Limmud NY 2019 has ended
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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

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Spirituality and Theology [clear filter]
Sunday, February 17


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.

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)


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. 

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)


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

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)


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.

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)


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.

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)


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.

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)


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.

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)


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.

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)