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Friday, February 13
 

11:45am

Friday Lunch 11:45-1:00
Your name tag will indicate if you have purchased a lunch. Welcome to Limmud NY! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Friday February 13, 2015 11:45am - 1:00pm
Ballroom I

1:00pm

I'm Not Spielberg: A Contemporary Jewish Filmmaker's Life
Freelance film-maker Saul Sudin realized in college that he wanted to combine his passion for cinema with his religion. Since then, he has produced documentaries, narrative shorts, commercials, and music videos where he has highlighted his heritage. Join Saul as he screens various examples of his work and talks about what goes into balancing life, work, and art.

Presenters
SS

Saul Sudin

Saul Sudin is a writer and filmmaker advocating a new voice for Judaism in visual media. His production Punk Jews is in distribution through the National Center for Jewish Film and he is the co-founder of Jewish Art Now, a resource for contemporary Jewish visual art and design. He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Elke. You can follow him online @SMSudin 


Friday February 13, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Cove

1:00pm

Learning from Superheroes: Folklore, Comics and Jewish Education
Jewish stories and history are full of superheroes, whether they be biblical figures like Samson, imbued with divine power; sages like Shimon Bar Yochai, whose learning leads them to the supernatural; or creatures of folklore like the Maharal's Golem. This session explores the place of these and other figures in Jewish culture, their influence on the modern superhero, and the place of heroes and monsters in contemporary Jewish education.

Presenters
AD

Aliza Donath

Aliza is a Jewish artist, writer and educator from New York. She recently earned her Masters degree in Jewish Education with a concentration in arts education from NYU and she currently teaches Judaic Studies full time - with as much cartooning and writing on the side as possible.


Friday February 13, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Springdale

1:00pm

The Art of Transformational Leadership: The Jewish Way
This session will explore the art of transformational leadership, which begins with identifying fundamental gaps and ends with orchestrating change. We will discuss the unique way in which Jews undergo transformations.

Presenters
GG

Gidi Grinstein

Gidi Grinstein is the founder and president of The Reut Institute and the author of Flexigidity: The Invisible Hand of Jewish Adaptability. He served as secretary and coordinator of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with the PLO between 1999-2001 under Ehud Barak. Gidi is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University schools of law and economics, and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow. He is married with five... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Grove

1:00pm

When Your Brother (or Sister) Sins: Judaism and Mass Incarceration
In the wake of Ferguson, revelations about abuses at Rikers Island and other prisons, and a growing awareness that mass incarceration is not making anyone safer, we've begun a national conversation about policing, imprisonment, and criminal justice. In this session, we'll consider if, when, and how imprisonment plays a role in the Jewish criminal justice system, and what that might teach us about mass incarceration in the United States today.

Presenters
JJ

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, which brings a rabbinic moral voice to human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the author of two books about Judaism and social justice: Where Justice Dwells and There Shall Be No Needy. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.


Friday February 13, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Elm

1:00pm

Food and Spirituality: Limmud Chavruta
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss food and spirituality from a Jewish perspective. Can a person live on bread alone? What does God eat for breakfast? Is there such a thing as a free lunch? What is spiritual food? Ancient sources, modern scholarship, song lyrics, and more will be used. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on food. Come to one session; or even better, come to all four!

Presenters
RM

Robin Moss

Robin Moss is head of Israel Engagement at UJIA, the central agency connecting the British Jewish community to Israel. He works to improve the quality and nuance of Israel-related educational conversations among Jewish youth, primarily within youth movements, day schools, non-Jewish schools and on campuses. A passionate Limmudnik, Robin is a former co-chair of the Limmud Chavruta Project. He is also an avid... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Glenbrook

2:30pm

Bim Bam Shabbat! Pre-Shabbat Celebration for Ages 0–5
Come join your friends from Camp Ramah and get excited to celebrate Shabbat! Through singing, dancing, and movement, this pre-Shabbat session is geared towards newborns up to 5-year-olds and their grown-ups.

Presenters
AH

Ami Hersh

Ami Hersh is the assistant director of the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack. He also serves as the Family Life Coordinator at the Orangetown Jewish Center. He was ordained as a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2012 with an MA in Jewish non-profit management and a second MA in Experiential Education. Ami previously taught at the Solomon Schechter School of Greater Hartford. He was one of the winners of the 2012 Jewish Futures Competition. He... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:15pm
Glen

2:30pm

Havdalah Rehearsal
Calling all instrumental musicians (who brought their instruments): come join the Havdalah musicians to prep for our communal Havdalah service. Sheet music and chords will be available for niggunim (wordless melodies) and brachot (blessings).

Presenters

Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Elm

2:30pm

Art, Kabbalah, Jungian Archetypes and Tikun Olam
Two years ago, the late abstract expressionist artist Annette Heller began to paint the ten Kabbalistic sefirot (emanations) of God. Her husband researched the hundreds of interpretations of the sefirot, from traditional Jewish readings to a comparison with Jung's archetypes. His session will summarize that research, focusing on Kabbalistic thought as a response to historical crises and on Tikun Olam (repairing the world) as a result of recognizing each of the sefirot. He will also show her work.

Presenters
HH

Harry Heller

Harry holds a PhD in Social/Industrial Psychology from NYU. He formed The Heller Research Group, with ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies as clients. He has also done strategy work for the UJA and for Zionist causes. In 2004 he was elected to the Marketing Research Hall of Fame. Harry has also served on the Board of Trustees of several temples and UJA. In recent years, he has studied Kabbalah to aid his late wife Annette with her abstract... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Springdale

2:30pm

New Jewish Iconography and Block Printing Workshop
Sick of seeing Stars of David? The original Jewish symbols were a menorah, lulav & etrog, and the Cohan's hands. In this workshop you will learn to create your own Jewish symbol and get to replicate it with a DIY blockprinting technique. Part graphic design, part printmaking, part recreating history. No experience necessary. All materials provided.

Presenters
ES

Elke Sudin

Elke Reva Sudin is a visual artist inspired by cross-cultural intersections as they converge with her Jewish identity. She received acclaim for her “Hipsters & Hassids” series and has been featured in The NY Times, Haaretz, & EL PAÍS. She received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute. In 2010 she founded Jewish Art Now. Recently, Sudin founded CreaCo, uniting diversity at Brooklyn College through art. Her latest... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Belltown

2:30pm

Passover Origins: How We Got to the Seder
The Seder Plate didn't always look the way it does today. Neither did Matzah. Discover some of the origins of the Passover Seder and the foods associated with it. From Greek and Talmudic roots to American history, these have influenced the development of one of the central rituals of the Jewish calendar as well as its cuisine. Learn about customs from around the world that you include in your Passover celebrations.

Presenters
SC

Shelley Cohney

Shelly Cohney is an Australian lecturer and tour guide with specialities in food, history, Israel, and Jewish customs. She is a tour guide in Australia and Israel and lectures at the Jewish Museum of Australia as well as at culinary colleges and various charities. Her time is split between her active family, lecturing and guiding.


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Aspen

2:30pm

Ben-Gurion and the Pragmatic Tradition in Israeli Politics
While we often think of Israel as a country driven and divided by rigorous devotion to ideology, there is another tradition in which ideologies have been transformed by confronting new and especially undesirable realities. This phenomenon will be examined through reviewing Ben-Gurion’s changing relationships to borders, Diaspora Jewry, and the organization of Zionist society.

Presenters
IT

Ilan Troen

Born in Boston, Ilan Troen was educated at Brandeis, Hebrew University and Chicago. On making aliyah he joined Ben-Gurion University, became Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the BGU Research Institute, and pioneered programs in Israel Studies. He returned to Brandeis to establish the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He has authored or edited fourteen books on American, Jewish and Israeli history and is founding... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Grove

2:30pm

My Heart Transplant vs. Your Clean Water: Allocating Scarce Tzedakah Resources
Clearly, we have an obligation to feed the hungry; but with all the hunger in the world, how can we budget resources for cancer research and heart transplants? We’ll examine the Talmudic model of scarce resource allocation with an eye to creating a personal tzedakah-giving plan.

Presenters
MH

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy teaches Talmud and directs the Social Justice Track at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, an open, co-ed, non-denominational Jewish learning community where students encounter and grapple with classic texts and traditions of Judaism while exploring their relevance to today's most pressing issues. Meesh also serves as Director of Admissions and of Social Action. She has a PhD in Talmud from NYU and is... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Waterside

2:30pm

Losing and Regaining Spiritual Focus: The Wandering Mind and Meditation
Hasidic masters deemed all passages in the Torah to have eternal spiritual significance, even seemingly outdated ones like the "cities of refuge." A teaching of the Apter Rav on parashat (weekly Torah portion) Masei’ will illuminate how a re-consideration of this topic in the Talmud can be transformed into a meditation technique for restoring one’s spiritual consciousness.

Presenters
MF

Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology; and the forthcoming Jewish Publication Society Commentary on the Song of Songs.


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Long Ridge

2:30pm

God's Hero: In Search of a Little Humanity
Religious devotion sometimes inspires harsh impulses, as if loving God requires rejecting humanity. Asking what kind of loyalty God wants is an urgent, old question. In this text study, we’ll learn a provocative Midrash that challenges common religious assumptions, models fierce loyalty, and demands that both God and we honor our stake in the fate of the Jewish people. All texts provided in Hebrew and English.

Presenters
JA

Joel Alter

Joel Alter is Director of Admissions for Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical and Cantorial schools. He has served in pluralistic Jewish schools as teacher, rabbinic leader and administrator, and is committed to advancing institutions organized around Torah study and Jewish living. Joel holds a BA in Jewish History from Columbia; rabbinic ordination and an MA in Jewish Education from JTS; and received training at the Hartman Institute. Shabbat... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
High Ridge

2:30pm

YiddishPOP
Love Yiddish culture, but don’t know how to start learning or teaching the language? YiddishPOP, a dynamic program that engages Yiddish students of all levels, uses animated movies and other features to introduce and reinforce vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading, and writing. Versatile and easy to use, YiddishPOP addresses diverse learning styles. Join Workmen’s Circle Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin for a fun and engaging session of YiddishPOP for teachers and families!

Presenters
NB

Nikolai Borodulin

Nikolai Borodulin is Coordinator of Yiddish Learning and a Master Teacher at the Workmen’s Circle, where he directs intergenerational Yiddish education. A recognized scholar and published author in several Slavic, Germanic, and Jewish languages, he is launching the first extensive national and international online program for Yiddish learning in real-time. Credited with giving hundreds of Yiddishists their foundation in the language, he... Read More →
KO

Kate O'Brien

Kate O’Brien, MA, is the Director of Education, Innovation, and Organizing at The Workmen’s Circle. Building on her vision of three pillars of Jewish education (Imagination. Relationships. Action.), Kate’s mission is to build intergenerational Jewish cultural schools that connect children and adults to their heritage and that teach them how their secular Jewish progressive values inform their social justice activism. The... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Cove

4:30pm

Shabbat Candlelighting
Welcome Shabbat with the Limmud NY community. You are welcome to light candles on your own at any time, Shabbat begins at 5:07pm.

Friday February 13, 2015 4:30pm - 5:07pm
Mezzanine

4:50pm

Family Shabbat Service
This musical and interactive Family Shabbat service with Doni and Eric is a soulful and energetic experience for the whole family. From a "Bim Bam Dance Off" to original Mama Doni Shabbat songs like Shabbat Shaboom, Family Blessings, and a new soulful Shema that will touch the hearts of young and old, this is a service you do not want to miss.

Presenters
DZ

Doni Zasloff (Mama Doni)

Doni Zasloff (aka Mama Doni) is a mom, music teacher, songwriter, and lead singer in The Mama Doni Band, honored with a 2011 Parents Choice® Award for their CD, Shabbat Shaboom, and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music”. Mama Doni celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in her high-energy, interactive family rock concerts and acoustic Shabbat experiences filled with a contagious and unexpected... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 4:50pm - 6:20pm
Willow

4:50pm

Partnership Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv Service (separate seating, mixed leadership)
This service features separate seating with a low mechitza/divider and leadership by men and women, in the style of Kehilat Shira Chadasha in Jerusalem and Darchei Noam in Manhattan. Liturgy will be traditional and lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Friday February 13, 2015 4:50pm - 6:20pm
Cove

4:50pm

Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Come join us in a joyful celebration of Shabbat. Based in music, meditation, and teachings, this Carlebach-style service will be accessible to all. Note: There will be mixed seating and instruments will be used.

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

David was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the US and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable US Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. His rich perspective and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning have brought him to speak worldwide. David is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu, a... Read More →
SK

Shira Kline

An award winning performer and educator, Shira tours extensively across the world delivering dynamic, interactive programs of joy and spirit, story and song. She is a founding member of Lab/Shul & Storahtelling for whom she is a ritual leader, musical director, maven and trainer. Shira works with educators, clergy and lay leaders doing professional development as well faculty for HUC-JIR DFSSM Cantorial program. She has released four... Read More →
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter is the lead singer of Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece ensemble that effortlessly crosses continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Her earthy, soulful voice rings out over instruments forming a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz and a vision of a new Middle East. Basya is also the musical director of Romemu, a progressive, spiritually adventurous community in New York. In the summer, she... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 4:50pm - 6:20pm
Grove

4:50pm

Traditional Egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv Service (mixed seating, mixed leadership)
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Friday February 13, 2015 4:50pm - 6:20pm
Aspen

4:50pm

Traditional Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv Service (separate seating, male leadership)
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Friday February 13, 2015 4:50pm - 6:20pm
Elm

5:00pm

Welcome Shabbat Tel Aviv-Style
Unwind from the busy workweek the way they do in Tel Aviv - over coffee and conversation in the cafe. Join us to relax, reflect, unplug and meet other Limmudnyks. 

Presenters
MG

Matt Grob

Matt Grob is a veteran LimmudNYk and an NYFB (New Yorker From Birth).


Friday February 13, 2015 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Limmud NY Cafe Mezzanine

6:30pm

Shabbat Dinner 6:30-8:30
Friday night begins the heart of Limmud NY - Shabbat. After choosing your own path for spiritual and religious connection, join every other Limmud participant at our only fully communal meal of the conference - family tables and college student tables will be marked by balloons. As you enter, join Zusha by singing the niggun (wordless melody) for V'shamru and joining in for Shalom Aleichem before our Friday Night Kiddush. Hand washing and Motzi (blessing over bread) can be done by table, so put a smile on, introduce yourself, and enjoy the simcha (joy) of Shabbat.
Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Friday February 13, 2015 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Ballroom I, II, III

8:45pm

Family Ruach: Festive Shabbat Song Session
Enjoy fun Shabbat songs and games just for families and children. Join staff from Camp Ramah and be transported back to a summer Friday night in the Dining Hall.

Presenters

Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Glen

8:45pm

Undoing the 'Un': Former Ultra-Orthodox Jews
Individuals who leave ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities often face tremendous stereotypes, whether feeling "un"Orthodox or being labeled lazy, undisciplined, or "at- risk." Those who leave face either a romanticization of their original community or its vilification. Our panel will introduce individuals who are working to counter these narratives by creating cultural capital, utilizing artistic channels to say something very new about individuality, Jewish community and Jewish culture.

Presenters
RB

Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger has background in non-profit management, philanthropy, and Jewish communal work. She holds an MSW from Columbia University. Rachel is the Director of Community Engagement at Footsteps where she creates community building events, leadership development programs, and public education programs. Currently, Rachel serves on the Board of HEKDESH, a Dorot alumni giving circle. Rachel lives in Manhattan with her husband, Josh Frankel, who... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Elm

8:45pm

Yiddish as a Language of the Future
Before World War II, Yiddish language and culture were shared by more than 80% of the Jewish population. After the genocide in Europe, repression in the Soviet Union and Israel, and assimilation in the United States, only a fraction of today's Jews know the language. Despite these challenges, Yiddish is used today by a surprisingly wide variety of people. This session will explore the current landscape of Yiddish sociolinguistics, with an opportunity to ask questions at the end.

Presenters
NE

Naftali Ejdelman

A native Yiddish speaker and lifelong Yiddish teacher, Naftali Ejdelman is the founder and president of the Yiddish Farm Education Center, an educational organic farm that teaches Yiddish through language immersion programs. He has appeared in the Jewish Week's 36 Under 36 and participated in the PresenTense Community Entrepeneur Partnership as well as the ROI Global Community of Jewish Innovators. He is an experienced teacher of Yiddish... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Waterside

8:45pm

Being a Mensch in Marriage: Nurturing Long-Term Love
Falling in love is easy, but nurturing love over the long haul takes work. This session proposes a proactive approach to loving, highlighting key findings from neuroscience and relationship science about love and its challenges over time. We will explore ways in which partners can take co-responsibility for nurturing each other and their relationship.

Presenters
MF

Mona Fishbane

Mona Fishbane, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the director of couple therapy training at the Chicago Center for Family Health. She lectures nationally and internationally and writes articles on couples, intergenerational family dynamics, and the neurobiology of love and relationships. Her most recent book is Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy. Mona lectures in synagogues and consults annually with rabbis on... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Grove

8:45pm

Ethics of War: The Status of Enemy Civilians
What guidance can a largely diasporic Jewish corpus offer today's Israeli military? This session mines Jewish tradition for responses to the relatively new reality of asymmetric/guerrilla warfare in the Middle East, while placing these responses in context of contemporary Israeli debate.

Presenters
ES

Elana Stein Hain

Elana Stein Hain is the Director of Leadership Education at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She has a PhD in Religion with a focus on rabbinic legal loopholes in the Talmud from Columbia University, and served as a clergy member at Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Jewish Center for eight years prior to assuming her current post. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband Yonah Hain and their sons, Azzan and... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Aspen

8:45pm

How 50,000 Bulgarian Jews Survived the Holocaust
In 1943, Bulgaria deported nearly 11,400 Jews from occupied territories in northern Greece and Yugoslavia. At the same time, Bulgaria successfully resisted German pressures to deport the 50,000 Jews living in Bulgaria. This session will feature an overview of these historical events and will focus on the debates about the role played by King Boris III, church officials, and politicians. We will also discuss ways in which these events should be interpreted and commemorated.

Presenters
JB

Joseph Benatov

Joseph Benatov holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew. He has translated fiction, poetry, and drama, including several plays which were staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in the Balkans and the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light. Every... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
High Ridge

8:45pm

'All Who Are Hungry, Let Them Come': Torah and the African Refugee Crisis
Israel is home to more than 50,000 African refugees, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea. Some see taking care of these refugees as a manifestation of our national identity. Others see it as a dangerous avalanche threatening to eclipse a struggling Jewish State. What can Jewish tradition contribute?

Presenters
MH

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy teaches Talmud and directs the Social Justice Track at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, an open, co-ed, non-denominational Jewish learning community where students encounter and grapple with classic texts and traditions of Judaism while exploring their relevance to today's most pressing issues. Meesh also serves as Director of Admissions and of Social Action. She has a PhD in Talmud from NYU and is... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Willow

8:45pm

Halacha: Science or Art?
In this session, explore the rabbinic decision making process, particularly the subtle interplay between the jurisprudential dimension of halachah (Jewish Law) and hashkafah (the broader worldview of the rabbinic jurist) and the degree to which halachah may be ‘flexible’. This presentation is also intended to illustrate the practical significance for the lay person who has to consult a rabbinic expert.

Presenters
CR

Chaim Rapoport

Chaim Rapoport, a prolific author and scholar of Jewish law, has served as head of the Leeds Kollel, rabbi for the Birmingham Central Synagogue and Head of the Birmingham Rabbinic Board, and Rabbi to the Ilford Synagogue, Beehive Lane. In 1998 he was appointed as member of the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet and advisor to the Chief Rabbi on matters of Jewish Medical Ethics and in 2005 he was appointed dean of Machon Mayim Chaim - an institution that... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Springdale

8:45pm

Weep, Pray, Love: Rachel in the Bible and Beyond
Rachel is one of the most confusing, beautiful, and tragic characters in the Bible. We may think we know Rachel as Jacob's beloved wife, but there is so much more to learn and wonder about her. Through a study of Rachel's life and her relationships with those around her we will explore the broader themes of love, competition, and crisis within the Bible and our own lives. This class is the first session of a course available online at www.projectzug.org.

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

Avi Killip serves as Director of Project Zug and Alumni Affairs at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.


Friday February 13, 2015 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Cove

10:15pm

Teen Meet Up
Calling all teens! College students welcome, too. Come and play a couple games to meet other teens/college students and then go together to the tisch.

Presenters
JA

Jenn Altman

Jenn Altman fell in love with Limmud NY at first sight, during the craziness that was check in "the cold year." She has been an active volunteer, conference and programming chair, and is a current member of the Board and the Executive Committee. Her favorite parts of Limmud NY are the late night schmooze and jam sessions in the common areas. By day, she teaches high school English and recently moved to Atlanta.


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 10:45pm
Alder

10:15pm

Rachel Rose Reid: Spoken Word, Stories Sung
An intimate session of poetry, story and song with Rachel Rose Reid, who blends her immigrant, urban and folk traditions into unique creations and re-workings. "Queen of the New Wave of Storytellers" - BBC Radio 3 "There's no faulting Reid's command of her craft" - The Times

Presenters
RR

Rachel Rose Reid

Raised in the UK on folk music, migrant heritage and urban jungle, Rachel Rose Reid combines all three to build bridges between oral tradition and contemporary spoken word. She has written and performed for BBC Radio 3, Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has created new work with everyone from hip hop groups to a cappella choirs. Rachel is an alumna of ROI, Asylum Arts and... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 11:30pm
Springdale

10:15pm

Scrabble Cafe
Playing Scrabble on Friday night is a time-honored pastime in many Jewish homes. Lifelong Scrabble players Shira Dicker and Ari Goldman, authors of last year's Wall Street Journal article, "How Scrabble Keeps Us Together," invite you to join them for a unique, fun community event—the Shabbat Scrabble Cafe! Learn to play Scrabble the Shabbat-friendly way, including keeping score with books and bookmarks. Bring your love for words, for meeting new people and for conversation!



Presenters
SD

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, astute social observer, cultural critic, strategic thinker, master networker, activist, and entrepreneur. Her literary and often irreverent blog, Bungalow Babe in the Big City, enjoys a global readership. Captivated by contemporary culture, Shira balances her writing life with teaching and performance art. She is thrilled to be presenting at Limmud NY, and looks forward to being... Read More →
AG

Ari Goldman

Ari Goldman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of four books, including the best-seller The Search for God at Harvard. His latest book is The Late Starters Orchestra. He and his wife Shira Dicker are the parents of three children. Ari is also a cellist with The New York Late Starters String Orchestra.


