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Friday, February 14
 

4:00pm EST

Check-In for Shabbat Participants
Friday February 14, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Lobby

5:00pm EST

Candle Lighting
Tealights will be available

Friday February 14, 2020 5:00pm - 5:15pm EST
Atrium

5:15pm EST

Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv: Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership)
We will welcome Shabbat with spirited singing of the traditional liturgy with led by people of all genders. Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service. There will be mixed-gender seating.

Friday February 14, 2020 5:15pm - 6:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

5:15pm EST

Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv: Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
Connect your heart, mind, and soul to the traditional liturgy. Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service and seating is separated by gender.

Friday February 14, 2020 5:15pm - 6:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

5:15pm EST

Welcoming 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.

Friday February 14, 2020 5:15pm - 6:30pm EST
Atrium

6:45pm EST

Communal Shabbat Dinner
Join your fellow LimmudFest NY participants to celebrate Shabbat around the dining table. To facilitate seating, please pick up a table number in advance. Kiddush (ritual blessing over wine) and haMotzi (ritual blessing over bread) will be done at each table. Be sure to introduce yourselves, so that everyone leaves dinner with at least one new Limmud friend!

Please do not take food from the atrium into the session rooms.

Friday February 14, 2020 6:45pm - 8:15pm EST
Atrium

8:30pm EST

Jewish Calcutta Through Music and Memory
A fascinating personal journey mirrors the story of Calcutta's Jews with humor, poignancy and song.

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm EST
U305

8:30pm EST

From Kilayim to CRISPR: Jewish Concerns with Gene Editing
We are living through what many consider to be the most significant scientific revolution of all—greater than the industrial revolution, the atomic age, the information age. The ability to make precise edits to the genome that are heritable signals a fundamental shift in the role of humanity from creature to creator. The CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) system dramatizes the change since it becomes so inexpensive and accessible. What do Jewish sources have to say about the modification of the genome? Is the model of forbidden mixing of species (kilayim) relevant? Can distinctions be sustained between human and non-human editing, therapeutic and enhancement treatments?

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Nevins

Daniel Nevins

Dean, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of the JTS Rabbinical School. He also serves as dean of the Division of Religious Leadership, which includes the H.L. Miller Cantorial School, the Center for Pastoral Education, and the Block-Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. Rabbi Nevins was... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

8:30pm EST

The Power of Love: How the Commandments to Love Can Minimize Abuses of Power
In today's world, we are constantly watching people abuse their power. But, is all power inherently dangerous? And what tools exist to help mitigate and minimize abuses of power? This session will explore the three times we are commanded to love in the Torah, and see how the emotion we call love might be an effective antidote to abuses of power. All texts are provided in translation, and this session is open to all levels of experience with Jewish texts.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein is the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program where she has also been a faculty member. She oversees the development and curriculum for the dynamic lay leaders who take part in the program throughout North America. Most recently, Yaffa has served as the Director of... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

8:30pm EST

Understanding Jewish Marriage in Halakhic Discourse
What are the Jewish values of marriage? How does Jewish legal literature respond to changing views of marriage and the roles of men and women? We will study halackhic discussions regarding the religious validity of civil marriage in the modern era which reflect different understandings of the meaning and value of marriage in Jewish thought.

Presenters
avatar for Ariel Picard

Ariel Picard

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Ariel Picard is Director of the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Bar-Ilan University and conducts research in contemporary Jewish law. He was ordained as a rabbi by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and has served as the rabbi of Kibbutz... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 8:30pm - 9:30pm EST
K306

9:45pm EST

Walking Group to Aloft Hotel #1
Don’t want to walk back to the hotel alone? Meet in the lobby to walk with others heading to the Marriott Aloft.

Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 10:00pm EST
Lobby

9:45pm EST

Walking Group to Upper West Side #1
Don’t want to walk home alone? Meet in the lobby to walk with others heading south.

Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 10:00pm EST
Lobby

9:45pm EST

Jews’ Line is it Anyway? An Improv / Jewish Values Mash-up
What's so Jewish about basic improv comedy? When you've been exiled from as many countries as Jews have, adapting to our environment is a key skill: we take whatever resources we have and we improvise! This informal, participatory, creativity-generating workshop introduces the basics of improvisational comedy within a Jewish community context - suitable for Jews and Judeophiles of all ages, and no comedy experience required. Fun icebreaker with light educational component. 

Presenters
avatar for Esther Kustanowitz

Esther Kustanowitz

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a writer, editor and consultant. She is a regular contributor at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and at J.: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California. She co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast about Jews and entertainment, and is a casual scholar of #TVGoneJewy... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 10:45pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

9:45pm EST

The Jewish Pleasure Principle: Sexual Affirmation and Disavowal in the Jewish Tradition
Against the background of a world consumed by depersonalizing technology Shabbat emerges as the ‘Day of Love and Relationship’. Drawing on the rabbinic and the mystical traditions, this session will argue that this remarkable feature of Shabbat accompanied by a significant array of Jewish texts present Judaism as a distinctive spirituality that consciously affirms physical pleasure, social interaction and love-making. At the same time we will look at sources that call for the primacy of ascetic denial and for an effort to diminish the experience of sexual pleasure. Interspersed between these sources, we will consider the larger context in which religious commitments provoke anxiety and psychological conflict about sexual pleasure and the centrality of the body, as well as their impact on our narratives and behavior today.
Texts that will be studied include Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Joseph Gikatilla’s Holy Letter (a 13th century mystical ‘love’ manual), the Shulhan Arukh (16th century code of Jewish law) and a 17th century Karaite classic.

Presenters
avatar for Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller spent over forty years working with students and faculty as the Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA. He is currently Director Emeritus. He was ordained at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature... Read More →
avatar for Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio State University. She serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she teaches courses in systems-based healthcare and in human sexuality and sex... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 10:45pm EST
K306

9:45pm EST

Facebook and Lashon Hara: Using Social Media Responsibly
Social media is the place to go for buzz and gossip and plain old information about events happening around town. In the era of #metoo, it has also become a forum for disclosing information about harmful behavior in our communities. What does Jewish law have to say about publicly exposing people for fraud, corruption, or abuse? Is it allowed? Are there boundaries? We will look at Jewish sources that weave together both mitzvot that caution against public humiliation but also obligate us to take a stand to protect those vulnerable among us.

Presenters
avatar for Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama Goldman Barash

The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies
Nechama Goldman Barash navigates the space between feminism and Orthodoxy by studying and teaching rabbinic texts previously barred to women. She lives in Israel where she teaches at the Pardes Beit Midrash and participates in interfaith work. She is writing a book dealing with matters... Read More →


Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 10:45pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

9:45pm EST

Friday Night Tisch
Tisch (Yiddish for “table”) is the Hasidic custom of gathering around a table to share songs, meaningful words, and drinks - all activities that warm up participants inside and out! Prepare to experience the best of Shabbat and Limmud NY all wrapped up in one exuberant and uplifting session.

Friday February 14, 2020 9:45pm - 11:00pm EST
Atrium

11:00pm EST

Walking Group to Aloft Hotel #2
Don’t want to walk back to the hotel alone? Meet in the lobby to walk with others heading to the Marriott Aloft.

Friday February 14, 2020 11:00pm - 11:15pm EST
Lobby

11:00pm EST

Walking Group to Upper West Side #2
Don’t want to walk home alone? Meet in the lobby to walk with others heading south.

Friday February 14, 2020 11:00pm - 11:15pm EST
Lobby
 
Saturday, February 15
 

8:30am EST

Continential Breakfast
Enjoy a light continental breakfast before heading to a prayer service or meditation.

Please do not take food from the atrium into the session rooms.

Saturday February 15, 2020 8:30am - 10:00am EST
Atrium

8:45am EST

Shabbat Morning Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership) - With a Taste of Baghdadi-Indian Tradition
Join us for a warm and participatory service featuring the traditional Hebrew liturgy. Our service is gender-inclusive and people of all genders lead and receive honors during the service. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Rahel Musleah will lead part of the service with an intriguing medley of ancient texts, distinctive Shabbat rituals, customs, liturgy and Torah trope in the Baghdadi-Indian tradition.

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45am - 11:15am EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

8:45am EST

Shabbat Morning Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This participatory service will feature separate seating for men and women and is led by men. The liturgy will be in Hebrew and singing will be lively! Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service.

Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45am - 11:15am EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

10:15am EST

Shabbat Va’yinafash: Mindfulness Meditation
Start Shabbat morning with a time for quiet reflection and reconnecting with our souls as we come together to practice mindfulness meditation. There will be some gentle instruction as well as practice and some time for questions. This session is for beginners or those with more experience. Take your centered presence into prayer and then to the rest of your day of community and learning.

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Former coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing, Susie Kessler brings knowledge of spiritual support and Jewish wisdom to all of her program areas. Her passion is helping people grow and heal from the inside out by uncovering and exploring their spiritual journey as well... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
K306

11:15am EST

Communal Kiddush
Join your fellow LimmudNYks after morning services for a communal recitation of kiddush (ritual blessing over wine). Enjoy some cake and shmooze a bit before heading to a session or lunch.

Please do not take food from the dining room into the session rooms.

Saturday February 15, 2020 11:15am - 11:45am EST

12:00pm EST

The Challenges of Pluralism and Religious Freedom in Israel
The State of Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic state. What does that mean? What is the role of halachah in the state? What are the fundamental conflicts in Israel regarding conversion, marriage, burial, and religious freedom? Is there, or should there be, separation between state and religion?

Presenters
avatar for Ariel Picard

Ariel Picard

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Ariel Picard is Director of the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Bar-Ilan University and conducts research in contemporary Jewish law. He was ordained as a rabbi by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and has served as the rabbi of Kibbutz... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

12:00pm EST

Tough Topics: Navigating Challenging Conversations with Children
Co-Author of 3 children's books that help families and educators talk to children about tough topics, Meredith will address common concerns that arise when children are faced with challenging life events - whether the death of a loved one, a scary event in the news, or something in between. While the books focus on children with special needs, this discussion will include a wide range of ages and abilities.

Meredith's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Meredith Polsky

Meredith Polsky

National Director of Institutes and Training, Matan
Meredith Polsky founded Matan in 2000 and serves as Matan's national director of institutes and training. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish special education. She holds a master’s degree in special education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

12:00pm EST

Radical Amazement: How to Live in Wonder Each and Every Day
Radical Amazement is a way/state of being in which experience the world as God created it. In this session, we will look at Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s words on this experience and unpack how can live in this state of being more often.

Presenters
avatar for Mark Borovitz

Mark Borovitz

Officially ordained in 2000 at the University of Judaism with a Master’s in Rabbinic Literature, Rabbi Mark Borovitz combined his knowledge of Torah and street smarts to shape his calling: helping recovering addicts find their way in the world. After being released from prison in... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
K306

12:00pm EST

Buffet Lunch
The start times for lunch have been staggered: either enjoy an earlier lunch and go to a 1:15 PM session, or go to a noon session and eat afterwards.
Please do not take food from the atrium into the session rooms.




Saturday February 15, 2020 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST
Atrium

1:15pm EST

Wise Aging
It's never too early to start aging wisely! Come join us to learn more about tools and practices that can help you transform any fear, dread or denial of the unknown into hope, curiosity and wisdom. Based on the best-selling book by Rabbi Rachel Cowan z’l and Dr. Linda Thal, discover how the “third chapter” of your life can become a time filled with meaning, grace and courage.

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Former coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing, Susie Kessler brings knowledge of spiritual support and Jewish wisdom to all of her program areas. Her passion is helping people grow and heal from the inside out by uncovering and exploring their spiritual journey as well... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 1:15pm - 2:15pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

1:15pm EST

Who is Your Josh? The Evolution of Matan and Jewish Disability Inclusion
Twenty years ago, Meredith founded Matan because of a boy named Josh, whom she knew for 6 days during the summer of 1996. This session will tell the story of Matan, and give participants a chance to think about and share what has (and has not) changed in Jewish Disability Inclusion since the early stages of Matan.

Meredith's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Meredith Polsky

Meredith Polsky

National Director of Institutes and Training, Matan
Meredith Polsky founded Matan in 2000 and serves as Matan's national director of institutes and training. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish special education. She holds a master’s degree in special education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 1:15pm - 2:15pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

1:15pm EST

Jewish Meditation Compared to Yoga/Tantra
This talk will compare the meditations and visualization of the kabbalah to those of Eastern techniques. Kabbalistic prayer of the middle ages from thinkers such as Isaac of Acco, Hayyim Vital, or Rabbi Moses Cordovero has been understood with the categories of mysticism. But comparing it with yoga and tantra brings out the meditative process in terms of more immediate psychological meaning.
The goals of this talk are to answer several questions: (1) Is there a useful comparison to be made between the visualizations in kabbalisitc Intentions and those in Yoga and Tantra? (2) Can this comparison with tantra help to integrate Kabbalistic intentions as part of our current thinking about spirituality.
Many have noted the seeming similarities between the unification of shekhinah and tiferet in kabbalah with the unification of Shkati and Shiva in tantra. This talk will focus on the commonality of both having realm of imagination that requires a weave of the physical and mental, an imaginative progression. The talk will discuss how the kavvanot are more Dhyana than Samadhi and more visionary than mindful.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Brill

Alan Brill

Professor, Seton Hall University
Rabbi Prof Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, where he teaches Jewish studies in the Department of Religion and the Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program. He specializes in interfaith theology, Jewish mysticism... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 1:15pm - 2:15pm EST
K306

1:15pm EST

The Different Stages of Mourning in the Aftermath of Tragedy
In this session we will study a series of rabbinic midrashic texts commenting on the tragic and sudden death of two sons of Aharon, brother of Moses. The midrash portrays different stages in the mourning process that show the sensitivity and compassion for the questions and emotional turmoil and grieving that arrive in the aftermath of death.

