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Textual Perspectives [clear filter]
Friday, February 12
 

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... Read More →


Friday February 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:15pm
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 at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi... Read More →


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
avatar for David Ingber

David Ingber

David Ingber is the founder and spiritual director of Romemu in New York City, a mystical, progressive, open-hearted, and integral Jewish community that promotes human flourishing in body, heart, mind, and spirit. Rabbi Ingber is a disciple of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder... 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... 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 Skirball Professor of Talmud at New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Religion of... Read More →


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

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

An awesome artist, Judaic scholar, Francophile. A 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... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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 at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

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


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

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

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... 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... 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... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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

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... Read More →


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

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 Mike Rothbaum

Mike Rothbaum

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum serves as rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, MA, and lives with his husband, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, in Concord. Rabbi Mike has received accolades for his achievements in religious school, B'nai Mitzvah, youth group, and camp settings. He has... 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

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... Read More →


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

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 at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi... Read More →


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... Read More →


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 Skirball Professor of Talmud at New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Religion of... 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 the President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Yehuda received his doctorate in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and MA in Religion from Brown University, and is an alumnus of the Bronfman Youth and Wexner Graduate Fellowships. Previously... Read More →


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

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

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


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

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
BP

Bill Plevan

Bill Plevan holds rabbinic ordination from JTS and recently completed his doctorate in Religion at Princeton University on the thought of German-Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. He currently teaches Jewish thought at HUC and JTS. Bill also served as President of the Board of Matan... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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 Skirball Professor of Talmud at New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Religion of... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 7:30pm - 8:45pm
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 is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Modern Culture at Brown University. He also teaches kabbalah in a wide range of settings in NYC. He is currently completing a book, entitled, The 'Other Side' of Kabbalah: Divine and Demonic in the Zohar... Read More →


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... Read More →


Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Springdale
 
Sunday, February 14
 

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

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... Read More →


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

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... Read More →



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... Read More →


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

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... 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... Read More →


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

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... 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... Read More →


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

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... 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

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... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen

Seth grew up unaffiliated in Cambridge, MA as a fifth-generation American Jew. He has spent the 35 years trying to understand what it means to be a Jew. Seth studies all things Jewish, but his primary interest lies in Biblical and Rabbinic text, specifically the development of Halakha... 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
avatar for Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky

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


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

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

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, scholar, teacher, writer, poet, activist, aspiring rabbi and doctoral candidate in comparative theology and law. Her work appears in Jewish papers, literary journals, academic publications, and in her online Torah. Her poetry book... 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

Executive VP and Academic Dean, Academy for Jewish Religion
Ora Horn Prouser is the CEO and Academic Dean at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial and graduate school in Yonkers, New York. She received her BA and PhD from The Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a BA from Columbia University. She has published... Read More →


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

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, a leading Jewish theologian, scholar, and educator, is Co-Founder and Dean of Mechon Hadar. He is a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. Rabbi Held's first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was hailed... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Grove

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... Read More →
avatar for Ora Horn Prouser

Ora Horn Prouser

Executive VP and Academic Dean, Academy for Jewish Religion
Ora Horn Prouser is the CEO and Academic Dean at The Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial and graduate school in Yonkers, New York. She received her BA and PhD from The Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a BA from Columbia University. She has published... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Glenbrook

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... Read More →


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... Read More →


Sunday February 14, 2016 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Long Ridge

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

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


Sunday February 14, 2016 10:00pm - 11:15pm
Cove
 
Monday, February 15
 

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 Mordechai Tzvi Russell

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell

Eight years after making his professional operatic debut, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell is now a vocalist, composer, and arranger specializing in Yiddish art and folk song, chazones, and Chasidic nigunim. Inspired by the phenomena of diaspora culture, his work in traditional Ashkenazi... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Waterside

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Long Ridge

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Aspen

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 8:30am - 9:45am
Ballroom III

10:15am

Muslims in America Today
Who are the Muslims in America today? Based on my years of work in Muslim-Jewish relations, I will share a PowerPoint presentation that offers an engaging look at who the Muslims in America are today, how they are struggling to live in two civilizations--Muslim and American--and to "reconstruct" their religious faith in the 21st century. What are the issues they face and what is at stake for them (and for us) in Muslim-Jewish relations?

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... Read More →



Monday February 15, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Aspen

10:15am

Shattering the Tablets: Uncovering the Meaning of Jewish Life
Moses’ breaking of the Tablets is usually understood to be a result of his uncontrollable anger toward the people for building a golden calf. In the rabbinic imagination it is far more. It is at the very heart of the Jewish narrative and central to the way the ancient rabbis understood the meaning of Torah. The story becomes a warning to avoid even the idolatry within religious life, and a reminder of how essential human initiative is for shaping an expansive and interpretative tradition.

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Grove

10:15am

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

Presenters
avatar for Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

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


Monday February 15, 2016 10:15am - 11:30am
Springdale

12:00pm

Cultivating Meaningful Spaces Workshop
Are you a parent, a sister, a teacher, an artist, an accountant, a friend? Do you aspire to live and/or teach Torah? This session is for those who aspire to cultivate meaningful spaces--at home, at school, and at work, as well as with family, with friends, with students, and alone. We will engage content and methodology that sheds light on how spaces you nurture can be both content-rich and meaningful to participants.

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Aspen

12:00pm

Educating for Jewish Civilization
This session will take a deep dive into the idea of Judaism as a Civilization, one of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education's six themes. We will explore how Mordecai Kaplan's conception of Judaism applies in our own time, talking about some of the mores, folkways, and customs of the contemporary American Jewish community, as well as the social institutions that comprise it. We will also talk about resources available to explore this topic within communities back home.

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Springdale

12:00pm

Faith in Sinai
A number of medieval Jewish philosophers tried to prove that there was a revelation at Sinai. Together, we'll explore those arguments, critically, and discover their strengths and their weaknesses. In the wake of this investigation, learn an argument that doesn't justify belief in all that much, but it might justify a certain sort of faith, in a certain sort of something!

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Belltown

12:00pm

In Pursuit of Perfection: Examining Plastic Surgery
In this session, we'll examine some of the Halakhic and philosophical dimensions of surgical modification of our bodies. What are the risks and benefits to altering our appearance? Are our bodies ours to change as we wish, or are they vessels that God owns and have been entrusted to our care?

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... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Waterside

12:00pm

Is There an Afterlife? Three Jewish Answers
What are you hoping for in the afterlife? Would you prefer an all-you-can-eat buffet? Unlimited learning? Are you hoping for peace and quiet? We will explore this fundamental question through three very different answers offered to us by our tradition. Come with a willingness to dream of the world to come.

Presenters
AK

Avi Killip

Avi Killip serves as Director of Project Zug at Mechon Hadar. Avi was ordained from Hebrew College's pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. She is a Wexner Graduate Fellow and holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Avi... Read More →


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

12:00pm

The Missing Blessing - Abraham's Servant as a Key for Understanding the Book of Genesis
The Torah describes several important scenes where fathers bless their sons, but we never see Abraham give Isaac a blessing. In this session, we will look at the story of Abraham's servant searching for Isaac's wife as a stand-in for the missing blessing. What does this story tell us about the relationship between these characters and the important role of Rebecca in passing on the blessing to the next generation?

Presenters
BP

Bill Plevan

Bill Plevan holds rabbinic ordination from JTS and recently completed his doctorate in Religion at Princeton University on the thought of German-Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. He currently teaches Jewish thought at HUC and JTS. Bill also served as President of the Board of Matan... Read More →


Monday February 15, 2016 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Cove