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 11:30pm
Belltown

10:15pm

The Nature of Eating Jewishly
The Jewish people has a set of food traditions that spans 3,000 years—not only "keeping kosher," but also history, culture, brachot (blessings), and ethics—to say nothing of bagels and lox, chopped liver, and (newly-revived?) schmaltz. But what—if anything—can we say about the nature of eating Jewishly? Join Nigel Savage as we study a range of texts which together seek to shed fresh light on the nature of Jewish eating.

Presenters
NS

Nigel Savage

Nigel Savage launched Hazon in 2000 with a Jewish bike ride across the USA. Today Hazon has more than 60 staff in seven locations, working to renew Jewish life and create a more sustainable world for all through food, the outdoors and the environment. Nigel has been listed in the Forward 50 and was one of the founders of Limmud NY. He is happy to be back for the first time in many years.


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 11:30pm
Aspen

10:15pm

Friday Night Tisch
"Tisch" (Yiddish for “table”) is the Hasidic custom of gathering around a table to share songs, words and drinks—all of the kind that warm you up on the inside. Prepare yourself to experience the best of Shabbat and Limmud NY, all wrapped up in one joyous and uplifting session. Note: some alcohol will be available for participants ages 21 and over.

Presenters
DF

Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter is working towards ordination as an Orthodox clergy member at Yeshivat Maharat and is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Judaic Studies at NYU. A strong believer in the power of both ritual and community organizing, she is the rabbinic intern at ImmerseNYC, New York’s only community mikveh project. Dasi spends her free time singing, thinking about... Read More →
SK

Shira Kline

An award winning performer and educator, Shira tours extensively across the world delivering dynamic, interactive programs of joy and spirit, story and song. She is a founding member of Lab/Shul & Storahtelling for whom she is a ritual leader, musical director, maven and trainer. Shira works with educators, clergy and lay leaders doing professional development as well faculty for HUC-JIR DFSSM Cantorial program. She has released four... Read More →
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 11:30pm
Ballroom III

10:15pm

Were the Rabbis Proto-Feminists? The Case of the Adulterous Woman
How do our views of sexuality compare with those of the rabbis? The biblical Sotah rite is prescribed for a woman suspected of infidelity. Simply read, the procedure seems capricious and patriarchal. The rabbis revise the process, making it more egalitarian and exploring issues of marriage and sexuality along the way. Join us for a lively discussion of sex, marriage, gender and a variety of rabbinic views on these topics.

Presenters
YK

Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz is Chair of the Talmud Department at Yeshivat Chovevi Torah; Director of the Lindenbaum Center for the Study of Halakha; Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Synagogue; and Director of Judaic Studies at the Luria Academy in Park Slope, New York. He studied at Brisk and at Yeshivat Beis Yosef Navaradok and received ordination from Rabbi Roth Dayan of UTA Satmar. A graduate of the HaSha'ar Program for Jewish Educators, he taught at the... Read More →


Friday February 13, 2015 10:15pm - 11:30pm
Elm
 
Saturday, February 14
 

7:30am

Daf Yomi Saturday
Every day (yomi) people across the Jewish world are learning a page of Talmud (daf) with the aim of completng the entire Talmud in seven years. This global movement started in 1923 and has captured the imaginations of thousands. Everyone is encouraged to attend, from first timers to those following the current Daf Yomi cycle.

Presenters
ET

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Values at Mechon Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He enjoys learning Torah with a wide variety of audiences, most especially with his children.


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30am - 8:45am
Ballroom III

7:30am

Shabbat Breakfast 7:30-9:30
Sit with someone new! Breakfast is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:45am

All You Need is Four Words: Family Fun for Shabbat
Start Shabbat with a smile, a song, a stretch, and the only four words you'll ever need to know. Join a musical, interactive, and everybody-friendly Shabbat morning celebration led by Lab/Shul's Amichai Lau-Lavie and Shira Kline. Suitable for kids and grownups ages 4 and up. Note: There will be mixed seating, and musical instruments will be used. Following this session, the Lab/Shul and Romemu teams will join together for Torah reading in the session "Moses in the Sky with Sapphires: A Shared Storah Service."

 

Presenters
SK

Shira Kline

An award winning performer and educator, Shira tours extensively across the world delivering dynamic, interactive programs of joy and spirit, story and song. She is a founding member of Lab/Shul & Storahtelling for whom she is a ritual leader, musical director, maven and trainer. Shira works with educators, clergy and lay leaders doing professional development as well faculty for HUC-JIR DFSSM Cantorial program. She has released four... Read More →
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:45am - 10:00am
Ballroom III

8:45am

Romemu Shabbat Morning Service
This uplifting, rejuvenating and refreshing Shabbat morning service will be traditional and creatively new, featuring familiar and new melodies, brief guided meditations, and moments of silence led by Romemu's David Ingber and Basya Schechter. Then join together with Lab/Shul's Amichai Lau Lavie and Shira Kline for a Storah service that will bring the weekly Torah portion of Mishpatim to life. Note: There will be mixed seating, and musical instruments will be used during this session.

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

David was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the US and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable US Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. His rich perspective and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning have brought him to speak worldwide. David is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu, a... Read More →
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter is the lead singer of Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece ensemble that effortlessly crosses continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Her earthy, soulful voice rings out over instruments forming a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz and a vision of a new Middle East. Basya is also the musical director of Romemu, a progressive, spiritually adventurous community in New York. In the summer, she... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:45am - 10:00am
Grove

8:45am

Partnership Shacharit Service (separate seating, mixed leadership)
This service features separate seating with a low mechitza/divider and leadership by men and women, in the style of Kehilat Shira Chadasha in Jerusalem and Darchei Noam in Manhattan. Liturgy will be traditional and lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 8:45am - 11:15am
Cove

8:45am

Traditional Egalitarian Shacharit Service (mixed seating, mixed leadership)
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 8:45am - 11:15am
Aspen

8:45am

Traditional Shacharit Service (separate seating, male leadership)
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and in Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 8:45am - 11:15am
Elm

9:45am

Valentine's Shabbat Yoga
Join us for a Valentine's Day-inspired yoga class. We will begin with a sequence that is sure to heat things up, filled with heart-opening poses and partner yoga towards the end. Torah will be infused into the class as well. Please bring a mat. Lovers and friends welcome!

Presenters
AC

Aja Cohen

Sivan (Aja) Cohen is a newly certified registered yoga teacher. She completed her training with KinneretYoga, a Yoga Alliance certified program for Jewish women in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has fifteen years of yoga experience and her main focus is Vinyasa yoga. Aja also practices Pilates regularly and has trained in Muay Thai kickboxing for five years. Her classes are fun, organic, and Torah inspired, but come prepared to sweat!


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45am - 11:00am
Long Ridge

10:00am

Chesed: What Does Judaism Have to Say?
What is chesed (kindness/mercy) and why is it such a fundamental part of Judaism? Choosing to feel and/or hear another person’s hurt or pain and then choosing to act to heal their hurt or pain without any expectation of reward or calculation is exceptionally difficult to do in a genuine way (especially if fear gets in the way). Come explore chesed with the creator, writer, and animator of Jewish Food For Thought: The Animated Series.

Please note that this session will use a projector. 

Presenters
HH

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics through thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. His work has been broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish Life TV, Shalom TV, and at the New York and San Francisco Jewish Film Festivals. He is featured in a solo catalogued exhibition curated by the Hebrew Union College Museum. Hanan's work is... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Springdale

10:00am

Food and Ritual: Limmud Chavruta
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss food and ritual from a Jewish perspective. Is kashrut logical or arbitrary? Why are we commanded to feast? Which values inform our food rituals? How is seasonal eating Jewish? Ancient sources, modern scholarship, song lyrics, and more will be used. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on food. Come to one session; or even better, come to all four!

Presenters
KR

Karen Radkowsky

A founder of Limmud NY and a trustee of Limmud in the UK, Karen Radkowsky has participated in over 50 Limmud events worldwide since 2000. A three-time alumna of Frequent Traveler University, her air miles have taken her across Europe, Asia and Africa. In her professional life, Karen heads The Research Consultancy, a market research firm in Manhattan.


Saturday February 14, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Glenbrook

10:15am

Moses in the Sky with Sapphires: Storah Service
Climb with us to explore the lesser-known version of what happened on top of Mount Sinai when the Torah was revealed—then, and now.  Join the Lab/Shul and Romemu teams for a shared Storah Service featuring Mishpatim (this week's Torah portion), with live chanting, dramatized translation, music, midrash and interactive learning, Storahtelling-style (suitable for ages 6 and up). Note: There will be mixed-gender seating, and musical instruments will be used during this session. 

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

David was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the US and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable US Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. His rich perspective and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning have brought him to speak worldwide. David is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu, a... Read More →
SK

Shira Kline

An award winning performer and educator, Shira tours extensively across the world delivering dynamic, interactive programs of joy and spirit, story and song. She is a founding member of Lab/Shul & Storahtelling for whom she is a ritual leader, musical director, maven and trainer. Shira works with educators, clergy and lay leaders doing professional development as well faculty for HUC-JIR DFSSM Cantorial program. She has released four... Read More →
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter is the lead singer of Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece ensemble that effortlessly crosses continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Her earthy, soulful voice rings out over instruments forming a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz and a vision of a new Middle East. Basya is also the musical director of Romemu, a progressive, spiritually adventurous community in New York. In the summer, she... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 10:15am - 11:15am
Grove

10:15am

Shabbat Morning, Camp Style!
Join your counselors from Camp Ramah at Limmud NY for an engaging and interactive Shabbat prayer experience. Activities will include a child-friendly service as well as trivia, discussion and stories from the weekly Torah portion. Parents are encouraged and welcome to attend with their children!

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 10:15am - 11:30am
Glen

11:30am

Kernels of a Pomegranate: The Art of Storytelling
Stories have the power to transform and inspire. With our voices, we can create bond and wonder, as well as lasting memories, between people while we transmit Jewish values and traditions. In this digital technological world, we need storytelling more than ever. There is no substitute for the human voice. Peninnah Schram will explore the power of storytelling, what makes a story Jewish and share some stories from the Jewish oral tradition.

Presenters
PS

Peninnah Schram

Storyteller Peninnah Schram is a professor of Speech and Drama at Yeshiva University. She has authored twelve books of Jewish folktales, including Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. The book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning was published in her honor. She is a recipient of the Covenant Award and the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Peninnah is a faculty member of Jewish... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Cove

11:30am

Beyond Bibi: The Israeli Elections—A Guide for the Perplexed
A former Israeli presidential candidate shines light on the contentious Israeli elections, with an insider's view of how they work, identifying the key players and leading scenarios, and what this all means for American Jews and the future of the Jewish state.  

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation. 

Presenters
YA

Yosef Abramowitz

One of CNN's top six Green Pioneers worldwide, Yosef Abramowitz is a co-founder of the solar industries in Israel and East Africa. A candidate for Israel’s presidency, he was named by the Jerusalem Post the 21st most influential Jew in the world and is a Covenant Award winner. He has been arrested twice, held at gunpoint in Ethiopia, has conducted two hunger strikes, and negotiated successfully with the KGB. He lives in Jerusalem with his... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Grove

11:30am

Ms. President: The Obligation for Women to Exercise Leadership
This session will explore rabbinic sources in order to open a discussion about the chiyuv (obligation) for women to exercise leadership in the Jewish community. We will also discuss the obligation of the community to empower women.

Presenters
SW

Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

Sharon is the executive director of JOFA (the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance). She has taught in a variety of schools and synagogues; served as the Orthodox adviser of Orthodox Union's Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU JLIC) at Harvard Hillel; and was the Rosh Moshava (Head of Camp) at Camp Stone in Pennsylvania. Sharon studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, received her BA and MA from Yeshiva University... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Elm

11:30am

Using Ritual to Cope with Change—A Case Study: Divorce
This session will explore holiday rituals designed to help recognize and mark the first year of being single again. This new life stage brings new challenges and insights. When viewed through this lens, the holidays teach fresh and powerful lessons about letting go, rebuilding, independence and dependence, bravery, gratitude, patience, grief, and hope.

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

Avi Killip serves as Director of Project Zug and Alumni Affairs at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Springdale

11:30am

Passing the Pen: How Increased Literacy and Education Have Changed the Meaning of Torah
While the contents of the written Torah and the oral Torah certainly contain a multitude of voices, access to "Torah-making" authority has always been limited by factors such as gender, literacy, and social status. In this session we will explore the ways in which shifts and expansions in access to "Torah-making" authority have contributed profoundly to the content and meaning of Torah over time and how the most recent expansions in access to both Jewish studies and the rabbinate are having a profound effect on contemporary Judaism and Torah.

Presenters
ES

Elsie Stern

Elsie Stern is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She teaches courses in Bible and Rabbinics at RRC and studies the ways in which Jews throughout history have transmitted and received Torah through text and oral performance. Her teaching often focuses on the intersection of Judaism and social justice.


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Willow

11:30am

Shabbat Lunch 11:30-1:30
The start times for lunch have been staggered: either enjoy an earlier lunch and then go to a 12:30 PM session or go to an 11:45 AM session and eat after.
Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Saturday February 14, 2015 11:30am - 1:30pm
Ballroom I, II

12:15pm

What Will Happen When the Messiah Comes? Learn a Yiddish Folksong
This crash course in Yiddish will show you how much Yiddish you already know and how easily you could learn it should you wish to. After this session, you will understand some basic Yiddish grammar and syntax and be able to sing and understand a beautiful old Yiddish folksong about the messianic era.

Presenters
NE

Naftali Ejdelman

A native Yiddish speaker and lifelong Yiddish teacher, Naftali Ejdelman is the founder and president of the Yiddish Farm Education Center, an educational organic farm that teaches Yiddish through language immersion programs. He has appeared in the Jewish Week's 36 Under 36 and participated in the PresenTense Community Entrepeneur Partnership as well as the ROI Global Community of Jewish Innovators. He is an experienced teacher of Yiddish... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Long Ridge

12:15pm

The Scholar, the Techie and the Artist
Time magazine once referred to Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar." Mix his wisdom with a team of tech-savvy translators and graphic designers along with top researchers in various fields and you will experience the Talmud with synergistic power. Get a taste of this creative approach to Talmud learning.

Presenters
AM

Avishai Magence

Avishai Magence is an editor and content curator of the Koren Talmud Bavli. He oversees translation issues, curates the realia and graphics, and is involved in developing tools for the project. After finishing his army service in the hesder yeshiva program, he served as a JLIC (Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) rabbi at Johns Hopkins University. Avishai holds a MA in translation from Bar Ilan University and rabbinical ordination from the... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Waterside

12:15pm

When the Water Runs Out: Allocating Resources in a Desperate World
How do we manage scarce resources when the needs are so great? In this session, we will look at a set of provocative texts about a scarcity of water, and will also consider texts about how we balance competing priorities of geography, community, family, and more.

Presenters
JJ

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, which brings a rabbinic moral voice to human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the author of two books about Judaism and social justice: Where Justice Dwells and There Shall Be No Needy. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Aspen

12:15pm

The Dragon in the Abyss, the Id in the Unconscious: Kabbalah, Myth and Psychoanalysis
Jewish mythology is replete with dragon-like creatures inhabiting the depths of the earth, sea, and soul. These beings, both terrifying and fascinating, are obstacles to divine and human creativity, yet indispensable for their flourishing. After centuries of midrashic and kabbalistic life, these Jewish dragons have resurfaced as forces in psychoanalysis’ unconscious, frightening yet unavoidable for personal growth. Through text and practice, we will explore these alien, yet uncannily familiar, beings.

Presenters
NB

Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman is a professor at Brown University's Cogut Center for the Humanities and holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from University College London. His doctoral dissertation, entitled Improper Twins: The Ambivalent "Other Side" in the Zohar and Kabbalistic Tradition, focused on the demonic in kabbalah. Nathaniel teaches courses on law, nationalism, and religion.


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Glenbrook

12:15pm

Exodus, the Sequel
Is Egypt a place or an existential condition? What is revelation, and where can it be found? Though Exodus chapters 15-17 (which include the tale of the encampments at Marah and Eilim) seem to be mere digressions from the core moments of the book of redemption, they are in reality segues in the strong sense of the term, the path Israel must travel to get from their past and to meet their future. Between Egypt and Sinai, one must travel the desert, starting with Marah and Eilim. Come find out why!

Presenters
JK

Jonathan Kelsen

Jon Kelsen is the Rosh Kollel and Director of the June Kollel and a full-time faculty member at Drisha. He received ordination from Daniel Landes and holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
High Ridge

12:15pm

Parashat Terumah: The Offerings of Our Hearts
In this Torah portion, God instructs Moses to collect gifts from the Israelites to build a dwelling place for God's presence among the people and describes the Tabernacle. Moses has come to the mountain to receive God's commandments and remains there with the Divine presence for forty days and nights. What offerings of the heart do we bring to find or keep God's presence? In which kinds of sanctuaries do we find God’s presence?  What makes them spiritual? Prior knowledge of God is not needed.

Presenters
MK

Molly Karp

Molly Karp is a passionate, experienced Jewish educator and spiritual leader. She is a deep listener, skilled counselor, pluralistic rabbi, and an experienced curriculum writer. Ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Riverdale, NY, she spent ten years in doctoral studies on the Hebrew Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She holds an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York as... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Belltown

1:45pm

Tales Told to the Magic Carpet
Stories and songs for 5-8 year olds and their grown-ups. Rachel has collected these tales from around the world, woven them into her magic carpet, and flown them all the way to Limmud, ready to be share with willing ears. Participation essential!

Presenters
RR

Rachel Rose Reid

Raised in the UK on folk music, migrant heritage and urban jungle, Rachel Rose Reid combines all three to build bridges between oral tradition and contemporary spoken word. She has written and performed for BBC Radio 3, Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has created new work with everyone from hip hop groups to a cappella choirs. Rachel is an alumna of ROI, Asylum Arts and... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Glen

1:45pm

Friends of Bill W.
This is a closed 12-step meeting for people who are in a 12-step recovery program of any kind. It is also for anyone who has a concern about a friend or family member with any type of addiction. Anyone who is concerned about their own possible addiction to anything such as food, gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc. may attend.

Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Willow

1:45pm

Book Club: A Post-Zionist Tale in 1947?
Come read and discuss a powerful short story by the best Hebrew language author you've never heard of. We will use an English translation of the text.

Presenters
JA

Jenn Altman

Jenn Altman fell in love with Limmud NY at first sight, during the craziness that was check in "the cold year." She has been an active volunteer, conference and programming chair, and is a current member of the Board and the Executive Committee. Her favorite parts of Limmud NY are the late night schmooze and jam sessions in the common areas. By day, she teaches high school English and recently moved to Atlanta.


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Westover

1:45pm

Scrabbleogamy: How to Play Together to Stay Together
Lifelong Scrabble players Shira Dicker and Ari Goldman, who will lead the Shabbat Scrabble Cafe, will present a lively public conversation on the utility of this board game as a marriage counselor and manual, and will also discuss what it means to have an inter-denominational marriage.

Presenters
SD

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, astute social observer, cultural critic, strategic thinker, master networker, activist, and entrepreneur. Her literary and often irreverent blog, Bungalow Babe in the Big City, enjoys a global readership. Captivated by contemporary culture, Shira balances her writing life with teaching and performance art. She is thrilled to be presenting at Limmud NY, and looks forward to being... Read More →
AG

Ari Goldman

Ari Goldman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of four books, including the best-seller The Search for God at Harvard. His latest book is The Late Starters Orchestra. He and his wife Shira Dicker are the parents of three children. Ari is also a cellist with The New York Late Starters String Orchestra.


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Elm

1:45pm

Lethal Wives and Impure Widows
This session examines the widow marriage taboo in Jewish and Hindu law and lore through the lens of two religio-legal scholars and reformers who sought to alleviate the plight of widows who were made to suffer by lore being imposed as law. Our discussion will revolve around close text study—translated into English—from both traditions.

Presenters
SR

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother-writer-lecturer-sermonizer-activist-aspiring rabbi-student. Her “A Hike” on terror in Israel is a Pushcart nominee. Her work appears in lit reviews, Jewish journals, Keren journal & Dharma & Halacha. She taught soldiers who did not complete high school while in the IDF and female conversion students at the request of the Rabbanut. She studied Jewish thought at Hebrew U & Matan... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Waterside

1:45pm

Models of Shared Leadership: Miriam, Moses and Aaron
When we think of the Exodus story, we often conjure up dramatic images of Moses leading the people to freedom: Moses bringing plagues upon Egypt, splitting the Red Sea, and guiding the Jewish people through the desert. This session will challenge the “single-hero” narrative of the Exodus story and explore the many types of leaders that contribute to a leadership team—both in the Torah and in our world today—and which leadership qualities can be found in each of us.

Presenters
DF

Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter is working towards ordination as an Orthodox clergy member at Yeshivat Maharat and is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Judaic Studies at NYU. A strong believer in the power of both ritual and community organizing, she is the rabbinic intern at ImmerseNYC, New York’s only community mikveh project. Dasi spends her free time singing, thinking about... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Cove

1:45pm

The Rabbinic Narrative of Pacifism and Its Modern Critics
This session will offer a political theory for rabbinic Judaism—namely, that the rabbis used narrative, law, interpretation, and their own myth of origin to not only opt out of history but also to make a strong statement against sovereignty and its trappings of military force and the use of power. We will then reckon with the consequences of being the inheritors of this literature, as well as its implications for modern Zionism.

Presenters
YK

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, overseeing its educational initiatives for Jewish communal leaders. He taught at Brandeis as the inaugural Chair of Jewish Communal Innovation. His book Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past offers new thinking on sustaining a meaningful Jewish identity in the face of modernity's challenges. He lives in Riverdale, NY with his wife Stephanie Ives, their two sons... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Grove

1:45pm

Dolce and Her Daughters: A Businesswoman in Medieval Germany
Come and explore the private and public lives of medieval Jewish women and children and the example of Dolce, a prominent businesswoman and wife of the Rokeach, an influential pietist thinker.

Presenters
KV

Katja Vehlow

Katja Vehlow lives in New York and teaches Jewish and Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests are pre-modern Jewish identities, inter-religious polemics, and gender issues. She is also a mean speed knitter.


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Glenbrook

1:45pm

Shechitah and Ethics: Is Kosher Slaughter 'Humane'?
Learn about the laws and practices of kosher slaughter with Naftali Hanau, shochet (kosher butcher) and owner of Grow and Behold Foods, which is providing Sunday night's chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers. What constitutes a kosher slaughter? Where do animal welfare and modern shechitah (kosher slaughter) practices intersect? There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions.

Presenters
NH

Naftali Hanau

Naftali Hanau is a founder and CEO of Grow and Behold Foods: Kosher Pastured Meats. He is passionate about producing and supplying kosher, sustainable, and ethical meat to the Jewish community. He is an Adamah alum and a trained shochet, and has a degree in Professional Horticulture. He loves teaching about meat and food, is married to the incomparable Anna Hanau, and is the Abba to Joe and Becca Hanau. 


