2011 Conference
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Shabbat at Limmud NY
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Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM

American Jews—from the Israeli Perspective

A Panel Discussion

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

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Columbia

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.

Challah with the Mishpocha (Family)

Baking for the Whole Family!

Daniel Infeld

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Sullivan

Children & Families, How-To

It's like play-dough, only much tastier! Come together as a family to learn about the rituals of making challah, and how they connect us to each other and the earth. We will explore family friendly texts and activities that you can bring home with you. Of course, we will also braid and play with challah dough, which you will be able to enjoy here at Limmud NY. This session is open to the whole family!

Drum Yeshiva

Text Study Braided With Drumming

Shoshana Jedwab

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Manhattan Theater

Interactive, Text & Thought

The rabbis of the Talmud taught that the whole Torah is song. We will make Torah come alive in our Drum Yeshiva Circle by studying in an energetic and embodied way. As meaning, music and rhythm makers we will study texts about drumming, music and Judaism. We will read a text, discuss it, and then drum. We will reflect on our experience of this ancient and embodied method of communal learning.

Equipping Progressive Citizens of the Jewish World:

A New Education Vision

Adrienne Cooper, Ann Toback

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM The View

Identity & Responsibility, Social Justice

This session explores a vision for a new supplementary Jewish education model for building progressive American Jewish identity. Engaging families seeking alternative Jewish education for their children and themselves, The Workmen’s Circle, an historic social justice organization is rebooting with an education vision of immersion experiences, service learning, and a rigorous approach to Jewish language and cultural literacy, with the goal of building lifelong learning communities of Jewish activists.

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

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.

God as King: Engaging a Subversive Metaphor

Elie Kaunfer

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Empire Lounge

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

Many of us have trouble with the metaphor of God as king, common in the liturgy. But this metaphor is actually quite complex in rabbinic thought. Join us as we examine some unusual midrashim about God vs. human kings, and explore the subversive messages encoded in the analogy.

Lamenting Leah, Our Forgotten Matriarch

Eli Gordon

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Columbia foyer

Text & Thought

What do we know about the life and personality of our matriarch Leah? She was the mother of half the tribes, she was buried with Jacob in the Cave of Machpela – and yet we are hardly aware of her presence. In this session, we will study and discuss her personality, trials, triumphs, and tribulations. We will bring her back to life and try to restore to her her long–lost honour. A little prior knowledge would be helpful, but not essential.

Limmud NY Community Mural

Jonathan Baron

Sunday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM Lobby side

Explore your creativity and enhance your artistic achievements! Come, get involved, and contribute to this collective work of art under the direction of Jonathan Baron. Meet fellow LimmudNYks and have fun designing and painting a mural to be displayed throughout the conference. All levels of experience and abilities are welcome.

Organizational Shuk (Marketplace)

Sunday 11:00 AM–5:30 PM Lobby center

Check out all of the organizations and vendors here today at our Organizational Shuk—a marketplace of Jewish institutions and organizations. Shmooze, network, and meet the faces behind interesting Jewish causes!

Projecting Freedom:

Cinematic Interpretations of the Haggadah

Leon Morris

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Orange

Film, Text & Thought

Following a year of studying the Haggadah, 14 video artists and filmmakers interpreted each of its sections in short 1-5 minute videos with vastly different takes on the meaning of the Haggadah. Premiered at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning in March 2010, these videos -- and a newly released accompanying study guide -- can provide a fresh, creative and thought-provoking way of exploring the Haggadah this Passover for you, your congregation, Hebrew school or adult learners.

Rabbi Akiba and Moses: Revelation and Redemption

Was Akiva greater than Moses?

Amitai Bin-Nun

Canceled, sorry

Additional schedule

  • Sunday 5:45 PM–7:00 PM The View lobby

Text & Thought

The Talmud in Menahot (29b) details an enigmatic episode in which Moses ascends to the Heavens and has a vision of Rabbi Akiva's classroom. What did Rabbi Akiva have over Moses and why would God choose to give the Torah to Moses anyway? We will engage in a joint textual study of relevant sources over millenia of Jewish history and come away with a new understanding of what revelation and redemption really are.

T'fillah B'teva: Prayerful nature walk

Kevin Kleinman

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Lobby side

Movement, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Social Programming

“The world is full of wonders, special radiance, and marvelous secrets, but all it takes is a small hand held over the eye to hide it all.” — Baal Shem Tov, as attributed by Rabbi A.J. Heschel. Take a few moments to go outside, grab a breath of fresh air, and enjoy our surroundings. On this nature walk we will explore rabbinic and modern prayers with our eyes, ears, hands, and maybe even our tongues.

Tappin’ Limmud NY

Jennifer Gersch

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Exhibit Hall

Interactive, Movement

Stomp! Hop! Flap! Ball! Change! A tap dancing sensation will choreograph an easy tap dance routine for Limmud NY participants, set to Jewish music. Find the Fred or Ginger in you. For amateurs and experienced tap dancers alike. Please bring hard-soled shoes or high heels (anything that makes a clear sound).

Tensions Between Erotic and Intimate Needs

Keeping Erotic Elements Alive in the Long Term

Doreen Seidler-Feller

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Dutchess

Identity & Responsibility

Each of us faces the internal contradictions of the erotic in long term relationships. How do we define each impulse and its requisites? Maladies in marriage arise from either poor understanding or poor management of this essential paradox. In this session, we will consider the solutions raised by the Jewish tradition and ask ourselves what Orthodoxy has to teach us. Similarly, we will ask what secular wisdom can contribute to our sex and relationship educations.

Thank You G-d for Making Me a Woman

The Kabbalah of the Feminine Mystique

Aaron L. Raskin

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Bentley's

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

This session examines the role of women in Jewish law and feminine identity in kabbalah. Today more than ever, with women at the forefront in business and leadership, gender roles have become blurred. This class will respectfully and succinctly examine the role of the woman in Jewish history and in the modern world. Aaron Raskin (a rabbi) teaches a weekly Torah study class for women, attended by lawyers, judges, CEOs, and women from all walks of life.

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.

Why Do Famous People Drop Judaism?

Why Celebrity Seems Incompatible with Observance

Abigail Pogrebin

Sunday 2:45 PM–4:00 PM Ulster

Global Culture & History, Identity & Responsibility

When I had revealing conversations with 62 well-known American Jews for my book, "Stars of David" (including Dustin Hoffman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Natalie Portman, Beverly Sills, and Larry King among others), I was struck by how many of these celebrities had abandoned the rituals with which they were raised. I want to explore how being a public figure can result in a watering down (or jettisoning) of Jewish identity and whether Jews should care.

Wine Tasting

Swirl, Sip, and Swish

Sunday 2:00 PM–4:00 PM Lobby right corner

Discover the many facets of kosher wine while learning about its symbolism in marking Jewish life events. Explore the complex balance of aroma, mouthfeel, and structural elements. Have fun, get your nose into it, and enjoy an experience that appeals to both your intellectual and sensual sides. All wine served is kosher.


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