Loading…
This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
PLEASE NOTE: All sessions, no matter the size of the box they are in, are 70 minutes long. Last minute schedule changes may be needed.
View analytic

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Friday, June 24
 

3:00pm

Creating Community Through Art and Prayer
How a group of 10 women in the Congregation Beth Sholom community were brought together by artist Elyssa Wortzman to participate in her audio art work that reimagines prayer, in this case, the Shma and V'ahavta. Elyssa will discuss the concept of art as prayer, the process of making this art work within community and what the results were within the group of participants and the community at large. The presentation will include a screening of the audio work: Listen! Can You Hear? We will end with a discussion about the work, the purpose and power of prayer, and what other alternative, creative prayer forms could be used individually or within community.

Presenter
avatar for Elyssa Wortzman

Elyssa Wortzman

Dr. Elyssa Wortzman is an artist, educator, Jewish Spiritual Director and developer of award-winning Jewish cultural programs (www.elyssawortzman.com). Elyssa has a Doctorate of Ministry in youth mindfulness through the arts and recently received the Rabbi Samuel Sandler Award in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation for her work using art as a means of Jewish Spiritual Direction with children and youth. Wortzman is a Fellow... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

3:00pm

Storytelling Through Virtual Reality
Many think of technology as being disconnect from the world. And that's been true for some time. Radio and TV ushered in the broadcast era, creating passive participants who solely consumed content. Recently, virtual reality has come forward, showing the promise of being a new creative medium. Beyond being a compelling and exciting experience, virtual reality is actually allowing the audience to become participants, utilizing many of our senses for full body experiences. We are at the very beginning stages of creating content for virtual reality, but those who have tried some of the best experiences understand how powerful it can be. This session will explore our human need for immersion, interaction and how virtual reality is a new magical medium for storytelling. 

Presenter
avatar for Yelena Rachitsky

Yelena Rachitsky

A participant at the first Limmud Bay area, Yelena is the Creative Producer & Head of Education at Oculus Story Studio (Facebook), leading their efforts in outreach and curation. She is back from presenting at the Cannes and Tribeca Film Festivals on the possibility of social change through storytelling with Virtual Reality. Prior to Story Studio, Yelena was the Creative Producer of the annual Future of StoryTelling (FoST... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

3:00pm

Lessons from Ancient Jewish Coinage
We will review the history of coinage under Jewish administrations, starting close to the beginning of distinctive coins, around 300 BCE to the Second Revolt against Rome during the Second Century, CE. We will examine the symbols and political messages that the coins convey and the political lessons the Jewish People should take from those coins in historical context.

Presenter
avatar for Abraham D. Sofaer

Abraham D. Sofaer

Abraham Sofaer is an attorney and scholar. He has had a career in both the public and private sectors in law. In the process, he became interested in the coinage of the Holy Land, and in particular in coinage issued by prior governments under Jewish control. Mr. Sofaer spent over 35 years collecting such coins, which now have all been gifted by him and his wife to the Israel Museum and the American Numismatic Society.


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

3:00pm

With a Great Love: Hesed Meditation
We will learn the practice of offering loving blessings to others and of opening our hearts to receive the love offered by others and by the Holy One. We will read a few texts about this practice from Hasidic rebbes.

Presenter
avatar for Jacob Staub

Jacob Staub

Rabbi Jacob Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. At RRC, he co-founded in 1998 and still directs the Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction. This past year, he co-founded and co-directs Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a Jewish Meditation instructor and leads contemplative... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

3:00pm

Coffee, Culture & Community
Many Jewish people today identify themselves as cultural Jews meaning that they have a love for Jewish music, food, art, literature and more. This presentation will blend three 'C's' into a conversation about Jewish identity and a place where it might be properly brewed. Step in, have a seat at "Sunrise, Sunset," a contemporary Jewish coffee house, and we'll talk more.