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Springdale

1:45pm

Hasidut Today
The significance of hasidut today as seen through the prism of different Hasidic masters in different generations.

Presenters
MF

Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology; and the forthcoming Jewish Publication Society Commentary on the Song of Songs.
AG

Art Green

Arthur Green, the Founding Dean and Rector of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian; his work seeks to form a bridge between these two distinct fields of endeavor. Green studied under such prominent teachers as Alexander Altmann, Nahum N. Glatzer, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. As a teacher of Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and theology, Green has authored over a dozen books and is a leading... Read More →
YK

Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz is Chair of the Talmud Department at Yeshivat Chovevi Torah; Director of the Lindenbaum Center for the Study of Halakha; Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Synagogue; and Director of Judaic Studies at the Luria Academy in Park Slope, New York. He studied at Brisk and at Yeshivat Beis Yosef Navaradok and received ordination from Rabbi Roth Dayan of UTA Satmar. A graduate of the HaSha'ar Program for Jewish Educators, he taught at the... Read More →
AK

Avi Killip

Avi Killip serves as Director of Project Zug and Alumni Affairs at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Aspen

1:45pm

Gift Me Something to Give
When wanting for that which we most desire, we feel bereft – impoverished – like Hannah, inconsolable in her longing for a child. A close look at Hannah’s story reveals that being without is only part of the pain of not having. We learn that having is receiving and receiving invites giving. No Hebrew required in this Hebrew-English text study with commentary about reciprocity in God’s world.

Presenters
JA

Joel Alter

Joel Alter is Director of Admissions for Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical and Cantorial schools. He has served in pluralistic Jewish schools as teacher, rabbinic leader and administrator, and is committed to advancing institutions organized around Torah study and Jewish living. Joel holds a BA in Jewish History from Columbia; rabbinic ordination and an MA in Jewish Education from JTS; and received training at the Hartman Institute. Shabbat... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Long Ridge

1:45pm

The Ties That Bind Us: The Possibilities and Limits of Communal Repentance
What can the story of a sordid affair in 19th-century Corsica teach us about the communal connections that bind us together? What obligations do we have to each other? In this session we will explore the concept of tochacha (rebuke) and its implications for an interconnected and interdependent community.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenberg

Ben Greenberg was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and is the Planning Executive for Synergy Manhattan of UJA-Federation of New York as well as the Founding Director of OpenSinai.com. He has worked in a variety of capacities in settings ranging from campus to synagogue, cultivating a Jewish social justice voice. Ben has been active in bridge-building work and interfaith dialogue around the world. He is the author of two books... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Belltown

1:45pm

Instant Yiddish! 50 Words in 50 Minutes
Do you love the sound of Yiddish, but never learned to speak it? Do you speak a bisl, but wish you spoke a sakh? Do you want to make your mispokhe kvel? Join Yiddish Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin of the Workmen’s Circle and go from bupkes to bilingual! This engaging and dynamic workshop makes Yiddish accessible for students of all ages through vocabulary, conversation, and poetry. No prior Yiddish knowledge necessary. Even complete beginners will be able to follow!

Presenters
NB

Nikolai Borodulin

Nikolai Borodulin is Coordinator of Yiddish Learning and a Master Teacher at the Workmen’s Circle, where he directs intergenerational Yiddish education. A recognized scholar and published author in several Slavic, Germanic, and Jewish languages, he is launching the first extensive national and international online program for Yiddish learning in real-time. Credited with giving hundreds of Yiddishists their foundation in the language, he... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 1:45pm - 3:00pm
High Ridge

3:15pm

Orthodox Shabbat Mincha
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and in Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Elm

3:15pm

Traditional Egalitarian Shabbat Mincha
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Aspen

3:45pm

Afternoon Soul Time
A Lab/Shul style mincha (afternoon service) Including Torah study (not Torah reading), meditation, and liturgy. Musical instruments will not be used. This session is dedicated to the memory of Amichai's father, Naphtali Lau-Lavie.

Presenters
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
High Ridge

3:45pm

Yiddish Translation Matters
Very few Yiddish literary texts have ever been translated into English, yet a handful have been translated several times. Interpretations of these stories and poems change over time, revealing a great deal about transformations in Jewish American culture and the changing status of Yiddish.

Presenters
AN

Anita Norich

Anita Norich is the Tikva Frymer-Kensky Collegiate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her books include Writing in Tongues: Yiddish Translation in the Twentieth Century; Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Literature in America During the Holocaust; and The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer. She teaches, lectures, and publishes on a range of topics concerning Yiddish... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Willow

3:45pm

Honoring Your Father and Mother: Psychological Challenges
Fulfilling the fifth commandment to honor parents can be challenging, especially if we harbor old grudges from childhood. Carrying these resentments can be damaging to our relationships with our partners or our children. We will explore ways to “grow up” our relationship with aging parents, as we come to see them with adult eyes and let go of old grievances.

Presenters
MF

Mona Fishbane

Mona Fishbane, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the director of couple therapy training at the Chicago Center for Family Health. She lectures nationally and internationally and writes articles on couples, intergenerational family dynamics, and the neurobiology of love and relationships. Her most recent book is Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy. Mona lectures in synagogues and consults annually with rabbis on... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Aspen

3:45pm

Mikvah: Personal Moment or Communal Infrastructure?
The Mikvah is a place that generates strong emotions from individuals and from the community. This session will explore who really does or should own the mikvah and what can be done to be empowered in one's mikvah experience.

Presenters
SW

Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

Sharon is the executive director of JOFA (the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance). She has taught in a variety of schools and synagogues; served as the Orthodox adviser of Orthodox Union's Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU JLIC) at Harvard Hillel; and was the Rosh Moshava (Head of Camp) at Camp Stone in Pennsylvania. Sharon studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, received her BA and MA from Yeshiva University... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Cove

3:45pm

For Grandparents Only!
What can our tradition and secular writings teach us about being Jewish grandparents? How might we understand them in ways that are nonjudgmental, welcoming, and appropriate to our individual families? We will go from peshat (what the words mean) to drash (what we can learn from them), examining sources and suggestions. We will also examine the Jewish perspectives on time and celebration and how they can inform vibrant, meaningful, intergenerational Jewish family activities for holidays and every day!

Presenters
SH

Sharon Halper

Sharon Halper has served as a Jewish educator for over three decades in informal, congregational and communal settings. Her work has been published by the URJ Press, Torah Aura Productions and Behrman House. She has written for the Ziv Tzedakah Fund, socialaction.com, grandparentsforsocialaction.org and morim-madrichim.org. Although nominally retired, she teaches adult and family education in several congregations and for the Melton Adult... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Belltown

3:45pm

Heavenly Jerusalem, Earthly Jerusalem
Jerusalem has always been a place of deep emotions, tensions, and often violence. Today, these dynamics have a major impact on the possibilities for peace. We will examine some classic texts about Jerusalem in light of the contemporary political reality.

Presenters
JJ

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs is the Executive Director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, which brings a rabbinic moral voice to human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She is the author of two books about Judaism and social justice: Where Justice Dwells and There Shall Be No Needy. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Waterside

3:45pm

Nostra Aetate: Catholic-Jewish Relations' 50th Anniversary
Promulgated in 1965, this brief document of the Second Vatican Council laid the foundation for a revolution in Christian understanding of Jews and 50 years of productive dialogue between the two faiths. During this jubilee year, Catholics and Jews have a golden opportunity to study, celebrate and examine a document which changed the course of Catholic-Jewish relations by rejecting the deicide charge and other root causes of anti-Judaism.

Presenters
NM

Noam Marans

Noam Marans is the national director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations at AJC (the American Jewish Committee). Previously he served as the rabbi of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ. He has participated in multiple private audiences with Pope Francis and leads AJC's battle against anti-Israel initiatives within American Christian denominations, among other interfaith engagements. Noam is a graduate of Columbia University and was ordained by... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Elm

3:45pm

Sephardic Vignettes from the Balkans
How was a Sephardi rabbi able to save his town—and possibly the whole region—from a cholera epidemic? And how did another rabbi save the Bulgarian capital from arson? Why did Austrian Emperor Joseph II banish the notable Arieh family, which then went on to establish one of the most successful and influential Jewish dynasties in the Balkans? Come hear about these and other notable moments in the rich history of Jewish life in Ottoman Salonica, Macedonia, and Bulgaria.

Presenters
JB

Joseph Benatov

Joseph Benatov holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew. He has translated fiction, poetry, and drama, including several plays which were staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in the Balkans and the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light. Every... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Springdale

3:45pm

Yoga for Women
Come and nourish your body, mind and soul in this women-only class. Open to levels. Please bring a mat if you have one.

Presenters
AC

Aja Cohen

Sivan (Aja) Cohen is a newly certified registered yoga teacher. She completed her training with KinneretYoga, a Yoga Alliance certified program for Jewish women in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has fifteen years of yoga experience and her main focus is Vinyasa yoga. Aja also practices Pilates regularly and has trained in Muay Thai kickboxing for five years. Her classes are fun, organic, and Torah inspired, but come prepared to sweat!


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Long Ridge

3:45pm

Meditating on Language
We will look at texts from the Jewish tradition (Kabbalah, Hasidut, Buber, Rosenzweig), and Western philosophical tradition (Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger) on the meaning and power of language. Is language simply a tool for expression or is language somehow synonymous with the world itself? We will also explore different techniques for arriving at God-consciousness through our relationship to language in all of its registers (sound, tone, volume, shape, rhythm, pace, and meaning).

Presenters
ZA

Zohar Atkins

Zohar Atkins is a first-year rabbinical school student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He holds an AB in Classics and Judaic Studies and an AM in History from Brown. He recently completed his doctorate in theology at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he wrote on Heidegger and the relationship between ontology and ethics. Zohar is also a published poet and teacher of poetry. He hopes to integrate the virtues of scholarship and love through... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Glenbrook

3:45pm

Family Chavruta
Limmud's Family Chavruta Project is an opportunity for parents to learn from their kids and kids to learn from their parents in a voyage of joint discovery. In this session, we will use traditional texts, modern sources, and all of our senses (taste, smell, hearing, seeing and touch) to learn about prayer and one another! The session is suitable for kids in grades K-5. Knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish texts in not needed.

Presenters
RM

Robin Moss

Robin Moss is head of Israel Engagement at UJIA, the central agency connecting the British Jewish community to Israel. He works to improve the quality and nuance of Israel-related educational conversations among Jewish youth, primarily within youth movements, day schools, non-Jewish schools and on campuses. A passionate Limmudnik, Robin is a former co-chair of the Limmud Chavruta Project. He is also an avid... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Glen

3:45pm

Judaism and Medicine: Beyond Bioethics
The history of Jews and medicine is as ancient and as rich as the history of the People of Israel itself. But is there a Jewish way to relate to medicine? This session examines the values at the core of medicine, and their impact on doctor and patient. Drawing on Jewish texts and contemporary thought and bioethics, we offer three models of the Jewish license to heal. Through study and sharing, we will explore the intersection of our Jewishness and our health. Practitioners and patients welcome!

Presenters
YH

Yonah Hain

Yonah Hain is the campus rabbi of Columbia University. In his work, he guides the educational, interfaith and religious initiatives of Columbia/Barnard Hillel's robust Jewish community. Having previously worked at New York University, he is now in his ninth year as a rabbi on campus. During the summers, Yonah has taught at the Drisha Institute and Mechon Hadar. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife Elana and their two sons... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Westover

3:45pm

Pluralism, Integrity, and Community
How do we maintain our religious integrity as we build community with those who do not share all of our practices or interpretations of Torah? We will look at an ancient debate between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel about marriage and personal status. Through a close reading, we will gain wisdom into the tough choices that are necessary to live in a diverse community.

Presenters
ET

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Values at Mechon Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He enjoys learning Torah with a wide variety of audiences, most especially with his children.


Saturday February 14, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Grove

5:15pm

Are You There God? It's Me. A Spiritual Open-Mic (without the Mic) Event
This is an "Open Mic" event - without the actual mic because it is Shabbat - that invites participants to speak their spiritual truth in a safe and interactive setting. Each participant will be given three minutes to riff about their relationship (or lack of relationship) with God and/or spirituality through spoken word or song.

Presenters
SD

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, astute social observer, cultural critic, strategic thinker, master networker, activist, and entrepreneur. Her literary and often irreverent blog, Bungalow Babe in the Big City, enjoys a global readership. Captivated by contemporary culture, Shira balances her writing life with teaching and performance art. She is thrilled to be presenting at Limmud NY, and looks forward to being... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Long Ridge

5:15pm

Personal and Spiritual Stories of Individual Women Who Have Converted (Some A Few Times)

Conversion Experiences, a Conversation.
Come hear the personal stories of three brave, searching, and honest women who have converted (some a few times).

 


Presenters
AA

Angie Atkins

Angie Atkins is Director, Heritage Alumni at The Wexner Foundation. She serves on the Board of Romemu, also representing them on a UJA-Federation council which helps NYC shuls share ideas to improve synagogue life. Angie and her husband Norman regularly host Shabbat cross-denomenational minyans, seudot and learning in their UWS home. They’re blessed with three kids (Zohar, Ari, Shira) and are big fans of Mechon Hadar and all the wonderful... Read More →
LS

Liz Savage

Elizabeth Savage is a writer and personal organizer in NYC. She's converted to Judaism- twice. | www.savageorganizing.com @savageorganizer
KV

Katja Vehlow

Katja Vehlow lives in New York and teaches Jewish and Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests are pre-modern Jewish identities, inter-religious polemics, and gender issues. She is also a mean speed knitter.


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Aspen

5:15pm

What's in a Name? A Storytelling Session on Names
Our names carry many meanings and blessings in various traditions. Names can shape our lives and our personalities. In this session, we will explore sources, meanings, and connections to our names – and how they have influenced us. Peninnah Schram will also tell her own name stories and introduce the concept of a person’s name pasuk. There will be participatory exercises that will help retrieve the stories of our names.

Presenters
PS

Peninnah Schram

Storyteller Peninnah Schram is a professor of Speech and Drama at Yeshiva University. She has authored twelve books of Jewish folktales, including Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. The book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning was published in her honor. She is a recipient of the Covenant Award and the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Peninnah is a faculty member of Jewish... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
High Ridge

5:15pm

Modern Orthodoxy and the Boundaries of Pluralism
Can a denomination that stakes out exclusive theological claims genuinely learn from those who believe differently? In this session we will examine Jewish thought from the 19th century to the present day that attempts to balance exclusive faith claims with an openness to learn the wisdom offered by others who do not share those beliefs and/or practices. Come and explore what Karaites bottling wine and horse riding on Shabbat have to teach us about pluralistic Jewish learning.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenberg

Ben Greenberg was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and is the Planning Executive for Synergy Manhattan of UJA-Federation of New York as well as the Founding Director of OpenSinai.com. He has worked in a variety of capacities in settings ranging from campus to synagogue, cultivating a Jewish social justice voice. Ben has been active in bridge-building work and interfaith dialogue around the world. He is the author of two books... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Willow

5:15pm

Corporate Compliance and Jewish Ethics
Can today's corporations be a force for social good? Are they out for themselves, their customers, or society? And what do our Jewish ethical teachings have to say on the subject? Hear from Carole Basri, whose corporate compliance podcast was the Carnegie Council’s most popular resource in 2014.

Presenters
CB

Carole Basri

Carole Basri is a filmmaker and lawyer of Iraqi Jewish descent. Her films provide a historical and personal view of the persecution, torture, escape and flight of over 160,000 Jews from Iraq between 1940- 2003. A graduate of Barnard College and NYU School of Law, Carole is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and the Corporate Compliance Program Advisor. In that role, she creates and advises on curricula for... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Cove

5:15pm

The Significance of Being First: Competing Jewish and Arab Discourses
Claims to the Holy Land are at the root of the Arab/Israeli conflict, and are now perhaps the most significant and contentious element. These claims are mixed with the religious traditions of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and even secular Jews and Arabs, and they reference continuities with the ancient past as a means of claiming priority. The presentation will examine ways in which these claims are made in an attempt to clarify this extraordinarily complex situation.

Presenters
IT

Ilan Troen

Born in Boston, Ilan Troen was educated at Brandeis, Hebrew University and Chicago. On making aliyah he joined Ben-Gurion University, became Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the BGU Research Institute, and pioneered programs in Israel Studies. He returned to Brandeis to establish the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He has authored or edited fourteen books on American, Jewish and Israeli history and is founding... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Elm

5:15pm

Family Early Saturday Dinner 5:15-6:15
A special time just for families with young children who wish to eat a little earlier. Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Ballroom I

5:15pm

Starting a Jewish Giving Circle
Are you intrigued by the idea of starting a giving circle inspired by Jewish values, but don’t know how to get started? Join staff from Amplifier: The Jewish Giving Circle Movement and the Natan Fund for a how-to session that will include interactive brainstorming to develop your vision for your giving circle, a discussion of Jewish wisdom around giving and giving together, and some concrete first steps to get a successful circle off the ground.

Presenters
FH

Felicia Herman

Felicia Herman has been the executive director of The Natan Fund, a giving circle of young philanthropists supporting Jewish and Israeli social innovation, since 2005. She is a frequent commentator on topics such as funding innovation, new trends in Jewish life, and the power of the giving circle model. She serves on the boards of Bikkurim and the Sefaria Project. She is a recipient of the Jewish Funders Network's JJ Greenberg Memorial Award, and... Read More →
AS

Aviva Stampfer

Aviva Stampfer works at Natan as the Program Assistant on Amplifier. She helped coordinate the co-design process and project implementation, including the website build and program creation. Aviva believes in the power of collaborative grantmaking and thinks that everyone can be a philanthropist. She graduated from Barnard College in 2012 with a degree in Urban Studies and Sociology. Aviva lives in Brooklyn and enjoys learning new things... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Waterside

5:15pm

Seudah Shlishit (The Third Meal)

The Shabbat experience wouldn’t be complete without the mellow and meditative “Third Meal” made popular by the Kabbalists. Join us for a melodious, spirit-filled gathering and light meal.


Presenters
Z

Zusha

Zusha was formed in the East Village of New York City by three neo-Hasidic friends with little enthusiasm for college and a great passion for music. Borrowing lines from ancient liturgy, Zusha’s music is a blend of folk, jazz, reggae, ska, gypsy swing, and traditional Jewish soul. The result is a dynamic sound that is at times raw and rustic and at times gentle and poignant, and at other times you just can’t help but get up and... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

David was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the US and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable US Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. His rich perspective and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning have brought him to speak worldwide. David is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu, a... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Ballroom III

5:15pm

Creating and Holding Sacred Space
What makes a space “holy”? What role do we have in creating holy spaces, and what responsibility do we have to create or to protect those places? In this session, we will uncover some powerful parameters of holiness, rooted in the Torah and in rabbinic texts, for creating a sense of the holy in our physical surroundings.

Presenters
DF

Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter is working towards ordination as an Orthodox clergy member at Yeshivat Maharat and is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Judaic Studies at NYU. A strong believer in the power of both ritual and community organizing, she is the rabbinic intern at ImmerseNYC, New York’s only community mikveh project. Dasi spends her free time singing, thinking about... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Springdale

5:15pm

Fallen Angels and Forbidden Fruit
Many of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and its message of free will. Jews in late antiquity told another story as well that offers a different perspective on human evil and misfortune. We will explore the story of the fallen angels from the ancient text 1 Enoch and reflect on its message regarding the human condition and its relevance for us today.

Presenters
ES

Elsie Stern

Elsie Stern is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She teaches courses in Bible and Rabbinics at RRC and studies the ways in which Jews throughout history have transmitted and received Torah through text and oral performance. Her teaching often focuses on the intersection of Judaism and social justice.


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Glenbrook

5:15pm

Three Mitzvot That Never Were and Never Will Be
The rebellious child, the afflicted house, and the city of apostates are commandments that are related to events that the Talmud describes as never having occurred, nor will they ever occur. What are the underlying themes that link these three commandments? What lessons do they teach us as theoretical models? What are the implications for understanding the human potential for rehabilitation and transformation? How do they inform our responsibility to insure that these realities never DO occur?

Presenters
BL

Bill Liss-Levinson

Bill Liss-Levinson is a healthcare publishing executive, a member of the Board of the Jewish Book Council, and the CenterLight Health System, and has done pro bono consulting for various social service, healthcare, and educational organizations. Bill has a book forthcoming in 2015 titled In Search of Theological Modesty: Biblical Lessons.


Saturday February 14, 2015 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Westover

6:15pm

Orthodox Shabbat Maariv
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and in Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Elm

6:15pm

Traditional Egalitarian Shabbat Maariv
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 14, 2015 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Aspen

6:30pm

Community Havdalah
Over the course of Shabbat, each LimmudNYk charts a unique course through sessions and services. As Shabbat ends and we focus on the separation of Shabbat from the week, we come together for a unifying experience as a community. Join in for an inspiring goodbye to Shabbat and re-entry into the week.

Saturday February 14, 2015 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Grove

7:30pm

FlaSh'ma: 30-Minute Flashtalk with Sh'ma Journal
Quiet. It’s something we all need, but never seem to have enough of. Be it work, friends and family, or general FOMO (fear of missing out), there are far too few opportunities to take a moment and reflect. Enter FlaSh’ma: two short, 30-minute conversations run by fellow LimmudNYks, designed to help you process and make sense of what you’ve experienced so far through a Jewish lens of “Pause.” In the words of Lisa Goldstein in Sh'ma, "Learn how to peel away the noise so you can listen to your soul.”

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:00pm
Cove

7:30pm

Pajama Party Movie Night!
Join all of your friends from camp for an exciting, kids-only night of fun! Wear your favorite pajamas and get ready for a delicious special kids dinner, snack, and awesome movie. All Camp Ramah at Limmud NY campers, Grades K–5, are invited to join the fun! Parents should drop off their children and then return to pick them up after the movie. PJs and blankets are encouraged!

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Glen

7:30pm

Aseh L'cha Rav (Find Yourself a Teacher): Models of Leadership and Followership in Contemporary Jewish Life
The Jewish community is interested in - some might say, obsessed with - "leadership." But is there such a thing as "followership" - and, if so, what does it look like? In this session, we will explore a quite well-known text from Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Fathers). We'll seek both to understand it in multiple ways, and to reflect on its contemporary salience.

Presenters
NS

Nigel Savage

Nigel Savage launched Hazon in 2000 with a Jewish bike ride across the USA. Today Hazon has more than 60 staff in seven locations, working to renew Jewish life and create a more sustainable world for all through food, the outdoors and the environment. Nigel has been listed in the Forward 50 and was one of the founders of Limmud NY. He is happy to be back for the first time in many years.


