2012 Conference
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Shabbat at Limmud NY
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Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM

Saturday Lunch

Saturday 12:00 PM–2:00 PM Ballrooms A, B

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

A Family History in Letters 1938 -1948

Jonathan Wittenberg

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Ulster

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History

My father’s grandfather, head of the rabbinical court in Berlin, died in 1937. What subsequently became of his widow, six children and many grandchildren in the Nazi years? The story is told through stirring family letters, some mundane and some harrowing, sent between them in the years 1938 – 1948.

Can We Be Grateful and Disappointed at the Same Time?

Lessons from Life, Liturgy, and the Matriarch Leah

Shai Held

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Columbia

Sacred Text & Thought, Spiritual Practice

Gratitude for the gift of life lies at the heart of Jewish theology and spirituality. But some popular writers make outlandish and disturbing promises for gratitude—for example that if we are grateful, we can not also be sad, or heartbroken, or disappointed at the same time. In this session, we will discover that Judaism offers another (healthier, more realistic) model where we are asked to live with complexity and even with conflicting emotions. We will take Leah Imeinu (our matriarch) as our teacher.

Chai Mitzvah: The Next Big Thing

Creating Demand for Jewish Learning

Scott Shay

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Hudson I

Come and learn about Chai Mitzvah, the new minhag (custom) of Bar/Bat Mitzvah renewal every 18 years (at 31,49, 67 and 80+). In the two years since inception, over 200 people have successfully completed the program. We will discuss the program's evolution and next steps. This year Chai Mitzvah has multiple sites in Westchester County, Nassau County, Hartford, CT and Emek Hefer in Israel. The core of Chai Mitzvah is that it is all about creating demand for Jewish learning.

Exploring the Role of the Jewish Male in the 21st Century

The Masks Men Wear

David Malchman, Lev Natan

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Orange

Identity & Global Culture, Social and Communal

In this session, we will explore the masks that men create, use, and wear depending on with whom we interact. This session will include interactive discussions regarding the role of men within their families and communities. Discussions will be through a Jewish lens, looking at Jewish texts and concepts as part of defining that role. We will explore together, whether you are a young adult or elder; GBQA; single, married or divorced; a child, a parent, or any level of observance.

Gadgetry from Nimrod to Kurzweil

Humanity's Struggle with the Definition of Self

Shmuel Skaist

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Bentley's

Identity & Global Culture, Sacred Text & Thought

A survey of primary sources in Sefer Bereishit (Book of Genesis) serve as the basis for an evaluation of the impact of computer technology and the internet on humanity particularly with regard to the tension involved in the struggle for individuality. Our journey will take us from a “Singularity” reported in the Torah all the way to the upcoming projected “Singularity” in the 2040's and from science fiction to to the theology of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence).

The Good Old Days

Nostalgia for American Jewish Children

Rachel Gross

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Empire Lounge

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History

Why is nostalgia such a powerful theme for American Jews, and how is it taught to children? We will discuss how American Jews have imparted nostalgia to children in books and toys, from the classic chapter book "All-of-a-Kind Family" to the American Girl doll Rebecca. American Jews’ longing for past eras can be seen in their efforts to make learning about Jewish heritage fun. We will examine how nostalgic children’s materials teach children about the past, and what they imply for the present.

Jewish Super Mom Survival Guide

How to Survive as Mom/Wife/Entrepreneur/Advocate

Jodi Samuels

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Ballroom C

Identity & Global Culture

Is it possible to do it all? What motivates and inspires me? Jodi Samuels shares how being an entrepreneur made her a better mom. The session will cover guiding principles and Torah values and the "Top 10 tips" for managing supermom status.

Once Upon a Gay …

A Jewish Journey through the Ex-Gay Movement

Jayson Littman

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Hudson III

Identity & Global Culture, Social Justice

Come hear a story about an individual journey through the Jewish ex-gay movement. After consulting many rabbis and with a desire to marry and lead a traditional orthodox life, Jayson enters reparative therapy to overcome his same-sex attractions and live in the orthodox community he was raised in. Hear about his five years trying to change from gay to straight and his finally coming out. This session is for educators, rabbis, and all to learn about this movement and to explore why one would join.

Prayer: A Journey of the Heart, or a Burden?

Thinking, Struggling and Learning about T'filah (Prayer)

Claudia Kreiman

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM The View

Sacred Text & Thought, Spiritual Practice

The tension between keva (set prayer) and kavanna (intention) is central to the experience of tfilah (prayer) and is discussed at length in our tradition. In this class we will study texts that address these concepts, and apply them to our personal experience of tfilah. We will focus on what kavanna means when we pray, and how this is reflected in our prayer practices.

The Rebellious Man of Faith

Shmuley Boteach

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Manhattan Theater

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History, Spiritual Practice

Religion has been perceived as demanding and inculcating obedience. Judaism imparted to the world a vision of social transformation and change, a time when people would cure the world of seemingly intractable ills. Human suffering, Judaism taught, was not the fault of sinful man. The faithful person demanded of God to keep His promises and His injunctions to choose life.The rebellious man of faith will continue to worship God after Auschwitz but he will never excuse God's allowing a holocaust against innocents.

Why Israeli Arabs are a Jewish Issue

Chris Silver

Saturday 12:00 PM–1:15 PM Dutchess


Israel's Arab citizens comprise 20% of the country's population. Issues facing Israeli Arabs have been called the “most important domestic issue facing Israel today” by the government and others. Join us for a conversation on why Israel's treatment of its minority Arab population is the Jewish, moral, and wisest path for the country in terms of social and economic development. Learn how the work of the Israeli government and the North American Jewish community is making a difference.


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