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Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM

"Yucky" Texts: Dealing With the Hard Stuff in Our Traditions

Gregg Drinkwater, Yechiel Hoffman

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Emerald Bay 3

Identity and Responsibility, Text and Thought, Teen Approved

Many educators and lay people alike find many parts of the Bible and other classical Jewish texts challenging, if not downright disturbing. How do we deal with these texts in our classrooms and our daily lives? Do we re-interpret them, skip over them, or get angry at them? This session will suggest some ways of dealing with what we are calling "yucky texts," not because they are inherently yucky, but because they are the texts that cause us trouble and discomfort.

Can Prayer Heal?

Renana Ravitsky Pilzer

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Newport Beach 1

Ritual and Prayer

When the sages consider the issue of visiting the sick, the ideal visitor is not the one who brings flowers, smiles and leaves, but rather the one who understands that he has other roles as well: healing, assistance, psychological support, and prayer. Do we believe in the power of prayer to change reality? To heal? To improve a situation? New research shows a surprising effectiveness of praying and healing. What power do the sages believe prayer has? What are the implications of this faith for the practice of visiting the sick -- including the hours that one visits, where one sits, the motivation to visit, and even the content of the prayer itself, that the sick person dies or lives?

Chasing Sustainability

Dave Chameides

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 5:30 PM–6:45 PM Newport Beach 2

Identity and Responsibility, Teen Approved

A simple straightforward look at the problem with energy, oil, and excess and a discussion about simple ways that we can all take into our daily lives to lessen our impact. Dave Chameides has the ability to take large concepts and present them in a way that is not only digestible, but makes you want to take action.

A Jewish and Democratic State: Is It Really Possible?

Ariel Picard

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Laguna Beach 2

Identity and Responsibility, Israel

The state of Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic state. What does that mean? What are the fundamental conflicts in Israel regarding this issue and how might they be resolved? What are the fundamental conflicts in Israel regarding conversion, marriage, and religious freedom? Why does Israel not separate state and religion? What might be the role of Jews in the Diaspora in making possible the dream of a Jewish Democratic state?

Jews' Line Is It Anyway?

Esther Kustanowitz

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Balboa Bay 1

Arts and Performance, Teen Approved

What's so Jewish about basic improv comedy? This informal, participatory workshop introduces the basics of both improv comedy and Jewish community to Jews and Judeophiles of all ages.

Joseph's Recourse: Law & Bible

Shep Rosenman

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Emerald Bay 2

MCLE-Eligible, Text and Thought, Teen Approved

We will closely read one or more biblical texts and compare them to literature and/or case law in which a related narrative appears and discuss similarities and differences between the biblical, literary and legal approaches to the issues identified.

Krav Maga for Beginners I

Glenn Gottlieb

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Catalina Ballroom 2

Health and Healing, Teen Approved

An introductory session in Krav Maga, the fighting and self-defense system used by the Israeli military (IDF). Learn simple, practical techniques to defend yourself against an attack. Krav Maga is designed to be effective for men and women, regardless of physical size or athletic ability. Participants should come dressed in workout clothes, including long pants (sweat pants work fine) and sturdy tennis shoes, and be prepared for an active workout!

Shame and Torah

Daniel Greyber

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Balboa Bay 2

Text and Thought, Teen Approved

It's not good to shame other people, but what role, if any, should shame play in a modern Jewish community? We'll examine a passage from the Talmud (Mo'ed Katan 16a) to explore this issue.

Sustaining a Vibrant Jewish Future

Michael Melchior

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Emerald Bay 1

Global History and Culture, Identity and Responsibility, Teen Approved

Michael Melchior, former Minister for the Diaspora, has throughout his political career struggled with the most important global Jewish question: how to define the Jewishness of the State of Israel, and what its relationship should be to the rest of the Jewish People? For over a century, we have been preoccupied with survival and security; and quite rightly so. Michael now asks: What is the purpose of the Jewish nation?

Teaching Bible to Young Children

Rena Rotenberg

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Laguna Beach 1

Ritual and Prayer, Text and Thought

We want our children to be familiar with Bible stories. This session will focus on two stories that can help children understand Biblical times, making the Bible relevant to children.

Tefillah and Gestalt Awareness

Samuel Klein

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Laguna Beach 3

Identity and Responsibility, Ritual and Prayer

Gestalt Awareness is a nonanalytic, noncoercive, nonjudgmental practice derived from the work of Fritz Perls. Here we will explore how the practice of spoken word, song, and movement in Tefillah (prayer) allows us to sift through multivalent layers of personal and communal identity. The workshop will utilize textual sources, group exercises, and discussion, with the leader helping to reflect, clarify, and respect whatever emerges in this process.