2011 Conference
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Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM

"No. 4 Street of Our Lady" (Film)


Paul Weinberg

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Orange


In 1939, the town of Sokal, Poland (now Ukraine) had 6,000 Jews. By 1945, there were only 30 survivors. Of this number, 16 were hidden in the hayloft and cellar of Franciska Halamajowa's house and barn, at No. 4 Street of Our Lady. What was extraordinary about this incredible act of heroism is that she hid them from the Germans and their collaborators for more than 2 1/2 years. To do this required constant vigilance and work for Mrs. Halamajowa. She had to prepare enough food for all the people, but disguise it as animal feed. She also had to dispose of their human waste by mixing it with the waste of her pigs. In this film, survivors of No. 4 Street of Our Lady meet the grandchildren of Franciska Halamajowa and reminisce about her generosity and humanity in saving them from certain death.

A Brief History of Rosh Hashanah

How Its Liturgy Has Changed Over the Years

Joseph Rosenstein

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Sullivan Lobby

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

Last summer, I published a new prayerbook for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. "Machzor Eit Ratzon," like the previously published "Siddur Eit Ratzon," is in many ways unconventional, although it does contain the traditional liturgy. (See www.newsiddur.org for both books.) In this session, I will share some of the lessons that I learned about the development of Rosh Hashanah over the past 2500 years and how that development is reflected in the liturgy and practices of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Engaging with Israel

Kate Press

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Dutchess


How do we ensure a long term base of support for Israel in the US? How do we engage a broad swath of American Jews on Israel? In his now famous article, Peter Beinart wrote that “for several decades, the Jewish Establishment asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.” Rabbis and Jewish communal officials constantly express concern about young Jews' disengagement from Israel. They commission studies, run focus groups, and convene meetings in an attempt to determine how they can engage the next generation and ensure a lasting connection to the state of Israel. Could an open, constructive conversation on Israel ensure its future support amongst American Jews?

Experiencing Freedom

Using Art and Torah to Awaken Your Senses and Thoughts!

Elizabeth Yaari

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Sullivan

Arts & Performance, Children & Families

Join Elizabeth Yaari of Explora-Torah for an in depth exploration of Torah Portion Be-Shellah. Using Bibliodrama and creative artwork, your family will be gently guided through a personal experience of the first few days of "freedom" from the Egyptians.

Limmud North America Regional Networking

Karen Radkowsky

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Ballroom C


This session is designed as a forum for delegates from the 10 Limmuds across the US and Canada to exchange ideas and build relationships. Together we will brainstorm about how we can begin to work collectively to maximize our human and financial resources, advise and support one other, and assist fledgling Limmud groups in North America.

My Wife is a Bigamist!

Getting Personal on Israel

David Breakstone

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM The View

Identity & Responsibility, Israel

For decades, the terms "the State of Israel" and "the Jewish state" have been virtually interchangeable. Suddenly the matter is controversial – not only because of our enemies but because of pending legislation on conversion, increasingly intolerant Chief Rabbinate strictures regarding personal status, and new manifestations of religious coercion. The potential disenfranchisement of huge segments of the Jewish people will be explored through personal anecdotes regarding marriage and divorce.

Not Close Enough

Finding a Time and a Place for Voluntary Mourning

Will Friedman

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Ulster

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

In an era of divorce and adoption, family ties have become increasingly complex and are often emotionally and socially fraught. The challenges become especially stark at the moment of death. In this session, we will explore classic halakhic (Jewish legal) texts on the issue of who is required to mourn for whom, and see how a nuanced understanding of those texts can help us negotiate the complexity of our own family relationships.

Remember Us

Memories from Hungarian Hidden Children.

Marianna Gersch

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Manhattan Theater

Global Culture & History, Identity & Responsibility

A group of Hungarian children who survived the Holocaust found each other at the first Hidden Child Comference, formed a group, became friends, and recently published an anthology of memoirs called Remember Us. Come and hear their amazing stories of survival.

What Does the Good Life Look Like?

Judaism and the Path of Hesed (Lovingkindness)

Shai Held

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Empire Lounge

Identity & Responsibility, Text & Thought

In this session, we'll ask: what is Judaism's vision of the good life? What kind of human beings does Torah ask us to become? We'll explore the notion of "walking in God's ways" and the idea that a life of Hesed (lovingkindess) is the culmination of the spiritual life. Along the way, we'll consider the question: what is the relationship between emotions and actions according to Judaism?

What If? Isabella Freedman's History and Future

100-Plus Years of Cultivating Jewish Creative Culture

Adam Segulah Sher

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Bentley's

Global Culture & History, Identity & Responsibility, Social Justice

From the "Jewish Working Girls' Vacation Society" in 1893, to "Elat Chayyim," "Adamah," and "Teva" in 2010, the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center has a unique history and future that tells the story of the growing edge of Jewish creative culture. Adam Segulah will tell the story—up to the present—and the future we will create together!

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People; God after Auschwitz

Shlomo Riskin

Monday 9:45 AM–11:00 AM Columbia

Identity & Responsibility

How can we square a good and compassionate God with a world of tragedy and inequity? This session presents a theological response based upon Biblical and Talmudic sources.


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