Limmud today announced the appointment of Jon Freedman as Deputy Director and Shoshana Bloom as chair.
Mr Freedman, the former executive director and director of community engagement at Finchley Reform Synagogue, has been appointed to help Limmud meet the growing demand for its model in the UK and around the world.
London-based, long-term Limmudnik Mr Freedman has also been community, education and youth coordinator at West London Synagogue, has taught at Clore Shalom Primary School, and was a Higher Executive Officer in the Department for Education and Home Office.
“I am delighted to welcome Jon Freedman to the Limmud professional team,” said Limmud chair David Hoffman. “With Limmud’s continued growth and success in the UK and in over 90 communities on six continents, we recognised the importance of bolstering our excellent UK staff. Jon knows Limmud from the inside and brings with him extensive experience as a community executive, engagement worker and youth director.”
Mr Freedman will coordinate closely with chief executive Eli Ovits to support all aspects of Limmud’s ongoing growth, including interfacing with the board and volunteer leadership, building partnerships with like-minded organisations, boosting funding, and participating in the knowledge management team.
“I first experienced Limmud in university as a space to continue with Jewish learning and culture,” said newly-appointed Mr Freedman. “I found myself studying Torah with people from a range of backgrounds. I heard Jewish musicians singing prayers in a way I’d never encountered. I had conversations with people I hadn’t listened to before. It challenged stereotypes and assumptions.”
“Jon will focus on strengthening our community and volunteer outreach,” said Mr Ovits. “He will enable Limmud to build capacity and realise its potential. We are lucky that he will be sharing his talents to expand Limmud.”
Freedman, who grew up in RSY-Netzer and was a movement worker, is passionate about his new position.
“One thing that drives me to be engaged in Jewish communal life is the power of relationships – people come together to form bonds to make change,” Freedman said. “That’s what I’ve done for over 10 years. It’s very exciting to be part of Limmud, bringing Jews together and sharing experiences. We harness that communal power for learning for its own sake and join to tackle the challenges ahead.
“I am excited to be part of devising strategies to build bridges between Jewish communities in the UK and across the globe who are engaging in Limmud.”
Meanwhile, Ms Bloom, who has been appointed to succeed Mr Hoffman, has co-chaired Limmud Conference twice, among many other Limmud roles, and has been on the board of directors for the last three years.
She will be taking over from Mr Hoffman in March at the Limmud AGM.