Loading…
Limmud NY 2019 has ended
Online registration is now closed. You are invited to register at the door. Pricing is available here.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W. 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024

Friday night: Romemu, 165 W. 105th Street, New York, NY 10025



Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Friday, February 15
 

8:00pm

Friday Night Dinner and Tisch
Join us for Shabbat dinner followed by a 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. 

Presenters
avatar for David Ingber

David Ingber

David Ingber was named by Newsweek as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the U.S. and by the Forward as one of the 50 most notable U.S. Jews. He promotes a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern... Read More →
avatar for Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne was the first woman from the Syrian Jewish community to be ordained as a Rabbi. She graduated from JTS in 1995, where she was awarded several fellowships and a prize for academic excellence. Since that time she has served as an educator, scholar-in-residence, and administrator... Read More →
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus ’94-’95; Summer Program alumnus ’93 and ’94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple... Read More →


Friday February 15, 2019 8:00pm - 11:00pm
 
Saturday, February 16
 

7:30pm

Musical Havdalah
Havdalah is always a highlight at Limmud NY, bringing our community together in a spirited and spiritual musical celebration. Join us to mark the transition between the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the week with a musical havdalah featuring Isaiah Rothstein and his band Zayah. 


Presenters
avatar for Isaiah Rothstein

Isaiah Rothstein

Isaiah Rothstein serves as the Rabbi-in-Residence for Hazon. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah is pulled towards building platforms for Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate their identities and affinities -– together -– with the rest of community... Read More →
avatar for Zayah

Zayah

Zayah (pronounced "zaye-uh") is a musical collaborative that believes individuals, communities and the world at large heal, gather and communicate best through rhythm and song, and that music has the power to bring vitality to our species -- providing healing and social transformation... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 7:30pm - 8:15pm
Schafler Forum (Basement)

8:30pm

Soon By You, Episode 4: The Dates + Q & A with Director Leah Gottfried
Soon By You is an award winning comedic web series with over 800,000 views on YouTube. In episode 4 David and Sarah finally go on their first date, Jacobs explores foreign avenues for a love connection and Noa, Ben and Z take up volunteering. The screening will be followed by Q & A with creator/writer/director/actor Leah Gottfried who will talk about what it takes to create a successful Jewish sitcom and why authentic Jewish entertainment is so important.



Presenters
avatar for Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried is an award winning director, writer, producer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment -- a full service production company dedicated to creating meaningful visual content. She is the creator of the hit comedic web series Soon By You... Read More →
avatar for Soon By You

Soon By You

Soon By You is an award-winning comedic web series that follows the lives of young Jewish professionals navigating relationships, friendships, family drama and everything else that comes with being a twenty-something dating in the 21st century. Called "The Kosher version of Friends... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

8:30pm

Cultural Jewish and Israeli Life in Berlin Today
Come learn about the colorful Jewish and Israeli life in Berlin today. This presentation includes videos and will provide information about HABAIT and a dozen other cultural initiatives that are a part of the current revival of Jewish life in Berlin.

Presenters
avatar for Nirit Bialer

Nirit Bialer

Israeli-born Nirit Bialer has worked in business development for an Israeli company in Berlin since 2006. In 2011, Nirit and a group of Germans and Israelis founded the initiative HABAIT, which promotes modern Israeli culture in Germany.


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

8:30pm

Muhammad and the Jews
Come hear about Muhammad's encounters with the Jews of Medina, and how these interactions influenced the formation of Islam. Together we will review the Israelite reaction to Muhammad’s teachings and Muhammad's responses; and how these encounters in Arabia shape contemporary Islamic attitudes towards Jews. We will review Arabic language media and source sheets of Jewish and Islamic primary documents, and have a group discussion regarding the future of Muslim-Jewish relations. 

Presenters
avatar for J.R. Rothstein

J.R. Rothstein

J.R. Rothstein serves as a Steering Committee and Board Member of ACCESS at the American Jewish Committee. Rothstein is the former Chair of the Muslim-Jewish Relations Committee and a current Board member of the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council. Rothstein lectures on the history of... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

8:30pm

Two Jews, Three Rings: Circus Arts and Biblical Studies, Part 1
In this workshop we will become sacred artists, modeling active, artistic, and just plain fun methods of studying Bible through circus arts. We will study a Biblical text from Genesis and will use the circus arts to process that text. We will engage in building human pyramids and in partner acrobatics to embody the relationships between characters from the text. This workshop is accessible to all skill and ability levels (we promise!).

NOTE: This session is scheduled for 2 hours. You are welcome to stay for both blocks, or to choose one.

Presenters
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 performed and coached circus arts on the professional level spanning three continents. Ayal’s Jewish education includes... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

8:30pm

From Hallelujah to Hatikva to Rocky: Israeli and Jewish Themes Through Music and Pop Culture
Come experience a musical and cultural journey through this interactive multimedia master class.  We will explore how Israeli and Jewish themes are pervasive in our culture, what makes these themes so powerful, and consider how their meaning has evolved over the past 2000 years. The inspiration for this master class is based on Bodi’s  internationally performed original composition “Hope Beyond,” in celebration of Israel’s 70th.


Presenters
avatar for Sam “Bodi” Bodenheimer

Sam “Bodi” Bodenheimer

Bodi is a composer, producer, and singer who has worked in music and Jewish music for 25 years. He is the founding director of Spicerack Music, which performs at weddings, corporate events, and bar/bat mitzvahs, and also composes and produces music for film, TV, advertising and pop... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

8:30pm

Niggun as Meditative Journey: A Transformative Practice
Explore the opportunity to dig deep into the recesses of our beings through the framework of niggun, the mysterious world-shifting chant of the Hasidim of Eastern Europe. Taught by a student of this tradition since birth, join us to uncover the mystical aspects of niggun and apply them to our personal lives through an ongoing practice of self-discovery.

Presenters
avatar for Rishe Groner

Rishe Groner

Rishe Groner was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia in the Chabad-Hasidic tradition. Now a first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, her career has involved Jewish, arts, and corporate circles as strategist, event producer, marketing director... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 8:30pm - 9:30pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Pop Up Podcast
In an incredible feat of technical and audio prowess, collaborative creativity, and the audience's dramatic and musical talent, YOU -- together with Yochai and the Israel Story team -- will create a scripted, narrated, and original scored documentary radio story in front of your very eyes. This is a collective effort. We need you. Calling all storytellers, musicians, journalists, and people capable of making interesting noises -- come and partake!

Presenters
avatar for Kayla Levy

Kayla Levy

Kayla Levy is a production intern at Israel Story, and a graduating senior at Barnard College. Her journalistic work and academic research focuses on cities and people (B.A. in Urban Studies and Sociology), with an emphasis on topics pertaining to International Jewry.
avatar for Yochai Maital

Yochai Maital

Co-founder, Senior Producer, Israel Story
Yochai Maital is the co-founder of Israel Story podcast and radio show. His work is on the cusp of journalism and art. Yochai spends his days combing Israel and the world for stories.


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Soon By You Episode 5: The Wedding + Q & A with Director Leah Gottfried
Soon By You is an award winning comedic web series with over 800,000 views on YouTube. In episode 5, David and Z crash a wedding with the intention of wooing Sarah, while Jacobs and Noa face the pressure of being single at a Jewish wedding firsthand. Followed by a Q & A with creator/writer/director/actor Leah Gottfried plus a sneak peak at season 2.

Presenters
avatar for Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried is an award winning director, writer, producer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment -- a full service production company dedicated to creating meaningful visual content. She is the creator of the hit comedic web series Soon By You... Read More →
avatar for Soon By You

Soon By You

Soon By You is an award-winning comedic web series that follows the lives of young Jewish professionals navigating relationships, friendships, family drama and everything else that comes with being a twenty-something dating in the 21st century. Called "The Kosher version of Friends... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

The Empty Synagogue: Judaism in Spain After 1492
Many think that Judaism was erased from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492. This presentation will explore the Jewish history of Spain from 1492 to present day, with special attention to the history of the Jewish-converts, the Inquisition and famous Spanish characters with Jewish origins. Jewish life in Spain did not completely end in 1492--and 21st century Spain cannot be understood without understanding its Jewish roots.

Presenters
avatar for Haim Casas

Haim Casas

Haim Casas is the Executive Director of Makom Sefarad. Haim is the first Andalusian-born rabbi in 500 years. After graduating from the Law School of the University of Seville (Spain), he committed himself to the recovery of Jewish Spain. He was ordained as a rabbi in 2017 by Leo Baeck... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Two Jews, Three Rings: Circus Arts and Biblical Studies, Part 2
In this workshop we will become sacred artists, modeling active, artistic, and just plain fun methods of studying Bible through circus arts. We will study a biblical text from Genesis and will use the circus arts to process that text. We will engage in building human pyramids and in partner acrobatics to embody the relationships between characters from the text. This workshop is accessible to all skill and ability levels (we promise!).

Note: This session is scheduled for 2 hours. You are welcome to stay for both blocks, or to choose one.

Presenters
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 performed and coached circus arts on the professional level spanning three continents. Ayal’s Jewish education includes... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Bribed Police Officers, Houses on Wheels, and the 1904 World's Fair: The Halachic Controversy on Building Eruvs in America
An Eruv makes public land into shared Jewish space -- so how can you build one in the middle of a non-Jewish metropolis? The first attempt sent shockwaves through the Torah world, as two American rabbis squared off in an international fight about pedestrian rights, newfangled technology, and whether Talmudic precedents still apply in the age of democracy.

