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Friday, June 26
 

3:00pm

Art as Outlet: Exploring the Power of Poetry
Spoken-Word artist Joseph D. Robbins  performs his original pieces and discusses his art.  This energetic performance will showcase the artist’s diverse background and unique artistic style, while exploring the meanings behind different poems and the events that inspired them.  The show includes pieces about Judaism and Israel, examples of original writing exercises designed to foster creative writing, and a Q&A session.

Presenters
JD

Joseph D. Robbins

Joseph D. Robbins is a poet and educator in NYC. Robbins travels the nation teaching about the Holocaust, body image and other issues. He has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in teaching English from Columbia Teachers College. He is pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Education at JTS and State Certification in Students with Learning Disabilities at Teachers College. He published his debut poetry... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

3:00pm

Who Needs a Jewish Newspaper Anyway?
A century ago, Jewish newspapers gave a beleaguered immigrant population a sense of community solidarity, and helped them become Americans. How has the role of the Jewish media changed since then? Is it keeping pace with the evolving needs of America's Jews? Join J. Editor Sue Fishkoff in a freewheeling conversation about the Bay Area's Jewish community publication; this is your chance to tell her what you'd like to see in its pages and online. 

Presenters
SF

Sue Fishkoff

Sue Fishkoff is the editor of J., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California. She lives in Oakland with her three cats and really loves her job.


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Darwin 103

3:00pm

Aleph Bet Meets Do Re Mi: An Exploration of Musical Concepts in Kabbalah
This workshop offers a look at the remarkable ties between basic musical concepts and our lashon ha-kodesh, the holy language of Hebrew. Gain insight into the profound symmetry and hidden meanings of a variety of Hebrew words. We will examine how solfege (the do-re-mi) relates to gematria (Jewish numerology,) the spiritual impact of melody and harmony on the celestial spheres, and the significance of the Levite orchestra during the First and Second Temple periods.

Presenters
avatar for Sam Glaser

Sam Glaser

Musician, Producer, Song and Prayer Leader, Glaser Musicworks
Sam Glaser's soulful music has become part of the fabric of Jewish life in communities worldwide. Named one of the top ten Jewish artists in the US by Moment magazine, Sam tours to over fifty cities annually and has appeared at such venues as L.A.'s Staples Center and Dodger Stadium, on Broadway and at the White House. Sam has released 24 best-selling Jewish albums including The Promise, The Songs We Sing, Hallel, Presence and the award winning... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Student Center Ballroom A

3:00pm

Judaism and Enviromentalism
What do the Torah and our sources say regarding how are we to treat the environment?  What is our role?  How does this role express itself in our mitzvot and action plans as individuals and as a people?

 

Presenters
avatar for Michal Kohane

Michal Kohane

Born and raised in Israel, Michal Kohane has been a leader and educator and in the Jewish Community of Northern California for over twenty years, where she has served as an interim rabbi, teacher, federation executive director and more. She holds a B.A. in Studies of Israel and Education, an M.S. in Jewish Studies and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Her blog can be found at www.miko.284


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

3:00pm

Transformative Space: A Look at Talmudic Conceptions of the Huppah
"Abraham Joshua Heschel taught that Judaism is based in time," began a graduate course description in Talmud, "We are going to explore the realms of Jewish space." In this session we will dive into a few cryptic mentions of Huppah and marriage laws in the Talmud, exploring and discovering some understanding of how this particular once-in-a-lifetime space transforms the lives of individuals forever. Married or not, if you love Talmud or are new to it, this will be a fun ride.

Presenters
avatar for Elizheva Hurvich

Elizheva Hurvich

Bay Area native Elizheva Hurvich holds a B.A. in Women's Studies from Cal and an M.A. in Jewish Art and Material Culture from JTS and Columbia. She has worked as a Jewish educator for many years, crafting huppot and tallitot in her spare time.


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

3:00pm

Twisted Tales From the Tanach
One of my favorite books as a teenager was Twisted Tales from Shakespeare (Richard Armour) in which the classic texts were filled with humorous 20th century additions, edits and storyline revisions. Similarly, our Jewish texts are filled with stories of heroes/heroines, who, depending on the narrator, challenge us to either "advocate" on their behalf, or legitimize  "hugging and wrestling." Parashat Chukat is exemplary in its demonstration of the Torah’s fickleness in its portrayal of who is Jewish hero. We will look at a number of images from our texts and history where "the spin" serves agendas of both authors, interpreters and recipients. 

Track Lead
avatar for Michal Morris Kamil

Michal Morris Kamil

Jewish Education Capacity Builder
Blessed with experience and work in diverse frameworks of Jewish education, Michal has led and trained teams of educators, counselors, shlichim and volunteers worldwide. Her students of yesterday are community leaders of today. A Jewish Peoplehood educator, curriculum designer and teacher trainer, Jerusalemite Michal, of Leprocohen and Cockney descent, is consulting on Jewish educational, cultural, and organizational capacity building. |


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

3:00pm

Art Labyrinth
Enhancing creative abilities is essential for a rewarding human experience since creative expression is involved in many of the choices we make. In this workshop, you will walk through the Art Labyrinth which will transform your state of mind and suffuse you with elements needed for creativity. If you are looking for a place to unwind and paint or draw either on your own or with some guidance from a professional artist, walk the Art Labyrinth! [Note: This is a double session.]

Presenters
avatar for Elena Gold

Elena Gold

Elena studied painting in Wyeth country with Karl Kuerner, Jr. and has exhibited in Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Europe. She paints voraciously and offers workshops and retreats where art making is combined with hiking, biking, meditation, cooking, music and other activities that help rejuvenate, center, and spark creativity. Elena conducts individualized sessions, “Exploring Your Inner Self,” using art as a powerful... Read More →
MT

Marina Tolstunov

Marina Tolstunov considers herself a developing artist who has learned how to express herself through different art forms. She finds daily inspiration in painting on canvas or silk, drawing, photography, and dancing. Marina is very excited to help others explore the wonderful possibilities of art workshops offered by Limmud.


Friday June 26, 2015 3:00pm - 5:40pm
Alexander Valley SC2064

4:30pm

The King David Story as Interpreted by Artists
The story of David in Samuel I & II has fascinated readers.Was he real or a history-like legend? He rose from a humble shepherd boy to defeat Goliath, and ascended to kingship, followed by adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah. David’s repentance and later his family problems speak to us. Artists throughout the ages have imagined the events of this story; we will see a brief selection of their works.

Presenters
EN

Ernest Newbrun

Dr. Ernest Newbrun is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he taught oral biology for over 30 years. He received dental degrees from the University of Sydney in 1954, and Alabama in 1959; his graduate degrees are from universities in Rochester, N.Y (M.S.), and University of California San Francisco (Ph.D. biochemistry). He also holds honorary doctorates from University of Lund (Sweden) and Sydney... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Darwin 102

4:30pm

One Breath at a Time - Practicing Jewish Mindfulness Meditation
This session is geared toward beginners in meditation and those new to Jewish mindfulness meditation.  Yes, there is a meditation tradition within Judaism.  We will learn what Jewish mindfulness meditation is as well as practice different meditation techniques.  There will be a Jewish mindfulness teaching, instructions about how to meditate and we will have a short meditation sit. Experienced meditators are welcome to join us, but the session will be geared toward beginners.  If you've always wondered what it would be like to meditate Jewishly, come join us!  

Presenters
avatar for Judy Fisher

Judy Fisher

Judy Fisher loves sharing the gift of meditation. Professionally, she was a technical writer and teacher for more than 20 years in the high tech world. During that time, she also taught Hebrew to children and adults. Judy moved to the Bay Area with her family about 5 years ago and began a second career teaching Jewish Mindfulness Meditation. She is currently the director of Or HaLev (Light of the Heart), which is the Center for Jewish... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

4:30pm

The Prayer Prescription: Including Prayer in the Exam Room
Fifteen years ago I began praying with patients.  This brought a renewed sense of meaning to my medical practice, and benefited my patients in profound ways. In this session I will discuss what led me to this practice and how it complements traditional medicine. I encourage session participants to share their own personal experiences with prayer in a medical setting.

 

 

 

 

Presenters
JS

Jerry Saliman

Dr. Jerry Saliman is a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo. He retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after working there more than 30 years. While at Kaiser SSF, Jerry was Chief of Patient Education. He received the 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” given by the Kaiser SSF Medical Staff. He is a medical blog writer for the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City and a medical reviewer for the... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Knights Valley SC2081

4:30pm

People of the Link


  • Long before there were hyperlinks, Jewish texts were in conversation with one another in ways that are sometimes subtle and sometimes quite pointed. In this discussion, we will explore some of these ancient links, and discuss how modern technology can help us foreground these connections and empower contemporary Jews to add their voices to this timeless conversation.



Presenters
avatar for Sara Wolkenfeld

Sara Wolkenfeld

Director of Education, Sefaria
Sara Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education at the Sefaria Project. (www.sefaria.org). Previously, Sara worked as the Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University. She studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Pardes, Nishmat, Beit Morasha, and Drisha, and at Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. She is a Talmud teacher, and lives in Chicago with her husband and... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

4:30pm

How to Deal With Conflict When Talking About the Conflict: Learning How to Speak to Each Other About Israel
In Israel, debate and dissent are seen as legitimate expressions of care and engagement in Israel’s vibrant political conversation. Even though Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, such discussions about it in the American Jewish community often result in hurtful judgment and high emotions. Shutting down conversation should not be an option on an issue so central to our identity. How can we have constructive conversations about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that don’t end in shouting matches? In this interactive session, participants will learn a proven approach to navigating such sensitive conversations, including how to side-step pitfalls and how to facilitate a more constructive discussion.

Moderators
LK

Laura Katz Cutler

Laura Katz Cutler is thoroughly enjoying her second career as Managing Director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University. A former commercial banker with Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, Laura is a community activist and active member of the Washington, DC, Jewish community, where she has been a tireless advocate for innovation in Jewish education. She is past chairman of the board of PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Stanley Wulf

Stanley Wulf

Founder, SpeakingAboutIsrael.com
Dr. Stanley Wulf is a retired physician who travels around the US to speak about the conflict in the Middle East and the difficulties we experience as American Jews in hearing and sharing differing views. The model he presents centers on "The 3 No's"-  the 3 areas that most often lead to conflict, and how to avoid them. Stan has recently retired as Chief Medical Officer of a medical technology company - he was chosen by his... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

4:30pm

Mad Hot Hasidic and Klezmer Dance
Soulful.  Ecstatic.  Joyful.  Tales abound in East European Jewish literature of the Tzaddikim and their disciples dancing the night away to the hypnotic rhythms of wordless melodies.  The aim?  To quickly fling open the gates of joy, dispel the blues, and serve up the best inside ourselves.  Join Jewish dance master, Bruce Bierman, as he fits the moves of the ancestors to the grooves of a dance 'niggun' composed by the Baal Shem Tov.    Then, jump into the exhilarating offshoot of Hasidic dance (Klezmer!) now experiencing a miraculous revival. Whirl and spin to some of the greatest Klezmer music ever recorded.  No complicated steps to memorize.  No experience needed. 

