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Friday, February 12
 

11:30am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 11:30am - 1:30pm
Volunteer Central

11:30am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 11:30am - 1:30pm
Volunteer Central

11:30am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 11:30am - 1:30pm
Volunteer Central

11:30am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 11:30am - 1:30pm
Volunteer Central

12:00pm

Friday Lunch
Welcome to Limmud NY! Lunch is available for purchase ($7) directly from Kay Caterers.
Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Friday February 12, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Ballroom I, II

1:00pm

How Jewish Life Has (and Hasn't) Changed in 40 Years: A Visual History Told Through Moment Covers
From Moment’s launch in 1975 to the present, art and design have served to enhance and complement the magazine’s content. In particular, Moment covers served as a reflection of the concerns, hopes and triumphs of JewishAmericans. Join Moment editor and publisher Nadine Epstein and Deputy Editor Sarah Breger on a visual exploration of Moment's evolution over four decades via it's cover art. We will also discuss Moment's balanced and nuanced view of Jewish life and history, and how it has helped shaped– and been shaped by–the American Jewish experience. 

Presenters
NE

Nadine Epstein

Nadine Epstein is the editor and publisher of Moment Magazine, founder and executive director of the Center for Creative Change, and founder of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004 Epstein relaunched Moment Magazine, co-founded in 1975 by Leonard Fein and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and has forged it into a multi-media platform of... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Grove

1:00pm

Why Are We So Dysfunctional? Can We Save the Jewish Non-Profit From Itself?
A discussion exploring the dystopian cultures of Jewish non-profits --we venerate the new generation of Jewish non-profits and their models of leadership development, programming creativity and "cutting edge" culture but many of our large, older institutions are mired in antiquated management styles, losing and alienating the next generation of young professionals and often organizational disasters. Why? And what can we do to rally for serious self-examination and push for culture change?

Presenters
GK

Gillian Kaye

President and Founder, Kaye Strategies Consulting and Coaching
Gillian Kaye is the founder of Kaye Strategies Consulting. She is a collaboration and community engagement consultant and coach with expertise in organizational capacity building, coalition building, strategic planning, organizing and facilitating and designing community and cross-stakeholder collaboration. With over 30 years of practice in the US and abroad, she is the author and co-author of many books, manuals, articles and curricula on... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Cove

1:00pm

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

Presenters

Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Glen

1:00pm

Getting Older is Not for Sissies: Finding Wisdom and Grace as We Age (Part I)
How are you feeling about getting older? Are parts of you concerned, pretending it's not happening, feeling like it's all downhill from here? What if you found a way to develop a new perspective? This session is for those of us who are 60+ and are both interested and willing to open the box and look at our lives. By looking at the bigger picture we will begin to discover the journey of new growth that awaits us. Materials are based on the new book, Wise Aging by Rachel Cowan and Linda Thal. 
Participants may choose to participate in either one or both sessions.  

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Director of Makom, JCC Manhattan
Susie Kessler is the director of Makom: The Center for Meditation and Spirituality at JCC Manhattan. She was a past coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing and has been trained as a facilitator of the new IJS curriculum, "Wise Aging". Susie has been a proud member of the Upper West Side Jewish community for over 40 years. She is married to Peter Geffen and they are parents to Jonah Geffen and Julia Mannes, Daniel and Lu Geffen... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Westover

1:00pm

Three Waves of Jewish Feminism
The Jewish feminist movement began with Ezrat Nashim in 1971. Ezrat Nashim examined the role of women in participating in the public ritual of Jewish life. The second wave saw women rabbis in the Conservative movement, women in leadership positions in synagogue life, women's minyanim , etc. The third wave is the partnership minyanim (prayer groups), women rabbis in the Orthodox movement, etc.  A panel of leaders in each of these waves will share their personal experiences and challenges.

Presenters
EF

Eva Fogelman

Eva Fogelman is a social psychologist, psychotherapist, filmmaker and author. She is co-director of Child Development Research; co-founder of Psychotherapy with Generations of the Holocaust and Related Traumas; co-founder of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (now the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous); writer and co-producer of the documentary Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust; author of the Pulitzer... Read More →
DS

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

JOFA
Sharon has served as an educator and leader in the Jewish community. Most recently, she was the Director of Recruitment for Yeshivat Maharat.  She was the Director of Online Engagement at the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, successfully animating and expanding their network and reach.  Sharon earned her doctorate at New York University in Education and Jewish Studies, having concentrated on the female staff... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Waterside

1:00pm

The Six Themes of Jewish Peoplehood
What does Jewish Peoplehood mean anyway? This concept often gets thrown around in Jewish conversations without a clear definition. This session will not promise to offer one definition but will start a conversation about six important facets of Jewish Peoplehood. With the help of engaging videos from the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education we will explore: Collective Belonging, Mutual Responsibility, Pluralism and Diversity, Israel, Universalism vs. Particularism, and Judaism as Civilization.

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Olson

Daniel Olson

Peoplehood Education and Outreach, NY Region, Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education
Daniel Olson is a PhD Student in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU. His dissertation research will be about the various meanings of the term “inclusion” in Jewish Education, related mostly to learners with disabilities. His most recent professional work has been with the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education training NY area educators to use its Online Toolkit.


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Springdale

1:00pm

Who Killed Religious Zionism? Religion, Community, and Politics in Israel and America
The death of Mizrachi/the National Religious Party a few years ago called into question, both in America and in Israel, the role of Religious Zionism in the creation of the Yishuv, thence of the state, and those dynamics that caused the demise of Religious Zionism. Was the "villain" the weakening of Modern Orthodoxy? Was it the Settler Movement, in which Religious Zionism became increasingly defined by West Bank settlers? The session offers a historical, religious, and political analysis.

Presenters
JC

Jerome Chanes

Jerome Chanes, a senior fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies of the CUNY Graduate Center, is the author of four books and some hundreds of book chapters, articles, reviews on Jewish history, sociology, public affairs, and arts and letters. Jerry started out life as a rock reviewer, and was (briefly) a house-pianist at CBGB. Current projects include "The Future of American Judaism" (Columbia I+University Press/Trinity College); and a source... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Elm

1:00pm

What Makes Baby Girls Different?
A notorious feature of the biblical laws pertaining to childbirth in Leviticus 12 is the way they differentiate between male and female babies: the period of purification for the mother is twice as long following the birth of a girl as it is for a boy. We will explore both traditional and modern attempts to explain that difference.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Provost, Jewish Theological Seminary
Alan Cooper is the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and provost of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty in 1997 as a professor of Bible. In 1998, he also was appointed professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary. Previously, he was a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion, where for six years he was director of its School of... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
High Ridge

1:30pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Volunteer Central

1:30pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Volunteer Central

1:30pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Volunteer Central

1:30pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Volunteer Central

2:45pm

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

Presenters

Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Glen

2:45pm

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

Presenters
NH

Naftali Hanau

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


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Belltown

2:45pm

When Christianity Defines Judaism: Martin Buber on Jesus and the Baal Shem Tov
We are often taught that Judaism precedes Christianity, yet scholars of ancient Judaism often argue that both religions emerge simultaneously. Some even suggest that Judaism as we know it arises in part as a response to Christianity. We will look at the writings of Martin Buber on Jesus and his work on Hasidism to suggest that Buber views Jesus as the true antecedent to the figure of the Baal Shem Tov, and Jesus helps us understand the religious critique that is embedded in the Hasidic movement.

Presenters
SM

Shaul Magid

Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schotenstein Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion at Indiana University and rabbi of the Fire island Synagogue, Sea View New York.


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Waterside

2:45pm

From Gaza to Jerusalem: An Insider’s View From the Border
This session features the personal testimony of Jonathan Dekel-Chen, a veteran member of Kibbutz Nir Oz on the border with Gaza. He will give a first-hand account of the realities of life in a border community that has repeatedly been at the heart of Israel’s ongoing conflict with Gaza. He will also offer insights about the region’s political complexities from his troubled corner of the Middle East and about the future of kibbutzim in Israel’s rapidly changing socio-economic landscape.

Presenters
JD

Jonathan Dekel-Chen

Jonathan Dekel-Chen is a senior lecturer in modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the 2015-16 academic year, he is an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He is a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which borders the Gaza Strip. In 2014, he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Performing Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for under-served high school students from all over... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Cove

2:45pm

My Art and its Connection to Israeli History and Modern Hebrew
Michal Nachmany's art is an echo of her childhood -- a mixture of the colors, sounds and scents from her weekly visits to the markets in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her work includes American and Israeli memorabilia, legal contracts, letters, photo albums, matchboxes, postcards, and other found objects. Through an exploration of her artwork and her collection of historical documents, she will teach about Israeli history and modern Hebrew.

Presenters
MN

Michal Nachmany

Michal Nachmany is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught liturgical, biblical and modern Hebrew for more than 20 years at synagogues and other institutions throughout New York City. Read more about Michal on her website: http://www.alefadtav.com/.


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Aspen

2:45pm

Don’t Be a Jerk: Applying Hillel’s Golden Rule in Practice
In response to a heckler, Rabbi Hillel summarized the Torah, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the whole Torah. Now go and learn it.” In other words: don’t be a jerk, realize that learning to do right by others takes effort, and go learn what the Jewish tradition has to say about that. An exploration of inadvertent obnoxiousness and alternatives to obnoxiousness.

Presenters
RR

Ruti Regan

Ruti Regan is a fourth-year rabbinical student at JTS and the author of realsocialskills.org, a blog about the disability-informed approach to interpersonal interactions. She is a co-founder of Anachnu, an organization led by Jews with disabilities promoting disability-informed Torah and inclusive community. She moderates the weekly #parshachat on Twitter. Prior to JTS, Ruti studied at Drisha and the Conservative Yeshiva. Her interests include... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Elm

2:45pm

Heterogeneity and Harmony in Am Israel
During the course of Jewish history diverse opinions and denominations, arguments and disputes have arised. In this presentation we will analyze the value and the importance of disputes and diversity and explore methods for achieving the inner peace and brotherhood above the widening fault lines of Jewish society. Jewish sources and historical precedents will be addressed in demonstration of these methods.

Presenters
avatar for Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth is the Rabbi of Ohel Ari Congregation in Ra'annana. He is the Founder and first Executive Director of "Beit Hillel – Attentive Spiritual Leadership". Ronen was the director of the overseas department and head of the rabbinical training program of Tzohar Rabbinical Organization. He served as a captain in the Israeli Navy Special Forces. Ronen also served as the Rabbi of Bnei Akiva of the U.S. and Canada.



Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Grove

2:45pm

Making Sense of Kabbalat Shabbat
The melodies and experience of Kabbalat Shabbat are one facet of this service that attracts us. But is there a meaning to the words that could help us start our Shabbat with a different mindset? Can we use Kabbalat Shabbat as a way of approaching our relationship with G-d, with the world, with others, and with ourselves that can enhance our neshamot (souls) during this upcoming Shabbat? Join us for a pre-Kabbalat Shabbat session for parents, children, and anyone who wants to "feel" Shabbat more!

Presenters
YP

Yossi Pollak

Koren Publishers, Koren Publishers
Yossi Pollak is Director of Synagogue and School Outreach for Koren Publishers in the Northeast US. He graduated from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and has served pulpits in the Northeast. Yossi lives in White Plains, NY with his wife Brooke and daughters Nava and Avital. He loves tefillah, live music and playing guitar.



Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Long Ridge

2:45pm

Happy Birthday to You: Changing the World One Mitzvah Celebration at a Time
I loved my birthday growing up, especially the cool cakes my mother baked. My children’s birthday parties were super fun, with scavenger hunts and paper bag dramatics. But birthdays can become more meaningful by integrating tikkun olam into milestone celebrations; not just for Bar and Bat Mitzvah age kids, but for anyone, from newborns to centenarians. Come hear about these Mitzvah Celebrations and dream up some new ideas. This year, don’t just light a candle. Light up the world.

Presenters
avatar for Nechama Liss-Levinson

Nechama Liss-Levinson

Nechama Liss-Levinson loved watching people and their families as a child, so it’s not surprising she grew up to be a psychologist and a writer. Nechama’s clinical practice and writing has focused on developmental milestones in the Jewish family. She has taught, blogged, written, and presented on issues concerning birth, death, and the complicated stuff that happens in the middle. Her books include When a Grandparent Dies and When the... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Springdale

2:45pm

A Jewish Response Within the Fight for $15: Carrying the Workmen’s Circle Activism Forward
$15 per hour and a Union would help more than 46 Million Americans who, despite working full time, fall below the poverty line. Jewish tradition drives us to align with the poor. Today, the Workmen’s Circle is organizing the Jewish coalition for the Fight for $15. This work follows our longtime history of fighting for workers’ rights. Join us as we explore Jewish text, the societal issues we face, our activist history, potential solutions, and how to make this a teaching moment.

Presenters
avatar for Kate O'Brien

Kate O'Brien

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

Ann Toback

Ann Toback is the Executive Director of the Workmen’s Circle. Since June of 2008 she has led the Workmen’s Circle through a reboot process, resulting in a new mission rooted in intergenerational learning, cultural celebration, and applying a Jewish lens to progressive activism. The WC is proud to have launched a growing network of Jewish cultural schools. In 2015, the WC reengaged around its progressive roots and launched a new... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
High Ridge

2:45pm

Charting the Four Amot: Toward a New Theology of Halakhah
Contemporary Jewish discourse generally seeks to erect a sturdy wall between spirituality on one hand, and Jewish law (and legal reasoning) on the other. Drawing on mystical and legal sources both medieval and modern, our goal is to reconsider the interface between theology and halakhah, exploring the ways in which these two realms actually enrich and challenge each other in terms of conceptual process, communal experience and the personal devotional life.

Presenters
AM

Ariel Mayse

Ariel Evan Mayse is a Research Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har’el. He is a co-editor of the two-volume collection Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings From Around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights, 2013), and editor of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Westover

3:30pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Volunteer Central

3:30pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Volunteer Central

3:30pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Volunteer Central

3:30pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Volunteer Central

4:30pm

Shabbat Candle Lighting
Welcome Shabbat with the Limmud NY community. You are welcome to light candles on your own at any time, Shabbat begins at 5:06pm.

Friday February 12, 2016 4:30pm - 5:06pm
Mezzanine

5:00pm

'Reading Rainbow' Room
Searching for meaning or relaxation? Take a look: it's in a book. Enjoy a small selection of books or bring your own, and enjoy reading in a companionable and hushed environment with your fellow LimmudNYiks!

Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Springdale

5:00pm

Build-A-Tradition: An Activity in Personalizing Prayers, Rituals, and Blessings
A creative endeavor to bring more blessings to friends and family! Years ago, I began giving newlywed couples a container of personalized blessings. This practice can be appropriate for many occasions and can accompany any gift. As we craft our own personalized blessings, we'll discuss our own unique traditions that others might be interested in adapting or adopting. We'll explore integrating new rituals and refreshing old traditions and you're invited to bring examples from your experiences.

Presenters
avatar for Sheridan Gayer

Sheridan Gayer

Sheridan Gayer is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University. A graduate of Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary, her love of "hands-on" education stems from USY, Ramah, and JCCA, organizations for which she has also worked. A longtime Limmud NY volunteer and former conference co-chair, she is currently a board member. She loves to cook, write, and find creative ways to explore our... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Westover

5:00pm

Orthodox Partnership Kabbalat Shabbat Service [separate seating; mixed-gender leadership]
Modeled after Kehilat Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem and Darkhei Noam in Manhattan, this service aims to provide opportunities for women to participate within a traditional service with a mehitza (partition). Both men and women will lead parts of this joyous and spirited service. Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service and seating is separated by gender.


Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Cove

5:00pm

Orthodox Traditional Kabbalat Shabbat Service [separate seating; male leadership]
We will use the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach to pray the Friday night Shabbat Service, connecting our hearts, minds, and souls to the liturgy. Note: No instruments or amplification will be used and seating is separate by gender.

Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Elm

5:00pm

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

Presenters
avatar for Shir Yaakov Feit

Shir Yaakov Feit

Kol Hai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal
Shir Yaakov is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and dad. He engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people worldwide, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom. In 2014, Shir started Kol Hai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal, an intentional community in New York's Hudson Valley. Shir has recorded and released four albums of original music and... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

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

Eliana Light

Through music, song-leading, experiential education, and spirited prayer leading, Eliana Light empowers children, families, and adults to make Judaism their own. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, worked with innovative organizations like Bible Raps and G-dCast, and taught all over the country. This spring, Eliana will receive her masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently the... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Grove

5:00pm

Traditional Egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat Services [mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership]
We will welcome Shabbat with the traditional egalitarian service for Friday afternoon, featuring spirited singing of the traditional liturgy with leadership and participation by people of all genders. Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service. There will be mixed-gender seating.

Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Aspen

5:00pm

Go Deeper--Taking Your Mindful Meditation Practice to Another Level
Have you tried meditation, developed a practice, or been meditating for some time? Are you looking for a space to share your experience, dealing with new questions that have come up, or challenges to your practice? Wondering why taking time to go inside is so important? Gaining a sense of the connection to your spiritual life? This session is for those with a bit or a whole lot more experience of meditation/mindfulness. There will be sitting practice, exercises, and conversation.

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Director of Makom, JCC Manhattan
Susie Kessler is the director of Makom: The Center for Meditation and Spirituality at JCC Manhattan. She was a past coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing and has been trained as a facilitator of the new IJS curriculum, "Wise Aging". Susie has been a proud member of the Upper West Side Jewish community for over 40 years. She is married to Peter Geffen and they are parents to Jonah Geffen and Julia Mannes, Daniel and Lu Geffen... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Long Ridge

5:30pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Volunteer Central

5:30pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Volunteer Central

5:30pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Volunteer Central

5:30pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 5:30pm - 6:45pm
Volunteer Central

6:30pm

Communal Shabbat Dinner
Friday night introduces the heart of Limmud NY: Shabbat. After choosing your own path for spiritual and religious connection, join all LNY participants at our only fully communal meal of the conference! Family tables and college student tables will be designated by [TBD]. Handwashing and the blessing over bread are done at each table. Please introduce yourself and enjoy the simcha (joy) of Shabbat with friends old and new! Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Friday February 12, 2016 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Ballroom I, II

8:15pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 8:15pm - 10:15pm
Volunteer Central

8:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 8:15pm - 10:15pm
Volunteer Central

8:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 8:15pm - 10:15pm
Volunteer Central

8:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 8:15pm - 10:15pm
Volunteer Central

8:45pm

Journey through Time and Space through Storytelling
Jewish stories come from every country where Jews have lived. Hear a sampling of tales from around the world and discover sources for your own storytelling ventures.

Presenters
MH

Muriel Horowitz

Storyteller
Muriel Horowitz combines creativity and an open heart with a rich knowledge of Jewish stories and traditions as she shares folktales, “midrashim,” and family stories. Combining her passions for storytelling, Judaism, and teaching in her work, she believes in the power of story to break down barriers and bring us closer to a more peaceful world.


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Waterside

8:45pm

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

Presenters

Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Glen

8:45pm

Orthodox Feminism: The Past, The Present, and… Is There a Future?
The Orthodox Feminism movement is over 40 years old. From the perspective of someone who was on the front lines, creating women's prayer groups 40 years ago, helping to create JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and more recently Partnership minyanim, how much as has really changed. This session will cover the evolution of the movement, its challenges and successes, looking back as well as looking forward.

Presenters
avatar for Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus

Clinical Director, Maze Women's Sexual Health
Titled the Orthodox Sex Guru by the NYTimes Magazine, Bat Sheva is a founder and clinical director of Maze Women's Sexual Health, one of the largest centers in the country treating female sexual issues. She holds masters in Social Work, Public Health and Jewish Studies and a PhD in Human Sexuality. Bat Sheva is also one of the founders and currently the President of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She co-hosts of a monthly podcast on... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Aspen

8:45pm

Tinker, Tourist, Soldier, Spy
What happened when the Soviet Jewry movement sent thousands of American tourists into the USSR to contact refuseniks in the 1970s and 80s? The movement became an unintentional leader in the burgeoning field of Eastern European Jewish tourism, playing quasi-travel agent and writing some of the first guidebooks for Jewish heritage tours of Russia. It also spawned a new genre of Jewish travel writing, in which ordinary citizens wrote themselves as characters into stories of Cold War espionage.

Presenters
avatar for Shaul Kelner

Shaul Kelner

Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University
Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, and past director of Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies Program. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he is the author of the award-winning Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010). He is currently a Fellow of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, where he is... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Westover

8:45pm

High School Meet Up
Come meet other high school students here at Limmud NY! There will be ice breakers, friends, and plenty of snacks. Come with a group or by yourself. We can head to sessions together, or just chill. Let's make the best of Limmud NY.

Presenters
JS

Jordan Soffer

Jordan Soffer is currently a fourth year rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and is pursuing a masters in elementary education at Yeshiva University's Azrieli Graduate School of Education; Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2010, Jordan has spent the past years studying at various yeshivot in Jerusalem, Maaleh Gilboa, and New York.


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Teen Lounge

8:45pm

How I Went from a Clinical Chemist to a Historical Novelist
Maggie Anton, who grew up in a secular socialist household and knew little of her Jewish religion, never imagined she would write award-winning historical novels about learned Jewish heroines. She will talk about how, after over 30 years as a clinical chemist, she started studying Talmud and became so fascinated with Rashi's daughters that she decided to write about them. Which led her to embark on to an entirely new career.

Presenters
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Elm

8:45pm

Yiddish Ulpan Session 1: Instant Yiddish! 50 Words in 50 Minutes
Do you love the sound of Yiddish, but never learned to speak it? Do you speak a bisl (bit), but wish you spoke a sakh (lot)? Do you want to make your mispokhe (family) kvel (feel pride)? Join Yiddish Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin of The Workmen’s Circle and go from bupkes (nothing) to bilingual! This engaging and dynamic ulpan series makes Yiddish accessible for students of all ages through vocabulary, conversation, and poetry. No prior Yiddish knowledge necessary. This is one part of a three part Yiddish offering. You do not need to attend all parts. 

Presenters
avatar for Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

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


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Willow

8:45pm

How to Talk to the Creature in Your Car: A Survival Guide for Parents of Teens
Please attend if you are a parent/grandparent seeking tips on how to create healthier conversations with your teen or if you want validation on the successful things that are already working. Scott reveals secrets most teens keep from their parents, giving important tips on how to help them. This talk deals with difficult issues: suicide, eating disorders, depression, and sex. Every teen wants the tender presence of a loving other & permission to be whomever they are becoming. Let's help them!

Presenters
avatar for Scott Fried

Scott Fried

Scott Fried is an international public speaker, health educator, author and three-time guest at Limmud, England. He has been living with HIV for over 28 years, making him one of the longest Jewish survivors of the disease. Scott is the author of three books and lives in NYC.


