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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!