2011 Conference
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Mishael Zion

Mishael Zion is co-author of "A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices" (2007). Originally from Jerusalem, Mishael teaches Talmud and Hassidut at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning and Yeshivat Hadar and is a Tikvah Scholar at NYU. Mishael is also a member of the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is a fourth year rabbinical student at YCT, and lives in the Upper West Side with his wife, Elana, and two daughters, Zohar and Shai.

Who is an Authority in the Jewish World?

A Talmudic Tale of Tradition, Logic, and Trust

Text & Thought

Talmudic texts tell the story about how young Hillel (not yet “the Elder”) turned from a nobody to president in one afternoon. But as only the Talmud can, each version of the story reveals a very different answer to the question: what are we looking for in a leader in the Jewish world. Studying this humorous story uncovers many of the issues that we continue to debate to this day: who is king in the Jewish world—ancestral tradition, human reason, or the people's voice?

The Spirituality of Parenting

A Panel Discussion

Dasee Berkowitz, David Ingber, Susan Weidman Schneider, Mishael Zion

Identity & Responsibility, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

The day-to-day grind of parenting (especially parents of little kids) leaves many parents little time or space for a spiritual practice. Is parenthood a distraction from living a spiritual life or can Jewish wisdom transform the way we parent to deepen our spiritual lives? Join us as the panelists reflect on these and other questions.

What Is behind the Idea of "Tikkun Olam"?

The Origin and Philosophy of a Key Idea

Social Justice, Text & Thought

Now becoming a central term in Jewish life, the term "tikkun olam", meaning "the repair of the world", originated in the Mishna as part of a discussion about divorce law. Tracking the origins of this idea in the Mishna and Tanakh, we will gain insight into what this term tells us about God, humanity and the world.

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