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Springdale

8:45pm

'If I Am Not for Me, Who Will Be?' Universalism and Particularism in the Jewish Tradition
What do we owe each other? What do we owe the world? From Abraham to Sharansky, Jewish ethics have struggled with how to balance our communal responsibilities to our own people with our obligations to the world as a whole. Do Ahavat Yisrael (love of the Jewish people) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) conflict with each other? If so, how can we best manage that contradiction? Join us for a lively discussion on Jewish approaches to identity politics, activism and building a better world.

Presenters
AN

Ari Ne'eman

Ari Ne'eman is the President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a non-profit advocacy organization run by and for autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of autistic people in society. From 2010 to 2015, he served as one of President Obama's appointees to the National Council on Disability. He currently serves as a member of the Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment of People... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Long Ridge

8:45pm

Bringing Spirituality Into Our Lives
What is Spirituality? Are spiritual moments only the ones that come when we feel an epiphany or ecstacy, or is it something that is more accessible to our "regular" experience? Rather than being about escaping from the world, Avi Weiss suggests that it is about being present in the moment. Learn about how you can experience this kind of spirituality in your life.

Presenters
avatar for Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss is founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He is also co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Weiss served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and subsequently as National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience for the Jewish people and humankind... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
High Ridge

8:45pm

Meet 'n' Learn: Make a Friend Through Learning!
Come meet someone new!  LimmudNY is partnering with Project Zug to connect you with someone new through learning facilitated by Project Zug. There is no better way to get to know a fellow Limmudnik than sitting together to explore a text. With Project Zug you will learn more about Judaism, yourself, and your havruta (learning partner). Join us!

Project Zug is powered by Mechon Hadar.

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

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


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Belltown

8:45pm

Surfing the Waves: A Talmudic Story - Turning Chaos into Normal
Rabbi Akiva survives a shipwreck.  Not through a miracle, divine intervention or randomness, but by implementing core values that influenced his choreography & posture while riding the waves, & thereafter. We will explore, analyze & delight in this literarily rich & ever revealing story in Tractate Yevamoth 121A, & highlight the life enhancing values, character traits & postures that will enable us to turn our own turbulence into normal, as we surf the waves of life. 

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

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

Joe Septimus

Joe Septimus is CFO of a NYC based mortgage bank, teaches Torah at various adult education venues including Darkhei Noam, Central Synagogue, the JCC Tikkun, & Limmud NY. Joe has an MBA from NYU, a BA in Philosophy, studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin & Kerem B’Yavneh, is a Wexner Heritage alum, & loves analyzing Rabbinic & Biblical texts. Joe is married to Renee. They are blessed with four pairs of amazing children & in-law children, & ten... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Grove

8:45pm

Talmudic Stories: From History to Literature
How should Talmudic stories about the sages be studied? From the Middle Ages until recent times, interpreters adopted an historical approach that understood “sage-stories” as recording the lives and deeds of the sages. More recently, scholars have shifted to a literary approach that rejects the historicity of the stories and understands them as didactic literature, teaching morals, and lessons to the audience. This talk will explore the reasons for this shift in scholarship and its implications.

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Professor, New York University
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, New York University. His books include, Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture (1999), Rabbinic Stories (2002), The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (2003), and Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Jeffrey has written numerous articles on the festival of Sukkot, Talmudic stories, the development of Jewish law... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 8:45pm - 10:00pm
Glenbrook

10:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Friday February 12, 2016 10:15pm - Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15am
Volunteer Central

10:30pm

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

Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Willow

10:30pm

The Adam Lipton Memorial 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. This year's tisch is named in honor of Adam Lipton. For more information about who he was, please see Matthew Grob's ad in the program book. Note: Some alcohol will be available at the Tisch for participants who are 21 years of age and older. We encourage you to BYOB.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →
avatar for Shir Yaakov Feit

Shir Yaakov Feit

Kol Hai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal
Shir Yaakov is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and dad. He engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people worldwide, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom. In 2014, Shir started Kol Hai: Hudson Valley Jewish Renewal, an intentional community in New York's Hudson Valley. Shir has recorded and released four albums of original music and... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

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



Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Ballroom III

10:30pm

Power to the Artist: Does Judaism Support the Visual Arts?
What does Judaism have to say about the visual arts? With the prohibition against molten images, does Judaism have a place for visual artists? We will attempt to answer this question through Biblical, Mishnaic and liturgical sources. Knowledge of Hebrew helpful, though not required.

Presenters
avatar for Jennifer Gersch

Jennifer Gersch

Jennifer Gersch is an awesome artist, Judaic scholar, and Francophile, and lover of Broadway, running, Judaism and exploring both NYC and international destinations. A past Steering Committee member, Jennifer has volunteered at every Limmud NY conference, and she was a presenter at Limmud Colorado 2010. She is proud to count as friends Steering Committee members and volunteers from Limmuds on five different continents.


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Long Ridge

10:30pm

Jewish Diplomacy – Israeli (foreign?) policy towards world Jewry
Jewish Diplomacy is a known oxymoron. It gets even more complicated when conducted vis-à-vis other Jews. Who is an Israeli diplomat referring to when she says ‘we’?  Is the relationship of the Jewish state with diaspora communities foreign or domestic policy?  How do non-Jewish Israeli citizens fit into the picture? How must such questions be answered to secure the enduring cohesion of the Jewish people? These will be explored in light of International Law, world politics and Jewish tradition.

Presenters
SM

Shimon Mercer-Wood

Shimon Mercer-Wood is the Spokesperson and Consul for Media Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York. He joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 and has served at the Israeli Embassies in New Delhi and in London. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from LSE, which he completed after his military service and after spending a year at Ma’aleh Gilboa Yeshiva. His other interests include Philosophy of... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Springdale

10:30pm

Israel as the Global Center of Human Rights: A lesser known Religious-Zionist Vision
Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn, 1857-1935, was an outstanding scholar of Jewish tradition and a founder of religious Zionism. At the heart of his life work stands his vision of Eretz Yisrael as a global center of human rights. In this session, Dr. Shaiya Rothberg will present Hirschensohn's vision of "Human Rights on the Temple Mount" and some of its Jewish sources.

Presenters
SR

Shaiya Rothberg

Shaiya Rothberg lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three sons and teaches Bible, Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He also directs the Yeshiva's Torah of Human Rights study track. Shaiya's doctoral research at Hebrew University explored Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn's vision of Torah democracy and its Jewish sources. Shaiya's teaching focuses on reconnecting to the basic symbols of Torah in order to explore the... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Waterside

10:30pm

Scrabble Cafe
Playing Scrabble on Friday night is a time-honored pastime in many Jewish homes. Lifelong Scrabble player Shira Dicker, co-author of 2013's Wall Street Journal article, “How Scrabble Keeps Us Together,” invites you to join a unique, fun community event—the Shabbat Scrabble Cafe! Learn to play Scrabble the Shabbat-friendly way, including keeping score with books and bookmarks. Bring your love for words, for meeting new people and for conversation!

Presenters
SD

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, captivated by contemporary culture. Her sensibility is global, though her lens is stubbornly American. Her analysis of cultural phenomena is filtered through this lens; her particularistic focus is part of her trademark. As a publicist, Shira has created attention-grabbing campaigns for her clients. As an activist, she has defended and promoted important causes and fought for justice. A believer in... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Breakout Area

10:30pm

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

Presenters
RB

Rachel Berger

Rachel hails from sunny Philadelphia and now proudly calls New York home. She has a background in non-profit management focused on social justice and Jewish communal work. Rachel was a 2011-12 Dorot Fellow, spendng a year in Israel working with the African refugee population and learning the art of cheesemaking. As the Director of Community Engagement at Footsteps, she manages Footsteps’ community building programs, foundation relations... Read More →
MY

Mindi Yeger

Comedian. Born & raised in Brooklyn, Mindi is the youngest of five. Growing up ultra-orthodox, Mindi learned a lot about being Jewish but not much about the world. Always a good girl, Mindi followed the well-worn path for girls in her community & married young. 3 wonderful kids & 16 years later, the marriage ended and Mindi’s entry into the world at large began. Mindi credits comedy with giving her the ability to take even... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Elm

10:30pm

Religious Belief and Make-Belief
What do you have to believe to be frum? What do you have to believe to be religious? But, more importantly, what do you have to imagine? What do you have to make-believe? What's more important to a religious life: belief or imagination? And, if imagination is key to the religious life, doesn't that prove that the religious life is irrational?
Together, we'll explore some answers to these questions through some classical Jewish texts.

Presenters
SL

Sam Lebens

Samuel Lebens holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of London, and Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination after spending a number of years in various Israeli Rabbinical Schools. These days he teaches philosophy at Rutgers University and teaches all sorts of Jewish texts and topics at Drisha. He has published on all sorts of topics, from Bertrand Russell and the philosophy of fiction, to Hassidism and the nature of religiosity. He also blogs (from... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Belltown

10:30pm

Cultivating Character: A Conversation Across Communities
As a student of Mussar for over a decade, I set out to create a "multifaith Mussar" conversation with Buddhists, Christians and Muslims. How do each of our traditions seek to cultivate virtues through the use of spiritual practices? In this session, I will share some of what I have learned from the wisdom of other traditions and also, upon reflection, about our own Jewish treasures.

Presenters
NK

nancy kreimer

Nancy Kreimer is a 1982 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) and holds a PhD in Interreligious Studies from Temple University. Since the late 1980's, she has been the founding directer of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives of the RRC. Since 2001, she has been actively engaged in Muslim-Jewish relations. Her recent passion brings together Jews, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists to share spiritual practices... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Westover

10:30pm

The Calves of Our Lips: What the Ancient Sacrifices Can Teach Post-Modern Jews
For most contemporary Jews, the idea of animal sacrifices is an anathema and primitive. Reform prayer books removed their references, and Conservative avoided translating them into English. Explore how three distinct ideas (theories of gift-giving, sublimation of violence, and the power of words) may rescue and reclaim difficult texts about sacrifice, and what its memory may do for Jewish life today. Incense and animals are optional.

Presenters
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon A. Morris is a vice president for Israel programs at Shalom Hartman Institute-North America . He made aliyah in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. Most recently, he served as one of four editors of Mishkan HaNefesh, the recently published Reform High Holy Day prayer book. He lives in... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
Aspen

10:30pm

'The Spirituality of Laughter: A Jewish Look at the Holiness of Humor'
This engaging and inspiring session - averaging two genuine belly laughs per minute - explores humor in ancient and modern Jewish tradition, and considers why laughter has been such an integral part of Jewish culture.  Why are Jews are so funny? What is the psychological, physical, and spiritual value of clean, un-hurtful comedy? How can humor be a coping mechanism in times of transition, celebration, and stress? How can laughter play a critical role in tikkun olam (repairing the world)?


Presenters
avatar for Robert Alper

Robert Alper

Robert “Bob” Alper is an author, stand-up comedian, and ordained rabbi who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has performed across North America and England and was named “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.” He has written three books: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, A Rabbi Confesses, and Thanks. I Needed That, and has produced two best-selling comedy CDs and a DVD. Bob resides in rural Vermont with his... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 10:30pm - 11:45pm
High Ridge
 
Saturday, February 13
 

7:00am

Hashkama Minyan: Early Risers’ Shabbat Morning Service [separate seating; male leadership]
Looking to get the most out of Shabbat day? The Hashkama (early morning) minyan became popularized during the early Twentieth century as immigrants sought to balance their spiritual and professional lives.  Join us for a small, intimate service that will leave you free to take it easy, drink a cup of coffee and plan your sessions for the day.  Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service and seating is separate by gender.

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:00am - 8:30am
Elm

7:15am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:15am - 9:45am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:15am - 9:45am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:15am - 9:45am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:15am - 9:45am
Volunteer Central

7:30am

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

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

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


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30am - 8:45am
High Ridge

7:30am

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

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:30am

Mindfulness Meditation: What's it All About?
Curious about meditation and mindfulness? Heard that they help with stress, sleep and more? Why are so many healthcare professionals recommending the practices? How do they connect to and reflect our Jewish lives? This session is for beginners and will give you a chance to learn and practice the basics, glimpse the possibilities, and open to the potential. Join us as we begin to understand the way these ancient practices can deepen and enlighten our experience of modern life.

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Director of Makom, JCC Manhattan
Susie Kessler is the director of Makom: The Center for Meditation and Spirituality at JCC Manhattan. She was a past coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing and has been trained as a facilitator of the new IJS curriculum, "Wise Aging". Susie has been a proud member of the Upper West Side Jewish community for over 40 years. She is married to Peter Geffen and they are parents to Jonah Geffen and Julia Mannes, Daniel and Lu Geffen... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

8:45am

Orthodox Partnership Shabbat Morning Service [separate seating; mixed-gender leadership]
Modeled after Darkhei Noam in Manhattan and Shira Chadasha in Jerusalem, this service provides opportunities for women to participate within a traditional service with a mehitza (partition). Both men and women will lead parts of this joyous and spirited service. Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service and seating is separated by gender.


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:15am
Cove

8:45am

Orthodox Traditional Shabbat Morning Service [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features separate seating for men and women and is led by men. The liturgy will be in Hebrew and singing will be lively! Note: No amplification or musical instruments will be used in this service.

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:15am
Elm

8:45am

Reform Shabbat Celebration with a Baghdadi-Indian Torah service
Wake up with gratitude, light, and song, as we explore the power of prayer to create community through melodies old and new. This musical morning will feature a special Torah service led by Rahel Musleah according the traditions and musical heritage of the Baghdadi-Indian Jewish community into which she was born. Immerse in ancient texts, lilting melodies, and intriguing customs, and hear the Torah and Haftarah chanted in the distinctive Baghdadi-Indian tropes.

Presenters
EL

Eliana Light

Through music, song-leading, experiential education, and spirited prayer leading, Eliana Light empowers children, families, and adults to make Judaism their own. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, worked with innovative organizations like Bible Raps and G-dCast, and taught all over the country. This spring, Eliana will receive her masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently the... Read More →
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations offer a rare and intimate view of a rich culture little-known to most. Rahel is an award-winning journalist, author, singer, speaker, and educator. She... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:15am
Springdale

8:45am

Renewal Shabbat Morning Service [mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership]
Come join us in a joyful celebration of Shabbat! Based in music, meditation, and teachings, this service will be accessible to all. Note: There will be mixed gender seating and instruments will be used.

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

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

Naomi Less

Founding Ritual Leader, Associate Director and Director of Storahtelling, Lab/Shul
Naomi Less is a Brooklyn-based, internationally celebrated singer/songwriter, ritual worship musician, and experiential educator. She tours extensively with her half-Israeli, half-American music ensemble, performing rock shows, acoustic concerts, and soulful worship events around the globe. Her two solo albums reflect a diversity of style and content - ranging from vulnerable liturgical ballads to high-octane, celebratory rock. Naomi founded... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:15am
Grove

8:45am

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

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:15am
Aspen

8:45am

Hebrew Marathon
Want to feel more comfortable in the prayer service but feel inhibited because you can’t read Hebrew? Have you been meaning to learn the language but somehow never seemed to have the time? This unique seminar is perfect for you. Come for an intensive Hebrew marathon that will leave you wanting more. Learn the letters and vowels, and by the end of the day you will be reading Hebrew.

Presenters
MN

Michal Nachmany

Michal Nachmany is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught liturgical, biblical and modern Hebrew for more than 20 years at synagogues and other institutions throughout New York City. Read more about Michal on her website: http://www.alefadtav.com/.


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:45am - 11:45am
Belltown

9:45am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45am - 11:45am
Volunteer Central

9:45am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45am - 11:45am
Volunteer Central

9:45am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45am - 11:45am
Volunteer Central

9:45am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45am - 11:45am
Volunteer Central

10:00am

What Makes Jews So Funny?
Over the past century, the majority of comedians in America have been Jews--and this over-representation of Jews in the humor industry has long raised the question, 'what makes Jews so funny?' Come share some of your favorite Jewish jokes and find the answer to the comedy conundrum with a historian of the subject.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David E. Kaufman was most recently the Jewish Studies Chair at Hofstra University, and was previously on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/LA, concurrently teaching at the University of Southern California. He has a BA from Columbia, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, and a PhD in American Jewish History from Brandeis. He is the author of Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History, and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
High Ridge

10:00am

Limmud Chavruta Project: Keeping The Peace
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss the concept of a lasting peace from a Jewish perspective. Whose job is it to keep peace? Is eternal peace possible? Is Torah the path to peace? All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on War & Peace. 

Presenters
avatar for Karen Radkowsky

Karen Radkowsky

Trustee, Limmud
Karen Radkowsky first discovered her passion for all things Limmud in 2000. Since then, she has participated in over 50 Limmud events on three continents and advised Limmud teams around the globe. A founder and past president of Limmud NY, she is currently a trustee of the global Limmud organization (headquartered in the UK). In her professional life, Karen heads new business and innovation for Ketchum Global Research and Analytics in NYC.


Saturday February 13, 2016 10:00am - 11:15am
Waterside

10:15am

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

Presenters

Saturday February 13, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Glen

11:30am

From Devotion to Ambivalence: The Changing American Jewish Relationship with Israel
How has the American Jewish relationship with Israel evolved over time? Why has the consensus about Israel that once reigned in the American Jewish community eroded? And do American Jews still really care about Israel? In this session, you will hear the answers to these questions as you learn about how and why American Jewish attitudes toward Israel have changed. You will also have a chance to share your thoughts on the future of the American Jewish relationship with Israel.

Presenters
avatar for Dov Waxman

Dov Waxman

Dov Waxman is Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies at Northeastern University, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies. He is the author of The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation, and Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within. His new book Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel will be published by... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Aspen

11:30am

Hosting the Emperor for Shabbat Lunch: Re-reading Rabbinic Stories in their Roman Contexts
We will read three classic rabbinic stories about the rewards of observing Shabbat. These feel-good stories become far more complicated and interesting when we read them as responses to ancient Greco-Roman and Christian polemics against Shabbat. We will also explore the entertaining afterlife of these stories in their contemporary iterations, repackaged to serve modern needs and sensibilities but still preserving their apologetic and polemical dimensions.

Presenters
avatar for Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism at Fordham University. She works on rabbinic literature, ancient calendars, Jews in the Greco-Roman world, gender and motherhood, and Jewish-Christian relations and polemics.


Saturday February 13, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Waterside

11:30am

The Grown-Up Midrash Says: 5 Radical Midrashim They Don't Teach in Day School
Did God lust after the matriarchs? Did Jacob think he was divine? Did Mordechai breastfeed Esther? The midrash (rabbinic expansion on biblical stories) is too often read as a set of fables or children's stories. But in truth, the midrash contains some of the most imaginative, radical, twisted and philosophically astute readings of the Bible in our tradition. Together we will explore five midrashim that have yet to enter the popular Jewish conscience, but probably should.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenfield

Passionate about cutting-edge Jewish learning and community, Ben Greenfield is a Wexner Fellow pursuing ordination at YCT. Ben has been a featured educator at Limmud Stockholm, BCI, and Rikers Island, and is a founder of the UWS Moishe House, partnership Minyan Maarav, and experimental TefilaLab. Ben is the author of a calendar of new Jewish experiences, including “From Freedom to Responsibility: A Shavuot Haggadah" and "Burying the Pain: A Yom... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Westover

11:30am

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Rabbinic Approaches to the Interpretation of Dreams
Dreams are one of the most perplexing aspects of human experience; they are frustratingly inscrutable and at the same time feel vaguely portentous. Together we will explore some of the different ways that the Rabbis have approached the roles of the dream, the dreamer, and the dream interpreter in creating a meaningful reality out of a confusing slumber.

Presenters
avatar for Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Rosh Beit Midrash, Mechon Hadar
Dena Weiss is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Mechon Hadar, an institution for higher Jewish learning based in NYC. Dena earned her BA in Religious Studies from NYU and a MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, and Pardes and is looking forward to some great learning at LimmudMI.


Saturday February 13, 2016 11:30am - 12:45pm
Elm

11:30am

Shabbat Lunch: Meet-Up Meal
Get to know like-minded LimmudNYks that you haven’t gotten to meet yet at Meetup Meal tables. Anything from mindfulness to political topics: find a table on a specific topic up on the big board near the entrance to the dining room; introduce yourself; and open yourself to new conversations!

The start times for lunch have been staggered: either enjoy an earlier lunch and go to a 12:15 PM session, or go to an 11:30 AM session and eat afterwards.
Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Saturday February 13, 2016 11:30am - 1:30pm
Ballroom I, II

12:00pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity full

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Volunteer Central

12:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Volunteer Central

12:00pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Volunteer Central

12:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Volunteer Central

12:15pm

Collaboration and Partnership Basics: If You Build it, They Will Come!
We WANT to collaborate -- in our workplaces, teams, across organizations and programs and in our lives. Creating a strong foundation for good collaboration and partnership takes hard work, thought and some knowledge about how to do it right. Come and get some collaboration fundamentals and join a discussion about barriers, how to overcome them and how can Jews pull on our history, values and historical approach to life to create a collaborative model that is uniquely our own?

Presenters
GK

Gillian Kaye

President and Founder, Kaye Strategies Consulting and Coaching
Gillian Kaye is the founder of Kaye Strategies Consulting. She is a collaboration and community engagement consultant and coach with expertise in organizational capacity building, coalition building, strategic planning, organizing and facilitating and designing community and cross-stakeholder collaboration. With over 30 years of practice in the US and abroad, she is the author and co-author of many books, manuals, articles and curricula on... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Springdale

12:15pm

Who's Afraid of Jewish Feminists?
How do thoughtful feminists stay in the tradition when the tradition isn't exactly welcoming for women? Yaffa and Jacqueline, a rebbe and an artist, who both engage with the text, regularly challenge each other over their relationship with Torah, and why they choose to stay inside the difficult conversation. This time they will exchange difficult talmudic texts for the other to interpret.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
High Ridge

12:15pm

Sacred Speech — How so?
Is Hebrew the only Holy Tongue? Is it possible for other languages to become sanctified, and can Hebrew truly be secularized? Can holiness be conveyed in translation? What is the relationship between human and divine language? Our session will explore these issues by journeying through rabbinic, philosophical, mystical, and contemporary Jewish sources on the nature of language, the boundaries of holiness, and the definition of “sacred speech.”

Presenters
AM

Ariel Mayse

Ariel Evan Mayse is a Research Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har’el. He is a co-editor of the two-volume collection Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings From Around the Maggid’s Table (Jewish Lights, 2013), and editor of From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Willow

12:15pm

Defining Open Orthodoxy
What could a shift in focus—from obsessing over boundaries to creating welcoming spaces—mean for our future? Some suggest that the Modern or Centrist Orthodox community is splitting, with some moving right and others forming a distinct, more open movement within Orthodoxy. Listen to one of the leaders of Open Orthodoxy articulate his vision.