Presenters
avatar for Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama Goldman Barash

The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies
Nechama Goldman Barash navigates the space between feminism and Orthodoxy by studying and teaching rabbinic texts previously barred to women. She lives in Israel where she teaches at the Pardes Beit Midrash and participates in interfaith work. She is writing a book dealing with matters... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 1:15pm - 2:15pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

2:15pm EST

Mincha: Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership)
This Shabbat afternoon service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Saturday February 15, 2020 2:15pm - 2:45pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

2:15pm EST

Mincha: Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This afternoon service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Saturday February 15, 2020 2:15pm - 2:45pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

2:45pm EST

Convivencia: The Untold Story of Moroccan Jewish History
The story of 2000 years of Jewish life in Morocco is one of the great untold stories of Jewish history. But this is not merely a lesson in events of the past- here we have seeds of change for the relationship between Judaism and Islam, for the Jewish people and Muslims worldwide and for the violence-prone tension between the West and the Muslim world. Why is it that American Jewish education completely ignores the story of the Jews of Morocco? Is it an accident? An intention? This session will introduce you to amazing events and documents and certainly tempt you to come to Limmud Morocco in June!

Peter's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter Geffen is a founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC, former Director of the Israel Experience Program for the CRB Foundation and an Israel education specialist. His career as a social activist started as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He has... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 2:45pm - 3:45pm EST
K306

2:45pm EST

Face of the Ethiopian Jewry
A brief background of the Ethiopian Jewry and the current lifestyle of the Ethiopian Jews. In 2015, the government of Israel passed unanimous resolution number 716 to bring the remainder of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel.  Families had been separated in some cases for over two decades between Israel and Ethiopia.  Despite the myriad of promises from the Israeli government, the implementation of this resolution has stalled and there are sill approximately 7,500 community members in Addis Ababa and Gondar awaiting aliyah.

Presenters
avatar for Abere Kerehu

Abere Kerehu

Ebere is from Ethiopia and is currently studying at Yeshiva University.  He is the founder of the Young Ethiopian Jewish leadership team in Ethiopia, which was created to struggle for the continuation of the Ethiopian Jews' Aliyah and to build capacity  in the community. The team... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 2:45pm - 3:45pm EST
U305

2:45pm EST

Learning to Talk About God Today: A Rational Quest for a Mystical Reality
This discussion constitutes a personal effort at articulating a meaningful notion of God that is spiritually fulfilling and at the same time intellectually uncompromising. The search ranges across the Jewish tradition from the fundamentals of Biblical monotheism to Maimonides’ rationalism and onto Hasidic mysticism. The result is a contemporary notion of God that is both inspiring and humbling.

Presenters
avatar for Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller spent over forty years working with students and faculty as the Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA. He is currently Director Emeritus. He was ordained at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 2:45pm - 3:45pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

2:45pm EST

Family vs. Nation: Does the Land of Israel Supersede the Jewish Home?
Since the advent of the modern Zionist movement, the question of whether Jews should--or must--move to the Jewish state have been debated among Jews of all backgrounds and religious identities. However, a survey of classical Jewish sources shows that this question is not new. This class will consider two core Jewish values, family and connection to the land of Israel, to see how the rabbis thought about building a home versus building a nation when the two are in conflict.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Rachel Rosenthal is a David Hartman Center Fellow whose research focuses on the intersection of Talmud and pedagogy. She received her PhD in Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where her dissertation focused on how rabbinic analysis of the case of the stubborn... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 2:45pm - 3:45pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

4:00pm EST

Fake News and the Resurgence of Anti-Semitism
How can we make sense of the resurgence of anti-Semitism from both right and left a mere 70 years after the Holocaust? Together we’ll examine foundational texts that gave rise to hatred of Jews and Judaism and reflect on what we can learn from them about how best to respond to today’s manifestations.

Presenters
avatar for Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Chancellor, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz is Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a renowned expert on Jewish American history with more than three decades of experience as a professor and institutional leader.


Saturday February 15, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
U305

4:00pm EST

T'Shuvah: Judaism's Response to the Opioid Crisis and the Myth of Perfection
In this first session on living T’Shuvah, we will look at some texts and ideas regarding the importance and impact of living T’Shuvah daily. We will do an in-depth study of t'shuvah as a response/cure for the addiction epidemic and the myth of perfection. We will explore both texts and practical applications.

Presenters
avatar for Mark Borovitz

Mark Borovitz

Officially ordained in 2000 at the University of Judaism with a Master’s in Rabbinic Literature, Rabbi Mark Borovitz combined his knowledge of Torah and street smarts to shape his calling: helping recovering addicts find their way in the world. After being released from prison in... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
K306

4:00pm EST

Why Jews Intermarry: Notes on a Transgressive Subject
A conversation about what we see in one another, how we feel about what we see and how these mutual perceptions of male and female drive us to look outside the Jewish community for love and relationships. We will also consider the external pressures and tropes on and about Jews common today which subliminally urge Jews to abandon traditional commitments to in-marriage. Utilizing conflict analysis, especially as it applies to ongoing subtle stereotyping and narratives about Jews, can promote greater insight and help us to develop a contemporary strategy for persuasively discussing the value of in marriage.

Presenters
avatar for Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio State University. She serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she teaches courses in systems-based healthcare and in human sexuality and sex... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

4:00pm EST

The Radical Israeli Thought of Rav Shagar
I am in the process of producing an edited volume of translations of the thought of Rabbi Shimon Gavriel Rosenthal, known by his initials Shagar. He has been simultaneously called an anarchist, Haredi, post-Zionist, and post-modern. Rabbi Shagar (d. 2007) questioned the fixed answers of his inherited Religious Zionism with its fixed answers and historical certainties. Instead, he turns to Hasidic story, Existential absurdity, Franz Rosenzweig, Rav Nachman, and science fiction to create a Torah of the seeker. In the last decade of his life, he discovers post-modernism, Lacan, and Lyotard to create a Torah that does not need foundations or proof. Finally, toss in a rejection of Rav Kook's Zionist vision in favor of an almost post-Zionist view of the land as beyond force and violence. Does this heady cocktail work as a religious worldview? Come listen then decide.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Brill

Alan Brill

Professor, Seton Hall University
Rabbi Prof Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, where he teaches Jewish studies in the Department of Religion and the Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program. He specializes in interfaith theology, Jewish mysticism... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

4:30pm EST

Seudah Shlishit (Light Meal)
The start times for Seudah Shlishit have been staggered: either enjoy an earlier meal and go to a 5:15 PM session, or go to a 4:00 PM session and eat afterward.
Please do not take food from the dining room into the session rooms.

Saturday February 15, 2020 4:30pm - 6:00pm EST
Atrium

5:15pm EST

What Makes This Jew Different From All Other Jews? Race, Difference, and Safety in Jewish Spaces
We are a people of questions, but perhaps certain types of questions directed at certain kinds of people diminish the safety of all of us. A modern liberal idea? MaNishtana thinks not; he explains that checking people at the door is not something we Jews can or should recognise as ‘traditional’. Join him for some personal and political reflections on the joys and challenges of being a Jew of colour in the 21st century.

Presenters
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

MaNishtana
MaNishtana is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi, whose work takes prejudice, bias, and ignorance head on with a humorous and often irreverent voice that shatters the misconceptions of Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish racial identity, and African-American religious... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 5:15pm - 6:15pm EST
U305

5:15pm EST

Civil Marriage in Israel: An Unholy Mess
By law, marriage and divorce in Israel are overseen by religious institutions. There is no civil marriage and divorce. This has led to major problems for citizens not considered Jewish by the Rabbinate. In the last decade, tremendous pressure has been building to develop and implement state run models to ensure the civil rights of all citizens.

Presenters
avatar for Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama Goldman Barash

The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies
Nechama Goldman Barash navigates the space between feminism and Orthodoxy by studying and teaching rabbinic texts previously barred to women. She lives in Israel where she teaches at the Pardes Beit Midrash and participates in interfaith work. She is writing a book dealing with matters... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 5:15pm - 6:15pm EST
K306

5:15pm EST

The Earth is the Lord’s: Jewish Perspectives on Environmental Protection
The cluster of ecological challenges of our times raise questions about our obligations as Jews to protect the species around us, and toward future generations. Rabbi Nevins has written a series of prayers about the environment for Mahzor and Siddur Lev Shalem, and will discuss the role of prayer and religious practice in motivating communities to become better stewards of the planet.

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Nevins

Daniel Nevins

Dean, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of the JTS Rabbinical School. He also serves as dean of the Division of Religious Leadership, which includes the H.L. Miller Cantorial School, the Center for Pastoral Education, and the Block-Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. Rabbi Nevins was... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 5:15pm - 6:15pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

5:15pm EST

The Power of Speech: Are We Still Speaking the Same Language?
This session will examine the idea that the world was created through speech - and the core Biblical, Rabbinic, and Hassdic texts around speech. Is it possible that the very commonplace act of speech can build worlds, as well as destroy worlds? And how can I be aware of the effects my speech is having on the world? All texts are provided in translation, and this session is open to all levels of experience with Jewish texts.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein is the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program where she has also been a faculty member. She oversees the development and curriculum for the dynamic lay leaders who take part in the program throughout North America. Most recently, Yaffa has served as the Director of... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 5:15pm - 6:15pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

6:15pm EST

Ma’ariv: Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender inclusive-leadership)
This evening  service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Saturday February 15, 2020 6:15pm - 6:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

6:15pm EST

Ma’ariv: Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This evening service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Saturday February 15, 2020 6:15pm - 6:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

6:30pm EST

Havdalah and Concert
Join the LimmudNY community for a rousing Havdalah ceremony. We will say goodbye to Shabbat and usher in the new week with music, singing, and dancing.

Presenters
avatar for Rabbi David Ingber

Rabbi David Ingber

Founder & Senior Rabbi, Kehilat Romemu
Rabbi Ingber was named by Newsweek as one of 2013’s top 50 most influential rabbis in the United States as well as by The Forward as one of the 50 most newsworthy and notable Jews in America, Rabbi David promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness... Read More →
avatar for Noah Aronson

Noah Aronson

Noah Aronson is a composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across the country and in Israel. While studying piano and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music, he also held the position of Composer-in-Residence at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 6:30pm - 7:45pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

7:30pm EST

Harnessing the Immense Power of Humility!
Hanan Harchol, the creator of the popular animated series for adults and teens "Jewish Food For Thought", uses his animations to explore deep Jewish wisdom and fuel lively conversation on the topic of Humility and how it can be a source of strength. His work is generously funded by The Covenant Foundation.

Hanan's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer, and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics and values to teens and adults through engaging and thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. Broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 7:30pm - 8:30pm EST
U305

7:30pm EST

At the Crossroads of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-Speaking Worlds: The Story of the Bukharian Jews
The experience of the native Jews of Central Asia—Bukharian Jews—is situated at a unique, and lesser-known, intersection of Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Russian-speaking Jewish identities. This interactive talk will explore the vibrant and multifaceted story of the millennia-old Jewish community—discovering the ways in which Bukharian Jews have developed their mosaic culture through a dynamic interaction with the dominant and changing societies surrounding them. Our discussion will also shed light on how the Bukharian Jewish journey fits into the broader historical saga of the Jewish people.

Presenters
avatar for Ruben Shimonov

Ruben Shimonov

Executive Director and Co-founder, Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network
Born in Uzbekistan, raised in Seattle, and currently based in New York City, Ruben Shimonov is a Jewish educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur focusing on Jewish diversity and pluralism. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement & Education at Queens College... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 7:30pm - 8:30pm EST
K306

7:30pm EST

Masala Havdalah! The Jews of Bombay and Cochin
Extend the fragrant spice of Shabbat with customs and songs from the Jews of Bombay and Cochin, and listen to the saga of lost tribes, shipwrecks and remote villages. We will make besamim sachets with Indian spices and enjoy a malida, a ritual of thanksgiving unique to the Bene Israel Jews of Bombay.

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 7:30pm - 8:30pm EST
U407

7:30pm EST

Buffet Dinner
The start times for dinner have been staggered: either enjoy an earlier dinner and go to an 8:45 PM session, or go to a 7:30 PM session and eat afterward.
Please do not take food from the dining room into the session rooms.

Saturday February 15, 2020 7:30pm - 9:00pm EST
Atrium

8:45pm EST

Truth, Justice, and the American (Oy) Vey: the significance of the Jewish influence on comic book superheroes
How important is mythology? Why do Americans love comic books so much? What is a superhero? And what do Jews have to do with any of it? These questions and more are addressed by MaNishtana in this session, as we explore the Jewish roots of comic books and superheroes and their cultural relevance to the global voice of storytelling.

