Kenneth Kaufman


Kenny Kaufman is founder and director of KULANU, campus and community rabbi and teacher, school principal, college administrator, social worker, and program organizer for all ages and backgrounds. He promotes Jewish learning and rejoicing through classes, celebrations, concerts, kosher camping, retreats, seminars, and social service. A variety of organizations (including Jewish, Christian, Moslem, secular, and universities) have hosted him as a speaker and scholar-in-residence for Shabbatonim and retreats, interfaith and multi-ethnic programs, ethics lectures, classes and seminars, and civic events. He values unity and diversity, and chesed and social responsibility. He loves people, nature, music, sports, learning, and a good argument.

Halachically Correct: How Does Jewish Law Work and Why Does It Matter?

What serves as the source of halacha, or Jewish law? How does halacha develop over time? How do we encounter modern questions that did not exist in ancient times while adhering to a set of principles and guidelines that originated long ago? When we see conflicting halachic opinions, how do we know which to follow? How can we tell the difference between an approach that falls within halachic boundaries and one that doesn't? What makes someone a halachic authority? What difference does halachic observance make in our individual and collective lives, and to the world as a whole? See the halachic process work through a specific question, with source material and different opinions, to its resolution and how we practice today.

OK, Let's Argue: Understanding the Other Side of Controversies in the Jewish Community

Everyone knows Judaism has a rich tradition of debate. How do we view and treat opposing viewpoints? What limits do we place on our openness to divergent opinions? What defines a perspective as Jewish? What value do we as a people gain by acknowledging and incorporating diversity and variety? In a lively, open forum with lots of back and forth, this session will encourage listening to the other side and seeking ways of working well together despite our differences and as a result of understanding each other, even when we don't agree. Topics can include submissions from participants. Examples: Who is a Jew?; Abortion; Euthanasia; Land for Peace; Aguna; Minyan; Women Rabbis; Mechitza; Definition of Marriage; Intermarriage and Assimilation; Authority in Judaism.

Israel Forum: Hot-Button Issues Facing the Zionist Dream

Zvi Block, Ruth Broyde Sharone, Jonathan Jacoby, Kenneth Kaufman, Daryl Temkin

In a lively exchange of ideas and opinions, a distinguished panel discusses some of the most pressing issues facing Israel today and offers insights on how we can discuss and respond to them. The forum highlights varying approaches, to provoke analysis of strong and weak points in the diverse perspectives, and to encourage consideration of ways to reconcile the differences. The format welcomes participation from the audience, challenges people to think beyond their own framework and positions, and aims to provide a model for constructive community discourse. Potential issues to be discussed include land for peace; prisoner swaps; settlement towns, disengagement, and expulsion; balancing ethnic, religious, gender and political rights and tolerance; human rights and social-class disparity; and the religious and secular division.