Presenters
avatar for Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss is founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He is also co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Weiss served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and subsequently as National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience for the Jewish people and humankind... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Grove

12:15pm

Melodies of Esther
Ever want to learn the Esther trope? Tired of memorizing your verses from a recording? Now is the time to learn while you still have a few weeks before Purim! We will learn the melodies of the most common trope, symbols, and examine the various ins and outs of the megillah reading. No chanting or musical background necessary, though familiarity with Hebrew
would be helpful.

Presenters
avatar for Lisa Arbisser

Lisa Arbisser

cantor, Society for the Advancement of Judaism
Lisa Shapanka Arbisser has been the cantor at The Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York City since 2009. She brings a passion for Jewish music and a profound dedication to Jewish community life and learning to her role as cantor. Her thesis and recital at Hebrew Union College focused on the overlap of jazz and Jewish music, an area she continues to explore. Most recently, she was featured on the album Further Definitions of the... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Belltown

12:15pm

Why Did God Flood the World?
The rabbis sought to disengage the story of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” in Genesis 6:1-4 from the flood story. They read the flood story as a morality play: the cause of the devastation was not a mythical incident, but human evil. Other ancient Jewish interpretations reconnect Genesis 6:1-4 to the flood story, yielding a different understanding of the purpose of the flood. We will explore those and ask which alternative offers the most adequate interpretation of the story.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Provost, Jewish Theological Seminary
Alan Cooper is the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and provost of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty in 1997 as a professor of Bible. In 1998, he also was appointed professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary. Previously, he was a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion, where for six years he was director of its School of... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 12:15pm - 1:30pm
Cove

1:45pm

Jewish Plays Project: 'Starring You - the Best of the Jewish Playwriting Contest'
Calling all actor LimmudNYks! Artistic Director David Winitsky will lead a fun session reading 20-minute sections from 3 new Jewish plays. Israeli tour guides, Buddhist giraffes, and earnest Bat Mitzvah girls top the list of roles, all drawn from winners of our international Jewish Playwriting Contest. Over the last 5 years, the JPP has collected 913 plays from 650 writers in 29 states and 8 countries - be part of the 3 of the best!

Presenters
DW

David Winitsky

David Winitsky - a collaborator with StorahTelling, a PresenTense New York City Fellow and an UpStart National Fellow, David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Theatre Company. MFA in Directing from Northwestern, BA in Mathematics from Cornell. David is the proud husband of playwright and painter Elizabeth Samet... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Glenbrook

1:45pm

Jewish Sorceresses in the Talmud: Esteemed Professionals, not Back-Alley Conjurers
Maggie Anton will discuss the research behind her newest novels, Apprentice and Enchantress, which take place in 4th century Babylonia. There the Talmud is being created by the rabbis to innovate and rejuvenate Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple. At the same time, archaeological evidence, supported by the Talmud itself, shows us that some women in rabbinic families were practicing sorcery, an esteemed profession in the very land where the word "magic" originated.

Presenters
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Willow

1:45pm

Heschel’s Spiritual Humanism: Jewish Education for the 21st Century
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel left us a legacy of words and actions that remain
unique and unparalleled in our times.  This session will share aspects of his 
biography, a critical collection of his philosophy and excerpts from one of only two 
recorded video interviews with Heschel himself.  Developed by the presenter as a 
philosophical approach to Jewish education, the session will open a door to a highly 
humanistic and spiritually sensitive approach to the creation of educational settings 
so often missing from our contemporary schools.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter A. Geffen is Founder and Executive Director of KIVUNIM—The Institute World Jewish Studies and Founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC. From 2003-05, he served as the Executive Director of The Center for Jewish History, the largest archive of Diaspora Jewish life in the world. He created and served as principal of the Park Avenue Synagogue High School in NYC from 1967-1985. In the 1960’s he served as a civil rights worker for... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Cove

1:45pm

Israeli Americans: A Rising Power or a Lost Demography?
Israeli expats living in America were once shunned by their homeland for abandoning their country and choosing the comfort of life abroad. They also encountered difficulties adjusting to the Jewish community in their new homeland. But in recent years, Israeli Americans are beginning to play a more prominent role in American Jewish life, and even the negative image Israelis once held toward their compatriots who left the country is starting to fade.

Presenters
NG

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman is a staff writer for the Forward. Based in Washington DC, Nathan writes about Jewish politics, US-Israel relations and Jewish policy. He is also the US correspondent for Israel's Channel 1 public TV network.


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Belltown

1:45pm

A Jewish Theology of the Antichrist: The Satmar Rebbe’s Response to the Six-Day War
Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), better known as the Satmar Rebbe, is perhaps most infamous for his scathing critique of Zionism and the State of Israel. In 1968 he published a book entitled Al Ha-Geulah ve al ha-Temurah (On Redemption and Exchange), his response to the Six-Day War. This book attempts to create a Jewish theology of the Antichrist. In this session, we will study sections of that book in translation and explore his ideas and their implications for contemporary Jewish existence.

Presenters
SM

Shaul Magid

Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schotenstein Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion at Indiana University and rabbi of the Fire island Synagogue, Sea View New York.


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Elm

1:45pm

Yiddish Ulpan – Session 2
Do you love the sound of Yiddish, but never learned to speak it? Do you speak a bisl (bit), but wish you spoke a sakh (lot)? Do you want to make your mispokhe (family) kvel (feel pride)? Join Yiddish Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin of The Workmen’s Circle and go from bupkes (nothing) to bilingual! This engaging and dynamic ulpan series makes Yiddish accessible for students of all ages through vocabulary, conversation, and poetry. No prior Yiddish knowledge necessary. This is one part of a three part Yiddish offering. You do not need to attend all parts. 

Presenters
avatar for Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

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


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Springdale

1:45pm

Fences or Bridges? The Approach of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein to Non-Orthodox and Non-Observant Jews in Light of Nineteenth Century Germany
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the preeminent Orthodox decisor of Jewish law in the twentieth century in the United States and perhaps the world. In confronting a Jewish community where Orthodoxy was a minority it was necessary to create an approach to relations with Jews who were not observant or Orthodox. His predecessors in nineteenth century Germany also had innovative responses to the changing religious makeup of the Jewish community. How can these historical-legal texts inform us today?

Presenters
GK

Gabe Kretzmer Seed

Student, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
Gabriel Kretzmer Seed is in his third year of rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and is also a student at the Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS. He is currently interning as a student teacher at the Abraham Joshua Heschel Lower School. He is the co-founder of the website www.zemirotdatabase.org. He is also excited to be a LimmudNY-Hartman Rabbinic Fellow.


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Westover

1:45pm

Jewish Parenting Panel: Stories of Daily Joy and Challenges
Join a group of parents, with children ranging in age from babies to adults, as they share personal stories and discuss the joys and challenges they face daily.

Presenters
avatar for Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Doctoral Candidate & Teaching Fellow, Harvard University
Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother of five, writer, poet, teacher, activist, aspiring rabbi and student. Her work appears in literature journals and Jewish papers, Keren Journal of Maharat, Dharma and Halacha by Lexington Books, and Methods in Comparative Theology by Fordham University Press; and her poetry book, A Voice is Heard in Ramah, is due out this summer. Raised in Jerusalem, she served in the IDF, and taught converts and studied... Read More →
AH

Anna Hanau

Anna runs Grow and Behold Kosher Pastured Meats with her husband, Naftali. She has a BA from JTS in Bible Studies and Barnard College in Urban Studies. She has a background in Jewish environmental and food education, and worked for several years at Hazon, where she co-authored several Limmud-inspired sourcebooks on Jewish tradition, food and shmita. She was the farm manager at Adamah in 2008 and 2009, and now keeps a flock of chickens in her... Read More →
RK

Rachel Kanter

Rachel is a fiber artist who creates new Jewish ritual objects using traditional quilting, sewing and embroidery techniques. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Jewish Museum and has been exhibited across the US and Israel. Rachel is on the executive board of the Jewish Art Salon, the arts advisory board at the JTS and is a proud member of the Limmud NY board. Rachel lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband Andy and her three... Read More →
WP

William Plevan

Bill Plevan is completing his doctorate at Princeton University writing a dissertation on the Jewish philosophy of Martin Buber. He is President of Matan, an organization dedicated to creating inclusive Jewish learning in Jewish communal life. A native New Yorker, he lives in Manhattan with his wife Sara Shapiro-Plevan and their son Ariel. The three of them are competing to see who can enjoy Limmud more.
avatar for Sivya Twersky

Sivya Twersky

Sivya is a life long learner and assumed learning daf yomi (a daily page of Talmud) this cycle as a personal challenge to herself and in memory of her father, Pesach Levovitz, of blessed memory, who studied the daily page of Talmud for as long as she can remember. Join her in this adventure. On the side, she is president of Limmud NY, and a clinical geneticist, wife, mother and grandmother.


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Grove

1:45pm

The Stories We Tell
Comedian and rabbi Bob Alper has written two collections of short stories Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This and Thanks. I Needed That that are deeply inspirational and often life-affirming. Hear Bob read from his books, and discuss these sweet and surprising true stories.

Presenters
avatar for Robert Alper

Robert Alper

Robert “Bob” Alper is an author, stand-up comedian, and ordained rabbi who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has performed across North America and England and was named “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.” He has written three books: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, A Rabbi Confesses, and Thanks. I Needed That, and has produced two best-selling comedy CDs and a DVD. Bob resides in rural Vermont with his... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Long Ridge

1:45pm

Children of Jethro: Models for Redemptive Interfaith Relationship
Jews who engage in social justice efforts on behalf of non-Jews sometimes feel the need to justify their actions as "authentically" Jewish. Other Jews who do so see their work as "just being good people." But there are textual precedents for such cooperation. Join us as we look at models of interfaith love and justice from both Torah and Talmud.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Rothbaum

Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum is the Bay Area Regional Council Co-Chair for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and serves as the Director of Youth and Family Education of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. He has been extensively involved with faith-based social justice organizations, and has spoken and taught widely at conferences and rallies, from Moishe House to the House of Representatives. His writing and speaking has been featured in... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Waterside

1:45pm

I'll Just Sit Here in the Dark: Rabbinic Perspectives on Suffering
There are several stories in the Talmud where the rabbis praise, extol, and even request physical pain in order to prevent some sort of greater punishment. Is this a Jewish attitude?!? We will analyze these stories and attempt to understand what they can teach us about our own suffering in 2016.
All sources will be in the original and in English, and no prior text experience is necessary.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Aspen

2:00pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity full

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Volunteer Central

2:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Volunteer Central

2:00pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Volunteer Central

2:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Volunteer Central

3:00pm

Shabbat Sing Along
Join Eliana to sing, dance, and play along to your favorite Shabbat songs. Don’t forget to bring your bim bam!

Presenters
EL

Eliana Light

Through music, song-leading, experiential education, and spirited prayer leading, Eliana Light empowers children, families, and adults to make Judaism their own. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, worked with innovative organizations like Bible Raps and G-dCast, and taught all over the country. This spring, Eliana will receive her masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently the... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Glen

3:00pm

Ecstatic Mincha
A Shabbat afternoon dance experience. A new way to engage in prayer. We are a group of likeminded folks who love Shabbat, but hate sitting still. Mincha is perfect -- it is ecstatic, it is communal, it is a gift, and it is in the afternoon. What are we doing? Dancing. Praying with our bodies. Engaging our whole selves. Meeting amazing people. Hanging out with friends. Hearing great music. Moving our souls. Note that recorded music will be played during this session.

Presenters
avatar for Jessica Minnen

Jessica Minnen

Jessica Minnen is the Resident Rabbi at OneTable, and the founder of Seven Wells, a workshop series for couples, and Ecstatic Mincha, a monthly Shabbat dance party. Jessica is an alumna of Washington University in St. Louis, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Paideia: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, Baltimore Hebrew University, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Long Ridge

3:00pm

Orthodox Shabbat Mincha (Afternoon Services) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and in Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 13, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Elm

3:00pm

Traditional Egalitarian Shabbat Mincha (Afternoon Service) [mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership]
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 13, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Aspen

3:30pm

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

Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Willow

3:30pm

Communitarianism vs. Consumerism: The Changing Model of American Jewish Life
In the last 50 years, there has been a distinct shift in how American culture values community. We have moved from valuing collectivity and mutual responsibility to valuing individualistic and consumerist ways of engaging with the world. Join a conversation with three Jewish communal leaders as to how Jewish communal and educational institutions are grappling with these new realities.

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Infeld

Daniel Infeld

Daniel Infeld is the Director of Programming and Operations at Limmud NY. In addition to working with the Limmud NY volunteer team to create an amazing conference, he is a masters student in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU. Before coming to Limmud NY, Daniel spent four years at Hazon, creating innovative programs that connect Jewish tradition with contemporary values. Daniel is a graduate of Clark University and has worked for Walt Disney... Read More →
avatar for Shaul Kelner

Shaul Kelner

Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University
Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, and past director of Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies Program. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he is the author of the award-winning Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010). He is currently a Fellow of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, where he is... Read More →
avatar for Leon Morris

Leon Morris

Leon A. Morris is a vice president for Israel programs at Shalom Hartman Institute-North America . He made aliyah in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. Most recently, he served as one of four editors of Mishkan HaNefesh, the recently published Reform High Holy Day prayer book. He lives in... Read More →
EU

Elisheva Urbas

Elisheva Urbas is a freelance editor, writer, and teacher. She also helps Jewish organizations plan and improve their publications, and is Editorial Director at Hazon. A long-time trustee at Schechter Manhattan, she is interested in how boards work with and support professional educators. She and her husband live on the Upper West Side and have three impressive daughters.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Glenbrook

3:30pm

An Elephant in the Room: An Honest Conversation About Israel and American Jewry Today and Tomorrow
This will be a structured discussion about the growing schism between Israel and increasingly large portions of American Jewry. This is not meant to be a space for looking backward. Rather, it will be a strategic conversation about how we can improve the relationship between people, not governments. Let’s put aside the politics. We will brainstorm forward-looking ideas about how the Jewish world might start to mend the current disruption of relations between Israelis and American Jews.

Presenters
JD

Jonathan Dekel-Chen

Jonathan Dekel-Chen is a senior lecturer in modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the 2015-16 academic year, he is an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He is a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which borders the Gaza Strip. In 2014, he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Performing Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for under-served high school students from all over... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Waterside

3:30pm

A Potpourri of Jewish Stories for Children of all Ages
This performance of stories for Camp Limmud will have opportunities for kids to interact with a variety of tales. Families are welcome.

Presenters
MH

Muriel Horowitz

Storyteller
Muriel Horowitz combines creativity and an open heart with a rich knowledge of Jewish stories and traditions as she shares folktales, “midrashim,” and family stories. Combining her passions for storytelling, Judaism, and teaching in her work, she believes in the power of story to break down barriers and bring us closer to a more peaceful world.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Glen

3:30pm

Fate and Destiny: Coping with Challenges
We all go through different phases in our lives, such as sickness, loss of someone close to you, or different jobs. Avi Weiss will offer a particular approach to theodicy and dealing with pain and suffering in the world.

Presenters
avatar for Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss is founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He is also co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Weiss served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and subsequently as National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience for the Jewish people and humankind... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Aspen

3:30pm

What is Jewish History?
Allow a Jewish historian to introduce you to "Jewish history," a term having two distinct meanings: it refers both to the vast sweep of Jewish historical experience through space and time, and, to the modern academic field studying the Jewish past. The key question to be addressed: What, after all, is the relevance of Jewish history to contemporary Jewish life?

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David E. Kaufman was most recently the Jewish Studies Chair at Hofstra University, and was previously on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/LA, concurrently teaching at the University of Southern California. He has a BA from Columbia, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, and a PhD in American Jewish History from Brandeis. He is the author of Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History, and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Cove

3:30pm

'Orthodox'? What's That? The Pew Study, the 'New Orthodox,' and the Taxonomy of Orthodoxy
The standard categories of Orthodox Judaism--Modern Orthodox, "Yeshivish," Hasidim--more than half a century old, never worked, and they do not work today. The session examines recent data, including those from the Pew study, to define what are "Orthodox" in 2015--and especially who are the "New Orthodox." The session explores as well five other categories of Orthodoxy, both in America and in Israel.

Presenters
JC

Jerome Chanes

Jerome Chanes, a senior fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies of the CUNY Graduate Center, is the author of four books and some hundreds of book chapters, articles, reviews on Jewish history, sociology, public affairs, and arts and letters. Jerry started out life as a rock reviewer, and was (briefly) a house-pianist at CBGB. Current projects include "The Future of American Judaism" (Columbia I+University Press/Trinity College); and a source... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Elm

3:30pm

How To Teach Your Kids (and Yourself) to Talk To God
In many Jewish contexts, especially schools, prayer is presented as words one must learn to say. How can we make prayer into a meaningful experience of connection and reflection? Join us to see the innovative Koren Educational Siddur Series, and learn about the vision that inspired it. Then, participate as a classroom teacher with experience using these materials presents a model lesson of how this can be put into practice. Learn techniques for tefillah that might help your kids (and you!)

Presenters
DB

Daphna Bittan

Daphna is a Hebrew and Judaic teacher at a Montessori day school in Brooklyn, NY. Her students come from all over the religious spectrum, and she always looks to bring new angles of study into her classroom. She loves to learn, see new perspectives, and meet people who share her passion for Jewish education.
YP

Yossi Pollak

Koren Publishers, Koren Publishers
Yossi Pollak is Director of Synagogue and School Outreach for Koren Publishers in the Northeast US. He graduated from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and has served pulpits in the Northeast. Yossi lives in White Plains, NY with his wife Brooke and daughters Nava and Avital. He loves tefillah, live music and playing guitar.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Belltown

3:30pm

Theological Modesty: A Model for Intrafaith - and Interfaith - Dialogue and Understanding
The 21st century challenges ALL people with faith-based traditions who seek paths of openness to pluralistic voices and streams of spirituality. "Theological Modesty", as a concept and an approach to Torah study, can enable us to find new ways to support a commitment to tolerance and respect. We will explore images, themes, and lessons that are both particularistic and global as we seek to lay the groundwork for all of us to more humbly approach our own beliefs, other people, and their beliefs.

Presenters
avatar for Bill Liss-Levinson

Bill Liss-Levinson

Bill Liss-Levinson, author of In Search of Theological Modesty: Biblical Lessons (2015), has been a popular presenter in recent years at Limmud NY, with sessions that ranged from text-based study to stand-up comedy. He is a healthcare publishing executive in New York. He has written and lectured extensively on topics in Jewish philosophy and theology, as well as on healthcare. Throughout his life, he has sought to understand the individual’s... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
High Ridge

3:30pm

Crowdsourcing as Leadership
What is the relationship between a people and their leader? When do we seek our own empowerment and when do we need an expert to guide us? We will explore these questions through an ancient Talmudic story about crowdsourcing.

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

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


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Springdale

3:30pm

Five Faces of This Week's Torah Portion
How is one to take this week's Torah portion? We have passed the drama of Genesis and the first half of Exodus. Now we are in the nitty gritty of building a sanctuary.

We will look at the differing ways two rabbis and three poets use this week's portion as a guide for personal growth, for religious understanding, and for ironic awareness.

Presenters
avatar for Larry Yudelson

Larry Yudelson

Editorial Director, Ben Yehuda Press
Larry Yudelson is the product of a 1956 experiment in interdenominational Jewish unity: His parents met in high school when Atlanta's separate Jewish youth groups came together to discuss Jewish education. As editorial director of Ben Yehuda Press, he has published titles that span denominations and genres, but share a common commitment to bringing the best of the Jewish tradition to illuminate an exciting and unpredictable Jewish future.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Long Ridge

3:30pm

How to Read a Talmudic Story: Structure, Narrative Art and Symbolism
In this session we will learn how to study Talmudic stories as literature, with close attention to the structure and narrative art, wordplay, irony, and figurative language. We will explore how the Talmudic storytellers communicated their didactic messages and how stories relate to their Talmudic contexts, including the relationship between Talmudic law and story. 

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Professor, New York University
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, New York University. His books include, Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture (1999), Rabbinic Stories (2002), The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (2003), and Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Jeffrey has written numerous articles on the festival of Sukkot, Talmudic stories, the development of Jewish law... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Westover

3:30pm

Intermarriage Anxiety
The debate about intermarriage is one of the Jewish community's most polarizing conversations. Whether the issue is policy, terminology, or predictions about the future, the intermarriage debate surfaces - and often represses - deep and often conflicting anxieties about both the Jewish future and the Jewish past. We will try to map out the sources and meaning of the different anxieties that underlie this debate, and to consider how various "solutions" resolve - or ignore - these concerns.

Presenters
avatar for Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. The author of Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past and a fellow in the Institute’s iEngage Project, Yehuda writes and teaches widely on the central challenges facing Jewish life in both America and Israel, and how new Jewish thinking can help us stand up to these challenges. He lives in Riverdale with his wife, Stephanie Ives, and their three children.


Saturday February 13, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Grove

4:00pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Volunteer Central

4:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Volunteer Central

4:00pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Volunteer Central

4:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Volunteer Central

5:15pm

Morocco and Her Jews: A Story of Surprise and Grandeur
Little known and less appreciated through the Ashkenazi world is the story of the Jewish community of Morocco, dating back to Roman times.  The King of Morocco often says that “the Jews are more Moroccan than the Moroccans” for they predated the arrival of the Arabs and Islam by at least 750 years!  Contained in this session will be what is considered by many to be the strongest statement ever written about the Holocaust- penned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2009.  With over 25 visits and a deep academic interest in the subject, the speaker will convey an important alternative perspective on the contemporary distancing between Jews and Muslims.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation.



Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter A. Geffen is Founder and Executive Director of KIVUNIM—The Institute World Jewish Studies and Founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC. From 2003-05, he served as the Executive Director of The Center for Jewish History, the largest archive of Diaspora Jewish life in the world. He created and served as principal of the Park Avenue Synagogue High School in NYC from 1967-1985. In the 1960’s he served as a civil rights worker for... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Belltown

5:15pm

Jewish Plays Project: 'Strangers in a Strange Land: Jews and Latinos On Stage'
Explore ethnicity and ethics through the lens of 3 new plays. Identities collide in families, in communities and in individuals, and the decisions that result mirror the shifts and radical reinventions in the world around us. Participants will read roles in the plays - no prior acting experience required!

Presenters
DW

David Winitsky

David Winitsky - a collaborator with StorahTelling, a PresenTense New York City Fellow and an UpStart National Fellow, David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Theatre Company. MFA in Directing from Northwestern, BA in Mathematics from Cornell. David is the proud husband of playwright and painter Elizabeth Samet... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Springdale

5:15pm

Taste of Sha'ar - Hebrew Immersion Program
Since the summer of 2013, Ramah Nyack has elevated Hebrew learning to an unprecedented level with Sha'ar, a unique Hebrew immersion program for campers. Join lead educators from the Sha'ar program for a taste of the unique programming and educational methods used each summer at Camp. The Sha'ar program is made possible by the generous support and guidance of the Areivim Philanthropic Group with grants from The AVI CHAI Foundation and The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.

