Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
 
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam


 
Jane Enkin Reviews Limmud 2017

by Jane Enkin

Jane Enkin Music and Story at janeenkinmusic.com

 

Once again, a hard-working group of organizers and volunteers put together a great day of Jewish learning.  With a great selection of presentations, each person chooses their own Limmud experience. There were text-based sessions, participatory arts experiences, performances and sessions about pressing personal and political issues, as well as a children’s program. This year out-of-town guest teachers included Torah educator Rivy Kletenik, substance abuse counsellor Carli Rothman, musicians Rock the Shtetl and long-time Winnipeggers Carol Rose and Rabbi Neal Rose.  I chose to learn with local presenters. 

 

In the first time slot on Sunday,  I presented along with Susan Palmer on the theme Where Are the Women? A Look at Stories from Jewish Folk Traditions. I told folktales from Ashkenazi, Yemenite, and Iraqi Jewish traditions. After each story, susn led a lively discussion with lots of fascinating, very personal contributions from the group.  We heard about the ways challah, in several families, became an important symbol of caring.  Several participants affirmed the importance of individual approaches to spirituality, finding a rabbi in an Ashkenazi tale who insists on the rule-book to be oppressive, or at the very least unintentionally hurtful. We considered the roles of women and men in a family and community during childbirth.  In the Yemenite story, a very traditional man feels trapped when he needs to walk through the “women’s territory” of the birthplace to get to synagogue, so the midwife picks him up and lifts him out the door, prompting the delightful theory from a participant that she became the midwife not only to the baby, but also to the father.

 

After the emphasis on listening and receiving personal stories in our session, I changed my plans for my second experience of the day.  I skipped Rabbi Larry Lander’s teaching on the Rebbe of Kotsk and went to hear Edith Kimelman’s  very personal memoir Stories of a Holocaust Survivor.   Kimelman was a little girl in 1941 when she sensed that something was wrong for Jews in Ukraine, while her parents continued to reassure her, “Everything will be all right.”  Since the family had made it through pogroms and persecution over the centuries, they did not realize the scale of what they were facing. Changes came quickly – one day their home was plundered; the next day she saw her Ukrainian school friends dressed in her clothes. Though the family faced many dangers, Kimelman told us of the brave helpers who hid them, fed them and transported them to safer places. Although Kimelman and some members of her family survived, she is always aware of the way her adult life has been shaped by her youth – her difficulty in feeling trust, her “overprotective” feelings about her children – “I will never know what normal is.” She told us “My mind is never at rest…  it’s not sediment, it doesn’t settle down.” She is a superb storyteller; she skillfully recreated for us the experience of a young girl watching her familiar world crumble, while often clarifying events from an adult perspective. Kimelman emphasized the indelible damage of the childhood experience of war, but also left us admiring her resilience, the career and family life she made for herself, and her generosity in helping us to witness and remember with her.

 

Steven Hyman chose for his text-study the provocative title, If I Am So Smart, Why is My Neighbour so Foolish: When Popular Thought Challenges Jewish Values.  His main topic was attitudes toward refugees, and his argument was that Torah and later Jewish sources place a strong value on tzedakah (the obligation of righteous giving), love of others and welcoming the stranger.  Although in

 
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • The Science, Business and Politics of Climate Change
  • Saper Agencies
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • CHW
  • Nic Curry
  • Blair Yakimoski
  • Daniel Freidman and Rob Dalgleish
  • GTP
  • Sobey's
  • Winter's Collision
  • The Bob Silver Family
  • Safeway
  • Roseman
  • Commercial Pool
  • Kromar Printing
  • Shirley and Bob Freedman
  • Protexia
  • Dr. Ali Raizman
  • Danita & Michel Aziza
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Southwynn Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Myers LLP
  • Imperial Soap
  • Rady JCC
  • Mobile Denture Services
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • Dimensions Insurance
  • HUB International
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Fetching Style
  • Thorvaldson Care
  • Royal Le Page
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Jim Gauthier
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Capital Grill
  • Ixtapa Travel
  • Pizzeria Gusto
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Bridges for Peace
  • John Orlikow
  • Ross Eadie
  • Superlite
  • Booke & Partners
  • Pitblado
  • The Shinewald Family
  • Frank Goldberg
  • Munroe Dental
  • Broadway Law
  • Saul B. Simmonds
  • Chisick Family
  • CMDAI
  • Orthodox Union
  • Chochy's
  • Holiday Inn
  • Cascade Financial Group Inc.
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Peerless Garments
  • Miller's Meats
  • Kowall Chiropractic
  • Meyer Rypp
  • Stella's
  • Grant Kurian Trucking
  • Seer Logging
  • Cliff Graydon
  • Mohinder Saran
  • Myrna Driedger
  • Steven Fletcher
  • Cindy Lamoureux
  • Elaine and Bernie Lofchick & family
  • Beyond Flowers
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Erickson Motors Ltd.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Shalom Residences
  • Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem
  • Collectibles Canada
  • Nikos
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.