Presenters
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

MaNishtana
MaNishtana is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi, whose work takes prejudice, bias, and ignorance head on with a humorous and often irreverent voice that shatters the misconceptions of Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish racial identity, and African-American religious... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45pm - 9:45pm EST
U305

8:45pm EST

KAN is Hollywood
KAN is both the name of the Israeli Public National broadcasting company and the Hebrew word for "here." In the past few years, Israel has made an impact in the television market with shows like Shtisel, Fauda, Srugim, Hatufim and many more. What are the success stories, and how were the adaptations made - for better and for worse. Allergy warning: may contain spoilers.

Presenters
avatar for Harel Fenigstein

Harel Fenigstein

Harel is currently serving as a NYC Upper West Side Shaliach. Born and raised in Israel, he grew up in Ramat Gan and attended a Yeshiva high school in Ra’anana. Upon completing a full compulsory service in the IDF at MAMRAM (IDF’s main computers unit). Harel started his journey... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45pm - 9:45pm EST
U407

8:45pm EST

Yaffa & Esther's Excellent Limmudventure: A Judeo-Cultural Odyssey
Jewish comedy is a tradition as old as the Talmud. But don't take our word for it - join us for a conversational, potentially controversial collision of pop culture, tradition, text, feminism, technology and Jewish identity, reflected through re-enacted scenes (or YouTube clips) of movie dialogue and their Talmudic parallels. Most sources and YouTube clips will be in English (unless we find a really awesome one in Hebrew). Some Talmud sources and movie dialogue may not be rated PG.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein is the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program where she has also been a faculty member. She oversees the development and curriculum for the dynamic lay leaders who take part in the program throughout North America. Most recently, Yaffa has served as the Director of... Read More →
avatar for Esther Kustanowitz

Esther Kustanowitz

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a writer, editor and consultant. She is a regular contributor at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and at J.: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California. She co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast about Jews and entertainment, and is a casual scholar of #TVGoneJewy... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45pm - 9:45pm EST
K306

8:45pm EST

The Spiritual Humanism of Abraham Joshua Heschel: Jewish Education for the 21st Century
As founder of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Peter Geffen spent many years studying his teachings for the wisdom and vision needed to design educational programs for our times. This session will include biography, and a selection of readings woven together to convey a philosophy applicable to both parent and teacher.

Peter's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter Geffen is a founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC, former Director of the Israel Experience Program for the CRB Foundation and an Israel education specialist. His career as a social activist started as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He has... Read More →


Saturday February 15, 2020 8:45pm - 10:15pm EST
K406
 
Sunday, February 16
 

8:00am EST

Morning Egalitarian Shacharit Service (mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership)
Join us for a warm and participatory service featuring the traditional Hebrew liturgy. Our service is gender-inclusive and people of all genders lead and receive honors during the service.


Sunday February 16, 2020 8:00am - 8:45am EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

8:00am EST

Morning Mechitza Shacharit Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This participatory service will feature separate seating for men and women and is led by men. The liturgy will be in Hebrew.



Sunday February 16, 2020 8:00am - 8:45am EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

8:00am EST

Check-in and Registration Opens
Sunday February 16, 2020 8:00am - 9:00am EST
Lobby

8:45am EST

Breakfast Available for Purchase
Bagels and yogurt will be available for purchase from Kay Caterers (under OU supervision).

Please do not take food from the atrium into the session rooms.

Sunday February 16, 2020 8:45am - 10:00am EST
Dining Room

9:00am EST

'Twas the Best of Times, ‘Twas the Worst of Times: Anti-Semitism, Israel and the Politics of Resentment on Campus Today
When the politics surrounding Israel enter the college space, how do students, Hillel professionals, and school administrators respond? From UCLA to NYU, the BDS movement has gained momentum in the legislative arm of Student Government, prompting a campus discussion about Zionism, and in many instances making Jewish students feel unsafe on campus. This discussion will highlight four different perspectives on the college campus over the past four decades with the aim to better understand how identity politics, intersectionality, and campus climate impact the lives of Jewish college students.

Presenters
avatar for Rebekah Thornhill Tokatlilar

Rebekah Thornhill Tokatlilar

Rebekah Thornhill Tokatlilar is the Managing Director of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University. Originally from Austin, Texas, she earned a BA in History and Jewish Studies from NYU in 2011, an MA in Jewish Education from NYU in 2016, and is currently... Read More →
avatar for Naomi Ravick

Naomi Ravick

Naomi Ravick is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences at NYU pursuing a double degree in politics and journalism. Involved in the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life since her first year as a participant in various internships, fellowships, and programs she is currently... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Rahmani

Jonathan Rahmani

Jonathan Rahmani is the Senior Associate at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, where he oversees Jewish Leadership on campus and global initiatives across NYU's international sites. Previously, he was a Springboard Innovation Fellow at CUNY Queens College Hillel. He is a... Read More →
avatar for Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller spent over forty years working with students and faculty as the Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA. He is currently Director Emeritus. He was ordained at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
K506

9:00am EST

We're Gonna be Royals: Jewish Queens in History
There's no better time to celebrate your inner queen then in the upcoming Jewish month of Adar, when we read about heroic queens on Purim. In this session, we'll talk about the Jewish queens of the past, present, and future. Vashtis and Esthers are welcome.

Presenters
avatar for Orly Michaeli

Orly Michaeli

By day, Orly Michaeli helps bring to life thousands of teachers’ dreams by leveraging partnerships with cutting-edge companies and foundations. At DonorsChoose.org, she works with clients to meet their business goals while providing the next generation of students with new libraries... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

9:00am EST

Childhood Anxiety: A Growing Epidemic
Anxiety is the fastest growing mental health challenge among children today. This session will examine what anxiety looks like in children and explore strategies for supporting anxious children at home and in school.

Meredith's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Meredith Polsky

Meredith Polsky

National Director of Institutes and Training, Matan
Meredith Polsky founded Matan in 2000 and serves as Matan's national director of institutes and training. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish special education. She holds a master’s degree in special education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
U407

9:00am EST

Sinai to AI: The Implications of Artificial Intelligence for Jewish Law
Are Jews liable for the halakhic consequences of actions taken by machines on their behalf, for example, Sabbath labor? Should ethical principles derived from halakhah be integrated into the development of autonomous systems for transportation, medical care, warfare and other morally charged activities, allowing autonomous systems to make life or death decisions? Might a robot perform a mitzvah or other halakhically significant action? Is it conceivable to treat an artificial agent as a person? As a Jew?

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Nevins

Daniel Nevins

Dean, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of the JTS Rabbinical School. He also serves as dean of the Division of Religious Leadership, which includes the H.L. Miller Cantorial School, the Center for Pastoral Education, and the Block-Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. Rabbi Nevins was... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

9:00am EST

The Power of One: What Can Jewish Texts Teach Us About Jewish Unity?
According to many, the Jewish People are a divided people. But is this a new Jewish story, or has it always been this way? This session will examine the concept of Achdut - Jewish Unity - throughout the ages. We will utilize Jewish texts to think about past divisions, and how Torah can actually be the glue that holds us all together. All texts are provided in translation, and this session is open to all levels of experience with Jewish texts.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein is the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program where she has also been a faculty member. She oversees the development and curriculum for the dynamic lay leaders who take part in the program throughout North America. Most recently, Yaffa has served as the Director of... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
K406

9:00am EST

Separating the Art from the Artist: Jewish Ethics and Media Consumption in the #MeToo Era
Is it ethical to keep watching films, listening to or singing music made by people who have been accused of sexual misconduct? By those who have been convicted of sexual harassment or sexual assault? Is the artist forever bound up with their art, or can the art and the artist exist independently? How do Jewish Law and Jewish ethics guide us in making such choices?

Presenters
avatar for Adina Lewittes

Adina Lewittes

B'nai Jeshurun
Adina serves as the Scholar in Residence at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, a leading congregation recognized for its spiritual and social activism. She also founded Sha’ar Communities in Bergen County, New Jersey, which offers creative and diverse portals into Jewish life and... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EST
K306

9:00am EST

Children's Babysitting
Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00am - 5:00pm EST
U301

10:00am EST

Limmud NY Shuk (Organizational and Vendor Fair)
The Limmud NY Shuk is a marketplace of ideas, organizations, and businesses, right in the heart of LimmudFest. Stop by and meet representatives from New York-based organizations, and purchase artwork and items from a variety of vendors.

Sunday February 16, 2020 10:00am - 5:00pm EST
Main Floor

10:15am EST

Daniel Cainer: In Concert
Daniel is currently mid-run at the SoHo Playhouse with his show of Jewish themed stories-in-song. Cainer’s tales about his family are about all our families and all our foibles, lovingly and intelligently depicted. Smart, funny, timely and deeply moving. Some of his material is sung by cantors and musicians in Reform temples in the US, others by artists including folk legend Christine Lavin, Dillie Keane and Maureen Lipman. Cainer is a 'truly gifted musician and performer'. 'A must see' (Daily Mirror)

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Cainer

Daniel Cainer

London based, multi-award winning musical storyteller, master songwriter, composer, performer and broadcaster. Smart, funny, and timely, Cainer's deeply moving tales about his family and observational comedy are a joy. Brilliant rhyming and wordplay, great musicianship and haunting... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

10:15am EST

Combating LGBTQ Bullying in Orthodox Middle Schools and High Schools
Research shows that the majority of direct bullying takes place in middle school (6-8th grade), and that most of this bullying is related to perceived sexuality and gender expression. Consequently, impactful anti-bullying initiatives begin at this age and follow through high school. While this kind of bullying also takes place at Orthodox schools; staff, administration, and parents are often at an impasse as to how to broach this issue in a way that is aligned with the values of the school. JQY is a clinical organization that provides weekly support resources for LGBTQ youth from Orthodox communities. Over the last 10 years, JQY has served nearly 1500 teens at our various Drop-in centers, online groups, and crisis line. The information collected amounts to the largest mental health data source for this population. JQY uses this essential experience to approach trainings in Orthodox schools from a mental health perspective. The focus on mental health best practices, as opposed to religious ideology or interpretation, allows JQY to work more easily with Orthodox middle schools and high schools on trainings for both students and staff. At this session, we will give an overview of these trainings, relay the feedback we have received in our work with Orthodox day schools, and facilitate a discussion about combatting LGBTQ bullying in Orthodox environments.

Presenters
avatar for Mordechai Levovitz

Mordechai Levovitz

Mordechai Levovitz is the founder and Clinical Director of JQY (Jewish Queer Youth), a NY-based nonprofit supporting LGBTQ Jewish youth from Orthodox, Hassidic, and Sephardi communities. In his tenure, he created and spearheaded projects like JQY Teen Drop-In Center, The Orthodox... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
10th Floor Conference Room

10:15am EST

Jewish Grandparenting Today: Findings from the U.S. National Study of Jewish Grandparents
A detailed look at findings from the first-ever U.S. National Study of Jewish Grandparents, designed, fielded and analyzed by Impact:NPO. We will explore the demographics, attitudes, and behaviors of today’s Jewish American grandparents, their relationships with their grandchildren, and the potential implications for families, communities, and organizations.

Presenters
avatar for Karen Radkowsky

Karen Radkowsky

Founder and CEO, Impact:NPO
Karen Radkowsky is the founder and CEO of Impact:NPO. Her firm specializes in research, measurement and brand positioning designed to help nonprofit organizations achieve greater impact among the constituencies they serve. She recently conducted the first-ever National Study of Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
K406

10:15am EST

Tricky Matters: The Negotiation of Female and Male Sexual Desire in College and Beyond
Since 2016,  it has become clear that sex education in America still naively focuses almost exclusively on anatomical, medical and preventive aspects and hardly ever on the ethical and emotional facets of a sexual relationship. Mired in political and religious debate, standard sex eduction abandons young women and men to borrow and develop narratives from friends and digital sources, including porn sites. Notable too in the US is the absence of comprehensive sex education by parents in regard to the desirable aims and management of desire.
To the extent that stubbornly persistent gender dynamics and sexual scripts thus prevail, women's desire remains elusive, if not hidden, and men's desire triumphs in a feral way. The impact of this ongoing drama, which has it's roots in part, in Freud's famous question about what women want, will be explored in this workshop.

Presenters
avatar for Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller

Doreen Seidler-Feller earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio State University. She serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where she teaches courses in systems-based healthcare and in human sexuality and sex... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

10:15am EST

When Bold Women Study Talmud: Taking Back Aggadah
What happens when smart women with feminist sensibilities encounter the infamously misogynist Talmud? How do they deal with the paradox of unrequited love? What can we learn from the way distinguished women scholars, such as Ilana Kurshan, Rachel Adler and Judith Hauptman, approach these texts? This class will focus on a cutting-edge technique for reading - and reclaiming- stories of the aggadah from a woman’s perspective. Discover how these rabbinic stories actually question - and even sabotage - shaky assumptions, while restoring gender equality in surprising ways that are liberating for all.