Presenters

Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Glen

5:15pm

What is Kugel?
Sweet or savory? Noodle, potato, or other? Shabbos, brunch, or kiddush? These are the questions we often struggle over when we talk kugel. In this session, we will explore the origins and evolutions of Ashkenazi foodways in America through the lens of kugel. Participants interested in discussing their own recipes are encouraged to send copies to avery@umich.edu.

Presenters
AR

Avery Robinson

During the last Shmita year, Avery Robinson moved to Brooklyn for what became a tokenized immigrant life about a hundred years too late: working at New York's bougiest bagel shop (Blackseed), living in a Moishe House, teaching at Hebrew Schools, and struggling to write Jewish History. Prior to this sabbatical, he received an MA from the University of Michigan where he studied Jewish and American culinary history. He is currently a fellow at... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Elm

5:15pm

Christian Saints, Jewish Sinners, and Godly Actions
Based on a holocaust survivor's personal recollections of life in a small Polish/Lithuanian shtetl before, during, and after World War II.

Presenters
avatar for Irving Engelson

Irving Engelson

Dr. Irving Engelson, a Holocaust survivor, is a former university professor, college dean, and corporate executive. He testified before the United States Congress and served as a non-governmental representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Previously, Irv served as a linguist on active duty with the U.S. Army, certified in German, French, and Russian. His native language is Yiddish.


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Waterside

5:15pm

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

Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Ballroom I, II

5:15pm

What Does Judaism Teach Us about Parenting?
In this session, we will engage in text-study from the Tanach and from the Talmud to understand what Judaism teaches about parenting.  We will also see the possibilities that arise from using middot as a basis for our parenting.  Through all of these aspects, we will begin to define the role Judaism can play in creating joy and connection in our families.

Presenters
avatar for Elisa Weindling

Elisa Weindling

Make the Connection Parenting
Elissa Weindling is a Parenting Coach who has taught all ages in general, special & Hebrew school settings. She is a mentor & educational coach & has led workshops at natl. education conferences, has written NYC’s diversity curriculum, & was cited for her affective teaching expertise in the book, The Soul of Education. Elissa raised 2 adopted daughters with both a Jewish co-mother and a non-Jewish stepfather. Elissa loves guiding parents to... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Westover

5:15pm

Moses and the Media: The Interactions between Judaism and Media And the Inherent Ironies Involved
This is an extension of a final project for an MBA class called Adoption of New Media. The upshot is that the development of the promulgation of Torah in a way mirrors a history of media development in that: a) it was dependent on a simultaneous written and oral transmission; b) it has/d specific laws relating to that; c) it highlights the ironic tension between using [all] media to transmit itself while trying to restrict said media access to its adherents, even moreso in the digital age.

Presenters
avatar for Jon Taub

Jon Taub

Operations Specialist, OHEL
John Taub is currently the assistant to the Operations Director at OHEL in Brooklyn. He has an MA in Special Ed from TC/Columbia and an MBA from Fordham. He blogs at The Odd Con [oddcog.blogspot.com] and Yeshivas Ye'ush Mida'as [yeush.blogspot.com] He plays guitar and bass in the cover band The Nite Brigade and also performs original and cover material on acoustic guitar solo under the nom de guerre OddCon.


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Aspen

5:15pm

What Is Our Obligation to the Stranger? A Text Salon
Curious what the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees and the Passover Haggadah have in common? In this fully guided, immersive text study, we will use Jewish wisdom and secular literature alike to answer this question and more as we discover what Jewish tradition says about our obligation to the stranger. Explore how we can contribute to maintaining a healthy and ethical public discourse around refugees and create deeper understanding in our own communities. All levels of experience (including none!) are welcome – all texts provided in translation.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Grant Meyer

Rachel Grant Meyer

Educator for Community Engagement, HIAS
A graduate of Columbia University and HUC-JIR, Rachel Grant Meyer is the Educator for Community Engagement at HIAS, where she engages American Jews on refugee issues, connecting the plight of today’s refugees to Jewish values and history. Prior to HIAS, Rachel served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. She is a member of T’ruah and sits on the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York. She lives in... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Long Ridge

5:15pm

Torah Lishmah and Modern Philosophers
What is 'Torah Lishmah' and how does it connect to Modern Philosophy? A talmudic term, 'Torah Lishmah' has become a central part of Judaism and roughly translates into 'studying for its own sake'. In this session we will study several talmudic sources in order to gain some deeper understanding of this beautiful yet somewhat complex concept. Furthermore, we will explore how several ideas that derive from 'Torah Lishmah' reoccur in Modern Philosophy. Focusing on the notion of time and creativity, we will find some surprising parallels between the thought of our sages and that of modern philosophers such as Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Nietzsche or Immanuel Kant. There are no prior knowledge requirements for this session.

Presenters
avatar for Gad Marcus

Gad Marcus

NYU
Gad Marcus currently works for an an art gallery, while writing a philosophical dissertation in Education & Jewish Studies at NYU. Born in England, Gad grew up in Switzerland and Israel. He served in the IDF and worked as a SCUBA Instructor before receiving a B.Ed. from David Yellin and a M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University. Gad has taught courses in Philosophy of Education at NYU as well as Jewish Thought at several Israeli... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
High Ridge

5:15pm

Downtime With Drisha
Studied at Drisha? Never heard of it? All are welcome to join & connect with Drisha faculty and alumni! Drisha is a leading center for study of classical Jewish texts and has profoundly affected the lives of students from across the US and abroad. Drisha provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to encounter texts in a serious, intellectually rigorous, and inclusive manner. Its dedication to teaching Torah to women and men has strengthened Jewish lives and communities.

Presenters
NB

Neesa Berezin-Bahr

Neesa Berezin-Bahr works at Drisha. She previously worked for the OU’s JLIC and studied Linguistics/Anthropology at NYU. She learned in Drisha's Kollel and at Midreshet Lindenbaum.
SL

Sam Lebens

Samuel Lebens holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of London, and Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination after spending a number of years in various Israeli Rabbinical Schools. These days he teaches philosophy at Rutgers University and teaches all sorts of Jewish texts and topics at Drisha. He has published on all sorts of topics, from Bertrand Russell and the philosophy of fiction, to Hassidism and the nature of religiosity. He also blogs (from... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Lobby

5:15pm

Game Zone
Shabbat is the day of rest--but Limmud NY takes play seriously! Hone your acting, strategy, or detective skills with an array of games on the mezzanine, and prepare to engage other LimmudNYiks in friendly 'competition.'


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Willow

5:15pm

Limmud Incubator
Get a sneak peek at what happens behind the scenes at Limmud NY. Brainstorm new ideas for future conferences. Come hear some of the funniest stories that never made it to the public, while pitching new ideas and resources to enhance next year’s conference. We want to hear from you!

Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Glenbrook

5:15pm

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

Presenters
DI

David Ingber

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

Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss is founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He is also co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Weiss served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and subsequently as National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience for the Jewish people and humankind... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Ballroom III

5:15pm

The Land in Relationship
In the Torah, land is not just an inanimate object, but rather a living force like human beings. Like human beings, the land has a covenantal relationship with God, a sacred Sabbath for rest, and rights that cannot be violated. In this session we will look at the Torah's unique theology of the land and consider its implications for Jewish spirituality, environmental ethics, and social justice.

Presenters
WP

William Plevan

Bill Plevan is completing his doctorate at Princeton University writing a dissertation on the Jewish philosophy of Martin Buber. He is President of Matan, an organization dedicated to creating inclusive Jewish learning in Jewish communal life. A native New Yorker, he lives in Manhattan with his wife Sara Shapiro-Plevan and their son Ariel. The three of them are competing to see who can enjoy Limmud more.


Saturday February 13, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Cove

6:00pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity full

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Volunteer Central

6:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Volunteer Central

6:00pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Volunteer Central

6:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Volunteer Central

6:15pm

Orthodox Maariv (evening service) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features separate seating for men and women and will be led by men. Liturgy will be traditional Ashkenazi and in Hebrew, singing will be lively, and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Elm

6:15pm

Traditional Egalitarian Maariv (evening service) [mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership]
This service features mixed seating and leadership by men and women, as well as traditional Hebrew liturgy. Singing will be lively and there will be no musical instruments.

Saturday February 13, 2016 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Aspen

6:30pm

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

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Less

Naomi Less

Founding Ritual Leader, Associate Director and Director of Storahtelling, Lab/Shul
Naomi Less is a Brooklyn-based, internationally celebrated singer/songwriter, ritual worship musician, and experiential educator. She tours extensively with her half-Israeli, half-American music ensemble, performing rock shows, acoustic concerts, and soulful worship events around the globe. Her two solo albums reflect a diversity of style and content - ranging from vulnerable liturgical ballads to high-octane, celebratory rock. Naomi founded... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 6:30pm - 7:15pm
Grove

7:30pm

Organize Your Way to a Better Life
Feeling overwhelmed? Having day-to-day challenges while trying to successfully manage your life?  This is the course for you.  Bring your biggest challenge (photographic evidence welcome) and you will learn systems and solutions to simplify your life.  Gain new perspecive on how to organize and manage your life, and learn tips and tools to be better organized and to feel empowered.  Organize your way to a better life!

Presenters
MA

Marla Alt

Marla Alt is a world-class professional organizer also known as "The Moving Whisperer." She is an expert in helping people move, organize, and stage homes. This is truly her passion. For over 10 years, her website, 123organize.com, has helped hundreds of clients to simplify their lives. Marla also loves teaching at Park Avenue Synagogue and at Community Synagogue of Rye. She is proud to be a mom, stepmom, and safta. She and her husband, Jeff... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
High Ridge

7:30pm

Am I Enough? - A Survival Guide Through the Arc of Adolescence [Teen Session]
This session is only open to teenagers. This workshop addresses adolescence’s feelings of isolation and separateness, and teaches teens to embrace the difficult issues that arise as they grow to adulthood. Scott shares how his own journey has led him to help young people make peace with life’s demanding circumstances. Using case studies and real emails from teens in crisis, Scott takes participants through topics including sexual responsibility, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, cutting, and suicidal ideation, tying them together with the central theme of loneliness and seclusion.

Presenters
avatar for Scott Fried

Scott Fried

Scott Fried is an international public speaker, health educator, author and three-time guest at Limmud, England. He has been living with HIV for over 28 years, making him one of the longest Jewish survivors of the disease. Scott is the author of three books and lives in NYC.


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Waterside

7:30pm

Building on Old Foundations
Contemporary Jewish life is built on the past, but there are many different ways to react to tradition. Taking inspiration from the work of artists and architects who specialize in making new work in significant historical sites, we will explore how we can thoughtfully and creatively engage with our heritage, acknowledging the past and making space for the present.

Presenters
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Long Ridge

7:30pm

Jerusalem Under the Ottomans
There are two competing myths, each with its own implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One sees the current conflict as just the latest stage in Arabs' and Muslims' persistent persecution of Jews throughout their history. The other blames Zionism and the State of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians for having destroyed the blissful coexistence that had always reigned between Jews and Arabs/Muslims. By studying Ottoman primary sources concerning Jerusalem, let's challenge these myths.

Presenters
JG

Jonathan Gribetz

Jonathan Marc Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University, where he teaches the history of Palestine and Israel, Jewish and Arab nationalisms, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the city of Jerusalem. He is the author of the book Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter.


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Westover

7:30pm

From the Jerusalem Talmud to the Babylonian Talmud: The Reworking of Stories and the Talmudic Ethic of Shame
Many stories appear in multiple versions in rabbinic compilations, often with minor, yet significant, variations. Comparing parallel versions in the two Talmuds reveals differences in the values, cultures, and beliefs of the two rabbinic centers. Stories of shame and honor are important examples of this process, which appear overwhelmingly in the Babylonian Talmud. Here, we will study how the Babylonian Talmudic storytellers changed earlier stories to emphasize this ethic.

Presenters
avatar for Jeffrey Rubenstein

Jeffrey Rubenstein

Professor, New York University
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, New York University. His books include, Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture (1999), Rabbinic Stories (2002), The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (2003), and Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Jeffrey has written numerous articles on the festival of Sukkot, Talmudic stories, the development of Jewish law... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Willow

7:30pm

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

Presenters

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Glen

7:45pm

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

Saturday February 13, 2016 7:45pm - 9:45pm
Ballroom I, II

8:00pm

The Farewell Party
THE FAREWELL PARTY:  Israel,  2014, 93 minutes, Hebrew with subtitles, Narrative

Residents of a Jerusalem senior living home struggle with a decision to help a dying friend end his life with dignity in this witty and tender dark Israeli comedy which The Forward news weekly called  “The Lighter Side of Euthanasia.”   This is not an issues movie, but more about emotions than a legal or moral debate.  The film was awarded four Israeli Academy (Ophir) awards, including Best Direction.  Aided by a talented ensemble of Israel’s finest actors, the film shows us the humanity of its characters as we laugh with them. 

Presenters
EF

Elliot Fix

Elliot Fix is a longstanding member of the JCC Jewish International Film Festival Committee in Rochester, NY and its past Chairperson, responsible for programming. He is also the Co-coordinator of the Everett Jewish Life Center's Jewish Film Series at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. He has worked professionally for many years in the field of developmental disabilities as an administrator at a state-affiliated developmental... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:00pm - 9:45pm
Elm
  • Learning Modality Film

8:00pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Volunteer Central

8:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Volunteer Central

8:00pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Volunteer Central

8:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Volunteer Central

8:15pm

Angels in America: A Quintessentially Jewish Play?
A Charedi Rabbi’s eulogy, Jacob wrestling the angels, Yiddish tropes (cantillations), and the Kaddish (prayer for the deceased) are just a few of the Jewish elements in the important Pulitzer-prize winning play Angels in America. Why did Tony Kushner render Jewishness so central to a play focused on the lives of gay men during the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in the 1980s? This session will explore these key Jewish elements of the play and the way in which they provide a window into its key themes.

Presenters
avatar for David  Bilchitz

David Bilchitz

University of Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg
David Bilchitz is a Professor of Fundamental Rights Law at the University of Johannesburg and the Director of SAIFAC, a leading research centre of the University in constitutional law. He is also Secretary-General of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He is currently the Chair of Limmud International. David is also the founder of Jewish Outlook: SA Jewish LGBTI Alliance, the head of Jewish Identity at Beit Emanuel Progressive... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Springdale

8:15pm

Middle School Extravaganza!
All 6th–8th graders are invited to join in for an exciting and awesome evening just for middle schoolers.

Presenters

Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Glen

8:15pm

One Man’s Report from Across the Jewish World
Peter's vast experience traveling over the past two decades to Jewish communities large and small, alive and seemingly (but often, not actually) dead, will provide the source for this fascinating report on the Jewish world today.  From the small mountain town of Belmonte, Portugal, to the teeming city of Ahmedabad, India, this session will explore the fascinating reality of Jewish life being lived around the world. Be prepared to have wanderlust when this session is over.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation.



Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter A. Geffen is Founder and Executive Director of KIVUNIM—The Institute World Jewish Studies and Founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC. From 2003-05, he served as the Executive Director of The Center for Jewish History, the largest archive of Diaspora Jewish life in the world. He created and served as principal of the Park Avenue Synagogue High School in NYC from 1967-1985. In the 1960’s he served as a civil rights worker for... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Belltown

8:15pm

The Cairo Codex
In Moment's March/April issue, we investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Cairo Codex, an ancient--and wildly valuable--manuscript that was commissioned by the Karaite sect and housed for decades in a Cairo synagogue. But now, no one knows for sure where the Codex is. Editor Nadine Epstein probes the murky story of the Codex.


Presenters
NE

Nadine Epstein

Nadine Epstein is the editor and publisher of Moment Magazine, founder and executive director of the Center for Creative Change, and founder of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004 Epstein relaunched Moment Magazine, co-founded in 1975 by Leonard Fein and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and has forged it into a multi-media platform of... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Ballroom III

8:15pm

Breaking the Silence on the Last Gaza War
In 2014, Israel invaded the Gaza in an operation called Operation Protective Edge. A year and a half later, this operation is still the topic of widespread debate in the international community. This session will shed light on some aspects of the operation, through testimonies of soldiers who served there.

Presenters
AG

Avner Gvaryahu

Avner Gvaryahu was born in the Israeli city of Rehovot. During his army service, he served in the special forces battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant. A year after he was discharged, Avner joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide with a focus on working with world Jewry. In his last position, he served as the director of the Public Outreach Department. Avner is currently an MA... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Cove

8:15pm

From Woodstock to JTS: The Journey of a Biblical Scholar
As an original member of the rock group Sha Na Na, Alan Cooper was one of the two youngest performers at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. In this informal session, Alan will offer reminiscences and engage in Q&A both about the festival and about his intellectual and spiritual journey from rock singer to student and teacher of Torah.

Presenters
avatar for Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Provost, Jewish Theological Seminary
Alan Cooper is the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies and provost of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He joined the faculty in 1997 as a professor of Bible. In 1998, he also was appointed professor of Bible at the Union Theological Seminary, a nondenominational Christian seminary. Previously, he was a professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion, where for six years he was director of its School of... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Aspen

8:15pm

Laying Down The (Jewish) Law: Is Being 'Bad' Sometimes Good for the Jews?
Come watch two very different Rabbis debate the question of what it mean to be a good Jew in the year 2016, and what the role of Halacha (Jewish Law) is in our lives today. We'll look at some classic Jewish texts, and some newer Jewish texts, and attempt to understand whether Jewish Law can have a positive role in Jewish life.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

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


Saturday February 13, 2016 8:15pm - 9:30pm
Grove

9:45pm

An Evening of Stand Up Comedy
Join us for a performance by Bob Alper, “the world’s only practicing rabbi doing stand-up comedy…intentionally.”  Adults and children 11 and older are welcome.

Presenters
avatar for Robert Alper

Robert Alper

Robert “Bob” Alper is an author, stand-up comedian, and ordained rabbi who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has performed across North America and England and was named “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.” He has written three books: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, A Rabbi Confesses, and Thanks. I Needed That, and has produced two best-selling comedy CDs and a DVD. Bob resides in rural Vermont with his... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Aspen

9:45pm

Soulfarm in Concert
Come hear Grammy Award winners C Lanzbom and Noah Solomon perform live. The duo first met in Israel and played with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach before moving to NYC and forming the group, SoulFarm. Their sound is a unique melting pot of Middle-Eastern, Celtic, Blues and Folk music. Experience the heartfelt melodies and compelling lyrics that have moved audiences throughout the US, Israel, Europe and Australia.

Presenters
S

Soulfarm

Soulfarm was founded in Israel by Grammy Award winners C Lanzbom & Noah Solomon Chase. Dubbed New American, their musical style  features full melodic song writing and progressive modern arrangements. Together with drummer Ben Antelis and Grammy Award-winning bassist Mitch Friedman, Soulfarm tours throughout the world and has recorded with many well-known musicians such as Perry Farrel and Dispatch. They have been featured on Fox 5, Good... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Grove

9:45pm

Was Tevye for Real? Rethinking Old Myths and New Realities About East European Jewry
Everyone has seen Fiddler on the Roof, right? And most of us believe that the images from this story matched the realities of life for Jews in Eastern Europe under the tsars and, later, commissars of the Soviet regime. But was this really true? If the realities of the Jewish past in Eastern Europe weren’t so quaint or bleak, why do we continue to think that Tevye and his daughters embodied the world that was once home to many of our forefathers and foremothers?

Presenters
JD

Jonathan Dekel-Chen

Jonathan Dekel-Chen is a senior lecturer in modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the 2015-16 academic year, he is an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He is a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which borders the Gaza Strip. In 2014, he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Performing Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for under-served high school students from all over... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Cove

9:45pm

The Changing American Synagogue
A historical look at the evolution of the American synagogue, charting its development from the Colonial "synagogue-community", to the classical Reform "temple", to the immigrant-era "shul", to the suburban "center", to the post-denominational "emergent" congregations of today.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David E. Kaufman was most recently the Jewish Studies Chair at Hofstra University, and was previously on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/LA, concurrently teaching at the University of Southern California. He has a BA from Columbia, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, and a PhD in American Jewish History from Brandeis. He is the author of Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History, and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
High Ridge

9:45pm

Tsadiks and Socialists
Jewish immigrants were instrumental in the labor struggles at the turn of the 20th century, a force that has been termed the Jewish Labor Movement. Conventional wisdom understands this labor struggle to be secular in nature—even anti-religious. But is that true? In text and song, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell will lead an exploration of the religious character of the Jewish Labor Movement.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Rothbaum

Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum is the Bay Area Regional Council Co-Chair for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and serves as the Director of Youth and Family Education of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. He has been extensively involved with faith-based social justice organizations, and has spoken and taught widely at conferences and rallies, from Moishe House to the House of Representatives. His writing and speaking has been featured in... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell works as a Jewish educator in SF Bay Area, in addition to his work as a performing artist specializing in the repertoire of Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975), one of the twentieth century’s most prolific performers of chazzanut, Chassidic piyut, and Yiddish song. In his unique explorations of Jewish and African-American diaspora culture, Anthony's work is inspired simultaneously by the sounds of tradition and a... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Willow

9:45pm

Redemption through Sin?: Kabbalah and Ritual Violation of Halakha
Kabbalah’s stance toward halakha is paradoxical. Most texts demand strict observance, if we would avoid cosmic disaster. Other texts seem to call for transgression, whether only for the holiest people or for a large-scale movement, as in Sabbateanism. This explosive potential obsessed Gershom Scholem, kabbalah’s leading scholar. We will look at key texts, from the Zohar, Lurianic sources, and Sabbateanism. Are there “times when the nullification of the Torah is its foundation” (Talmud Menakhot)?

Presenters
avatar for Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Modern Culture at Brown University. He co-directs Brown’s Religion and Internationalism Project. He has taught widely on kabbalah in the New York area, as well as at Brown. His teaching on kabbalah focuses on the relationship between the divine and the demonic (the “Sitra Aḥra”). Nathaniel holds a doctorate in Jewish Studies from University... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Glenbrook

9:45pm

The Maiden With No Eyes
Two rabbis on a journey meet an old man with riddles, who talks of the maiden with no eyes and reveals to them the secrets of the soul’s relationship to Torah. This whole story is found in the Zohar, and in 2014 artist Jacqueline Nicholls and musician Jewlia Eisenberg were commissioned by G-dcast to create a short film based on this text that explores Jewish mysticism. This session will trace the journey that this 21st century chavrutah (paired study) made in revealing the text.