Presenters
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield serves as the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation, in Saint Louis, MO. Originally from Los Angeles, Ben was trained at Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshiva University, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins, and was awarded Tikvah Fund and Wexner Graduate fellowships. Ben is a founder of... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

9:40pm

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue
A look at the California Juvenile Justice system, and how the Advot project uses Jewish values and the arts to heal, empower, and take action.

Note: This session will be repeated on Sunday morning.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 9:40pm - 10:40pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

10:50pm

Voices of Limmud NY
Join us in celebrating the diverse Jewish Voices of New York! Speakers will share their stories using a variety of art forms including spoken word, story telling, dance and music.

Speakers include: Naomi Ackerman, Elana Brody and Friends, Izzy Gilden, Ben Greenfield, Gulienne Rollins-Rishon, Isaiah Rothstein, Yocheved Sidof, Ariel Warmflash, Emily Zimmer and more!

A cash bar will be open during Voices of Limmud NY and the Concert.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.


Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →
avatar for Elana Brody

Elana Brody

Elana Brody is a singer-songwriter, prayer-leader and future Kohenet priestess, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been actively sharing her voice and unique musicality with the Jewish Renewal community since 2014. She led Renewal Shabbat Services at Limmud NY in 2018 and has... Read More →
avatar for Izzy Gilden

Izzy Gilden

Izzy Gilden is a singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn. With lyrics about the struggle to connect, Izzy's songs build up to Coldplay-esque choruses and break down over their acoustic guitar back-bones. Be sure to check out Izzy's two debut singles "The Road" and "Miles and Miles... Read More →
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield serves as the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation, in Saint Louis, MO. Originally from Los Angeles, Ben was trained at Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshiva University, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins, and was awarded Tikvah Fund and Wexner Graduate fellowships. Ben is a founder of... Read More →
avatar for Gulienne Rollins-Rishon

Gulienne Rollins-Rishon

Gulienne Rollins-Rishon is a workaholic stay-at-home mom with an adorable toddler, pursuing a Master's Degree in Social Work, and creating a holistic co-working space that encompasses childcare, professional development, and Jewish spirituality. In her spare time, she talks to others... Read More →
avatar for Isaiah Rothstein

Isaiah Rothstein

Isaiah Rothstein serves as the Rabbi-in-Residence for Hazon. Growing up in a multi-racial Chabad family in Monsey, NY, Isaiah is pulled towards building platforms for Jews of all backgrounds to celebrate their identities and affinities -– together -– with the rest of community... Read More →
avatar for Yocheved Sidof

Yocheved Sidof

Bridge-builder. Community-activist. Dreamer-and-doer. Born in a Midwestern town to Iranian immigrants, Yocheved Sidof was the only person of Middle Eastern descent in the insular, Hasidic Jewish school she attended. After graduating magna cum laude from Stern College, she followed... Read More →
avatar for Emily Zimmer

Emily Zimmer

Originally from small town Ontario, Emily is a singer/songwriter and writer currently based in New York City. A lover of nature walks and Irish literature, Emily advocates for creative Jews in all shapes and forms. Her writing has appeared on Hevria, the Wisdom Daily, and the Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Ariel Warmflash

Ariel Warmflash

Ariel Warmflash is a theatre artist, activist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. Ari works with young artists all over New York City to create original theatre that reflects their interests and experiences. She is a Teaching Artist with the Creative Arts Team, Opening Act and Lab/Shul... Read More →


Saturday February 16, 2019 10:50pm - 11:50pm
Schafler Forum (Basement)

11:59pm

Concert and Jam Session
Join us for a musical jam session! Hang out with new and old friends while you grab a drink at the bar. 

Saturday February 16, 2019 11:59pm - Sunday February 17, 2019 1:00am
Schafler Forum (Basement)
 
Sunday, February 17
 

8:30am

Camp Limmud NY
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 17, 2019 8:30am - 12:00pm

8:45am

Unrequited Love: What Smart Women Study in Talmud
How to explain the growing number of smart, feminist women who study the unapologetically misogynistic Talmud? How do we love a text (sometimes passionately) that does not love us? Come explore how scholars Rachel Adler, Ruth Calderon, Judith Hauptman, Elisheva Fonrobert, Avivah Zornberg, and award-winning author Ilana Kurshan approach this problem in unique ways. Come away with your own lens and skills through which to learn -- and maybe even love -- androcentric texts.

Presenters
avatar for Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn

Susan Reimer-Torn is a writer, published author, journalist, life coach and serious student of Talmudic aggadah (legends). Susan's memoir is Maybe Not Such a Good Girl (2014, Blue Threads). Susan holds a MA in Education from Columbia University and has spent 22 years in France writing... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Board Room (4th Floor)

8:45am

Judapest and the Largest Synagogue in Europe: Virtual Tour of My Jewish Budapest
In the heart of Budapest, in the so called Jewish Quarter, the Great Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second most visited sight in Hungary, attracting over 480,000 tourists each year. After sunset, the Jewish Quarter, which features over 400 bars, transforms into a jungle of international party animals. How can these two different worlds exist together? 

Join my virtual tour -- we will see the sights and discuss who comes to visit Jewish Budapest and why.  

Presenters
avatar for Borcsa Lakos

Borcsa Lakos

Borcsa is a tour guide, a female Jewish activist and a Limmudnik from Hungary. She studied Jewish Studies in Stockholm at Paideia. Currently, she is working towards an M.A. in cultural history from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest. As a professional tour guide, Borcsa has... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

8:45am

“I Have Worked and I Have Achieved” (BT Megillah 6a): In Search of Creative Business Opportunities for People with Disabilities
This session will present innovative job sites across the United States which train and employ people with disabilities.  Learn about Rising Tide Car Wash, Smiling with Hope Pizza, Luv Michael, Girl Again (American Girls ReSale Store), The Soul Café, and more. Hiring people with disabilities is good for people with disabilities, good for business and good for society! Find out how your business (small or large) can include people with disabilities.

Presenters
avatar for Howard Blas

Howard Blas

Howard Blas currently serves as director of the National Ramah Tikvah Network and of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in Northern Califonia. He has led five Tikvah Ramah Israel trips and three Shorashim Birthright Asperger trips. A social worker and special education teacher by training... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Room 6 (5th Floor)

8:45am

Yoga for the Jewish Spirit: “Make For Me a Sacred Place That I Might Dwell Within You” (Exodus)
Using gentle movement, breath, and Hebrew chanting, this morning yoga practice will prepare you for a day of joyful learning. Embodied practice helps us connect to the holiness within ourselves that we can then bring out into the world.
This class is for all levels of yoga. There are a limited number of mats and blankets, so please bring a mat if you have one.

Presenters
avatar for Shelley Levine

Shelley Levine

Shelley is a graduate of the Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training and a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training. She teaches regularly at the JCC and Romemu in New York City and the Jewish Meditation Center of Montclair, NJ. She has taught throughout the NY metropolitan area at a... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Room 7 (5th Floor)

8:45am

Learning and Modeling Justice: Torah & Today
Explore how interpretations of tzedek (justice) from the book of Deuteronomy, can impact our thinking and decision making. Navigate how meanings of justice and the teaching "tzedek tzedek tirdof, justice, justice you shall pursue,” can inform our lives and the ways that we try to model our best selves for the children, tweens and teens in our lives.

Presenters
avatar for Abby Eisenberg

Abby Eisenberg

Abby Eisenberg is the founder and lead educator of ExploreJewish and Judaics Tutoring NYC. She works with NYC families, creating and teaching individualized text-based Judaics curricula to kids and parents. Abby also officiates at lifecycle events and teaches regularly at the 92Y... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Room 4 (5th Floor)

8:45am

Confronting Death through the Zohar: Brutal and Comforting Kabbalistic Myths of Mortality
Death is a shocking and yet inescapable feature of the human condition. Like all profound religious texts, the Zohar, kabbalah’s central work, deeply engages with human mortality -– doing so with its distinctive combination of visionary fantasy and primal myth, gods and demons, idealism and materiality. The comfort its myths bring never fail to confront death’s brute reality. We will explore key Zoharic texts, as well as undertake an exercise to “see” the “shadows” that always accompany us.

Presenters
avatar for Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Modern Culture at Brown University. He also teaches kabbalah in a wide range of settings in NYC. He is currently completing a book, entitled, The 'Other Side' of Kabbalah: Divine and Demonic in the Zohar... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 8:45am - 9:45am
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

10:00am

Family Music and Movement
Enjoy songs, dances, instruments, parachute games, and more for ages 0-5. Families welcome!

Presenters
avatar for Anna Caplan

Anna Caplan

Anna Caplan is the editor in chief and founding director of Honeycake Magazine. After studying comparative literature at Harvard, she worked in Jewish education for nearly a decade. She developed an expertise in early childhood music, teaching and performing in preschools, synagogues... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 12 (5th Floor)

10:00am

The Language of Photography: Layers of Meaning
The pervasive presence of television, film, the internet, and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, shapes our lives. We produce and consume photographs at an unimaginable rate, yet we spend little time educating ourselves about the uses and potential impact of imagery. This interactive session will serve to train the eye in the discipline of visual representation: crafting images, reading photographs and media culture critically, while considering the ethical dilemmas raised by contemporary digital photography.