Presenters
avatar for Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn is an educator, journalist, workshop presenter and author of the well-received memoir Maybe Not Such a Good Girl (Blue Threads, 2014). Susan holds an MA in Education from Columbia University and has spent 22 years in France writing on religion and the arts for the... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
K506

10:15am EST

Inclusion by Design
One in five. That’s the number of people with disabilities in the United States today. If our Jewish communities represent that reality, then 20% of the people we serve, work with or encounter in Jewish settings would have some kind of special need or disability. However, that is often not the case. This session will explore how we can ensure that our programs, classrooms and communities are intentionally designed through an inclusive lens, and how we can all be advocates for inclusion. We will explore concrete tips for successful inclusive programming, helpful hints for marketing inclusive experiences and an understanding that inclusive strategies benefit everyone.

Meredith's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Meredith Polsky

Meredith Polsky

National Director of Institutes and Training, Matan
Meredith Polsky founded Matan in 2000 and serves as Matan's national director of institutes and training. Meredith is a nationally sought-after speaker on Jewish special education. She holds a master’s degree in special education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
U407

10:15am EST

Is There Such a Thing as “Jewish Mindfulness”?
This workshop will explore the connection between Mindfulness and Judaism. Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein will provide tools that will help participants to create a practice for the sake of living a more harmonious life.

Presenters
avatar for Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein has served as a senior Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan for 24 years. In that role, Marcelo brought his passion for Jewish mindfulness to his congregation in partnership with his beloved friend Rabbi Rachel Cowan. Marcelo’s reverence for nature... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

10:15am EST

Politics from the Pulpit: Moral Imperative or Moral Concern?
This session is intended for rabbinical students. In a world that is increasingly polarized, the question of when we should bring our politics into religious spaces is both deeply fraught and deeply important. While some people prefer their synagogues to be politics-free, others see political speech as part of being a religious leader. We will look at two possible models--moral imperative and moral concern--to try to better understand what our tradition says about the ways we can stand up for our values, and the moments where we might need to moderate our voices.


Presenters
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Rachel Rosenthal is a David Hartman Center Fellow whose research focuses on the intersection of Talmud and pedagogy. She received her PhD in Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where her dissertation focused on how rabbinic analysis of the case of the stubborn... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
K610

10:15am EST

Praying To/For/With God?: Three Talmudic Alternatives to Traditional Prayer
Must prayer be directed to God? Join us in debating three Talmudic invitations to alternative and deeply personal modes of tefilla (prayer).

Presenters
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Ben Greenfield is organizing and leading the Jewish community of waterfront North Brooklyn.  As Rabbi of the Greenpoint Shul, an inclusive Orthodox shul in historic/hipster/Hasidic-adjacent Greenpoint, Ben creates Jewish spaces that are inviting, warm, and rooted in exceptional Torah... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
U408

10:15am EST

Where’s the Love? Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Unique Perspective on Dating, Relationships and Marriage
An analysis of Genesis and the creation of Adam, as understood by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik in his monumental work, Lonely Man of Faith. This deeper understanding of our existential makeup will inform a discussion on modern dating and relationship building as well as best practices for healthy marriages.


Presenters
avatar for Mark Wildes

Mark Wildes

Manhattan Jewish Experience
Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), an outreach and educational program that engages and reconnects unaffiliated Jewish men and women in their 20s & 30s with Judaism and the Jewish community. Hundreds of the participants are today living committed... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 10:15am - 11:15am EST
K306

11:00am EST

Camp Ramah Children's Program
Camp Limmud NY for pre-registered children, ages 3 through 5th grade.

Camp Limmud NY is a partnership between Camp Ramah and Limmud NY.

Sunday February 16, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
U305

11:00am EST

Lunch and Snacks Available for Purchase
Jerusalem Pizza of Highland Park, NJ will be selling dairy and parve salads, sandwiches, wraps, soup, snacks, and drinks at lunchtime. Their food is Cholov Yisroel and is under the supervision of the Vaad Hakashrus of Greater Elizabeth (Rabbi Teitz).

Please do not take food from the atrium into the session rooms.

Sunday February 16, 2020 11:00am - 3:00pm EST
Dining Room

11:30am EST

Witness Theater: Bringing Holocaust Survivors Back to High School
What happens when Holocaust survivors get together with teenagers once a week for an entire year? Throw in a drama therapist to guide the process and you have yourself the magic of “Witness Theater.” Come learn how this incredible program changes the lives of our nation’s heroes and our future leaders.

Sally's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Grazi-Shatzkes is a drama therapist with over 15 years in the field, innovating creative arts-based counseling programs and spearheading creative approaches in Jewish education, such as the Witness Theater program. She is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award.Sally's... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
K506

11:30am EST

Finding the "I" in Identity
How do we grapple with our intersecting and sometimes conflicting identities? Can certain identities be conflicting if one person holds them all? How do our identities and ideologies affect how we choose our Jewish communities? What does Jewish tradition have to say? This will be an exploration of contemporary issues through the lens of ancient Jewish texts to produce a diverse, nuanced, and productive conversation - one that so many are craving to have in person and off social media. The goal is to engage with one another to promote productive dialogue on important issues and to educate ourselves on identity politics. We will explore questions relating to communal expectations, litmus tests, privilege, intersectionality, and more.

Presenters
avatar for Daphne Price Lazar

Daphne Price Lazar

Executive Director, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
Daphne stepped into the role of Executive Director of JOFA after years of experience in the Jewish non-profit world.  She has partnered extensively with lay leaders and professionals.   Daphne worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), where she was the Development... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
U408
  Culture & Identity
  • about Daphne stepped into the role of Executive Director of JOFA after years of experience in the Jewish non-profit world.  She has partnered extensively with lay leaders and professionals.   Daphne worked at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), where she was the Development Director. During her tenure she engaged in program planning, management, strategic planning, alumni engagement and development.  She is also the former North American Director of the Muslim Leadership Initiative at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she was responsible for fostering connections between Muslim and Jewish communities. More recently she served as a Vice President at West End Strategy Team.  Daphne received a BA with honors in Religious Studies from York University and an MA in Judaic Studies from Concordia University. She is currently an adjunct professor of Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law Center. She is active in the Orthodox community in her hometown of Silver Spring, MD, where she lives with her husband and two children.

11:30am EST

Jews: Now Presented in Technicolor
Even as more and more awareness of the rich racial and cultural mosaic of Judaism that has always existed comes to the forefront of public consciousness, there still exists the spectre of ‘whiteness’. While ‘whiteness’ inhabits a very specific social meaning nowadays, what has textual tradition said on the topic of Jews and race?

Presenters
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

MaNishtana
MaNishtana is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi, whose work takes prejudice, bias, and ignorance head on with a humorous and often irreverent voice that shatters the misconceptions of Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish racial identity, and African-American religious... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

11:30am EST

If They Won’t Give Us Seats, We’ll Build Our Own Table
Before attacking Jerusalem, the leader of the Romans allowed Yochanan Ben Zakai to ask for anything he'd like. Instead of saving the Temple, Ben Zakai requested Yavneh, so he could build a Sanhedrin council of male sages. They'd reshape Judaism into the practices we follow today. But, what would Judaism be like now if women had been at that table? In this women-only session, join us for interactive learning and a brainstorm — we'll put ourselves in the Sanhedrin's place and think of how we'd redefine our religious practice. *This session is open to all who identify as women in any way that's important to them.

Presenters
avatar for Orly Michaeli

Orly Michaeli

By day, Orly Michaeli helps bring to life thousands of teachers’ dreams by leveraging partnerships with cutting-edge companies and foundations. At DonorsChoose.org, she works with clients to meet their business goals while providing the next generation of students with new libraries... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

11:30am EST

Failing Forward: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities
Understanding the psychology behind failure and our aversion to taking risks, this class will present the Torah’s wisdom on the important relationship between failure and growth.  The class will also discuss the fundamental distinction between Christianity and Judaism and how that distinction can help us transform obstacles into growth opportunities in all realms of life.

Presenters
avatar for Mark Wildes

Mark Wildes

Manhattan Jewish Experience
Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), an outreach and educational program that engages and reconnects unaffiliated Jewish men and women in their 20s & 30s with Judaism and the Jewish community. Hundreds of the participants are today living committed... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
K306

11:30am EST

What Will They Say About You When You’re Gone?
Leaving the world a better place for future generations includes sharing the wisdom and values we’ve accumulated throughout our lives. We will look at brief texts (in English) where our ancestors bestowed their blessings and values on their children, and look at some that were written in more modern times. Creating an “ethical will” for ourselves can help us live our best lives moving forward while we express our hopes for the future. Included will be strategies for getting started, sharing resources, and creating this Sacred Legacy. (Thank you to Rabbi Daniel Cohen for letting me use his book title.)

Presenters
avatar for Susan Elkodsi

Susan Elkodsi

Rabbi, Malverne Jewish Center
Talk to Susan about anything, she loves to learn! Susan's rabbinate is about helping Baby Boomers and older Jewish adults create the meaning and purpose they want in their lives in a Jewish context, but perhaps not the one they may have been traumatized in growing up! Susan works... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
U407

11:30am EST

Higher Ethics: Ancient and Contemporary Jewish Voices in the Conversation on Legalizing Marijuana
What do classical and modern Jewish texts and traditions have to say about legalizing recreational marijuana? What did the ancient Jewish world know of such substances? Is there a Jewish perspective on the current debate about legalization?

Presenters
avatar for Adina Lewittes

Adina Lewittes

B'nai Jeshurun
Adina serves as the Scholar in Residence at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, a leading congregation recognized for its spiritual and social activism. She also founded Sha’ar Communities in Bergen County, New Jersey, which offers creative and diverse portals into Jewish life and... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
K406

11:30am EST

What Happens with the Jews Stays with the Jews? Communal Betrayal and Non-Jewish Authority
This session is intended for rabbinical students.
As a community which sometimes seems to have a place in public life that is disproportionately large as compared to its numbers, Jews often have a feeling that others are looking at them. This sense of the place of the Jew in the non-Jewish mind sometimes leads to a fear of airing our dirty laundry in front of outsiders. However, there are moments when non-Jewish authorities need to be brought in. This class will explore rabbinic perspectives on the idea of mesirah, or giving information over to non-Jewish authorities, and consider when including outsiders is necessary for the health of our communities.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Rachel Rosenthal is a David Hartman Center Fellow whose research focuses on the intersection of Talmud and pedagogy. She received her PhD in Rabbinic Literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where her dissertation focused on how rabbinic analysis of the case of the stubborn... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
K610

11:30am EST

Words that Cannot Be Written: Oral Torah and Chosenness in the Pachad Yitzchak
In this class we will study an essay by Rav Yitzchak Hutner, the Pachad Yitzchak, in which he argues that the unwrittenness of the Oral Torah is key to the covenant between God and the Jewish people. As we study, we will ask ourselves: what is lost when Torah is written down? What happens to the idea of Jewish uniqueness when our sacred text is shared by other religions? And how can the Oral Torah teach us about the value of intimacy--and even secrets--in our relationships?

Presenters
avatar for Tali Adler

Tali Adler

The Hadar Institute
Tali Adler is a faculty member of Yeshivat Hadar, and a musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat, an egalitarian yeshiva located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Tali received her undergraduate degree from Stern College, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

11:30am EST

A Winter's Tale
A Winter’s Tale is a examines important connections between Chanukah and Purim, and considers their role as our two “rabbinic holidays” in the winter, as we prepare for Pesach and the new year in the Spring.

“All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.”

– A Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin

Presenters
avatar for Nachliel Selavan

Nachliel Selavan

Founder, Torah Intermedia LLC
Nachliel Selavan has developed a unique and engaging method of learning Torah through tour, travel and archaeology. He has engaged and taught thousands of students in both formal and non-formal settings in schools and communities in Israel and North America. He is now teaching Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

12:45pm EST

Mincha: Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership)
This afternoon service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 16, 2020 12:45pm - 1:00pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

12:45pm EST

Mincha: Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This afternoon service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 16, 2020 12:45pm - 1:00pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

1:00pm EST

Nineveh: Poetry Reading with Q+A
Zohar Atkins will read from his poetry collection and field questions on the role of (Jewish) poetry in a technological society.

Presenters
avatar for Zohar Atkins

Zohar Atkins

Rabbi Dr. Zohar Atkins is the Founder and Director of Etz Hasadeh, A Center for Existential Torah. He is a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a Fellow at Hillel's Office of Innovation. He is the author of a book of poems, Nineveh (Carcanet, 2019... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

1:00pm EST

Acting Ancestors: A Time Traveling Adventure!
In this elective participants will get to deep dive into family history, and act out one of their ancestors! Everyone will then get to learn about American Jewish immigration, and how it relates to an ancestor of their choice. Each participant will create a scene as their ancestor and perform it for others in the group. By learning about their ancestors, and others, everyone will appreciate the rich diversity of Jewish history and experience. Family stories will come to life as never before!