Presenters
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Springdale

10:00pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 10:00pm - Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00am
Volunteer Central

10:00pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Saturday February 13, 2016 10:00pm - Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00am
Volunteer Central

11:15pm

Limmud NY 'Bat Mitzvah' Karaoke
Join your old and new Limmud NY friends for a special celebration of the 12th LNY! Sing karaoke all night long to your favorite cheesy Bar Mitzvah party tunes with some of your favorite LimmudNYks!

Presenters
SD

Shira Dicker

Shira Dicker is a restless writer-at-large, captivated by contemporary culture. Her sensibility is global, though her lens is stubbornly American. Her analysis of cultural phenomena is filtered through this lens; her particularistic focus is part of her trademark. As a publicist, Shira has created attention-grabbing campaigns for her clients. As an activist, she has defended and promoted important causes and fought for justice. A believer in... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 11:15pm - Sunday February 14, 2016 1:00am
Springdale
 
Sunday, February 14
 

7:15am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity full

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15am - 9:15am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15am - 9:15am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15am - 9:15am
Volunteer Central

7:15am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15am - 9:15am
Volunteer Central

7:30am

Water Aerobics and Stretching
Start the morning moving! Participants of all fitness levels are invited to come join us in the pool for a guided water aerobics and stretching class.

Presenters
JB

Julie Botnick

Julie Botnick is a program associate at Hazon working on building the Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education field. She earned her BA in History, cum laude, from Yale, with a thesis on the historical memory of a Zionist agricultural colony in Utah. During college, she worked at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library as a curatorial assistant, and spent six months in Israel working on farms and taking oral histories of... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Pool

7:30am

Siddur Sababa Tfillah Experience
This is an interactive Shaharit Workshop for people looking to engage in community building and meaning making in preparation for prayer.  All are welcome- educators and non-educators alike.  Attendees will spend 10 minutes building their own weekday Amidah parallel to the traditional set of topics in the Amidah before coming together in an alternative prayer experience with their original content.  It will be Sababa!

Presenters
SB

Sara Beckerman

Sara Beckerman is a Jewish educator, currently teaching at the Schechter School of Long Island and Merrick Jewish Centre. She is the creator of Siddur Sababa, an interactive curriculum for teaching Jewish prayer. She also writes curriculum for teaching Hebrew, TaNaKh and Talmud.


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Glenbrook

7:30am

Orthodox Shacharit (Morning Service) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Elm

7:30am

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Aspen

7:30am

'Reading Rainbow' Room
Searching for meaning or relaxation? Take a look: it's in a book. Enjoy a small selection of books or bring your own, and enjoy reading in a companionable and hushed environment with your fellow LimmudNYiks!


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Westover

7:30am

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:30am

The American Jewish Argument about Israel: A Guide for the Perplexed (and the Vexed)
What exactly are American Jews arguing about when it comes to Israel? Why has this argument become so angry and uncivil? And what impact is it having upon American Jewish life today? This session will tackle these questions as it explores the current American Jewish argument about Israel and its repercussions.

Presenters
avatar for Dov Waxman

Dov Waxman

Dov Waxman is Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies at Northeastern University, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies. He is the author of The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation, and Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within. His new book Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel will be published by... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Waterside

8:30am

Music Together with a Jewish Bent
Come participate in the joy of family music using the research-based program elements of the famous "Music Together" curriculum. This session is designed for children ages 0-5, together with the grown-ups who love them. Naomi will bring in some traditional Jewish tunes.

Presenters
avatar for Naomi Weinberger

Naomi Weinberger

Naomi is the teaching director of Naomi's Music offering the world renowned Music Together® program in Brooklyn Heights. To date, Naomi has taught over 2000 children. She is a classically trained singer and piano player with degrees in architecture and industrial design from Yale and Pratt respectively. She has four children of her own ages 16 to 22. All four of her children attended Kiddie Korner Preschool. Naomi lives in harmony with her... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Glenbrook

8:30am

Getting Older is Not for Sissies: Finding Wisdom and Grace as We Age (Part II)
As we enter the final third of life, are there tools and practices that can help us find ways to not only survive but thrive? How do we cultivate the strength and resilience we need so that we experience grace and joy as we age? Can Jewish wisdom help illuminate the path? Through study, exercises, and discussion we will touch on issues such as forgiveness, loss and change, relationships and legacy, and see why mindfulness meditation and the cultivation of spiritual qualities can be so helpful.
Participants may choose to participate in either one or both sessions. 

Presenters
avatar for Susie Kessler

Susie Kessler

Director of Makom, JCC Manhattan
Susie Kessler is the director of Makom: The Center for Meditation and Spirituality at JCC Manhattan. She was a past coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing and has been trained as a facilitator of the new IJS curriculum, "Wise Aging". Susie has been a proud member of the Upper West Side Jewish community for over 40 years. She is married to Peter Geffen and they are parents to Jonah Geffen and Julia Mannes, Daniel and Lu Geffen... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Belltown

8:30am

Ten Things Every Woman Should Know About Sex
For Women Only.There are at least 10 things every woman should know about sex from the fact that intercourse does not “equal sex,” to the fact that everyone, regardless of their size, age or physical condition is entitled to a full and satisfying sex life. These tips can help everyone, whether they have specific sexual concerns or not. Marcus will educate listeners about what every woman should know about sex.

Presenters
avatar for Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus

Clinical Director, Maze Women's Sexual Health
Titled the Orthodox Sex Guru by the NYTimes Magazine, Bat Sheva is a founder and clinical director of Maze Women's Sexual Health, one of the largest centers in the country treating female sexual issues. She holds masters in Social Work, Public Health and Jewish Studies and a PhD in Human Sexuality. Bat Sheva is also one of the founders and currently the President of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She co-hosts of a monthly podcast on... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Grove

8:30am

Iranian Antisemitism: Why We Should Care
Some people in North America and Europe say that the antisemitism of Middle Eastern regimes like Iran need not be taken seriously. In this view, Iran's diatribes are just rhetoric; when it comes to concrete actions like dismantling its nuclear program, Iran will behave rationally. But this view is naive. Iran's antisemitism and its generally miserable human rights record give the clearest possible warning that the regime will behave in ways that pose a clear and present danger to the West.

Presenters
CS

Charles Small

Charles Asher Small is the Director of ISGAP and a Visiting Professor at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. He received his doctorate from Oxford University and was the Founding Director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, the first such center at a North American university. His publications include The Yale Papers: Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Aspen

8:30am

A Novelist Walks into a Synagogue
A new novel, The Beautiful Possible, tells the postwar braided love story of an American Conservative rabbi, his wife, and a German-Jewish refugee by way of India who threatens and ultimately sustains their marriage. The author will discuss how this novel was inspired by her work as a Judaica editor, and how her investigations into Hasidic thought, Tagore's poetry, and the Song of Songs morphed into a novel about the boundaries of faith and the seeds of Jewish renewal. 

Presenters
AG

Amy Gottlieb

Amy Gottlieb is the author of a debut novel, The Beautiful Possible. Her work has been published in Lilith, Zeek, On Being, Forward, Tikkun, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poetry, and elsewhere. Formerly the director of publications for the Rabbinical Assembly, she currently teaches writing workshops at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education; Beyond Walls: Spiritual Writing at Kenyon; and at Bronx Loaf.


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Westover

8:30am

What's the Talmud Got to do With It: Rabbinic Perspectives on Love
We will examine one of the most romantic stories in the entire Bablyonian Talmud - that of Akiva and his wife. At first glance, it seems to be a deep story of understanding, but as we look closer, we will uncover some important questions and struggles that the rabbis face regarding love. Come explore the question of - what is love? And why should I care what the Talmud has to say about it? All sources will be in the original and in english, and no prior text experience is necessary.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Elm

8:30am

Yoga Mussar Practice on Middah of Simcha, Joy
We will open with a brief (roughly 10 minute) text study on the concept/character trait (middah) of Joy as expressed in Torah and prayer and Mussar commentary/teachings. This discussion will bridge to a 45-60 minute yoga practice incorporating the themes touched upon in text study. Physical postures and the flow of movement along with brief kavanot (intention) will expand upon and express the concept of simcha (joy). Our embodied practice will ready us for the month of Adar. 

Presenters
SE

Sharon Epstein

Sharon Epstein is a registered yoga teacher with a Masters in Dance Movement Therapy and is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She and her co-teacher, Tara Feldman, seek to engage members of their community in Jewish spirituality through the vehicle of embodied practice.
TF

Tara Feldman

Tara Feldman, along with her husband, has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Great Neck, NY for the past six years. For the past five years she has been exploring the weekly parasha (Torah portion), the Omer, the holiday cycle and Mussar through yoga.


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Ballroom III

8:30am

General Education in Hasidic Yeshivas- An Urgent Matter
A brief description of the current education crisis in Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas in New York and abroad, followed by an argument as to why this is unsustainable for the community as a whole and unfair to the individual students attending those Yeshivas. If this trend continues unchallenged, the face of Judaism will soon be uneducated, poor, isolated, intolerant, and disliked.

Presenters
NM

Naftuli Moster

Naftuli Moster grew up in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, as the middle child of 17 biological siblings from the same mother and father. Naftuli's family belonged to the Belz Hasidic sect, whose headquarters are in Jerusalem. He attended Belz Yeshivas from the age of 3 to 20. There Naftuli received a minimal general education, since the focus was almost exclusively on Judaic and Hasidic studies. As an adult, Naftuli pursued a bachelor's degree... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

8:30am

Homa uMigdal (Bridge & Stockade) and Other Social Justice Tactics I Learned from Ze'ev Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion
Early Zionists faced a near impossible task: organizing a fractured, geographically dispersed Jewish community into a nation-state despite intense British and Arab opposition. Many of the strategic and tactical strategies and debates that faced the early Zionist movement have continued relevance to those engaged in social justice activism. This session will discuss useful strategies for movement-building derived from early Zionist history.

Presenters
AN

Ari Ne'eman

Ari Ne'eman is the President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a non-profit advocacy organization run by and for autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of autistic people in society. From 2010 to 2015, he served as one of President Obama's appointees to the National Council on Disability. He currently serves as a member of the Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment of People... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Cove

8:30am

Challenges of Halacha in a Rapidly Changing world: Where Do We Draw the Lines?
Our world is changing in a rapid pace. Technological developments, as well as social transformations are challenging many values and practices of Judaism and Jewish Halacha.
How does the era of knowledge revolution, social media and post-modernism affect Judaism?
What can be done in order to obtain the relevancy of the Jewish Halacha without breaking the traditional framework?

Presenters
avatar for Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth is the Rabbi of Ohel Ari Congregation in Ra'annana. He is the Founder and first Executive Director of "Beit Hillel – Attentive Spiritual Leadership". Ronen was the director of the overseas department and head of the rabbinical training program of Tzohar Rabbinical Organization. He served as a captain in the Israeli Navy Special Forces. Ronen also served as the Rabbi of Bnei Akiva of the U.S. and Canada.



Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
High Ridge

8:30am

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

Presenters
avatar for Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth

Ronen Neuwirth is the Rabbi of Ohel Ari Congregation in Ra'annana. He is the Founder and first Executive Director of "Beit Hillel – Attentive Spiritual Leadership". Ronen was the director of the overseas department and head of the rabbinical training program of Tzohar Rabbinical Organization. He served as a captain in the Israeli Navy Special Forces. Ronen also served as the Rabbi of Bnei Akiva of the U.S. and Canada.


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Willow

9:15am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

10:00am

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm
Mezzanine

10:15am

How Do (and Don’t) Birthright Israel Trips Actually Work
Since 1999, hundreds of thousands of American Jews have visited Israel on all-expense-paid Birthright tours. Unlike Jewish pilgrimages of millennia past, Birthright Israel adopts and adapts practices from modern mass tourism. What happens when tourism is used to create a 21st century pilgrimage? How does tourism shape identity? How do Birthright’s organizers try to enlist tourism to influence Jewish identity? How are their efforts complicated by inherent aspects of tourism itself?

Presenters
avatar for Shaul Kelner

Shaul Kelner

Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University
Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, and past director of Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies Program. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he is the author of the award-winning Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010). He is currently a Fellow of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, where he is... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
High Ridge

10:15am

Awaken the Storyteller within You - An Interactive Session
Looking to bring new life to classroom lessons, to engage children and grandchildren, to share life stories? This session will introduce storytelling skills through a variety of interactive activities.  Be prepared to “play.”

Presenters
MH

Muriel Horowitz

Storyteller
Muriel Horowitz combines creativity and an open heart with a rich knowledge of Jewish stories and traditions as she shares folktales, “midrashim,” and family stories. Combining her passions for storytelling, Judaism, and teaching in her work, she believes in the power of story to break down barriers and bring us closer to a more peaceful world.


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Westover

10:15am

Learn and Experience Israeli Dance!
Learn basic Israeli dance steps and enjoy learning a sampling of traditional and modern Israeli folk circle & line dances. Connect with Israel and enjoy Middle Eastern music!

Dancers who register for this class will receive a 50% coupon which can be applied towards any two (2) of Leng's dance sessions in Brooklyn, NY, Nyack, NY, Stamford, CT, or New Haven, CT.

Presenters
LT

Leng Tan

Israeli dance instructor with over 25 years of teaching experience. Leng offers Israeli dance classes in Fort Lee, NJ, Stamford & New Haven, CT as well as in Brooklyn, Nyack and New City, NY. Leng teaches at Solomon Schechter High School in Hartsdale, NY in addition to other Hebrew schools. Leng also leads & teaches Israeli dance at special events - Bar/Bat Mitzvah, temple events. Connect with Israel - reap the physical & mental... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Ballroom III

10:15am

Drawing Connections: The Jewish Year
Our understanding of the Jewish Holidays deepens when we see how they are linked. Each child will choose one holiday from a list to represent on paper using a selection of art supplies, and based on suggested elements (Shofar on Rosh Hashana, etc.). We will then map the Jewish Year by placing the artworks around the room chronologically. Participants will see the linear relationships; build community through shared creation; and consider new connections between the holidays through a discussion. 
Ages 3-6

Presenters
AP

Adina Polen

Adina Polen has studied music, fine art, graphic design, and Jewish texts. She taught middle school, scanned rare books, and gave birth to two fine kiddos. Adina has spent more hours than is probably wise reading children's books and pondering what separates the wheat from the chaff in art and stories for children. These days, she is busy collaborating with a group of kindred spirits to broaden and enrich the offerings in Judaica for... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Glen

10:15am

Everything Bagels: What Makes the Perfect Bagel?
What makes a good bagel? Chewy or soft? And where did these circular breads start out? And what happened to the Bagel Makers’ Union? Presenter Marc Halperin knows bagels! As a former partner at Kossar's Bialys and the current principal of Noshman's Bagels, Marc is uniquely positioned to discuss the macro and micro trends in bagels, but with a dose of colorful history added. Bagel tasting included.

Presenters
MH

Marc Halprin

Marc Halprin is a master bagel baker, recipe master, business veteran and founder of wholesale manufacturer Noshman’s Bagel of NYC.  He was mentored by the last surviving member of the bagel union's glory years where he learned the original secret recipes and techniques of the Lower East Side’s first bagel bakers of the 1890s. Marc was an H&H Bagels insider for over a decade and more recently assembled the team that... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Elm

10:15am

A Virtual Tour to Hebron - A Microcosm of the Occupation
Hebron, one of the largest Palestinian cities in the West Bank, also houses close to a thousand Israeli settlers. This session will analyze the realities of the city, through the eyes of a soldier who served there. Short film will be shown.

Presenters
AG

Avner Gvaryahu

Avner Gvaryahu was born in the Israeli city of Rehovot. During his army service, he served in the special forces battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade, where he attained the rank of staff sergeant. A year after he was discharged, Avner joined Breaking the Silence as a researcher and tour guide with a focus on working with world Jewry. In his last position, he served as the director of the Public Outreach Department. Avner is currently an MA... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Cove

10:15am

Two Journeys in Search of God and Torah: Shai Held and David Ingber in Conversation
Shai Held and David Ingber are founders of major Jewish religious institutions-- Mechon Hadar and Romemu respectively-- and long-time veterans of Limmud NY.  In this unique session, they will engage in an honest, searching (and totally unscripted) conversation about God, about the future of Judaism and the Jewish People, about the place of faith and doubt in their own lives, and about their own spiritual journeys.  A conversation you will not want to miss.

Presenters
avatar for Shai Held

Shai Held

Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. A renowned scholar and educator, Shai is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, and he has taught for synagogues and learning institutions across the United States and Israel. His book Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence was published by Indiana University... Read More →
DI

David Ingber

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Grove

10:15am

God Granted Me My Request: Hannah’s Power Play Before God
Hannah prays for a child and becomes a paradigm for how an individual should stand before God in impassioned petition. This session argues that Hannah does more than pour out her heart in supplication before God. We will see how Hannah actively ensures that her prayer will be answered and offers a paradigm of what it means to be in a reciprocal relationship with God.

Presenters
AK

Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky is Associate Professor of Bible at JTS, teaching courses on biblical literature, religion, and feminist interpretation of the Bible. She has written two books: Terror All Around: The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah, which applies horror theory to prophetic texts, and Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible, which explores biblical portrayals of sisters and sisterhoods, and she is the author of numerous articles... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Willow

10:15am

Why Prophesy Fails: On Pragmatism and Patience in the Work of Justice
The Biblical Prophets are held up as paragons and exemplars of the belief in the importance of justice and righteousness in defining the ethical agenda of the Jewish people. They were also, overwhelmingly, unsuccessful in their efforts. In this session we will explore the rabbinic critique of the prophets, and consider the implications for the work of justice and righteousness if indeed the methods of the prophets were as ineffective and counterproductive as the rabbis think they were.

Presenters
avatar for Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. The author of Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past and a fellow in the Institute’s iEngage Project, Yehuda writes and teaches widely on the central challenges facing Jewish life in both America and Israel, and how new Jewish thinking can help us stand up to these challenges. He lives in Riverdale with his wife, Stephanie Ives, and their three children.


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Aspen

10:15am

Disability-Informed Torah for an Accessible Community
Moses was significantly disabled. He was also the greatest leader of all time. Today, many Jews with disabilities face barriers to participation in Jewish community. What can we do about this? How can we make it possible for more potential disabled leaders to access our communities? A combination of text learning and experiential exploration.

Presenters
RR

Ruti Regan

Ruti Regan is a fourth-year rabbinical student at JTS and the author of realsocialskills.org, a blog about the disability-informed approach to interpersonal interactions. She is a co-founder of Anachnu, an organization led by Jews with disabilities promoting disability-informed Torah and inclusive community. She moderates the weekly #parshachat on Twitter. Prior to JTS, Ruti studied at Drisha and the Conservative Yeshiva. Her interests include... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Springdale

10:15am

Learn Talmud Like an Artist
What does an artist notice that a yeshiva student might not see? Daf Yomi is the study of a page of Talmud a day, once only practiced in traditional communities, but gaining popularity across the Jewish world. Drawyomi is Jacqueline’s online project that draws inspiration from the day's Talmud page, and offers a different perspective on the text. The Daf Yomi cycle is currently in Seder Nashim, which is providing its own challenge for this feminist artist.

Presenters
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Belltown

10:15am

Heschel, King, and the Politics of Prophecy
We will explore the theological dimension of Heschel and King’s well-known alliance, which centered on a shared preoccupation with biblical prophecy and a common understanding of how God does and doesn’t play a role in human affairs. How were they so sure of God’s will regarding earthly politics? How did their view of themselves as latter-day prophets shape their language, policies, and causes? What can they teach us about our own time, when political action in God's name is so often repellent?

Presenters
AE

Arnold Eisen

Arnold Eisen, one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Since taking office, he has transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, and lay leaders for Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center of North American Jewry. He taught previously at Stanford, Tel Aviv University, and Columbia. His books include Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Waterside

10:15am

Spiritual Activism: Advocacy, Leadership, Changing the World
What are the fundamental principles of Spiritual Activism? Some believe it encompasses principles of leadership. If leadership is defined as making change, what are the principles of bringing about change and speaking truth to power?

Presenters
avatar for Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss

Avi Weiss is founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat. He is also co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Rabbi Weiss served as National Chairman of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and subsequently as National President of AMCHA – the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, raising a voice of moral conscience for the Jewish people and humankind... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Long Ridge

11:00am

Jews in Calcutta? Is That Near Kalamazoo?
For many Jewish communities around the world, celebrating Judaism does not mean latkes and hamentaschen. This engaging and interactive slide, song, and story presentation initiates a conversation with children about identity, diversity, and continuity - in addition to being just plain fun! Optional hands-on activity (creating besamim sachets with Indian spices).

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations offer a rare and intimate view of a rich culture little-known to most. Rahel is an award-winning journalist, author, singer, speaker, and educator. She... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 11:00am - 12:15pm
Glen

11:15am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15am - 1:15pm
Volunteer Central

11:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15am - 1:15pm
Volunteer Central

11:15am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15am - 1:15pm
Volunteer Central

11:15am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15am - 1:15pm
Volunteer Central

12:00pm

The PLO's Rabbi
The PLO followed classical Reform Judaism in defining the Jews as members of a religion not a nation. Was the correspondence between the positions of these two movements merely a coincidence? In this session we will discuss the American Council for Judaism (ACJ), an anti-Zionist offshoot of American Reform Judaism, and the relationship of the ACJ's long-time leader Rabbi Elmer Berger with the founding intellectuals of the PLO.

Presenters
JG

Jonathan Gribetz

Jonathan Marc Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University, where he teaches the history of Palestine and Israel, Jewish and Arab nationalisms, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the city of Jerusalem. He is the author of the book Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter.


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Long Ridge

12:00pm

What is Jewish Art: A Visual Presentation and Wide Ranging Conversation
What is Jewish art? Simply art produced by Jews? Art depicting Jews or containing Jewish subject matter? What aboutJewish ceremonial objects with Jewish iconography, such as menorahs, goblets, Torah coverings, carvings, or folk artevoking the daily life of Jewish communities? Or metaphysical art, which grapples with Jewish mysticism, probes the letters of the Hebrew alphabet or attempts to express some aspect of the Jewish conception of reality?

Join Moment editor and publisher Nadine Epstein to explore this perennial question. The discussion will draw from Moment's recent symposium on the topic with answers from current artists such as Judy Chicago, Daniel Libeskind, and Helène Aylon, as well as their insights into famous works of Jewish art. 

Presenters
NE

Nadine Epstein

Nadine Epstein is the editor and publisher of Moment Magazine, founder and executive director of the Center for Creative Change, and founder of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004 Epstein relaunched Moment Magazine, co-founded in 1975 by Leonard Fein and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and has forged it into a multi-media platform of... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Springdale

12:00pm

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

Presenters
AE

Ana Empremashvili

Ana Empremashvili is the owner and general manager of Marani, a Georgian Glatt Kosher restaurant in Rego Park, Queens. Marani is unique in that it has two kitchens: the bakery downstairs serves dairy and the famous Georgian dish, khachapuri. While upstairs, the kitchen prepares meats for Georgian delicacies such as chakapuli or khinkali. Ana was born in Georgia, but emigrated to Queens where she opened Marani in order to provide her... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Belltown

12:00pm

'Break the Yoke from our Neck': Parallels in Disability and Jewish History
In Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals) and many other prayers, Jews ask God to "break the yoke from our neck" and lead us upright into freedom. This is a long lasting theme in the Jewish liturgy because of the omnipresent burden of living life as a persecuted minority. People with disabilities often report similar feelings, living life in a world built only with the non-disabled in mind. What are the parallels between the disabled and Jewish historical experience? What lessons can each group learn from the other?

