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Limmud 2023

Every year over Labor Day weekend, Jews of all backgrounds and ages, abilities and identities, from metro-Atlanta, the southeast, and beyond gather amidst the beautiful north Georgia mountains at Ramah Darom for a weekend of learning and community. Over the weekend, attendees participate in sessions that, this year, included learning about Israeli politics, Jewish folklore, Holocaust reparations from Germany, neurodiversity and inclusion. social justice, and more. Beyond that, it is an opportunity to connect and be Jewish in a diverse and open environment.

The word Limmud (לימוד) comes from the Hebrew word “to learn.” Originally started in England in 1980, Limmud has expanded throughout the world. Limmud Atlanta-Southeast started as day-long events 16 years ago by our very own Jodi Mansbach and Eric Robbins, and then expanded to the 3-night LimmudFest held annually at Ramah Darom in Clayton, GA. 

CSI had a great showing this year with numerous attendees and presenters. Some CSI members are invested in Limmud year-round. Howie Slomka and Edward Queen served as co-chairs. In addition, the Young Adult Development Program (YAD) coordinator Abby Graff belongs to Shearith Israel.

Numbers fail to convey the spirit of Limmud. Limmud’s mission is “to celebrate Jewish life and learning in all of its diversity.” All are welcome and all are accommodated.  Meals are kosher and the incredible dining hall staff at Ramah Darom does a superb job meeting special dietary needs. Shabbat services range from a mechitza minyan to an egalitarian minyan, from a Shabbat morning musical experience to communing with nature. Gender neutral bathrooms are conveniently located. American Sign Language translators are present to aid participants and presenters. Limmud provides something for everyone, including Camp Limmud for children and a special “Teen Track.”

This year we were blessed with cooler weather and gorgeous days and evenings. Wandering around Ramah Darom to various sessions, praying beside the lake, or just hanging out on the porch with old and new friends. The porch is the hangout for schmoozing, playing music, listening to a PJ Library bedtime story, making friendship bracelets, or reading peacefully. If sitting still is not your preference, go for a hike to the waterfall, a swim or boat ride on the lake, climb the Alpine Tower or join a soccer game on the field.

At Limmud, participation is one of the core values. Volunteerism or “volunticipation” is how everything gets done whether it is leading a session or doing shmira at the cabins. Don’t offer suggestions to do something differently or add your flair to the programming unless you are willing to lead it yourself. That is the kind of community it is at Limmud.

Whether you come to learn, to see friends or make new ones, to deepen your Jewish identity or something else, you will surely find it at LimmudFest. If not, I invite you to create it yourself and join us next Labor Day weekend!

Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784