2011 Conference
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Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM

Lunch

Saturday 12:00 PM–2:00 PM Ballroom A

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 12:00 PM–2:00 PM Ballroom A
Sit with someone new! Lunch is a great time to meet new people at Limmud NY.

Chai Mitzvah

The Next Big Thing for American Jews

Scott Shay

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Columbia foyer

Identity & Responsibility, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

Chai Mitzvah is pioneering the concept of bar/bat mitzvah renewal every 18 years, at around the ages of 31, 49, 67, and 80+. Last year, in Hartford, all 19 synagogues adopted the initiative with wonderful results. About 15 new synagogues have joined in this year. As it turns out, the ages of Chai Mitzvah are important stages of our life journeys. Chai Mitzvah can infuse the questions we all face at these stages with Jewish meaning and perspective. Come to learn more.

Crossing the Sea: On Transformation

Faith and Doubt: The Sea of Reeds Moment

Shelly Fredman

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Dutchess

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

The Israelite Crossing of the Sea is a liminal moment, a time of both terror and fear, which miraculously engenders faith and song. What does it mean to be, in Avivah Zornberg's words,"drawn after a miracle?" How do the Israelite women's experiences, particularly, allow them to create a songline that will accompany them through the wilderness? Drawing upon this episode and Rabbi Nachman's ideas, we will "write into the text," thus delving into our own moments of transformation.

G-d is a Four Letter Word

Is Monotheism Idolatry’s Last Hiding Place? or How Do We Recover From Post-Traumatic G-d Disorder?

David Ingber

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Ballroom C

101, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

For many, the word "G-d" carries so much baggage, so much pain, that we find it virtually impossible to find spirituality in our Judaism. Spiritual 'scar tissue' exerts itself on us, making engaging Jewishly very painful. Changing our relationship to "G-d" and replacing old images of the Divine can be the most important step we take on the road to revitalizing our Jewish spiritual life. In this time together, we will look at some radical teachings from Rav Kook and other masters that invite us to go beyond the narrow definitions we have of G-d, refreshing ourselves by expanding our relational palette.

Miriam the Priestess

What the Bible Doesn't Want to Tell You (But Does)

Jill Hammer

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Columbia

Global Culture & History, Text & Thought

Why is Miriam called “the prophetess” even though she has no prophecy? Why is she named “sister of Aaron”? What is the real meaning of the “leprosy” incident? Discover a new reading of the Miriam stories and learn about Israelite women’s spiritual leadership in its ancient Near Eastern context. Explore the women of the Bible in radical ways and consider the implications for our own day.

Searching for God in Judaism

A Rationalist’s Theory of a Spiritual Reality

Chaim Seidler-Feller

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Bentley's

Global Culture & History, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

Religion and God are currently confronting the unrelenting onslaught of the evangelical atheists. Yet, it is evident that the search for God is a primary feature of our generation. This session constitutes a personal effort at articulating a meaningful notion of God—one that is spiritually fulfilling and, at the same time, intellectually uncompromising. The search ranges across the Jewish tradition from the fundamentals of Biblical monotheism to Maimonides’ rationalism and on to Hasidic mysticism.

The Spirituality of Parenting

A Panel Discussion

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

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Empire Lounge

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.

The Spirituality of Parenting

A Panel Discussion

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

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Empire Lounge

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.

Three Jews at the March on Washington

Unpacking our Mutliple Roles in Civil Rights

Simon Greer

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Orange

Arts & Performance, Interactive, Social Justice

The session will start with a brief one man play where the complex roles Jews have played in social movements will be illuminated through three different character and then the audience will be invited to join the conversation entering the play "in character" and then turning to a more open discussion about our roles in social change efforts today.

To Sin is Holy: The Anti-Torah of Jacob Frank

Jay Michaelson

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM Ulster

Text & Thought

The antinomian heretic Jacob Frank (1726-1791) was a fascinating and startling Jewish (and Christian) thinker and/or cult leader who believed that the total transgression of all basic norms was necessary to actualize the messanic redemption. Think Sabbetai Sevi but with more sex and heresy. In this class we'll apply a very traditional format—hevruta, text study—to very radical texts, including some of Frank's outrageous, shocking legends and tales. If you think you've seen it all, think again.

Understanding the Armenian Holocaust in Context

Prelude to Genocide: Jews Look at Armenian Deaths

Sharonah Fredrick

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Monday 12:45 PM–2:00 PM The View

Global Culture & History

Among the first witnesses of the genocide committed on the Armenian population in Turkey were Jewish scholars and journalists, one of whom actually coined the term "genocide" to describe the phenomenon of ethnic extermination that was occurring, with impunity, under the eyes of an apathetic world. Not so many years later, Adolf Hitler cited the precedent of the Armenian deaths as model for his own plans of "ethnic purity" in Europe. The importance of understanding the killings will be detailed.

Visual Prayer

EJ Cohen

Saturday 2:00 PM–3:15 PM Sullivan

Children & Families, Shabbat

Learn how to sign the Shema and the blessings for Havdalah, as well as fun phrases, in American Sign Language. Once mastered, we will all be part of Havdalah as we sign the blessings together and make it a special ending to a special Shabbat. Bring your sense of humor and be ready to learn another way to pray. This is appropriate for families and children of all ages.

Zionism and Israel in the World of Jorge Luis Borges

Yitzhak Lewis

Saturday 1:30 PM–2:45 PM The View

College/University Student Recommended, Israel

We will discuss the relation of Jorge Luis Borges—one of Argentina's foremost literary figures—to Zionism and the State of Israel. This will be done through a reading of three poems he addressed to the State of Israel. We will consider the influence of thinkers such as Martin Buber and Gershom Scholem on his understanding of the Jewish State, and the relation of this understanding to the way he imagined his own Argentine national project.

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