Presenters
avatar for Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies

Co-Founder/Executive Director, The Bible Players
Andrew Davies is an improviser and facilitator based in Philadelphia. In 2011 Andrew Co-Founded The Bible Players, a comedy team which is Improv-ing Jewish Lives. The Bible Players have toured to 25 states, visiting hundreds of camps, schools, and synagogues teaching Jewish Values... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

1:00pm EST

Sephardic-Mizrahi and LGBTQ+: An Intersectional Experience on the Margins
This session will focus on a particular population of LGBTQ+ Jewry that has received minimal attention and community support—Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews. We will explore the challenges that queer Jews from Sephardic and Mizrahi backgrounds have faced in finding spaces that fully embrace their multilayered identities. We will then zoom in on the creation and growth of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network, whose co-founder and director will discuss how the grassroots movement has provided a unique platform for the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Sephardic-Mizrahi Jewish life.

Presenters
avatar for Ruben Shimonov

Ruben Shimonov

Executive Director and Co-founder, Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network
Born in Uzbekistan, raised in Seattle, and currently based in New York City, Ruben Shimonov is a Jewish educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur focusing on Jewish diversity and pluralism. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement & Education at Queens College... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
K406

1:00pm EST

What Does It Look Like To March Towards Freedom? The Book of Numbers and Social Change
What does it mean to envision a better future, and what is the link between what we envision and what we help bring about? Many of us see a clear disparity between the world as it is and the world as it should be, but it can be hard to figure out, practically, where to start in bringing about change, and how to continue after we've started. In this session, we'll be looking at Jewish texts that envision social change as a journey over time, with a particular focus on the Book of Numbers as chronicling a journey from order to chaos, but also from authoritarianism to greater inclusion and equity, and the heart of the desert to the edge of the Promised Land. We'll examine the various models of leadership in these texts, and take some time to build our own visions of step-by-step paths to better worlds.

Presenters
avatar for Alexandra Stein

Alexandra Stein

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Alexandra Stein is a third year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in New York, and an Avodah Alumni Justice Ambassador. Before entering rabbinical school, she graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and spent a few years working... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
K610

1:00pm EST

New York Jew: Synagogue Community
A slide lecture on the fascinating architectural and religious history of the 19th-century synagogues of New York City. 

Presenters
avatar for David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman is a scholar of American Jewish History, and has taught for 20+ years at Hebrew Union College/LA and Hofstra University. He has published Shul with a Pool and Jewhooing the Sixties. The latter book is an in-depth examination of Jews and Jewish identity in American... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
K306

1:00pm EST

”This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”: On the Value of the Land of Israel in Jewish and Zionist Thought
Current thinking has it that trading land for peace is contrary to halakha (Jewish law) and can only be permitted on account of a consideration of pikuach nefesh (saving an endangered life). However, an analysis of the teachings of RaMBaM and RaMBaN regarding kedushat ha’aretz (the sanctity of the land) demonstrates that there exist two distinct conceptual views-one mystical and essentialist and the other rational and instrumental-that define contrasting attitudes towards the land, each of which lends support to a different political option. The views of Maimonides and Nachmanides will be related to mainstream Zionist theory as well as to the opinions of Isaiah Leibowitz and David Hartman.

Presenters
avatar for Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Chaim Seidler-Feller spent over forty years working with students and faculty as the Executive Director of the Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCLA. He is currently Director Emeritus. He was ordained at Yeshiva University where he completed a Masters in Rabbinic Literature... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
K506

1:00pm EST

From Oys to Joys: How to Bring Warmth and Community into Your Congregational School and Classroom
This class is for the new and experienced educator and director. In spite of excellent curriculum and amazing educators, a Jewish learning experience is incomplete without the feeling of warmth and community that many parents seek for their children in a congregational school. This workshop will teach you how to balance learning with community building, how to encourage friendships that begin ion the classroom, and create the warm Jewish atmosphere in your school that compels students and families to call it home. Learn the techniques to nurturing student's brains and soul simultaneously. Creating community is in your hands.

Presenters
avatar for Beata Abraham

Beata Abraham

Beata is an education director who has spent more than twenty years specializing in Jewish Education for both youth and adult learning in the New York City area, as well as in the San Francisco Bay area. She has worked as a classroom educator, has developed Religious and Hebrew School... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
U407

1:00pm EST

The Promise of an Earth Seder
This is an interactive workshop on creating a meaningful and memorable Earth Seder this year in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with the guidance of The Promise of the Land Haggadah by Rabbi Ellen Bernstein.

The new Promise of the Land Haggadah by Rabbi Ellen Bernstein was born of the understanding that the freedom we celebrate on Passover depends on the earth’s well-being. If the earth and her systems are compromised, our freedom is compromised. Life itself is compromised. Now more than ever, we need holiday celebrations to inspire and embolden us to turn our hearts, minds and actions towards the earth and all her creatures. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April affords us a special opportunity to help mobilize our communities. An Earth Seder captures the energy around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and fuses it with the timeless narrative of Passover, the Jewish Festival of Freedom and springtime.

Presenters
avatar for Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, captivated by contemporary culture. She has written for newspapers and magazines both local and national. As a publicist specializing in the intersection of religion and culture, Shira has created attention-grabbing campaigns for her clients... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
U401

1:00pm EST

Soaringwords Innovation Workshop: Growth Mindset
Before people can be innovative they need to be aware of their individual thinking styles including strengths and preferences in order to harness these strengths towards bold thinking and risk-taking. This workshop presents the science behind Thinking Styles. Specifically people with a “Growth Mindset” are adept at problem solving and innovation because they understand that the brain is adaptable and capable of learning new things. People with a “Fixed Mindset” tend to believe that they cannot change. Neuroplasticity, the science of the brain, is the hottest area of modern science because recent research posits that the brain is capable of growing and adapting when someone learns how to think in new ways, thereby creating new neural pathways. This workshop teaches participants how to become more open to having more of a Growth Mindset through immersive exercises and fun and fast-paced Innovation Challenges. The workshop culminates with a pro-social team-building activity where each participant harnesses his or her innovation by creating a SoaringBed message and artwork to donate to a hospitalized child.

Presenters
avatar for Lisa Buksbaum

Lisa Buksbaum

Soaringwords
Lisa Honig Buksbaum is an intuitive healer and well-loved inspirational speaker and workshop leader who has shared her wisdom with more than 500,000 people throughout the world including thousands of children in Israel. Three experiences with death and illness in her family during... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
U408

1:00pm EST

Compare and Contrast: Teaching Daf Yomi in Borough Park or on Twitter - a Case Study
Compare and contrast: Twenty five years ago I taught Daf Yomi in Borough Park, to a chareidi audience. Now I’m teaching it on Twitter, to a religiously diverse virtual audience.

How are these two communities alike and how are they different? More importantly, is there any intellectual and theological commonality between these two communities, or do they inhabit distinct religious and spiritual universes?

We will use an actual sugya (Talmud text) as a case study.

Presenters
avatar for Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz

Ysoscher Katz is the chair of Talmud department at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He received ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. Rabbi Katz studied in Brisk and in Yeshivat Beit Yosef, Navaradok for over ten years. A graduate of the HaSha’ar Program for... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

1:00pm EST

To Hold Opposites in Your Heart: Rav Yitzchak Hutner and the Value of Religious Pessimism
Does being a believer mean eternal optimism? What does it mean to be a religious individual and still believe that the worst is possible? In this session we will study an excerpt from the Pachad Yitzchak that discusses the authenticity of pessimism in religious life.

Presenters
avatar for Tali Adler

Tali Adler

The Hadar Institute
Tali Adler is a faculty member of Yeshivat Hadar, and a musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat, an egalitarian yeshiva located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Tali received her undergraduate degree from Stern College, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

2:15pm EST

Visual Ritual: A Creative Craft Workshop
As our world becomes more visual, and our fingertips connect to a curated stream of saturated images and stories, Jewish ritual needs to catch up. We now think in pictures, colors, frames and filters. In this hands-on workshop, we will think together about how our spiritual practice can be expressed in a visual ritual object. Each participant will then work on creating their own unique ritual object that they can bring back to their communities to continue spreading this new approach to our vibrant traditions.

Presenters
avatar for Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann is a designer, theater artist and educator based in Israel. He founded Unbound Jerusalem, a studio that designs tactile, experiential books. His creations have reached the hands of hundreds of thousands of people through major organizations like PJ Library and... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
K610

2:15pm EST

Pluralism: Not Just a Buzzword!
It seems that everywhere you go in the Jewish world you hear that communities and organizations are “pluralistic.” But what does that really mean? Pluralism is not the same as non-denominationalism or post-denominationalism. A panel of individuals representing genuinely pluralistic institutions will explain different views of pluralism. We will then open the floor for people to raise the challenges they face in understanding and living "pluralistically".

Presenters
avatar for Natan Kapustin

Natan Kapustin

Natan Kapustin is the Dean of Students at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School, where he also serves as the 12th Grade Dean, and teaches Judaic Studies. Having grown up in Toronto, Canada, he attended Yeshiva University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Bible, a Master’s... Read More →
avatar for

"Skip" Vichness

Board of Directors Hillel International
Samuel E. “Skip” Vichness is the chair of the Board of Directors of Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization, with more than 550 Hillel affiliates in 19 countries. Professionally, he is the president of Quality Camping Properties, Inc. and senior partner of... Read More →
avatar for David Cavill

David Cavill

David Cavill was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is a member of its Association of Rabbis and Cantors (ARC). As a student, he was a Clal Rabbis Without Borders Student Fellow. Before AJR, David studied at Yale Divinity School learning with students and faculty from... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Executive VP and Academic Dean, Academy for Jewish Religion
Dr. Ora Horn Prouser is CEO and Academic Dean at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop Bible curricula and pedagogical materials for all levels and learning styles. Her book... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

2:15pm EST

Rabbi on the Ganges: A Jewish-Hindu Encounter
Currently, Jewish works know little of Indian Religions. For some non-academic Jews, Indian religions are still understood using the categories of Talmudic understanding of idolatry. Neither side understands much about the other one and its living reality. I recently spent a Sabbatical in India encountering Hinduism from within the Brahmin world and teaching Judaism in India. Join us as we explore the commonalities in priestly rituals, purity, as well as tantra, meditation, and text study. Classical Jewish texts like Talmud and Kabbalah look very different when juxtaposed to Mimamsa, Nyaya, Purana, and Dharmaśāstra literature and the commentaries. I focused on the commonalities between the jnana and Torah study, karmakanda and Jewish ritual, along with meditation and the life of prayer and Kabbalah This talk will be a model of how what is first seen as completely other and foreign, can, with asking the proper questions and an appropriate lens, be appreciated on its own terms and create a space for a shared spiritual language of understanding. Yet, my lens will remain my Jewish Rabbinic lens that colors what I see and look for in explaining Hinduism to my Jewish audience.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Brill

Alan Brill

Professor, Seton Hall University
Rabbi Prof Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair for Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, where he teaches Jewish studies in the Department of Religion and the Jewish-Christian Studies Graduate Program. He specializes in interfaith theology, Jewish mysticism... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
K306

2:15pm EST

Scaling and Growth: From Vision to Reality in Building a Jewish Nonprofit
Having a great idea is only one step in creating a viable program. What do you need to know in creating an organization? We will go step by step in the process of creating a national organization that now has impacted over 7,000 people. How do you go from dream to reality.. and maybe I can save you from some of the pitfalls as well.

Presenters
avatar for Audrey Lichter

Audrey Lichter

Chai Mitzvah, a national Jewish engagement program, which was launched in 2009, is geared to teens through adults. Over the years, 7,000+ people have become a Chai Mitzvah. Audrey Lichter, a professional Jewish educator for more than 30 years, is the founding Executive Director of... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
U408

2:15pm EST

“The Day All Jewish Women Turned Invisible”...and All the Days After That
It’s a sort-of-fairy tale for modern times: how a dozen Jewish women collaborated on an article about moving equality agenda forward in the Jewish nonprofit/organizational space and what they found afterwards. Plus, how you can help to elevate minority voices and play a part in this fairy tale’s ‘equity ever after.’” Based on the eJewishPhilanthropy articles “The Day All Jewish Women Turned Invisible” and “After ‘Equity Ever After’” and tracking some of the current efforts to increase gender equity.

Presenters
avatar for Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins

Laura E. Adkins is an award-winning journalist, editor and speaker. She is the Opinion Editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and an adjunct professor of Journalism at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. She previously served as the Deputy Opinion Editor at the Forward... Read More →
avatar for Esther Kustanowitz

Esther Kustanowitz

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a writer, editor and consultant. She is a regular contributor at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and at J.: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California. She co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast about Jews and entertainment, and is a casual scholar of #TVGoneJewy... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Allen Black

Jamie Allen Black

Jamie Allen Black, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Women’s Foundation, oversees all activities of the Foundation including grantmaking, development, advocacy, and operations. She has shepherded the organization into a new strategic direction – supporting Jewish women social... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

2:15pm EST

Jewish Genealogy Workshop
Learn to use online resources to research your family history.

Presenters
avatar for Scott Kalmikoff

Scott Kalmikoff

Scott Kalmikoff is a genealogist who has spent the past 13 years researching his family history and meeting relatives around the world. He has traced his ancestry to Belarus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, and Wales. He received a BA in Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
K406

2:15pm EST

How Do We Talk to Kids About Anti-Semitism?
Let's face it, no one wants to have to tell their child that there are nasty people in the world who will try to hurt them just for being themselves. One of the best ways we can help prepare our children to cope with discrimination and intolerance is by being open about it. When we show our children that these topics, though tough, are not taboo, we let them know that they can always come to us with questions or thoughts about life's scary situations.

