Gather round our virtual Mount Sinai for a late-night exploration of Jewish wisdom, performance and music after dark!

The long-established tradition of ‘Tikkun Leil Shavuot’, where communities forego their sleep to learn Jewish texts on Shavuot, is going virtual. We will hear from multiple voices of Jewish wisdom through the proverbial cloud(s) and explore what learning can emerge from times of darkness.

This experience can be enjoyed while tucked up in bed after work, with a glass of wine or two, and well after the kids have gone to bed!

We will bring together educators and performers from across the Jewish community that will make you want to switch off Netflix and stay up late on Zoom.

Check out the gallery below of confirmed speakers!

While booking your place, please note that although the standard price is £5 to join the event, there'll also be the option to pay a voluntary contribution of either £10, £20 or £50 to support to JW3, Limmud and our freelance presenters who have been financially affected by the pandemic. If you choose to contribute any of these amounts, you'll be sent recordings of all the speakers after the event, so you don't miss out on any sessions.

Sessions & Speakers

Stories in the Dark – Steven Berkoff, David Schneider, Rachel Weston and Nick Cassenbaum

A late-night storytelling session that brings you a combination of classic stories with a twist, personal tales, and dark folk music. From David Schneider's Lord of the Rings in Yiddish to Steven Berkoff’s rendition of Metamorphosis, Rachel Weston’s dark folk songs, and Nick Cassenbaum’s tales of darkness, Stories in the Dark will transport you from your living room to other worlds. 

Lynn Ruth versus the Lockdown - Lynn Ruth Miller

Join award-winning comedian Lynn Ruth Miller as she provides some light amidst the darkness with her handy guide to surviving coronavirus. 

Lynn Ruth Miller started doing comedy at 70. She was dubbed the new Joan Rivers of Comedy at the Edinburgh International Fringe. Now 86, she has accumulated numerous awards and is the oldest performing female stand-up comedian in the UK. Those who are older can no longer stand up. 

Exploring Trauma & Inner Darkness - Dr Gabor Maté

What can we learn from our darkest times? Trauma, addiction, and mental health specialist Dr Gabor Maté tells us how exploring moments of darkness can lead to greater understanding and compassion about ourselves and the world around us. 

Dr Gabor Maté is a retired physician who worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. 

Rosa Luxemburg goes to Rehab: A short introduction to a new live drawing show - Lisa Gornick

A live drawing show exploring the descent into alcohol addiction and the journey out of it. This is a personal exploration of the ways in which alcohol has become stuck in our system and the manipulations of the alcohol industry. Rosa Luxemburg will become my voice as I discover the effect booze had on my life. 

Lisa Gornick is a filmmaker, artist and performer. She has made three feature films: Do I Love You?, Tick Tock Lullaby and The Book of Gabrielle. She does live drawing shows and is an actor. She also draws a lot. 

The Kiss of Death: A Taste of Israeli Women's Midrash - Rabbi Avi Killip

Tamar Biala, editor of the modern midrashic work Dirshuni, has written a breathtakingly beautiful midrash about the death of Miriam. The midrash invites us to explore themes of night, isolation, illness, death, and holiness. Let's read this midrash together and unpack what it has to offer us in this moment.  

Rabbi Avi Killip serves as VP of Strategy and Programs at the Hadar Institute, where she is also Director of Project Zug. She was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. Avi holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and is a member of the fourth cohort of the Schusterman Fellowship. She serves on the advisory board of ShmaNOW and the Jewish Studio Project. Avi lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband and three young children. 

Exploring Dreams - Rodger Kamenetz

Rodger Kamenetz invites you to explore dreams -your own as well as the way they have shaped our world. His book, The History of Last Night's Dream was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series. On this night he will chart the understanding of dreams from Genesis, through the rabbinic sages all the way to our contemporary world. 

Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet, author, teacher, and a Natural Dreamwork practitioner.  His books include The History of Last Night's Dream, which plunges into the world of dreams, and shows how the constant struggle between dream and interpretation has shaped Western thought from Genesis to Freud and Jung. His other books include the groundbreaking The Jew in the Lotus and Burnt Books, a dual biography of Franz Kafka and Rebbe Nachman. Most recent books are poetry: Yonder (2018)  and Dream Logic (2020). Find him at

Singing broken melodies to songs in broken tongues - Daniel Kahn

Daniel Kahn presents an acoustic set of original and traditional Yiddish songs of resistance – partisan songs, worker’s anthems, gangster ballads. Combining the political content of socialist Yiddish songs, the dark style of Tom Waits and the subversive humour of Brechtian theatre, it's some of the best song writing you'll ever come across. 

Daniel Kahn is a Berlin-based Detroit-born poet / translator / singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist (accordion, piano, guitars). Described as “an absolute must for lovers of unusual, intelligent, challenging, exciting folk music and a blast at every instant,” he has brought Yiddish Punk Cabaret to rock clubs, festivals and shtetls, from Berlin to Boston, Leningrad to Louisiana.  

