Anti-Occupation Groups Make Case at Limmud

Yachad Urges Jews To Rethink Settlements

By JTA

Published December 24, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A group which encourages Jews to oppose the Israeli occupation has sparked a lively debate at its debut session at the 2012 Limmud Conference on Jewish life and identity.

Yachad, which was founded in 2010, “aims to discuss the occupation not with the outside world, but within Jewish communities,” the group’s chairman, Daniel Reisel, told listeners at a lecture on Dec. 23, the conference’s opening.

Organizers said some 2,500 Jews from across the world are attending the conference, which is hosted by the University of Warwick and combines lectures and workshops on topics ranging from politics and religion to Jewish music and cinema.

Reisel and Yachad Director Hannah Weisfeld said Israel needs to cede land in order to remain Jewish and democratic. Their arguments drew critical remarks from a skeptical audience, with some listeners arguing such concessions would encourage terrorism.

Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog, led a different session elsewhere, where he invited listeners to critically examine Israeli-Arab peace initiatives and “the peace industry.”

On the cultural front, the American-Jewish reggae performer Matisyahu and artist Jacqueline Nicholls are scheduled to be interviewed on stage by philosopher Sam Lebens. In another collaboration, the Jewish, African-American hip-hop artist Y Love will share the stage with the British-Jewish playwright Robbie Gringras.

Some non-British Limmud enthusiasts are attending the conference in order to “learn from the diversity and level of professionalism that Limmud U.K. has reached,” according to Erika Siegfrid-Tompson of Limmud Hungary.

Her branch of Limmud International is one of 60 groups from 26 countries, which are carrying on the Limmud Conference tradition that started in the U.K. 30 years ago.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.