2011 Conference
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"Just" Giving
A Panel Discussion

Sam "Bodi" Bodenheimer, Simon Greer, Shai Held, Elizabeth Richman

Identity & Responsibility, Interactive, Social Justice

This panel will address the question of priorities in giving, especially in relation to Jews and non-Jews. In the current economic climate, people are experiencing a greater strain on their resources and there is a more intense sense of need. Should Jews prioritize Jewish causes? What about the trend, especially among younger Jews, to direct much of their money and attention to non-sectarian causes? Does this trend reflect disintegrating bonds of peoplehood, or something else? Join us to consider how contemporary Jews should respond to these realities and what role Jewish texts should play in guiding our response.

Sam "Bodi" Bodenheimer

Spicerack Music

The Founder/CEO of Spicerack Music Group, and its Jewish division Bsamim (www.bsamim.com), a leading music and entertainment provider for events. He has toured internationally as a performer, event producer, chazzan, social activist and featured speaker. His music composition and production credits include internationally selling albums and film and television projects. “Bodi’s” passion is the use of media and entertainment to promote and assist international social justice causes. He launched Project Tesfa following a trip to Ethiopia, and is currently developing other Spicerack initiatives geared toward cross-cultural dialogue and tikkun olam. Bodi received his JD/MBA from Fordham.

Simon Greer

Jewish Funds for Justice

Simon Greer is President and CEO of Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ), a national public foundation guided by Jewish history and tradition. Since the mid-1980s JFSJ has developed new ways to create social change and strengthen low-income communities. Since he assumed his position in 2005, Mr. Greer has led the organization through a period of dramatic institutional growth and increased philanthropic support.

Shai Held

Mechon Hadar

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Shai Held is a rabbi and Co-Founder, Rosh Yeshiva, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City. A renowned lecturer and educator, Shai has taught for institutions such as Drisha, Meah, and the Wexner Heritage Program. He recently completed a dissertation on the theology of R. Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Elizabeth Richman

Jews United for Justice

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Elizabeth Richman is Program Director & Rabbi in Residence at Jews United for Justice, DC’s Jewish community organizing group. She has taught about Judaism and justice from California to Qatar and served on taskforces at Jewish Funds for Justice and the Rabbinical Assembly. In her spare time she helps run Segulah, a songful, lay-led, trad-egal Shabbat morning minyan on the DC/MD border.

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