Presenters
AN

Ari Ne'eman

Ari Ne'eman is the President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, a non-profit advocacy organization run by and for autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of autistic people in society. From 2010 to 2015, he served as one of President Obama's appointees to the National Council on Disability. He currently serves as a member of the Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment of People... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
High Ridge

12:00pm

My Son the Farmer?! The Unknown History of Modern Jewish Agriculture on Four Continents
This session explores the almost unknown history of the Jewish agrarianization movement from the 1880s until the eve of the Second World War and some of its more recent developments in North America and Israel. Although almost completely forgotten in collective memory, farming was a major feature of Jewish life for decades in the Americas, Eastern Europe and, of course, in the Land of Israel. What did it mean then? What might it mean today?

Presenters
JD

Jonathan Dekel-Chen

Jonathan Dekel-Chen is a senior lecturer in modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During the 2015-16 academic year, he is an Israel Institute Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He is a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which borders the Gaza Strip. In 2014, he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Performing Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for under-served high school students from all over... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Cove

12:00pm

Bridging the Divide: Dialogues Between Those Who Have Left Ultra-Orthodoxy and the Communities from which they Come
A common narrative among those who leave ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities is that there is no communication back with the communities from which they come. This panel will feature individuals who are actively in dialogue with the ultra-Orthodox communities from which they left, and working to maintain relationships and challenge assumptions on both sides.

Presenters
RB

Rachel Berger

Rachel hails from sunny Philadelphia and now proudly calls New York home. She has a background in non-profit management focused on social justice and Jewish communal work. Rachel was a 2011-12 Dorot Fellow, spendng a year in Israel working with the African refugee population and learning the art of cheesemaking. As the Director of Community Engagement at Footsteps, she manages Footsteps’ community building programs, foundation relations... Read More →
GL

Goldy Landau

Goldy was raised in Kiryas Joel, an insular Chassidish Shtetel where women like her are forbidden to drive, access the internet, or obtain a college education. She is currently living between her sheltered upbringing and her love of learning by studying Neuroscience and American Studies at Wellesley College. Goldy also enjoys staffing Birthright trips. She is an EMT and participated in several neuroscience research projects, but has no... Read More →
MY

Mindi Yeger

Comedian. Born & raised in Brooklyn, Mindi is the youngest of five. Growing up ultra-orthodox, Mindi learned a lot about being Jewish but not much about the world. Always a good girl, Mindi followed the well-worn path for girls in her community & married young. 3 wonderful kids & 16 years later, the marriage ended and Mindi’s entry into the world at large began. Mindi credits comedy with giving her the ability to take even... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Waterside

12:00pm

AIDS in the Age of Grindr & Tinder
Popular apps such as Grindr and Tinder have made it easier for people to have sex with others at a faster rate than at any other time in human history. They’ve also allowed us to act in uncivil ways towards each other and ourselves. Scott bravely explores themes of love, rejection, sex, truth, longing, and HIV/AIDS as part of a personal narrative. He exposes the secrets and hidden meanings of these interactions and the stories we tell ourselves, delivering a global message of humanity and hope.

Presenters
avatar for Scott Fried

Scott Fried

Scott Fried is an international public speaker, health educator, author and three-time guest at Limmud, England. He has been living with HIV for over 28 years, making him one of the longest Jewish survivors of the disease. Scott is the author of three books and lives in NYC.


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Elm

12:00pm

80s Klezmer Aerobics
80s Klezmer Aerobics is an interactive dance/storytelling workout where "the 1880s meets the 1980s." As Daniel leads the workout, he tells the original story "Levi and the Old Badchen", a story about a dancer and his apprentice. The audience learns the dances of the Old Badchen and of Levi, and the dances that Levi learns when he runs off to Warsaw. Framing this experience, Daniel speaks of the 1980s klezmer revival and parallels the technological shifts and cultural evolutions of the Jewish people.

Presenters
DB

Daniel Brenner

Daniel Brenner started performing in 1987 with the late comic legend Chris Farley (at the Ark Improvisational Theater) and has been doing theater ever since. In rabbinical school, he created the one-man-show Faster, Rabbi, Drill! Drill!, won an All out Arts New York playwriting award (2000), and wrote a series of chassidic folktale/plays for Philadelphia's Theatre Ariel. Since then, he had a play produced by New York's Vital Theater and spawned a... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Ballroom III

12:00pm

The Jewish 'Satan': The Devil We Know
This session will trace the evolution of Judaism's "Satan" (yes, we have one) – from merciful angel of divine redirection, to God's loyal prosecutor, to manifestations of duality, to angelic personification of evil. Along the way, we'll observe how Jewish legend and liturgy are porous to other faiths' historical and doctrinal influences, and consider the spiritual implications for us 21st century moderns. Come for text study, history, philosophy, and maybe a few spiritual surprises.

Presenters
avatar for David Evan Markus

David Evan Markus

Co-Chair, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
David Markus is co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El of City Island (New York, NY), and Faculty in Spiritual Direction and Rabbinics for the ALEPH Ordination Program. He is a syndicated blogger for My Jewish Learning, Rabbis Without Borders and The Jewish Studio. By day, he serves as judicial officer in New York Supreme Court and has a parallel career in government service. He lives in Westchester... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Grove

12:00pm

Chazak Chazak V'Nitchazek: When and Why Do We Need Strength?
Why do Ashkenazi congregations say "Chazak Chazak V'Nitchazek" ("Strong, strong, and let us strengthen ourselves") when they finish reading a book from the Torah? Where does this custom originate and how old is it? What about finishing Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy makes this singular invocation necessary? Why do we say (almost) the same thing three times? This session will look at texts from the Tanakh, Talmud, and halakhic (law) codes to unravel this mystery.

Presenters
AG

Adina Gerver

Adina is a student at NYU, pursuing an MPA in non-profit management and MA in Judaic studies. Adina’s interests include writing and editing, Jewish adult and family education, public history, urban design, walking in Fort Tryon Park, fine wine, and exquisite dark chocolate. Adina has taught a Talmud course and a course on changing God’s mind at Washington Heights Congregation, as well as one-time classes in NYC; Falls Village, CT; Palo... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Willow

12:00pm

Ferguson/Fargesn: Racism, Jewishness, and the Struggle for Criminal Justice Reform
In 1902, in a stuffy room on the Lower East Side, countless Jews testified to a local "Indignation Committee" about abuses suffered at the hands of New York City police. In our day, for perhaps the first time, many Americans are coming to terms with the abuses suffered by African-Americans at the hands our nation's criminal justice system. Are these experiences similar? Different? Join us as we explore Jewish approaches to our critical American moment, both via Jewish text and history.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Rothbaum

Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum is the Bay Area Regional Council Co-Chair for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and serves as the Director of Youth and Family Education of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. He has been extensively involved with faith-based social justice organizations, and has spoken and taught widely at conferences and rallies, from Moishe House to the House of Representatives. His writing and speaking has been featured in... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Aspen

12:00pm

An Astrologer, Rabbi, Bride, Snake & Pauper Walk into a Garden: An Amazing Talmudic Story – Eden Redux
“Tzedakah averts death”: Rich in literary, ontological, human & sexual overtones, we will explore a story from Tractate Shabbat 156B that challenges us to undo destiny, our status quo, our gravitational pull; to energize ourselves against the fall from Eden. Our story turns the biblical tale: the snake dies; woman is hero; man is absent; life, not death, prevails; the quiet but desperate voice heard; the good deed acted upon; transitioning from taker to giver; enabling life; happily ever after.

Presenters
avatar for Joe Septimus

Joe Septimus

Joe Septimus is CFO of a NYC based mortgage bank, teaches Torah at various adult education venues including Darkhei Noam, Central Synagogue, the JCC Tikkun, & Limmud NY. Joe has an MBA from NYU, a BA in Philosophy, studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin & Kerem B’Yavneh, is a Wexner Heritage alum, & loves analyzing Rabbinic & Biblical texts. Joe is married to Renee. They are blessed with four pairs of amazing children & in-law children, & ten... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Westover

12:00pm

Limmud Chavuta Project: War and Conflict
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss the potential causes of war, and conflict in general, from a Jewish perspective. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on War & Peace. 

Presenters
avatar for Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Glenbrook

12:00pm

Sunday Lunch: Meet-Up Meal
Get to know like-minded LimmudNYks that you haven’t gotten to meet yet at Meetup Meal tables. Anything from mindfulness to political topics: find a table on a specific topic up on the big board near the entrance to the dining room; introduce yourself; and open yourself to new conversations!

We’ve staggered the start times of sessions over lunch to give you choice and to avoid long lines. Either enjoy an earlier lunch and then go to a 1:45 PM session, or go to an 12:00 PM session and eat after!
Please do not take food from the dining room to the meeting rooms.

Sunday February 14, 2016 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Ballroom I, II

1:15pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 1:15pm - 3:15pm
Volunteer Central

1:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 1:15pm - 3:15pm
Volunteer Central

1:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 1:15pm - 3:15pm
Volunteer Central

1:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 1:15pm - 3:15pm
Volunteer Central

1:45pm

The Prophet and the Prostitute
Come and enjoy a bilbiodrama, where, from the comfort of our chairs, we'll try to bring a Biblical metaphor to life, using improvisation and imagination. What is the book of Hosea all about, and what does it have to teach us today? This class is not for the young or the faint of heart.

Presenters
SL

Sam Lebens

Samuel Lebens holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of London, and Orthodox Rabbinic Ordination after spending a number of years in various Israeli Rabbinical Schools. These days he teaches philosophy at Rutgers University and teaches all sorts of Jewish texts and topics at Drisha. He has published on all sorts of topics, from Bertrand Russell and the philosophy of fiction, to Hassidism and the nature of religiosity. He also blogs (from... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Glenbrook

1:45pm

A Taste of India's Jewish Masala
Food is a way of creating and recreating home. Learn about the culinary traditions of the Jews of India though personal recollections, stories, and recipes. The workshop will include preparing cheese samboosaks (pastries) and koolichas (coconut cookies). Limited to 25 participants (more can watch). 

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations offer a rare and intimate view of a rich culture little-known to most. Rahel is an award-winning journalist, author, singer, speaker, and educator. She... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Ballroom III

1:45pm

Searching for Relatives in the JDC Names Database
The JDC Archives Names Database includes more than 500,000 names of individuals who have received aid from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. This important resource for genealogists and other researchers is drawn from the client lists and index cards of “the Joint,” as the organization is often called, from operations in over 90 countries worldwide. The database contains primary source documents as well as an index.

Presenters
NB

Naomi Barth

Naomi Barth is the Archives Project Specialist at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), where she manages the Names Database of archival documents for online publication. She holds a B.A. in History with a concentration in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. She is a frequent presenter at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Studies conferences and has published articles in Avotaynu: The... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Elm

1:45pm

Many Cultures, One Tradition
Jewish communities have existed all over the world yet we often hear only about the European Jewish experience. The Jewish Multiracial Network invites you to learn about communities in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean and the context under which they thrived or struggled.
We will explore concepts of Jewish identity through themes like practice, halakha, tradition, assimilation, and persecution.

Finally, we will turn the tables and discuss our home communities and modern meanings of diversity.

Presenters
DV

Deborah Vishnevsky

Growing up Latina, Eastern European and Jewish in Brooklyn, Debbie Vishnevsky always knew she was different from her peers, but it turns out hers was far from a singular experience. Her Jewish identity formation was marked with cultural NY experience as well as racism, love, vegetarianism, a year working at Hillel and an adult bat mitzvah. Debbie is a long time member of the Jewish Multiracial Network and an organizer of Shir Hamaalot... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Waterside

1:45pm

Interpreting Biblical Images on Money
Images from the Bible were been put on coins and paper money as early as 110 BCE. This talk will identify where these images are mentioned in the Bible and when and why these images have appeared on money throughout history. The presenter will discuss and display money issued by the Maccabees, the Jewish defenders of the 2nd Temple, Bar Kochba, the British Mandate for Palestine, the Nazis, and the Modern State of Israel.  

Presenters
avatar for Robert Messing

Robert Messing

Robert Messing graduated from Clark University with a BA in Philosophy and has MBAs from NYU and CUNY. Professionally, Bob spent fifty years in the computer automation industry. Bob has gone on numerous archeological digs in Israel where he found ancient coins, mosaics and Roman glass. He also identified and cleaned artifacts that came from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Bob has written articles on Israeli coins and medals that have appeared in... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
High Ridge

1:45pm

Jewish Women in Rashi's Community Were Way Ahead of Their Time
Maggie Anton will discuss the research behind her Rashi's Daughters historical novels, which take place in 11th century France in the household of the great Talmud scholar, who had no sons, but three daughters. Amazing as it may seem today, women in that Jewish community wore tzitzit (fringes), blew the shofar, performed ritual circumcisions, and had aliyot to the Torah. They also appear to have created or popularized the ritual of lighting Shabbat candles and saying a blessing, just as we do today.

Presenters
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Aspen

1:45pm

Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust
This hour long documentary Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust has much to teach us today about communication between the holocaust generations first, second, and third and its implications for the community at large.

Presenters
EF

Eva Fogelman

Eva Fogelman is a social psychologist, psychotherapist, filmmaker and author. She is co-director of Child Development Research; co-founder of Psychotherapy with Generations of the Holocaust and Related Traumas; co-founder of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (now the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous); writer and co-producer of the documentary Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust; author of the Pulitzer... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Cove
  • Learning Modality Film

1:45pm

Toward a Non-Delusional Religious Zionism: Charting a Way Forward
The late Israeli religious thinker Yosef Ahituv emphasized the desperate need for what he called a "non-delusional religious Zionism." This session will explore the roots of religious Zionism and ask how and why things changed so dramatically after 1967.  We will explore the ways in which the messianic fervor elicited by the Six-Day War led religious Zionism astray, and ask whether and how things can be repaired and transformed.

Presenters
avatar for Shai Held

Shai Held

Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. A renowned scholar and educator, Shai is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, and he has taught for synagogues and learning institutions across the United States and Israel. His book Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence was published by Indiana University... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Grove

1:45pm

Writing Personal Prayer
What is prayer? In this class, it is a personal holy conversation with the Divine (however you define that). Using a siddur (prayerbook) prayer as a jumping off point, we think & talk about what a prayer is, learn the basic Jewish liturgical structure, do some guided meditation on the kavannah (spiritual intention), then write. Sharing is optional but fabulous. This is not a writing class. No one, including the teacher, will critique writing style or abilities. Attendees should bring something to write with.

Presenters
avatar for Trisha Arlin

Trisha Arlin

Trisha Arlin is a liturgist, teacher and rabbinic student at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR). She has taught at NHC Summer Institute, Shavuot Across Brooklyn, Drisha Institute & congregations in Brooklyn, Westchester and New Jersey, and was the Liturgist In Residence at the 2014 National Havurah Summer Institute. Her writing is available at triganza.blogspot.com, Ritualwell.org, and Opensiddur.org. Dimus Parrhesia Press is publishing her... Read More →



Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Willow

1:45pm

Why 'Black Lives Matter' Matters to Us; or Race, Poverty, and Jews
This workshop will explore why poverty and racism are important issues for all Jews, what our history and tradition has to say about our obligation to fight these injustices, and the role that the Jewish community can play and is playing on these issues currently. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of what Jewish tradition has to say about poverty and racism, and a sense of how they might individually engage in these issues.

Presenters
ML

Miriam Liebman

Miriam Liebman, a native Detroiter, graduated from the University of Michigan where she earned a degree in Middle East and North African Studies. She spent a semester at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Miriam was an AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps member in New Orleans where she worked as an Outreach Assistant at the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. In Detroit, Miriam worked as a community organizer with low-income... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Westover

1:45pm

'And There Was Evening, And There Was Morning;' When Does the Day Start in the Torah?
A careful reading of select verses in the Torah, e.g. Genesis 1:5, Exodus 12:8/10, Exodus 16:23, Levitucs 15:16, with traditional and modern commentaries. We will try to determine whether a lunar or a solar calendar was used in the Biblical period.

Presenters
SC

seth cohen

Seth Cohen grew up unaffiliated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a fifth-generation American with virtually no Jewish education. He has spent the last 35 years trying to understand what it means to be a Jew. Seth has studied in Israel and in all the denominations in New York City, from Hasidic to Reform. He studies all things Jewish, but his primary interest lies in Biblical and Rabbinic text, specifically the development of Halakha and... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Belltown

1:45pm

Standing Beside the King: Bat Sheva’s Rise to Power
Bat Sheva catches the eye of King David and alters the course of Israel’s history. This session examines Queen Bat Sheva’s narrative, and argues that she exercises agency and is among the Bible’s most powerful figures — on par with her husband David. We will see how Bat Sheva's story reveals the unique ways women exercise power in the Bible and are active participants in shaping Israel’s destiny.

Presenters
AK

Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky is Associate Professor of Bible at JTS, teaching courses on biblical literature, religion, and feminist interpretation of the Bible. She has written two books: Terror All Around: The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah, which applies horror theory to prophetic texts, and Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible, which explores biblical portrayals of sisters and sisterhoods, and she is the author of numerous articles... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Long Ridge

1:45pm

The Kaddish Symphony: Blasphemy or Profound Theology?
The mourner’s Kaddish (prayer for the deceased) has become one of the defining texts of modern Jewish living, exalted by the secular and religious alike. Yet, as a response to death, it raises profound and difficult theological questions that have been explored in our contemporary world by, amongst others, Leonard Bernstein in his Kaddish symphony. In this interactive session, we will explore the music and text of the Kaddish symphony and how it both challenges and provides an interpretation of this seminal prayer.

Presenters
avatar for David  Bilchitz

David Bilchitz

University of Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg
David Bilchitz is a Professor of Fundamental Rights Law at the University of Johannesburg and the Director of SAIFAC, a leading research centre of the University in constitutional law. He is also Secretary-General of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He is currently the Chair of Limmud International. David is also the founder of Jewish Outlook: SA Jewish LGBTI Alliance, the head of Jewish Identity at Beit Emanuel Progressive... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Springdale

3:00pm

Orthodox Mincha (Afternoon Service) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Elm

3:00pm

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Aspen

3:00pm

Eliana Sings (About Jewish Things!)
Mezuzah, Kippah, Siddur, Kiddush Cup… We are surrounded by these “things” and many more ritual objects that help us remember, connect, and celebrate. Join Eliana and bluegrass musician Matt Check in this interactive concert featuring music from their new album, Eliana Sings (About Jewish Things!) Sing along, clap your hands, and stomp your feet to these utterly catchy and memorable rock and country tunes. Let’s sing about Jewish things together!

Presenters
EL

Eliana Light

Through music, song-leading, experiential education, and spirited prayer leading, Eliana Light empowers children, families, and adults to make Judaism their own. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, worked with innovative organizations like Bible Raps and G-dCast, and taught all over the country. This spring, Eliana will receive her masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently the... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Glen

3:15pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity full

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:15pm - 5:15pm
Volunteer Central

3:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:15pm - 5:15pm
Volunteer Central

3:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:15pm - 5:15pm
Volunteer Central

3:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 3:15pm - 5:15pm
Volunteer Central

3:30pm

'It's becoming 'in' to be Jewish' - The Early 60's and The Origins of 'Jewish Identity'
The early 1960's, the era of the Kennedy administration and the civil rights movement, was an exciting time for American Jews. Come explore this under-appreciated period in our history and see the American Jewish experience anew.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David E. Kaufman was most recently the Jewish Studies Chair at Hofstra University, and was previously on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/LA, concurrently teaching at the University of Southern California. He has a BA from Columbia, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, and a PhD in American Jewish History from Brandeis. He is the author of Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History, and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Willow

3:30pm

The Jewish Playwriting Contest: Live On Stage!
The Jewish Plays Project needs your vote to choose the Best New Jewish Play! 209 submissions have been narrowed down to a Top 10, and Limmud NY is the first stop on a national tour to choose a winner! Be the first in the nation to see a fanastic cast of NY actors read selections from 3 great new plays, then use your cell phone to vote on the best! Votes will be tallied from around the country - the winning play receives a workshop production in NYC in June.

Presenters
DW

David Winitsky

David Winitsky - a collaborator with StorahTelling, a PresenTense New York City Fellow and an UpStart National Fellow, David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Theatre Company. MFA in Directing from Northwestern, BA in Mathematics from Cornell. David is the proud husband of playwright and painter Elizabeth Samet... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Aspen

3:30pm

Mealtime Memories: Recording the Stories that Shaped Us
Oral tradition and storytelling are central to Jewish tradition, ritual, and history. In particular, we often gather around the table to share stories, and pass down evocative food memories in our families. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the importance and challenges of oral histories, learn to conduct effective interviews, and record StoryCorps-style interviews about meals or foods that shaped our lives.
Participants should bring a phone with audio recording capabilities.

Presenters
JB

Julie Botnick

Julie Botnick is a program associate at Hazon working on building the Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education field. She earned her BA in History, cum laude, from Yale, with a thesis on the historical memory of a Zionist agricultural colony in Utah. During college, she worked at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library as a curatorial assistant, and spent six months in Israel working on farms and taking oral histories of... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
High Ridge

3:30pm

The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America's Jewish Vacationland
From the 1920s-1960s, the Catskill Mountains were a popular vacation destination for millions of Americans. Known as the Borscht Belt, the region combined recreational activities with nighttime entertainment. At its peak, the Borscht Belt was comprised of over 1000 hotels and 800 bungalow colonies. Photographer Marisa Scheinfeld, who grew up in the region, has been documenting the degradation of the era's remains. At Limmud, Marisa will present selections from the series.

Presenters
avatar for Marisa Scheinfeld

Marisa Scheinfeld

Marisa Scheinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1980. She received her B.A. in 2002 and her MFA in 2011. Her work is highly motivated by her interest in ruins, or sites and the histories embedded within them. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is among the collections of The Center for Jewish History, The Simon Wiesenthal Center and The National Yiddish Book Center. In the fall of 2016, Cornell University Press... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Springdale

3:30pm

Beyond Noah's Ark: Towards Meaningful Art and Ritual Objects for the Modern Youngster
Jewish art for kids and young adults is often cute, but limited to the superficial.
This session explores avenues through which Jewish art and ritual objects for children can enrich religious practice, promote reflection, and deepen experience. Beginning with text study and visual examples, we will seek to articulate a vision of what Jewish art needs to be for young people today. We will also brainstorm how teachers can turn the making of art by their students into arenas for spiritual encounter.

