2012 Conference
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Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM

Saturday Dinner

Saturday 7:30 PM–9:30 PM Ballrooms A, B

Shavua Tov! (A Great Week!) Start a great week by making new friends at Saturday evening dinner.

PJ Party with Movie, Pizza and Ice Cream

Saturday 7:30 PM–9:30 PM Sullivan

Children & Families

Come in your PJ’s to watch a great movie with your new Limmud NY friends! Pizza and ice cream will be served for dinner. This session is for children K-5th grade.

The Bible Doesn't Say That!

How Translations Conceal What the Bible Means.

Joel Hoffman

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Hudson I

Identity & Global Culture, Sacred Text & Thought

The original Hebrew of the Ten Commandments does not say, "do not covet." The translation "the Lord is my shepherd" is misleading, and the English phrase "with all your heart and all your soul" is just wrong. Like the game of telephone that prompts children to whisper messages around a circle, hundreds of generations have handed translations of the Bible, one to the next, distorting the original meaning. Unlike in the children's game, we still have the original. Learn what the Bible really says!

Can we Discuss Israel Without Being Babies?

Is there Something Besides a Pro vs. Con Frame?

Ari Wallach

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Hudson III

Identity & Global Culture, Israel

When the topic of Israel comes up, be it at Temple, Federation, school or the dinner table, the conversation often turns heated - you are either with Israel or against. Is it possible for there to be a non-binary platform for those in the middle? At the end of the day, only a small percent of Jews are in the ZOA, AIPAC, J Street or other organized "Israel camp." Most people just opt-out because they do not want to be in the firestorm that is the "Israel conversation." Is another way possible? Let's see!

Dialogue Between Religious and Secular Jews?

Can it Really Work - or do Only Harm?

Regev Ben-David

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Hudson II

Identity & Global Culture, Israel

The last few decades have seen gradual growth in religious-secular dialogue in Israel, in spite (or perhaps because) of the ongoing inner-Jewish dispute concerning the purpose of the state of Israel, and its unstable relations of religion and state. But what does that mean, exactly? What language is spoken in such dialogue? Or maybe there's no need for dialogue, since we're all Jews? I will share my few years' experience, and we will discuss your own points of view.

Forgiveness: What Does Judaism Have to Say?

Jewish Food for Thought: The Animated Series

Hanan Harchol

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Ulster

Arts & Performance, Sacred Text & Thought

Why would you want to forgive someone who has wronged you? Is there any benefit to forgiving? Is there a ‘right’ time to forgive? And what does religion have to do with it? Come to think of it, does religion have anything to do with it? Find out in the funny, engaging, and thought-provoking animated short, “Landlord,” part of the innovative new animated series on Jewish wisdom: “Jewish Food For Thought.” Hanan Harchol, creator of the series, will discuss the impetus behind this exciting project and the tremendous impact it is having across the country and beyond. Come to one session in the series; or even better, come to all three! (This session was made possible by funds from The Covenant Foundation.)

The Jewish Sages on Psychology: Understanding Avot

William Berkson

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Ballroom C

Sacred Text & Thought, Spiritual Practice

Today, spirituality, psychology of the emotions, and ethics are three different subjects. But for the Jewish sages whose sayings are recorded in "Pirke Avot" (Teachings, "Ethics of Our Fathers"), they were one subject: how to live the good life. We will explore texts from Avot on the emotions: how to deal with anger, ego, and sexual desire. We will also compare the Sages’ views to modern psychology. Do they agree or disagree? Who is right? Led by the author of the new commentary on Pirke Avot from the Jewish Publication Society.

Karaite Judaism: Areas of Difference and Agreement

Theology, Custom and Practice

Eli'ezer ben Efraim Gayer

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM The View

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History

This session will explore the core tenets of belief of Karaite Jews, and explain where Karaite Judaism differs from other Jewish movements and why. It will also compare and contrast differences between Orthodox Halakhah (laws) and Karaite Halakhah and show surprising areas of agreement.  

The Kids are Alright

Why Anti-Israel Speech on Campus isn't the Problem

David A.M. Wilensky

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:30 PM Bentley's

Identity & Global Culture, Israel

You've heard all about the rampant anti-Semitism, anti-Israel speech and civil rights abuses on American college campuses. From the editor of New Voices, the national Jewish student magazine, come hear why all of that is a gross distortion. We'll discuss the real problem facing Jewish students: an atmosphere promoted by the highest levels of American Jewish communal leadership that stifles debate and silences dissent. And then we'll all make nice and hug it out.

Kosher Jesus

Shmuley Boteach

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Dutchess

Jewish History, Modern Jewish Literature

A ground-breaking research project provides the foundation for a new and revolutionary understanding of Jesus the Jew and what the real story of his mission in ancient Israel means for Christians and Jews. Boteach offers a radically new perspective about the world's most famous personality, determines why the New Testament editors made the Jews culpable, and explores how these realizations will strengthen Jewish-Christian ties and values, with Jesus serving as the bridge between the two faiths.

The Moroccan Jewish Diaspora

Luanna Azulay

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Orange

Identity & Global Culture

From trade to the Exodus of Arab lands after the Israeli War of Independence. Come learn about Moroccan Jewish communities around the world, how they maintain their strong identities, and ties with the country.

Social Justice in Hebrew: “Tzedek Hevrati!”

A Historic Year of Social Protest in Israel

Ben Murane

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Columbia

Israel, Social Justice

The summer of 2011 was historic for Israeli activism. Half a million Israelis held the largest protests in the country’s history. They chanted “Ha’am! Doresh! Tzedek hevrati!” meaning “The people demand social justice!” These and dozens of other issues are part of the democratic fabric of Israeli society. Learn about Israeli protests in 2011 including these social demonstrations, freedom of marriage, migrant workers’ children, human rights in the territories and more.

What Kind of Name is Shmot ("Names")?

Shmuel Skaist

Saturday 7:30 PM–8:45 PM Empire Lounge

Jewish History, Sacred Text & Thought

Why does the whole world call it Exodus and ignore the actual name of The Book of Names? We will not answer that question outright. Instead, we'll focus on why we ought to stick to the original by examining the Parasha (Torah portion) with an eye towards appreciating how it manages to define the entire book. Surprisingly, that definition strikes to the core of personal Avodat HaShem (service towards God) in the 21st Century. This presentation will climax in a 30 minute acoustic concert of some of Rav Shmuel's best songs.

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