Part of growing up and getting older will mean that our kids come face to face with some of the ugliness of the world. Given recent events, we already may be having these conversations sooner than we'd like. PJ Library has compiled resources that parents may find helpful to use as a starting point in discussions with their children. Come join in an interactive session with other parents, grandparents, and educators to strengthen our collective approach to talking about anti-Semitism with our children.

Presenters
avatar for Melanie Levav

Melanie Levav

Rabbi Melanie Levav is the Director of PJ Library in New York, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, where she leads a New York-based team charged with bringing the gift of high-quality, free children's books into the homes of families raising Jewish children, along with local... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
U407

2:15pm EST

Love Stories of the Rabbis: Talmudic Teachings on Desire and Devotion
Scattered among the laws and ritual of the Oral Torah are several extraordinarily touching meditations on the nature of love and longing. Join us as we explore the romantic side of the rabbis through four classic tales of love from the Talmud and midrash.

Presenters
avatar for David Rosenn

David Rosenn

David Rosenn is the Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society. He oversees HFLS’s wide range of interest-free loan programs and spearheads the development of new programs to benefit New Yorkers in need. Before joining HFLS, Rabbi Rosenn served as Executive Vice President... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

2:15pm EST

Modern Love with a Talmudic Twist
The relationships between couples has long been a recurring theme in rabbinic stories. What, if anything, is modern about love in the Talmud? Is it only sustainable between a man and a woman? And, is the woman always relegated to second class, servile status? The talmudic aggadah offers unflinching tales of passion and shame, devotion and betrayal, revealing the nuanced complexity of relationships long before the theme gave rise to the New York Times most popular column. We will examine several talmudic stories to come away with new discoveries about rabbinic thinking as well as convention-defying insights for our own complicated lives and loves.

Presenters
avatar for Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn is an educator, journalist, workshop presenter and author of the well-received memoir Maybe Not Such a Good Girl (Blue Threads, 2014). Susan holds an MA in Education from Columbia University and has spent 22 years in France writing on religion and the arts for the... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
K506

2:15pm EST

Talmud for Poets
Talmud can be approached logically, historically, and legalistically, but it can also be studied as a work of poetry, an attempt in language to reveal the unsayable. In this survey, we'll examine familiar and unfamiliar texts through a poetic lens. We will ask not what the the text commands us to do, but what it provokes us to ponder.

Presenters
avatar for Zohar Atkins

Zohar Atkins

Rabbi Dr. Zohar Atkins is the Founder and Director of Etz Hasadeh, A Center for Existential Torah. He is a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a Fellow at Hillel's Office of Innovation. He is the author of a book of poems, Nineveh (Carcanet, 2019... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 2:15pm - 3:15pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

3:30pm EST

Chesed Comedy Show - Rated Gimmel
In this one of a kind show The Bible Players share stories about biblical characters like Rebecca, Jacob, and Moses who’s kindness builds connections. The Bible Players also share the Rabbinical tale of two farmers who showed each other such kindness that the Temple was built on their land. Everyone will laugh and learn together while singing along with the famous Bible Players rap. The program will end with Shabbat friendly improv games that everyone will play together in the room. (For ages 5 to 120)

Presenters
avatar for Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies

Co-Founder/Executive Director, The Bible Players
Andrew Davies is an improviser and facilitator based in Philadelphia. In 2011 Andrew Co-Founded The Bible Players, a comedy team which is Improv-ing Jewish Lives. The Bible Players have toured to 25 states, visiting hundreds of camps, schools, and synagogues teaching Jewish Values... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

3:30pm EST

Secrets Of The Haggadah: It's Never Too Early to Prepare for Pesach
Get your Seder prep out of the way today! Using excerpts from his unique experiential Unbound Haggadah, Eli will illuminate some unknown sections of the Seder and help you ask new, visual questions about the familiar text. Because we all think in images these days, you will leave the class with a PDF of visual sources and games that you can use in your own teachings at or about the seder. Perfect for anyone who is an educator, who will be leading a seder this year, or who wants to spice up their Passover with colorful new ideas.

Presenters
avatar for Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann is a designer, theater artist and educator based in Israel. He founded Unbound Jerusalem, a studio that designs tactile, experiential books. His creations have reached the hands of hundreds of thousands of people through major organizations like PJ Library and... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
K610

3:30pm EST

The Mystical Art of Hand Drumming
Hand percussion is one of the most spiritual of musical pursuits. The vibrations are healing to body and soul — to players and listeners alike. In this session you'll be introduced to hand drums including the darbuka, riqq (Middle Eastern tambourine), and frame drums including the Persian daf. Ellen will demonstrate how to hold and stroke each drum, and will show you how to read her system of drum notation. Participants will have the opportunity to choose a drum from her collection, learn several rhythms, and play in ensemble. Together, the group will chant a Jewish prayer text, with our own improvisational percussion accompaniment. We hope to spark a lifelong love of drumming!




Presenters
avatar for Ben Newman

Ben Newman

In addition to being a singer-songwriter who delights in chanting, playing guitar and the Indian sruti box, Rabbi Ben Newman is Jewish Life Coordinator at the Shames JCC in Tarrytown, on staff at Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings, and founder of Shtiebel, a new-paradigm Jewish community... Read More →
avatar for Ellen Shapiro

Ellen Shapiro

Ellen is a graphic designer and writer—and perpetual percussion aficionada and student. For more than ten years Ellen has studied hand percussion and attended and hosted percussion workshops. She has played in the Romemu Community Band, Klezmenschen of Eastern Connecticut, the Shtiebel... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

3:30pm EST

Ashkanormativity vs Sefardinormativity
The way Ashkenazi communities organize vs how Shepharadic communities organize their Jews life and organizations. How the Sephardic and Mizrahi communities can save American Jewry.

Presenters
avatar for Manashe Khaimov

Manashe Khaimov

Manashe is an Adjunct Professor in Jewish Studies, with a specialty in History and Culture of the Bukharian Jews at Queens College. Manashe was born in a city along the Silk Road, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where his ancestors lived for over 2000 years, which makes Manashe’s Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
K506

3:30pm EST

Staying in a State of T'Shuvah: A Response to the Opioid Epidemic
This second session on living T’Shuvah will be an immersive experience in how to prepare to do T’Shuvah prior to Yom Kippur and how to stay in a state of T’Shuvah weekly and daily.

Presenters
avatar for Mark Borovitz

Mark Borovitz

Officially ordained in 2000 at the University of Judaism with a Master’s in Rabbinic Literature, Rabbi Mark Borovitz combined his knowledge of Torah and street smarts to shape his calling: helping recovering addicts find their way in the world. After being released from prison in... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

3:30pm EST

Who Really are Modern Orthodox Adults?
In the last couple of years, the study of Orthodox adults has become popular, whereas in the past certain assumptions were made without actually studying this population. Are they really so different from their liberal contemporary peers? Are they themselves really as controversial and divided as recent studies have presumed (Trencher, 2017). My study of 850 adults nationwide yielded some surprising results. I analyzed my findings from my experience not only as an Orthodox educator but from the research literature -- and my professional work with liberal and post-denominational Jews.

Presenters
avatar for Ellen S. Cohn

Ellen S. Cohn

After a career as a Jewish family and adult educator, Ellen earned her doctorate in Jewish Education and Administration from the Azrieli Graduate School/Yeshiva University. Her research focused on the personal growth and life cycle needs of Modern Orthodox congregants across the United... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
U407

3:30pm EST

Women of the Wall: Freedom or Respect?
Judaism gives us the freedom to accept Judaism, to choose the Torah, to understand the Torah, and to choose life: ובחרת בחיים. Fundamentally, it gives us the freedom to respect others. Once freed from slavery, the Jewish people were able to stand at Mount Sinai. Throughout the generations, it is with freedom that we accept the covenant – and take on the moral law. At its heart, the moral law calls for respect: respect of God, respect of the law, and respect of other people. How does this understanding of freedom impact our lives? What does it mean for liberal democratic states? How can it affect the State of Israel? Are Israel’s Women of the Wall due freedom or respect?

Presenters
avatar for Kim Treiger-Bar-Am

Kim Treiger-Bar-Am

Kim Treiger-Bar-Am is a legal academic in Israel. Her education began at Yale University in philosophy and then law, with master's and doctoral studies in law at the University of Oxford. Kim recently published “Positive Freedom and the Law”. In it, she explores how Kantian philosophy... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
K306

3:30pm EST

The Forgiveness Conundrum
This workshop we will explore the damaging effects of deep pain and resentment. “The Joseph model.“

Presenters
avatar for Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein

Marcelo Bronstein has served as a senior Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan for 24 years. In that role, Marcelo brought his passion for Jewish mindfulness to his congregation in partnership with his beloved friend Rabbi Rachel Cowan. Marcelo’s reverence for nature... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

3:30pm EST

The Jewish Road to Character: Mussar as a Practice for Balance in Our Lives
In our confusing time, many in our Jewish community seek to a greater sense of grounding in core values and ideas to guide, uplift and inspire us to become the best persons we can be. We will explore the ancient tradition of Mussar as an authentic Jewish spiritual path for our times, and our lives.

Presenters
avatar for Eric Gurvis

Eric Gurvis

The Mussar Institute
Eric Gurvis, rabbi, was ordained at HUC-JIR and has served congregations in NYC; Jackson, MS; Teaneck, NJ; and Newton, MA. He is currently rabbi of Shaarei Shalom in Ashland, MA. Eric also works with The Mussar Institute directing the CHAVERIM Initiative and facilitates Mussar groups... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
U408

3:30pm EST

Building an Animated Jewish Future: A Case Study from Four Rabbis' Trip to Paradise
If you ran into God, how would you react? The Talmud tells us a fantastical tale which provides deep insight into the hopes and fears of the rabbis, while offering a window into prognoses for the Jewish future as well. In this session, we will mine ancient and modern texts to explore opportunities for building a brighter Jewish future, based on belief, cynicism, and the potent power of holy rebellion.

Presenters
avatar for David Singer

David Singer

Executive Director, Limmud North America
Rabbi David Singer has served as Executive Director of Limmud North America since 2019.A serial entrepreneur and innovator, David previously was the Executive Director of UC San Diego Hillel, where he oversaw a period of significant growth in programs and brought to positive conclusion... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
K406

3:30pm EST

Joseph's Wrestling with an Angel
In this session we will look at the story in Genesis of Jacob's wrestling with an "Angel." We will look at the text itself, some traditional commentaries on it, and what more modern sources on the Internet and social media have to say about this enigmatic story where the Jewish people become Israel. Lecture, discussion and text learning in pairs will be used.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Rand

Michael Rand

Student/Consultant, Rand Consulting
Michael Rand earned an MA in Computers and Education from Columbia University, and an MBA from Baruch College. He has studied at Machon Pardes, Shapell's, and Tel Aviv University. Michael has taught technology and media studies in Jewish Day Schools; Ramaz and Heschel, and to adults... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 3:30pm - 4:30pm EST
U401

4:30pm EST

Dinner Available for Purchase
The Upper West Side's own Cafe Roma will be selling dairy and vegetarian pizza, bourekas, soup, and drinks at dinnertime. Their food is Cholov Yisroel and is under the supervision of Mehadrin Kashrus (Rabbi Marmorstein). 

Dinner may be eaten in the dining room or Atrium. Please do not take food into the session rooms.

Sunday February 16, 2020 4:30pm - 8:00pm EST
Dining Room

4:45pm EST

"Back to Berlin": Film Screening
"Back to Berlin" follows a team of Israeli bikers who carry the Olympic torch across Europe, tracing the route of the early Maccabiah riders of the 1930s but with a detour through Auschwitz, and end at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, site of the infamous 1936 Games and now the scene of the first European Maccabiah Games to be held in Germany.

Note: This session starts 15 minutes early to allow time for Q&A.

Presenters
avatar for Patricia Kenner

Patricia Kenner

Patti Askwith Kenner the Exectuve Producer of “Back to Berlin.” She is President of Campus Coach Lines, a leading charter bus company in New York City. She is a trustee of the  Defiant Requiem Foundation, the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery... Read More →
avatar for Dewey Wigod

Dewey Wigod

Dewey Wigod is an associate producer of "Back to Berlin." Bringing content and media partners together to build, license and distribute television programs is Dewey Wigod’s business. He has worked extensively with A-List producers, broadcast and cable networks, the American Film... Read More →



Sunday February 16, 2020 4:45pm - 6:00pm EST
K406

5:00pm EST

Bibliodrama: Integrating Theater with Torah
In this workshop, we will dive underneath the text of the bible to breathe life into its characters. Through role-play and embodiment we will explore the “unwritten” stories that lie beneath the surface of our traditional teachings. Learn how stepping into another’s shoes exercises our “empathy muscle.”

