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Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM

Cracks in the City of Stone: An Anatomy of the Struggles for Pluralism in Modern Jerusalem

Anat Hoffman

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Catalina Ballroom 1

Global History and Culture, Israel, Teen Approved

Jerusalem is a harsh city to live in. It is a city in struggle, a struggle between narrow-minded Judaism and pluralistic Judaism, a battle for appropriate representation for all city inhabitants, a struggle to make it a better place for all to live in. This talk will touch on several issues that pertain to these struggles and to the contribution of IRAC to advance a pluralistic living environment in our nation's capital.

A Deadly Gene: Promoting Breast Health in a High-Risk Population

Lindi VanderWalde

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Laguna Beach 1

Health and Healing

The BRCA genes, inherited mutations that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, are estimated to affect 1 in every 100 Ashkenazi Jews. Should all Ashkenazim be screened for these genes? What other factors increase the risk of breast cancer? In this session, we will review the indications for BRCA genetic testing, determine how to calculate breast cancer risk in those without the gene, and discuss options for promoting improved breast health.

Hebrew Reading Boot Camp #1: From the Vowels On Up

Todd Shotz

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Huntington Beach 1 & 2

Global History and Culture, Ritual and Prayer

Tired of getting lost during prayer services? Learn to read Hebrew in three fast and easy sessions, perfect for beginners or if you need a refresher. In this first session, we'll start with the alphabet and vowels, and will be reading basic words by its conclusion. No writing will be necessary during this session.

Making Meaningful Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Helene Kornsgold

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Laguna Beach 2

Identity and Responsibility, Ritual and Prayer

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are an exciting time when your child enters the next phase of life. Planning for it can and should be as exciting and important as the day itself. But, more often than not, the details get in the way. How can you make the B'nai Mitzvah experience meaningful to your child and your family? In this session, I will share insights and strategies that work, and also help you focus on the big picture when planning for this milestone.

Making Peace With God: The Strange Story of Job

Howard Wettstein

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Emerald Bay 2

Text and Thought

Why do terrible things happen to good people? And how might God, who is presumably responsible, be a source of deep comfort? The Book of Job is one of the Bible’s most revolutionary books, often on the edge of heresy. God thinks of Job as the most righteous among people. This claim is challenged by “The Accuser,” a sort of heavenly investigator, who suggests that Job’s piety needs testing. God agrees, and what follows is nothing less than a nightmare, the death of Job’s innocent children, the loss of his health, wealth, and marriage.

Mastering Makhloket: Seeing Past Red

Michael Feldman

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 7:00 PM–8:15 PM Laguna Beach 3

Identity and Responsibility, MCLE-Eligible, Text and Thought

How can religiously diverse Jews safely debate same-sex marriage, Obama, conversion, Israel, or family drama? This hands-on workshop explores texts in the Jewish tradition of peacefully handling both personal and ideological arguments and uses a step-by-step process to reveal false assumptions and emotional truths behind our animosities. Work through your own conflicts, share ideas, or just write and listen. Then leave ready to forgive a friend, or at least the author of the last Jewish Journal opinion piece you didn’t like. All are welcome; families are especially encouraged.

My Big Fat Jewish Iranian Wedding

Houman Sarshar

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Emerald Bay 3

Global History and Culture, Ritual and Prayer, Teen Approved

This presentation will discuss the details and rituals of the traditional seven-day long Jewish-Iranian wedding festivities. Other life cycle rituals will also be discussed. The discussions will also explore the impact of the dominant Shiite culture on aspects of Jewish-Iranian life cycle rituals and eventually examine how the move to the United States has introduced new accents to these traditional festivities.

The Process of Tikkun Olam: How to Perfect the World

Yitz Greenberg

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Emerald Bay 1

Identity and Responsibility, Teen Approved

This session will sketch the goal of Judaism -- the vision of a perfect world -- and explore the unique Jewish method of achieving the goal, ie, the covenant (= partnership) between God and humanity.

The Vagina Monologues Meet the Talmud

Aviva Richman

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Balboa Bay 2

Identity and Responsibility, Text and Thought, Teen Approved

This workshop is a textual fusion: Eve Ensler's twentieth century script "The Vagina Monologues" crashes into a page of Talmud and we're left sorting out the debris. What can these two very different genres teach each other, and together, what do they teach us about ways to understand and express sexuality?

Words of Terror in the Torah

Asher Gellis, Anthony Rogers-Wright

Saturday 11:00 AM–12:15 PM Newport Beach 1

Identity and Responsibility, Text and Thought

There can be no doubt that certain passages and indeed full parshas of the Torah of caused some in our respective congregations to recoil in horror. This is specifically true of those members of our congregations that identify themselves as LGBT, Jews of Color, and women. In this session, we will explore those passages and parshas in the literal context, apply these texts to a modern context with the overall hope of moving from literalism to interpretation to tolerance.