Presenters
BB

Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman is a graduate of the U.C. Santa Cruz Theatre department and has focused his studies in recent years on the art of Jewish performance. As a dancer and teacher, he performed and taught with the Los Angeles International Aman Folk Ensemble and the Music Center on Tour program, bringing world dance and music to thousands of youth throughout California. Bruce began with an interest in Rikud HaAm while living on a kibbutz for a year. He... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

4:30pm

Shabbat - Day of Rest, Confinement or Liberation?
What is the definition of "rest" when it come to the traditional observance of Shabbat? Is the weekly 25 hour Shabbat experience meant to be limiting or is it actually a way to reach a greater level of freedom?

Presenters
avatar for Joel Landau

Joel Landau

Rabbi Joel Landau is the Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation in San Francisco. He studied with both the Rabbi of Jerusalem’s Old City, Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl, and the former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Shlomo Goren obm. Joel was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem, has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences, a teaching credential, and a post graduate degree in Judaic Studies. Over the course of 16 years he served in Charleston, South... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

4:30pm

Visual Literacy:The Language of Photography and Social Action
In this lesson, participants will elevate their knowledge of the medium of photography, while they learn to “read” (objective/subjective, pshat/drash) and deconstruct images. Participants will find a connection to traditional Jewish and contemporary texts that inspire social action. Zion’s participation in Limmud Bay Area is made possible by a generous grant from the Covenant Foundation.

Presenters
ZO

Zion Ozeri

Born in Israel to immigrants from Yemen and currently living in New York City, Zion Ozeri is one of the world’s leading photographers exploring the Jewish experience. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute, both in New York City. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Ozeri has is the author of The Jewish World Family Haggadah and The Jews of Yemen, The Last Generation... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 4:30pm - Sunday June 28, 2015 5:40pm
Darwin 103

6:00pm

Opening: Welcome to Limmud!
In this lively conversation, the founders, leaders and educators from two local Jewish learning initiatives, Kevah and Sefaria, and two Israel-based organization, the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and Kolot, will engage in a lively conversation about the role of limmud--Jewish learning--in Jewish communal life.  What historically has the role of Jewish learning been? For most mainstream synagogues, JCCs, federations, etc., what role does it play now?  How are each of these individuals and their respective organizations working to transform American and Israeli Jewish perspectives about the role of learning for its own sake? 

Moderators
avatar for Estee Solomon Gray

Estee Solomon Gray

board member, Limmud Bay Area
Estee Solomon Gray was the first person Mila called after experiencing Limmud LA five years ago and is a founding member of the Board of Limmud Bay Area. The Limmud proposition that "everyone is a learner and anyone can be a teacher" has been foundational to both her corporate and her community careers for almost 30 years. She is currently founder and CEO of Mmindd Labs.

Presenters
avatar for Brett Lockspeiser

Brett Lockspeiser

Co-Founder & CTO, Sefaria
Brett Lockspeiser is the co-founder and CTO of Sefaria (www.sefaria.org). We are bringing the entire Jewish textual tradition into a new, digital form which is free, open source, beautifully designed, interactive and interconnected. Brett began his work in technology as a Product Manager at Google where he led the team that created the Google News Archives. Since then he has worked with startups and non-profits in the Bay Area, creating web... Read More →
DL

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss directs special programs and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He holds a B.A. and Teachers' Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education... Read More →
avatar for Mordechai Bar Or

Mordechai Bar Or

Mordechai (Moti) Bar Or is the Founder and Director of Kolot, a pluralistic Beit Midrash in Jerusalem dedicated to engaging participants from a broad spectrum of Israel society in establishing strong links between Jewish text, the headlines of the day and a far-reaching vision for the Jewish people. Born in the US, Moti studied at the Alon-Shevut Hesder Yeshiva for seven years, He co-founded and directed Elul ( one of the first pluralistic Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Sara Bamberger

Sara Bamberger

Executive Director, Kevah
Sara Heitler Bamberger is the founder and Executive Director of Kevah, a Bay Area-based organization that empowers individuals and organizations to start Jewish learning communities. She is a graduate of Yale University and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. As Kevah's founding Executive Director she participated in the first cohort of Upstart Bay Area and was also a Fellow of the Joshua Venture Group. She lives in Berkeley with her... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Student Center Ballroom A

6:45pm

Kabbalat Shabbat
Presenters
avatar for Sam Glaser

Sam Glaser

Musician, Producer, Song and Prayer Leader, Glaser Musicworks
Sam Glaser's soulful music has become part of the fabric of Jewish life in communities worldwide. Named one of the top ten Jewish artists in the US by Moment magazine, Sam tours to over fifty cities annually and has appeared at such venues as L.A.'s Staples Center and Dodger Stadium, on Broadway and at the White House. Sam has released 24 best-selling Jewish albums including The Promise, The Songs We Sing, Hallel, Presence and the award winning... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 6:45pm - 7:30pm
Person Theater

9:20pm

A Constitution for Israel
Is the State of Israel fulfilling its mission as declared in its Declaration of Independence, and why does Israel lack a constitution? This session will look at the democratic character of the State of Israel and the complex question surrounding a proposed Israeli constitution. It will examine how Israel can successfully balance its promise of maintaining a Jewish character, with its obligation to comply with democratic standards. 

Presenters
GK

Gilad Kariv

Rabbi Gilad Kariv is the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). He founded the Young Adult Leadership Forum which he headed for three years. Rabbi Kariv previously served as the Associate Director of the Israel Religious Action Center. Gilad served in the IDF’s Talpiot project of the Intelligence Corps. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, earning a... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

9:20pm

Shabbat Dance Celebration

Step out of your week and enter into a special time and space as we explore the meditative, celebratory and ecstatic joy of Shabbat together with a circle of new friends.  Discover a treasure trove of Jewish dance vocabulary along with the space to create your own unique expression.  We will fit the moves of the ancestors to the grooves of your imagination with some of the most inspiring Jewish music today.  The musical soundscape includes:  Yemen Blues, The Klezmatics, Ehud Banai,  Matisyahu, The Ensemble Tafillat of Jerusalem, Diwan Saz, Yasmin Levy and more.. All backgrounds and experiences welcome.   Drums welcome!  


Presenters
BB

Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman is a graduate of the U.C. Santa Cruz Theatre department and has focused his studies in recent years on the art of Jewish performance. As a dancer and teacher, he performed and taught with the Los Angeles International Aman Folk Ensemble and the Music Center on Tour program, bringing world dance and music to thousands of youth throughout California. Bruce began with an interest in Rikud HaAm while living on a kibbutz for a year. He... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

9:20pm

The Art of the Niggun: Using Powerful Melodies to Access the Highest Heights
This practical workshop will look at historical and present day uses of the niggun (spiritual wordless melody) to reach states of ecstasy and connectedness. Examples of classic Chasidic melodies will be interwoven from Sam Glaser and RebbeSoul’s groundbreaking CD The Nigun Project. Be prepared to sing, sway and daven and experience oneness like never before.

Presenters
avatar for Sam Glaser

Sam Glaser

Musician, Producer, Song and Prayer Leader, Glaser Musicworks
Sam Glaser's soulful music has become part of the fabric of Jewish life in communities worldwide. Named one of the top ten Jewish artists in the US by Moment magazine, Sam tours to over fifty cities annually and has appeared at such venues as L.A.'s Staples Center and Dodger Stadium, on Broadway and at the White House. Sam has released 24 best-selling Jewish albums including The Promise, The Songs We Sing, Hallel, Presence and the award winning... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

9:20pm

Jewish Perspectives on Life After Death
In this session we will examine a wide range of texts exploring Jewish perspectives on life after death. We will consider how a reading of these texts might influence our attitudes and behaviors as we accompany community members on their journeys through death and mourning.

Presenters
HS

Hugh Seid-Valencia

Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia spent ten years teaching Jewish Studies at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, where he served most recently as Director of Israel and Jewish Studies Curricula. After studying at Deep Springs College, he earned a B.A. with Highest Honors in English Literature from UC Berkeley and received his rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He served as the Jewish Advisor at Swarthmore College... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Knights Valley SC2081

9:20pm

Moonlight vs. Ma'ariv: When Immovable Halacha Meets Irresistible Natural Beauty
One evening in Berlin,  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was faced with a dilemma. Should he pray or should he enjoy the sunset? Find out what he did and what other great philosophers (Kaplan, Leibowitz, Soloveitchik) would do in this situation. This values clarification is used to examine how twentieth century Jewish thinkers have seen holiness, prayer and nature. Perfect for Tu b’shvat. 

Presenters
DL

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss directs special programs and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He holds a B.A. and Teachers' Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education... Read More →


Friday June 26, 2015 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Russian River Valley SC2082
 
Saturday, June 27
 

8:45am

Traditional Services with Mechitzah
Presenters
avatar for Joel Landau

Joel Landau

Rabbi Joel Landau is the Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation in San Francisco. He studied with both the Rabbi of Jerusalem’s Old City, Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl, and the former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Shlomo Goren obm. Joel was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem, has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences, a teaching credential, and a post graduate degree in Judaic Studies. Over the course of 16 years he served in Charleston, South... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 8:45am - 11:00am
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

9:15am

Naturally Jewish – A Shabbat Walk
Enjoy a Shabbat walk with stops for the Shema and other prayers, opportunities for exploring Brachot (blessings), and a chance to move your body and recharge your soul. Please wear comfortable shoes. This is an adult program, but children under 18 months are welcome. Stroller friendly.

Presenters
DF

Dan Finkel

Dan Finkel is the Judaic Studies Principal at the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City. He has been an educator in a variety of settings including K-12 classrooms, adult/university classes, ropes courses and hiking trails. Dan has established Jewish backpacking/outdoor ed. programs at summer camps at both ends of the Appalachian Trail: Camp Ramah Darom (Georgia) and JCC Maccabi Camp Kingswood (Maine), and loves creating... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 10:45am
Outside Student Center

9:15am

Hebrew Shabbat Morning Chanting Service
Do you love to sing?  Do you find that the Shabbat morning liturgy is either too distant, difficult, or too much?  During this chanting service we will focus in on some of the main elements of our Shabbat morning service, allowing ourselves to deepen into the power of their message as we open our hearts and voices to the Source of All.  (No Hebrew or singing experience required, just a desire to open your heart through our ancient liturgy).  

Presenters
avatar for Daria Jacobs-Velde

Daria Jacobs-Velde

Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde is the Co-Founder and Co-Rabbi of ZMANIM, a new community in West Sonoma County that explores and celebrates connections between Judaism and the natural world. She engages Judaism’s potential through chant, teaching Hebrew, teaching the spiritual and ethical practice of Mussar, and bibliodrama. She has lived in Israel and Japan, received her ordination from RRC and an Ed.M. from Harvard.