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
High Ridge

7:30pm

Speaking of Names...
What's in a name? People consider changing names for marriage, but also sometimes to outrun bad luck, or to conceal Jewish identity. Converts to Judaism are often "given" a Hebrew name. There is tremendous power in naming, and sometimes our names reveal more about ourselves than we would like. Come to a facilitated Lilith salon to talk about it all.

Presenters
SW

Susan Weidman Schneider

Susan is Editor-in-Chief of Lilith and one of its founding mothers. Her writing includes innovative reports on women and philanthropy, the Jewish stake in reproductive rights, and persistent stereotypes of Jewish women. She is the author of three acclaimed books, including the groundbreaking classic Jewish and Female. She has been named a Polakoff Lifetime Achievement Awardee in journalism, a “Leader for the 21st Century” by... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Willow

7:30pm

Responsa Radio: Live!
Come to a live recording of Responsa Radio, where you ask and we answer deep and challenging questions in Jewish law. Join Avi Killip interviewing Ethan Tucker with questions sent in by LimmudNY attendees! We will take questions from the floor as well. Note: This session will be recorded and those attending are requested to arrive a few minutes early and to stay for the duration.
Free Giveaways!

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

Avi Killip serves as Director of Project Zug and Alumni Affairs at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Avi has worked as a teacher and Jewish professional in two synagogues, an independent minyan, a mikveh, and a yeshiva.
ET

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Values at Mechon Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He enjoys learning Torah with a wide variety of audiences, most especially with his children.


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Aspen

7:30pm

Twentieth-Century Philosophies of War: Heschel, Levinas and Their Relevance to Israel
This session takes a close look at two diaspora thinkers, Emmanuel Levinas and Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose conceptions of war were framed largely by their own experiences. We probe the relationship between their philosophies, as well as the relevance of their thought, to today's sovereign Jewish army as it conceptualizes its own military engagement.

Presenters
ES

Elana Stein Hain

Elana Stein Hain is the Director of Leadership Education at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She has a PhD in Religion with a focus on rabbinic legal loopholes in the Talmud from Columbia University, and served as a clergy member at Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Jewish Center for eight years prior to assuming her current post. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband Yonah Hain and their sons, Azzan and... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Springdale

7:30pm

Secrets and Tastes of Ashkenazi Cooking with Gefilteria
Jeffrey and Liz - together “Gefilteria” - are writing a cookbook which will transform classic Ashkenazi dishes for 21st century tastes. This workshop will take you along on their culinary journey-learning and tasting historic cuisine and reimagining it for today's foodies. Join us as we share secrets and stories of our Eastern European heritage!

Presenters
LA

Liz Alpern

Elizabeth Alpern, co-owner of Gefilteria, is an experienced cook, food writer and event planner. She got her start in the Jewish food world working with acclaimed cookbook author Joan Nathan and is currently writing a Gefilteria cookbook.
JY

Jeffrey Yoskowitz

Jeffrey is a food entrepreneur, pickler and food writer. The son of a deli maven, Jeffrey grew up visiting New York's finest Jewish food institutions. He has written about all facets of Jewish food for magazines and newspapers, and trained as a pickler at Adamah foods before co-founding Gefilteria.


Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Belltown

7:30pm

Saturday Dinner 7:30-9:30
Shavua Tov! (A Great Week!) Start a great week by making new friends at Saturday evening dinner. We’ve staggered the start times of sessions over dinner to give you choice and avoid long lines. Enjoy an earlier dinner and then go to a 8:15 PM session, or go to a 7:30 PM session and eat after! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Saturday February 14, 2015 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Ballroom I, II

8:15pm

Studio Aggadah: New Ideas Lab
Play an interactive game delving into the creative process through a live art  and historical study session that riffs on aggadah, the traditional exegetic texts and folk stories of the Jews. The challenge is to reinvent Jewish visual expression, but don’t worry - no prior artistic experience is necessary.
Part parlor game, part the Hebrew school you wish you had, an after-hours new ideas lab brought to you by JEWISH ART NOW.

Presenters
ES

Elke Sudin

Elke Reva Sudin is a visual artist inspired by cross-cultural intersections as they converge with her Jewish identity. She received acclaim for her “Hipsters & Hassids” series and has been featured in The NY Times, Haaretz, & EL PAÍS. She received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute. In 2010 she founded Jewish Art Now. Recently, Sudin founded CreaCo, uniting diversity at Brooklyn College through art. Her latest... Read More →
SS

Saul Sudin

Saul Sudin is a writer and filmmaker advocating a new voice for Judaism in visual media. His production Punk Jews is in distribution through the National Center for Jewish Film and he is the co-founder of Jewish Art Now, a resource for contemporary Jewish visual art and design. He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Elke. You can follow him online @SMSudin 


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Elm

8:15pm

Middle School Extravaganza!
A Scavenger Hunt! A Talent Show! And More! All 6th–8th graders are invited to join in for an exciting and awesome evening just for middle schoolers.

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Glen

8:15pm

I Love You, but You're (Still) Wrong about Everything
At Limmud NY 2012, Carl and David Wolkin sat down to discuss their differences when it comes to Judaism, and ended up learning more about each other than they could have possibly expected. Three years later, both of their lives have changed, but they're always ready to see if they can find a third opinion between the two of them. Join them as they discuss new questions, many of which have been crowdsourced from friends, family, and colleagues.

Presenters
CW

Carl Wolkin

Carl Wolkin has been the senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom Northbrook, Illinois for the past thirty-four years. He is a graduate of the Shalom Hartman Institute and a member of the Chicago JUF (Jewish United Fund) Board. His wife Judy is a retired Solomon Schechter Day School teacher. They have three children: Josh, David (a previous Executive Director of Limmud NY), and his wife Keeli.
DW

David Wolkin

David Wolkin is the Director of Communications at AVODAH as well as an educator, facilitator, writer, and storyteller. He has worked in the Jewish world in a diverse range of settings since 2002, including Limmud NY (of which he is quite proud). Outside of his Jewish work, he very occasionally moonlights as a comics journalist. David lives in Maryland with his very patient wife Keeli, his cats RoboCop and Phineas, and way too many comic books.


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Cove

8:15pm

Gilgul, Dybbuks and Golems: Do Jews Believe in Them?
Is Judaism a completely rationalistic religion which deplores magic, dybbuks (demons), gilgul (transmigration) and Golems, as a study of Maimonides would have us believe? In this session, we will explore various towering rabbinic figures who espoused these mystical concepts and even dabbled in occult practices, including the Vilna Gaon, Nachmanides and Joseph Karo.

Presenters
SF

Sharon Flatto

Sharon Flatto is an associate professor of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College and Deputy Director of its graduate program. Specializing in early modern Jewish history and Kabbalah, Sharon has taught at educational institutions including Yale, Brown, and Queens College, and is the author of The Kabbalistic Culture of Eighteenth-Century Prague: Ezekiel Landau (the 'Noda Biyehudah') and His Contemporaries. She received her PhD in Jewish History from... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Long Ridge

8:15pm

Judaism and Homosexuality

In light of modern changes in attitude regarding homosexuality, and recent controversy surrounding government legislation, explore the halachic stance on homosexuality with Chaim Rapoport, Ethics Advisor to the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Rapoport combines an unswerving commitment to Jewish Law, teachings and values with a balanced, understanding perspective that Jonathan Sacks described as “blessed with grace, loving kindness and compassion.” 



Presenters
CR

Chaim Rapoport

Chaim Rapoport, a prolific author and scholar of Jewish law, has served as head of the Leeds Kollel, rabbi for the Birmingham Central Synagogue and Head of the Birmingham Rabbinic Board, and Rabbi to the Ilford Synagogue, Beehive Lane. In 1998 he was appointed as member of the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet and advisor to the Chief Rabbi on matters of Jewish Medical Ethics and in 2005 he was appointed dean of Machon Mayim Chaim - an institution that... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Westover

8:15pm

The Original Hassidic Tales: Law, Narrative, and Piety in the Talmud
Poisonous snakes. Ancient Hasidic Miracle Workers. Communal Zoning Laws. Come find out what these three have in common and join a rich exploration of Talmudic tales. We’ll be asking: How do we balance integration into the world with the retreat from it necessary to grow?

Presenters
JK

Jonathan Kelsen

Jon Kelsen is the Rosh Kollel and Director of the June Kollel and a full-time faculty member at Drisha. He received ordination from Daniel Landes and holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Saturday February 14, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Glenbrook

9:45pm

Jewish Meditative Practice from the Aish Kodesh
We will study a letter referencing the spiritual practice of Shapira in order to gain insight into a Jewish meditative practice, following which we will try it out!

Presenters
ES

Eli Steier

Eli Steier likes catching leaves before they touch the ground. He was born, raised, and currently lives in Queens.


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 10:30pm
Long Ridge

9:45pm

Pardes Meet Up
Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 10:45pm
Westover

9:45pm

Mifgash Ramah—Ramah Meet-Up
All Ramahniks, whether you are an alum, a parent, a grandparent, or prospective family, are invited to meet the staff of Camp Ramah! Stop by to meet fellow Ramahniks and hear an exciting update on the Ramah Camping Movement. Enjoy a tasty treat while you are here!

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Glenbrook

9:45pm

“Yes, and…”: An IMPROV workshop
Bring your love of play, a willingness to say yes, and your generous heart to this improvisational theater workshop. You will learn theater games and the basic rules of improv, as you have fun performing in scenes, developing characters, and laughing with your fellow participants. Learners of all ages and all levels of experience are welcome to participate. 

Presenters
YO

Yoni Oppenheim

Yoni Oppenheim is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. He is a NY-based director, dramaturg, and teaching artist, who has worked in the US, Israel, and Norway. He has consulted for JOFA, Drisha Arts Fellowship, Theater Talk-PBS, and taught theater at BIMA. He was a Dorot Fellow and Spielberg Fellow. Yoni has been Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright's researcher on Posterity, which premieres in February... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Waterside

9:45pm

Concert: Basya Schechter and Pharaoh's Daughter
Enjoy this psychedelic, ethereal, mystical, powerful and eclectic concert with singer-songwriter Basya Schechter and Pharaoh's Daughter. They will perform material from their most recent album Dumiya as well as earlier work.

Presenters
PD

Pharaoh's Daughter

Founded by Basya Schechter, Pharaoh's Daughter is a psychedelic, multi-dimensional ensemble. The sound is Turkish hash bar meets Hasidic Brooklyn juke joints, and incorporates Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic liturgical chants. With music that is "intricately detailed, inventive and endlessly surprising," Pharaoh's Daughter has toured nationally and internationally for the last thirteen years, and has been featured on NPR and in The Village Voice... Read More →
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter is the lead singer of Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece ensemble that effortlessly crosses continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Her earthy, soulful voice rings out over instruments forming a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz and a vision of a new Middle East. Basya is also the musical director of Romemu, a progressive, spiritually adventurous community in New York. In the summer, she... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Grove

9:45pm

Peoplehood with Purpose
There is a drastic need for a paradigm shift in planning for a strong Jewish future. Jewish Peoplehood – and its universalistic, noble purpose – must replace the eroding definition of Jews as essentially a faith community.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation. 

Presenters
YA

Yosef Abramowitz

One of CNN's top six Green Pioneers worldwide, Yosef Abramowitz is a co-founder of the solar industries in Israel and East Africa. A candidate for Israel’s presidency, he was named by the Jerusalem Post the 21st most influential Jew in the world and is a Covenant Award winner. He has been arrested twice, held at gunpoint in Ethiopia, has conducted two hunger strikes, and negotiated successfully with the KGB. He lives in Jerusalem with his... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Aspen

9:45pm

The Great Jewish Paradox of Our Time: Power and Vulnerability
Jews have never been more powerful, prosperous and influential. At the same time, we have rarely been as vulnerable. Come and explore this great paradox of our time, and discuss the kind of leadership the Jewish People needs at this point in time.

Presenters
GG

Gidi Grinstein

Gidi Grinstein is the founder and president of The Reut Institute and the author of Flexigidity: The Invisible Hand of Jewish Adaptability. He served as secretary and coordinator of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with the PLO between 1999-2001 under Ehud Barak. Gidi is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University schools of law and economics, and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow. He is married with five... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Elm

9:45pm

The Last Jews of Baghdad (Film)
Iraq was once home to 160,000 Jews; today only five remain. This documentary film by Carole Basri takes a personal and historical look at the persecution, torture, escape and exodus of Iraqi Jews between 1940-2003. The film utilizes documentary footage, as well as interviews with Jews who fled their beloved homeland.

Presenters
CB

Carole Basri

Carole Basri is a filmmaker and lawyer of Iraqi Jewish descent. Her films provide a historical and personal view of the persecution, torture, escape and flight of over 160,000 Jews from Iraq between 1940- 2003. A graduate of Barnard College and NYU School of Law, Carole is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and the Corporate Compliance Program Advisor. In that role, she creates and advises on curricula for... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 9:45pm - 11:30pm
Springdale

11:15pm

The Unfire with Peter Kashin and Friends
It's a Limmud NY tradition! Come sit around the "unfire" and sing your favorite songs.

Presenters

Saturday February 14, 2015 11:15pm - Sunday February 15, 2015 12:30am
Mezzanine

11:15pm

The Rebbetzin's Disco
There is a time for everything, and this is the time to get funky. RRR is representing for the Rebbetzin. Old soul classics and new mixed-up tunes with a mission to get your neshama (soul) aglow and your tuchus moving. Created and blessed by Jacqueline Nicholls. Playlists for the sake of heaven.

Presenters
RR

Rachel Rose Reid

Raised in the UK on folk music, migrant heritage and urban jungle, Rachel Rose Reid combines all three to build bridges between oral tradition and contemporary spoken word. She has written and performed for BBC Radio 3, Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has created new work with everyone from hip hop groups to a cappella choirs. Rachel is an alumna of ROI, Asylum Arts and... Read More →


Saturday February 14, 2015 11:15pm - Sunday February 15, 2015 1:15am
Cove
 
Sunday, February 15
 

7:30am

Orthodox Sunday Shacharit Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 7:30am - 8:15am
Elm

7:30am

Traditional Egalitarian Sunday Shacharit Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 7:30am - 8:15am
Aspen

7:30am

Sunday Breakfast 7:30-10:00
Sit with someone new! Breakfast is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Sunday February 15, 2015 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:30am

Friends of Bill W.
This is a closed 12-step meeting for people who are in a 12-step recovery program of any kind. It is also for anyone who has a concern about a friend or family member with any type of addiction. Anyone who is concerned about their own possible addiction to anything such as food, gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc. may attend.

Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Willow

8:30am

Empowering Parents as Educators: PJ Library as Part of a Toolkit
Through a study of Jewish texts we will discover the importance of finding our own voice and our own understanding as necessary prerequisites to transmitting and teaching Jewish values to our children. This session will explore the primacy of the parent-child relationship as a vehicle for the transmission of Jewish tradition. We will also discuss how the PJ Library model, with its emphasis on parents telling stories to their children in the home, fits into this tradition.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Cove

8:30am

The Letter that Changed Everything: Ben Gurion's Status Quo Letter
Shortly before the 1947 UN vote on recognition of a Jewish state in Palestine, Ben Gurion sent a letter to the leaders of Orthodox religious parties in Israel that shaped the character of the Jewish state forever. He promised to give the Orthodox community full authority over four issues: shabbat; kashrut; marital law; and education. Why was it crucial to send this letter? Was it a good call? Why is this letter unchangeable? Do we want to change it?


Presenters
TB

Tova Birnbaum

Tova Birnbaum is founder and director of the Voices Fellowship. She was also a founder of the Secular Yeshiva at the BINA Center in Tel Aviv, and served as North American director for the World Zionist Organization. Tova teaches Talmud and Judaic Studies, and facilitates theater midrash workshops. She is an award-winning actress and performance artist. She holds a BA in Psychology from Hebrew U. and an MA in Theater from Tel Aviv University.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Belltown

8:30am

The Challenge of Power: How to Be a More Ethical Funder
Funding often follows the golden rule: S/he who has the gold makes the rules. Having taught thousands of philanthropists and foundation professionals, Richard Marker disagrees. He believes that most abuse of power by funders is not based on ego but on naïveté. This interactive session will use case vignettes to explore the intersection of best practice, ethics, and the law so that funders and those who want some can behave better, more ethically, and productively.

Presenters
RM

Richard Marker

Richard Marker is currently a philanthropy expert, professor, advisor, writer, and lecturer. He has been a university professor; a CEO and senior executive in the Jewish sphere; a foundation CE; a management consultant in the private secto; and a university chaplain. He has spent almost 30 years working in or with the Jewish world, and seventeen outside it. He is active as a volunteer on international interreligeous boards, and is committed to... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
High Ridge

8:30am

The Triple Bottom Line: Creating a Sustainable Jewish Community
Explore how to make your Jewish community (synagogue, JCC etc), home and business more sustainable through pursuit of the Triple Bottom Line. The Triple Bottom Line doesn't compromise economics for the environment or social good (including the health of you and your children). The Triple Bottom Line seeks to maximize all three without negatively impacting any of them. Explore very practical approaches using real world examples that anyone can use for achieving the Triple Bottom Line.

Presenters
MB

Michael Brochstein

Michael Brochstein is a longtime Upper-West-Sider and member of Congregation Ansche Chesed. After a long career in information technology, he recently completed a master's degree in Sustainability Management and is now looking for related work. In his spare time Michael is an avid hiker and photographer.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Springdale

8:30am

Discovering Our Place within the Matrix of Life
Join Myra Estelle to discuss and explore the ways we can expand our understanding of the Judaic teaching of Oneness. Deep beneath the surface of our religion is a way to develop a clearer view of our self and our connection with others, so that we can discover how to unravel and heal any pain from the past. Judaism teaches that we all live within an amazing matrix of consciousness. It can guide us on a beautiful journey toward a state of inner peace.

Presenters
ME

Myra Estelle Gordon

Myra Estelle is a writer, teacher, and life coach, as well as being a trained architect. Her books and classes at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York explore the Oneness within Judaism that connects conscious thought, emotional development, and cultural behavior. This exploration can increase our understanding of the psychological reasoning beneath the complexity of our relationships with each other and with the rest of the world.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

8:30am

'You Shall Love the Stranger': Traditional Approaches to the Status of Non-Jews in Israel
Rabbis have made headlines in recent years with declarations that the Torah prohibits renting or selling your home in Israel to non-Jews. The mayor of Ashkelon declared that Arabs will not be employed in educational institutions. What is the Torah basis for these declarations? And is that really the Jewish way?

Presenters
MH

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy teaches Talmud and directs the Social Justice Track at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, an open, co-ed, non-denominational Jewish learning community where students encounter and grapple with classic texts and traditions of Judaism while exploring their relevance to today's most pressing issues. Meesh also serves as Director of Admissions and of Social Action. She has a PhD in Talmud from NYU and is... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Waterside

8:30am

Daf Yomi - Sunday
Every day (yomi) people across the Jewish world are learning a page of Talmud (daf) with the aim of completng the entire Talmud in seven years. This global movement started in 1923 and has captured the imaginations of thousands. Everyone is encouraged to attend, from first timers to those following the current Daf Yomi cycle.

Presenters
GG

Goldie Guy

Goldie Guy is a member of the Yeshivat Maharat class of 2017. Goldie has studied at the Beit Midrash for Women- Migdal Oz and as Collegiate Fellow at the Drisha Institute. Goldie earned her BA in Religion at Barnard College of Columbia University and completed the Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies at Stern College. While at Stern, she taught as an instructor in the undergraduate Talmud chabura and served as the inaugural Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Ballroom III

8:30am

Torah in the Religious School Classroom
This session is geared for teachers in supplementary Jewish schools, but also applicable for day school teachers. In the limited time we have with our students, we can integrate knowledge and study of Torah into other subject areas (holidays, mitzvot, social action, prayer, etc.) This session will present ideas and approaches to maximize connecting our students with Torah as the foundational sacred text of Judaism.

Presenters
GG

Galya Greenberg

Galya has been active in Jewish education for many years, mostly in the Jewish day school environment. She is currently the Project Director of the MaToK Bible Curriculum and a doctoral student in Jewish Education Leadership at Hebrew College and Northeastern University. She is particularly interested in the professional development and classroom practice of Jewish day school Tanakh (Jewish Bible) teachers.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Elm

8:45am

Music Together with Naomi
Come participate in the joy of family music using the research-based program elements of the famous "Music Together" curriculum. For babies, children, and parents of all ages.

Presenters
NW

Naomi Weinberger

Naomi Weinberger is the wife of Michael; the mother of Avishai, Tova, Adina, and Akiva; and a teacher of preschool music.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:45am - 9:45am
Glen

10:00am

Jewhooing the Sixties
Based on the book of the same title, this session will describe the phenomenon of "Jewhooing"—that is, Jewish celebrity consciousness. Everyone knows Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," but rarely do we think more seriously about "people who are Jewish, just like you and me." Using four case studies of Jewish celebrity—Sandy Koufax, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, and Barbra Streisand—we will further explore the dynamics of Jewish identity, expressed by our persistent desire to identify famous Jews.

Presenters
DK

David Kaufman

David Kaufman is a lifelong Jewish educator, with an MA in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a PhD in American Jewish history from Brandeis. He has taught at the Hebrew Union College and Hofstra University and is the author of Shul with a Pool: The Synagogue-Center in American Jewish History and Jewhooing the Sixties: American Celebrity and Jewish Identity. He is currently at work on a new book, to be titled MESHUGA: A... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Elm

10:00am

Portraits of Jewish Bulgaria
You are invited to a visually breathtaking journey through contemporary Jewish life in Bulgaria. Images by one of the country’s leading photographers and the fascinating new documentary The Ladino Ladies' Club will grant you a tangible sense of the rich past and vibrant present of this unique Jewish community.

