Changes At LimmudLA

Email: To Our LimmudLA Community,

As many of you may already know, at the end of this month, LimmudLA will transition to a completely volunteer-led organization. After five years of volunteering, and the last 18 months serving as the executive director, Yechiel Hoffman will be ending his professional role with LimmudLA. In addition, after almost five years as a member of the LimmudLA Board of Directors, Emily Rich Camras will be stepping down as our Board Chair. Under Emily’s leadership and Yechiel’s recommendation, the LimmudLA Board of Directors reached this decision because they believe strongly that restructuring from a staff-led to a volunteer-led organization is the fullest realization of the mission of LimmudLA. The transition is an opportunity for LimmudLA to include in the process the many people who have volunteered and participated in LimmudLA programs, and recruit new people, to further our grassroots efforts.

Although this transition brings with it a mixture of emotions, we believe that the process will be uplifting and beneficial. We were first and foremost LimmudLA volunteers, Emily in leading our communications teams, creating the look, feel and messaging that distinguishes LimmudLA, and Yechiel who developed our Teen programs, which have become a model for Limmud groups worldwide. We personally know the transformative power of LimmudLA because it has changed our lives, deeply expanded our Jewish community and enhanced our ability to lead. We want others to have the same opportunity to be build, learn and give back to our great community.

Over the last 18 months, we and our volunteers created one of most successful annual LimmudLA conferences, during which we increased the diversity of our participants through our YAD and Inclusion programs (supported by the Jewish Community Foundation and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles). We engaged volunteers more directly through quarterly volunteer gatherings and one-on-one contact. We created new year-round programming that was more local and accessible, including two Songs of Peace concerts, in the South Bay and Calabasas, and the LimmudLA West Valley day event. We honored our deserving founders, Linda Fife and Shep Rosenman, with a highly successful Gala Celebration. These efforts provide the framework for a new era in which a fully volunteer-driven leadership model returns us to our core values of empowering people to create for themselves and their community the learning experiences that will enrich their lives and connect them to others.

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Bo, Moses, by God’s instruction, tells the people to begin counting from the beginning of the new moon. For although they had long toiled in Egypt, an Exodus from Egypt will bring about a new era in which they can serve God together. As in Egypt, where each Israelite needed to do their part at the beginning of the Exodus, so too have we sought out volunteers to become part of a new Steering Group, composed of LimmudLA volunteer leaders, Board and advisors. We’re looking forward to working together as a community to sustain and grow LimmudLA as we evolve organizationally.

In the next few weeks and months, we’ll keep you updated on important changes as well as upcoming events. Finally, to any Limmud’niks who have wanted to deepen their involvement in the community, now is the moment to step up! With changes afoot, opportunities abound and your ideas and energy are warmly welcomed. Please let us know your availability and interest by emailing volunteer@limmudla.org.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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