Helpful Information for Limmudfest 2016!

We’re so excited that you have decided to learn, connect, and celebrate with us at Limmudfest 2016! Here is some helpful information to help guide you through the weekend.


If you have signed up for the full 3-day weekend, registration is from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18 at Congregation Gates of Prayer.

If you have registered for the Saturday night/Sunday option, registration begins on Saturday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m., immediately after Havdallah services, at Gates of Prayer. Saturday night features an amazing performance by a rising star: spoken word artist Andrew Lustig. Alternatively, you can catch the film ABOVE AND BEYOND: The Untold True Story.

On Sunday, March 20 all sessions will be held at the Lavin Bernick Center (LBC) at Tulane. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and sessions start promptly at 9 a.m.


Park in one of these places:

  • Main Gates of Prayer lot on Richland
  • Auxiliary Gates of Prayer lot on W. Esplanade
  • Beth Israel lot on W. Esplanade
  • St. Clement of Rome Church on W. Esplanade
  • Side streets around Gates of Prayer


  1. From I-10 East towards New Orleans, take exit 232 toward Airline Dr/Tulane Ave/Carrollton Avenue/LA-61.
  2. From S. Carrollton Avenue, turn left onto Fontainebleau Drive.
  3. From Fontainebleau Drive, turn right onto Broadway Street.
  4. From Broadway Street, turn left onto Willow Street.
  5. From Willow Street, you can access Ben Weiner Drive for the parking garage, or you can park in the street parking available on Audubon Boulevard and Newcomb Place.


Please consult this map. We suggest parking in one of these places:

  • Diboll Parking Garage on Ben Weiner Dr.
  • Street parking on Newcomb Place
  • Street parking on Broadway
  • Street parking on Audubon Blvd.


We have more than 90 sessions by more than 80 presenters coming up this weekend. For a preview of the schedule, click here. WARNING! We do NOT run on Jewish time; all sessions start on schedule.


There is a lot of helpful information throughout the website, including the Frequently Asked Questions page. Once you get to Limmud, there will be lots of volunteers on hand to direct you and answer any questions you still might have.

Schedule and Full Lineup Is Out!

The complete schedule for Limmud New Orleans 2016 is now online! Check out when and where your favorite sessions will be taking place. There will be more than 90 learning sessions offered to you by more than 80 presenters at the upcoming three-day festival of Jewish culture and learning.

The lineup of sessions cover a wide variety of interesting topics covering Arts & Culture, Contemporary Jewish Life, Family, Food, Hands-On Workshops, History, Israel, Social Justice, Southern Jewish Life, Spirituality, Text & Thought, and Young Limmud. The “un-conference” style learning environment allows you to choose your own path throughout the weekend.

But that’s not all. A line-up of quality children’s programming allows parents can go learn in their own sessions, confident that their children will also be experiencing the magic of Limmud. Multi-denominational Shabbat services will be held for children on Shabbat morning, and babysitting will be available throughout the weekend. Plus all food at LimmudFest will be kosher under strict rabbinical supervision, and all meals and snacks are included in the registration fee.

There is still time to register! Both 3-Day Passes and Sunday + tickets are still available, and there is special pricing for young adults and children.

Southern Hospitality, Limmud-Style!

LimmudFest’s welcoming atmosphere extends past the doors of Gates of Prayer and Tulane by offering home hospitality for all who want it. We strive to receive all of our participants with particularly warm, sweet, and welcoming goodwill for the entire weekend. New Orleans Hospitality is renowned, and we have put together multiple options for out-of-town guests of LimmudFest 2016.

If you are Shomer Shabbat and want to be placed in a host house near our Shabbat venue, Congregation Gates of Prayer, we have hosts ready to welcome you. Even if you are not Shomer but would prefer to stay with a local family to save money or just to meet some new friends, Home hospitality is a excellent and convenient way to do both. And for you local New Orleanians, we have heard time and again from past attendees: one of the most satisfying ways you can participate in LimmudFest is to offer home hospitality.

If you prefer a hotel, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott in Metairie, a 1.5 mile walk from Gates of Prayer, our Shabbat venue. No matter what accommodations you choose, we can’t wait for you to experience what Limmud New Orleans has to offer!

