NIF at Limmud 2019

We are delighted that over 500 people joined the New Israel Fund for our sessions at the December 2019 Limmud Festival, a substantial increase on 2018.

Shira Ben Sasson Furstenberg, NIF’s Associate Director in Israel, flew over to share her expertise around religion and state, equality between Jews and Arabs, and the fight for Israel’s democratic nature in a number of well-received sessions.

The panel session on Housing Demolitions in East Jerusalem, with co-panellists Rabbi Arik Ascherman, activist and writer Moriel Rothman-Zecher, was particularly well attended and informative for audiences, shedding light on the situation in Silwan/Ir David and beyond.

Shira is a leading figure in Israel’s religious freedom and social change community, with over 20 years of experience in the field.

Our UK chief executive, Adam Ognall, delivered a key session detailing the changing nature of Israel’s democracy, the shifting relationship between British Jews and Israel, and the imperative of hearing the Diaspora voice.

Meanwhile, NIF’s director of programming Atira Winchester hosted two very well-attended film screenings and discussions addressing the difficulties posed by the Occupation from two different perspectives. She was joined in a post-panel discussion by activist and comedian Noam Shuster Eliassi and former UJIA CEO Michael Wegier. The response to these sessions demonstrates the ongoing concern regarding Israel’s Occupation and the deteriorating human rights situation in Israel and the West Bank.

Lastly, our engagement coordinator Jake Goldman joined forces with our friends from Yachad to present on the nature of freedom of speech in Israel throughout history and today.

New Israel Fund’s issues and grantees also found audiences in other Limmud sessions. The film screening of The Re-Annotated Alice threw a spotlight on NIF honouree and International board member Alice Shalvi and her work as the founder of the Israel Women’s Network.

Limmud once again proved an excellent opportunity for new and existing NIF supporters and the wider community to talk and exchange ideas not only with NIF UK staff, but with our leadership in Israel.