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Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM

Green Jews: The New Jewish Environmental Agenda

Michael Melchior

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Laguna Beach 3

Identity and Responsibility, Teen Approved

In the last election, Michael Melchior's Meimad party formed a historic alliance with the Green Movement, creating the first ever religiously inspired Green Party. Although defeated, 30,000 Israelis voted for the party and the movement is capturing the hearts and minds of a growing part of Israeli society. How do we create a new Jewish identity that takes into account our obligation towards the environment? What is the role of world Jewry in this process?

Hebrew Reading Boot Camp #3

Todd Shotz

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Newport Beach 3

Global History and Culture, Text and Thought

Haven't read Hebrew since your Bar/Bat Mitzvah? Join us for this last session of three when we will build on the alphabet skills from the first two sessions by looking at pronunciation exceptions. While beginners should try to attend all three sessions, this last session will be perfect for refreshers as we look at ten major exceptions in putting words together.

The Importance of Holocaust Education Today

Matthew Friedman

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Laguna Beach 1

Global History and Culture

With the terms "genocide" and "Holocaust" seemingly being used with increasing frequency to describe all sorts of humanitarian catastrophes, it has become more important than ever to educate our communities about the history, significance, and moral conflicts of the Holocaust. This session will deal with a discussion of the importance of Holocaust education, some of the newest methods and topics in this field, as well as resources available to educators and community members.

Jewish Hip Hop Dance


Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Catalina Ballroom 2

Arts and Performance, Global History and Culture

Learn how to dance hip-hop to the music of Matisyahu with professional dance teacher Jamie Green of Soul Aviv.

Mastering Makhloket: The Great Common Ground

Michael Feldman

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Laguna Beach 2

Identity and Responsibility, MCLE-Eligible, Text and Thought

This session features practical means of progress in modern Jewish controversies. We will test common values and solutions to problems discussed in the first session and address hot-button issues we did not yet explore. Looking at the larger picture and a bit of classic text, we will also try to identify truly universal Jewish values. Will opposing sides find a joint way forward? Are there helpful truisms with which everybody in the room will agree? Come tell us!

Opening the Siddur: The Inner Meaning of Jewish Prayer

Ed Feinstein

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Newport Beach 2

Ritual and Prayer, Text and Thought, Teen Approved

The Siddur is the great art museum of the Jewish people. It is comprised of galleries filled with powerful reflections on life and its possibilities. But for too many, the galleries are closed and their masterpieces inaccessible. We will take a brief guided tour through the history of Jewish devotion and recover our way to the Jewish people's greatest treasure.

Poems of Healing Even in the Face of Death

William Cutter

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 10:00 AM–11:15 AM Newport Beach 3

Arts and Performance, Text and Thought

Some of our most interesting poems are written in the face of the deepest personal struggles. This session will include a few poems in English by Sharon Olds and John Updike, but most will be by poets of the modern Hebrew renaissance -- T. Carmi, Abba Kovner, Zelda and Yona Wolloch -- who faced their greatest struggles by drawing on their linguistic genius. The session will be conducted in English, and there will be translations by the presenter of the poets' original Hebrew texts.

Talmudic Time Travel

Howard Wettstein

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Monday 8:30 AM–9:45 AM Balboa Bay 1

Text and Thought

When Moses ascends on Mt. Sinai, he sees God inscribing a Torah scroll by hand. A conversation ensues about what God is doing that leads to time travel -- Moses travels to Talmudic times and becomes a fly on the wall, as it were, in Rabbi Akiva's study hall. The story is captivating, and it leads to ethical and psychological insights, to dark visions of Rabbi Akiva's martyred end, to Moses questioning God, and to God's astounding and touching response. There is even the suggestion of a new way of thinking about God, a new role for God in our religious thinking and feeling.

Teen Reflection

Yechiel Hoffman

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Teen Lounge

Teen Approved

What's Going on in the Arava?

Lisa Friedman

Monday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Newport Beach 1


The Arava Institute, located in southern Israel, has created a model of peace and co-existence through environmental sustainability that is resonating throughout the Middle East. In this session, we will talk about how these students from Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and North America are working together to create a new path to peace where nature knows no boundaries.