2011 Conference
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Refael "Rafi" Feuerstein

zohar - Feuerstein institute

Rafi Feuerstein is a rabbi who was born in Israel. He studied in the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and was ordained as a rabbi in 1994. He acted as founder of the ‘Tzohar’ Organization, and was also the rabbi of Kibbutz Ein Tzurim. Since 2001, he has been a community Rav in Jerusalem. He is Vice-Chairman of the Feuerstein Institute. He and his wife Tal have 8 children and one granddaughter.

Prophet Moses & Freud Meet at Limmud NY 2011

Global Culture & History, Identity & Responsibility

How to educate for values? Do they simply emerge or must they be imposed as indisputible laws? The relationship between the Torah of Moses and psychologist/educator Reuven Feuerstein's theory that premises that intelligence stems from our entourage is our innate ability. Modern culture includes a contradiction between high cognitive skills and the masses' culture level. What do we need to turn us into sophisticated people, not just professionally but also ethically, ideologically and culturally?

My Down Syndrome Son became My Rabbi

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

This session describes personal/Jewish/spiritual change after birth of a Down Syndrome son. Concepts like 'Image of God,' 'being late,' 'change,' 'faith,' and 'revelation' took on moving, different meanings. A trip with a story, study, and an invitation to participants to create their own. The deep philosophical, always abstract, question of 'What is Man?' became palpable and impacts the family's daily life. Concepts like 'study,' 'rectification' became important to the issue of veritable existence.

Halachah & Psychology: The Rabbi as a Caregiver

Social Justice, Text & Thought

Twenty-five year old single Rachel lives at home with her parents and family. Cramped living conditions and her personal and professional state cause much friction. At times she has fits of anger that disrupt the home. She investigated the halakhah (Jewish law) - Before the blind do not put a stumbling-block. We will attempt to understand who are the blind and the stumbling-block and who is responsible. Mainly we will study how halakah functions in psychology no less than in the spiritual area.

American Jews—from the Israeli Perspective

A Panel Discussion

David Breakstone, Refael "Rafi" Feuerstein, Eliav Rodman, Barry Mark Spielman

Interactive, Israel

"As Prime Minister of Israel, I promise you that I will not permit anything to undermine the unity of our people. Israel must always be a place that each and every one of you can call home." So said Benjamin Netanyahu at the GA, Nov 8, 2010. Is Israel the center of the Jewish world? What kind of partnership is this? Is it love? Marriage? Does Israel speak to me or for me? Is Israel a home away from home? Explore the relationship of the Jewish State with Jews around the world along with four Israelis. There will be at least five opinions—bring yours.

State of Israel and Torah—Vision and Reality


In fighting in crowded built-up areas, would injury to citizens lower the chance of injury to soldiers? Does Halakah (Jewish law) allow this? Which drugs should be included in the state health budget? How many refugees should be let into the Jewish State? Questions never asked in 2000 years of Diaspora. The State of Israel is not just a political solution for the Jewish People – it is the only place Torah can exist as the 'State' platform evokes endless chances for applying values.

A Talmudic Story – Yalta and the Glass of Wine

Text & Thought

Joint study of the Talmudic tale about the struggle between men and women over the glass of wine blessed as part of 'Grace after Meals'.


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