Presenters
avatar for Zion Ozeri

Zion Ozeri

Born in Israel to Yemeni immigrants, Zion Ozeri is one of the world’s leading photographers of the Jewish experience. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute. He won a Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism (2004), and a Covenant... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 6 (5th Floor)

10:00am

Midat Sodom and the Housing Affordability Crisis
Midrashim (Biblical commentaries) state that the city of Sodom was overthrown because of its hostility to hospitality. American cities limit new housing in a variety of ways; is this policy analogous to the ways of Sodom? If so, what are the ethical implications of this policy? What arguments justify these policies?

Presenters
avatar for Michael Lewyn

Michael Lewyn

Michael Lewyn teaches property, land use and environmental law at Touro Law Center, where he is a professor and the Director of the Institute on Land Use and Sustainable Development. Most of his scholarship focuses on urban and suburban development, including urban walkability and... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 8 (5th Floor)

10:00am

The Story of Rabbi Plimo and Satan (Qiddushin 81a-b): The Emotion of Disgust in Jewish Ethics
The emotion of disgust has received increasing attention in social, political, legal and moral discourse in recent years. This session focuses on the Talmudic story of Satan’s encounter with Rabbi Plimo as an entry point to exploring the role of disgust in Jewish Ethics. Following a close reading and analysis of the story, we will study other rabbinic and medieval sources to understand how disgust functions both as a moral challenge and a moral asset in the quest for holiness.

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of NYU. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 5 (5th Floor)

10:00am

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

Presenters
avatar for Noah Barrera

Noah Barrera

 Noyekh is a Yiddish educator, translator, and writer. He has taught in the YIVO-Bard Summer Program and at the Workmen's Circle. His writings have appeared in the Yiddish Forverts and Afn Shvel. His forthcoming translation of Abraham Rechtman’s memoir, Yidishe Etnografye un Folklor... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 11 (5th Floor)

10:00am

Is Inclusion Always Best for a Child with Special Needs?
A panel of local educators who have developed models of inclusion for children with special needs will face some tough questions. How do we persuade ambitious parents to recognize the benefits of more academically diverse classrooms? How do we make it a priority for educators to keep abreast of research on autism, ADHD, and related topics? How do we foster greater collaboration between teachers and parents, and general education and special education teachers? This will be a lively, enlightening session.

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Steinhart

Michelle Steinhart

Michelle Steinhart is the Director of Inclusion at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY and is Mentor Coordinator and Director of Special Projects at Matan. She has been working in Jewish Education and Jewish Special Education for over twenty years in a variety of settings. Michelle... Read More →
avatar for Orley Garber

Orley Garber

After more than two decades teaching and learning in London, New York and Los Angeles, Orley Garber is taking her professional life in a new direction. Inspired by her six-year-old daughter, who has level one autism/ Aspergers, she is getting her special needs credential in California... Read More →
avatar for Jordan Soffer

Jordan Soffer

Jordan Soffer is the Rabbi-in-Residence at Carmel Academy. Originally from New York City, Jordan graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he studied Religion and Jewish Education. Jordan continued his studies at Yeshivat Maaleh Gilboa, Pardes Institute of Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Abigail Uhrman

Abigail Uhrman

Abigail Uhrman is an assistant professor of Jewish education in the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She lives in Huntington, NY with her husband, Israel Gordan, and three children, Noa, Eli, and Maya.
avatar for Howard Blas

Howard Blas

Howard Blas currently serves as director of the National Ramah Tikvah Network and of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in Northern Califonia. He has led five Tikvah Ramah Israel trips and three Shorashim Birthright Asperger trips. A social worker and special education teacher by training... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 4 (5th Floor)

10:00am

"The Middle East is Funny:” Explore Israeli History through Comedy
It has been said that throughout our history, Jews have laughed to keep from crying. In a country which has experienced its share of ups and downs, Israel has developed its own unique brand of humor. Benji tracks the changes in Israeli society through classic movie, TV, and comedy clips.

Presenters
avatar for Benji Lovitt

Benji Lovitt

Since making aliyah in 2006, comedian/educator Benji Lovitt has performed for audiences in North America, Australia, South Africa, and more. His perspectives on Israeli society, both comedic and serious, have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

10:00am

On Entitlements and Obligations: Narratives of American Jewry
We live in a moment in which American Jewry is internally torn about what Jewishness means, what Americanness means, and what the relationship between the two should be. In this session we will delve into these questions through 20th century American rabbinic case studies, with an eye towards life in America in 2019.

Presenters
avatar for Elana Stein Hain

Elana Stein Hain

Elana is Scholar in Residence and Director of Faculty at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty, oversees the content of leadership programs, and leads the Created Equal research team. Elana holds a PhD in Religion from Columbia, where she wrote a dissertation on legal loopholes in rabbinic law. She previously served as clergy at Lincoln Square Synagogue and The Jewish Center in Manhattan. Elana lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Board Room (4th Floor)

10:00am

Israeli Dancing
Israeli Dance is great fun; it is culture, wonderful exercise for your mind, body and soul! Experience and share a passion for Israeli music and dance. This is a beginner class where one does not need prior dance experience. Join us and learn a few simple, basic, traditional Israeli folk dances.

Presenters
avatar for Leng Tan

Leng Tan

Leng Tan is passionate about Israeli dance. Leng has been dancing for 40 years and teaching for over 25 years. She is known for being a patient instructor, especially with beginners. She offers classes in the tri-state area for Israeli and International folk dance. She currently teaches... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 7 (5th Floor)

10:00am

Listen, Act, Change
“Justice, justice you shall pursue.” This session will take a look at the California Juvenile Justice system, and how the Advot project uses Jewish values arts to heal, empower, and take action.

Note: Naomi also presented this session on Saturday evening.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

10:00am

Nothing But the Truth? Balancing Personal Integrity with the Pull of Tradition
How do we balance our own personal “truths” with the the inherited claims of Jewish tradition? What is the place of “personal integrity” in religious life? What do we do when our own experience of the world seems so different from those who shaped Jewish law and tradition? Discover a surprising radical text from the Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Yoma 69b) that reveals how the Rabbis themselves struggled with these same questions.

Presenters
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus ’94-’95; Summer Program alumnus ’93 and ’94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

10:00am

Was Esau Jewish?
Esau, Jacob's brother, has often been understood as an archetype of the enemies of Israel. Even those who read him more charitably still generally see him as the head of a non-Jewish branch on the ancient family tree, a side of the family that is no longer a part of Israel. Why wouldn't Esau be Jewish? Doesn't he have the same parents as Jacob? We will explore surprising rabbinic texts that may confirm this suspicion, as we explore the possibilities and limits of ancestry in constructing our faith communities.

Presenters
avatar for Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and serves on the board of the H... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

11:15am

Brain Death and Organ Donation In Halacha
Are you really dead when your heart is still beating? Don't we need our organs for resurrection? Are Jews allowed to be autopsied? Educate yourself now, before a tragedy, not when you are in shock over the death of a loved one. In this session, we will learn 1600 year old Talmudic texts to shed light on the 21st century phenomenon in which a person’s heart can beat even though the brain is dead. Some rabbis view a beating heart as a sign of life and prohibit organ donation. Come learn why!

Presenters
avatar for Robby Berman

Robby Berman

Robert Berman is a graduate of Harvard University (MPA), Baruch College (MBA), Yeshiva University (BA), Gruss Kollel, and Yeshivat Hakotel. He has been published in New York Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, Jewish Week, Moment Magazine, Ha’aretz, Times of Israel, and the Jerusalem... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Board Room (4th Floor)

11:15am

Impact/Intent: What Matters in the Ethics of Speech?
When the intent and impact of our speech don't align, for which are we responsible? In this class we will consider this question both in the context of our relationships and of social issues such as freedom of speech, hate speech, and verbal harassment. We will deepen our understanding of the complexity of the ethics of speech through conversation, philosophical frameworks, and study of Jewish texts on the topic of Ona'at Devarim (Verbal Oppression) and Lashon HaRa (Malicious Language).

Presenters
avatar for Sarah Mulhern

Sarah Mulhern

Sarah Mulhern serves as a Shalom Hartman Institute of North America faculty member, where she does research, writes curriculum, and oversees programs for rabbinical students and graduate students. She was ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, where she also earned a... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

11:15am

Seeing Race in Jewish Communities
The phrase “I don’t see color” is bittersweet. It expresses the desire to affirm equality and also ignores a glaring reality: in American society, we've all been socialized regarding race. If we refuse to see this, then how can we address race issues in our Jewish communities? We will play some fun games to demonstrate the challenges of undoing socialization and brainstorm concrete actions to foster racial equity and inclusion in our Jewish communities.

Presenters
avatar for Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish (Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD) is the immediate past president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), the immediate past president of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and former Assistant Director of the Office of the University... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

11:15am

The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: A Metaphor for the Struggle for Jewish Continuity
In Vilna, a group of Jewish writers and intellectuals risked their lives to rescue Jewish books, manuscripts, and art from the Nazis, smuggling them into the ghetto, and hiding them in underground cellars and bunkers. The few members of this group who survived the war returned to their city after its liberation, and led an operation to retrieve the treasures. Learn about this inspiring story of Jewish “spiritual resistance,” and reflect on what it means for us today.