Presenter
avatar for Mark Melamut

Mark Melamut

Mark tries to learn something new every day and it is the pursuit and passion of Jewish learning that started him on his path. The path meandered from Henry S. Jacobs Camp, Yale Divinity School, Arad and Jerusalem, to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Completing his rabbinical studies in 2008, Mark arrived and settled in comfortably to San Francisco and currently, Pacifica. Since 2008 he has been serving as Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of... Read More →


3:00pm

New Manifestations of the Oldest Hate: Anti-Semitism Today
The fundamental condition for Jews in the U.S. has significantly changed for the better over the last century. While we have made great progress combating anti-Semitism, we continue to see it re-emerge with modern twists and, through the internet, to reach wider audiences. This session will focus on anti-Semitism in America today, as well as the disturbing trends in the global rise of this age-old hate.

Presenter
avatar for Deborah Lauter

Deborah Lauter

Deborah Lauter has been with the Anti-Defamation League for 16 years and currently serves as Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs overseeing ADL’s domestic portfolio, including Civil Rights, Education, Government Relations, and the Center on Extremism. A native Californian, Deborah received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley; and a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law and currently resides in New York City with her... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
Student Center Ballroom B

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.

Presenter
avatar for Sue Fishkoff

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 24, 2016 3:00pm - 4:10pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

3:00pm

FILM: Refusenik
REFUSENIK is the first retrospective documentary to chronicle the thirty-year movement to free Soviet Jews. It shows how a small grassroots effort bold enough to take on a Cold War superpower blossomed into an international human rights campaign that engaged the disempowered and world leaders alike. Told through the eyes of activists on both sides of the Iron Curtain - many of whom survived punishment in Soviet Gulag labor camps - the film is a tapestry of first-person accounts of heroism, sacrifice, and ultimately, liberation. U.S./2007/120 minutes

Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Darwin 107

3:00pm

Putting Together the Pieces: Reconstructing Tanakh / Double Session
DOUBLE SESSION (This session meets, with a break, until 5:40pm.) The books of the Tanakh are often subtly interconnected.  Narratives, particular words or phrases, the names of places and general themes echo across passages in ways that were probably quite clear to those hearing the stories in earlier times but have become obscure to later readers.  Indeed, without the opportunity to place some of these texts side by side and explore them, we easily miss much of their meaning.

We will explore one illustrative set of fruitful connections.  We will study three quite disparate Biblical texts in separate study groups and then “jigsaw” into newly integrated groups of “experts” who have read those separate texts but now need to create an interpretation that depends on finding the connections, contradictions and echoes that the texts have with one another. In this session, based on an essay by Ken Cohen, a frequent teacher at Lehrhaus Judaica, we will read texts from Genesis, Judges, and Samuel 1, and then form new study groups whose members draw on their newly developed expertise to address a broader question.  We will put together the pieces.

 

Presenter
avatar for Lee Shulman

Lee Shulman

Lee Shulman met his wife Judy in 1957 at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin where he was a counselor and teacher. Since then, he has been enthusiastic about opportunities for social and cognitive interaction in places for Jewish learning. He has devoted many years to research and writing on teaching and learning. He retired in 2008 after eleven years as president of the Carnegie Foundation and has returned to Stanford University where he is Professor... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 3:00pm - 5:40pm
Student Center Ballroom C

4:30pm

Of Women, War & Lullabies: a Personal Journey to Find our Shared Humanity
Hanna Yaffe presents world lullabies, touching upon their historical, emotional and psychological backgrounds. Hear the songs that highlight that contrast between the innocence and sweetness of babies, and the horrors of war. Hanna has released a poignant CD, 'Birth in a Time of Bloodshed,' a compilation of traditional lullabies written in times of war and exile. Hear the songs that women sing their children in time of distress. Though the melodies are calming, the lyrics give maternal expression to love, fear, hope and despair. Says Yaffe, "I want to emphasize our shared humanity. The level of racism and intolerance prevalent in Israel/Palestine, today, horrifies me. It is my fervent wish that these lullabies will engender empathy and respect towards 'the other' and lead to an enhanced empathy and understanding of the effects of war on women and children."

Presenter
avatar for Hanna Yaffe

Hanna Yaffe

Singer and musical researcher Hanna Yaffe lives in Jerusalem. She has been a humanist and spiritual activist since the age of 19. Hanna is an active member of Shira Hadasha, a feminist Orthodox synagogue. She regularly leads prayers at Shira Hadasha, and for egalitarian and women's groups around Israel. Hanna has performed and lectured (amongst others) at Limmud UK, the Edinburgh Festival for Spirituality, and the World Parliament of... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

4:30pm

Sing in the Limmud Chorale
Learn Shabbat songs in 2,3 and 4 part harmony. Sing together at one of the Limmud Shabbat services and be part of the Saturday night entertainment. The music is gratifying to the most experienced of singers, yet accessible to the beginning volunteer.