Presenters
JB

Joseph Benatov

Joseph Benatov holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Hebrew. He has translated fiction, poetry, and drama, including several plays which were staged to wide acclaim in Bulgaria. Benatov lectures regularly on the history of Jewish life in the Balkans and the fate of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust. His article on the topic appears in the anthology Bringing the Dark Past to Light. Every... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Cove

10:00am

Forgiveness: Whom Is It For? A session for teens and parents
Why would you want to forgive someone who has wronged you? Is there any benefit to forgiving? Is there a “right” time to forgive? And what does Judaism have to teach us? Come explore forgiveness with Hanan Harchol, the creator of Jewish Food For Thought, a collection of animated shorts that teach Jewish ethics to adults and teens using thought-provoking and funny conversations between animated versions of Hanan and his parents. This session is for teens. Adults and parents welcome. Created with generous funding by The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
HH

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics through thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. His work has been broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish Life TV, Shalom TV, and at the New York and San Francisco Jewish Film Festivals. He is featured in a solo catalogued exhibition curated by the Hebrew Union College Museum. Hanan's work is... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Alder

10:00am

Innovation and Jewish Organizations
Presenters
GG

Gidi Grinstein

Gidi Grinstein is the founder and president of The Reut Institute and the author of Flexigidity: The Invisible Hand of Jewish Adaptability. He served as secretary and coordinator of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with the PLO between 1999-2001 under Ehud Barak. Gidi is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University schools of law and economics, and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow. He is married with five... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

David was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the US and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable US Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. His rich perspective and full-bodied approach to Jewish learning have brought him to speak worldwide. David is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu, a... Read More →
SI

Stephanie Ives

Stephanie Ives is the NY/Tri-State Director of the New Israel Fund. She has a deep passion for Israel, human rights and the American Jewish community's power to effect change. She is a former director of American Jewish World Service, and previously worked as an attorney, first clerking on the Israeli Supreme Court and later specializing in affordable housing. She is an alum of Teach for America and Yeshiva University. Stephanie lives in... Read More →
EU

Elisheva Urbas

Elisheva Urbas is the Director of Makom Hadash, Hazon’s hub for second-stage Jewish organizations; a Schechter Manhattan trustee; and an editor for more than 25 years. She has worked with authors including David Hartman, John McPhee, Anne Fadiman, David Grossman, and David Ellenson, and institutions including UJA-Federation of NY, Wellspring Consulting Group, and the Samuel Bronfman Foundation. She, her husband David Morris, and their three... Read More →
JW

Jonathan Woocher

Jonathan Woocher is the president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, which promotes efforts to connect Jews and others to Jewish wisdom, sensibilities, and experiences that help them to lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives and to shape a better world. Previously, he worked for twenty-seven years at Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). He serves on the boards of the Covenant Foundation and Bikkurim: An... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Aspen

10:00am

The Making of Tefillin
This session will explain how Tefillin are made, the different types of Tefillin housings, and all the structural aspects of Tefillin as well as the parchments that go into making them.

Presenters
ZG

Zerach Greenfield

Born in the United States, Zerach moved to Israel in 1980. He has served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency. For the last thirty years he has been active as a Sofer STAM (scribe), writing, teaching, restoring and evaluating Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls), tefillin and other texts throughout the world. Since 1995 he has worked with Machon Ot, a Torah think tank based in Jerusalem that maintains a worldwide registry of Sifrei Torah.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Westover

10:00am

Jewish Travel in Asia
Whether writing a Lonely Planet guidebook or just exploring on my own, wherever he travels Robinson tries to connect with the local Jewish community, if there is one, or at least find some evidence of a Jewish presence, past or present. This session will mix historical background on the Jewish communities of places such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai (Bombay) and Tokyo with practical information on establishing contact with local Jewish institutions. 

Presenters
DR

Daniel Robinson

After twenty-five years in Israel, Daniel came back to the US when his wife began Conservative rabbinical studies in Los Angeles. She is now the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in New London, CT. Daniel has been writing travel guidebooks for Lonely Planet for 25 years, including guides to Israel, France, Germany and Borneo.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Willow

10:00am

NEW, CHANGED SESSION: Reflections on Copenhagen and Paris
The session on shemitta has been replaced with a discussion of what has happened in Paris and Copenhagen, and the world in general.  What's going on in the world?  How can or should we react?

Presenters
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.
NS

Nigel Savage

Nigel Savage launched Hazon in 2000 with a Jewish bike ride across the USA. Today Hazon has more than 60 staff in seven locations, working to renew Jewish life and create a more sustainable world for all through food, the outdoors and the environment. Nigel has been listed in the Forward 50 and was one of the founders of Limmud NY. He is happy to be back for the first time in many years.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Grove

10:00am

An Israeli Vision to Reverse Climate Change
Israel, a world flashpoint of innovation, can be a microcosm that shows us how to save the planet through advanced technologies and visionary implementation.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation. 

Presenters
YA

Yosef Abramowitz

One of CNN's top six Green Pioneers worldwide, Yosef Abramowitz is a co-founder of the solar industries in Israel and East Africa. A candidate for Israel’s presidency, he was named by the Jerusalem Post the 21st most influential Jew in the world and is a Covenant Award winner. He has been arrested twice, held at gunpoint in Ethiopia, has conducted two hunger strikes, and negotiated successfully with the KGB. He lives in Jerusalem with his... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Springdale

10:00am

Varieties of Modern Orthodoxy 1800-2015
The term "Modern Orthodoxy" was first used in the 1960s to refer to a "small alienated minority" of "no more than several score intellectuals." But by the late 1970s, the term was used by a sociological group of many adherents. Explore the many separate antecedent groups who combined in the last 200 years tradition with modernity. The views of Hertz, Reines, Hertzog, Hirsch and Belkin were all generated by different questions. But more fundamentally, for us now, what is modern?

Presenters
AB

Alan Brill

Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University. Brill’s books include Judaism and Other Religions (2010) and Judaism and World Religions (2012). Last year, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Varanasi, India. He is currently working on a book on Modern Orthodoxy.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
High Ridge

10:00am

Yoga: Rise and Shine a Light
Wake up and celebrate our amazing life! This class is a rhythmic and mindful practice that warms the body, calms the mind, and opens the heart. Open to all levels. Please bring a mat if you have one.

Presenters
AC

Aja Cohen

Sivan (Aja) Cohen is a newly certified registered yoga teacher. She completed her training with KinneretYoga, a Yoga Alliance certified program for Jewish women in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has fifteen years of yoga experience and her main focus is Vinyasa yoga. Aja also practices Pilates regularly and has trained in Muay Thai kickboxing for five years. Her classes are fun, organic, and Torah inspired, but come prepared to sweat!


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Long Ridge

10:00am

The Conflict of Priorities: Inwardness-vs-Ethics
The religious person must sometimes resolve conflicts between two competing mitzvot. A classic tension involves a clash between the act of prayer or contemplation and the simultaneous demands of a moral task or duty. We shall consideration three resolutions: one articulated in the Talmud, and two others found in the writings of the Netziv and in a Hasidic teaching on the weekly Torah portion Va-yera’.

Presenters
MF

Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology; and the forthcoming Jewish Publication Society Commentary on the Song of Songs.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Waterside

10:00am

Food and Hunger: Limmud Chavruta
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss food and hunger from a Jewish perspective. What is the point of fasting? How can we best feed the hungry? Is it better to give bread, dough, or money? What is food justice? Ancient sources, modern scholarship, song lyrics, and more will be used. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on food. Come to one session; or even better, come to all four!

Presenters
EF

Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax is a longtime member of Limmud's International Chavruta team and directs the Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change for girls and women in Israel and the US. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Glenbrook

10:00am

Children's Songwriting Workshop and Family Concert
This fully engaging, fun, and soulful musical workshop will have everyone up on their feet dancing and singing! Everyone will learn a song that will be performed this evening at Limmud-a-Palooza.

Presenters
DZ

Doni Zasloff (Mama Doni)

Doni Zasloff (aka Mama Doni) is a mom, music teacher, songwriter, and lead singer in The Mama Doni Band, honored with a 2011 Parents Choice® Award for their CD, Shabbat Shaboom, and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music”. Mama Doni celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in her high-energy, interactive family rock concerts and acoustic Shabbat experiences filled with a contagious and unexpected... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 11:45am
Glen

10:00am

Limmud NY Shuk (Marketplace)
Peruse the Limmud NY Shuk - a marketplace of ideas, organizations, and businesses - right in the heart of the conference. Come learn more about the amazing organizations and projects and purchase products and books from your favorite presenters and vendors.

Sunday February 15, 2015 10:00am - 4:00pm
Mezzanine

11:30am

Mural Workshop: Collaborative Conceptual Graffiti Wall
Join us in the creation of a collaborative mural using techniques from contemporary street art and the Exquisite Corpse process. No experience necessary. All materials provided.

Presenters
ES

Elke Sudin

Elke Reva Sudin is a visual artist inspired by cross-cultural intersections as they converge with her Jewish identity. She received acclaim for her “Hipsters & Hassids” series and has been featured in The NY Times, Haaretz, & EL PAÍS. She received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute. In 2010 she founded Jewish Art Now. Recently, Sudin founded CreaCo, uniting diversity at Brooklyn College through art. Her latest... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Long Ridge

11:30am

Hakovesh Et Yitzro (Mastering Your Instincts): Neurobiology Meets Rabbinic Wisdom
Emotional reactivity and dysregulation are sources of personal and interpersonal suffering. This session will explore ways to regulate our emotions, informed by cutting-edge research in neurobiology. We will consider the rabbinic dictum, "Who is mighty? The one who conquers his(/her) impulses" in light of current thinking about social and emotional intelligence.

Presenters
MF

Mona Fishbane

Mona Fishbane, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the director of couple therapy training at the Chicago Center for Family Health. She lectures nationally and internationally and writes articles on couples, intergenerational family dynamics, and the neurobiology of love and relationships. Her most recent book is Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy. Mona lectures in synagogues and consults annually with rabbis on... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Aspen

11:30am

'I Am with You in Distress': Jewish Responses to Communal Crisis and Tragedy
The history of the Jews is filled with persecutions and crises. From the time of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem to the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, Jews have tried to respond to these challenges in different ways. Can these tragedies be explained as punishment for sins? As part of God's plan for the world? Or, are we to be silent in the face of these challenges? This session will study a selection of sources from throughout the centuries.

Presenters
AM

Adam Mintz

Adam Mintz is the founding rabbi of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim in New York City and a professor of Jewish History at City College, New York. He lectures widely throughout the United States and Europe. Most recently, he edited a volume entitled It’s A Thin Line: Eruv from Talmudic to Modern Culture (NY, 2014). His lectures and articles can be found at www.rabbimintz.com.


Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Belltown

11:30am

On Serving God: Does Halakha Help or Hinder?
In this session, we’ll explore one of the most basic questions Jews can ask: what role should halakha (Jewish law) play in our religious lives? Martin Buber and Yeshayahu Leibowitz offer two antithetical answers to this question. For one, halakha is little more than an obstacle to authentic worship; for the other, halakha itself constitutes authentic worship. What, if anything, can Buber and Leibowitz say to each other—and to us? Can engaging extreme positions help us formulate more moderate ones?

Presenters
SH

Shai Held

Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, and he directs its Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. He is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. His book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published in 2013. Shai’s weekly essays on the Torah are read by... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Grove

11:30am

A Jewish Melting Pot at the Crossroads of the World: The Cuisine of Georgia
Georgian Jewish cuisine is among the most diverse in the world. Influenced by the Silk Road, Russia, Turkey and the Mediterranean as well as the diverse bounty of the Georgian countryside itself, this cuisine is rustic yet refined-- and always interesting. This workshop will emphasize khachapuri, a traditional Georgian cheese pizza, which is now a popular Israeli brunch dish.


Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Elm

11:30am

Sunday Lunch 11:30-1:30
Sit with someone new! Lunch is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY. We’ve staggered the start times of sessions over lunch to give you choice and avoid long lines. Either enjoy an earlier lunch and then go to a 12:15 PM session, or go to an 11:30 AM session and eat after! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Sunday February 15, 2015 11:30am - 1:30pm
Ballroom I, II, III

12:00pm

Street Art and Tikkun Olam - a session for teens
In this session, participants from age 12 and over are invited to think about creating art that makes a difference in the world. We will explore Jewish texts and artistic sources from Israel and around the world, and ask the question: How can art be a force to change the world for better? We will learn basic stenciling techniques and create our own street art inspired by the work of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Know Hope and more. 

Presenters
TB

Timna Burston

Timna Burston is an Israeli artist educator who focuses on combining the arts with Jewish and Israeli culture. She teaches art at Beit Rabban Day School in NYC and is the coordinator of Kashkesh: A Hebrew immersion program in Art, Music and Dance at Congregation Kol Ami in Westchester. In 2014, she won the Jewish Education Project’s Young Pioneers award for innovation in Jewish Education. She is also completing an MA in Art and Art... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Alder

12:00pm

Jewish Food History
Of the many lenses through which to gain a greater perspective on history, food is too often neglected. The story of Jewish food is the story of the Jewish people told more tastily. If you are hungry to know what manna really was or how cholent saved the Jews of Spain, prepare your palates for a culinary adventure through the space and time of Jewish experience. We will cover what Jewish foods are, where they came from, and why they are important.

Presenters
SC

Shelley Cohney

Shelly Cohney is an Australian lecturer and tour guide with specialities in food, history, Israel, and Jewish customs. She is a tour guide in Australia and Israel and lectures at the Jewish Museum of Australia as well as at culinary colleges and various charities. Her time is split between her active family, lecturing and guiding.


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Springdale

12:00pm

The Four Founding Stories of Judaism: Why They Matter Separately and Together
This session will explore not only the four founding stories of Judaism—about peoplehood, nationhood, being a light unto the nations, and faith and covenant—but also their crucial role in ensuring Jewish survival, security, prosperity, and leadership.

Presenters
GG

Gidi Grinstein

Gidi Grinstein is the founder and president of The Reut Institute and the author of Flexigidity: The Invisible Hand of Jewish Adaptability. He served as secretary and coordinator of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with the PLO between 1999-2001 under Ehud Barak. Gidi is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University schools of law and economics, and of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Wexner Israel Fellow. He is married with five... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
High Ridge

12:00pm

Subconscious Yiddish Issues
A close reading of articles about Yiddish from the American media reveals a deeper subtext about the complex psychological relationship of Jews to their past. Join us as we explore recurring themes in various articles about Yiddish and what they tell us about unresolved issues in the modern Jewish psyche. This session includes chavrusa (Jewish peer learning), a moderated discussion, and frontal instruction.

Presenters
NE

Naftali Ejdelman

A native Yiddish speaker and lifelong Yiddish teacher, Naftali Ejdelman is the founder and president of the Yiddish Farm Education Center, an educational organic farm that teaches Yiddish through language immersion programs. He has appeared in the Jewish Week's 36 Under 36 and participated in the PresenTense Community Entrepeneur Partnership as well as the ROI Global Community of Jewish Innovators. He is an experienced teacher of Yiddish... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Glenbrook

12:00pm

Dramatic American Religious Demographic Shifts and Their Implications for Israel Support
How will the changing face of religion in the US affect America’s historic support for Israel? With a decrease in the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian and reports suggesting weak spots in US Christian support for Israel (e.g., Presbyterian Church), one might think that the sky is falling. But the reality is far more nuanced and positive. We will look beneath the headlines and see what is really happening within US religious perspectives on Israel.

Presenters
NM

Noam Marans

Noam Marans is the national director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations at AJC (the American Jewish Committee). Previously he served as the rabbi of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ. He has participated in multiple private audiences with Pope Francis and leads AJC's battle against anti-Israel initiatives within American Christian denominations, among other interfaith engagements. Noam is a graduate of Columbia University and was ordained by... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Waterside

12:00pm

The Displaced Persons
Over 140,000 bedraggled and penniless Holocaust survivors came to America after World War II, shorn of families and hometowns. Yet they built remarkably successful lives for themselves and their children. How did they do it? What was the subculture they established here? How were their children affected by having parents who were so unfamiliar with American ways and still in mourning for overwhelming losses? Joseph Berger wrote a 2001 memoir about growing up as a son of survivors.

Presenters
JB

Joseph Berger

Joseph Berger has been a reporter with the New York Times for thirty years, writing about religion, education, neighborhoods and issues in the Jewish world. He won the 2011 Peter Kihss Award for a career’s work. He is the author of Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust, a memoir about his family's experience as refugees. He also chronicled the dramatic changes in American ethnic life in The World in a City: Traveling... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Willow

1:00pm

Orthodox Sunday Mincha Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:15pm
Elm

1:00pm

Traditional Egalitarian Sunday Mincha Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 1:00pm - 1:15pm
Aspen

1:30pm

Finish Your Song: A Workshop for Songwriters
Bring your half-written or three-quarters-written song to this session with professional musician Basya Schechter of Pharaoh's Daughter. Songs will be workshopped with the group. Instruments welcome, but not required.

Presenters
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter is the lead singer of Pharaoh’s Daughter, a seven-piece ensemble that effortlessly crosses continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Her earthy, soulful voice rings out over instruments forming a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz and a vision of a new Middle East. Basya is also the musical director of Romemu, a progressive, spiritually adventurous community in New York. In the summer, she... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Willow

1:30pm

Uncle Vanya
Anton Chekhov’s visionary environmentalist Dr. Astrov, along with the rest of Uncle Vanya’s tragi-comically depressed cast of characters encounter the Kabbalistically infused Tu Bishvat (Jewish Arbor Day) seder in 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company’s Uncle Vanya. Successfully produced as a full production in New York in 2014, 24/6 shares its unique take on Chekhov’s classic with Limmud NY, in the form of a staged reading.

Presenters
2A

24/6: A Jewish Theater Company

24/6: A JEWISH THEATER COMPANY is a home for professional Sabbath observant artists. 24/6 cultivates innovative theater grounded in a rigorous engagement with Jewish tradition, and believes that the performing arts play a critical role in American Jewish life. 24/6 shows include A Dybbuk for Two People; Uncle Vanya; A Doll House; and Sabbath Variations, a collection of short plays based on interpretations of Heschel. The 24/6 improv wing... Read More →
YO

Yoni Oppenheim

Yoni Oppenheim is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. He is a NY-based director, dramaturg, and teaching artist, who has worked in the US, Israel, and Norway. He has consulted for JOFA, Drisha Arts Fellowship, Theater Talk-PBS, and taught theater at BIMA. He was a Dorot Fellow and Spielberg Fellow. Yoni has been Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright's researcher on Posterity, which premieres in February... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Grove

1:30pm

The Sturgeon Queens (Film)
A documentary tracing the 100-year history, including sometimes hilarious ups and downs, of iconic Lower East Side lox emporium Russ & Daughters. Starring two of the original daughters, Anne and Hattie, as well as younger generations of the family, and including interviews with prominent customers such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Mario Batali. Screening will be followed by a Q&A with fourth-generation owners Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper, and with filmmaker Julie Cohen.

Presenters
JC

Julie Cohen

Julie Cohen has directed, produced and written eleven documentaries for NY PBS and other outlets on topics ranging from South African opera singers to World War II veterans to smoked fish on the Lower East Side. Three of her films have won New York Emmy Awards since 2012. After years as a staff producer at NBC News, she now runs a small Brooklyn-based production company called BetterThanFiction.
NR

Niki Russ Federman

In 2009 Niki Russ Federman became an owner of Russ & Daughters, the appetizing shop on East Houston Street, with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper. In 2014 they opened Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street, near where their great grandfather founded the business with a herring barrel and pushcart a century ago. She has contributed to Studio 360 and to nonfiction anthologies, and often speaks about tradition, food, NYC’s cultural... Read More →
JR

Josh Russ Tupper

In 2009 Josh Russ Tupper became an owner of Russ & Daughters with his cousin Niki Russ Federman. In 2014 they opened Russ & Daughters Cafe near the site where their great grandfather founded the business with a herring barrel and pushcart a century ago. Josh began his career as an engineer before moving to New York to continue his family’s 100-year-old culinary and cultural legacy. He has appeared on TV in “The Martha... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Cove

1:30pm

Sketches of our Fathers: Medieval Jewish Art as 'Visual Torah Commentary'

Can an artist be a 'mefareish' (traditional Torah commentator)? While Rashi and Nachmanides were writing their respective Torah commentaries, some medieval Jews were drawing their own examples of Biblical interpretation. Uncover a colorful tradition of "visual Torah commentary" in illuminated Hebrew manuscripts, based on research at Oxford's Bodleian Library.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is Wexner Fellow, a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and an intern at the International Beit Din. Ben is currently a proud resident of the UWS Moishe House and a founder of the partnership Minyan Maarav.


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Belltown

1:30pm

Humor and Hokhma (Intelligence) with a Detour through Chelm
Storyteller Peninnah Schram will tell participatory stories that bring the young people of all ages directly into the storytelling experience. The program is filled with Jewish stories of wit and wisdom (with commentary), including fool and trickster tales from the Jewish oral tradition.

Presenters
PS

Peninnah Schram

Storyteller Peninnah Schram is a professor of Speech and Drama at Yeshiva University. She has authored twelve books of Jewish folktales, including Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. The book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning was published in her honor. She is a recipient of the Covenant Award and the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Peninnah is a faculty member of Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Glen

1:30pm

Abomination: Jewish Legal Responses to LGBT Legitimacy
The past decade marked a massive shift in American and Jewish attitudes towards LGBT acceptance and legitimacy, often as test case for other issues of changing social norms. How does Jewish law reflect these changes and how does modernity meet, mirror and mould evolving Jewish law? Amichai Lau-Lavie shares his personal story and Miryam Kabakov joins him to examine three contemporary Jewish legal views on the definition of abomination. 

Presenters
MK

Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov is an Executive Director of Eshel and the editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books, May 2010), a collection of writings about the challenges and joys of LGBT Orthodox Jews. She attended the Ramaz Upper School, Stern College for Women and received her Master’s Degree from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Aspen

1:30pm

Fusing Ancient with Modern: The Art of Translating the Talmud with Cutting-Edge Technology
Translating any text poses numerous challenges. Imagine a 1,500-year-old text written in a language on the cusp of extinction. Come discover how modern technology is enabling a broad team of scholars to conquer these challenges. You will get a behind-the-scenes look at the innovations of the Koren Talmud Bavli, the 21st-century Talmud. Attendees at this session will receive a free gift from Koren Publishers!

Presenters
AM

Avishai Magence

Avishai Magence is an editor and content curator of the Koren Talmud Bavli. He oversees translation issues, curates the realia and graphics, and is involved in developing tools for the project. After finishing his army service in the hesder yeshiva program, he served as a JLIC (Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) rabbi at Johns Hopkins University. Avishai holds a MA in translation from Bar Ilan University and rabbinical ordination from the... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
High Ridge

1:30pm

Who is Judaism For, Anyway? Universalism and Particularism in a New Key
Demographic and social changes have brought down many of the barriers separating Jews and others. Some see this as a threat to Jewish continuity; others see it as an opportunity for Jewish teachings to speak to new audiences. Does Judaism have something distinctive to say to the world today – and to Jews who participate actively in a global culture? We’ll explore this question through the lens of “Jewish sensibilities”: approaches to life embedded in Jewish stories, texts and practices.

Presenters
JW

Jonathan Woocher

Jonathan Woocher is the president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, which promotes efforts to connect Jews and others to Jewish wisdom, sensibilities, and experiences that help them to lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives and to shape a better world. Previously, he worked for twenty-seven years at Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). He serves on the boards of the Covenant Foundation and Bikkurim: An... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Waterside

1:30pm

Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul: A Spiritual Journey through the Torah Path of Mindfulness
The Torah can be read as a map of the personal spiritual journey toward the inner Promised Land. In this reading, mindfulness practice is Torah's chief means of guiding us along the path, taking us week-by-week toward equanimity, gratitude, laughter, and openness to life. This session will offer an overview of the Torah as a handbook for spiritual seekers as well as direct experience of its approach to mindfulness practice. Familiarity with meditation, mindfulness practice, or Torah is not needed.

