Aaron Davidson in Sun Sentinel – Limmud Miami 2016 positively received at FIU
The recent Limmud Miami 2016 drew more than 850 people at the Kovens Conference Center on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus and received a positive reception.
This learning festival, which made its local debut two years ago, has been implemented in communities throughout the world. It featured a set of workshops and presentations with Jewish educators, performers and teachers from around the world. Its broad range of themes included arts & culture, spirituality, science, Torah, history, politics and educational programs that were tailored for all ages.
Federico Pallas, a co-chair for the event, said in an email: “We are more than happy of how the whole festival went!”
“People were happy about: the wide variety of selection of topics and sessions, which made it an event that has something for everyone and created a special sense of community, the quality of presenters, the diversity in general, the atmosphere created, the intergenerational presence, how everything was organized and smooth, the facility, the final concert, the 100 percent kosher food offer and the eating area, the opportunity to connect with people from different places and with different religious points of view and the predisposition of the volunteers,” Pallas continued.
Among the many presenters at Limmud Miami 2016 was Aaron Davidson, a filmmaker and photographer based in Miami Beach who presented his short films on three landmarks on the South Florida kosher scene. These three films Davidson presented were: “Tradition at Steak,” about the last stand-alone kosher butcher shop on Miami Beach; “Rascal House,” made on the closing weekend of the popular local deli and “Abraham’s Bakery,” about the now closed-Miami Beach kosher bakery.
“It was an honor to show my films as part of this amazing program in so many ways,” Davidson said. “I think I was probably one of the younger presenters and I was proud to be with so many distinguished presenters. I also liked how my films were part of a larger experience. Food is such an important part of Jewish tradition and culture and my films reflect that experience.”
Davidson said that everyone at the session enjoyed the films because “they are so relatable on different levels.”
“Many said the films brought back a lot of memories and transported them back in time,” Davidson continued. “Some younger audience members wanted to go visit the bakery but were saddened to learn it was no longer in business. A highlight for me was one attendee who actually worked at Abraham’s Bakery almost 25 years ago who was thrilled that it was documented just as she remembered.”
Another presenter at the event was Leon Weissberg, former director of the March of the Living for the Southern Region and Miami-Dade County, who presented “The Islamification of Europe: Filling the Jewish Void in a Post-Holocaust Europe.”
Weissberg said: “I think everyone was really receptive to the talk. Although we didn’t have time to have dialogue, my sense was, by watching the peoples’ faces, that everyone was very engaged in the conversation.”