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Bennett Valley SC2065

9:15am

Shabbat Morning Yoga Service
Presenters
EK

Ellie Klein

Elinor Klein has been teaching yoga in New Haven, Boston, and the Bay Area for eight years. She completed her 200-hour Iyengar-style yoga teacher training in 2008 and then received specialized training in restorative yoga and Jivamukti yoga. Elinor's approach to yoga focuses on the needs of the individual student and the cultivation of an authentic sense of serenity through physical practice and hands-on teaching. Elinor writes about how... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

9:15am

American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco
American Jerusalem tells the remarkable story of the pioneering Jews of San Francisco.  Drawn to California by the Gold Rush, Jews were welcomed in San Francisco as nowhere else and would go on to build a thriving community, the second largest Jewish community in the United States after New York.  With their newfound freedom, Jews played a central role in the transformation of this once –sleepy maritime village into the largest metropolis in the American West.  As Jews integrated into mainstream San Francisco society, they were forced to reinvent what it meant for them to be Jewish, to create in essence a new kind of Jew – a San Francisco Jew.

57 minutes.

Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Darwin 103

9:15am

Messiahs and Messianism in Jewish History
From Shimon Bar-Kochba and David Alroy to Shabbetai Zevi, Jacob Frank and Menachem Mendel Schneerson, this class will explore how the concept of the Messiah has changed over thousands of years and look at how various would-be messiahs have had major impacts on Jewish history. 

Presenters
avatar for Andrew Nusbaum

Andrew Nusbaum

Andrew Nusbaum is a full-time Middle School teacher and has an unwieldy amount of Judaica books in his home library. Andrew has taught classes on Jewish history and culture to adults and teens in numerous venues in San Francisco. He has enjoyed many Limmud classes through iTunes and is very excited to be participating in person for his second year. nusbaumster@gmail.com


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Knights Valley SC2081

9:15am

Liberal Shabbat Services
Presenters
avatar for Susan Esther Barnes

Susan Esther Barnes

I am a founding member of my synagogue's Chevra Kadisha, the group of volunteers who visit the sick, comfort mourners, and prepare dead people for burial by performing taharah (ritual washing and placing the body in a coffin) and shmirah (guarding the dead person between death and burial). I am also a member of Kavod v'Nichum, which encourages and assists Chevra Kadisha groups throughout North America. I teach new Chevra Kadisha members about how... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Sonoma Valley SC2083

9:15am

Traditional Egalitarian Shabbat Services
Presenters
DS

Doron Shapira

Caron Doron Shapira is starting his 22nd year as Cantor at Peninsula Sinai Congregation (fulfilling his musical desires); his 16th year as Education Director (fulfilling his desires for Jewish learning and teaching); and his 2nd year as father to three beautiful kids (fulfilling his greatest desires!). He has taught at Limmud UK and Limmud Bay Area....but mostly--he can't wait to learn from you!


Saturday June 27, 2015 9:15am - 11:00am
Student Center Ballroom C

11:15am

Shabbat Plenary: Communal Beit Midrash
One of the thrills of Limmud is the unique opportunity to consume tons of learning in generous helpings. The intellectual banquet laid out before us is so overflowing with delights as to be almost overwhelming. In order to be able to maximize the potential of this experience, we will have to prime ourselves to be engaged and active learners. Our opening plenary will start us off strong by diving into a group conversation and text-study. With the help of Kevah, an organization that specializes in small-group learning, Limmud's traditional plenary format will be merged with a pop-up Beit Midrash (study hall). After an opening framing, we will all break off into individual tables and study the same text, prompted by accompanying questions, and then to return to the larger group to share reflections and insights. When we leave this session, we should feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the weekend!
This plenary will be hosted by Kevah and cosponsored by Sefaria, Pardes and Kolot.

Presenters
DK

David Kasher

Rabbi David Kasher was part of founding team at Kevah and now serves on their faculty as the Senior Rabbinic Educator. After studying at Wesleyan University and spending several years at yeshivot in Israel, he went to rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, and was ordained there in 2007. He received his masters in law at Berkeley, and is currently a doctoral candidate there, writing his dissertation on religious and secular... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 11:15am - 12:25pm
Student Center Ballroom A

2:00pm

Mussar - A Spiritual Practice for Equanimity, and More!
Do you often feel unsettled and thrown off by the events and interactions around you? Come learn some new tools, as offered by the Mussar tradition, for gaining more equanimity in life. Mussar is a Jewish practice that creates an environment which brings unconscious impediments to light and replaces them with a consciousness of living a more mindful life. You will leave this session understanding yourself better and with specific tools to help you navigate the daily slippery slope of being in relation to others, and the feelings and actions that go along with those encounters. (If you studied Mussar with Rabbi Daria last year at Limmud, this year we will be looking at a different attribute/middah.) Please come learn about this revolutionary, yet simple, spiritual practice.

Presenters
avatar for Daria Jacobs-Velde

Daria Jacobs-Velde

Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde is the Co-Founder and Co-Rabbi of ZMANIM, a new community in West Sonoma County that explores and celebrates connections between Judaism and the natural world. She engages Judaism’s potential through chant, teaching Hebrew, teaching the spiritual and ethical practice of Mussar, and bibliodrama. She has lived in Israel and Japan, received her ordination from RRC and an Ed.M. from Harvard.


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

2:00pm

There's No Housing Like Co-Housing: Discover the Urban Moshav Jewish Intentional Community in Berkeley
You come home from a long day at work. As you walk from your car down the path to your home you wave at two friends and stop for a quick chat. The kids are outside playing. Instead of scrambling to prepare dinner, you grab a beer and head out to the patio to unwind, knowing dinner will be served in the common house at 6pm.
This is not just a dream, but the reality of daily life in a cohousing community. The vision of the Berkeley Moshav is to create a vibrant cohousing intentional community that supports and encourages Jewish life. Our community nurtures residents' lives through daily social interaction, shared community responsibilities, spiritual expression, and a balance of communal and private living, in a physical environment of quality homes and extensive common facilities. The members of the Berkeley Moshav are deeply inspired by Jewish values and openly express those values in the physical, social and spiritual dimensions of our intentional community.
Join our session to find out more about this exciting project, and how Urban Moshav (urbanmoshav.org) can help create Jewish cohousing where you live. 



 

Presenters
avatar for Chaim Mahgel-Friedman

Chaim Mahgel-Friedman

Owner, Afikomen Judaica
Rabbi Chaim Mahgel-Friedman is the Co-Owner of Afikomen Judaica in Berkeley CA. Rabbi Chaim received ordination from Tomchei Temimim in K’far Chabad, Israel. He is an experienced Jewish educator and deeply committed to community building. He brings passion and depth to Jewish living and learning, and loves to share that with his “congregation” of customers. He is a second generation Californian and a founding member of the... Read More →
avatar for Nell Mahgel-Friedman

Nell Mahgel-Friedman

Owner, Afikomen Judaica
Nell Mahgel-Friedman is the Co-Owner of Afikomen Judaica in Berkeley CA. She brings her entrepreneurial spirit and feminist insight to her business, Torah learning and Jewish life. Watch her ELI Talk Video: Buy Local...It's a Jewish Thing! to see her passionate teaching on applied Jewish wisdom and the Buy Local movement (elitalks.org/buy-local). Nell is the founder of the Merkavah Torah Institute for Women, and an alumna of NISHMAT Center for... Read More →
avatar for Roger Studley

Roger Studley

Roger Studley is founder of Urban Moshav, a nonprofit development partner for creating Jewish cohousing. Roger and Urban Moshav were recently selected for the inaugural cohort of the Hakhel Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator (Hazon/UJA), and Roger has also been an organizer/leader of independent minyanim (including San Francisco’s Mission Minyan), co-chair of a Hazon Food Conference, and a board member of Berkeley Hillel. He is married to... Read More →



Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

2:00pm

The Miracle of Israel: Muslim and Queer Embrace of Zionism
This empowering and inspiring new curriculum offers a refreshing perspective on the Arab- Israeli conflict. Professor Hussein Mansour & Captain Avner Even-Zohar share their narrative of freedom, human rights, diversity and democracy as they pay tribute to Zionism and Israel. In the face of natural and political hardships, animosity and war, Israeli society and democracy are more diverse than ever as Israel leads the way in human rights (minorities, women and LGBTQ) social entrepreneurship, technology and innovation for the 21st century. This enlightening and  exciting new curriculum empowers people of all ages from all walks of life to take action for Zionism, human rights and Israel. 

Presenters
avatar for Avner Even-Zohar

Avner Even-Zohar

Captain Professor Avner Even-Zohar is a human rights activist, scholar and advocate who specializes in social justice, peace and conflict resolution, minority rights, education and empowerment. Avner served for six years in the Israeli army as an education officer. Avner was awarded twice the Danziger scholarship for excellence in Hebrew studies. He was also awarded by the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps for his efforts in educating... Read More →
HA

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour

Born in 1989 to an Arab Muslim family, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour is an Egyptian researcher of Jewish and Middle Eastern history and Hebrew literature. Hussein participated in the Egyptian revolution until his departure from the country. Due to government persecution related to his activities and advocacy for tolerance and peace and countering anti-Semitism, Hussein left Egypt to become a political refugee in the US. He serves as an assistant... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Darwin 103

2:00pm

What Do the BDS’ers Really Want? When Failure Succeeds-Something Always Sticks
A brief history of how BDS got its start from the 1920’s to the present; the impact of the UN Zionism as Racism resolution to the UN Durbin Racism conference; how BDS has adapted to local concerns; the cast of characters behind BDS and what is its real goal.  And finally what should we do? If something always sticks then we should concentrate on making our message better. 

Presenters
avatar for Samuel Edelman

Samuel Edelman

Founding Member, Executive Director, Academic Council for Israel and adjunct professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at Univ of Miami
Samuel M. Edelman is one of the founding faculty members of the new Academic Council for Israel, is its Executive Director and is a visiting professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at University of Miami. He is the former Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition Academic Affairs Department and the National Academic Network and its Fellows Program. Edelman has served as the Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and Dean... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Student Center Ballroom B

2:00pm

Joy of Creative Jewish Dance
Kick off your shoes and we'll begin with invigorating poses based on the angular and oppositional Hebrew letters.  Then we'll leave behind the narrow confining places where 'shoulds' and 'should nots'  restrict our freedom of movement---as we cross over into the promise of our own authentic expression and personal response to some of the most beautiful Jewish music in the world.  Let your arms and hands go to the flowing rhythms of Sephardic song.  Stomp and dig your feet into the sound of percussive Yemenite and North African drums.  Abandon the soul to the ecstatic music of the Hasidim.  Participants will explore the big ideas behind Jewish dance and movement while discovering their own way into it.  All backgrounds and ages welcome.    

Presenters
BB

Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman is a graduate of the U.C. Santa Cruz Theatre department and has focused his studies in recent years on the art of Jewish performance. As a dancer and teacher, he performed and taught with the Los Angeles International Aman Folk Ensemble and the Music Center on Tour program, bringing world dance and music to thousands of youth throughout California. Bruce began with an interest in Rikud HaAm while living on a kibbutz for a year. He... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

2:00pm

Sh'mirat Halashon: The Mitzvah of Mindful Speech
“Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile.  Turn away from evil and do good.  Seek peace and pursue it.”  (Psalms 34:14-15)  The Hafetz Hayim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, Poland, 1838–1933) writes that the mitzvah of “minding our tongues” is the central practice of righteous living, a key to being the best human beings we can be, and a gateway to a host of other mitzvot. 

