Liberals spur Midlands Limmud to roaring success

8 August 2016

Members of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (BPS) played a prominent part in the success of the first regional Limmud in the city.

Limmud Birmingham WM was held in the education centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, with BPS members taking up key roles on the organising committee.

Some 200 people seized the chance to explore the well-prescribed values and purpose of Limmud – delving more deeply into rich sources of Jewish learning and culture.

Presentations on a number of wide-ranging subjects were given by leading figures in religious, medical, academic and other specialist fields.

David Gourevitch, a professor of surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a member of BPS, engaged with Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi to confront dilemmas posed by treatment at the end of life.

David described artificial feeding and presented case studies to indicate when it might or might not be appropriate. Margaret talked about the halacha regarding the preservation of life and the different opinions on artificial feeding.

Not all the sessions were confined to issues of such a serious nature. Words and music were there for people to sing when one presenter featured some of the best Jewish lyricists from the age of the great American songbook, while the film-making talents of Richard Rothschild Pearson were celebrated with a viewing of his compelling television documentary on the Israeli mission to rescue thousands of Ethiopian Jews.

Jake Fifer, co-leader of the BPS choir, played a leading part in bringing the ground-breaking regional Limmud to a resounding conclusion.

One of the Limmud Birmingham WM organisers, and BPS member, Joe Seager said: “An event as challenging as a Limmud assembly demanded much time and effort to bring to fruition. But it was a highly satisfying experience and one I was fortunate to share with other members of the organising committee, which included Michal Arrowsmith and John Boulton. They made significant contributions to produce what was overwhelmingly regarded as an enormous outcome.”

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