LimmudFest New Orleans is a weekend festival of Big Tent Jewish learning, arts, culture and spirituality — all planned by volunteers. It is part of a global movement inspired by the idea that when Jews from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate and learn about everything Jewish, the entire community is enriched. For more information, please visit the Hospitality page.

Another Taste of Limmud: January 26, Anshe Sfard

As Limmud Fest 2016 quickly approaches, we’d like to invite you to another free event designed to give everyone a feel for what Limmud is all about.. On January 26, 2016, Limmud New Orleans presents “Another Taste Of Limmud”, an evening of learning at Anshe Sfard Synagogue, 2230 Carondelet Street.  From 7:00PM until 8:30PM, Rabbis David Polsky of Anshe Sfard and Alexis Pinsky of Gates of Prayer will facilitate a chavruta study session on a issue of particular interest today:

A Torah of Fire(arms)

While the Second Amendment was written in America 1791, Jews throughout time have been engaging in discussions about guns/weapons, rights to carry them, and when and how to oppose their usage. Come explore the all too relevant issue of gun control through a new Jewish lens, while together through interactive discussion and study, we engage with the teachings and writings of Jewish thinkers from biblical times through the present.

The “study with a buddy” style session will allow participants to review and discuss the source material in pairs and as a group. Snacks and refreshments will be provided and Limmud organizers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about LimmudFest 2016, A Weekend Festival of Big Tent Jewish Learning, Arts, Culture & Spirituality. For all the specifics, check out the event on Facebook and be sure to tell a friend!

More Presenters Announced!

As we head into the new calendar year, our roster of featured presenters continues to grow. We are excited to offer some more information on three more of the thoughtful and passionate speakers coming to town for Limmud Fest 2016.

Rabbi Lila Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman in North America to assume the title rabbi. She is a consultant, activist, and educator in the areas of global health, ethics, religion, and education. A clinical ethicist and chaplain, she sits on the ethics committees of major hospitals and academic institutions. She has also taught Talmud, ethics, and Jewish studies in a variety of settings and has written on medicine and Jewish law, Jewish ethics, as well as on topics relating to women and Judaism/Jewish practice.

Saul Robbins, a New York-based photographer, is interested in the ways people interact within their surroundings, and the psychological dynamics of intimacy. His photographs are motivated by observations of human behavior and personal experience, especially those related to loss and the desire for unification. In his work, “Found” he interprets the mitzvah of finding and returning lost objects.

Leora Mallach, MEd, is the co-founder of Beantown Jewish Gardens in Boston, which provides meaningful Jewish environmental programming but also engages in such sacred acts as growing healthy food and planting organic gardens. She has been an experiential educator for several Jewish environmental groups. In her free time, she can be found hiking in the mountains, berry picking, or making batik tablecloths, Challah covers, and baby onesies for her business B.B. batiks.

For a constantly updated roster of all featured presenters appearing at Limmud Fest 2016, keep an eye on the presenters page. And don’t forget: registration is now open.  There is special pricing for young adults and children, and early bird discounts end January 31, 2016.

What Does “Big Tent” Mean?

This year, we are billing LimmudFest as “a weekend festival of Big Tent Jewish learning, arts, culture and spirituality”. As we’ve brought this message around the New Orleans community as well as to congregations across the Gulf South, it has been greeted with excitement and enthusiasm. But some have asked “What does “Big Tent’ mean?” It’s a great question, and one we enjoy answering.

The term “Big Tent” has its origins in politics, as it is formally defined as a party’s strategy to “encourage a range of beliefs, opinions and views among its members”. But the idea itself is much larger than that, and perfectly aligns with many of Limmud’s values and principles such as diversity, respect, religious observance, and enabling connections.

The modern practice of Judiasm is commonly divided into reform, conservative and orthodox traditions, but the formal and informal divisions of the faith do not stop there. This has created a wonderful array of vibrant communities across the country and the world, each with their own ideas, customs and practices. By being aware and considerate of all levels of religious observance, and respectfully celebrating both those things we have in common as well as those which make us unique, LimmudFest New Orleans seeks to offer a weekend of engaging programming that is, above all things, inclusive.

Great care is being taken to create a collective and communal event that is accessible and enriching for all participants no matter how they do (or do not) identify. We offer choice in the form, content and style of the learning sessions offered and believe in the power of a diverse community to create rich cross-cultural and cross-generational experiences.

