Board of Deputies @ Limmud Festival 2020

Image credit: Board of Deputies

Limmud Festival 2020 is just around the corner – and the Board of Deputies will be out in force.

With sessions on everything from religious freedoms in Europe and stories about Jewish women from Britain’s archives, to a panel with key Labour ‘women of valour’ Dame Margaret Hodge and Dame Louise Ellman, as well as a discussion with Conservative MP Christian Wakeford, the Board of Deputies programme is sure to have you covered.

See below for our programme, with the full Limmud programme available to view here. You can register for Limmud Festival via their website.

(Please note – full session information is listed below for Board of Deputies sessions, with other sessions featuring Board of Deputies Honorary Officers and staff highlighted in red.)


Sunday 27th December

13:00 – 13:50

The threat to Jewish religious freedom in Europe – Amanda Bowman, Sheila Gewolb, Jonathan Arkush, Rabbi Jair Melchior, Aron Verstandig

Jewish religious freedom is coming under threat from the right, left and the secularist centre throughout Europe. There have been unsuccessful legislative attempts to ban brit Milah and shechita, and in some countries bans on shechita already exist. What is driving the situation and what can we do to push back and defend our religious rights?

17:00 – 17:50

Antisemitism, Brexit and Coronavirus; An ABC of Jewish Public Policy – Philip Rosenberg

Hear from the Public Affairs Director of the Board of Deputies of British Jews on key community public policy issues. This session will go beyond the ‘ABC’ issues to discuss the Abraham Accords, how we are working to overcome threats to freedom of religion and belief across the world and the future of Eco Synagogue.

17:00 – 17:20

Hidden Treasures: celebrating Jewish archives in Britain – Dawn Waterman

Dawn Waterman from the Board of Deputies Hidden Treasures project – which celebrates Jewish archives in Britain – will be sharing some of the treasures from archives that tell the stories of Jewish women in Britain.


Monday 28th December

11:00 – 11:50

Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community – Stephen Bush

The Board of Deputies established its Commission on Racial Inclusivity, following the killling of George Floyd and the international outcry that followed, to hear about the experiences of Black Jews, Jews of Colour and Mizrachi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jews. Led by the Commission’s Chair, Stephen Bush, this session will offer insights into recommendations currently being considered, and the likely implications for the Jewish community.

11:00 – 11:20

Connecting the Commonwealth – through faith, friendship and feminism – Lauren Keiles, Mary Mugabi

12:00 – 12:50

Women of valour: Dame Margaret Hodge and Dame Louise Ellman, on Antisemitism, Labour and Israel – Marie van der Zyl, Margaret Hodge and Louise Ellman

Chaired by Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl, hear reflections on the challenges faced under Corbyn and what steps will be needed to return the Labour Party to its anti-racist roots. The potential implications of developments in Israel and the USA for International Relations and the global Jewish community will be discussed.

16:00 – 16:50

Deputies Limmud Social

Plus: The Board of Deputies will be presenting at Teen Limmud!


Tuesday 29th December

13:00 – 13:50

LIMMUD @40: Do smaller Jewish communities have a future?

Sheila Gewolb, Marion Kinshuck, Sarita Robinson, Shannon Kirshner

15:00 – 15:50

LIMMUD @40: How does the Jewish community remain intact? – Marie van der Zyl, Claudia Mendoza, Debbie Young-Somers, Alex Goldberg

19:00 – 19:50

North by Northwest: A discussion with Christian Wakeford MP – Gillian Merron, Christian Wakeford

In 2019, Christian Wakeford was elected MP for Bury South, the constituency with the largest Jewish community outside of London. Here in conversation with Gillian Merron, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (herself a former MP), he will discuss how it has felt adapting to life as a Parliamentary representative during a global health crisis, his close relationship with the communities in Prestwich and Whitefield and his positions on antisemitism, Israel and religious freedom.


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