtetl.

I love seeing young adults engaged in Jewish community. I love seeing so many families with young children. I love seeing all levels of religious observance embraced. I love being able to choose between a Shabbat morning service and a lecture on the Syrian Jews.

I love that my 15-year-old daughter disappeared the moment we arrived, and spent her time working as a counselor in Camp Limmud and hanging out with the other “midrachim.” Sunday night I left my film presentation well after midnight and went back to our room. No one was there. Naomi was off with her new friends. I found Stan at the Jew Jam, playing the drums with a large group of  musicians and singers and other happy campers.

I love the conversations that take place around the table at meals or walking to events. One morning my husband fell into conversation with one of our favorite presenters, Muhammad Al-Hussaini, who teaches at the Leo Baeck Rabbinical College in London. He opted to skip his first program and continue the conversation instead. It was the best 90 minutes he spent that day, and it wasn’t on the program.

I’ve been asked what my favorite program was. It’s hard to answer. I thought Deborah Lipstadt’s programs were fascinating. She was but one of several world-class scholars and teachers who participated. But there were great local presenters as well. I always enjoy hearing Carlos Zarur speak. I also loved all the music, especially the Sephardic Fiesta with Ramon Tasat. But mostly I enjoyed the entire experience of being immersed in a community engaged in Jewish learning. I loved every minute of it, even sleeping in the dorm at night. Did I mention we bring our air mattress?

Readers: if you have attended LimmudColorado, please share your comments too!

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn Bernheimer
Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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