The magic mystery and power of night-time - Rabbi Eryn London

The middle of the night is a time when things feel a bit different. There is less movement, it is dark, and in theory everyone should be asleep. But what about all that is awake and comes to pass? Come explore some of the magic, mystery and power that the nighttime holds in Rabbinic texts. 

Rabbi Eryn London is the JOFA UK scholar in residence and volunteers as a chaplain at North London Hospice. She received smicha from Yeshivat Maharat in 2017. Following ordination, she trained and worked as a multi-faith hospital chaplain in New York City. She has lectured in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Israel, the UK, and the US. 

Truth doesn't live in a book - Ben Caplan

Inspired in part by Eastern European and Jewish folk traditions, Ben Caplan mixes older musical sensibilities with his own soul, straight from his hairy heart. Lyrically, you've not heard the like before. Often edgy and dark, Caplan holds a mirror up to show us our nasty bits, singing about the ugliness and showing us that this darkness is the root of the sublime. 

Ben Caplan is a Canadian songwriter, performer and entertainer in the most time-honoured sense of the word. Ben’s music explores themes of immigration, loss, darkness, love, sex, and God. A charismatic charmer and a smasher of pianos. A madman and an earnest poet. A strummer of delicate chords and a lover of bent and broken melodies. Ben Caplan is not any one thing. 


The Rebbetzen’s Disco – Jacqueline Nicholls

And you shall love your God with all your heart & soul, blues, funk, hip-hop, R&B, rock, indie disco, reggae, euro-pop… Standing still, or swaying, is not an option. The Rebbetzin Disco led by DJ Jaq Nicholls will stir up your body and your soul as we enter the wee hours of the night.  

Jacqueline Nicholls: Jacqueline Nicholls is a London-based visual artist and Jewish educator. She uses her art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She is the Live Music programmer at JW3 London and regularly teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Jacqueline’s art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish art group shows in the UK, USA, and Israel, and she was recently artist-in-resident in Venice with Beit Venezia. Jacqueline is a regular contributor to BBC R2 Pause for Thought.  

Bodies in the dark: is body positivity Jewish? - Betty Q

Negative body talk and weight gain jokes that have long been default modes of commiseration in our culture, have spiked during quarantine and self-isolation. Betty Q will present a session on body positivity and how the concept is reflected in Jewish text referencing the image of the body. The session will be filled with tips on how to work on your own mind and body connection, and followed by a Q&A.  

Betty Q is an ingenious girl who successfully introduced burlesque to her country, becoming a semi-finalist of Poland's Got Talent. Producing Naked Girls Reading Warsaw and owner of Madame Q (burlesque stage and academy in Warsaw). Film and theatre choreographer. Jewish and body positivity activist. 

Plagues, Emotions, and Empathy: Dispatches from Art Made for Jews - Marc Michael Epstein

Art created for people long gone in places and times long distant can tell the very personal stories of its patrons—the elites of what was still a minority culture, sometimes persecuted, occasionally envied, usually misunderstood—as they thought about the relationship between their selves and the world around them, and the place of plague and disease in that world. 

Marc Michael Epstein is Professor of Religion and Visual Culture on the Mattie 
M. Paschall (1899) & Norman Davis Chair, and Director of Jewish Studies at 
Vassar College in New York. He is the author, among many other 
publications, of the National Jewish Book Award-winning Skies of Parchment, 
Seas of Ink: Jewish Manuscript Illumination (Princeton, 2015). 

Light vs Fire: ambiguity and anger, grappling and gratitude, at the heart of Abraham's and our Mission - Rabbi Benji Stanley

Come to explore an arresting midrash (a short Rabbinic narrative) about Abraham, and its ambiguities that echo across time and in ourselves, especially now. 

Rabbi Benji Stanley is the rabbi of Westminster Synagogue, an independent shul in the middle of London. He lives in London with his partner, Leah Jordan. He studied English literature for his first degree. Judaism builds on his passion for the written word and inspires him to live meaningfully. 

New Revelations: Emerging artists take on Darkness

Head over to the Bar on the Mount for a special treat, as up-and-coming artists offer their take on this evening's theme. Featuring Frankie Thompson's dream-like miniature multimedia show, Hannah Radley's hilarious take on Jewish demons, David Hochhauser's stunning scupltures and Jonathan Bensusan Bash's thought-provoking drama, this multi-talented group of emerging artists will take you on a journey into the night.  

Please note

A full schedule with timings and Zoom details will be emailed to all bookers the day before the festival.

This event will begin at the following times:

UK   8.30pm 
Europe   9.30pm 
Israel   10.30pm 
US East Coast   3.30pm 

Date - Wed 27 May 2020 8:30pm


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