City Notes: Haifa hosts first Limmuf in parallel with Uruguay

During the event, a live-link, Transatlantic session was held with Limmud Boston, Haifa’s twin city.

A young girl looks down over the city of Haifa. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A young girl looks down over the city of Haifa.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Over 200 Haifa residents attended the city’s first Limmud Jewish learning festival, launched at the same time in mid-November as the first Limmud Uruguay. Participants ranged in age from 12 to 25, attending sessions spanning topics such as Israeli comedy, havrutot (rabbinic approach to talmudic study, in pairs), wine tasting and a Bible contest.
“Limmud Haifa embodies Haifa’s spirit of Jewish renewal,” Deputy Mayor Shay Blumenthal told the gathering, as he thanked the volunteers. He encouraged Limmud to continue to expand its presence in the city.
Haifa’s education department has been striving to promote Jewish renewal in the school system for the last six years. “We reach the pupils in school, but Limmud brings the experience to the general public,” remarked Ilana Trock, Haifa’s education department director and chairwoman of Jewish renewal. “People from the shuk, from a lawyer’s office, from the university – everyone finds a place for themselves; and it brings in fresh, enthusiastic volunteers.”
During the event, a live-link, Transatlantic session was held with Limmud Boston, Haifa’s twin city.
“The sound and video systems weren’t seamless, but the brilliance and energy in the room were a terrific first effort,” said Limmud Boston founder Steffi Karp, who took part virtually in Limmud Haifa along with other Boston participants.
Simultaneously, on the other side of the world, Limmud Uruguay held its first event in Montevideo, with 140 participants from its varied communities: Orthodox, Masorti, secular, Chabad; Sephardi and Ashkenazi.
“We welcome Limmud Haifa and Limmud Uruguay, the newest additions to Limmud’s global network,” said Limmud international chairman David Hoffman.
“Today, there are Limmud events in over 90 communities, spanning 40 countries and six continents. Last month, Limmud India held its first two-day residential event. This month, will see Limmud gatherings in Ottawa, Canada; Mexico; Ukraine; the Baltics; Chicago, Illinois; Stockholm, Sweden; Poland; Peru; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Sydney, Australia.”
Limmud, which means learning in Hebrew, is a global Jewish movement whose worldwide network of volunteers creates cross-communal Jewish learning events in their local communities. Limmud was founded in 1980 in the UK by a small group of volunteers for 80 participants. Today, there are 3,000 active volunteers around the world and an estimated 130,000 people have participated in Limmud activities over the past three decades.
Man, 20, dies in Galilee car crash
A car flipped over near Yarka in the Western Galilee last weekend, resulting in the death of a 20-year-old man. Police were investigating the circumstances of the incident.
Nahariya burglar caught red-handed – and asleep
A burglar gave himself up handily after falling asleep in the apartment he had broken into on Nahariya’s Hashaked street, earlier this week.
According to the Local website, when the tenants returned home they caught him red-handed, clutching stolen jewelry while he slept, with a kitchen knife by his side. The residents called police and the suspect was taken for questioning; he was expected to be brought for a remand extension.
Tri-generational team nabbed over perfume
theft Police last weekend arrested a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter from Holon on suspicion of stealing thousands of shekels worth of perfume. The trio was arrested after allegedly being caught stealing perfume from a store in a Ra’anana mall. Police searched their cars and found dozens more perfumes and pieces of lingerie, which they suspected to be stolen.
The three were taken for questioning and were set to be brought for a remand extension.
Cameri reopens ‘cafe theater club’
Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater is reopening its “Cafe Theater Club” at the beginning of December, a forum in which actors, performers, musicians, TV stars and stand-up artists put on intimate shows in a hall of 104 seats. During the performances there is a bar serving drinks and desserts. Tickets are NIS 100 per show for the general public; comedian Samuel Vilozny will be the first to perform next Wednesday.
Cameri director Noam Semel described Cafe Theater as “a cultural gem which brings the audience a variety of shows from outside the theater world, in which famous actors take part alongside innovative and surprising stage artists.
“In this project we enable artists to expose the audience to more intimate works, which don’t nec essarily come from the theater world. The Cameri is theater, but also much more than that.”
Disabled Ashdod resident attempts suicide due to poverty
A 48-year-old Ashdod resident with 60-percent disability reportedly tried to commit suicide after almost being thrown out of his home due to his inability to pay his rent after purchasing medication. According to the Mynet website, the man had to take out another loan to save the situation, increasing his debt.
“I’m only asking to live in a hostel,” Mynet quoted the man as saying following his suicide attempt. According to the report, the municipality said the Construction Ministry rejected his hostel request, saying he does not meet the criteria.
The man is apparently living off guaranteed minimum income and rental assistance from the Construction Ministry that amounts to NIS 450 a month. He suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and works part-time as a therapist. “The fridge in my home is empty,” he was quoted as saying. He said he approached the municipal welfare offices for housing assistance and was told he would get help, but heard nothing more.
According to Mynet, the man also approached the mayor’s office, but was told that since he is a single man with no children he can cope alone, and that people with families or single parents get priority. Following this chain of events, the man allegedly tried to commit suicide, but police found him after he had already slashed his face and wrists.
Municipal social services said they already had known of the man for 10 years due to his health problems and financial distress. They said they had explained to him that the municipality has no mandate with regard to housing, but have helped in terms of his rights at the Construction Ministry and social security. He was granted assistance to pay for treatment, and was also helped to purchase medicine and at times, food.
A social worker had also helped him draw up an intensive program to manage daily life, social services noted.
Yad Mordechai opens kibbutz to public for Hanukka fun Kibbutz
Yad Mordechai invites families to partake in special activities to celebrate Hanukka at the kibbutz. Children can experience olive-oil production, crushing and squeezing fresh green olives, and learn how candles are lit with the help of oil. At the end of the activity, each child will receive a jug of oil lasting eight days.
At Yad Mordechai’s “House of Honey and Bees” apiary, children can learn about the honey-making process from a beekeeper who will take them on a tour of the apiary and open a beehive.
Participants can get a glimpse into the world of bees, learning about their family structure, the queen bee and the process of pollination, honey production and its contribution to the human body. Children can lick fresh honey from a honeycomb, and make Hanukka candles with real beeswax from the kibbutz.
Activities also include special tours on tractor-drawn wagons, accompanied by spiritual music and song, stopping at stations showcasing different industries. Tractors will take visitors to see the cows, to learn about the process of milking, milk preparation and the cows’ routine in the barn.
Visitors can then travel back in time to experience kibbutz life before the state was founded, in the “Kibbutz of the Old Days” center, through objects, memories and stories; youngsters will get to see objects that no longer exist in modern life. Finally, families can visit the site of the Independence Battle, where children can climb on the relics of tanks and learn about the weapons used, and go into the trenches and hear stories from kibbutz members who fought against the Egyptian army.