Last night the true reason I came to the Limmud conference revealed itself. And, like with everything else with me, it happened in the most unusual, left-of-field, charming way.

After a formal session, my last of the evening, which was pretty much a list of Jews in South African theatre, I had a two hour chat with a man who had done my improvisation workshop. And I found out all about his extraordinary life, and he asked me questions about mine. It was a brilliant, liberating, enlightening chat in which we revealed ourselves in a completely relaxed, unthreatening and interested way. Thank you Vivian.

I came back to the room I have been sharing and the children who had kept me up with their shrieking, banging, laughing and shouting the night before were at it again. I was at the point of being totally enraged and doing the mad woman fish wife, hysterical banshee thing, but something made me change my mind, and I knocked on the door and offered the first teenager I saw an ultimatum. I told them that they had to make a choice; either to shoosh and let us sleep, or I was coming in to find out what all the hooha was about. They invited me in and I spent the next delightful, entertaining, informative and amazing hour being charmed by the Herzlia grade elevens! What a turn around for me. I have been particularly harsh in my criticism of Herzlia kids, even here at the conference, but this dozen hotel room of kids were amazing. It was an hour of genuine engagement that not only shifted my atitude, but also reminded me how I love young people and how they think, and how they do things. If this is the only amazing thing for me to come away with (and it absolutely isn’t) then my time here, at Limmud has been totally well spent and a real learning curve for me.

There is nothing I can do about the fact that there is no real coffee though. And I’ve only had 4 hours sleep. And there is a whole day’s worth of session I still need to try and get to. I have already completely missed the first one.