Studying segments from the Hafetz Hayim’s famous work, “Sh’mirat Halashon,” “Mindful Speech,” we will consider some of the following questions:  What is so important about the ethics of speech?  Why is it so difficult for us to live up to the standards of speech to which we aspire?  What are some of the implications of speech for human conflict?

Presenters
avatar for Amy Eilberg

Amy Eilberg

Director, Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program
Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She serves as the director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom Communities Program, helping synagogues and Jewish organizations place the pursuit of peace in interpersonal relationships at the center of their communal mission. Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Student Center Ballroom C

2:00pm

Everyone Can Repent… Except for Acher? The Puzzling Story of Elisha ben Abuye
No Talmudic figure is more controversial, and less understood, than Elisha ben Abuye. His story is one of meteoric rise and fall from one of the great scholars of his generation to a heretic convinced that there was no way back into the fold. It begs the essential question: What are the limits to Teshuva (repentence). Can everything be forgiven? We will immerse ourselves in the original Talmudic texts, try to place ourselves back in the lives of the Sages of the Talmud and emerge not only with a better understanding of this radical narrative, but with a new prism to understand the Teshuva process as well.

Presenters
GA

Gershon Albert

Rabbi Gershon Albert was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and became the Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation of Oakland in July 2014, after finishing his rabbinic studies at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (YU) in New York City. Both Gershon and his wife Meira share a love and commitment to Jewish communal learning and living, as well as a love of music, reading, and nature. Gershon is an avid guitarist, and particularly enjoys blues... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Knights Valley SC2081

2:00pm

Telepathy
By closely reading one passage of the Torah in Hebrew, we will look at how Moses got the power to stage a revolution, disrupt culture, liberate the Hebrew slaves, understand the future history of all media, including computers and virtual reality, and read minds.  

Presenters
avatar for David Porush

David Porush

David was formerly CEO of MentorNet, Co-Chair and Founder of Spongefish, Exec Dir of E-Learning for the 64 SUNY campuses, and a professor of media and literature for 25 years at William and Mary and Rensselaer. He is the author of books, including The Soft Machine, fiction, plays, essays, scholarly articles and a blog. He was Fulbright professor to the Technion and is now retired, living in San Mateo.


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Student Center Ballroom A

2:00pm

The Murmur Beyond the Shore: Heschel, Shabbat, and Our Infinite Creativity
"Our mind is like a fantastic seashell," Heschel wrote. When we apply our ear to its lips, "we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore." In this hands-on workshop, we explore the connection between Shabbat and our inherent creativity by investingating some of Heschel's most beautiful writings. In this collaborative and creative journey, we'll stimulate our intellect by learning in hevrutah (pairs) then activate our imagination through a playful experience with found and natural objects. You'll come away refreshed, inspired, and equipped with new tools to sail the seas of the unknown. Perfect for those of all backgrounds and experience levels.

Presenters
avatar for Adina Allen

Adina Allen

Co-founder and Creative Director, The Jewish Studio Project
Rabbi Adina Allen is a spiritual leader, writer, and designer of transformative learning experiences. She is co-founder and Creative Director of The Jewish Studio Project, a new organization that uses art making as a tool for Jewish learning, self-discovery and social change. Adina teaches Jewish text through a wide variety of creative arts modalities at Jewish institutions across the country. Her original research using painting, text study... Read More →
JK

Jeff Kasowitz

Jeff Kasowitz is a social innovator, musician and community builder. He is co-founder and Executive Director of The Jewish Studio Project, a new organization that uses art making as a tool for Jewish learning, self-discovery and social change. As Vice President of City Year, Jeff focused on building systems for organizational learning and collaboration and taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on transformative partnerships. A... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - 4:40pm
Alexander Valley SC2064

2:00pm

A Sufi, a Hasid, a Reconstructionist and a Zionist Walk Into a Classroom: On Individualism and Community
How does one find the right path for oneself in life? How does one find a community? And how do these two endeavors influence each other? This class looks at four texts - one by Rumi, a second by the Slonimer Rebbe, a third by Mordechai Kaplan and  the last by Ari Shavit - that students have used to create structures for themselves for grappling with these dilemmas. This class will model "My Open Book," a methodology that uses texts and life coaching to achieve personal breakthroughs.

Presenters
DL

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss directs special programs and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He holds a B.A. and Teachers' Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - Monday June 27, 2016 3:10pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

2:00pm

Messianic Sparrows and Smart-Ass Goats: The Meaning of Animals in Yiddish Song
Iconic animal images—the golden peacock, the bound calf, the innocent kid—are as woven into Yiddish song literature as they are into the paintings of Marc Chagall. Join Laura Rosenberg, music director/conductor of the New Yiddish Theater and performer/producer of Myrna Oy’s Yiddish Cabaret concerts, to explore through musical examples and discussion how animals in Yiddish songs say what people can’t.

Presenters
avatar for Laura Rosenberg

Laura Rosenberg

Laura Rosenberg is music director/conductor of the New Yiddish Theater company and performer/producer of Myrna Oy's Yiddish Cabaret concerts. She has sung with the Meshugga Klezmer Band and the JazzKleztet, and is the board chair of KlezCalifornia. During Laura's 35-year career in arts administration, she co-founded and directed the Hot Springs Music Festival (where she currently serves as operations manager and arts administration mentor), and... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 2:00pm - Monday June 27, 2016 3:10pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

3:30pm

The Kotel - The Symbol of Unity or Division?
This session will provide a review of the debate surrounding the Western Wall through the work of Women of the Wall and their supporters: Who is involved? Who isn’t? And how can we make the Kotel a truly inclusive place of Jewish gathering?

Presenters
GK

Gilad Kariv

Rabbi Gilad Kariv is the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). He founded the Young Adult Leadership Forum which he headed for three years. Rabbi Kariv previously served as the Associate Director of the Israel Religious Action Center. Gilad served in the IDF’s Talpiot project of the Intelligence Corps. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, earning a... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Student Center Ballroom C

3:30pm

Machloket L’Shem Shamayim: Fresh Air In a Period of Polarized Disagreement
In the Jewish and greater world, we seem often paralyzed by unbridgeable and passionate arguments. These divides set adversaries so far apart from one another that relationships have been fractured and the fabric of communities torn asunder. Yet Jewish thought from the Talmudic era until today has created a possible compassionate alternative when, inevitably, conflict arises. It is possible to welcome engagement in debate over crucial issues, to hold onto the humanity of one's adversary, and together to create a more fruitful result. Texts from across the centuries will outline the shape of a “Machloket L’Shem Shamayim”, a disagreement for the sake of Heaven.

Presenters
SL

Shelly Lewis

Rabbi Shelly Lewis was educated at the University of Chicago and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he was ordained as a Rabbi. He was a student of Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel and has been active in civil and human rights causes, especially the movement to free Soviet Jewry and the quest for peace with justice. He served as an Army Chaplain in Vietnam. Now Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, he had... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Knights Valley SC2081

3:30pm

Teaching the Holocaust in the U.S. Military
“But I am neither Jewish,  nor Gay, nor Disabled- why should I care?” This statement is  a substantial  challenge for Holocaust  education in the 21st century for Generation Y and non- Jewish constituencies.  In this session we will discuss the challenges, yet focus on educational models and curricula that work, to empower us all, to teach and remember, what must never be forgotten!

Presenters
avatar for Avner Even-Zohar

Avner Even-Zohar

Captain Professor Avner Even-Zohar is a human rights activist, scholar and advocate who specializes in social justice, peace and conflict resolution, minority rights, education and empowerment. Avner served for six years in the Israeli army as an education officer. Avner was awarded twice the Danziger scholarship for excellence in Hebrew studies. He was also awarded by the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps for his efforts in educating... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Darwin 103

3:30pm

What Our Teens Really Want: Effectively Engaging Jewish High Schoolers
If there are 4200 Jewish teens on the Peninsula alone, why are only 400 of them engaged in Jewish life? This session will look at what we as a community need to do in order to make Judaism more accessible and attractive for our teens. We’ll share insights from our experiences in establishing a collaborative teen initiative in the North Peninsula, explore past research conducted by the larger Jewish community, highlight a successful program, and conclude with an interactive workshop for you to map out your own ideas for teen programming.
For more information about our initiative visit www.teencollective.org

Presenters
avatar for Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin

Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin

Intern, Teen Collective
Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin serves as Intern for the North Peninsula Teen Collective, a collaborative initiative funded by the SF-based Federation that aims to increase access to Jewish Life for teens on the Peninsula. He was active in BBYO throughout high school, serving as the Regional Shaliach (VP of Jewish Heritage and Social Action), Regional Israel Advocacy Chair, and Chapter President. He recently graduated from Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

3:30pm

Exploring Jewish Practices Regarding Death and Dying
We all will experience the death of a loved one, yet we are uncomfortable talking about this topic. Here is your opportunity to learn about the Jewish practices around death and dying. What should you say when someone dies? What happens to the body between death and burial? Is organ donation allowed? What are the rituals available to you? Bring your questions, concerns, even fears. The more you know now, the better equipped you will be to handle it with confidence when a loved dies.

Track Lead
avatar for Susan Esther Barnes

Susan Esther Barnes

I am a founding member of my synagogue's Chevra Kadisha, the group of volunteers who visit the sick, comfort mourners, and prepare dead people for burial by performing taharah (ritual washing and placing the body in a coffin) and shmirah (guarding the dead person between death and burial). I am also a member of Kavod v'Nichum, which encourages and assists Chevra Kadisha groups throughout North America. I teach new Chevra Kadisha members about how... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

3:30pm

'A Rose By Any Other Name:' Sacred Texts in Translation
What happens when sacred texts are translated into new languages - or into new media? In this text-based session, we will study rabbinic texts that deal with the question of translating sacred texts, and then apply these ideas to the work of Sefaria and other organizations that attempt to "translate" Torah for a broader audience.


Presenters
avatar for Sara Wolkenfeld

Sara Wolkenfeld

Director of Education, Sefaria
Sara Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education at the Sefaria Project. (www.sefaria.org). Previously, Sara worked as the Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University. She studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Pardes, Nishmat, Beit Morasha, and Drisha, and at Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. She is a Talmud teacher, and lives in Chicago with her husband and... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

3:30pm

Commanded to Pause: Voices of Shabbat
The biblical commandments to protect (shamor) and remember (zachor) Shabbat have been interpreted in countless ways throughout time.  How can looking at biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary texts help us determine for ourselves what might define a significant Shabbat experience?  We will discuss texts as well as the texts of our own lives to explore the challenges and blessings of Shabbat.

Presenters
JC

Jill Cozen Harel

Rabbi Jill Cozen Harel has been teaching in the Jewish community for 15 years. In addition to her rabbinic ordination at HUC-JIR, she has learned at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Shalom Hartman Institute. She also holds a BA in cognitive science from UC Berkeley. Jill has served schools and congregations. She spent several years as a chaplain at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and is a... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Student Center Ballroom B

3:30pm

How to Create a Masterpiece
We will discuss Bereshit as a self-help book for an artist, a scientist, a teacher, and eventually for anybody.