Presenters
AP

Adina Polen

Adina Polen has studied music, fine art, graphic design, and Jewish texts. She taught middle school, scanned rare books, and gave birth to two fine kiddos. Adina has spent more hours than is probably wise reading children's books and pondering what separates the wheat from the chaff in art and stories for children. These days, she is busy collaborating with a group of kindred spirits to broaden and enrich the offerings in Judaica for... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Glenbrook

3:30pm

Metaphors of Motherhood from the Bible to the Bavli
Metaphors of pregnancy, labor, and birth were popular in ancient Jewish literature, from the prophets of the Bible to the purity laws in the Bavli. In what ways were metaphors of motherhood used in these sources, and what does the turn to women's bodies and experiences of motherhood tell us about antiquity and the present?

Presenters
avatar for Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism at Fordham University. She works on rabbinic literature, ancient calendars, Jews in the Greco-Roman world, gender and motherhood, and Jewish-Christian relations and polemics.


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Belltown

3:30pm

Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust Part II
The showing of the film will be followed by a panel discusssion with a Holocaust survivor, a child of survivors and a grandchild of survivors (to be announced) led by Eva Fogelman.

Presenters
EF

Eva Fogelman

Eva Fogelman is a social psychologist, psychotherapist, filmmaker and author. She is co-director of Child Development Research; co-founder of Psychotherapy with Generations of the Holocaust and Related Traumas; co-founder of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (now the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous); writer and co-producer of the documentary Breaking the Silence: The Generation After the Holocaust; author of the Pulitzer... Read More →
avatar for Marianna Gersch

Marianna Gersch

Marianna Gersch was born in Debrecen, Hungary and returned there for the first time in more than 50 years in 2011. A New Yorker since 1957, she loves to cook and bake Hungarian foods. She is currently a member of the Hungarian Hidden Children of New York and the New York Jewish Historical Society. She is a contributing writer of the book Remember Us. She is a Limmud NY volunteer for the eleventh year and is looking forward to presenting. Marianna... Read More →
ER

Elenor Radzivilover

Elenor Radzivilover lives on the Upper West Side, is a member of Bnai Jeshurun, a lover of Israel, and is deeply engaged in Jewish life. She practices labor relations law, and travels often to Israel, and other destinations.
avatar for Alex Shwarzstein

Alex Shwarzstein

Fundraising Manager, START Treatment & Recovery Centers
Alex is a veteran Limmudnyk, having attended with both her father and grandmother in years past. She has accompanied her grandmother, a survivor, to Holocaust conferences and memorials in the US and Berlin for over ten years and assisted in planning a reunion for former residents of the Schlachtensee displaced persons camp in 2009. A seasoned nonprofit professional, Alex serves as fundraising manager at START Treatment & Recovery Centers, a... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Cove

3:30pm

The State of Liberal Zionism: A Public Conversation
Many people believe that liberal Zionism is in crisis. During our conversation we will examine the legacy of cultural Zionism and the imaginative narratives on which the State of Israel is established. Together, we will explore how we can reclaim the aspirational language that inspired the founding of the Jewish State that has been lost in the decades preserving it.

Presenters
RC

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon is one of Israel’s leading figures spearheading efforts to revive Hebrew Culture and a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity. In 1989, she co-established in Jerusalem ELUL. In 1996, she founded in Tel Aviv ALMA. Ruth is the author of “A Bride for One Night” (2001) and “Talmudic Alpha Beta” (2014). From 2013-2015, Ruth was a Knesset Member from the Yesh Atid Party, where she was Deputy Speaker. Ruth... Read More →
avatar for Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer

Yehuda Kurtzer is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. The author of Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past and a fellow in the Institute’s iEngage Project, Yehuda writes and teaches widely on the central challenges facing Jewish life in both America and Israel, and how new Jewish thinking can help us stand up to these challenges. He lives in Riverdale with his wife, Stephanie Ives, and their three children.


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Grove

3:30pm

What Should Be the Meaning of Zionism in our Day?
After the State of Israel’s creation, Ben Gurion argued that Zionism no longer had any purpose. Prompted by widespread Israeli cynicism, the World Zionist Congress recently asked whether he had been correct, meaning presumably that the Congress was an anachronism. Eisen believes the latter may be true, but the former is not. Drawing on classical and contemporary sources, we will learn how Zionism—redefined for Israel's upcoming 70th anniversary—remains core to Jewish life in both America and Israel.

Presenters
AE

Arnold Eisen

Arnold Eisen, one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Since taking office, he has transformed the education of religious, pedagogical, and lay leaders for Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center of North American Jewry. He taught previously at Stanford, Tel Aviv University, and Columbia. His books include Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Waterside

3:30pm

LGBTQ Suicide Prevention in the Deep South: Challenges, Strategies, and Successes
SOJOURN: Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity travels across the rural Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas) to train local teachers, mental health providers, juvenile justice professionals, and social workers in LGBTQ suicide prevention. Learn some of their strategies for working in hostile environments and techniques for creating safety in challenging spaces while experiencing some of their most popular games, techniques, and reflection activities.

Presenters
RM

Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed is the Assistant Director of SOJOURN where he oversees their educational programming and outreach, including their award-winning safe space, LGBT inclusion, and suicide prevention workshops and training seminars. Robbie holds a master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written curricula and nationally-recognized inclusive programs for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, BBYO, USY, Camp Ramah, and the... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Elm

3:30pm

Pikuach Nefesh,' 'Salus Animarum,' 'Darura,' and 'Apaddharma' Jewish, Catholic, Islamic, and Hindu Religio-Legal Approaches to Priorities in Extenuating Circumstances
Similar to the notion of Pikuach Nefesh, or, the overarching principle of saving life and limb, as trumping all other halakhic requirements when such competing thoughts arise, other religio-legal systems have similar concerns. In our session, we will read texts in juxtaposition discussing Catholic Salus Animarum, ​Islamic Darura, Hindu Apad-Dharma alongside the Jewish concept of Pikuach Nefesh, as we compare and contrast approaches to ritual priorities in extenuating circumstances. 

Presenters
avatar for Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia

Doctoral Candidate & Teaching Fellow, Harvard University
Shoshana Razel Gordon Guedalia is mother of five, writer, poet, teacher, activist, aspiring rabbi and student. Her work appears in literature journals and Jewish papers, Keren Journal of Maharat, Dharma and Halacha by Lexington Books, and Methods in Comparative Theology by Fordham University Press; and her poetry book, A Voice is Heard in Ramah, is due out this summer. Raised in Jerusalem, she served in the IDF, and taught converts and studied... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Long Ridge

3:30pm

Reading the Chofetz Chayim on the Torah
While many know of the Chofetz Chayim for his work on mitzvot and careful speech, fewer have focused on his commentary to the Torah. We will read sections of his commentary together, focusing on his ethical reading of text, understanding the commentary as a reflection of his time, and appreciating the important mussar (instruction) in his words. English translations of texts will be provided.

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 located in Yonkers, NY. She has worked with various educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning styles. Her book, Esau’s Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs, was recognized as a National Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Westover

5:15pm

A Young Jew in the Civil Rights Movement: A Personal Story
“Selma” has raised American consciousness of the power and significance of the
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s for the realization of key pieces of the American 
dream and promise.  Yet the movie seems to have made many Jews feel left out as 
the iconic image of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel moved from foreground to 
background.  Hear from a now veteran, then young civil rights worker about the 
relationship between Martin Luther King and Heschel; of the historic roles played by 
young Jews in the movement; of the spiritual impact of those experiences, and of the 
implications and challenges they represent for today and tomorrow.

Made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
avatar for Peter Geffen

Peter Geffen

Founder and Executive Director, KIVUNIM
Peter A. Geffen is Founder and Executive Director of KIVUNIM—The Institute World Jewish Studies and Founder of The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in NYC. From 2003-05, he served as the Executive Director of The Center for Jewish History, the largest archive of Diaspora Jewish life in the world. He created and served as principal of the Park Avenue Synagogue High School in NYC from 1967-1985. In the 1960’s he served as a civil rights worker for... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
High Ridge

5:15pm

Are Jewish-Americans Becoming Republican? A Preview of the 2016 Elections and the Jewish Vote
It happens every four years. Democrats boast huge Jewish support for their candidates, while Republicans point to a steadily growing following among Jewish voters. The session will look at the numbers, and what's behind them: Jewish voting trends, the role of Jewish mega-donors, and what Jewish voters really care about.

Presenters
NG

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman is a staff writer for the Forward. Based in Washington DC, Nathan writes about Jewish politics, US-Israel relations and Jewish policy. He is also the US correspondent for Israel's Channel 1 public TV network.


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Cove

5:15pm

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

Presenters

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Glen

5:15pm

Why Don't We Fast on Yom HaShoah? Towards a Religious Experience of a Civil Holiday
Yom HaShoah is usually marked outside of the synagogue sanctuary, with protocols more familiar from a secular memorial (a guest speaker, moment of silence, TV programming) than from Jewish modes of commemoration and mourning. Join us in a run through and discussion of סדר הלוויה ליום השואה (Yom HaShoah Funeral Service), one attempt to move beyond the civic towards an experience that is traditional, authentic, and rooted in Jewish feeling.

Presenters
BG

Ben Greenfield

Passionate about cutting-edge Jewish learning and community, Ben Greenfield is a Wexner Fellow pursuing ordination at YCT. Ben has been a featured educator at Limmud Stockholm, BCI, and Rikers Island, and is a founder of the UWS Moishe House, partnership Minyan Maarav, and experimental TefilaLab. Ben is the author of a calendar of new Jewish experiences, including “From Freedom to Responsibility: A Shavuot Haggadah" and "Burying the Pain: A Yom... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Waterside

5:15pm

'The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict': American Jews, and the USA and Israel (A Historical Analysis)
The complex tri-partite relationship--Israel, American Jews, successive American administrations--is explored in this session. The session brings together an analysis of the relationship of American Jews to Israel (Why, for example, are younger Jews alienated from Israel?) with the history of the America-Israel relationship, from Truman to Obama. Why have historians characterized the relationship as "the other Arab-Israeli conflict", and what has been the impact on American Jews?

Presenters
JC

Jerome Chanes

Jerome Chanes, a senior fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies of the CUNY Graduate Center, is the author of four books and some hundreds of book chapters, articles, reviews on Jewish history, sociology, public affairs, and arts and letters. Jerry started out life as a rock reviewer, and was (briefly) a house-pianist at CBGB. Current projects include "The Future of American Judaism" (Columbia I+University Press/Trinity College); and a source... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Belltown

5:15pm

Kick-Ass Jewish Branding
Each time a Jewish institution makes a design or copy choice they’re defining their brand. Proceed with caution, institutions! Curious Jews, especially pesky whipper-snappers, are watching with discerning eyes and judgmental attitudes, and your choices matter. Come talk branding with the woman who brought you, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married,” (Manhattan Mini Storage) and “There’s only one way to spell Christmas. We Win.” (marketingjewru.com). Includes Kick-Ass Passover prep!

Presenters
avatar for Archie Gottesman

Archie Gottesman

Co-Founder, The Marketing Jewru
Archie Gottesman served as the Chief Branding Officer/Owner of Edison Properties, the parent company of Manhattan Mini Storage and Edison ParkFast, for 28 years. Manhattan Mini Storage is widely recognized and well-loved for its snarky, hilarious, meaningful and provocative ads. Making ads for a dull product like self-storage that are tweeted and shared all over the world has been a branding joy.  After wondering, “Why should... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Westover

5:15pm

Coming Out as an Orthodox Parent
A panel of Orthodox parents will discuss the challenges of having an LGBTQ child in the religious community. How does an Orthodox parent come out to their rabbi? Should they tell their friends? If so, when is the right time? What if the child wants to fulfill the dream of Torah AND Chuppah? Parents will tell their stories and present some strategies they have used to help them cope with their own challenges, as well as help their children live as an LGBTQ person in their Orthodox community.

Presenters
avatar for Linda Barat

Linda Barat

Linda has lived her spiritual life in the three main branches of Judaism. She continues to find the balance of living as an out parent of a gay child, loving both her children unconditionally and being respectful of the Orthodox community she is a part of. Her professional background is in fundraising. Her passion is social justice, and Jewish learning and living.
EH

Emily Herzfeld

Emily Herzfeld is a nursery, religious school, and yoga teacher. She is also the mother of a gay teen who wants to belong in the Orthodox Jewish community.
avatar for Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov

Executive Director, Eshel
Miryam Kabakov is the Executive Director of Eshel, an organization that supports and advocates for Orthodox LGBT individuals and their families. Miryam is the editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires, a collection of writings about the challenges and joys of LGBT Orthodox Jews. Previously, she was National Program Director of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps; the Coordinator of LGBT programming at JCC... Read More →
avatar for Bernard Kabakow

Bernard Kabakow

Dr. Bernard Kabakow is an oncologist who had a private practice in New York up until recently, was the founder and director of Beth Israel Medical Center's Oncology Unit, and clinical professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Amongst his many accomplishments, he is a grandfather to 30+ grandchildren, and 10+ great grandchildren, he is a lover of tennis, Yiddish, Irish music and football.
SK

Steve Kay Kupietzky

Steve is a founding member of Limmud NY. He served on the Board of Directors, as Treasurer & is a past Honoree. He practiced law before becoming a Professional Skater & grew up in the Family Catering Business, Kay Caterers. He owns a Receptive Tour Operator Business & is legal Counsel for Vamoose Bus. Steve is a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue, & currently serves on the Board of ESHEL, an GLBTQ Organization serving the Orthodox... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Elm

5:15pm

Yiddish Ulpan- Session 3
Do you love the sound of Yiddish, but never learned to speak it? Do you speak a bisl (bit), but wish you spoke a sakh (lot)? Do you want to make your mispokhe (family) kvel (feel pride)? Join Yiddish Master Teacher Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin of The Workmen’s Circle and go from bupkes (nothing) to bilingual! This engaging and dynamic ulpan series makes Yiddish accessible for students of all ages through vocabulary, conversation, and poetry. No prior Yiddish knowledge necessary. This is one part of a three part Yiddish offering. You do not need to attend all parts. 

Presenters
avatar for Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

Nikolai “Kolya” Borodulin

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Willow

5:15pm

Freedom Seders and Matzohs of Hope
The American Jewish campaign for Soviet Jewry not only paved the way for a mass exodus from the USSR, it also shaped the political culture of American Jews in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. We will look at how the movement mobilized holidays and rituals to make protest a mitzvah and define political action as a religious imperative.

Presenters
avatar for Shaul Kelner

Shaul Kelner

Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University
Shaul Kelner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, and past director of Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies Program. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he is the author of the award-winning Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010). He is currently a Fellow of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, where he is... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Glenbrook

5:15pm

Why Jeremiah Hated Religion (and Maybe We Should, Too)
The prophet Jeremiah had some rather caustic things to say about religious people in his day-- about their moral bankruptcy and lack of religious integrity. In this session, we will do two things: read the text of Jeremiah chapter 7 closely to understand what Jeremiah said (and how he said it), and talk openly about the ways his words remain a goad and a challenge to us if we open ourselves to them.


Presenters
avatar for Shai Held

Shai Held

Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. A renowned scholar and educator, Shai is a 2011 recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, and he has taught for synagogues and learning institutions across the United States and Israel. His book Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence was published by Indiana University... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Grove

5:15pm

Beneath the Helmet
BENEATH THE HELMET:  USA, 201480 minutes, English, Hebrew with subtitles, Documentary

A different coming-of-age story which follows the journey of five Israeli high school graduates who are drafted into the Israeli army (IDF), as required by Israeli law.
As part of an elite paratrooper unit, the young soldiers grow to understand the importance of their service to defend their country.  But the film is not a mouthpiece for the Israeli army. The film does not shy away from depicting the physical and psychological traumas that temper the soldiers’ idealism.  An important film that offers a nuanced portrait of young men from different backgrounds as they undergo the rigors of basic training.

Presenters
EF

Elliot Fix

Elliot Fix is a longstanding member of the JCC Jewish International Film Festival Committee in Rochester, NY and its past Chairperson, responsible for programming. He is also the Co-coordinator of the Everett Jewish Life Center's Jewish Film Series at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. He has worked professionally for many years in the field of developmental disabilities as an administrator at a state-affiliated developmental... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:45pm
Springdale
  • Learning Modality Film

5:15pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Volunteer Central

5:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Volunteer Central

5:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Volunteer Central

5:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Volunteer Central

5:30pm

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ballroom I, II

6:30pm

Orthodox Maariv (evening service) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Sunday February 14, 2016 6:30pm - 6:45pm
Elm

6:30pm

Traditional Egalitarian Maariv (evening service) [mixed seating; gender-inclusive leadership]
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with leadership and participation by both men and women. Note: there will be mixed-gender seating.

Sunday February 14, 2016 6:30pm - 6:45pm
Westover

7:00pm

New York Jews: An Historical Perspective
New York City has been home to more Jews than any city in the history of the world. With special attention to the shtetl (small town) called Brooklyn, we'll learn more about the extraordinary relationship between New York and its Jews, and come to see New York Jewry in the context of the American Jewish historical experience overall.

Presenters
avatar for David Kaufman

David Kaufman

David E. Kaufman was most recently the Jewish Studies Chair at Hofstra University, and was previously on the faculty of Hebrew Union College/LA, concurrently teaching at the University of Southern California. He has a BA from Columbia, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, and a PhD in American Jewish History from Brandeis. He is the author of Shul with a Pool: The "Synagogue-Center" in American Jewish History, and Jewhooing the... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Willow

7:00pm

Convergence
CONVERGENCE combines diverse strains of traditional Jewish and African-American music directly at points of spiritual, melodic and textual convergence. Yiddish vocalist Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell performs a new repertoire of works exploring exile, spirituality, hope, and redemption in new arrangements by Joshua Horowitz of the klezmer ensemble Veretski Pass.

Presenters
avatar for Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell works as a Jewish educator in SF Bay Area, in addition to his work as a performing artist specializing in the repertoire of Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975), one of the twentieth century’s most prolific performers of chazzanut, Chassidic piyut, and Yiddish song. In his unique explorations of Jewish and African-American diaspora culture, Anthony's work is inspired simultaneously by the sounds of tradition and a... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Aspen

7:00pm

Encountering the Bible through Sacred Arts
This exciting and innovative program provides new and rich points of entry to text study by expanding the modalities through which we interpret Torah. We will study sections of Genesis using various artistic media including music and movement. By using our voices and our bodies, the deep meanings of the text come through in new and exciting ways. No previous knowledge or artistic experience is necessary to enjoy this workshop.

Presenters
MK

Michael Kasper

Cantor Michael Kasper is the Director of Recruitment and Cantorial Program Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and Hazzan at Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack, NY. He earned a BS in Dance Education from George Washington University, an MSW in Clinical Social Work from NYU and Psychoanalytic Certification from the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training. He is a past winner of a National Society of Arts and Letters... 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 located in Yonkers, NY. She has worked with various educational institutions to develop curricula and approaches to Bible pedagogy for all levels and learning styles. Her book, Esau’s Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs, was recognized as a National Jewish... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Glenbrook

7:00pm

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

Presenters

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Glen

7:00pm

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

Presenters
NH

Naftali Hanau

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Cove

7:00pm

Ancient Jewish Magic: What is it and How it is still with us Today
Maggie Anton will discuss the research behind her newest novels, Apprentice and Enchantress, which take place in 4th century Babylonia.   She will focus on the latest findings about ancient Jewish magic, including archaeological evidence like incantation bowls, amulets, and magic manuals, plus spells from the Talmud itself. Some of these spells have formed the basis for prayers and blessings found in today's prayerbooks.

Presenters
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Elm

7:00pm

Talking to Your Kids About Sex
We will discuss the importance of talking to your children about sex and sexuality, what stops us as parents, how we can get more comfortable doing so, and the appropriate parameters to discussion with each age. The session use a "Jewish Lens."

Presenters
avatar for Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus

Clinical Director, Maze Women's Sexual Health
Titled the Orthodox Sex Guru by the NYTimes Magazine, Bat Sheva is a founder and clinical director of Maze Women's Sexual Health, one of the largest centers in the country treating female sexual issues. She holds masters in Social Work, Public Health and Jewish Studies and a PhD in Human Sexuality. Bat Sheva is also one of the founders and currently the President of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She co-hosts of a monthly podcast on... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
High Ridge

7:00pm

Leaping off the Text: A Midrash Writing Workshop
The storytelling of the Bible is marked by secrets, silences, and mysteries. In this generative writing workshop, we will add our voices to the text, unravel new meanings, and romp around in the creative playground of midrash.

Presenters
AG

Amy Gottlieb

Amy Gottlieb is the author of a debut novel, The Beautiful Possible. Her work has been published in Lilith, Zeek, On Being, Forward, Tikkun, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poetry, and elsewhere. Formerly the director of publications for the Rabbinical Assembly, she currently teaches writing workshops at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education; Beyond Walls: Spiritual Writing at Kenyon; and at Bronx Loaf.


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Belltown

7:00pm

Problematizing Charity: How the Bavli Works Its Magic to Create Subversion
In this session we will look at a suite of narratives in the Talmud Bavli about supererogatory charity giving. Through a close reading of the text we will discover that these tales which seem to be about meritorious acts of piety, in fact, work to subvert the inherent norms of charity giving.

Presenters
avatar for Dov Kahane

Dov Kahane

Dov Kahane recently completed a Master's degree in Jewish Studies at Columbia University, where he focused on narratives in the Talmud. He is also a practicing dentist, father and grandfather. He lives in New York City.


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Westover

7:00pm

Schluffing: Judaism and Sleep
What does Judaism have to say about how we spend 8 (or 6...) hours a night? Come learn what the Bible, the rabbis, and others think about the wee hours. Insomniacs as well as the well-rested are encouraged to attend.

Presenters
avatar for Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Waterside

7:00pm

Moses, Maimonides, and Mindfulness
Many people believe that mindfulness is a Buddhist invention, found only in Buddhist teaching and practice. This session will explore some Jewish mindfulness texts and practices, focusing particularly on biblical passages about Moses' experiences with God, and some passages from the work of Moses Maimonides, the Rambam, that are clearly well within the fold of mindfulness teachings. No previous knowledge of Moses, Maimonides, or mindfulness are needed for this session.

Presenters
avatar for Molly Karp

Molly Karp

Molly Karp is a passionate teacher of many facets of Judaism. She serves as the rabbi of Temple Beth El in Oneonta, NY, and is the Director of Student Life at the Ivry Prozdor High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her training in Mindfulness Practice and Jewish Spirituality at the Institute of Jewish Spirituality is at the heart of all of her work. See her website, www.rabbimollykarp.com, to learn more about her work and training.