Presenters
avatar for David Fishman

David Fishman

David E. Fishman is a professor of Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in modern Jewish history. He also serves as director of Project Judaica, JTS's program in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). His most recent book, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

11:15am

We Were Strangers, Too: Obligation, Love, and Fear
Over the last year, the number of refugees and displaced people across the world has grown to more than 68 million -- the worst refugee crisis in history. In this interactive session, we will ground ourselves in some basic facts about the crisis and then explore meanings of the term ger (stranger), the evolving Jewish imperative to welcome the stranger, and how to reconcile fear of the other with our obligation to the other.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Grant Meyer

Rachel Grant Meyer

A graduate of Columbia University, Rachel Grant Meyer was ordained by HUC-JIR. She currently serves as the Director of Education for Community Engagement at HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, where she develops educational materials, resources, and programs that educate American... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

11:15am

In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism
Religion can be both inspiring and distressing, and many critiques of it are simultaneously compelling and dubious. We will examine atheist arguments with a modern eye taking a refreshing look at the most fundamental questions of religion and faith. Using my most recent book, In Good Faith, as a guide, we will explore common atheist critiques of the Bible and religion incorporating Jewish, Christian, and Muslim voices.

Presenters
avatar for Scott Shay

Scott Shay

Scott A. Shay, co-founder and Chairman of New York's Signature Bank, is a provocative commentator on financial issues and successful businessman, spanning Wall Street, private equity, venture capital and banking. Inspired by a lifelong pursuit of religion and its worldly impact, he... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

11:15am

Is Spirituality Jewish?
This panel will discuss the concept of spirituality and its relationship with Jewish practices and traditions. It will work to outline the boundaries of Jewish praxis and observance. 

Presenters
avatar for Nahum Twersky

Nahum Twersky

Nahum Twersky is a marketing executive for Fortune 100 companies. He is a board member and advisor to many Jewish non profits in America and Israel. His education includes an MBA, MS in Jewish philosophy, and Rabbinical Ordination from Rav Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University.
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus ’94-’95; Summer Program alumnus ’93 and ’94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple... Read More →
avatar for Devora Steinmetz

Devora Steinmetz

Devora Steinmetz, PhD, serves on the faculty of Drisha Institute in the United States and Israel and on the leadership team of Drisha’s new yeshiva in Israel. She is the founder of Beit Rabban, a Jewish day school profiled in Daniel Pekarsky’s Vision at Work: The Theory and Practice... Read More →
avatar for Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and serves on the board of the H... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

11:15am

Meditation: Pause, Breathe, Balance, Connect
This session includes guided instruction, sitting meditation and gentle movement.
Adar/increasing joy and softening around the edges

Presenters
avatar for Beth Sandweiss

Beth Sandweiss

Beth Sandweiss is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor, somatically oriented psychotherapist and co-founder of the Jewish Mediation Center of Montclair, NJ. Beth teaches MBSR and Meditation to Veterans at the NJ VA, to college students at Ramapo College, and to patients... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

11:15am

The Talmudic Story of Shimon b. Shetah and King Yannai: Rabbinic Perspectives on Judicial and Executive Conflict
The Talmud recounts a conflict between Shimon b. Shetah, a leading rabbinic judge, and King Yannai of the Hasmonean dynasty (Sanhedrin 19a-b). The story, which ends in disaster, relates to key questions of political philosophy, including the importance of an independent judiciary, the separation of powers, and interpretive authority. The story is surprisingly relevant to political tensions between the executive and judicial authority we witness today.

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of NYU. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:15pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

11:15am

My Dear Children
A screening of the film My Dear Children followed by Q&A with co-director LeeAnn Dance. The film follows one woman’s quest to unravel a family mystery. It’s a journey that reveals a heartbreaking and little known humanitarian tragedy. One hundred years ago, Jews in what today is Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus suffered through what scholars now call “the holocaust of its day.” Pogroms that swept the region from 1917-1921 killed some 300,000 Jews. It’s a story shared by Jews the world over.

Presenters
avatar for LeeAnn Dance

LeeAnn Dance

LeeAnn Dance is the Co-Producer/Director and writer of My Dear Children. She is an award winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter. She began working with her co-producer/director Cliff Hackel in CNN’s investigative and documentary unit in Washington... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

12:00pm

Babysitting: Lunch Break
Parents are invited to pick up their kids for lunch.

Sunday February 17, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm

12:00pm

Camp Limmud NY: Lunch Break
Parents are invited to pick up their kids for lunch.

Sunday February 17, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm

12:45pm

New York Jewish History, Culture, and Community
An overview of the historical and cultural legacy of "the world's greatest Jewish city," exploring the extraordinary nexus between age-old traditions of Jewish group life and the modern urbanism of New York City.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David Kaufman is a scholar and teacher of American Jewish history, having been on the faculties of the Hebrew Union College (LA) and Hofstra University. His publications include: Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History (Brandeis, 1999) and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

Yetzirah (Creation): Creating with The In[HEIR]itance Project
Join the In[HEIR]itance Project, an arts organization that collaborates with communities around the US, to experience a unique​ art making method! This workshop will focus on an upcoming project at the Museum of Jewish Heritage featuring testimonials from Jewish GIs who served in World War II​. Participants will collaborate with the artists, sharing ideas and lived experiences in response to the testimonials, and exploring ways to translate those ideas into art.

Presenters
avatar for Ariel Warmflash

Ariel Warmflash

Ariel Warmflash is a theatre artist, activist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. Ari works with young artists all over New York City to create original theatre that reflects their interests and experiences. She is a Teaching Artist with the Creative Arts Team, Opening Act and Lab/Shul... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

12:45pm

Won't You Be My Neighbor? The Right to Privacy in Jewish Sources
We will explore Jewish legal perspectives on how to build one's physical home in a way that respects one's neighbors’ needs. The Rabbis questioned what it takes to be a good neighbor and how to balance the values of privacy in an environment of close community and shared space. These conversations touch not only on the physical architecture of one's home, but also on how to construct a society. They explore fundamental questions about what and why to share and the moral and spiritual values of privacy.

Presenters
avatar for Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Hadar, an institution for higher Jewish learning based in NYC, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned her BA in Religious Studies from NYU and a MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has also studied at Midreshet... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

12:45pm

#dresscoded
Many schools — religious, private, and public — have dress codes. Yet dress codes can reinforce a culture of slut-shaming and lead to unwelcome attention to girls' bodies. Many dress codes suggest that girls’ bodies alone must be covered up and their sexuality policed. Should we try to rehabilitate dress codes, or should they be thrown out altogether?

Presenters
avatar for Miriam Lichtenberg

Miriam Lichtenberg

Miriam Lichtenberg is a graduating senior at Barnard College, studying American history and minoring in philosophy. She is currently writing a thesis about the history of Jewish students at Barnard. Miriam does not yet have plans for next year, and would love if you had any sugge... Read More →
KL

Kayla Liss

Kayla Liss is a ninth grade student at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, and a writer for jGirls Magazine.
SE

Siona Ely

Siona Ely is an eleventh grade student at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey.
avatar for Leora Tanenbaum

Leora Tanenbaum

Leora Tanenbaum is a feminist author and slut-shaming expert. She is the author of I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet and four other books. On Instagram, she provides a platform for those who have been dress-coded or slut-shamed over their clothing @BeingD... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

If You Think Something is Brand New, You Don't Know History
We will explore the current international standing of the State of Israel through an essay written fifty years ago.

Presenters
avatar for Paul Golomb

Paul Golomb

Paul Golomb is the Editor of Reform Jewish Quarterly (2014-2018) and the Vice President of Programming for the American Zionist Movement. He has previously served as Hillel Director and as rabbi for a variety of congregations.


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Board Room (4th Floor)

12:45pm

Jewish Identity, Jewish Diversity: Photographic Explorations
From Bukhara to Djerba, Sana’ to Saint Petersburg, Buenos Aires to New York, Zion Ozeri’s photographs speak to the cross-cultural dimension of contemporary Jewish life, always looking for connections in a world often defined by exile and loss. View a collection of photographs that depicts communities scattered around the world, and search for a sense of home, familiar customs, and shared experiences in them. See how Jews have absorbed local culture while maintaining unique traditions.

Presenters
avatar for Zion Ozeri

Zion Ozeri

Born in Israel to Yemeni immigrants, Zion Ozeri is one of the world’s leading photographers of the Jewish experience. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute. He won a Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism (2004), and a Covenant... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

Israeli Dancing
Israeli Dance is great fun; it is culture, wonderful exercise for your mind, body and soul! Experience and share a passion for Israeli music and dance. This is a beginner class where one does not need prior dance experience. Join us and learn a few simple, basic, traditional Israeli folk dances.

Presenters
avatar for Leng Tan

Leng Tan

Leng Tan is passionate about Israeli dance. Leng has been dancing for 40 years and teaching for over 25 years. She is known for being a patient instructor, especially with beginners. She offers classes in the tri-state area for Israeli and International folk dance. She currently teaches... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

Intersections of Justice
This session will illuminate the ways in which the particulars of race, gender and other identities can impact questions and issues related to poverty and economic justice. It will look at traditional and modern Jewish texts, contemporary writings on race, and data about poverty and gender, race, and sexual orientation. It will include time for participants to think through the implications of this learning in their own lives, work, and social action engagement.