Presenters
avatar for Elena Zusmanovich

Elena Zusmanovich

Elena Zusmanovich has designed, organized and led Jewish educational programs, lectures, and tours in the USA, Israel, and Russia. She has worked in Jewish institutions in the Bay Area since 1997. A recipient of the 2010 Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, she holds an M.S. in Information Science and B.A. in Art History.


Saturday June 27, 2015 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

5:00pm

Art Labyrinth
Enhancing creative abilities is essential for a rewarding human experience since creative expression is involved in many of the choices we make. In this workshop, you will walk through the Art Labyrinth which will transform your state of mind and suffuse you with elements needed for creativity. If you are looking for a place to unwind and paint or draw either on your own or with some guidance from a professional artist, walk the Art Labyrinth! 

Presenters
avatar for Elena Gold

Elena Gold

Elena studied painting in Wyeth country with Karl Kuerner, Jr. and has exhibited in Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Europe. She paints voraciously and offers workshops and retreats where art making is combined with hiking, biking, meditation, cooking, music and other activities that help rejuvenate, center, and spark creativity. Elena conducts individualized sessions, “Exploring Your Inner Self,” using art as a powerful... Read More →
MT

Marina Tolstunov

Marina Tolstunov considers herself a developing artist who has learned how to express herself through different art forms. She finds daily inspiration in painting on canvas or silk, drawing, photography, and dancing. Marina is very excited to help others explore the wonderful possibilities of art workshops offered by Limmud.


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Alexander Valley SC2064

5:00pm

Yoga for Connecting Heaven and Earth
The purpose of yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind. Through connecting the breath with sequenced movements, we build strength, balance, and flexibility, while cultivating inner stillness. This class focuses on practicing various pose sequences and breath awareness techniques that will help participants feel both revitalized and calm, drawing energy from the earth. The qualities of compassion and inner peace in ourselves that yoga develops, will help us make space for deeper embodiment of the Shema: listening to each other, the community and the planet. Please join me for an inspiring and invigorating practice that unifies body, mind and spirit. 

Presenters
DB

Diane Byster

Diane Byster is a California state licensed psychotherapist, a National Certified Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher. She teaches both Vinyassa (flow) style and Power yoga at studios on the Peninsula. She also teaches Behavioral Health Education Courses at Kaiser Permanente on Mind-Body Medicine, Improving Sleep and Medical Weight Management. Diane has previously taught yoga in other Jewish Venues, including Aleph Kallah, Chochmat Halev, an... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

5:00pm

How Would We Act if We Weren’t Afraid of Intermarriage?
The historical fear, the fear that intermarriage will destroy us, is no longer politically correct to express. The popular message from interfaith-friendly organizations is, “Most Jews are mean. If we could just be nice (the code word is “welcoming”), all the interfaith couples would chose to raise Jewish children. Oh, and of course, we’re nice.”
What is the subtle message that we don’t realize we’re giving? How are our repressed fears coming out in ways that repel the interfaith population? If we truly did not fear intermarriage our communication about it and with interfaith couples would be confident, honest and helpful. Let’s talk about how to get there.

Presenters
avatar for Dawn Kepler

Dawn Kepler

Director, Building Jewish Bridges
Dawn Kepler has worked with interfaith families since 1990. She runs Building Jewish Bridges: Embracing Interfaith Families, a program of Lehrhaus Judaica. Dawn has served on numerous outreach committees including Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific West Interfaith Committee, the Jewish Community Federation Endowment Fund of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma Counties & the Peninsula Interfaith Advisory Committee, InterfaithFamily Advisory... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Darwin 103

5:00pm

Living Room Learning: How to Host Your Own Jewish Learning Community
Are you interested in making Limmud-style learning a part of your regular life?  Come to this interactive workshop led by Sara Heitler Bamberger, Kevah's Founder and Executive Director, to learn how Kevah supports over 700 Jewish adults in making living room learning a joyful, connective and transformative part of their life.  In this session, you'll get a sample of what a Kevah group experience feels like, and then learn how to start a group,  join a group, or create a Kevah Groups program at your synagogue, day school or JCC.

Presenters
avatar for Sara Bamberger

Sara Bamberger

Executive Director, Kevah
Sara Heitler Bamberger is the founder and Executive Director of Kevah, a Bay Area-based organization that empowers individuals and organizations to start Jewish learning communities. She is a graduate of Yale University and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. As Kevah's founding Executive Director she participated in the first cohort of Upstart Bay Area and was also a Fellow of the Joshua Venture Group. She lives in Berkeley with her... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

5:00pm

The Shmita Year: Biblical Environmentalism and its Practice in Modern Day Israel
Explore together, through a close reading of primary texts, the mitzvah of allowing the agricultural lands to lay fallow every seventh year of the Sabbatical cycle. Focusing on both the what’s and why’s of this particular mitzvah, we will ask some of the following questions: What was the intent of Shemitah to begin with? Where, and to whom, does it apply? How does it relate to broader Jewish philosophical concerns, like social justice and a relationship with Hashem? And how is it practiced in modern day Israel?

Presenters
GA

Gershon Albert

Rabbi Gershon Albert was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and became the Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation of Oakland in July 2014, after finishing his rabbinic studies at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (YU) in New York City. Both Gershon and his wife Meira share a love and commitment to Jewish communal learning and living, as well as a love of music, reading, and nature. Gershon is an avid guitarist, and particularly enjoys blues... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Knights Valley SC2081

5:00pm

Zionism and Jewish Identity
Are the Jews European colonists settling Palestinian Arab land or are they the indigenous people returning to their homeland, recapturing their culture and language and sense of self?  We shall be exploring these issues as well as the definition of indigenousness; the question of whether or not Palestine is a place or a culture; and how our identity as Jews as a people is different than Jews as adherents of a religious dogma and practice.   Finally, we shall discuss what we can do to define ourselves as Zionists for the 21st Century and how this defining effort can affect attempts at boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel.

Presenters
avatar for Samuel Edelman

Samuel Edelman

Founding Member, Executive Director, Academic Council for Israel and adjunct professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at Univ of Miami
Samuel M. Edelman is one of the founding faculty members of the new Academic Council for Israel, is its Executive Director and is a visiting professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at University of Miami. He is the former Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition Academic Affairs Department and the National Academic Network and its Fellows Program. Edelman has served as the Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and Dean... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Student Center Ballroom B

5:00pm

Keeping Shabbat in the Bathroom: How and Why is Shabbat More Than a Day of Rest?
Explore peculiar halachot and look into new meanings.

Presenters
avatar for Michal Kohane

Michal Kohane

Born and raised in Israel, Michal Kohane has been a leader and educator and in the Jewish Community of Northern California for over twenty years, where she has served as an interim rabbi, teacher, federation executive director and more. She holds a B.A. in Studies of Israel and Education, an M.S. in Jewish Studies and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Her blog can be found at www.miko.284


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

5:00pm

Standing Before God: The Opening Paragraph of the Amidah Prayer
If you just read the words of the Amidah -- the centerpiece of every Jewish service -- you are missing half the meaning.  This prayer is filled with hidden cues, like hyperlinks in the text that trigger a rich set of awareness for those who know how to read the references.  Let's open a few of these hyperlinks together and see what lies within.  

Presenters
IG

Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon

Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon has taught prayer to rabbinical students and lay people, adults and children, in many settings throughout the Bay Area and in Jerusalem.


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Student Center Ballroom C

5:00pm

Shabbat Sit-Jewish Meditation
There is no better day in the week than Shabbat to focus on just being and not doing. But slowing down and being able to be present for the day does not always come naturally.  This session helps us to achieve that with a period of mindful meditation, Jewish chant and a mindfulness lesson from the week's parsha. Several dozen folks do this every week at Kol Shofar. Experienced meditators as well as those with no experience are all welcome.

Presenters
LY

Larry Yermack

Larry Yermack eads a regular meditation group at Congregation Kol Shofar, where he also started the Center for Jewish Spirituality. He has studied to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as well as Jewish Meditation. His Jewish teachers are Rabbi's Sheila Weinberg and Jeff Roth. He is deeply involved in the work of The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, currently serving on their Board.


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - Sunday June 28, 2015 6:10pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

5:00pm

Did Abraham Actually Sacrifice Isaac: The Binding of Isaac and its Implications for the Philosophy of Judaism
In this session we'll explore some disturbing sources about the binding of Isaac, talk about the different resonances that the story has had for the Jewish people at different times in its history, but, more importantly, we'll start thinking about what these sources mean for the study of Jewish philosophy in general. Is there such a thing as a pure Jewish philosophy purged of pagan and Christian and Muslim influence; would that even be desirable?

Presenters
SL

Sam Lebens

Sam Lebens currently lives in New Jersey, with his wife and three kids. He is completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers in the philosophy of religion. He holds a PhD in metaphysics from the University of London, and has studied in various Israeli yeshivot, where he received Orthodox ordination. He also blogs for Haaretz. Sam's participation is supported through Pardes and the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash.  


Saturday June 27, 2015 5:00pm - Monday June 27, 2016 6:10pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

7:50pm

Shabbat Family Time
It's late in the day.  You've prayed, you've played, you've eaten, you've studied but--HEY, it's still Shabbat!  Come join Cantor Doron for an hour of more of that Shabbes fun.  Kids--bring your parents; parents--bring your kids.  We'll need you all for some Torah drama (and comedy), a lot of singing, a whole bunch of Shabbat jokes, a dance or two, and (amidst all of that) a little some Shabbat spirituality to boot!  Have we mentioned--a taste of Shabbat sweetness included?  

Presenters
DS

Doron Shapira

Caron Doron Shapira is starting his 22nd year as Cantor at Peninsula Sinai Congregation (fulfilling his musical desires); his 16th year as Education Director (fulfilling his desires for Jewish learning and teaching); and his 2nd year as father to three beautiful kids (fulfilling his greatest desires!). He has taught at Limmud UK and Limmud Bay Area....but mostly--he can't wait to learn from you!


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom A

7:50pm

Exploring Jewish Identity Through Slam Poetry
Come prepared for an interactive session where we will view examples of slam poetry, discuss, write and share; exploring the role Judaism plays in our identity and the power poetry has to access that. We will learn not only the power of slam poetry, but an effective model for teaching it that can be easily implemented in schools and other settings.



Presenters
avatar for Talia Young

Talia Young

Talia Young is a poet and aspiring educator. She received the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in 2013 for her work producing a series of spoken word workshops and culminating showcase for students from many San Francisco High Schools. She has been teaching poetry to middle school, high school and college students for the past four years. Talia represented Macalester College at the College National Poetry Slam in 2014 and 2015, ranking 5th in the... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

7:50pm

Jewish Identity, Jewish Diversity Through Photography
From Bukhara to Djerba, Sana'a to Brooklyn, Mumbai to St. Petersburg, Zion Ozeri’s photographs speak of the cross-cultural dimension of contemporary Jewish life, capturing an instant that reflects ritual, spirituality, and ordinary life. Ozeri looks at Jews around the world, finding in them a sense of home, familiar customs, and shared experiences.