Presenters
GA

Gail Albert

Gail Albert is a psychologist and teacher of Torah and Jewish meditation at the Lev Shalem Institute of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. Her third book, Mending the Heart, Tending the Soul, explores Torah as an extended parable mapping the personal spiritual journey. She has taught to all faiths since 2004, was on staff at the Cognitive/Schema Therapy Center of NYC, and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Long Ridge

1:30pm

Where Are We Going? Judaism for the Mid-21st Century
What will American Jewish life look like in the decades to come? How can we help to shape a Judaism that will appeal to coming generations? What are the greatest challenges before us? Prepare for an honest, no-holds-barred discussion of some of the great issues. LimmudNYks who wish to participate will be able to pick up two recent articles by the presenter on Friday afternoon at the Help Desk. The articles will form the basis of discussion at the session.

Presenters
AG

Art Green

Arthur Green, the Founding Dean and Rector of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian; his work seeks to form a bridge between these two distinct fields of endeavor. Green studied under such prominent teachers as Alexander Altmann, Nahum N. Glatzer, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. As a teacher of Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and theology, Green has authored over a dozen books and is a leading... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Glenbrook

1:30pm

Taking Hold of Torah: The Weekly Portion and the Yearly Cycle as Gateways into Life
One of the gifts of being alive as a Jew today, rather than in previous modern generations, is the greater openness to and appreciation of our sacred texts. The last century of scholarship has made a major difference in this regard. So has the realization that each one of us brings things to the study of Torah that enhance the learning of everyone around the table. How can we maximize the meaning that Torah provides to us, our children and our students? What ways of reading should we avoid? We will start with this week's portion and work outwards in concentric circles of encounter and inclusiveness.

Presenters
AE

Arnold Eisen

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Since taking office in 2007, he has transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, professional, and lay leaders for Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center of North American Jewry, and enhanced JTS’s notable reputation and global reach.


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Elm

1:30pm

Uniformity and Diversity: Left-Handedness and Halakhah
Communities must constantly balance a sense of uniformity and common purpose with the fact that all communities are made up of diverse individuals. When must individuals bend to the dominant norm and when do we create space for some people to do things differently? We will explore this question through the prism of handedness as we examine a number of places in halakhic literature where lefties and righties are (and are not) treated differently.

Presenters
ET

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Values at Mechon Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He enjoys learning Torah with a wide variety of audiences, most especially with his children.


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Springdale

1:30pm

Write Your Own Talmud
Learn how to think like the rabbis by composing your own Talmudic sugya (argument). We will study the sugya as a poetic art form that combines reason and play, argument and digression, proof and suggestion. This session offers an opportunity to reflect on the wild nature of ancient rabbinic thinking and to make that style of thinking intellectually and therapeutically relevant. Thematic focus will be given to the question of what it means for Torah "to have seventy faces."

Presenters
ZA

Zohar Atkins

Zohar Atkins is a first-year rabbinical school student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He holds an AB in Classics and Judaic Studies and an AM in History from Brown. He recently completed his doctorate in theology at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he wrote on Heidegger and the relationship between ontology and ethics. Zohar is also a published poet and teacher of poetry. He hopes to integrate the virtues of scholarship and love through... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Westover

3:00pm

New York Andalus Ensemble
The spirit of intercultural exchange so characteristic of al-Andalus is reborn in NYC with the New York Andalus Ensemble, a multiethnic, multifaith group that performs in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Ladino. Drawing upon a repertoire spanning the ninth century to the 1960s, the ensemble incorporates vocals and a wide array of traditional and modern acoustic instruments. Under the direction of Samuel R. Torjman Thomas, the NYAE is dedicated to conjuring anew the cosmopolitanism of Córdoba.

Presenters
ST

Samuel Torjman Thomas

Samuel R. Torjman Thomas, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, and ethnomusicologist, has been forging an artist/scholar model for over fifteen years. His scholarship centers on musics of the Middle East and North Africa, worldwide Jewish musics, and jazz traditions. He is the artistic director of both the New York Andalus Ensemble and the critically-acclaimed ensemble ASEFA. Thomas is an adjunct assistant professor of music, interdisciplinary... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Springdale

3:00pm

Personal Stories of Iraqi Jews (Two Short Films)
The Life of Frank Iny tells the story of a Baghdadi Jew whose search for religious freedom took him from Baghdad to India, Belgium, Berlin, Israel and ultimately New York. Searching For Baghdad documents his Iraqi-American granddaughter’s journey to find the remnants of her Jewish heritage outside of Iraq.

Presenters
CB

Carole Basri

Carole Basri is a filmmaker and lawyer of Iraqi Jewish descent. Her films provide a historical and personal view of the persecution, torture, escape and flight of over 160,000 Jews from Iraq between 1940- 2003. A graduate of Barnard College and NYU School of Law, Carole is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and the Corporate Compliance Program Advisor. In that role, she creates and advises on curricula for... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Elm

3:00pm

Three Singers, One Family: Esther, Israel Joshua, and Isaac Bashevis Singer
These three siblings—Esther Singer Kreitman, Israel Joshua Singer, and Isaac Bashevis Singer—have very different reputations nowadays, and had very different versions of the family stories they told in their own day. We'll consider these differences and their significance for the writers, their autobiographical stories, and our understanding of family dynamics and the past.

Presenters
AN

Anita Norich

Anita Norich is the Tikva Frymer-Kensky Collegiate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her books include Writing in Tongues: Yiddish Translation in the Twentieth Century; Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Literature in America During the Holocaust; and The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer. She teaches, lectures, and publishes on a range of topics concerning Yiddish... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Waterside

3:00pm

Jewish Heroes and Superheroes: Creating Jewish Comics
In this session, we will explore what it means to be a Jewish hero and create our own using comic art. Participants in grades 2-4 are invited to explore Jewish texts, Israeli and Jewish artwork and comic art to examine how Jews have seen heroes in different ways and invented their own. Then, they will explore their own ideas about who is a hero and create a comic to reflect this idea.

Presenters
TB

Timna Burston

Timna Burston is an Israeli artist educator who focuses on combining the arts with Jewish and Israeli culture. She teaches art at Beit Rabban Day School in NYC and is the coordinator of Kashkesh: A Hebrew immersion program in Art, Music and Dance at Congregation Kol Ami in Westchester. In 2014, she won the Jewish Education Project’s Young Pioneers award for innovation in Jewish Education. She is also completing an MA in Art and Art... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Glen

3:00pm

American Jewry, Beyond Boundaries
The Jewish community in America is engaged in an unprecedented experiment in communal realignment—in institutional transformation, political shifts, and most radically in the changing face of the "ethnic" makeup of what it means to be a Jew. This session will consist of some conceptual framing of these issues, followed by an extended interactive discussion on the ramifications of these changes for categories like "community" and "people" that have been static for a long time.

Presenters
YK

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, overseeing its educational initiatives for Jewish communal leaders. He taught at Brandeis as the inaugural Chair of Jewish Communal Innovation. His book Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past offers new thinking on sustaining a meaningful Jewish identity in the face of modernity's challenges. He lives in Riverdale, NY with his wife Stephanie Ives, their two sons... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
High Ridge

3:00pm

An Appetizing Tradition: Talking with the 4th Generation About 100 Years of Russ & Daughters
Less than one percent of family businesses in America endure for four generations. Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper are the fourth generation owners of Russ & Daughters, a landmark appetizing shop on the Lower East Side. Learn about the evolution of the business from their great grandfather’s herring barrel and pushcart. Hear family stories and personal anecdotes, about opening a critically acclaimed restaurant, and the values of tradition and history in the Jewish food world.

Presenters
NR

Niki Russ Federman

In 2009 Niki Russ Federman became an owner of Russ & Daughters, the appetizing shop on East Houston Street, with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper. In 2014 they opened Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street, near where their great grandfather founded the business with a herring barrel and pushcart a century ago. She has contributed to Studio 360 and to nonfiction anthologies, and often speaks about tradition, food, NYC’s cultural... Read More →
JR

Josh Russ Tupper

In 2009 Josh Russ Tupper became an owner of Russ & Daughters with his cousin Niki Russ Federman. In 2014 they opened Russ & Daughters Cafe near the site where their great grandfather founded the business with a herring barrel and pushcart a century ago. Josh began his career as an engineer before moving to New York to continue his family’s 100-year-old culinary and cultural legacy. He has appeared on TV in “The Martha... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Cove

3:00pm

Israel of the Heart/Israel of the Mind
How do we speak with children (and ourselves!) about our complex relationship with Israel while still passing along our love affair with the Jewish state to the next generation? Through deep discussion and a text study of Israel's Declaration of Independence, we will delve into this important topic.

Presenters
AH

Ami Hersh

Ami Hersh is the assistant director of the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack. He also serves as the Family Life Coordinator at the Orangetown Jewish Center. He was ordained as a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2012 with an MA in Jewish non-profit management and a second MA in Experiential Education. Ami previously taught at the Solomon Schechter School of Greater Hartford. He was one of the winners of the 2012 Jewish Futures Competition. He... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Westover

3:00pm

Limmud NY Tzedekkah Fund: Make a $1000 Grant!
Giving feels good. Giving with others can feel even better! Giving circles are groups of people who pool their donations and decide together where to give them. Our pop-up giving circle gives you a taste of the giving-circle experience, and takes you through every step of the process in just 90 minutes! We'll explore your values, discover grant recipients, and decide together who should receive the grant. The grant budget comes from participants who opted to donate $2 during registration.

Presenters
FH

Felicia Herman

Felicia Herman has been the executive director of The Natan Fund, a giving circle of young philanthropists supporting Jewish and Israeli social innovation, since 2005. She is a frequent commentator on topics such as funding innovation, new trends in Jewish life, and the power of the giving circle model. She serves on the boards of Bikkurim and the Sefaria Project. She is a recipient of the Jewish Funders Network's JJ Greenberg Memorial Award, and... Read More →
AS

Aviva Stampfer

Aviva Stampfer works at Natan as the Program Assistant on Amplifier. She helped coordinate the co-design process and project implementation, including the website build and program creation. Aviva believes in the power of collaborative grantmaking and thinks that everyone can be a philanthropist. She graduated from Barnard College in 2012 with a degree in Urban Studies and Sociology. Aviva lives in Brooklyn and enjoys learning new things... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Long Ridge

3:00pm

Women Giving Money--Beyond the Stereotypes
The obligation to give tzedakah (charity) falls equally on women and men, but paths​ to giving are​ often quite different. Women earn money, inherit it, manage it, write checks to causes we care about, yet women’s philanthropy has been startlingly undervalued. ​How is the dynamic​ affected if the woman is using money that’s inherited? Spousal? Earned? The subject of Jews and money is often fraught. When gender is added to the mix, the conversation really gets interesting. Come to a Lilith salon to discuss!

Presenters
SW

Susan Weidman Schneider

Susan is Editor-in-Chief of Lilith and one of its founding mothers. Her writing includes innovative reports on women and philanthropy, the Jewish stake in reproductive rights, and persistent stereotypes of Jewish women. She is the author of three acclaimed books, including the groundbreaking classic Jewish and Female. She has been named a Polakoff Lifetime Achievement Awardee in journalism, a “Leader for the 21st Century” by... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Belltown

3:00pm

CANCELED Can You Save a Blessing for Me? CANCELED
What does it mean to be blessed? Can someone deny you a blessing? From Genesis onwards, the subject of blessings triggers ambivalence, confusion, yearning, and power struggles. How can each of us tap into the source and power of a blessing? What makes you feel that you are blessed—or that you are not? What does it mean to forfeit—or even reject—a blessing? Is this process different for a man and a woman? How can we recover and re-craft the personal blessing meant for us?

Presenters
SR

Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn is a former dancer and dance historian who has worked as a journalist both in France, where she lived for 22 years, and in the States. Her area of expertise is Jewish women's issues, as well as Rites of Return for those who are renegotiating their paths to spiritual homes. She writes for the Jewish Week and the Forward and has just published a memoir, Maybe Not Such a Good Girl: Reflections on Rupture and Return. Susan is also a... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Long Ridge

3:00pm

Off the Record: The Law and Law-to-Be-Applied in Jewish Responsa and Islamic Fatawa
The letter of the law is one thing; its implementation—quite another. In this session we will examine 12th-century responsa and fatawa in which we find religio-legal decisors suggesting creative off-the-record advice to individuals in difficult predicaments. Come study the responses to these out-of-the-box cases in which authorities endeavored to ensure that the spirit of the law was not negated by inappropriate enforcement of its letter.

Presenters
SR

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother-writer-lecturer-sermonizer-activist-aspiring rabbi-student. Her “A Hike” on terror in Israel is a Pushcart nominee. Her work appears in lit reviews, Jewish journals, Keren journal & Dharma & Halacha. She taught soldiers who did not complete high school while in the IDF and female conversion students at the request of the Rabbanut. She studied Jewish thought at Hebrew U & Matan... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Willow

3:00pm

Towards a Theology of the Child: The Chovat HaTalmidim as Case Study in Complexity
How does Judaism view the complex character of childhood? How does the idea of “Jewish childhood” develop in the modern era, when social and psychological factors place a premium on youth, individuality, and development. Through a careful reading of two spiritual giants of the 20th century, the Hasidic educational theorist Kalonymous Kalman Shapira, and the Modern Orthodox leader, Joseph Soloveitchik, we will explore the theological contours of this critical age.

Presenters
MG

Mark Gottlieb

Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund. He previously served as Head of School at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and and as principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at the Frisch School, Hebrew Theological College, and the University of Chicago. He received rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. Mark lives... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Glenbrook

4:30pm

Limmud-A-Palooza
Join the entire Limmud NY family for a celebration of this amazing community! Hosted by David Wolkin, and featuring storytelling and live art from Peninnah Schram and Elke Reva Sudin, and musical performances from Mama Doni and the Camp Ramah at Limmud NY Choir and Zusha! Seating is limited and on a first-come-first-served basis.

Presenters
Z

Zusha

Zusha was formed in the East Village of New York City by three neo-Hasidic friends with little enthusiasm for college and a great passion for music. Borrowing lines from ancient liturgy, Zusha’s music is a blend of folk, jazz, reggae, ska, gypsy swing, and traditional Jewish soul. The result is a dynamic sound that is at times raw and rustic and at times gentle and poignant, and at other times you just can’t help but get up and... Read More →
DZ

Doni Zasloff (Mama Doni)

Doni Zasloff (aka Mama Doni) is a mom, music teacher, songwriter, and lead singer in The Mama Doni Band, honored with a 2011 Parents Choice® Award for their CD, Shabbat Shaboom, and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music”. Mama Doni celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in her high-energy, interactive family rock concerts and acoustic Shabbat experiences filled with a contagious and unexpected... Read More →
PS

Peninnah Schram

Storyteller Peninnah Schram is a professor of Speech and Drama at Yeshiva University. She has authored twelve books of Jewish folktales, including Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. The book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning was published in her honor. She is a recipient of the Covenant Award and the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Peninnah is a faculty member of Jewish... Read More →
ES

Elke Sudin

Elke Reva Sudin is a visual artist inspired by cross-cultural intersections as they converge with her Jewish identity. She received acclaim for her “Hipsters & Hassids” series and has been featured in The NY Times, Haaretz, & EL PAÍS. She received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute. In 2010 she founded Jewish Art Now. Recently, Sudin founded CreaCo, uniting diversity at Brooklyn College through art. Her latest... Read More →
DW

David Wolkin

David Wolkin is the Director of Communications at AVODAH as well as an educator, facilitator, writer, and storyteller. He has worked in the Jewish world in a diverse range of settings since 2002, including Limmud NY (of which he is quite proud). Outside of his Jewish work, he very occasionally moonlights as a comics journalist. David lives in Maryland with his very patient wife Keeli, his cats RoboCop and Phineas, and way too many comic books.


Sunday February 15, 2015 4:30pm - 5:45pm
Grove

6:00pm

FlaSh'ma: 30-Minute Flashtalk with Sh'ma Journal
Quiet. It’s something we all need, but never seem to have enough of. Be it work, friends and family, or general FOMO (fear of missing out), there are far too few opportunities to take a moment and reflect. Enter FlaSh’ma: two short, 30-minute conversations run by fellow LimmudNYks, designed to help you process and make sense of what you’ve experienced so far through a Jewish lens of “Pause.” In the words of Lisa Goldstein in Sh'ma, "Learn how to peel away the noise so you can listen to your soul.”

Presenters

Sunday February 15, 2015 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cove

6:00pm

This is Not a Gaga Class
Gaga is a movement language created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin of the Batsheva Dance Company. Gaga classes invite you to connect to the pleasure of moving, bring sensation and awareness to different parts of the body, and lighten the senses and imagination. Gaga classes are taught by certified instructors, so this is not a Gaga class; but this class will be taught by a dancer and Gaga practitioner. Seasoned movers and first-timers are all welcome!

Presenters
EF

Erica Frankel

Erica Frankel began taking dance classes and playing soccer at age three. By five, she quit soccer (after kicking the ball to the other team "because they wanted it more" and winning "Best Singer on the Field") and told her parents she wanted to grow up to be a "multi-talented artist." She is now a dancer and performer and works at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU. Erica studied Experiential Jewish Education at Yeshiva... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Long Ridge

6:00pm

The Jewish Brain on Music: What I Learned When I Picked up My Cello in Middle Age
Many of us put aside some of our dreams to accommodate family obligations and careers. But it's never too late to recapture the dreams of your youth. That's the message of Ari Goldman's new book, The Late Starters Orchestra. Goldman had a long-standing flirtation with the cello for most of his adult life, but he didn't embrace it fully until he was about to turn sixty. In this session he will talk about how the music of the synagogue helped him achieve his goal. He will also play cello.

Presenters
AG

Ari Goldman

Ari Goldman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of four books, including the best-seller The Search for God at Harvard. His latest book is The Late Starters Orchestra. He and his wife Shira Dicker are the parents of three children. Ari is also a cellist with The New York Late Starters String Orchestra.


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Springdale

6:00pm

The Torah after Ferguson: Human Equality in the Bible
Ferguson has left much of our country shell-shocked, confused, and hopeless about race in America. In this session, we'll ask what the Torah says about human equality and discuss how its ideas could and should affect the way we conduct ourselves in the world. We'll accomplish this through close readings of texts from Genesis and Deuteronomy. Come with an openness to exploring inspiring, challenging, and unsettling ideas.

Presenters
SH

Shai Held

Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, and he directs its Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. He is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. His book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published in 2013. Shai’s weekly essays on the Torah are read by... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Grove

6:00pm

Sunday Dinner 6:00-8:00
Dinner is served! We’ve staggered the start times of sessions over dinner to give you choice and avoid long lines. Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Sunday February 15, 2015 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Ballroom I, II, III

6:45pm

Concert: Nefesh Mountain
Nefesh Mountain’s spiritual music blends Jewish tradition with Bluegrass, Old-Time, Folk, and Celtic Music. From the Jewish prayerbook, to the mid 1800s, to the present, Doni Zasloff and
Eric Lindberg’s magical and soulful songs are filled with rich harmonies combined with the sounds of the banjo, guitar and mandolin.

Presenters
DZ

Doni Zasloff (Mama Doni)

Doni Zasloff (aka Mama Doni) is a mom, music teacher, songwriter, and lead singer in The Mama Doni Band, honored with a 2011 Parents Choice® Award for their CD, Shabbat Shaboom, and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music”. Mama Doni celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in her high-energy, interactive family rock concerts and acoustic Shabbat experiences filled with a contagious and unexpected... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Aspen

6:45pm

The Scribal Arts
This session will cover the writing of Sifrei Torah, Tefillin, and Mezuzot. What skills and tools are needed to be a Sofer (scribe)? See and touch samples to understand the intricacies as well as the simplicity of writing our most precious Jewish artifacts. Along the journey, hear anecdotes, history, and exciting stories, including how Greenfield saved fifty-four Sifrei Torah from destruction by Saddam Hussein.

Presenters
ZG

Zerach Greenfield

Born in the United States, Zerach moved to Israel in 1980. He has served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency. For the last thirty years he has been active as a Sofer STAM (scribe), writing, teaching, restoring and evaluating Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls), tefillin and other texts throughout the world. Since 1995 he has worked with Machon Ot, a Torah think tank based in Jerusalem that maintains a worldwide registry of Sifrei Torah.


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Westover

6:45pm

Rock Out and Rikud! Camp Israeli Dancing Favorites!
Join staff from Camp Ramah for great Israeli dancing. Get ready for old classics and new favorites. Fun for families and children!

Presenters

Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Glen

6:45pm

The Pious Ones: Who Are the Hasidim?
In this session we will look at the roots of the Hasidic movement, what makes Hasidim different from Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews beyond their dress, why they have become embroiled in so many clashes with so-called American values, and how they have become ever-more politically powerful and socially significant. Joseph Berger is the author of a recent book on the subject.

Presenters
JB

Joseph Berger

Joseph Berger has been a reporter with the New York Times for thirty years, writing about religion, education, neighborhoods and issues in the Jewish world. He won the 2011 Peter Kihss Award for a career’s work. He is the author of Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust, a memoir about his family's experience as refugees. He also chronicled the dramatic changes in American ethnic life in The World in a City: Traveling... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Willow

6:45pm

What about My (Jewish) Genes in Twenty-Fifteen? Advances in Hereditary Cancers
The field of cancer genetics is evolving rapidly. We will discuss and explore advances in the study of hereditary breast, ovarian, and colon cancer, some of which are specifically connected to Ashkenazi Jews and based on research by Israeli scientists. Who should consider genetic testing?  What new tests are available, and what risk reduction options are there for individuals with a genetic mutation?  A must for anyone with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer.

Presenters
RB

Rachel Barnett

Rachel E. Barnett is a Certified Genetic Counselor with extensive experience in hereditary cancers and genetic counseling. A Cancer Genetic Counselor at Yale University for over ten years, she now works with Informed DNA, a network of independent genetic experts offering genetic counseling services nationwide. She holds a Masters in Genetic Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
High Ridge

6:45pm

Shiva, Shabbos Candles, and Mikveh: Innovation and Creativity in Jewish Ritual
Rituals help us to mark important moments in our lives—times of transition, celebration and grief. Is there room to adapt, grow, and change the rituals that exist within our tradition? This session will ask participants to examine more closely their practice of existing rituals, and to explore some of the possibilities around creative rituals.

Presenters
DF

Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter is working towards ordination as an Orthodox clergy member at Yeshivat Maharat and is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Judaic Studies at NYU. A strong believer in the power of both ritual and community organizing, she is the rabbinic intern at ImmerseNYC, New York’s only community mikveh project. Dasi spends her free time singing, thinking about... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Cove

6:45pm

What's Your Spiritual Type?
There is more than one way to be spiritual. This session considers the variety of ways in which different personality types approach and experience the spiritual. We will explore how to better understand ourselves and others and to create more inclusive environments that appeal to a broader range of spiritual types. We will challenge ourselves to expand our notion of spirituality and to explore other avenues available to us.