Presenters
avatar for Adina Alpert

Adina Alpert

Adina Alpert is the Program Manager for Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, which transforms and connects Jewish leaders and organizations to build a powerful social justice sector. In this role, she works to evolve leadership development programming and work on organizational... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Waldbott

Sarah Waldbott

Sarah Waldbott is the Director of Development at the National Council of Jewish Women New York, with a background in the Jewish communal sector, philanthropy, fundraising, community organizing, and advocacy. She has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations in New York in both... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 6 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

Post-Patriarchal Strategic Planning: A Kabbalistic Model
Fresh from Madison Avenue with many a Hasidic twist, we'll learn practical ways for revamping your next brainstorming or planning sessions using tactics based on a Kabbalistic model that could revolutionize the way we work. Get ready for hands-on exercises and embodied activities. Learn how to communicate, collaborate on and co-create projects that succeed collectively.

Presenters
avatar for Rishe Groner

Rishe Groner

Rishe Groner was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia in the Chabad-Hasidic tradition. Now a first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, her career has involved Jewish, arts, and corporate circles as strategist, event producer, marketing director... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

12:45pm

The Queen and the Spymaster: Uncovering the Hidden Story of Purim
There are gaps in the Esther narrative and we have many questions. What happened to Vashti? Did she escape the royal hangman? What was the pur that Haman consulted? What was the relationship between Esther and Mordechai? Join us for a conversation between intellectual historian Aaron Koller and award winning author Sandra E. Rapoport as they discuss Sandra's new book, The Queen and the Spymaster, a historical novel based on the Scroll of Esther.

Presenters
avatar for Aaron Koller

Aaron Koller

Aaron Koller is associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he is chair of the Robert M. Beren Department of Jewish Studies, and also Core Faculty and Coordinator of Adult Educational Programming at Drisha. His books include Esther in Ancient Jewish Thou... Read More →
avatar for Sandra E. Rapoport

Sandra E. Rapoport

Sandra E. Rapoport is an attorney, Bible teacher and award-winning author. Sandra was Resident Scholar at Harvard University in Law and Bible, and her third book, Biblical Seductions, won a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist prize. Sandra has taught Bible at the Drisha Institute... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

1:00pm

Camp Limmud NY
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 17, 2019 1:00pm - 4:30pm

1:50pm

Egalitarian Mincha
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy.

If possible, please bring your own siddur (prayerbook).

Sunday February 17, 2019 1:50pm - 2:05pm
Schnurmacher Chapel (6th Floor)

1:50pm

Orthodox Mincha
This service features separate seating for men and women and leadership by men, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy.

If possible, please bring your own siddur (prayerbook).

Sunday February 17, 2019 1:50pm - 2:05pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

The Remarkable History of the New York City Synagogue
Explore the fascinating record of three centuries of New York Jewish life and New York Judaism through a slide lecture on the social, religious, and architectural history of the synagogues of New York City.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David Kaufman is a scholar and teacher of American Jewish history, having been on the faculties of the Hebrew Union College (LA) and Hofstra University. His publications include: Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History (Brandeis, 1999) and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

Story and Art with Honeycake Magazine
We'll enjoy a story together and then create art to take home with us. Geared towards two- to six-year-olds. Families welcome!

Presenters
avatar for Anna Caplan

Anna Caplan

Anna Caplan is the editor in chief and founding director of Honeycake Magazine. After studying comparative literature at Harvard, she worked in Jewish education for nearly a decade. She developed an expertise in early childhood music, teaching and performing in preschools, synagogues... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 12 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

Who Invited Helios, the Sun God, and the Zodiac to Shul?
Last century, a number of ancient synagogues  that displayed colorful mosaics of the zodiac wheel and the pagan god Helios were discovered in the Land of Israel. Ever since then, scholars have struggled to reconcile these finds with the conventional belief that Jews weren't supposed to create representational art and certainly not pagan art. We will examine the synagogue art and the diverse competing explanations from the last 60 years.

Presenters
avatar for Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen grew up in Cambridge, MA as a fifth-generation American Jew. Seth studies all things Jewish, but his primary interest lies in Biblical and Rabbinic text, specifically the development of Halacha and intellectual history. He has made presentations at Limmud for the past few... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 6 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

Kaleidoscope: What Does Jewish Look Like to You?
Join our creative journey to address the perennially elusive question: What Does Jewish Look Like? Through exploring personal monologues that highlight Jewish racial and ethnic diversity, participants will arrive at a more complex understanding of the external, communal, and individual realities that make up klal yisrael (The Jewish People). Kaleidoscope is a narrative arts-driven initiative highlighting the stories of Jews of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, observance levels, and interfaith experiences.

Presenters
avatar for Kendell Pinkney

Kendell Pinkney

Kendell Pinkney is a Brooklyn-based theatre writer, educator, and rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. A graduate of Oberlin College and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, his collaborative works and songs have been performed at venues such as Joe’s... Read More →
avatar for Vanessa Hidary

Vanessa Hidary

Vanessa Hidary is an internationally acclaimed Spoken Word Artist/Author/Director. She has appeared on “Russell Simmons Presents ‘Def Poetry Jam’" and is featured in the film The Tribe. She has presented at numerous Limmud conferences, including South Africa and the UK. Her... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

A Pluralistic Reading of the Bible
How do we approach the Bible from a pluralistic perspective? What does it mean to study Biblical texts with a diverse group of learners? Can we study as a very mixed group without feeling that we have to hide some part of ourselves? We will study selected Biblical texts to experience pluralistic study, and focus on how traditional Jewish study truly is a pluralistic experience.

Presenters
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

God Is In the Crowd
Tal will be discussing his recently published book, God Is In the Crowd, a provocative blueprint for Judaism in the 21st century. As Jewry has become concentrated in just two parts of the world, America and Israel, the Jewish people has lost the subtle code of governance that had made Judaism relevant in Diaspora. This code may be defined as a derivative of Francis Galton’s wisdom of crowds. Tal argues that the wisdom of the Jewish crowd can and must be resurrected now. The alternative is the extinction of the Jews.

Presenters
avatar for Tal Keinan

Tal Keinan

Tal Keinan is an American-born entrepreneur and social activist. He is a co-founder of Clarity Capital, a global asset-management firm, and chairman of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds, Israel’s largest nonprofit lender to small and micro businesses. He serves on the Boards... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

2:15pm

Navigating Race Issues in Spiritual Communities (Especially for Clergy)
What a bombshell it is to tackle racial issues in your spiritual community! How you can respond effectively without alienating or splintering your community? Led by a Jew of Color who is also a seminary graduate, this workshop, for all people, especially seeks the active participation of clergy and spiritual leaders. We will explore a range of scenarios, share solutions and resources, and begin to dismantle racism in ways that foster stronger community.

Presenters
avatar for Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish (Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD) is the immediate past president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), the immediate past president of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and former Assistant Director of the Office of the University... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

The JSwipe Story and Jewish Love
The story of JSwipe: from startup idea to a global Jewish household brand with over 1,000,000 millennial Jewish users -- in a world where millennial Jews are the least engaged and least affiliated they've ever been! David shares how it happened and what he learned from the process.

Presenters
avatar for David Yarus

David Yarus

DavidYarus is the founder of mllnnl, a social and creative agency that helps global brands and Jewish non-profits like Taglit-Birthright Israel, Hillel International, Schusterman Foundation, and The Israeli Consulate understand and engage the millennial consumer. David is also the... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

Building Community with Yiddish Dance
Yiddish dance is the name currently given to the dance associated with klezmer music. It is how Jews danced in Eastern Europe, and it’s the dance they brought with them to America. These dances are uniquely suited to creating warmth and community through their variety of interactions, the controlled freedom of their movements, and their subtle simplicity.

Presenters
avatar for David Goldfarb

David Goldfarb

David Goldfarb is a clarinetist with Tsu Fil Duvids (Yiddish for "Too Many Daves"), a klezmer ensemble based in NJ. In the past, they have performed with Steve Weintraub at Limmud NY and Limmud Philly. Steve Weintraub is a teacher, choreographer, and performer of Jewish dance, particularly... Read More →
avatar for Steve Weintraub

Steve Weintraub

Steve Weintraub is a teacher, choreographer, and performer of Jewish dance, particularly Yiddish dance, the dance to klezmer music. He is in international demand as a teacher of traditional Yiddish dance at festivals and workshops including KlezKamp, KlezKanada, and festivals in Krakow... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Schafler Forum (Basement)

2:15pm

Find Your Voice-And Be a Voice
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?" Using interactive drama exercises and creative writing, we will explore social action. Discover your voice and learn how to become a voice for others.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

2:15pm

Our Immigrant Stories and What They Teach Us About Welcoming the Stranger Today
Come learn about the connection between HIAS -- the world’s oldest, and only Jewish, refugee resettlement organization -- and Jewish immigration to the U.S., and how that historical work laid the groundwork for helping refugees and asylum seekers of all faiths and ethnicities today. We will also explore the historic and contemporary connection between anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant sentiment and ways that folks can take action for refugees today using your own family story.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Grant Meyer

Rachel Grant Meyer

A graduate of Columbia University, Rachel Grant Meyer was ordained by HUC-JIR. She currently serves as the Director of Education for Community Engagement at HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, where she develops educational materials, resources, and programs that educate American... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Board Room (4th Floor)

2:15pm

God-Talk and the Torah
God may be the most vibrant and complicated figure in the Torah. This session considers God’s nature and defining qualities, the limits of what humans can know about God, and asks whether the Torah’s God is relatable to Jews today.