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Long Ridge

7:00pm

Cupcakes!
CUPCAKES:  Israel,  2013, 90 minutes, Hebrew with subtitles, Narrative

A fun-filled Israeli musical comedy by the well known Israeli director, Eytan Fox.  Five diverse women and a man, all friends,  who live in the same apartment building in Tel Aviv, get together each year to watch the “UniverSong” competition, a parody of the actual Eurovision song contest.  A simple ditty composed by one of the friends soon goes viral, leading the group to represent Israel at the next Song contest in Paris. This is a buoyantly upbeat, joyful musical which has left audiences smiling and laughing long after its feel-good ending.  The popular young Israeli actors in the film showcase their extraordinary talent.

Presenters
EF

Elliot Fix

Elliot Fix is a longstanding member of the JCC Jewish International Film Festival Committee in Rochester, NY and its past Chairperson, responsible for programming. He is also the Co-coordinator of the Everett Jewish Life Center's Jewish Film Series at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. He has worked professionally for many years in the field of developmental disabilities as an administrator at a state-affiliated developmental... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Springdale
  • Learning Modality Film

7:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15pm - 9:15pm
Volunteer Central

7:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15pm - 9:15pm
Volunteer Central

7:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 7:15pm - 9:15pm
Volunteer Central

8:30pm

Limmud NY Cabaret
Come join the entire Limmud NY community as we celebrate a wonderful weekend together! Get excited for performances from some amazingly talented presenters. Take the opportunity to enjoy some snacks and a l'chaim (cheers) with old and new friends as you reflect back on the learning and diversity of the weekend and look forward to next years conference!

Presenters
avatar for Robert Alper

Robert Alper

Robert “Bob” Alper is an author, stand-up comedian, and ordained rabbi who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has performed across North America and England and was named “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.” He has written three books: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, A Rabbi Confesses, and Thanks. I Needed That, and has produced two best-selling comedy CDs and a DVD. Bob resides in rural Vermont with his... Read More →
EL

Eliana Light

Through music, song-leading, experiential education, and spirited prayer leading, Eliana Light empowers children, families, and adults to make Judaism their own. She has put out two albums of original Jewish music, worked with innovative organizations like Bible Raps and G-dCast, and taught all over the country. This spring, Eliana will receive her masters in Jewish Experiential Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently the... Read More →
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →
GW

Greg Wall

Greg Wall has been the spiritual leader of Beit Chaverim Synagogue in Westport, CT since August, 2013. Prior to coming to Westport he served as rabbi of the Sixth Street Community Synagogue, in NYC's East Village, where he started the Center for Jewish Arts and Literacy, now based in Westport. Wall (also known as "the Jazz Rabbi") is a celebrated musician and recording artist whose innovative downtown blend of jazz, world music and Jewish sounds... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 8:30pm - 9:45pm
Grove

9:15pm

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15pm - 11:15pm
Volunteer Central

9:15pm

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15pm - 11:15pm
Volunteer Central

9:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15pm - 11:15pm
Volunteer Central

9:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 9:15pm - 11:15pm
Volunteer Central

10:00pm

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

Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Willow

10:00pm

The Limmud NY TalentStravaganza
At Limmud NY, we always talk about how anyone can be a teacher, but anyone can be a performer too, and this is the time to get on stage and show everyone what you can do. It doesn't matter whether you're a veteran or this is your first time, the only thing that matters is you're willing to take a risk and show us what you've got. And no matter what, you'll be in front of a supportive audience who will cheer you on just for putting yourself out there.

Presenters

Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Aspen

10:00pm

Jews and Chinese Food
When fried rice and sweet and sour chicken were described as heymish, Chinese food was forever enshrined as Jewish. In this session, we will explore what this could mean as we explore the Asian contributions to Jewish eating habits today, notably the near universal affinity for Chinese food and sushi. And what's the deal with Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas?

Presenters
AR

Avery Robinson

During the last Shmita year, Avery Robinson moved to Brooklyn for what became a tokenized immigrant life about a hundred years too late: working at New York's bougiest bagel shop (Blackseed), living in a Moishe House, teaching at Hebrew Schools, and struggling to write Jewish History. Prior to this sabbatical, he received an MA from the University of Michigan where he studied Jewish and American culinary history. He is currently a fellow at... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Long Ridge

10:00pm

No Lost Love: The Obama-Netanyahu Relationship and Should Jewish Americans Worry About It
A look at two terms of rocky relations between the White House and the Israeli prime minister's office.
Was the relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu doomed from the start because of the two leaders' diverging world views, or was it the conduct of either leader that led to the crisis?
As Obama's term in office draws to an end, will the troubled relationship have a long-lasting impact on the Israeli-American alliance?

Presenters
NG

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman is a staff writer for the Forward. Based in Washington DC, Nathan writes about Jewish politics, US-Israel relations and Jewish policy. He is also the US correspondent for Israel's Channel 1 public TV network.


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Elm

10:00pm

Living with HIV: A Jewish Journey
The AIDS issue isn't over; neither is the obligation of Jews to address it. At the last Limmud England conference Scott attended, he was the only Jew out of 2700 others talking about AIDS. Come be inspired by Scott as he shares his perspective on this subject in light of Jewish imperatives. Be an agent of change in your community, AIDS is everyone's issue. Staying alive is yours!

Presenters
avatar for Scott Fried

Scott Fried

Scott Fried is an international public speaker, health educator, author and three-time guest at Limmud, England. He has been living with HIV for over 28 years, making him one of the longest Jewish survivors of the disease. Scott is the author of three books and lives in NYC.


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Springdale

10:00pm

What I Learned at Harvard Divinity School on One Foot
I was a Masters of Divinity degree candidate at Harvard Divinity School between 2010 and 2013. In this presentation, you will get a sense of varied content, methodologies, and insights that I gleaned in those years. Get psyched to learn about "theological meaning-making," "discernment," and "preaching," as well as "isogesis" and "midrashic practice." This session is tailored for those who do not (yet) consider attending HDS, as well as for those who are planning to make application. Bring questions!

Presenters
JK

Joshua Krug

Joshua Krug is an NYU Steinhardt Fellow in Education and Jewish Studies. A Yale Honors BA, Harvard MDiv, and seasoned educator, his work testifies to how traditional and contemporary Jewish sources can animate and inform the lives of diverse adults. He facilitates counter/cultural, spiritual, Jewishly-sourced reflection and discussion experiences in NYC and beyond. He lives in Brooklyn, where he practices yoga, dances, sings niggunim, and... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Westover

10:00pm

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: De-politicizing Fear and Re-politicizing Welcome
The terrible attacks in Paris and Beirut just weeks ago gave way to tremendous backlash against resettling refugees in the U.S. and a culture of fear and distrust of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Come learn what Jewish tradition teaches us about responding to xenophobia – both in ourselves and others – and what this might mean for our response to the global refugee crisis.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Grant Meyer

Rachel Grant Meyer

Educator for Community Engagement, HIAS
A graduate of Columbia University and HUC-JIR, Rachel Grant Meyer is the Educator for Community Engagement at HIAS, where she engages American Jews on refugee issues, connecting the plight of today’s refugees to Jewish values and history. Prior to HIAS, Rachel served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. She is a member of T’ruah and sits on the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York. She lives in... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Cove

10:00pm

Happy Jews: Judaism Through the Looking Glass of Positive Psychology
The science of positive psychology proves that we have influence over 40% of our happiness. Many of the pathways to happiness overlap with key elements of Judaism, such as the values of community, spiritual practice, hakarat hatov (recognizing the good aka gratitude), as well as the concept of mindset or kavannah. This workshop will introduce some key concepts in positive psychology and illustrate how following the pathway of our Jewish ancestors can help us be happier Jews.

Presenters
avatar for Shoshana Mitrani Knapp

Shoshana Mitrani Knapp

Spiritual Leader, Makom Shalom
Shoshana Mitrani Knapp is the spiritual leader of Makom Shalom in Northern Westchester, which offers a heart-centered, joyful Judaism. She received rabbinic ordination from JTS and is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders fellow and a Kol Zimra chant leader, and will complete a certificate in Applied Positive Psychology in Feb 2016. People have described her as bringing a warmth and accessibility to life-cycles, Torah teaching, High Holiday and Shabbat... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
High Ridge

11:15pm

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15pm - Monday February 15, 2016 1:15am
Volunteer Central

11:15pm

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Sunday February 14, 2016 11:15pm - Monday February 15, 2016 1:15am
Volunteer Central

11:30pm

The Rebbetzin's Disco
And you shall love your God with all your heart & soul, blues, funk, hip-hop, R&B, rock, indie disco, reggae, euro-pop... Standing still, or swaying, is not an option. The Rebbetzin's Disco obligates your body and soul. Because these are playlists for the sake of heaven.

Presenters
JN

Jacqueline Nicholls

Jacqueline Nicholls is an artist and Jewish educator, using art to engage with traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. She co-ordinates the Art Studio and other Arts & Culture events at JW3, and teaches at the London School of Jewish Studies. Her art has been exhibited in solo shows and significant contemporary Jewish Art group shows in the UK, USA and Israel; she is the lead artist for The New Venice Haggadah. Jacqueline is also a... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 11:30pm - Monday February 15, 2016 12:45am
Ballroom III
 
Monday, February 15
 

7:15am

Jewish Morning Yoga Prayer Practice
In this Morning Yoga Prayer Practice, participants will move through a sequence of yoga postures which mirror and express central themes and prayers of Shaharit: from Modeh Ani (Gratitude and Consciousness), to Barchu (Community and Humility), to the Shema (Unity and Receptive Reflection) etc. This embodied prayer experience will include a brief Torah reading, Misheberach, and Kaddish.  Musical renderings of morning prayers form the backdrop of the practice.  No previous yoga experience necessary.

Presenters
SE

Sharon Epstein

Sharon Epstein is a registered yoga teacher with a Masters in Dance Movement Therapy and is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She and her co-teacher, Tara Feldman, seek to engage members of their community in Jewish spirituality through the vehicle of embodied practice.
TF

Tara Feldman

Tara Feldman, along with her husband, has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El in Great Neck, NY for the past six years. For the past five years she has been exploring the weekly parasha (Torah portion), the Omer, the holiday cycle and Mussar through yoga.


Monday February 15, 2016 7:15am - 8:15am
Ballroom III

7:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Monday February 15, 2016 7:15am - 9:15am
Volunteer Central

7:30am

Orthdox Shacharit (Morning Service) [separate seating; male leadership]
This service features spirited singing of the traditional Hebrew liturgy with male leadership. Note: there will be separate-gender seating.

Monday February 15, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Elm

7:30am

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

Monday February 15, 2016 7:30am - 8:15am
Aspen

7:30am

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

Monday February 15, 2016 7:30am - 9:30am
Ballroom I, II

8:30am

Career Development in the Jewish World [and Elsewhere]
How can you grow your career in the Jewish world and help others grow theirs? We’ll cover several approaches to career development, examine their underlying assumptions, and consider their relevance to the Jewish world. We’ll look at ways to invest in our own careers, and ways to help others grow their careers. While primarily geared to Jewish professionals, most of the session’s content also applies to volunteers/lay leaders, and to those working in other sectors.

Presenters
avatar for Linda Rich

Linda Rich

Linda Rich is a consultant and executive coach specializing in leadership development and organizational effectiveness. She is now focused on the Jewish world after years in the corporate sector. Linda has delivered workshops for Jewish and nonprofit clients including CLAL, Hazon, JTS Rabbinical Training Institute, Rockland Jewish Initiative, and UJA-Federation of NY, among others. She’s also worked with synagogues and clergy of all major... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Westover

8:30am

Written in Breath: Yiddish Song as Commentary
Yiddish Song presents yet another vibrant, relevant body of Jewish texts with which to engage, celebrate, and - of course! - argue about the continuities of Jewish spiritual and cultural life. Yiddish singer Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell leads a lively discussion where classic Jewish texts are compared and contrasted with Yiddish texts from songs that are performed as a part of the presentation.

Presenters
avatar for Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell works as a Jewish educator in SF Bay Area, in addition to his work as a performing artist specializing in the repertoire of Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975), one of the twentieth century’s most prolific performers of chazzanut, Chassidic piyut, and Yiddish song. In his unique explorations of Jewish and African-American diaspora culture, Anthony's work is inspired simultaneously by the sounds of tradition and a... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Waterside

8:30am

Done with School? Time to Learn
The Adult Learner - who are we? Adult learners are different, it's true. This is even more true for those within the Jewish community, for whom "learning" ended at 13! What does current research say about this growing and important slice of the community pie? How is contemporary Jewish adult learning being addressed, and what are some of the innovative ideas out there?

Presenters
avatar for Audrey Lichter

Audrey Lichter

Chai Mitzvah, Chai Mitzvah
For 20 years, Audrey Lichter was the Educational Director for community-based high school programs, including Tichon in Waterbury CT and Yachad in West Hartford CT. She was instrumental in building the Hebrew High School program of New England. For the past 9 years she has been the founding executive director for Chai Mitzvah, an adult engagement initiative that blends study, spirituality, and social action.


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Glenbrook

8:30am

Rabbi, Rabba, Maharat, Morateinu: Orthodox Women Breaking New Ground in Jewish Religious Leadership
Hear from Rabbi Lila Kagedan, the first Orthodox woman in North American to assume the title rabbi, and share her journey as a woman to the orthodox rabbinate.

Presenters
avatar for Lila Kagedan

Lila Kagedan

Lila Kagedan has smicha (rabbinic ordination) from Yeshivat Maharat and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow. Lila is also a clinical ethicist and chaplain and sits on ethics committees of major hospitals, hospices and academic institutions. A seasoned teacher, Lila has taught Talmud, ethics and Jewish studies in formal and non-formal settings and has written and lectured on medicine and Jewish law, and Jewish ethics, as well as on... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

8:30am

Jewish Calcutta through Music and Memory
Through the vivid prism of her family's story, Rahel Musleah introduces the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India. Her intriguing personal journey, told with humor, poignancy, song, and slides, mirrors the story of India's Jewish communities.

Presenters
avatar for Rahel Musleah

Rahel Musleah

Through the vivid prism of her family’s story, Rahel Musleah introduces audiences to the distinctive heritage of the Jews of India and Iraq. The seventh generation of a Calcutta family, she traces her roots to seventeenth century Baghdad. Her multi-media slide, song, and story presentations offer a rare and intimate view of a rich culture little-known to most. Rahel is an award-winning journalist, author, singer, speaker, and educator. She... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
High Ridge

8:30am

Teaching Israel in the American University
When your children go off to college, they had best avoid courses on Israel. The professors who teach Israel, we regularly read, are a bunch of radical anti-Israel bigots who will indoctrinate your children to hate Israel, Jews, and even you. I have been in universities for nearly two decades, studying and teaching about Zionism and Israel, but if you come to meet a bigot, I'm afraid I may disappoint. The reality on college campuses is far more interesting--and no one wants you to know about it.

Presenters
JG

Jonathan Gribetz

Jonathan Marc Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University, where he teaches the history of Palestine and Israel, Jewish and Arab nationalisms, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the city of Jerusalem. He is the author of the book Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter.


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Cove

8:30am

God Hates Shrimp? How 'The West Wing' Got the 'Abomination' Argument Wrong
President Bartlet's takedown of Dr. Jenna Jacobs is one of the most-quoted speeches when arguing with the anti-LGBT Religious Right. Though it's a magical bit of oratory, it's an incorrect interpretation of the Torah texts, the word "to'evah," and a great example of bad translation. We'll get back to the original texts, incorporate some early Christian theology, and more to learn why the Religious Right's argument is flawed - and how to combat it.

Presenters
RM

Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed is the Assistant Director of SOJOURN where he oversees their educational programming and outreach, including their award-winning safe space, LGBT inclusion, and suicide prevention workshops and training seminars. Robbie holds a master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written curricula and nationally-recognized inclusive programs for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, BBYO, USY, Camp Ramah, and the... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Aspen

8:30am

Fitness for Body and Soul: Coach Yourself Happy and Strong
Sitting is the new smoking. How can we avoid the sedentary tush-trap of modern life? Caring for your physical being is a mitzvah, blended with caring for your soul. Today's life makes fitness and enjoying nature a challenge. We'll look at expert thinking on movement for a fruitful, effective, creative life. And, we'll review tech tools (Fitbit, Garmin) and apps (Map My Run), to make fitness a reality, not a goal. Plus we'll take a walk together! Come with clothing and shoes to go outside.

Presenters
avatar for Gina Schmeling

Gina Schmeling

Director of Individual Giving, Hazon
Gina Schmeling is a runner, writer, mother, and fundraiser. She joined the staff of Hazon this year, and has worked with many nonprofits in New York and Chicago. Distance running is her passion, and she is very interested in how tech can support fitness. She often races with charity groups, and blogs about running, social media and fundraising. A Brooklynite, Gina hopes to see you in the park!


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Belltown

8:30am

Tfillah Educators Panel
This panel will feature Tfillah (prayer) educators such as Sara Stave Beckerman (Siddur Sababa), Yossi Pollack (Koren), and Daphna Bittan. We will discuss methods and vision and how these may be used with learners.


Presenters
SB

Sara Beckerman

Sara Beckerman is a Jewish educator, currently teaching at the Schechter School of Long Island and Merrick Jewish Centre. She is the creator of Siddur Sababa, an interactive curriculum for teaching Jewish prayer. She also writes curriculum for teaching Hebrew, TaNaKh and Talmud.
DB

Daphna Bittan

Daphna is a Hebrew and Judaic teacher at a Montessori day school in Brooklyn, NY. Her students come from all over the religious spectrum, and she always looks to bring new angles of study into her classroom. She loves to learn, see new perspectives, and meet people who share her passion for Jewish education.
YP

Yossi Pollak

Koren Publishers, Koren Publishers
Yossi Pollak is Director of Synagogue and School Outreach for Koren Publishers in the Northeast US. He graduated from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and has served pulpits in the Northeast. Yossi lives in White Plains, NY with his wife Brooke and daughters Nava and Avital. He loves tefillah, live music and playing guitar.



Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Springdale

8:30am

Jewish Poverty: A Call for Jewish Engagement
This panel will analyze Jewish poverty in NY, the problems of guaranteeing a fair workplace within the framework of the laws that presently exist, and ways that Jewish involvement can address these issues.

Presenters
SC

Steven Cohen

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

Kate O'Brien

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

Ann Toback

Ann Toback is the Executive Director of the Workmen’s Circle. Since June of 2008 she has led the Workmen’s Circle through a reboot process, resulting in a new mission rooted in intergenerational learning, cultural celebration, and applying a Jewish lens to progressive activism. The WC is proud to have launched a growing network of Jewish cultural schools. In 2015, the WC reengaged around its progressive roots and launched a new... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Willow

8:30am

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

Presenters
avatar for Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss

Rosh Beit Midrash, Mechon Hadar
Dena Weiss is the Rosh Beit Midrash at Mechon Hadar, an institution for higher Jewish learning based in NYC. Dena earned her BA in Religious Studies from NYU and a MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, and Pardes and is looking forward to some great learning at LimmudMI.


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Ballroom III

8:30am

From Degradation to Praise: a Disability-Informed Approach to the Haggadah
The Haggadah takes us on a journey from recalling degrading slavery in Egypt to praising God in our own time of incomplete redemption. The rabbinic telling and retelling of these stories has built sacred community within exile. The disability community also faces degradation and exile, and has created a parallel model for community and sanctity. This session is an exploration of the ways in which the disability model and the Jewish model can inform one another.

Presenters
RR

Ruti Regan

Ruti Regan is a fourth-year rabbinical student at JTS and the author of realsocialskills.org, a blog about the disability-informed approach to interpersonal interactions. She is a co-founder of Anachnu, an organization led by Jews with disabilities promoting disability-informed Torah and inclusive community. She moderates the weekly #parshachat on Twitter. Prior to JTS, Ruti studied at Drisha and the Conservative Yeshiva. Her interests include... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Grove

9:15am

Volunteer: Help Desk Squad
Limited Capacity seats available

The Help Desk Squad makes certain that all of our participants have the information they need to make the most of their Limmud NY experience. The Help Desk Squad staffs the Help Desk on the Mezzanine and answers participants’ questions throughout the conference. Look for members of the Help Desk Squad wearing buttons that say: “Help Desk Squad!”

Monday February 15, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Hospitality Squad
The Hospitality Squad is responsible for making sure all of our participants are cared for. Hospitality Squad members will be found in the corridors between sessions helping to guide participants along the way and address any questions that arise. They will welcome you when you arrived and will bid you safe travels when you depart. They will also be stationed in the dining hall to assist participants with special needs. Look for members of the Hospitality Squad wearing buttons that say: “Hospitality Squad!”

Monday February 15, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Programming Squad
The Programming Squad makes sure that our Limmud NY program runs smoothly. With more than 300 sessions throughout the weekend, Programming Squad members ensure that our presenters’ needs are met, troubleshoot programming issues, and provide support for our on-site Limmud NY office. Look for members of the Programming Squad wearing buttons that say: “Program Squad!”

Monday February 15, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

9:15am

Volunteer: Schlepping Squad
The Schlepping Squad helps make sure that all of our sessions, and the conference as a whole, is set up and cleaned up properly. Schleppers are tasked with moving supplies and gear from one place to another, setting up rooms for sessions and for Shabbat and weekday services, and for ensuring that we leave the Hilton in better condition than when we arrived. Look for members of the Schlepping Squad wearing buttons that say: “Schlepping Squad!”

Monday February 15, 2016 9:15am - 11:15am
Volunteer Central

10:15am

Pickling in the 21st Century
The ultimate do-it-yourself workshop: Join Hazon staff and learn about the biblical concept of Shmita (the sabbatical year) while creating a jar of delicious fermented delights. Take home our popular pickling recipe to use at home.

Presenters
avatar for Jessie Katz

Jessie Katz

Director of Outreach, Hazon
Jessie Katz is the Director of Outreach at Hazon. Her professional experience spans the development, education, social work, and research fields. Jessie studied Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University. She is also an active volunteer for Limmud NY, PresenTense, the JCC Manhattan, and various synagogues. Jessie lives with her husband in Manhattan.



Monday February 15, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Belltown

10:15am

How I Became a Jewsuit: Teaching Jewish Studies at a Jesuit University
What does Pope Francis have to do with the Babylonian Talmud? Drawing on experiences teaching Jewish Studies at a Jesuit University we will explore intersections between Jewish and Jesuit spirituality and pedagogy, the fascinating place of Jews in Jesuit history, and the challenges and rewards of making Jewish texts and culture an integral part of the Jesuit curriculum.

Presenters
avatar for Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

Sarit Kattan Gribetz is an Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism at Fordham University. She works on rabbinic literature, ancient calendars, Jews in the Greco-Roman world, gender and motherhood, and Jewish-Christian relations and polemics.


Monday February 15, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Long Ridge

10:15am