Presenters
ZO

Zion Ozeri

Born in Israel to immigrants from Yemen and currently living in New York City, Zion Ozeri is one of the world’s leading photographers exploring the Jewish experience. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute, both in New York City. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. Ozeri has is the author of The Jewish World Family Haggadah and The Jews of Yemen, The Last Generation... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Darwin 103

7:50pm

From Euthanasia to Mass Extermination: The Demise of the Medical Profession in the Third Reich
Across the spectrum of medical specialties from psychiatrists to family practitioners, doctors enforced racist Nazi ideology at the expense of their integrity. Instead of taking the Hippocratic Oath at the conclusion of medical school, each physician pledged personal allegiance to Adolph Hitler. They violated the moral imperative to “do no harm” to patients in their practices and to subjects in their medical research. Nazi doctors joined the SS in the highest ratio among all the professions during the Third Reich and were among the first to “Aryanize” fully their profession (remove Jews from their ranks). Rather than “pawns” in enforcing racist ideology, requiring extermination, they were proactive “pioneers” in devising starvation rations for ghettos and camps and in perfecting the technology that resulted in the gas chambers.

Presenters
avatar for Miriam Zimmerman

Miriam Zimmerman

Adjunct professor of Holocaust Studies, Notre Dame de Namur University
Miriam Zimmerman is a professor of Holocaust Studies at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU). She has been a presenter on the topic of Nazi physicians at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem the University of Haifa, Seton Hill University and NDNU. She is a columnist for the National Jewish Post & Opinion, under the byline, “Holocaust Educator.” She is former director of the Helen & Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust in... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Knights Valley SC2081

7:50pm

Jewish Gangsters in Europe and the Americas
Warsaw, Odessa, New York, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo: in the 19th and 20th century, seemingly every major Jewish center had a corresponding underworld. This class will examine Jewish criminal organizations in Eastern Europe, New York, and South America as well as various responses from the organized Jewish community to the problem of Jewish criminality.

Presenters
avatar for Andrew Nusbaum

Andrew Nusbaum

Andrew Nusbaum is a full-time Middle School teacher and has an unwieldy amount of Judaica books in his home library. Andrew has taught classes on Jewish history and culture to adults and teens in numerous venues in San Francisco. He has enjoyed many Limmud classes through iTunes and is very excited to be participating in person for his second year. nusbaumster@gmail.com


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

7:50pm

Back to IDF Service

Dr. Wolfson rejoined IDF service, and put on a military uniform for the first time in 28 years to be at the Gaza border, treating Israeli soldiers wounded in Operation Protective Edge.  He will talk about question, “so you came from San Francisco to be with us?” and the most memorable moments that made this return to the IDF imperative.


Presenters
NW

Nik Wolfson

Dr. Nik Wolfson is an orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco. Born in Bobruisk, Belarus, he immigrated to Israel in 1976. After graduating from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, Nik served in the IDF as a medical officer in a paratroopers battalion for two years during first Lebanon war and two years in the navy as a medical officer in the submarine flotilla. Dr. Wolfson is an expert in military and mass casualty trauma and has... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom C

7:50pm

New Moon and Full Moon as Holidays of Earth Preservation
How can we live closer to the rhythms of the natural world? Like our ancestors, we can become moon watchers!  Through the study of classic and contemporary texts we will consider the rhythm and rules of the Sabbath and how it conflicts with that other Jewish rhythm, the moon, which determines Rosh Hodesh and the annual holidays. We will conclude by considering whether these new and full moon observances might be a template for a secular rhythm of Earth Days.

Presenters
RH

Ron H. Feldman

Dr. Ron H. Feldman is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and has taught Jewish studies at various Bay Area universities. His main fields of research and publication include Jewish time and calendars, Jewish mysticism, and the German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt.


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

7:50pm

Becoming a Jewish Mystic
The Zohar (in English, The Book of Splendor) is the central text of Kabbalah, Judaism's mystical path which teaches that our physical world is only one level of reality and that it is possible to achieve higher states of consciousness. We will study one such passage that describes what it means to "wake up" to these higher realities and to be a true mystic.

Presenters
avatar for Lavey Derby

Lavey Derby

Rabbi Lavey Yitzchak Derby serves as the Director of Jewish Life at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center. He has been on the national faculties of CLAL and The Wexner Heritage Foundation and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is the founder of, and lead teacher at, The Idra: A Center for Jewish Spiritual Learning and Practice and an eighth generation direct descendent of the Hassidic master Reb Levi... Read More →


Saturday June 27, 2015 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom B

9:20pm

Sam Glaser in Concert
Join performer/composer Sam Glaser for Havdallah, followed by an upbeat and joyful musical experience.  Voted one of the top ten Jewish performers in the US, Sam travels to over fifty cities every year bringing his enthusiasm and spirit to audiences of all ages.

Saturday June 27, 2015 9:20pm - 11:00pm
Person Theater

11:00pm

Kumsitz/Jam Session
After the high of the concert by Sam Glaser, keep the music alive by joining with others in an old fashioned kumsitz! We'll join our voices and enthusiasm to make music in an informal setting, so the spirit keeps on going. No prior knowledge or facility in Hebrew, Russian, or any other language is needed. Just bring yourself and your voice. And if you play an instrurment, you're invited to bring it along, too!

Presenters
DS

Doron Shapira

Caron Doron Shapira is starting his 22nd year as Cantor at Peninsula Sinai Congregation (fulfilling his musical desires); his 16th year as Education Director (fulfilling his desires for Jewish learning and teaching); and his 2nd year as father to three beautiful kids (fulfilling his greatest desires!). He has taught at Limmud UK and Limmud Bay Area....but mostly--he can't wait to learn from you!


Saturday June 27, 2015 11:00pm - Sunday June 28, 2015 12:00am
Person Theater
 
Sunday, June 28
 

9:30am

Yucky, Icky, Noxious, Toxic Texts: How to Deal with Jewish Passages that Bother Us
Presenters
DL

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss directs special programs and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He holds a B.A. and Teachers' Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Russian River Valley SC2082

9:30am

Last Portraits
Last Portraits (Selfmade Films, Netherlands 2015) is a documentary about the legacy of forgotten photographer Annemie Wolff.  After she passed away, a remarkable collection of portraits of Jews taken in 1943 Amsterdam was discovered.  Seventy years later, these photos, often of smiling people wearing the requisite yellow star, are of great emotional value for survivors and relatives.  These previously lost works illuminate an untold story of Jewish life in Amsterdam during the Holocaust.
After the war ended, Annemie Wolff returned to her pre-war photographic career.  For the next twenty years she produced her best work:  images of the Amsterdam harbor that are optimistic, full of wide horizons and vistas.  She never talked about the war again, but her remarkable photos tell her story.

 

 

Presenters
JS

Jacqueline Shelton-Miller

Jacqueline Shelton-Miller is the Exhibition Consultant for Lost Stories, Found Images:  Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam by Annemie Wolff.  She was most recently the  Exhibition Chair for this project, a joint effort of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation in partnership with the Goethe Institut, San Francisco and the and the Stichting Wolff, Amsterdam.  Jackie is a Board Member of the San Francisco-based Jewish... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Darwin 103

9:30am

Resilience in the Face of Extremism: Mishna, Maimonides, and Heschel
In eras of extremism and challenge, such as the generation following the destruction of the Temple (Mishna), The Golden Age of Andalusia (Maimonides), and European Judaism (Heschel) we find resilience.  We will look at texts and discuss what we can learn about ourselves in our own time and lives.

Presenters
avatar for Peretz Wolf-Prusan

Peretz Wolf-Prusan

Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan is chief program officer and senior educator at Lehrhaus Judaica. Before coming to Lehrhaus Judaica, and before being a synagogue rabbi and educator, and before rabbinic school, Peretz was, from 1974, active in CAJE and alternative learning communities... like Limmud!


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Student Center Ballroom A

9:30am

Sefaria Project and Vision
Using the internet for comunication was obvious.  Twitter was not.  
Putting the linked texts of the Jewish people online is obvious (and obviously necessary!). But what the experience of Torah in the digital age will look like is very much an open question.
With a nod to Silicon Valley tradition,  Sefaria  founder & CTO Brett Lockspeir shares the vision, journey, reality and roadmap for Sefaria, invites all who witnessed the company's "launch" at Limmud in Asilomar 2 years ago, the network of teachers, students, translators, commentators, and well-wishers that has sprung up across the globe since, and all Limmudniks to come take hold of this new form of Torah as it emerges.

Presenters
avatar for Brett Lockspeiser

Brett Lockspeiser

Co-Founder & CTO, Sefaria
Brett Lockspeiser is the co-founder and CTO of Sefaria (www.sefaria.org). We are bringing the entire Jewish textual tradition into a new, digital form which is free, open source, beautifully designed, interactive and interconnected. Brett began his work in technology as a Product Manager at Google where he led the team that created the Google News Archives. Since then he has worked with startups and non-profits in the Bay Area, creating web... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Knights Valley SC2081

9:30am

Understanding the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) Movement to Delegitimize Israel
The BDS movement has found fertile ground in our Bay Area, and is quickly and negatively shaping public opinion about Israel’s legitimacy.  More than doubling its Bay Area presence in recent years, this community has become the laboratory from which the BDS movement test-markets its strategies, and exports successful tactics elsewhere across the nation.  Within the Jewish community, while BDS is largely met with disdain because of its transparent aim of advancing the dissolution of Israel, many privately consider if this movement can shake up the seeming intractable nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this session, we will explore the movement’s founding principles and leaders, what has made the Bay Area a hospitable home for this movement, and discuss the real and perceived implications of BDS.  Participants will learn about efforts in Israel and the West Bank to advance a two state solution and ways that each of us can promote peace for Palestinians and Israelis and thwart efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Presenters
AP

Abby Porth

Abby Porth is the Associate Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). She manages complex and sensitive community relations issues, developing the strategy, communications, coalition, and crisis management plans to advance JCRC’s mission of promoting a just society and a secure Jewish future. She oversees JCRC’s advancement efforts and the organization’s external affairs, including relationship... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Student Center Ballroom C

9:30am

American Jewish Music in the Space Age: An Expanding Universe
American Jewish music began to change radically and regularly in the early 1960s – crossing genres, eras and borders. Join radio host, journalist and cultural programmer Andy Muchin for an audio tour through the ever-diversifying American Jewkbox, featuring recordings, anecdotes and analysis of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Debbie Friedman and their minyans; the klezmer revival; Radical Jewish Culture; the Sephardic resurgence; singer-songwriters including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Kinky Friedman, Basya Schechter, Matisyahu and Alicia Jo Rabins; the Grammy-winning Klezmatics; and the rising stars of the American Jewish music scene. Spoiler alert: the Bay Area features prominently in this story.

Presenters
avatar for Andy Muchin

Andy Muchin

Andy Muchin hosts Sounds Jewish, a syndicated weekly radio show on Mississippi Public Broadcasting Music Radio and Radio-J.com. He has written about Jewish music and culture for publications including the Forward, J-Weekly and Moment Magazine, and given presentations about Jewish music for two Bay Area Limmud programs, as well as synagogue and community groups. After serving as interim director of the 29th Jewish Music Festival and cultural... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Student Center Ballroom B

9:30am

Dance Your Prayers
This experiential class will use both choreographed and non-choreographed dance to embody Jewish prayer, to explore spiritual themes, and to interpret Torah. Exercise your heart, mind, body, and spirit, and experience Jewish prayer in a whole new way. Please come dressed to move comfortably.

