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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!

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.

Save The Date for Limmud!

Limmud Fest New Orleans returns on March 18 – 20, 2016. This year, it will be held at Congregation Gates of Prayer on Friday and Saturday and The Lavin-Bernick Center at Tulane University on Sunday.

During Shabbat, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and alternative services will be held, followed by communal meals and learning sessions. On Sunday, there will be an entire day of lectures, workshops and discussions. Altogether, there will be more than 90 sessions on everything Jewish, ranging from art and music to text study and history. Save the date, it’s a Big Tent Weekend Festival of Jewish Learning, Arts, Culture & Spirituality not to be missed.

Limmud is an international charity dedicated to making some of the world’s most dynamic Jewish educators, performers and teachers, working in a variety of educational styles – lectures, workshops, text-study sessions, film, meditation, discussions, exhibits and performance – accessible to everyone, no matter what their level of Jewish knowledge or commitment to Jewish life.

Limmud Fest New Orleans 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.

Be sure to check out some of the featured presenters, or get involved by volunteering, donating, or hosting out of town guests!