2010 Conference
Site and Transportation
Shabbat at Limmud NY


Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM


Saturday 12:00 PM–2:00 PM Ballroom A

Sit with someone new! Lunch is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY.

Agent of Change or Disruption: A Talmudic Case Study

Sara Hurwitz

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Columbia

Text & Thought

There are few named women in the Talmud. One of the few is Yalta, the wife of Rav Nachman, a third generation Babylonian Amora and the daughter of the Reish Galuta, a wealthy and well–respected figure. In each of the texts that we will study together, there is a question of Yalta's motivation. Is she a spoiled and disrespectful woman? Or are her actions motivated by a desire for greater involvement in religious and spiritual leadership? Finally, can Yalta teach us anything today about how to bring about religious change in a traditionally patriarchal world?

Can Aliens Be Jewish?

Dan Ain

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Dutchess

Text & Thought

With the resurgent popularity of aliens, as seen in the recent revival of the television series "V," we will ask whether or not the existence of extra-terrestrial life would impact our Jewish world (or should I say, universe) view. In this discussion, we will consider the anthropic principle and issues of chosenness.

Crypto Jews, Marranos, Conversos, Anusim

The Forgotten Sephardic Jews

Carlos Zarur

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Hudson III

Global History & Culture, Identity & Responsibility

Come and explore the history of those known as Crypto-Jews, the often forgotten Sephardic Jews. Help ensure that they will be forgotten no longer. Learn about their struggle to return to the Jewish faith, the rejection of the Rabbinical authorities, and the halachic (Jewish legal) perspective of the phenomenon.

Death, Rebirth, and Why It Is Not That Simple

A Poetry Reading

Joy Ladin

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM The View

Arts & Performance, Identity & Responsibility

This reading of poems from four recent collections—"Transmigration," "Coming to Life," "Everything and Nothing," and "Psalms"—explores the messy, miraculous process of the death of my male self, the birth of my female self, and the personal, spiritual and existential consequences of living a miracle. A question-and-answer session will follow.

End-of-Life Decisions

Jewish Thinking on Terminating Life

Evan Krame

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Saturday 3:00 PM–4:15 PM Hudson I

How-To, Text & Thought

Motl Brody was brain dead but medical technology kept him breathing. The tragic episode brought to the public a debate over what Jewish law has to say about the end of life and the process of dying. The session will be an opportunity to compare Jewish text, current law, and our own views on how to make end-of-life decisions for ourselves and our families.

How Can I Pray What I Do Not Believe?

The Case of Un'Tane Tokef

Elie Kaunfer

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Manhattan Theater

Ritual & Prayer, Text & Thought

Are you troubled by reciting the “Who shall live and who shall die?” prayer (the Un'Tana Tokef) every year on High Holidays? Does God really mete out just reward and punishment each year? Together we will examine the Un'tTane Tokef prayer, look at its Biblical allusions, and discover its radically divergent internal theological approaches.

Learn to Leyn (Chant Torah)!

A Whole-Body Approach to Learning the Ta’amei Hamikrah

Tziporah Miriam Halperin

Canceled, sorry

How-To, Ritual & Prayer

We introduce chanting the Torah tropes using a dynamic, multi-sensory approach that engages both sides of the brain plus the whole body to support and reinforce the learning of the chant melodies. If you have struggled with learning the tropes before, or if you have yet to explore this beautiful art, come open the door to the melodic beauty of Torah cantillation, supported and enhanced by gesture and imagery.

Objectivist Poetry: An Introduction

Jewish-American Modernism

Joel Lewis

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Outside library

Arts & Performance, Identity & Responsibility

In the early 30's, a young poet named Louis Zukofsky edited a special "Objectivist" issue for Poetry Magazine. What made Objectivism unique was that the major figures of the movement were not only Jewish, but raised in Yiddish-speaking homes. After decades of obscurity, Objectivism was discovered by poets such as Robert Creeley and Allen Ginsberg and has since become recognized as a major 20th Century poetry. This session will serve as introduction to this unique group of Jewish writers.

Place and Space in Rabbinic Literature I

Legal Traditions

Yehuda Kurtzer

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Ulster

Advanced, Text & Thought

In this advanced text-based class, we will consider the role of place and regional geography as a criterion in the formation of rabbinic law and lore. What are the boundaries to the environments that produce rabbinic texts? Do the boundaries imagined by the texts match ancient political boundaries, or do they reflect a different ethos about place and space? This session, Part I, considers legal texts. Part II (tomorrow) considers stories.

Potiphar's Desperate Housewife Seduces Joseph

How Midrash and Commentators Interpret

Beryl Phillips

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Orange

Shabbat, Text & Thought

As with most Bible "stories," the seduction of Yosef (Joseph) by Potifar's wife—the original Desperate Housewife—leaves the reader with many puzzling questions and gaps in the story. Fortunately, the Midrash and Meforshim (commentators and exegetes) come to the rescue and make the story complete. Somewhat surprisingly, the end result is quite different that what one would have guessed from just reading the "outline" in the Torah passages. Come, learn and enjoy a tale with plot twists, great lessons and a surprise ending!

“Raft”: An Outback Aussie Doctor in a Yarmulka

A Doctor in a Yarmulka Enters Aboriginal Australia

Howard Goldenberg

Canceled, sorry

Arts & Performance, Book Club

Howard Goldenberg is a white, middle-class, Orthodox Jewish doctor who works one-to-two months a year in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. “RAFT” (Hybrid Publishers, 2009) is his sell-out account of fifty working visits. His stories are unnerving, shocking, hilarious, quirky, desperate and hopeful. In this session, the author reads memorably, engages provocatively, and recounts unexpected intersections and parallels between Jewish and Aboriginal beliefs and lives.

The Torah on Estate Planning

What does Judaism say about wills and trusts?

Evan Krame

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Empire Lounge

How-To, Text & Thought

Torah is filled with stories that give us insight into the ideals and realities of passing an estate. From Adam to Zelophehad's daughters, we will explore stories of inheritance and how legacy is followed by legal interpretations in the Talmud and by later scholars. We will determine how these stories Jewishly influence our preparation of our own estate plans.

What Is Jewish about Global Hunger?

Lisa Exler, Rebecca Stone

Saturday 11:45 AM–1:00 PM Hudson I

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

Typical families in developing countries spend 80 percent of their income on food. More than a billion people are undernourished, even as we produce more food globally than ever before. What do the people experiencing this hunger—and Jewish sources—teach us about how we should respond to this crisis?

The Yiddish Bakers’ Union is My Eternal Monument

Culinary Resistance to Mortality in Jewish Practice

Eve Jochnowitz

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 10:00 AM–11:15 AM Manhattan Theater

Global History & Culture

Food, cooking, and recipes are inextricably linked with life and vitality. The dead do not praise the Lord, said the psalmist, and they certainly do not eat or cook, but traditional and improvised Jewish practices related to eating and cooking bring a special awareness and immediacy to the rituals and processes associated with the end of life. We will explore some of the more surprising, including food-related inscriptions on Yiddish and Hebrew tombstones.


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