Presenters
LR

Linda Rich

Linda Rich is an organizational consultant, executive coach and specialist in leadership development who has worked in the corporate, nonprofit and congregational worlds.


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Glenbrook

6:45pm

Adam's Invention of Religion
Why do Jewish holy days so often coincide with the observances of other peoples and traditions? In this session we will examine how rabbinic stories in the Talmud and Midrash address this question. In recounting Adam's first prayer, Adam's first fast, and Adam's first offering, the rabbis imagine the experience of the first human beings as the origin of religion.

Presenters
MW

Mira Wasserman

Mira Wasserman is on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she teaches Talmud. For her, the Talmud is both a great work of literature and a resource for thinking about contemporary ethics, and she seeks to open Talmud up for students and seekers of all ages and backgrounds. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Mira served as a congregational rabbi for over a decade. A Wexner Graduate... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 6:45pm - 8:00pm
Belltown

7:40pm

Orthodox Sunday Maariv Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 7:40pm - 8:00pm
Elm

7:40pm

Traditional Egalitarian Sunday Maariv Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 15, 2015 7:40pm - 8:00pm
Springdale

8:15pm

TuBishVanya: Creating a Tu Bishvat (Jewish Arbor Day) Uncle Vanya
Join the director and writer of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company’s Uncle Vanya, as they share with you their process for creating 24/6’s unique Tu Bishvat adaptation of Chekhov’s classic. In conjunction with 24/6’s Sunday stage reading of Uncle Vanya, we will explore a scene in Chekhov’s original play, and how 24/6 went about adapting it for their Tu Bishvat Seder production of the play. Bring your love of theater and a willingness to act to this interactive session. Wallflowers welcome.

Presenters
YO

Yoni Oppenheim

Yoni Oppenheim is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. He is a NY-based director, dramaturg, and teaching artist, who has worked in the US, Israel, and Norway. He has consulted for JOFA, Drisha Arts Fellowship, Theater Talk-PBS, and taught theater at BIMA. He was a Dorot Fellow and Spielberg Fellow. Yoni has been Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright's researcher on Posterity, which premieres in February... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Westover

8:15pm

Punk Jews (Film)
This documentary profiles stereotype-smashing Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists and others who are defying norms and expressing their Jewish identities in unconventional ways. Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Followed by Q&A with co-producer Saul Sudin.

Presenters
SS

Saul Sudin

Saul Sudin is a writer and filmmaker advocating a new voice for Judaism in visual media. His production Punk Jews is in distribution through the National Center for Jewish Film and he is the co-founder of Jewish Art Now, a resource for contemporary Jewish visual art and design. He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Elke. You can follow him online @SMSudin 


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Springdale

8:15pm

Tevye: The Milkman and the Fiddler

Sholem Aleichem's "Tevye" is known throughout the world, but the Yiddish milkman has become an English fiddler (on a roof). We'll consider this transformation by looking at excerpts from films from different cultures and in different languages: Yiddish, English, Hebrew and Russian. (We'll also take a passing glance at some others, including Japanese and Hindi!)  What happens to Sholem Aleichem's story in these different contexts?


Presenters
AN

Anita Norich

Anita Norich is the Tikva Frymer-Kensky Collegiate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her books include Writing in Tongues: Yiddish Translation in the Twentieth Century; Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Literature in America During the Holocaust; and The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer. She teaches, lectures, and publishes on a range of topics concerning Yiddish... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Aspen

8:15pm

Songs of the Heart
How do the tunes we sing interpret the liturgy we pray? In this session, we encounter some masterful musical compositions which allow us to connect to the text of the siddur in new and surprising ways. Come learn and sing some old-new niggunim (wordless melodies) and deepen your experience of prayer!

Presenters
JK

Jonathan Kelsen

Jon Kelsen is the Rosh Kollel and Director of the June Kollel and a full-time faculty member at Drisha. He received ordination from Daniel Landes and holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
High Ridge

8:15pm

Middle School Movie Night!
Middle School Campers (Grades 6–8) are invited to come enjoy an exciting movie and great snacks with all your friends from Camp Ramah.

Presenters

Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Glen

8:15pm

The Practice of Good Men in Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Canon Law
In all four religio-legal traditions--Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Catholic--observed praxis serves as a source of law alongside scripture and canonized tradition. In this session we will examine the parameters of this mechanism in each tradition and discuss how religio-legal systems choose to absorb or reject "new" practice.

Presenters
SR

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother-writer-lecturer-sermonizer-activist-aspiring rabbi-student. Her “A Hike” on terror in Israel is a Pushcart nominee. Her work appears in lit reviews, Jewish journals, Keren journal & Dharma & Halacha. She taught soldiers who did not complete high school while in the IDF and female conversion students at the request of the Rabbanut. She studied Jewish thought at Hebrew U & Matan... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Waterside

8:15pm

Models of Jewish Leadership: Women in America
We will consider questions of avocation and vocation, a sense of calling versus that of profession, by looking into the lives and accomplishments of a number of trailblazing Jewish women. They were performance artists, educators, academics, political figures, and much, much more. What can we learn from these American leaders, each of whom had the courage and conviction to create a more just and equitable world?

Presenters
SG

Sheridan Gayer

Sheridan is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her love of "hands-on" education stems from a background with USY and Ramah, both organizations for which she has worked. A Limmud NY board member, longtime volunteer, and former conference co-chair, she loves to cook and is also writing a fiction novel in her spare... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Belltown

8:15pm

The Modern Kosher Meat Industry
How delicious was tonight's dinner? Join Naftali Hanau, shochet (kosher butcher) and owner of Grow and Behold Foods, which provided the chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs at dinner tonight, for a discussion of the inner-workings of the kosher meat business. Topics include conventional animal production vs small-scale production, economics, kosher supervision, and social justice ramifications of meat production.

Presenters
NH

Naftali Hanau

Naftali Hanau is a founder and CEO of Grow and Behold Foods: Kosher Pastured Meats. He is passionate about producing and supplying kosher, sustainable, and ethical meat to the Jewish community. He is an Adamah alum and a trained shochet, and has a degree in Professional Horticulture. He loves teaching about meat and food, is married to the incomparable Anna Hanau, and is the Abba to Joe and Becca Hanau. 


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Willow

8:15pm

Finding the Jewish God in the Post-Secular Age
The triumph of secularism used to be assumed; now God is back everywhere in our post-secular age. Yet, we find Biblical transcendence and God's presence to be elusive. People alternately attain and lose religion, seeking some meaning and moral orders in their lives. Some turn to inner spirituality, some to strong beliefs, and others toward a kitchen deity. We will explore the contours of this new terrain and discuss the Jewish God in an age of post-liberalism, after-theism, and post-secularism.

Presenters
AB

Alan Brill

Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University. Brill’s books include Judaism and Other Religions (2010) and Judaism and World Religions (2012). Last year, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Varanasi, India. He is currently working on a book on Modern Orthodoxy.


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Glenbrook

8:15pm

The Akedah (Sacrifice of Isaac) in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Traditions
The Akedah tells the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a demonstration of his faith in God. This ultimate test, central to the Jewish narrative, was adapted by Christianity and Islam in different ways. A close reading of the relevant sacred texts reveals specific religious tropes within each of the Abrahamic religions and offers an opening into interreligious conversations.

Presenters
NM

Noam Marans

Noam Marans is the national director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations at AJC (the American Jewish Committee). Previously he served as the rabbi of Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ. He has participated in multiple private audiences with Pope Francis and leads AJC's battle against anti-Israel initiatives within American Christian denominations, among other interfaith engagements. Noam is a graduate of Columbia University and was ordained by... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Long Ridge

8:15pm

The Joy of Text - Live!
The Joy of Text (tjot.org) is a monthly podcast about Judaism and sexuality, featuring Dov Linzer, Bat Sheva Marcus, and Ramie Smith. Some past topics: sexual fantasies, the use of vibrators, covering up sexual abuse in schools, and the Kama Sutra. This will be the very first time the show has been recorded before a live audience. Featuring a special guest and what will surely be a very interesting Q&A.

Presenters
DL

Dov Linzer

Dov Linzer is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, a groundbreaking Orthodox smicha (ordaining) program, now in its 14th year with close to 100 rabbis serving in the field. Dov has published and lectures widely, writes a weekly parasha sheet, and teaches a Daf Yomi shiur (daily Talmud lesson) which is available on YouTube and iTunes. He was recently the awarded the prestigious Avi Chai Fellowship and was the convener... Read More →
BS

Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus is the clinical director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality. She holds a PhD in Human Sexuality and  Masters’ degrees in Social Work, Public Health and Jewish Studies. Bat Sheva is a founding member and Vice President of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and is a coordinator of Shachar, Riverdale's partnership minyan. She has lectured internationally on women’s issues and is a frequent guest... Read More →
RS

Ramie Smith

Ramie Smith is a graduate of Yeshiva University with a BA in English communications with emphases on television writing and public relations, and a focus on Women's Studies. She interned at Comedy Central's Emmy and Peabody Award winning show The Colbert Report. She served as the congregational intern at Beth Sholom in Potomac, MD. Ramie volunteered at the Bimini Biological Field Station Shark lab. This year Ramie is a teacher with Manhattan... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Elm

8:15pm

Learn Yiddish Online—NOW!
Web technology has led to an explosion in distance learning. For the first time, the Workmen’s Circle has harnessed this technology for regular interactive online Yiddish classes with live instructors! Get a taste of this exciting and rewarding experience as Yiddish Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin demonstrates this new Workmen’s Circle initiative to teach Yiddish language and culture at all levels, to multigenerational audiences, and across cities, states and countries.

Presenters
NB

Nikolai Borodulin

Nikolai Borodulin is Coordinator of Yiddish Learning and a Master Teacher at the Workmen’s Circle, where he directs intergenerational Yiddish education. A recognized scholar and published author in several Slavic, Germanic, and Jewish languages, he is launching the first extensive national and international online program for Yiddish learning in real-time. Credited with giving hundreds of Yiddishists their foundation in the language, he... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Cove

9:45pm

The Chosen Quiz: A Limmud Institution Since 5773
Are you a trivia lover? Looking to unwind, have fun with your new Limmud friends, and maybe even learn something? Join us in teams of six over beer or sodas as we tackle the funny and the extraordinary in Jewish history.

Presenters
DL

Debbie Leiderman Geiger

Debbie is newly a resident of the Upper West Side and works as an editor. She is a member of the Yozma steering committee at B'nai Jeshurun and sings with the New York Andalus Ensemble.
TG

Ted Geiger

Ted Geiger is a full-time lawyer and part-time trivia impresario living in NYC.


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Belltown

9:45pm

Concert: Zusha
While borrowing lines from ancient liturgy, Zusha’s music is a blend of jazz, reggae, folk, ska, gypsy swing, and traditional Jewish soul—The Times of Israel called them "Wordless melodies to soothe the soul". The resulting sound is dynamic; at times it feels raw and rustic, at times gentle and poignant. And then sometimes you just can’t help but get up and dance. Join Zusha for an experiential spiritual journey through the world of wordless neegunim featuring nostalgic layered harmonies with imaginative scatting.

Presenters
Z

Zusha

Zusha was formed in the East Village of New York City by three neo-Hasidic friends with little enthusiasm for college and a great passion for music. Borrowing lines from ancient liturgy, Zusha’s music is a blend of folk, jazz, reggae, ska, gypsy swing, and traditional Jewish soul. The result is a dynamic sound that is at times raw and rustic and at times gentle and poignant, and at other times you just can’t help but get up and... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Grove

9:45pm

Envy: What Does Judaism Have to Say?
Where does envy originate? Does it always have to be bad? Is there anything you can learn about yourself from being envious of others? What is the key to understanding Judaism’s seemingly contradictory response to feelings of envy? Come explore envy with the creator, writer, and animator of Jewish Food For Thought: The Animated Series.

Presenters
HH

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics through thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. His work has been broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish Life TV, Shalom TV, and at the New York and San Francisco Jewish Film Festivals. He is featured in a solo catalogued exhibition curated by the Hebrew Union College Museum. Hanan's work is... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Springdale

9:45pm

Researching a Travel Guide to Israel During the Gaza War of 2014
Robinson's research for the upcoming 8th edition of Lonely Planet’s travel guidebook Israel and the Palestinian Territories took place during the summer of 2014, while missiles were flying and foreign tourists were a rare sight. Based on scores of interviews with Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Israelis, this session will look at Israel’s hugely important tourism industry and the way it copes with crises. It will also feature some lesser-known but fascinating places to visit.

Presenters
DR

Daniel Robinson

After twenty-five years in Israel, Daniel came back to the US when his wife began Conservative rabbinical studies in Los Angeles. She is now the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in New London, CT. Daniel has been writing travel guidebooks for Lonely Planet for 25 years, including guides to Israel, France, Germany and Borneo.


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Elm

9:45pm

Seven Life Lessons from Harvard Divinity School—And How They've Changed Over the Decades
In 1985, Ari Goldman was sent by The New York Times to study world religions at Harvard Divinity School. He then wrote the best-seller The Search for God at Harvard. He still believes in the importance of religious exploration and that "if you know one religion...you don't know any." However, he does not believe that "atheism is dead in America" or that "Judaism and Islam are sister religions." Ari will explore some of the myths that he himself helped propagate.

Presenters
AG

Ari Goldman

Ari Goldman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and the author of four books, including the best-seller The Search for God at Harvard. His latest book is The Late Starters Orchestra. He and his wife Shira Dicker are the parents of three children. Ari is also a cellist with The New York Late Starters String Orchestra.


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
High Ridge

9:45pm

The Origins of Havdalah in the Book of Esther
Every week when we say Havdalah, we chant "layehudim hayetah orah v'simhah," "The Jews had light and happiness." This is a beautiful verse from the Book of Esther, but why does a verse from Esther play such a central role in the Havdalah ritual? Reading these two texts together lets us see that the themes of this liturgy of separation and this biblical tale of salvation actually relate beautifully to each other, and leads us to new understandings of both Esther and Havdalah.

Presenters
OH

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the executive vice president and academic dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion in NY. She has published widely on gender issues and literary analysis of the Bible. Ora has worked with the Melton Center for Jewish Education and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Davidson School of Education as well as at other institutions to develop approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning styles. Her book Esau’s... Read More →


Sunday February 15, 2015 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Glenbrook

11:15pm

Karaoke
Anyone can be a star at LimmudNY! Share your voice, enthusiasm and flair at Karaoke, a LimmudNY tradition. Sing and dance with your fellow LimmudNYks. Choose your favorites tunes or just sing along with the crowd. Fun for all ages!! 

Sunday February 15, 2015 11:15pm - Monday February 16, 2015 12:30am
Cove
 
Monday, February 16
 

7:30am

Orthodox Monday Shacharit Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Monday February 16, 2015 7:30am - 8:15am
Elm

7:30am

Traditional Egalitarian Monday Shacharit Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Monday February 16, 2015 7:30am - 8:15am
Aspen

7:30am

Monday Breakfast 7:30-9:30
Sit with someone new! Breakfast is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Monday February 16, 2015 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:30am

Jewish Fundraising Workshop
Are you interested in fundraising for your synagogue? Are you considering becoming a fundraising professional yourself? In this session we will explore ways to infuse fundraising with Jewish values and learn useful fundraising skills. We will make use of role-playing to learn ways to overcome objections and secure gifts. Topics covered will include annual, capital, and planned gifts.

Presenters
EK

Eric Kaplan

Eric is thrilled to be attending his third Limmud NY conference and serving on the programming team with his best friend, David Schaum. He is a development officer for UJA-Federation of New York, and is completing master's degrees in management and Jewish studies at NYU. He previously studied at Pardes in Israel and received his BA from Rutgers.


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Waterside

8:30am

The 'Jewish' State: The Politics of Religion in Israel
The session will focus on creating a connection between American Jews and Israel while providing a better understanding of the complexities of Israeli society, religion, and state in Israel vs. the US. A key takeaway is that religious rights are human rights. Emphasis will be placed on gender inequality, the percentage of Israelis that get married outside of Israel, and the lack of separation between religion and state.

Presenters
LL

Laura Lewis

Born in London, UK where Conservative/Masorti options weren’t so readily available at the time, Laura appreciates the openness of American Jewish life particularly the importance of integrating traditional Judaism with contemporary values of egalitarianism and inclusion. She now dedicates her time to building bridges between US and Israeli Jews whose vision for Israel is a place where all rabbis, all Jews by Choice, and all who risk their... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
High Ridge

8:30am

Who Was the Ramban?
Ramban, Moshe b. Nachman (Nachmanides) 1194–1270, wrote one of the most famous commentaries on the Torah. But what made his thought so enduring? Together we will explore some of Ramban's key passages in the hopes of understanding his revolutionary worldview.

Presenters
AS

Abe Schacter-Gampel

Abe is a second-year rabbinical school student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He is a graduate of NYU, where he studied Classics and Comparative Literature, and has studied at Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa and Yeshivat Hadar, where he was a Kevah Teaching Fellow. This summer Abe served as a Community Educator at the Genesis program at Brandeis University; two summers ago he harvested garlic on the Yiddish Farm.


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Glenbrook

8:30am

What Would Moses Do?
The Torah has divided the Promised Land in an equitable manner and then used the mechanisms of shmita (sabbatical), yovel (jubilee), and go-eil (the redeemer) to keep it so. In this shmita year, we will discuss how relevant these mechanisms are to today's economy and what makes for a fair economy.

Presenters
CB

Chaim Bronstein

Chaim Bronstein is a retired high school teacher. Born in Paris, France, he was raised on an ultra-Orthodox moshav in Israel and currently resides in Riverdale, NY and North Adams, MA with his wife Pamela Wax, a rabbi. He has a strong interest in economic justice. This is his sixth Limmud NY.


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Belltown

8:30am

Morning Brachas (Blessings) Rejuvenation
This session, which will include movement, will begin with a text study of Birchot Hashachar (morning blessings) followed by spiritual practices that can deepen one's practice of them. A cure for "don't-want-to-get-out-of-bed-itis."

Presenters
ES

Eli Steier

Eli Steier likes catching leaves before they touch the ground. He was born, raised, and currently lives in Queens.


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

8:30am

Recovering the Mystical Tradition: Toward a Contemporary Jewish Spirituality
Lecture, followed by questions. Why is the Jewish people today scrambling to recover the mystical tradition, jettisoned from the Jewish "mainstream" over two hundred years ago? What might this tradition have to offer to the contemporary seeker? What are some of the right and wrong ways to access the legacy of Kabbalah and Hasidism for the post-modern era?

Presenters
AG

Art Green

Arthur Green, the Founding Dean and Rector of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, is both a historian of Jewish religion and a theologian; his work seeks to form a bridge between these two distinct fields of endeavor. Green studied under such prominent teachers as Alexander Altmann, Nahum N. Glatzer, and Abraham Joshua Heschel. As a teacher of Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and theology, Green has authored over a dozen books and is a leading... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Elm

8:30am

Daf Yomi Monday
Every day (yomi) people across the Jewish world are learning a page of Talmud (daf) with the aim of completng the entire Talmud in seven years. This global movement started in 1923 and has captured the imaginations of thousands. Everyone is encouraged to attend, from first timers to those following the current Daf Yomi cycle.

Presenters
YK

Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz is Chair of the Talmud Department at Yeshivat Chovevi Torah; Director of the Lindenbaum Center for the Study of Halakha; Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Synagogue; and Director of Judaic Studies at the Luria Academy in Park Slope, New York. He studied at Brisk and at Yeshivat Beis Yosef Navaradok and received ordination from Rabbi Roth Dayan of UTA Satmar. A graduate of the HaSha'ar Program for Jewish Educators, he taught at the... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Ballroom III

8:30am

Tackling Tefillah: Is More 'Effective' Prayer Possible?
Are we "changing G-d's mind" when we pray? Take a new look at tefillah (prayer) through the thinking of Rav Kook and some contemporary commentary as well. Attendees at this session will receive a free gift from Koren Publishers!

Presenters
YP

Yossi Pollak

Yossi Pollak is Director of Synagogue and School Outreach for Koren Publishers in the Northeast US. He graduated from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and has served pulpits in Washington DC, New York City, and Westport, CT, as well as teaching in day schools in Brooklyn; Bridgeport, CT; and East Brunswick, NJ. Yossi lives in White Plains, NY with his wife Brooke and daughters Nava and Avital. He loves music and playing guitar and... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 8:30am - 9:45am
Westover

10:00am

My Life, My Art
Struggling to find creativity in WASP New England, Elke Reva Sudin found her path as an artist and as a Jew in the urban jungle. She has painted Jewish world champion boxers, sketched TV celebrities, & designed packaging for designer products. She has exhibited at Art Basel Miami, brought rabbis into clubs for art battles, appeared in music videos, & brought together hipsters and Hassidic Jews. Elke’s paintings mix contemporary life and Jewish themes showing where she stands as an artist and a Jew.

Presenters
ES

Elke Sudin

Elke Reva Sudin is a visual artist inspired by cross-cultural intersections as they converge with her Jewish identity. She received acclaim for her “Hipsters & Hassids” series and has been featured in The NY Times, Haaretz, & EL PAÍS. She received a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute. In 2010 she founded Jewish Art Now. Recently, Sudin founded CreaCo, uniting diversity at Brooklyn College through art. Her latest... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Springdale

10:00am

Love and Fear: What Does Judaism Have to Say?
What is love really all about? Are there different kinds of love? How much does giving have to do with love? How much of love is about yourself, how much is about others, and what do fish have to do with it?! Come explore love and fear with the creator, writer, and animator of Jewish Food For Thought: The Animated Series.

Presenters
HH

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics through thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. His work has been broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish Life TV, Shalom TV, and at the New York and San Francisco Jewish Film Festivals. He is featured in a solo catalogued exhibition curated by the Hebrew Union College Museum. Hanan's work is... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Elm

10:00am

Golem: Making a Friendly Monster
In this session, children in grades 1-3 will be invited to learn about the story and history of the Golem myth. They will think about what it means to be human and whether or not they believe people have a Neshama, a soul. They will consider who the hero is in the story and who is the monster. Finally, they will have the opportunity to engage in a meaningful and exciting artistic experience, using sculpture to express their ideas of a monster who can protect us.