 

Track Lead

Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

9:30am

It Isn’t Just Neil Diamond Singing Kol Nidrei: The Influence of Traditional Jewish Melodies on Classical Music, Part Two
In this session, we will trace significant compositions in the classical music repertory and learn to hear the liturgical shadings and sometimes direct quotes that enter into these pieces from the Jewish musical traditions.  I will provide background and then share played examples, recorded and from the keyboard. We will be listening to composers such as Salamone Rossi   Felix Mendlessohn, Gustav Mahler as well as some examples of my own compositions.  The session includes a short lecture segment as well as an audio demonstration of the interplay between these two disparate modes of music.   

Presenters
avatar for Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

Dr. Brian Wilson is a composer and conductor whose vast oeuvre includes chamber music, jazz, music theatre and opera, choral, wind band and orchestra. Winner of the International Trombone Association's composition award, his music has been performed throughout the US, Greece, Italy, Israel, Russia, Latvia, Estonia and most recently, Costa Rica. When he is not at his station as Professor of Music and Department Chair at Sonoma State, Brian loves... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Bennett Valley SC2065

9:30am

Doing Good is Good for Business
Noah Alper, founder of Noah's Bagels and five other ventures, opened a single retail bagel shop in Berkeley, CA in 1989, and 6 1/2 years later sold the business for $100 million. Community focus was integral to the success of the business. Learn the do's and don't's of cause marketing and social entrepreneurship distilled from  lessons learned  during his 35 years of business success. 

Presenters
NA

Noah Alper

Noah Alper is a small business consultant living in Berkeley, CA. A serial entrepreneur, Alper has created five businesses, including Bread and Circus, a Natural Foods Store in Massachusetts which was eventually sold to Whole Foods Market, and Noah’s Bagels, a West Coast chain once the largest kosher retailer in the United States. He was also founding President of the San Francisco based Jewish High Community School of the Bay, and is the... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Alexander Valley SC2064

9:30am

RUSSIAN: The Ordinary Miracle and the Torah
Evgeny Shvarts plays as a midrash

Presenters
avatar for Elena Zusmanovich

Elena Zusmanovich

Elena Zusmanovich has designed, organized and led Jewish educational programs, lectures, and tours in the USA, Israel, and Russia. She has worked in Jewish institutions in the Bay Area since 1997. A recipient of the 2010 Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, she holds an M.S. in Information Science and B.A. in Art History.



Sunday June 28, 2015 9:30am - 10:40am
Sonoma Valley SC2083

11:00am

Plenary: Jerusalem of The People
Meet the new young pioneers who are leading a social and cultural renaissance in Jerusalem and who are shaping halacha lema'ase, a new fabric for the holy city. 

Jerusalem - a micro-cosmos of Israeli society - managed to develop in recent years a unique environment of social activism based on deep Jewish values. This environment is "controlled" by new leaders: secular, modern-orthodox and ultra orthodox.  By promoting a new agenda of cohesion, they are creating an inspiring vision for the city of Jerusalem, a city for all.

Kolot, the organizer of this unique group of young leaders from Israel, is a pluralistic Beit Midrash based in Israel and focused on building future leaders from a broad spectrum of Israeli society. This group has been studying together for nearly a year the big question: "Why stay Jewish"? 

 

Moderators
avatar for Elisheva Mazya

Elisheva Mazya

Elisheva Mazya serves as the CEO of the Jerusalem based non-profit organization, New Spirit, which works to keep educated young adults in Jerusalem, in order help Israel’s capital be a thriving and pluralistic city. Elisheva helped found New Spirit while a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Economics and Political Science and an MS in Political Communications. She has served as... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Daphna Dean

Daphna Dean

Daphna Dean is Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's Bureau Chief. In this capacity, she is responsible for planning, directing and managing the Mayor's Office, overseeing his schedule and liaising with various governmental officials. A native of Israel, Daphna grew up on one of the few sheep farms in Central Israel. Her army service centered on the training and command aspects of the squad commanders' course. Daphna graduated from the Hebrew University... Read More →
avatar for Hanan Rubin

Hanan Rubin

Hanan Rubin currently serves as member of Jerusalem's City Council. Elected in 2013 as one of the founders and leaders of Hitorerut Yerushalayim party ("Wake Up Jerusalem"), which works to keep pluralistic university students, young adults and young families in Jerusalem to help Israel’s capital become a thriving and diverse city. He is in charge of the municipality's Young Adults portfolio and is the chairman of the Committee for Municipal... Read More →
avatar for Menachem Bombach

Menachem Bombach

Menachem Bombach is married and a father of five children. He lives in Betar Illit, a Haredi community. He is the director of the Haredi Campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; director of the division for the advancement of youth in the Betar Illit municipality; and moderator of the "Shluchei Tzibbur" program for leadership in the Haredi community. For the past ten years has served as the Principal of "Le-Zion Be-Rina" high school, for... Read More →
avatar for Mordechai Bar Or

Mordechai Bar Or

Mordechai (Moti) Bar Or is the Founder and Director of Kolot, a pluralistic Beit Midrash in Jerusalem dedicated to engaging participants from a broad spectrum of Israel society in establishing strong links between Jewish text, the headlines of the day and a far-reaching vision for the Jewish people. Born in the US, Moti studied at the Alon-Shevut Hesder Yeshiva for seven years, He co-founded and directed Elul ( one of the first pluralistic Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Ofer Hadad

Ofer Hadad

Ofer Hadad is the West Bank correspondent and anchor on Israel's Channel 2 news company. Ofer covers issues regarding the Israeli settler civilian population as well as the political and military issues of the West Bank. As part of his job as news anchor, Ofer covers breaking news for special events and presents various routine news features and shows. In addition, Ofer gives lectures and leads discussions on media, politics and the... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm
Student Center Ballroom A

1:20pm

Jewish Mind, Yoga Body
The ancient Indian philosophy of yoga is being used all over the world to reduce stress, improve health, as well as improve the enjoyment of daily life.  This session explores paths (aspects of yoga philosophy) and asana (physical poses).  Classical, Midrashic, and Kabbalistic Jewish concepts and texts will be woven into our studying and physical practice. This session is appropriate for bodies of all levels and shapes.  The ultimate goal of yoga is to prepare the seeker or student to yoke the mind to body and spirit, and achieve physical and meditative transcendence.  People who are new to yoga will learn (with lots of support) how to do foundational poses which open the body and mind, and experienced yogis will try new challenges and create deeper practice.

Presenters
EK

Ellie Klein

Elinor Klein has been teaching yoga in New Haven, Boston, and the Bay Area for eight years. She completed her 200-hour Iyengar-style yoga teacher training in 2008 and then received specialized training in restorative yoga and Jivamukti yoga. Elinor's approach to yoga focuses on the needs of the individual student and the cultivation of an authentic sense of serenity through physical practice and hands-on teaching. Elinor writes about how... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Niagara Studio Recreation Center

1:20pm

The New Anti-Semitism: When Hate from the Right Merges with Hate from the Left
The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has ushered in a strange amalgamation of Christian "replacement theory" adherents, extreme right wing and fascist ideology and practice and an extreme left wing and Marxist ideology and practice. The areas they seem to agree on are how much they hate the Jews, and how much they hate the US. Even though they may hate and despise each other they have found common ground on Israel and Zionism.  We will explore some of the ideologies which have lead to this union,and what groups on the left and the right, and in the Christian community who have found this anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist antisemitic commonality.  What to do about this will be left to the audience to answer.

Presenters
avatar for Samuel Edelman

Samuel Edelman

Founding Member, Executive Director, Academic Council for Israel and adjunct professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at Univ of Miami
Samuel M. Edelman is one of the founding faculty members of the new Academic Council for Israel, is its Executive Director and is a visiting professor of Israel Studies and Zionism at University of Miami. He is the former Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition Academic Affairs Department and the National Academic Network and its Fellows Program. Edelman has served as the Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and Dean... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Student Center Ballroom C

1:20pm

Abraham Lincoln, the Jews and the Civil War
Find out some significant details about Lincoln and his relationships with Jews throughout his life, the perceptions of Lincoln by the Jewish community of his time, and what they can teach us about our life as Jews today. We will be reading some primary source documents and utilizing some excerpts from the new book by Dr. Gary Zola, We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, A Documentary History.

Presenters
LR

Larry Raphael

Rabbi Larry Raphael has been the senior rabbi at Congregation Sherith Israel since 2003 and has been teaching adults about Judaism and Jews since he was ordained in 1974.


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Knights Valley SC2081

1:20pm

1:20pm

Ferguson/Fargesn: Racism, Jewishness, and the Struggle for Criminal Justice Reform
For perhaps the first time, many Americans are coming to terms with the racial disparities embedded deep within our nation's criminal justice system.  Is this a Jewish issue?  Why and how?  Join us as we explore Jewish approaches to this critical American moment, both from textual and historical standpoints.  

Presenters
avatar for Michael Rothbaum

Michael Rothbaum

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum is the Bay Area Regional Council Co-Chair for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and serves as the Director of Youth and Family Education of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. He has been extensively involved with faith-based social justice organizations, and has spoken and taught widely at conferences and rallies, from Moishe House to the House of Representatives. His writing and speaking has been featured in... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

1:20pm

The Foundations of Jewish Ethics
Why do some parts of the Jewish community place so much emphasis on Social Justice, while others seem to care very little about it? What motivates people to do Social Justice work anyway, and does Judaism help fuel that motivation? Together we will explore various ethical frameworks that emerge from Jewish tradition, and try to identify which of them resonate most strongly with us, and why.

Presenters
DK

David Kasher

Rabbi David Kasher was part of founding team at Kevah and now serves on their faculty as the Senior Rabbinic Educator. After studying at Wesleyan University and spending several years at yeshivot in Israel, he went to rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, and was ordained there in 2007. He received his masters in law at Berkeley, and is currently a doctoral candidate there, writing his dissertation on religious and secular... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Student Center Ballroom A

1:20pm

Now You Are a Man (Or Are You?)
We will explore gender and, more specifically, masculinity in Jewish thought – from the rabbis of the Talmud to today.
How has the Jewish conception of masculinity evolved, how does it address male attitudes toward women and how does it relate with societal images of manhood?