Presenters
avatar for Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky is the dean of Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, JTS’s undergraduate school, and Blanche and Romie Shapiro Associate Professor of Bible. As associate professor of Bible, she teaches courses on Biblical literature, religion, and feminist interpretation of... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

2:15pm

The Good, the Bad and the Holy: What is Holiness and Why Does it Matter?
While the notion of holiness is embedded in the very fabric of religion itself, it remains a difficult concept to define. Instead, we default to quantitative descriptions of the sacred: this specific time, these particular people, and this place over here are holier than that other time, those other people, and that place over there. This session will explore different conceptions of holiness in Jewish literature and offer suggestions of their importance to contemporary Jewish life.

Presenters
avatar for Yonah Hain

Yonah Hain

Yonah Hain is the Campus Rabbi of Columbia University, where he directs the educational, religious and interfaith initiatives of Columbia/Barnard Hillel's robust pluralistic Jewish community. A yeshiva trained talmudist, Yonah serves as faculty for YCT Rabbinical School and the Shalom... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Should Justice Be Blind? Jewish Reflections on Judicial Impartiality, Legislative Favoritism, and Substantive Justice
Recent political fights in the U.S. and around the world have raised fundamental questions about our legal system: Should judges be impartial arbiters or attentive to the situation of the litigants and the societal implications of their rulings? Is law ideally a set of neutral principles, or is it a tool for protecting the weak? Judaism has grappled with these questions since its inception, and in this session we will mine our ancient texts for insights into these contentious questions.

Presenters
WF

William Friedman

William Friedman is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University, writing on Legal Reasoning in Tannaitic Law. He received rabbinic ordination from Daniel Landes. Although he has learned and taught at many Jewish learning institutions, the Pardes Beit Midrash has been his home for more... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

A Forgotten Heroine: The Remarkable Letter and Life of Rachel Mordecai
Meet Rachel Mordecai, a young Jewish teacher from North Carolina who in 1815 took a stand against anti-Semitism through a daring letter of complaint to a famous novelist –- a letter which produced results. Hailed as a heroine by a generation of young Jews, she later stunned many by converting to Christianity. We will explore the life and times of this complex and strong-willed Jewish woman, touching on minority representation in media, assimilation and what it really means to be a Jewish heroine.

Presenters
avatar for Joella Claman

Joella Claman

Joella Clamen is a Philadelphia tour guide who loves Jewish learning. Currently she leads walking tours for the American Jewish Committee which focus on Jewish history in early Philadelphia. She also works as a Program Facilitator at the Museum of the American Revolution and give... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

LGBTQ 101
Learn about the many terms used within the LGBTQ community and the resources available to obtain a better understanding of the diversity within sexual orientation and gender identity. This session is sponsored by Keshet.

Presenters
avatar for Aliza Orent

Aliza Orent

Aliza Orent is the Manager of Programming at the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). She holds a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MSW from the University of Michigan. She is a past fellow of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Israel and American Jewry: How Deep is the Divide and May It Be Healed?
Hardly a week goes by without an article in a major media outlet about the growing chasm between Israel and American Jewry. This session will explore the depth of the divide, the respective issues in question, the root causes underlying it, and whether and how the rift may be healed.

Presenters
avatar for Steven Bayme

Steven Bayme

Steven Bayme is the Director of the Contemporary Jewish Life Department of the AJC and of the Koppelman Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations. He holds undergraduate degrees in history from Yeshiva University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Jewish history from Columbia University... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

3:30pm

Expanding the Canon: Transforming Judaism in the 21st Century
Jewish learning has long focused on texts by an elite group of men with particular ideas about Judaism. Two core values — celebrating debate and multivocality, and privileging male voices — live in tension in our texts. What would it mean to radically expand the canon, incorporating voices of women and others on the margins? If we complicate our conception of what voices are authoritative and what values define Judaism, would we see Judaism differently? We will explore these growing pains of reorientation, and what’s at stake for the Jewish community.

Moderators
avatar for Michal Raucher

Michal Raucher

Michal Raucher is a JTS fellow and assistant professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers.  Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. Michal’s book, entitled Birthing Ethics: Reproductive Ethics among Haredi Women... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Michal Raucher

Michal Raucher

Michal Raucher is a JTS fellow and assistant professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers.  Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. Michal’s book, entitled Birthing Ethics: Reproductive Ethics among Haredi Women... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser is the Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate school. She has worked with educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning... Read More →
avatar for Elana Stein Hain

Elana Stein Hain

Elana is Scholar in Residence and Director of Faculty at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty, oversees the content of leadership programs, and leads the Created Equal research team. Elana holds a PhD in Religion from Columbia, where she wrote a dissertation on legal loopholes in rabbinic law. She previously served as clergy at Lincoln Square Synagogue and The Jewish Center in Manhattan. Elana lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her... Read More →
avatar for Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is on faculty at Drisha and teaches Jewish Studies at Fordham University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, studied Talmud and archaeology as a Fulbright Fellow at the Hebrew University, was a post-doc at Harvard University and JTS, taught... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Spoken Word
Please join Spoken Word Artist Vanessa Hidary as she reads new work about group therapy in her childhood living room, her failed attempt to become a Sephardic bride, and her family’s problematic feet. Sound Jewish enough for you? This session will include a Q & A with the artist.

Presenters
avatar for Vanessa Hidary

Vanessa Hidary

Vanessa Hidary is an internationally acclaimed Spoken Word Artist/Author/Director. She has appeared on “Russell Simmons Presents ‘Def Poetry Jam’" and is featured in the film The Tribe. She has presented at numerous Limmud conferences, including South Africa and the UK. Her... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

3:30pm

Immigrant Song: Ruth and the Politics of the Foreigner
How does the Book of Ruth inform our thinking about contemporary immigration? Let’s examine how readers of the book have mined its story for insights into one of the more pressing issues of our era.

Presenters
avatar for Stu Halpern

Stu Halpern

Stu Halpern is Senior Advisor to the Provost of Yeshiva University and is responsible for developing interdisciplinary educational and communal initiatives. He has edited 15 books, including Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought, and he has lectured in adult... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Board Room (4th Floor)

3:30pm

Lessons Learned in Starting and Scaling a Jewish Non Profit
Having a great idea is the first step in the long journey to building a national program. We will review step by step the process of going from an idea to a national program that has impacted over 4,000 people. It has been an incredible journey with lots of stresses along the wayQ Maybe I can save you from a few pitfalls... Let's explore together what it takes to go from dream to reality. We will have time to strategize about your vision as well.

Presenters
avatar for Audrey Lichter

Audrey Lichter

Audrey Litcher was the founding Director of Yachad, the the award-winning Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School, for 16 years. In 2009, Audrey became the founding Director of Chai Mitzvah, a national Jewish engagement program for teens to adults. She has received many community... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Eating as a Spiritual Ecosystem: The Hasidic Approach to the Material World
Hasidism innovated and popularized a method for unification with Divinity through eating and the reunification of sparks with their source above. In this process, the individual comes to recognize the holiness within foodstuffs, unite with their vitality, and return that holiness to God above. Ultimately, we observe a spiritual ecosystem, devised by Divinity, with us as the primary players.

Presenters
avatar for Joel Hecker

Joel Hecker

Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Hecker is the author of Volume 11 and (with Nathan Wolski) Volume 12 of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, the first complete annotated translation into English of Kabbalah's central work. He has also published Mystical... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 5 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

What is the Creator God in an Era of Human Innovation?
In Judaism, God's identity as a creator is captured in the very first verse of the Torah; it is one of the most fundamental and least controversial Jewish theological claims. At many times in Jewish history, however, creativity has been viewed as a zero-sum game: human creativity must diminish divine creativity, and vice versa. Today, when it is common to view humanity's creative ability as essentially limitless, is a Creator God still possible? This class will attempt to answer this question.

Presenters
avatar for David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman is a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he writes on Jewish law, the history of technology, and Islamic jurisprudence. He is the owner of Print-O-Craft Press and executive director... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 6 (5th Floor)

3:30pm

Lying Rabbis: Between Policy and Integrity
We will explore a Talmudic passage that seems to endorse rabbinic dissembling and prevarication in order to achieve desired policy outcomes. As fascinating as the Talmudic passage is, so are the medieval responses to it. We will consider how the different models offered can help us reflect on leadership and responsibility more broadly.

Presenters
avatar for Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker

Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and serves on the board of the H... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Reflections on the Woman's March
Presenters
avatar for Mira Rivera

Mira Rivera

Mira Rivera is the first Filipina-American woman to be ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2015 with an M.A. in Jewish Studies. Currently she serves at Romemu in Manhattan as their Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow and Board Certified Chaplain. With Renee Hill, she... Read More →
avatar for Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish

Tamara Fish (Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD) is the immediate past president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), the immediate past president of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and former Assistant Director of the Office of the University... Read More →
avatar for Abby Stein

Abby Stein

Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, speaker, and trans activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family of rabbinic descent. In that world Abby attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore different world views. In 2015... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Subversive Leadership: Women's Navigation of Authority in Jewish History
In the past, Jewish religious authority resided solely with men. Women who sought to lead or set new agendas had little chance of success. Nonetheless, we have stories of deeply religious women who understood how to navigate authority and subversively claim leadership roles that were transformative for their communities and for the Jewish world. Through examining women from Yalta to Sarah Schneirer, we will draw conclusions about the nature of leadership and authority in Jewish communal life.