We strive to open the doors to LimmudFest as wide as possible, help us make this year’s LimmudFest Tent as big as ever.. Register today!

A Taste of Limmud: December 4, Touro Synagogue

Whether you are already counting down the days to LimmudFest 2016 or are completely unfamiliar with the most exciting movement in Jewish learning, we’d like to invite you to a special free event at Touro Synagogue. On December 4, 2015, Limmud New Orleans presents “A Taste Of Limmud”, an evening designed to give everyone a feel for what Limmud is all about. After casual dinner during the Oneg Shabbat, participants will have the opportunity to attend one of three mini-sessions that demonstrate the choice and variety that make Limmud Fest such a unique learning experience.

  • Rebecca Mark is a professor in the English Department at Tulane University and a founding member of the Deep South Regional Humanities Center. She will be discussing representations of the Jewish Mother in American Culture
  • Dr. Roger White is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Interim Dean of the College of Social Sciences at Loyola University.  He is an active participant in Torah studies at Touro Synagogue and will be discussing the “true story” of Chanukah.
  • Lynne Wasserman is a former synagogue president and is one of the 2016 co-chairs of Limmud New Orleans. She will be sharing “A Reform Girl Goes To The Mikveh”, a light-hearted but informative discussion about the Mikveh experience..

There will be a dessert reception immediately following the mini-sessions where you can learn more about LimmudFest 2016, A Weekend Festival of Big Tent Jewish Learning, Arts, Culture & Spirituality. For all the specifics, check out the event on Facebook and be sure to tell a friend!

Featured Presenters Announced!

In the first of what are sure to be a string of exciting updates, we are proud to officially announce our first two featured presenters for LimmudFest 2016: Katherine Romanow and Danny Siegel. Their areas of expertise range from food to philanthropy to activism, and illustrate the diversity of programming LimmudFest offers.

Katherine Romanow is a Jewish food historian from Montreal. She holds an MA from Concordia University, where she studied the food traditions of Montreal’s Moroccan Jewish Community. She is the curator of Beyond the Bagel, a Jewish food walking tour given through the Museum of Jewish Montreal, and is a co-founder of The Wandering Chew, a project that explores the diversity of Jewish food cultures through pop-up dinners and cooking workshops. Kat is curating an upcoming exhibit on Southern Jewish food at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Danny Siegel has been called the “Mitzvah Maniac” and “The Pied Piper of Tzedakah” and, through his 30 books and more than 500 talks to Jewish groups, is no doubt more responsible than any single individual for the contemporary Jewish community’s focus on tikkun olam and mitzvah projects. His latest books are Who, Me? Yes, You! — Danny Siegel’s Workbook To Help You Decide Where, When, Why, and How You Can Do Your Best Tikkun Olam, and Giving Your Money Away — How Much, How to, Why, When, and to Whom: Danny Siegel’s Practical Guide to Personalized Tzedakah.

For a constantly updated roster of all featured presenters, keep an eye on the presenters page.

It’s All About Choice

LimmudFest offers programming for people of all ages and levels of experience with Jewish learning, whether you are a native New Orleanian, a newcomer, or from outside the area. Wherever you are on your Jewish journey, LimmudFest can take you one step further.

LimmudFest is all about choice. There will be multiple sessions (at some times as many as nine) going on simultaneously. You do not sign up for sessions ahead of time, but just decide what to attend based on your interests and feedback from fellow Limmudniks. LimmudFest is a time to explore, so we encourage you to go outside your comfort zone and sample a bit of everything.

A Family Experience

Wherever you find yourself – and whatever age you are – Limmud will take you one step further on your Jewish journey. With this in mind, we are putting together an excellent line-up of quality children’s programming so there is something for the entire family. Parents can go learn in their own sessions, confident that their children will also be experiencing the magic of Limmud.

Multi-denominational Shabbat services will be held for children on Shabbat morning, and babysitting will be available throughout the weekend. A full roster of fun and educational activities designed specifically with young children in mind will allow attendees of all ages to learn and grow along with the adults. The entire weekend of learning and teaching is designed with the entire family in mind.

LimmudFest New Orleans is a celebration of Jewish culture, thought, the arts, learning, and teaching, and so much more — all planned by volunteers. It is part of a global movement inspired by the idea that when Jews from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate and learn about everything Jewish, the entire community is enriched.