Presenters
TB

Timna Burston

Timna Burston is an Israeli artist educator who focuses on combining the arts with Jewish and Israeli culture. She teaches art at Beit Rabban Day School in NYC and is the coordinator of Kashkesh: A Hebrew immersion program in Art, Music and Dance at Congregation Kol Ami in Westchester. In 2014, she won the Jewish Education Project’s Young Pioneers award for innovation in Jewish Education. She is also completing an MA in Art and Art... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Glen

10:00am

Pondering Yovel and 50 Years Since the Six Day War
The Jubilee/Yovel is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years). Yovel has some special laws: all slaves were set free and all sales of land were returned to the original owner or their heirs in the 50th year. June 2016 will mark the beginning of the 50th year since the Six Day War (June 1967). In this session we’ll explore the practice of yovel and in doing so create an authentic Jewish language to discuss the approaching 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.

Presenters
SG

Sally Gottesman

Sally Gottesman is at Limmud with her three children, her partner, and her parents... and feels very lucky! For 15 years she was a consultant to non-profit organizations following working for the Israel Women’s Network and New Israel Fund and receiving an MBA from Yale. Co-founder and Chair of Moving Traditions and on the Boards of Encounter and Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Sally has been a member of Bavli-Yerushalmi for 17 years, studying... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Belltown

10:00am

A Rabbi on the Ganges: A Jewish-Hindu Encounter
Heschel once asked: What would Judaism have looked like on the Ganges? Jews know little of Hinduism except to ask about its monotheism. This talk will start to answer the question of looking at the two faiths differently after the encounter. Brill recently spent a Fulbright Sabbatical year in India encountering Hinduism from within the Brahmin world. Explore the commonalities in priestly rituals, dietary restrictions, and purity, as well as tantra, meditation, and text study.

Presenters
AB

Alan Brill

Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University. Brill’s books include Judaism and Other Religions (2010) and Judaism and World Religions (2012). Last year, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Varanasi, India. He is currently working on a book on Modern Orthodoxy.


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Willow

10:00am

The Neuroscience of Teshuva: Neuroplasticity and Personal Change
Teshuva (repentance) is a core value in Judaism. But can we really change in the deep ways that teshuva requires? This session explores the neurobiology of habits and of change. Why is change so hard? We will discuss ways to harness the power of neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change—throughout life.

Presenters
MF

Mona Fishbane

Mona Fishbane, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the director of couple therapy training at the Chicago Center for Family Health. She lectures nationally and internationally and writes articles on couples, intergenerational family dynamics, and the neurobiology of love and relationships. Her most recent book is Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy. Mona lectures in synagogues and consults annually with rabbis on... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Aspen

10:00am

Understanding Israel’s Declaration of Independence
Israel’s Declaration of Independence is the most revolutionary document in Jewish history in two millennia. In addition to a close examination of the background of its formulation and of its contents, we shall examine it in comparative context with the American Declaration of Independence, the Palestinian National Covenant, and the Hamas Charter. The commonalities between them and their vast differences are the subject of this session.

Presenters
IT

Ilan Troen

Born in Boston, Ilan Troen was educated at Brandeis, Hebrew University and Chicago. On making aliyah he joined Ben-Gurion University, became Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the BGU Research Institute, and pioneered programs in Israel Studies. He returned to Brandeis to establish the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. He has authored or edited fourteen books on American, Jewish and Israeli history and is founding... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Grove

10:00am

The Taboo History of Jews in Arab Countries
After 1948, the Arab League drove out 900,000 indigenous Jews from their countries. The Jews, whose history is not widely known, left after ethnic cleansing, torture, suppression of religion and vandalism. Carole Basri will present a historical overview, along with her own family’s story.

Presenters
CB

Carole Basri

Carole Basri is a filmmaker and lawyer of Iraqi Jewish descent. Her films provide a historical and personal view of the persecution, torture, escape and flight of over 160,000 Jews from Iraq between 1940- 2003. A graduate of Barnard College and NYU School of Law, Carole is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and the Corporate Compliance Program Advisor. In that role, she creates and advises on curricula for... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Waterside

10:00am

What's the Use of Jewish History?
Ever wonder where Jews come from and how Judaism came about? Come learn the basics of Jewish history—all 3,000 years of it! At the same time, consider the deeper meaning of history for Jews today. In one session we will survey the entirety of the Jewish historical experience, from its beginnings in ancient Israel to the diverse and multicultural Jewish world we currently inhabit. The overarching question—what is the use of Jewish history to us today?—will be addressed throughout.

Presenters
DK

David Kaufman

David Kaufman is a lifelong Jewish educator, with an MA in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a PhD in American Jewish history from Brandeis. He has taught at the Hebrew Union College and Hofstra University and is the author of Shul with a Pool: The Synagogue-Center in American Jewish History and Jewhooing the Sixties: American Celebrity and Jewish Identity. He is currently at work on a new book, to be titled MESHUGA: A... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Glenbrook

10:00am

Yoga of Gratitude
As the weekend is coming to a close, our final practice will focus on gratitude. The class is designed with a sequence that warms the body, calms the mind, and thanks the universe for being a part of a magical weekend. Open to all levels. Please bring a mat if you have one.

Presenters
AC

Aja Cohen

Sivan (Aja) Cohen is a newly certified registered yoga teacher. She completed her training with KinneretYoga, a Yoga Alliance certified program for Jewish women in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has fifteen years of yoga experience and her main focus is Vinyasa yoga. Aja also practices Pilates regularly and has trained in Muay Thai kickboxing for five years. Her classes are fun, organic, and Torah inspired, but come prepared to sweat!


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Long Ridge

10:00am

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
Research has found that even "honest" people lie multiple times a day. According to the Jewish tradition, under what circumstances, if any, is it permissible to tell an untruth? We will explore what some (in)famous biblical and rabbinic lying liars can teach us about the topic.

Presenters
EF

Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax is a longtime member of Limmud's International Chavruta team and directs the Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change for girls and women in Israel and the US. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
High Ridge

10:00am

When the Tablets Shatter: Dementia in Rabbinic Literature and Theology
The painful reality of dementia in parents and teachers was as much a part of Talmudic life as it is for so many today. Drawing on Talmudic legend, modern journalism, and halacha, we will explore how Jewish tradition has responded to, portrayed, and even embraced dementia.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is Wexner Fellow, a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and an intern at the International Beit Din. Ben is currently a proud resident of the UWS Moishe House and a founder of the partnership Minyan Maarav.


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Westover

10:00am

Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue: Social Justice and Jewish Engagement—Opportunities and Obstacles
Justice is a hallmark of the Jewish people. Today, many organizations are using models of social justice learning and activism to connect to under-engaged Jews. Using food justice as our activism model, we will discuss both successes and challenges faced in using social justice as a primary organizing tool.

Presenters
SM

Steven M. Cohen

Steven M. Cohen is a professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College, director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry. He co-authored The Jew Within and Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences, and has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Queens College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Hebrew... Read More →
AL

Amichai Lau Lavie

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling, Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer, he is currently a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Amichai was a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Israel (2008-2009), is a consultant to the Reboot Network and a member of the URJ Faculty Team. He is Abba to Alice, Ezra, and Charlotte-Hallel.
AT

Ann Toback

Ann Toback is the Executive Director of the Workmen’s Circle. Since June of 2008 she has led the Workmen’s Circle through a reboot process, resulting in a new Jewish learning-based mission rooted in intergenerational learning, cultural celebration, and progressive activism. Since then, the Workmen’s Circle has launched a growing network of Jewish cultural complementary schools, which attract many different kinds of families seeking... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 10:00am - 11:15am
Cove

11:30am

Friends of Bill W.
This is a closed 12-step meeting for people who are in a 12-step recovery program of any kind. It is also for anyone who has a concern about a friend or family member with any type of addiction. Anyone who is concerned about their own possible addiction to anything such as food, gambling, alcohol, drugs, etc. may attend.

Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Willow

11:30am

Jewish Film in 2009: A Serious Man Versus Inglourious Basterds
Two major Jewish-content films were nominated for Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards:  The Coen Brothers' A Serious Man and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. In this session we will compare, contrast, and discuss how they inadvertently reveal a stark divide in the media's approach to religion both in their production, the content on screen, and their greater place in Jewish cinema.

Presenters
SS

Saul Sudin

Saul Sudin is a writer and filmmaker advocating a new voice for Judaism in visual media. His production Punk Jews is in distribution through the National Center for Jewish Film and he is the co-founder of Jewish Art Now, a resource for contemporary Jewish visual art and design. He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Elke. You can follow him online @SMSudin 


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
High Ridge

11:30am

Skills for Telling Stories to (and with!) Children
In this practical workshop you will gain confidence and skills for finding and telling stories to children, particularly those of kindergarten and elementary school age. Explore how and why expression, interactivity and direct telling (as opposed to reading alone) can enhance child development. This workshop is suitable for teachers, parents, caregivers and new storytellers.

Presenters
RR

Rachel Rose Reid

Raised in the UK on folk music, migrant heritage and urban jungle, Rachel Rose Reid combines all three to build bridges between oral tradition and contemporary spoken word. She has written and performed for BBC Radio 3, Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has created new work with everyone from hip hop groups to a cappella choirs. Rachel is an alumna of ROI, Asylum Arts and... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Grove

11:30am

Conservative Judaism for Today and Tomorrow: Rethinking a Movement and Tradition
A personal and passionate exposition of the major challenges facing Judaism in our time, and how the distinctive way of learning and practicing Torah that we call "Conservative" can best address those challenges. How can Judaism reach more Jews in North America and elsewhere with rituals and wisdom that are both joyful and profound? How can age-old patterns of commitment be updated in a way that is both compelling and authentic? How can we speak about God to Jews who are not drawn to militant secularism on the one hand or fundamentalist Orthodoxy on the other? A candid look by the Chancellor of JTS at the mitzvot, ideas and institutions that animate and direct his life.

Presenters
AE

Arnold Eisen

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Since taking office in 2007, he has transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, professional, and lay leaders for Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center of North American Jewry, and enhanced JTS’s notable reputation and global reach.


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Aspen

11:30am

Inmarriage as Policy, Inclusion as Practice
A vital Jewish future can be assured by achieving two goals that are seemingly in tension with each other. We need to support policies that promote inmarriage, and we need to engage and include our non-Jewish family members and bring them into Jewish life. Doing both is not only possible, but absolutely necessary if we are to have many engaged Jews in coming generations.

Presenters
SM

Steven M. Cohen

Steven M. Cohen is a professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College, director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry. He co-authored The Jew Within and Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences, and has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Queens College, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Hebrew... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Cove

11:30am

Who Are These Orthodox Lesbians and Why Do They Keep Following Me?
In the Mishnah Torah, Maimonides warned his male readers to "keep their wives away" from women known to sleep with other women.  Miryam Kabakov, editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desireswill discuss the subterranean communities of Orthodox Jewish lesbians with whom she has worked during the past two decades and what the future holds for Orthodox LGBT people.

Presenters
MK

Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov is an Executive Director of Eshel and the editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books, May 2010), a collection of writings about the challenges and joys of LGBT Orthodox Jews. She attended the Ramaz Upper School, Stern College for Women and received her Master’s Degree from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Belltown

11:30am

Creating Family: Infertility Then and Now
Ancient wisdom can help with a modern problem! Judaism places a strong emphasis on families, but building a family is not always easy. Stories from our tradition can provide a source of comfort, strength, and inspiration as we struggle to have and raise children.

Presenters
SB

Suzanne Brody

Suzanne Brody creates innovative, dynamic programming for Jews of all ages. She currently oversees education and programming for children and teens at Temple Beth El in Ithaca, NY. When leading prayers—whether from the bima in the main sanctuary, on the floor surrounded by a circle of toddlers, or in a classroom—she fuses tradition and innovation, sharing a variety of ways to engage with the prayers. Suzanne’s first book of... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Glenbrook

11:30am

Spirituality and Leadership
Does God work at my non-profit or firm? In this highly interactive session, participants will look at a case study from the field of management and respond to it using a set of biblical and rabbinic texts. Participants will explore new perspectives from scholars who are currently thinking about spirituality in relationship to the workplace.

Presenters
DF

Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter is working towards ordination as an Orthodox clergy member at Yeshivat Maharat and is also a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing masters’ degrees in Public Administration and Judaic Studies at NYU. A strong believer in the power of both ritual and community organizing, she is the rabbinic intern at ImmerseNYC, New York’s only community mikveh project. Dasi spends her free time singing, thinking about... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Springdale

11:30am

Three Summers of Zionist Crisis: 1937, 1947, 1948

1937: a crisis over whether to divide the Land of Israel. 1947: a crisis over the role of Judaism in the State of Israel. 1948: a crisis over who can legitimately fight for the State of Israel. Three summers, three crises, three issues that are as relevant today as back then. We'll roleplay Israel's past to try to understand Israel's present.



Presenters
RM

Robin Moss

Robin Moss is head of Israel Engagement at UJIA, the central agency connecting the British Jewish community to Israel. He works to improve the quality and nuance of Israel-related educational conversations among Jewish youth, primarily within youth movements, day schools, non-Jewish schools and on campuses. A passionate Limmudnik, Robin is a former co-chair of the Limmud Chavruta Project. He is also an avid... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Long Ridge

11:30am

The Talmud Uncensored
Among the most incendiary passages in the Talmud are those that denigrate non-Jews. What do these texts actually say and how have they been read, resisted, and revised? We will explore the Talmud’s role in shaping relationships between Jews and non-Jews since late antiquity and learn how Christian censorship reshaped the Talmud. Can censorship ever be good? Can the Talmud serve as a teaching for all people? What is the role of censorship in preparing the Talmud—and the Jews—for modernity?

Presenters
MW

Mira Wasserman

Mira Wasserman is on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she teaches Talmud. For her, the Talmud is both a great work of literature and a resource for thinking about contemporary ethics, and she seeks to open Talmud up for students and seekers of all ages and backgrounds. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Mira served as a congregational rabbi for over a decade. A Wexner Graduate... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Elm

11:30am

Learn Torah Trope in One Hour!
Admit it: You have always wanted to try it, but it seemed like it would just be too hard. If you always thought that reading Torah was something that was only for experts, think again. In a single Limmud session, you will learn everything you need to know to get started learning how to chant your first Torah reading. You will learn how to chant the special musical alphabet known as ta'amei hamikra (trope), and you will leave with all the resources you will need to prepare your very first Torah reading.

Presenters
MW

Michael Weis

Michael Weis is the cantor at the Brotherhood Synagogue in Manhattan. Originally from Chicago, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lisa and their two children, Jayna (5) and Shai (1).


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Westover

11:30am

The Messiah: When Is She Coming and What Is Her Role?—Hasidic Views
Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been praying for the arrival of the Messiah. When will that time come? What is the Messiah's role? What will be the nature of the messianic age? In this session, we will examine the complex and much-debated role of messianism in early Hasidism. To explore these themes, we will focus on one of the only extant writings of the founder of the movement, Israel ben Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov (the Besht).

Presenters
SF

Sharon Flatto

Sharon Flatto is an associate professor of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College and Deputy Director of its graduate program. Specializing in early modern Jewish history and Kabbalah, Sharon has taught at educational institutions including Yale, Brown, and Queens College, and is the author of The Kabbalistic Culture of Eighteenth-Century Prague: Ezekiel Landau (the 'Noda Biyehudah') and His Contemporaries. She received her PhD in Jewish History from... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 12:45pm
Waterside

11:30am

Monday Lunch 11:30-1:00
Your name tag will indicate if you have purchased a lunch. Enjoy your last meal at Limmud NY. See you next year! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Monday February 16, 2015 11:30am - 1:00pm
Ballroom I

1:00pm

Artists’ Beit Midrash
Who is an artist? What is the role and responsibility of an artist? Together we will consider a handful of biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary Jewish texts that propose a few surprising answers! This session aspires to be part learning circle and part artists’ coffee klatch. Calling all creatives (broadly defined!).

Presenters
EF

Erica Frankel

Erica Frankel began taking dance classes and playing soccer at age three. By five, she quit soccer (after kicking the ball to the other team "because they wanted it more" and winning "Best Singer on the Field") and told her parents she wanted to grow up to be a "multi-talented artist." She is now a dancer and performer and works at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU. Erica studied Experiential Jewish Education at Yeshiva... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Belltown

1:00pm

Baby Boomer Blues?
With so much attention paid to Next Gen and engaging young adult families with our Jewish communities, we have lost sight of the power and importance of the Baby Boomer generation. Learn about new research, including the B3 Baby Boomer Platform, showing how and why the Jewish world needs to fund and create exciting opportunities for this age cohort. Take away some practical suggestions and learn about Chai Mitzvah and other interesting adult engagement programs.

Presenters
AL

Audrey Lichter

Audrey Lichter has been to Limmud for the past two years. Professionally, she was a Principal of Jewish Teen programs for over 20 years, and now is the Director of Chai Mitzvah, a Jewish engagement program for adults. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 36 years and they have three grown children, two grandchildren and one on the way any minute!


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Westover

1:00pm

Secrets of an Intrepid Limmud Traveler: How to Fly for Less (or Free)
For those looking to attend a Limmud conference abroad, the cost of the flight can sometimes be more than the actual conference fees! In this interactive session, you will learn practical tips that will enable you to snag a discounted (or frequent-flier) ticket for your next Limmud conference or vacation.

Presenters
KR

Karen Radkowsky

A founder of Limmud NY and a trustee of Limmud in the UK, Karen Radkowsky has participated in over 50 Limmud events worldwide since 2000. A three-time alumna of Frequent Traveler University, her air miles have taken her across Europe, Asia and Africa. In her professional life, Karen heads The Research Consultancy, a market research firm in Manhattan.


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Springdale

1:00pm

Jewish Education is Dead. Long Live Jewish Education.
The approaches to Jewish education that were developed in the 20th century served us reasonably well in that era. But the world has changed, and Jewish education needs to change with it. Join a no-holds-barred discussion about Jewish education’s future. We’ll ask: What should Jewish education’s goals be in a time of permeable boundaries, personal meaning-making, learner empowerment and prosumerism? What paradigm shifts are needed for Jewish education to thrive in a rapidly changing world?

Presenters
JW

Jonathan Woocher

Jonathan Woocher is the president of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, which promotes efforts to connect Jews and others to Jewish wisdom, sensibilities, and experiences that help them to lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives and to shape a better world. Previously, he worked for twenty-seven years at Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). He serves on the boards of the Covenant Foundation and Bikkurim: An... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Cove

1:00pm

Jewish Jonah and Islamic Yunus
Jonah/Yunus, the prophet, is depicted both in the Tanach and in the Quran and their mefarshim/tafsir, their commentaries. By examining these depiction in each text--translated into English--we will discuss theological differences illuminated by each portrayal.

Presenters
SR

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother-writer-lecturer-sermonizer-activist-aspiring rabbi-student. Her “A Hike” on terror in Israel is a Pushcart nominee. Her work appears in lit reviews, Jewish journals, Keren journal & Dharma & Halacha. She taught soldiers who did not complete high school while in the IDF and female conversion students at the request of the Rabbanut. She studied Jewish thought at Hebrew U & Matan... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Long Ridge

1:00pm

The Israel We Imagine
Much of the political debate about Israel masks an underlying, under-investigated conflict of imagination and narrative. If we operate with different standards of the behavior we expect of Israel, it is no surprise that we struggle to reach consensus on its success or failure. In this session we will try to probe the different imaginary narratives that enter into different approaches to Israel, and will try to explore if – and how – a new form of consensus can be reached.

Presenters
YK

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, overseeing its educational initiatives for Jewish communal leaders. He taught at Brandeis as the inaugural Chair of Jewish Communal Innovation. His book Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past offers new thinking on sustaining a meaningful Jewish identity in the face of modernity's challenges. He lives in Riverdale, NY with his wife Stephanie Ives, their two sons... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Aspen

1:00pm

Nahala: A Celebration of Remembrance
Do you have friends, relatives or heroes no longer living, whose stories you would like to share? It's not a regular topic of conversation in "polite" society, but sometimes it feels good to have them heard, however bright or bittersweet. Join a circle where you can draw, write and speak about someone you feel deserves to be spoken of, and toast them together. (This session has therapeutic elements but is not a formal therapy session.)

Presenters
RR

Rachel Rose Reid

Raised in the UK on folk music, migrant heritage and urban jungle, Rachel Rose Reid combines all three to build bridges between oral tradition and contemporary spoken word. She has written and performed for BBC Radio 3, Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has created new work with everyone from hip hop groups to a cappella choirs. Rachel is an alumna of ROI, Asylum Arts and... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Glenbrook

1:00pm

The Religious Imagination: Thinking and Unthinking God
What can one say of the unknown and unknowable God? And what is the role of the imagination and its cultivation in this process, especially in times of "exile" from spiritual clarity? Some guidance will come from a striking passage in the Zohar and a teaching of the Maggid of Mezritch.

Presenters
MF

Michael Fishbane

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel; Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology; and the forthcoming Jewish Publication Society Commentary on the Song of Songs.


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Waterside

1:00pm

'You Shall Surely Open Your Hand': Poverty, Shmita and a Social-Theological Vision
We are currently in a shmita (sabbatical) year. Shmita in Deuteronomy is not primarily about land but about remitting debts and liberating slaves. In this session, we'll ask: what kind of social ethic does Deuteronomy seek to instill? How does it work to ensure that there will be no permanent underclass in the land of Israel? What strategies does it use to motivate people to treat one another generously? Along the way, we'll see how Deuteronomy radicalizes the social vision of Exodus.

Presenters
SH

Shai Held

Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, and he directs its Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. He is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. His book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published in 2013. Shai’s weekly essays on the Torah are read by... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Grove

1:00pm

Food and Sustainability: Limmud Chavruta
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss food and sustainability from a Jewish perspective. Are trees God’s most beautiful works? How could waste be good? Is vegetarianism Jewish? How do we achieve food sustainability? Ancient sources, modern scholarship, song lyrics, and more will be used. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on food. Come to one session; or even better, come to all four!

Presenters
EF

Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax is a longtime member of Limmud's International Chavruta team and directs the Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change for girls and women in Israel and the US. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
High Ridge

1:00pm

Holy Ground: Surveying the Significance of Shoes and Bare Feet in the Bible
At the burning bush, Moses is asked to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground. We usually assume that removing shoes at holy sites is expected. However, the removal of shoes carries far more meaning in the Bible. More than highlighting the sanctity of the site, this action provides insight into the relationship that is being established between God and Moses, and ultimately with all Israel. Who knew that whether you wear your shoes or not had so much meaning?

Presenters
OH

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the executive vice president and academic dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion in NY. She has published widely on gender issues and literary analysis of the Bible. Ora has worked with the Melton Center for Jewish Education and the Jewish Theological Seminary's Davidson School of Education as well as at other institutions to develop approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning styles. Her book Esau’s... Read More →


Monday February 16, 2015 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Willow

2:15pm

Orthodox Monday Mincha Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Monday February 16, 2015 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Elm

2:15pm

Traditional Egalitarian Monday Mincha Service
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Monday February 16, 2015 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Aspen