Presenters
avatar for Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank is the Director of Admissions, Placement, and Alumnae Support at Yeshivat Maharat, the first yeshiva to ordain Orthodox women as clergy. Laura also serves as the Director of Israel Guidance and a member of the history faculty at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. A... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Board Room (4th Floor)

4:45pm

"Curb Your Offendedness:" Cultural Differences through Larry David
Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is known for making viewers laugh, squirm, or both. Is Larry David rude, or is he just "honest?" This same question often causes confusion and misunderstandings between Westerners and Israelis. Join Benji Lovitt as he helps explain Israeli behavior and cultural differences through classic "Curb Your Enthusiasm" clips. (Video contains profanity)

Presenters
avatar for Benji Lovitt

Benji Lovitt

Since making aliyah in 2006, comedian/educator Benji Lovitt has performed for audiences in North America, Australia, South Africa, and more. His perspectives on Israeli society, both comedic and serious, have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Creating Community: Strengthening our Global Jewish Family
Together we will explore some of the worldwide challenges facing the Jewish people and society at large. We will discuss if Limmud, and others like it, have developed a formula to combat these issues and ways to engage people to create a community fit for our times and common future. This session welcomes innovative minds, seeking to learn and get involved in discussing challenges the Jewish people face today.

Presenters
avatar for Eli Ovits

Eli Ovits

Eli Ovits is Chief Executive of Limmud. Representing Limmud in 42 countries, Eli supports the development of Limmud, its programs and volunteers. Eli is a Captain in the IDF Spokespersons Unit and a graduate of Hebrew U. He has lectured and traveled widely, working to combat extremism... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 6 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Lama Ivrit? (Why Hebrew?) – The Place of Hebrew in the Judaism and Zionism of the 21st Century
Does the Hebrew language still matter in the global world we are living in? What is the role of Modern Hebrew vs. Prayer's Hebrew? What is the place of the Hebrew language with regards to Israel? And is it, or could it be, a living bridge between Israel and the Jewish communities around the world? During our session, we will try to answer these questions and more, together with some practical tools of how to teach Hebrew. Hebrew, I will argue, is not only a mother tongue or a national language, but it is, first of all, a language of the people.

Presenters
avatar for Hilla Drechler

Hilla Drechler

Hilla Drechler is a senior Shlicha of the World Zionist Organization and the Representative of the Education Department in North America. She arrived in New York a year ago with a desire to learn and make an impact on the relationship between Jewish communities and Israeli society... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Secular Education in Ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas: What's at Stake
Graduates of ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas often struggle with the consequences of not having received a basic secular education. Most hasidic elementary schools provide only 90 minutes of secular instruction after a full day of Judaic studies. In high schools, boys receive no secular education at all, despite spending 12-14 hours a day in Yeshiva. Join Yaffed and Footsteps for a panel discussion about what's at stake and what the potential is for reform.  

Presenters
avatar for Pesach Eisen

Pesach Eisen

Pesach Eisen was born and raised in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of 25, after many years of struggling to find his place on the "outside," Pesach discovered Footsteps, and with their dedicated assistance finally completed his GED. Since then, Pesach has graduated... Read More →
avatar for Ari Hershkowitz

Ari Hershkowitz

Raised in New York in an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, Ari questioned that life from a young age. Now an atheist, he has built a life outside his insular beginnings and has publicly shared the joys and struggle of that journey via social media and in the acclaimed Netflix documentary... Read More →
avatar for Naftuli Moster

Naftuli Moster

Naftuli Moster is the founder and executive director of Yaffed. He is a graduate of a Hasidic Yeshiva, and his own struggle while pursuing higher education inspired him to bring reform to the Yeshiva system. He now has a BA in Psychology and an MSW.
avatar for Shlomo Noskow

Shlomo Noskow

Shlomo Noskow attended Hasidic yeshivas throughout his childhood. He is also a parent of two teenage boys within the Hasidic school system. Although his career path was long and winding, he eventually found his way into medicine. He now practices as an Emergency Physician. Shlomo... Read More →
avatar for Yael Reisman

Yael Reisman

Yael Reisman serves as Footsteps’ first-ever Director of Field and Movement Building, working to mobilize the public around reform efforts and issues of concern to those leaving ultra-Orthodoxy. With nearly 15 years of experience, Yael has worked with various progressive nonprofits... Read More →
avatar for Sheindy Weichman

Sheindy Weichman

Sandy grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is the mother of a boy attending a Hasidic Yeshiva. Sandy is currently attending Kingsborough Community College.


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Hahn Chapel (2nd Floor)

4:45pm

The Value of Time: Work, Rest, and Social Justice
What is a good use of our time? What is a waste of our time? These are questions that are as old as time itself. In this session, we will explore a wide range of ancient and contemporary texts that prompt us to think about how we use our time, both strategically and practically, as well as in a way that is driven by a commitment to live an ethical life and to create a society in which everyone's time is valued.

Presenters
avatar for Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is on faculty at Drisha and teaches Jewish Studies at Fordham University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, studied Talmud and archaeology as a Fulbright Fellow at the Hebrew University, was a post-doc at Harvard University and JTS, taught... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Why Do We Find Prayer so Hard?
This session will focus on why so many modern Jews find prayer so difficult. We'll talk about attitudes towards prayer among thinkers including Rambam and Heschel, and we will contrast assumptions about what makes for a genuine and meaningful prayer in Jewish tradition and in American culture. Along the way, we will touch on Thomas Aquinas, Quakerism, Thomas Merton and yoga, and the light they shed on traditional Jewish conceptions of prayer.

Presenters
avatar for Benjamin Sommer

Benjamin Sommer

Benjamin D. Sommer is professor of Bible at The Jewish Theological Seminary. His most recent book, Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition, received the prestigious Goldstein‐Goren Prize in Jewish Thought from Ben Gurion University for the years 2014‐2016... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

4:45pm

Tanya: Heart, Mind and Joy in Not Being Perfect
Tanya is perhaps the most creative book of Jewish thought in modernity and can be appreciated by all of us who are definitely not Chabad Hasidim. We shall tackle a few themes of the book and allow its teachings to touch our hearts, minds and finally give us permission for Not Being Perfect.

Presenters
avatar for Isaac Landes

Isaac Landes

Isaac Landes learns and teaches at YASHRUT which builds civil discourse through a theology of integrity, justice, and tolerance. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion Hesder, he does graduate work at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writing about birth control, abortion and infanticide... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Eisner Auditorium (6th Floor)

4:45pm

Torah Lishmah: When Less is More
While all Torah learning is considered valuable, why does Torah Lishmah, study for its own sake hold pride of place in Jewish thought? In a creative reading of the story of Sarah and Hagar, the great Hasidic master and grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the Degel Mahaneh Ephraim, reflects on the tension between quantity and quality in the quest for Torah learning. He exposes the dangers of learning Torah for the wrong reasons and offers strategies for removing our egos from our quests for spiritual growth.

Presenters
avatar for Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Hadar, an institution for higher Jewish learning based in NYC, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned her BA in Religious Studies from NYU and a MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has also studied at Midreshet... Read More →


Sunday February 17, 2019 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)
 
Monday, February 18
 

9:00am

Monday Program Opening Remarks
Presenters
avatar for Seth Aronson

Seth Aronson

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 is... Read More →
avatar for Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld has a New York psychotherapy practice that also offers specialized coaching for individuals and families needing support during preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah or other major life events. She holds a master's degree from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 9:00am - 9:10am
Schnurmacher Chapel (6th Floor)

9:10am

Keynote: To Flourish Like a Palm
Alan will share strategies for addressing life's everyday challenges in ways that go beyond secular techniques to touch our hearts and souls, and to provide us with a Jewish pathway of spiritual ascent.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis

Alan Morinis is the founder of the Mussar Institute. He is an anthropologist, filmmaker, writer, and student of spiritual traditions who regularly lectures and facilitates workshops. Raised in a culturally Jewish but non-observant home, he studied anthropology at Oxford University... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 9:10am - 10:00am
Schnurmacher Chapel (6th Floor)

10:10am

Healing as Emulating the Divine
Are there elements of the divine in healing? How does holiness enter the work of helping to heal others? In this text-based study, we will explore together sources that  point to the kedusha (holiness) and characteristics of imitiatio Dei (imitation of God) inherent in the work of the healer.

Presenters
avatar for Seth Aronson

Seth Aronson

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 is... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 8 (5th Floor)

10:10am

Navigating the Spiritual Journey of Bereavement through Sacred Texts and Prayer
Participants will learn about resources in texts and in healing prayer, to help themselves or offer support to others in working through the painful process of losing a loved one.

Presenters
avatar for Shira Stern

Shira Stern

Shira Stern was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1983 and received her Doctor of Ministry in 2004. She has served as a pulpit rabbi, a board certified chaplain and president of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. She is currently in private practice, specializing in bereavement, and... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 7 (5th Floor)

10:10am

An Introduction to Mussar Practice
If you were intrigued by Alan Morinis's keynote talk, come try a little taste of Mussar right here at Limmud! Gary Shaffer, a seasoned Mussar leader, offers an interactive, experiential introduction to Mussar practice.

Presenters
avatar for Gary Shaffer

Gary Shaffer

Gary Shaffer is a past president of The Mussar Institute and an attorney/mediator whose practice covers family, commercial, employment and personal injury matters. He graduated with honors from Harvard College and the Cardozo School of Law, and believes Mussar and mediation are both... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 12 (5th Floor)

10:10am

Greater than Rubies: A Treasury of Teachings for a Loving Life
Jewish writings offer precious, profound, and practical wisdom for anyone who wants to love or be loved. We will look at aspects of both ahava (loving another) and being ahuv (the quality of being lovable) in short texts from the Bible and from the Mussar spiritual tradition.  The session will incorporate chevruta (paired) learning and visualization.