Presenters
avatar for David Waksberg

David Waksberg

CEO, Jewish LearningWorks
David Waksberg has been CEO of Jewish LearningWorks (formerly, the Bureau of Jewish Education, San Francisco) since 2007. David also chairs ADCA – the Association of Directors of Central Agencies of North America. Before joining the BJE in 2007, David worked as a software executive. Prior to that, David was a leader in the movement to rescue Soviet Jews, serving as Executive Director of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews, Vice President of... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

1:20pm

The Alphabet That Changed the World: Torah Science and Consciousness
This work was initiated by a prayer for peace that Stan Tenen made at the Kotel in August 1967. Two introductory videos provide a demonstration of the generation of the letters of the rabbinic Hebrew alphabet from hand-gestures. Hebrew letters and their gestures are based on Hillel's "Torah on one foot," the Golden Rule. The book, The Alphabet That Changed the World: How Genesis Preserves a Science of Consciousness in Geometry and Gesture, summarizes the research as it has developed in the ensuing years. (Info at www.meru.org and tatctw.com.)
This work contains a potential response to Tenen's original prayer for peace: The recovery of the functional and operational meaning of the letters of the alphabet leads to the recovery of the deep meaning of Hebrew roots and words, the prophetic tradition,  the protection of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, Torah and Judaism, and the exercises that demonstrate the science of consciousness underlying Torah tradition.
Recovery of the prophetic tradition in Torah will prompt the recovery of the prophetic tradition as it was also understood and preserved in Christian and Muslim sources, and this can lead to reconciliation and peace.

Presenters
SL

Shelly Lewis

Rabbi Shelly Lewis was educated at the University of Chicago and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where he was ordained as a Rabbi. He was a student of Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel and has been active in civil and human rights causes, especially the movement to free Soviet Jewry and the quest for peace with justice. He served as an Army Chaplain in Vietnam. Now Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, he had... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Darwin 103

1:20pm

Through the Lens of Ruth and Naomi: Personal writing as daughters, mothers, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law
We will focus on the story of Ruth and Naomi, whose central figures are women and include the qualities and the dilemmas that women faced then and in a way we face now. The central story is about a chosen relationship between two women who become family and tells the story of widowhood, childlessness, marriage and childhbirth. It evokes the experience of being "other" and highlights the relationship of the mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law. We will examine the text, poetry by Marge Piercy and other poets, and some essays from the text, Reading Ruth, edited by Judith A. Kates and Gail Twersky Reimer. We will conclude with our own writing.

Presenters
avatar for Nitza Agam

Nitza Agam

JewishStudies Teacher, Brandeis Hillel Day School
Nitza Agam is a Jewish educator, a teacher, a writer, and a poet. She has published poems, articles, and essays in various educational, literary, and Jewish publications. She published her memoir about the Yom Kippur War titled Scent of Jasmine. This will be her third year leading a workshop at Limmud.


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Student Center Ballroom B

1:20pm

Wicked-pedia: Is the Democratization of Knowledge a Good Thing?
Because of the internet, more information is available to us than in any previous generation. But is this a blessing, or are there problems with the proliferation of knowledge? Using a biblical and a Talmudic model we will examine what it means to learn and to teach in the modern world.

Presenters
DL

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss directs special programs and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He holds a B.A. and Teachers' Certification in English Literature and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, attended Pardes, and has rabbinic ordination from the Joseph and Gwendolyn Straus Rabbinical Seminary. Previously, he served as the director of the overseas department at the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

2:50pm

Divine Floral Design: Explore Betzelem Elohim Through Floral Design
In this workshop, Relli Siegel will lead a discussion about Betzelem Elohim (in the image of G-d), what this might mean to you, and how this is connected to your own creativity. 

Following this dynamic discussion, we will connect with nature and flowers through a fun and unique floral design class where you get to take your own divine design home with you!

Presenters
avatar for Relli Siegel

Relli Siegel

Relli Siegel, born and raised in Israel, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, studied Floral Design and graduated from CSM. After graduation, Relli started designing unique floral creations for events, and teaching floral design workshops. Relli was honored to participate in the Filoli Flower Show for the last few years. Relli’s work had been recognized and awarded in multiple competitions. Relli continues to study with... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Alexander Valley SC2064

2:50pm

Visual Prayer
Imagine prayer being multi-sensory...feeling, seeing, touching... 
Imagine praying with hands and hearts where sound isn't needed...
Come learn basic prayers and songs using ASL (American Sign Language) that can be used to teach the meaning of prayer as well as the feeling of it! Join EJ Cohen, one of the leading Judaic interpreters, as she explores and explains. Bring your hands and your humor! 

Presenters
EC

EJ Cohen

EJ Cohen, a former Bay Area resident, is a staunch Limmudnik, being involved with Limmud Boston for the past 7 years as well as attending the "mothership" in the UK for the past 17 years. She is a certified and licensed ASL interpreter and has specialized in Judaica  for more than 35 years. Her work has taken her to Carnegie Hall twice (with Debbie Friedman z"l) as well as to England, Wales, Germany, Israel and all over the US. Her... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Russian River Valley SC2082

2:50pm

What Makes a Jewish Film Festival?
In this session we will look at the many perspectives on what constitutes a Jewish Film Festival. Sources will refer to discussions on “who is a Jew” and contemporary discourse on Jewish identity. Within this framework we will explore methodologies for defining a Jewish filmmaker and a Jewish film as the building blocks for a broader discussion about what constitutes a Jewish Film Festival. Questions to consider: What does and does not belong in a Jewish Film Festival program?

Presenters
avatar for Kim Bistrong

Kim Bistrong

Kim Bistrong has over 20 years of professional experience in the Jewish non-profit sector throughout the United States and in Israel. With Master's Degrees in both Cinema Studies and Modern Jewish Studies, Kim has provided support in many capacities for organizations that link popular culture and media arts to the Jewish experience including the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and The Jewish Museum in New York. Kim comes to the... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Darwin 102

2:50pm

Bridging Community through Reading
Ever wonder why people join book groups?  Are you in a book group you love?  Come to this interactive session as we explore what makes book groups work, what defines a Jewish book group, and what we learn about ourselves and the world around us.  We will have a book group style discussion about the short story "The King of Norway" from Amos Oz's latest collection, Between Friends. Copies will be available to read ahead of time. .

Presenters
WB

Wendy Bear

Wendy Bear has been coordinating and lightly facilitating the JCCSF Evening Book Group for ten years. Not starting off as an avid reader, being in a book group and working with authors while at the JCCSF for eight years kicked off the habit and created new friendships, built community, and a small collection of signed books.


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Bennett Valley SC2065

2:50pm

Ten Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Sefaria
This session is a practical introduction to how Sefaria works and what you can do with it. We'll be highlighting new features and workflows that may be unfamiliar even to people with Sefaria experience. We'll take you through finding and learning texts on Sefaria; exploring interconnections and commentaries; building Source sheets from scratch, collaboration or by remixing other people's work; advanced searching; and using our link explorer.

Presenters
avatar for Brett Lockspeiser

Brett Lockspeiser

Co-Founder & CTO, Sefaria
Brett Lockspeiser is the co-founder and CTO of Sefaria (www.sefaria.org). We are bringing the entire Jewish textual tradition into a new, digital form which is free, open source, beautifully designed, interactive and interconnected. Brett began his work in technology as a Product Manager at Google where he led the team that created the Google News Archives. Since then he has worked with startups and non-profits in the Bay Area, creating web... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Dry Creek Valley SC2066

2:50pm

The Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center: Increasing Inclusion and Decreasing Stigma in Congregational Life
This session will introduce participants to the Union for Reform Judaism-Ruderman Family Foundation Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center located at http://disabilitiesinclusion.org.  This innovative online learning center features webinars, videos, and print resources from top disabilities experts in the Jewish and secular worlds.  The website is free and open to the public.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn skill-based strategies for making all facets of their congregations more inclusive for people with disabilities.  The session will feature a discussion on disabilities inclusion in congregational life.

Presenters
JD

Joseph D. Robbins

Joseph D. Robbins is a poet and educator in NYC. Robbins travels the nation teaching about the Holocaust, body image and other issues. He has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in teaching English from Columbia Teachers College. He is pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Education at JTS and State Certification in Students with Learning Disabilities at Teachers College. He published his debut poetry... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Knights Valley SC2081

2:50pm

'Love Thy Neighbor' - The Relationship with the Non-Jew in Israel
Through ancient and modern Jewish texts, this session will examine the treatment of the “other” in Judaism and Israeli society and the ways through which we can nurture a more welcoming, shared society in Israel through targeted community programing, with a particular look at Jewish-Arab relations.

Presenters
GK

Gilad Kariv

Rabbi Gilad Kariv is the Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). He founded the Young Adult Leadership Forum which he headed for three years. Rabbi Kariv previously served as the Associate Director of the Israel Religious Action Center. Gilad served in the IDF’s Talpiot project of the Intelligence Corps. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, earning a... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Student Center Ballroom C

2:50pm

Connected Wisdom: The Practical Tool That Lies Dormant in Our Spiritual DNA (and How Modern Science Agrees!)
In this unique workshop we experience and teach an ancient, yet practical, method that intentionally creates a space that lifts barriers between people, and opens the possibility for connection, collaboration, problem solving and mutual understanding. This method allows us to tap into the wondrous connected wisdom that exists as the foundation of the Jewish people and can be applied regularly in one’s daily life. 



Presenters
avatar for Alex Eisen

Alex Eisen

Alex Eisen is an Internet scientist, researcher, educator, father of two Tehiyah Day School students, and has published books, presented at international conferences and produced a documentary film along with his wife, Marina, which explores the Internet's potential to evolve human consciousness. Recently he has begun researching the evolution of technology and education innovation, through the lens of our ancient Jewish roots. | He has long... Read More →
avatar for Kerri Berkowitz

Kerri Berkowitz

Kerri Berkowitz, social worker by training and educator by profession, currently consults and trains educators nationally in effective school discipline processes and equitable community relationship-building strategies. Continually inspired by the wide-ranging benefits of creating unity among people through speaking and listening from the heart, Kerri bridges her professional experience with a profound desire to facilitate connection among the... Read More →
avatar for Marina Eisen

Marina Eisen

Marina Eisen is a volunteer facilitator for Connected Wisdom, a mother of two Tehiyah Day School students, and has been an active participant in Jewish communities in Fremont, New York and San Francisco. She has a B.A. in Mass Communications & Journalism from New York University, and her diverse background in media studies, marketing, filmmaking, education, counseling, business operations, the arts and volunteering is what drives her... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Student Center Ballroom B

2:50pm

Leadership on the Line
The study of Tanach is, in many ways, the study of decision-making. Throughout the Bible we are afforded windows into critical moments where characters must make decisions that will affect the nature of their communal infrastructure. By studying these moments, we can understand how and why these biblical characters make their decisions, and how they can inform decisions made within our own Jewish communities. Together we will look at different moments in the Bible, where power is transferred from one leader to the other, and through a close reading of the text, discuss the difficulties and opportunities that can arise.

Presenters
SG

Shani Gross

Shani Gross is the Program Director of the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash.  Shani is a graduate of Stern College at Yeshiva University,  where she earned a dual degree in Jewish Studies and Marketing. She has studied at a number of Jewish institutions including Migdal Oz, the Drisha Institute, Mechon Hadar and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Shani is passionate about studying and teaching classic Jewish texts and... Read More →


Sunday June 28, 2015 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Sonoma Valley SC2083

4:00pm

Sweet Siyum
Parting can be such sweet sorrow… Let the ending ("siyum") be more sweet with a wrap-up over ice cream sundaes!

Sunday June 28, 2015 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Student Center Ballroom A