Sally's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Grazi-Shatzkes is a drama therapist with over 15 years in the field, innovating creative arts-based counseling programs and spearheading creative approaches in Jewish education, such as the Witness Theater program. She is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award.Sally's... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
K506

5:00pm EST

Bukharian Jews and The Silk Road: What is the Connection?
We will explore the footsteps of Bukharian merchants on the Silk Road and learn about the ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction originally through regions of Eurasia connecting the East and West and stretching from the Korean peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea. We will attempt to understand the impact on and contributions to this route by the Bukharian Jewish community.

Presenters
avatar for Manashe Khaimov

Manashe Khaimov

Manashe is an Adjunct Professor in Jewish Studies, with a specialty in History and Culture of the Bukharian Jews at Queens College. Manashe was born in a city along the Silk Road, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where his ancestors lived for over 2000 years, which makes Manashe’s Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
U408

5:00pm EST

Let's Talk about Reparations, Then and Now (Part 1)
Our American culture is wrestling with what reparations for African-Americans means, why it should or should not matter, and what to do if it does. But as Jews, what insights do Exodus and ancient rabbis shed about reparations? And what implications might they have for us today? Together in this 3-part interactive conversational workshop, which asks us to learn from our own family histories, we will explore the proposed need, nature, implications and reservations about reparations, then and now. We will also model how to have difficult conversations kindly and constructively. Note: if you’re angling for a fight, go to a gym. Here, we will explore, converse, share, and not argue.

Presenters
avatar for Megan Madison

Megan Madison

Megan Pamela Ruth Madison is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University studying social policy. Her research explores racial inequities in early childhood education. Previously, she co-led a Head Start preschool classroom in Chicago. This experience grounds her dual passions for education... Read More →
avatar for Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish (Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD),  is a co-founder of Khazbar, launching this May 2020. She was formerly the president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), president and board member of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and Assistant... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

5:00pm EST

New York Jew: Popular Culture
In the twentieth century, New York City became the epicenter of American popular culture, and New York Jews were central throughout. Surveying Jewish contributions to theater, popular music, mass media and comedy, we will address the key question: Why the Jews?

Presenters
avatar for David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman is a scholar of American Jewish History, and has taught for 20+ years at Hebrew Union College/LA and Hofstra University. He has published Shul with a Pool and Jewhooing the Sixties. The latter book is an in-depth examination of Jews and Jewish identity in American... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
K306

5:00pm EST

Once Upon a Time in...Jewish Solidarity
This session will take a look at some passages in Mordecai Kaplan's famous 'Judaism as a Civilization.' We will consider how Kaplan thinks about what Jews do and don't share in common with other minority communities in the United States. In particular, we will look at these passages in the current context of resurgent anti-Semitism.

Presenters
avatar for Judah Isseroff

Judah Isseroff

Judah is a PhD candidate in Religion, Ethics, and Politics at Princeton University. He is writing a dissertation on Jewish theological themes in the writings of Hannah Arendt.


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

5:00pm EST

The Power of the Place
Using Foundation Stone’s unique De’Ara Tanach Map, the Power of the Place presents a powerful tool for giving context to the text of Tanach.

This presentation examines the concept of spatial anchoring in Jewish thought: How we remember stories through places, and use places as vehicles for values.
This will be modeled for several stories in Tanach and Jewish History, bringing them to life through showing them on a large, beautiful map, anchoring them in the physical setting in which they occured.

Presenters
avatar for Nachliel Selavan

Nachliel Selavan

Founder, Torah Intermedia LLC
Nachliel Selavan has developed a unique and engaging method of learning Torah through tour, travel and archaeology. He has engaged and taught thousands of students in both formal and non-formal settings in schools and communities in Israel and North America. He is now teaching Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
K610

5:00pm EST

Unpacking Your Jewish Baggage
We’ve all had that awkward Jewish Moment - the time when we are confronted with our own Jewish baggage. Maybe you’ve been embarrassed, and have been made to feel uncomfortable for your personal Jewish practices, knowledge, or lack thereof. Maybe you’re questioning some aspect of your own Judaism. Or maybe you’re super passionate about some aspect of your Judaism but haven’t been able to figure out how to share it with your community. This session will provide an interactive opportunity to explore the ways that Judaism impacts different areas of your life, and to unpack your Jewish baggage in order to build a deeper understanding of your ongoing Jewish journey.

Presenters
avatar for Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath

Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath

Associate Director of Adolescent Initiatives, Jewish Education Center of Cleveland
Dr. Samantha Vinokor Meinrath is the Associate Director of Adolescent Initiatives for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. A lifelong Jewish educator and learner, Samantha specializes in Jewish teen engagement, experiential education, and professional development.


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
U401

5:00pm EST

Huppah, Kiddushin and Cui Bono: Who Benefits in Marriage?
Join us to examine Biblical and Rabbinic texts about how couples negotiate the value -- and values -- underlying the most important partnerships in our lives.

Presenters
avatar for Jeremy Kalmanofsky

Jeremy Kalmanofsky

Jere­my Kalmanof­sky is rab­bi of Con­gre­ga­tion Ansche Chesed, a Con­ser­v­a­tive syn­a­gogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Rabbi Kalmanofsky was ordained in 1997 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He regularly... Read More →
avatar for Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky

Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky, Blanche and Romie Shapiro Associate Professor of Bible, became the dean of Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, JTS’s undergraduate school, in 2018. Previously, Dr. Kalmanofsky was associate vice chancellor, serving as an ambassador for JTS, teaching in... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

5:00pm EST

The Netsiv's Contribution to Saving the Planet
Naftali Tsvi Yehudah Berlin (the Netsiv) was the head of the Volozhin Yeshivah, the leading Orthodox institution in the Russian Empire, from 1853 until its closure in 1892. Aside from organizational leadership, his intellectual and methodological innovations left a strong impact on East European Orthodoxy. We will examine his startlingly progressive take on the rabbinic concept of “mipnei yishuv `olam” (for the purpose of keeping society/the world going) in his thrilling essay opening the book of Breishit, and its implied injunction to save the planet.

Presenters
avatar for David Fishman

David Fishman

David studied Talmud with David Weiss haLivni for many years, and has an MA in Talmud from JTS; he has served as an Adjunct lecturer at JTS in Talmud and Hebrew. He is an early and active member of Minyan M'at, has sung for decades in Zamir, was a founder of the Jewish Funders Network... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
U407

6:15pm EST

#TVGoneJewy
While Hollywood Jews used to downplay their Jewishness, today’s Jewish writers are reclaiming and reshaping Jewish identity on-screen. #TVGoneJewy can be overt or subtle, dramatic or comedic, shocking or sincere, and sometimes is more “Jewy” or “Jew-ish” than traditionally Jewish. Plus, audience reaction to Jewish representation is sometimes ecstatic, sometimes critical. So what do we look for in Jewish representation on TV? We’ll look at clips from TV shows (and maybe a movie or two) and examine what it means about how Jewish identity is being perceived on TV and in the world.


Presenters
avatar for Esther Kustanowitz

Esther Kustanowitz

Esther D. Kustanowitz is a writer, editor and consultant. She is a regular contributor at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and at J.: The Jewish Weekly of Northern California. She co-hosts The Bagel Report, a podcast about Jews and entertainment, and is a casual scholar of #TVGoneJewy... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
U408

6:15pm EST

Educating for Optimism: Why KIVUNIM is Telling a Different Story
These times tempt us to teach a Jewish experience of fear and pessimism clothed as "reality." Yet the history of the Jewish people is a complex yet glorious story of taking from and giving to the cultures amongst whom we have lived. KIVUNIM's international study and travel bring to life a rich integration, some might even say positive assimilation as the more complete story of the Jewish people amongst the nations for the past 2000 years. This session will advocate for a new consciousness regarding the Jew and the "other" as central to our core being. It will draw from examples in the field and promises to inspire and uplift.

Peter's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter Geffen is a founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC, former Director of the Israel Experience Program for the CRB Foundation and an Israel education specialist. His career as a social activist started as a civil rights worker for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. He has... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
K306

6:15pm EST

Let's Talk about Reparations, Then and Now (Part 2)
Our American culture is wrestling with what reparations for African-Americans means, why it should or should not matter, and what to do if it does. But as Jews, what insights do Exodus and ancient rabbis shed about reparations? And what implications might they have for us today? Together in this two-part interactive conversational workshop, which asks us to learn from our own family histories, we will explore the proposed need, nature, implications and reservations about reparations, then and now. We will also model how to have difficult conversations kindly and constructively. Note: if you’re angling for a fight, go to a gym. Here, we will explore, converse, share, and not argue.

Presenters
avatar for Megan Madison

Megan Madison

Megan Pamela Ruth Madison is a PhD candidate at Brandeis University studying social policy. Her research explores racial inequities in early childhood education. Previously, she co-led a Head Start preschool classroom in Chicago. This experience grounds her dual passions for education... Read More →
avatar for Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish (Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD),  is a co-founder of Khazbar, launching this May 2020. She was formerly the president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), president and board member of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and Assistant... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room

6:15pm EST

Bridges, Barriers and the Bris: Brit Milah vs. the Evolving Definitions of Jewishness
As Jewish life continues to grow within the North American context, we are faced with the increasingly important question of how to engage the changing definitions of Jewish identity. As we follow the controversy and saga that ensued from the 1860’s New Orleans Jewish community, we will combine halachic sources and field experience from the Mohel profession to explore the boundaries and pathways in which halacha can provide visibility and inclusion to members of the Jewish community without traditional halachic status.

Presenters
avatar for Eliezer Lawrence

Eliezer Lawrence

Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence C.M. is a passionate linguist, a soulful singer, and a community Mohel who uses his practice to connect and empower Jews from across the denominational spectrum. An alumnus Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa and the Hadar Institute, Eliezer holds an MA in Bible and Semitic... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

6:15pm EST

Israeli Politics 101
Are you mystified by Israeli politics? Explore the state of the political game in Israel—How does the system actually work? What are the deep questions that continue to draw Israeli political lines? Why have right wing coalition governments persisted for the last decade? Let’s organize our thinking about where Israeli political divides lie and, consequently, why things are the way they are. A clear picture of the political map can help us understand Israeli politics, think through questions that Israelis face at the ballot box, and move forward.

Presenters
avatar for Elisheva Goldberg

Elisheva Goldberg

Elisheva Goldberg is the media director for the New Israel Fund. She served for two years as advisor to Former Israeli Foreign Minister and co-opposition leader Tzipi Livni. She previously worked as an analyst for Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy and as assistant... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
U407

6:15pm EST

Emet/Truth: Mussar Teachings for an Age of Complexity
How do we "know" what is "true" in a time when truth is complicated. We will explore the wisdom which the texts of the Mussar tradition can offer us to help us as we confront the challenges of finding "truth" in our time.

Presenters
avatar for Eric Gurvis

Eric Gurvis

The Mussar Institute
Eric Gurvis, rabbi, was ordained at HUC-JIR and has served congregations in NYC; Jackson, MS; Teaneck, NJ; and Newton, MA. He is currently rabbi of Shaarei Shalom in Ashland, MA. Eric also works with The Mussar Institute directing the CHAVERIM Initiative and facilitates Mussar groups... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
K506

6:15pm EST

Psychoanalytic Hauntings from Our Jewish Patriarchs: Ghostly Transmissions
A recent development within psychoanalysis has been the focus on legacies of trauma and how they are transmitted across generations.  Recent work on ghosts and multi-generational transmissions (Faimberg, 2005; Harris, Kalb, Klebanoff, 2016; Kalb, 2015; Salberg, 2015; Salberg & Grand, 2017) has explored how ghosts – relationally internalized and also historical, cultural, political – enter psychoanalytic dyads unbidden.  Ghostly hauntings are hardly limited to the psychoanalytic encounter and have been represented in particular in the Jewish imaginary.  While ghosts are not specifically part of Jewish theology, the imperative to remember, Zakar, is pre-eminent and threads through text: for example, G_d remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1), you shall remember My covenant (Genesis 9:15), that G_d remembered Abraham (Genesis 19:29) all reflect this.  There is a pull to the past and, as this panel will suggest, time becomes fluid and trans-generational transmissions inform the biblical stories that continue to haunt us today.  This panel will utilize psychoanalytic trans-generational theories as a lens to then better understand and trace trans-generational hauntings in agghadic and midrashic stories.
This session is sponsored by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Presenters
avatar for Seth Aronson

Seth Aronson

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Dr. Seth Aronson, Psy.D., is the Director of Curriculum, Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute. He also teaches in the doctoral program at Long Island University, supervising doctoral students there and at Teachers College, Columbia University. He... Read More →
avatar for Margery Kalb

Margery Kalb

Margery Kalb, Psy.D., is a psychologist, psychoanalyst and supervisor in private practice in New York City, where she sees individuals and supervises both individuals and groups. She is Faculty and Supervisor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis... Read More →
avatar for Jill Salberg

Jill Salberg

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Jill Salberg, Ph.D. ABPP is a clinical associate professor and clinical consultant/supervisor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is also faculty and supervisor at the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies, the Institute... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

6:15pm EST

A Controversy Most Fowl: Turkeys, Orthodox Female Rabbis, and How 'Old World' Judaism Incorporates 'New World' Ideas
How does a tradition based system react to new religious ideas? We’ll use the text case of kosher turkey (or is it kosher?) to explore how Halakhic authorities wrestle — and often permit — untraditional additions to Judaism.

