Limmud Oz 2024

The program offers sessions run by a range of educators, artists, academics, performers and it is up to you as to which to attend.

Limmud Oz returns to Sydney on June 9-10, with an exciting program that has something for everyone.

Limmud began in 1980 as a conference in the UK for Jewish educators and has grown into a large international organisation based in over 40 countries and almost 100 communities worldwide.

Limmud is not affiliated with any stream of Judaism or political ideology and offers opportunities to explore the diversity of Jewish culture. The program offers sessions run by a range of educators, artists, academics, performers and it is up to you as to which to attend.

Highlights from this year’s programs include “Being a Jewish Journalist Since October 7”, with panellists including The AJN’s senior journalist Carly Adno, along with Ron Kampeas – the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Washington Bureau Chief.

Ron Kampeas, Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Washington Bureau Chief.

Speaking to The AJN about the importance of Jewish journalism, Kampeas noted the role that Jewish reporters played in alerting the world to the horrors of the Holocaust which were often dismissed by the general media. Kampeas said Jewish journalists must not be “sucked into the narrative of the secular media when it’s wrong … the stakes are high for them, but they are even higher for us. We have to get it right.”

Other international guests include Ben M. Freeman, founder of the Jewish Pride Movement. Freeman is an acclaimed UK author, Holocaust scholar and global influencer. He wrote Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People and its follow up, Reclaiming our Story: The Pursuit of Jewish Pride, and he is currently working on The Jews: An Indigenous People.

Interviewed by The AJN, Freeman said he was inspired by the LGBTQ+ concept of pride and “realised that Jews need our own version of this”.

“It’s going to educate us, so we know our story, inspire us, empower us and benefit us.”

While Jews have always been a proud people, the concept is to generate a Jewish pride movement whereby Jewishness is viewed “as a source of pride and never shame”.

Freeman’s key message is to “be proud to be Jewish” and “to engage with your Jewishness”. To actively engage with your Jewishness, he says, you need to know your story, “so that our story is not told to us.”

Freeman said he came to these ideas during the Corbyn antisemitism crisis in the UK when he realised that there wasn’t a Jewish pride movement.

Freeman says that Jewish pride is the “antidote” to antisemitism.

He warns against Jews “internalising antisemitism” and “shrinking ourselves”, and instead says, “We must know our worth.”

Freeman will also be speaking at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum tonight (Thursday).

The AJN also spoke with another international Limmud guest, Anton Goodman, director of partnerships at Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, who also serves on the board of Oz VeShalom, the Orthodox Jewish Peace Movement in Israel.

Rabbis for Human Rights was founded in 1988 and comprises around 150 rabbis from different streams. Goodman is an Orthodox Jew who moved to Israel around 20 years ago.

Discussing the political climate in Israel post-October 7, Goodman described it as “soul crushing”.

Anton Goodman delivering food aid to the Jahalin tribe in the Judaean Desert.

“We can’t keep people in a situation where there is a lack of hope amongst Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

Goodman commented that at this point it is “naive to talk about solutions”, and instead the focus should be on the “rights of people” and “the conditions of living”. He lamented the war in Gaza, the hostages still captive as well as the extremism amongst settlers who had attacked Palestinian communities. At Limmud Oz Goodman will be speaking on the topics of “Religious radicalism in Israel” and “Searching for hope at a time of despair”. Goodman will be speaking in Melbourne at Kehillat Kolenu on June 11.

Other international speakers at Limmud are Rabba Dr Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz who teaches that Jewish texts are for everyone, Professor Dorit Nitzan, a global health and humanitarian expert and Dr Joel Hoffman who focuses on “bringing the Bible to life”.

The speakers reflect the diversity of views one can experience at Limmud Oz. Local highlights in the programs include “Shifts of public opinion of Jews, Israel and the Gaza War” by Andrew Markus, a tribute to the legacy of Jeremy Jones, and “I was doxxed: Resilience and representation of Jewish creatives post October 7.”

Limmud is a safe space to exchange ideas on a variety of political perspectives. It is also a place of community, joy and laughter where one can learn how to make sourdough bread, dance to the Klezmer funk music of Chutney or play Theatre sports – the choice is yours.

For tickets and to view full program visit

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