Presenters
avatar for Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld

Julie Hirschfeld has a New York psychotherapy practice that also offers specialized coaching for individuals and families needing support during preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah or other major life events. She holds a master's degree from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 4 (5th Floor)

10:10am

Joy in Our Bodies, Even if You Hate Winter and Hate Exercise
Waiting for a bus, squeezing in ten minutes to get our hearts pumping, not having time to exercise... New Yorkers get the most steps of any FitBit users, but many of us use the cold weather as an excuse to skip outdoor recreation. Judaism has resources to strengthen body and spirit. Join coach Bonnie Schwartz and Jewish educator Sarah Chandler for a session in embodied study and practice. Learn easy moves for building strength, tips for meditating on the go, and Jewish teachings to inspire. Bring your coat and hat -- we will be outdoors for the majority of the session! No other special attire or equipment needed.

Presenters
avatar for Sarah Chandler

Sarah Chandler

Sarah Chandler is a Brooklyn-based Jewish educator, ritualist, artist, activist, and poet. She is the program director for Romemu Yeshiva, a contemplative program of study and practice for adults, and a garden educator with Grow Torah.
avatar for Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie Schwartz has been involved with USA Swimming for over 30 years as both a highly accomplished swimmer and a widely sought-after coach. She is the “Rosh Mayim” (water sports director) of Ramah California and the first business manager of Ramah Sports Academy. 


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Playground (6th Floor)

10:10am

Seeing the Voices (Lirot ha-Kolot): An Interactive Workshop for Compassionate Listening that Transforms Relationships
Using drama games that draw on specific Jewish concepts and values, this workshop will  explore important communications skills and compassionate listening. Participants will learn about how these skills create the foundations for healthy, positive relationships and discuss how to bring them into their lives.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman, the founder and executive director of The Advot Project is an experienced actress, consultant and facilitator creating curricula that use drama techniques to deal with social, gender, and educational issues as well as exploring identity and promoting tolerance and... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

10:10am

Helping Teens Navigate a #MeToo World with Jewish Wisdom and Values
How do we help our Jewish teens learn about consent, sexuality and harassment without fear? How do we understand our own concerns? How are Jewish wisdom, tradition and values a resource and frame in this sacred work? Moving Traditions helps parents and teens to have important conversations and develop tools to navigate this increasingly complicated landscape, all through a Jewish lens. Bring your questions to this experiential learning session.

Presenters
avatar for Nicole Nevarez

Nicole Nevarez

Nicole Nevarez, New York Director of Moving Traditions, oversees all of the New York metro area program partners and serves on the Moving Traditions training faculty. As an educator and facilitator, Nicole combines her experience in theater with her years of teaching adolescents... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 10:10am - 11:15am
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Foremothering Complexity, Grit, and Resilience in the Lives of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel
The foremothers of the Torah offer an intriguing variety of personalities. Explore how Sarah’s laughter, Rebecca’s determination, Leah’s sadness and Rachel’s innocence emerge from the Genesis family dynamics. Consider connections between these ancient figures and the resilience and grit that parents, educators, and all of us try to inhabit for ourselves, and best model for the children in our lives.

Presenters
avatar for Abby Eisenberg

Abby Eisenberg

Abby Eisenberg is the founder and lead educator of ExploreJewish and Judaics Tutoring NYC. She works with NYC families, creating and teaching individualized text-based Judaics curricula to kids and parents. Abby also officiates at lifecycle events and teaches regularly at the 92Y... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 4 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Living Fully After Tragedy: Lessons from the Jewish Experience
Nina Kampler draws on the personal experience -- the loss of her son Judah to suicide in 2015 -- to speak with audiences internationally about resilience.  She connects her story with those of others who have lived through traumas of Jewish history, and shares the resources from Jewish values and practice that she has found most healing and helpful.

Presenters
avatar for Nina Kampler

Nina Kampler

Nina Kampler is a lawyer, real estate advisor, and business development expert. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and the NYU School of Law. Residents of Teaneck, NJ, she and her husband Zvi Marans are the parents of four children, and are active members of their... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 8 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Special Session for Jewish Educators
As Jewish educators, we are keenly attuned to the emotional needs of our learners. We strive to maintain caring, safe learning environments even during (or especially during!) difficult times. “Who’s helping the helpers (that is, us)?” is a vital question that is central to our well-being, professionally and personally. As we come together to provide support to one another, we’ll talk about opportunities for, and challenges to, supporting our own spiritual and emotional lives.  

Presenters
avatar for Jeff Kress

Jeff Kress

Jeff Kress is the Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS. Social and emotional learning is at the core of his teaching, research, and professional development work. Jeff lives in Highland Park, NJ with his wife... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 11 (5th Floor)

11:25am

What Have You Lost? Finding Jewish Paths through Everyday Depression and Disappointments
Everyone experiences depressed feelings and challenging disappointments at times,  but many of us do not access the Jewish resources that could help us to prepare, to cope, to restore balance, or to rekindle hope. Utilizing a framework of Loss and Recovery, we will explore the common but very real experiences that often yield a sense of shame, failure, and emptiness, and then consider tales, texts, chants and other treasures from the Jewish storehouse that can be tools of restoration and resilience.

Presenters
avatar for Simkha Weintraub

Simkha Weintraub

Simkha Y. Weintraub serves as Rabbinic Director of the Jewish Board, offering Jewish spiritual counseling, support groups, workshops and other programs for those who are bereaved, survivors of trauma, or living with chronic illness. For 30 years he has worked to integrate Jewish spiritual... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 7 (5th Floor)

11:25am

"A Delight:" Shabbat Wisdom for a Joyful Life
Shabbat is meant to be a 25-hour “Palace in Time.” A lot easier said than done! Together, we will look at some of the ways the Sages tried to make Shabbat an embodied experience of calm and joy (including no talking about politics!). Picking up where they left off, we will aim to create and share some of our own approaches to making Shabbat a true “Taste of the World to Come.”  Whatever your level of observance, discover new ways to understand human joy and thriving through the lens of Shabbat.

Presenters
avatar for Loren Berman

Loren Berman

Loren Berman is a student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Originally from Los Angeles (where he was a successful child actor), Loren is the East Coast Educator for Moishe House International, the supervisor of High Holidays programming at Rikers Island, and a former teacher of Torah in... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 12 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Minding the Temple of the Soul: Morning Blessing Practices
This workshop will engage the mind, the soul, and the body, teaching the rituals and movements associated with the morning blessings, Birkot HaShachar. We begin with simple stretches and breathing, opening ourselves to the transformational power of these prayers for entering the day. We learn about their historical meaning and experience them in a new way through movement and meditation. Starting your day with this approach supports health and happiness by helping you tune in to both your body and your soul.

Presenters
avatar for Judy Greenfeld

Judy Greenfeld

Judy Greenfeld is co-author of Minding the Temple of the Soul and Entering the Temple of Dreams, Beginning and Ending Each Day Embodied in Jewish Prayer, Movement and Meditation. Ordained as a cantor by the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, she founded her own congregation... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 1 & 2 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Achieving Wholeness: The Dao of Judaism
Parallels between Daoist philosophy and Judaism will be explored and discussed with reference to: The Torah (Creation, Akedah, Kedushah); mystical symbols (sefirot, menorah, mogan david) and sounds (Sh’ma); and movements (priestly blessing, blessing over Shabbat candles). The concepts will be further illustrated through a participatory workshop that includes breathing/qigong and taichi based movements.

Presenters
avatar for Joel Friedman

Joel Friedman

Joel Friedman is a scientist, professor (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), student of Jewish mysticism and theology, and teacher and student of Chinese martial arts. He is a husband to Susan and father to Adam and Ben.


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Room 9 & 10 (5th Floor)

11:25am

Jewish Traditions: Baking Together! The Art of Enhancing Child Development in the Home
In a kitchen setting, a baker and a child development specialist will demonstrate how  family relationships and child-development goals of emotional growth and executive function can all be promoted through the age-old Jewish tradition of baking. This mother-daughter team will weave in details from their personal history and relationship that demonstrate the power of the kitchen for transmitting love, family traditions, and growth.

Presenters
avatar for Judith Norrell

Judith Norrell

Judith Norrell started baking at home as a child with her own mother, and then continued to invent delicious breads and muffins as a hobby in the rare free moments in her career as a musician. She turned to full-time baking in the late 1990’s, and with a co-owner opened New York's... Read More →
avatar for Gabrielle Strasfogel-Ryklin

Gabrielle Strasfogel-Ryklin

Gabrielle Strasfogel-Ryklin is an early childhood development specialist, holding master's degrees from both the Bank Street College of Education and Hunter College. She provides early intervention services for individual children and runs innovative cooking-based groups that enhance... Read More →


Monday February 18, 2019 11:25am - 12:30pm
Kitchen (6th Floor)

12:40pm

Closing Convocation
We close the day by gathering in song and poetry, experiencing the strength of community and carrying our learning out into our lives. Covenant Award-winning actress Naomi Ackerman and others will lead in this uplifting end to an inspiring day.

Naomi Ackerman's participation was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation.

Monday February 18, 2019 12:40pm - 1:00pm
Schnurmacher Chapel (6th Floor)