Presenters
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Ben Greenfield is organizing and leading the Jewish community of waterfront North Brooklyn.  As Rabbi of the Greenpoint Shul, an inclusive Orthodox shul in historic/hipster/Hasidic-adjacent Greenpoint, Ben creates Jewish spaces that are inviting, warm, and rooted in exceptional Torah... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
K610

6:15pm EST

Taking Responsibility for Others: Mitzvah or Folly? Jewish Wisdom on Guarantors
In this session, we will examine what it means to be a guarantor for another person, why Biblical sources are so skeptical about guarantees, and how the function of a guarantor builds community and agency when used in interest-free lending.

Presenters
avatar for David Rosenn

David Rosenn

David Rosenn is the Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society. He oversees HFLS’s wide range of interest-free loan programs and spearheads the development of new programs to benefit New Yorkers in need. Before joining HFLS, Rabbi Rosenn served as Executive Vice President... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 6:15pm - 7:15pm EST
K406

7:15pm EST

Ma’ariv: Egalitarian Service (mixed seating; gender inclusive-leadership)
This evening service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 16, 2020 7:15pm - 7:30pm EST
WLSS (2nd Floor)

7:15pm EST

Ma’ariv: Mechitza Service (separate seating; male leadership)
This evening service will feature the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 16, 2020 7:15pm - 7:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

7:45pm EST

Limmudapalooza (Variety Show)
Come celebrate the 16th anniversary of Limmud NY with the entire community. This amazing event will feature musical performances by Noah Aronson and a taste of comedy by God Should Not Have Chosen Us. Look around and see and hear why so many people consider Limmud NY an essential part of their lives!




Presenters
avatar for Noah Aronson

Noah Aronson

Noah Aronson is a composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across the country and in Israel. While studying piano and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music, he also held the position of Composer-in-Residence at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley... Read More →
avatar for God Should Not Have Chosen Us

God Should Not Have Chosen Us

With jokes dating back to 1500 BCE, God Should Not Have Chosen Us, New York City's premier Jewish sketch comedy group, brings all walks of Jewish life front and center for an almost too relatable representation of the tribe. Sketches tackle topics ranging from summer camp hormones... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 7:45pm - 8:45pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

9:00pm EST

God Should Not Have Chosen Us
With jokes dating back to 1500 BCE, God Should Not Have Chosen Us, New York City's premier Jewish sketch comedy group, brings all walks of Jewish life front and center for an almost too relatable representation of the tribe. Sketches tackle topics ranging from summer camp hormones to generational trauma to botched cloning experiments, and will leave you nodding in agreement through the laughter. After multiple sold out runs at the People’s Improv Theater, headlining NYC’s Sketchfest, and a trip to the Windy City selling out shows at The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, we’re back to bring the sillies! Plus, your sister’s college roommate’s boyfriend’s old camp counselor is probably in this show, so you won’t want to miss it. L’chaim! (18+ only, not suitable for children)

Writer/Performers Include: Aliza Small, Eitan Rosenberg, Gabe Nathans, Gina Sloman, Jacob Barr, Lily Blumkin, Madelyn Miller, Orli Matlow, Rebecca Shesser, Sabrina Bleich, Sam Zinn, Yotam Tubul. Produced by Zoe Yellen

Presenters
avatar for God Should Not Have Chosen Us

God Should Not Have Chosen Us

With jokes dating back to 1500 BCE, God Should Not Have Chosen Us, New York City's premier Jewish sketch comedy group, brings all walks of Jewish life front and center for an almost too relatable representation of the tribe. Sketches tackle topics ranging from summer camp hormones... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm EST
Unterberg Auditorium (Basement)

9:00pm EST

Have You Ever Noticed That Anyone Driving Slower Than You is an Idiot, While Anyone Driving Faster Than You is a Maniac?
Hanan Harchol, the creator of the popular animated series for adults and teens "Jewish Food For Thought", uses his animations to explore deep Jewish wisdom and fuel lively conversation on the topic of Judging Others Favorably, why it's so difficult to do, and why it's so important to try. His work is generously funded by The Covenant Foundation.

Hanan's participation in LimmudFest NY was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol

Hanan Harchol is the creator, writer, and animator of Jewish Food For Thought, a free online animated series that teaches Jewish ethics and values to teens and adults through engaging and thought-provoking conversations between Harchol and his parents. Broadcast on Channel 13, Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm EST
K406

9:00pm EST

Are Holocaust Jokes Funny?
This session will re-consider Hannah Arendt's (in)famous book 'Eichmann in Jerusalem.' It will focus primarily on passages that highlight Arendt's use of irony and comedy. We will use the passages as a departure point for a broader discussion of how to relate to a Jewish past full of persecution.

Presenters
avatar for Judah Isseroff

Judah Isseroff

Judah is a PhD candidate in Religion, Ethics, and Politics at Princeton University. He is writing a dissertation on Jewish theological themes in the writings of Hannah Arendt.


Sunday February 16, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm EST
K306
 
Monday, February 17
 

8:00am EST

Check-in and Registration Opens
Monday February 17, 2020 8:00am - 9:00am EST
Lobby

9:00am EST

Creativity Intensive: An Extended Session on Rethinking Ritual
In this extended format class, we will gather to answer vital questions about how to connect Jewish practice to contemporary culture. We have just entered a new decade where a picture is still worth a thousand words, but fewer and fewer people will read a thousand words. How do we match Jewish festivals and customs with the contemporary visual language of branded content that the current generation expects? The session will start with learning how to think visually and practicing methods that express spiritual concepts using imagery and tactile non-verbal objects. We will continue by looking at examples of Jewish visual ritual objects and then decide together how to implement this kind of thinking in the practice of our own communities.

Presenters
avatar for Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann

Eli Kaplan-Wildmann is a designer, theater artist and educator based in Israel. He founded Unbound Jerusalem, a studio that designs tactile, experiential books. His creations have reached the hands of hundreds of thousands of people through major organizations like PJ Library and... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
K610

9:00am EST

Hebrew Reading Marathon
A three-hour immersive session: Always wanted to be more comfortable in the prayer service but felt inhibited because you can’t read Hebrew? Planned to learn the language but never had the time to start? Wanted to read the street signs in Tel Aviv or order Falafel in Jerusalem? This intensive, immersive seminar will ease you into reading Hebrew. When you leave, you will want to learn more…

Presenters
avatar for Michal Nachmany

Michal Nachmany

For over 30 years, Michal has focused on advancing the knowledge of Modern and Liturgical Hebrew language through active learning, individualized attention, technique adapted to various learning styles, and a touch of Israeli culture.  Michal is also a self-taught collage and mixed-media... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
U407

9:00am EST

Insights into Jewish Practices Around Death and Mourning
Studying Jewish traditions about death and mourning can be both spiritually uplifting and practically down-to-earth. Literally. We’ll immerse ourselves for three hours in a selection of topics that will show the breadth of the field and the potential depth of the learning. Bring you electronic and paper tablets as we write the first paragraph of our ethical wills. We’ll transition to studying the liturgy (mostly in English) for taharah (ritual washing after death) based on the book Maavar Yabbok first published in 1626. And, we’ll continue with a discussion of human composting, which is now legal in the state of Washington. We’ll end with a review of available resources - books, on-line articles and websites, courses and conferences.

Presenters
avatar for David Zinner

David Zinner

Executive Director, Kavod v'Nichum
David Zinner is the Executive Director of Kavod v'Nichum, (Honor and Comfort), and the Gamliel Institute


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
U401

9:00am EST

New York Jew: Local History
A three-hour walking tour of the Jewish Upper West Side. Beginning at Zabar's (Broadway & 80th St.) and ending at Westside Judaica (Broadway & 88th St.), we will visit the Upper West Side's oldest synagogue building, four historic active congregations, several culinary and other historic sites, and along the way tell the story of one of the quintessential neighborhoods of American Jewish life.

Note: You must be preregistered for this tour, which will meet on the corner of 80th and Broadway outside of Zabar's.

Presenters
avatar for David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman

David E. Kaufman is a scholar of American Jewish History, and has taught for 20+ years at Hebrew Union College/LA and Hofstra University. He has published Shul with a Pool and Jewhooing the Sixties. The latter book is an in-depth examination of Jews and Jewish identity in American... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST

9:00am EST

Fiddlers on the Roof: Using Mussar to Maintain Balance in a Shaky World
We live in fast-paced, chaotic times.  How can we keep our balance?  Through the challenges of centuries Jews have survived and thrived, relying on ancient wisdom still relevant today.  The Eastern European world of Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof gave rise to the Jewish study and practice of Mussar, involving teachings and practices with roots in our people’s earliest generations.  Work on one’s middot (soul traits) such as humility, gratitude, anger, honor, and so many more, helps us to become, in the words of one Mussar teacher, “the best version of the people we are capable of being,” and helps us walk a balanced path amid the chaos. 
Join Eric Gurvis, Julie Hirschfeld, and Pam Wax in a deep dive into the world, teachings and practices of Mussar. Our presenters will help us experience  how Mussar can help us cope and find balance--  in our homes, in our workplaces, in our relationships, and within-- so we won’t feel as if “our lives are as shaky as Fiddler on the Roof.”

Presenters
avatar for Pamela Wax

Pamela Wax

Pamela Wax is the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Westchester Jewish Community Services where she runs the Jewish Spiritual Healing Center. The Center offers spiritual journeying opportunities for writers, meditators, and seekers. She has studied and practiced Mussar for close to twenty... Read More →
avatar for Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld, Ph.D., is a psychologist who offers marital and individual therapy in New York, and coaching on parenting and relationship issues nationwide. Her "Simcha Solutions" coaching program supports Jewish families during milestone moments such as b'nai mitzvah and weddings... Read More →
avatar for Eric Gurvis

Eric Gurvis

The Mussar Institute
Eric Gurvis, rabbi, was ordained at HUC-JIR and has served congregations in NYC; Jackson, MS; Teaneck, NJ; and Newton, MA. He is currently rabbi of Shaarei Shalom in Ashland, MA. Eric also works with The Mussar Institute directing the CHAVERIM Initiative and facilitates Mussar groups... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
K506

9:00am EST

Uncovering Nakedness: Does Gender Really Matter?
What is nakedness? In the Talmud it is associated with a woman's hair, voice, and thigh. However, in today's modern society, many discussions around women's bodies in Judaism feel misogynistic and irrelevant. In the first half of this session, we will focus on the differences between men and women in rabbinic Judaism as manifested in both familial and communal space. We will focus on the different Jewish responses to feminism including prayer services and ordination and how transgender people will potentially force the whole binary system to undergone significant change.  In the second half of this intensive, we will continue to use Jewish texts to understand the origin of traditional practices around dress, singing and hair covering and whether any of them can be integrated in a contemporary discourse of gender relations.

Presenters
avatar for Nechama Goldman Barash

Nechama Goldman Barash

The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies
Nechama Goldman Barash navigates the space between feminism and Orthodoxy by studying and teaching rabbinic texts previously barred to women. She lives in Israel where she teaches at the Pardes Beit Midrash and participates in interfaith work. She is writing a book dealing with matters... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
Presentation Room (Atrium)

9:00am EST

In the Beginning, God Created: Sacred Arts and Sacred Texts Intensive
Traditional Jewish study typically entails sitting around a table with a group or with a chavruta partner.   There are those, however, for whom that type of study is not attractive, or sometimes, even alienating.  There is great value in also approaching texts through the arts, whether visual arts, music, or movement. A panel of artists and readers of text will discuss and demonstrate what it means to use the arts as a serious mode of processing text, leading to enlightening engagement with our sacred literature and spiritual fulfillment.

Presenters
avatar for Bronwen Mullin

Bronwen Mullin

Bronwen Mullin received her BA in theater and religious studies from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in Midrash and Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She has served as a hospice chaplain with the Metropolitan Jewish Hospice Service and has been... Read More →
avatar for Ezra Bookman

Ezra Bookman

Ezra Bookman is a director, poet, performance artist, ritualist, and experience designer, exploring the intersection of arts and spirituality. He is the Artistic Director for Lab/Shul, an experimental, everybody friendly, God-optional Jewish community in NYC; the creator of Ritualist... Read More →
avatar for Ayal Prouser

Ayal Prouser

Ayal Prouser completed his Master’s degree in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University, where he has focused on the new field of Circus Studies. He has presented on Circus Studies at national and international conferences. Ayal has loved the circus for as long as he can remember... Read More →
avatar for Michael Kasper

Michael Kasper

Dean of Cantorial Studies and Director of Student Life, Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR)
The Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR), America's oldest Jewish pluralistic seminary is a spiritual home to Rabbinic, Cantorial, and Master's Degree students looking for deeply meaningful careers serving the Jewish community. With accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Executive VP and Academic Dean, Academy for Jewish Religion
Dr. Ora Horn Prouser is CEO and Academic Dean at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop Bible curricula and pedagogical materials for all levels and learning styles. Her book... Read More →


Monday February 17, 2020 9:00am - 12:30pm EST
10th Floor Conference Room