Presenter
avatar for Linda Hirschhorn

Linda Hirschhorn

Cantor Linda Hirschhorn is a performing singer/songwriter/composer and story-teller. She travels around the country working with or creating community choruses. She has released 10 recordings of original songs and published hundreds of songs that have been covered by other artists, used in movies, choreographed by dance companies and sung in synagogues throughout the world. Linda has been the Cantor at Temple Beth Sholom in San Leandro since... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley

4:30pm

The Arab-Israel Conflict: Roots of the Conflict
Roots of the Arab-Israel conflict will offer a historical survey of the conflict from its earliest manifestations to today. We will review some archaeological evidence related to the conflict and assess both the Israeli and the Arab narratives to discern their myths from their facts. 

Presenter
avatar for David Meir-Levi

David Meir-Levi

David Meir-Levi has spent the last 16 years researching, analyzing, teaching, publishing, learning and debating issues related to the Arab-Israel conflict. Both an Israeli and an American, with a strong background in ancient and modern Near Eastern history, David brings a high level of acumen, training, and experience to any conversation about Israel and the modern Middle East.


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

4:30pm

Let There Be Light: How Etymology Reveals the Sod of Torah
The Sod of Torah is neither the Kabbalah nor Gematria. Rather, hidden in the Torah is a word for word translation based on Hebrew etymology that informs a deep and specific understanding of the human mind and how it functions in a complex world. Adam is not named after the red earth from which he is said to have been made, but rather as an expression of his essence as a representation of the first true thinker, his name being derived from the Hebrew verb DaMaH meaning to consider, to imagine, to plan, and to compare. Avram is not only the first of our patriarchs, the first to recognize haShem, he is also a representation of the human willingness to fully engage with the world that haShem created, his name being derived from the Hebrew verb aVaH meaning to be willing to give forth of oneself and RaM meaning elevated of exalted. Come and explore a level of Torah beyond your expectations.

Presenter
avatar for David Kolinsky

David Kolinsky

Delving deeply into the Sod component of the PaRDeS of Torah for the past 16 years, Dr. David Kolinsky, will be elucidating a world of Torah that few have explored. A physician from Monterey, California, David has been a lay leader at the conservative congregation B'nai Torah and a Gabbai at his local Chabad. Come and explore the deepest layer of meaning hidden in the Torah through a new and rich etymological understanding of Biblical Hebrew... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

4:30pm

PANEL: Walk With Me, Talk With Me: The New/Old Practice of Jewish Spiritual Direction
Launch your LimmudBA 2016 journey by exploring the quiet revolution of spiritual direction with an extraordinary panel of leaders in this new/old form of Jewish practice.  Unknown to most Jews, even though it is being offered in four rabbinical schools and three independent training programs, and Jewish spiritual directors are active in many communities across the US and around the world, spiritual direction helps cultivate our ability to discern the holiness/God’s presence in our daily lives - in the difficult, the joyful, and the everyday moments.  Throughout Jewish history, mentors such as a mashpia or rebbe have provided a place to talk about and explore the spiritual life.    Come learn about this new/old model of spiritual companionship with trainers and leaders in the spiritual direction movement and start your weekend by (re)introducing  your soul to the idea that soul care and growth is one of the primary joys and responsibilities of a Jew. 

 

Moderators
avatar for Wendie Bernstein Lash

Wendie Bernstein Lash

Wendie Bernstein Lash, M.S., is a spiritual director, supervisor, and mentor. Wendie is the Co-director of the Morei Derekh Jewish Spiritual Direction training program and the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction and is a board member of Spiritual Director’s International. She leads a monthly contemplative chanting service at Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto. She completed Jewish meditation teacher training at Chochmat HaLev... Read More →

Presenter
avatar for Yesh Ballon

Yesh Ballon

Yeshaya Douglas Ballon is certified as a Vatik (Sage-ing Mentor) by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He is a trained facilitator of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Wise Aging program and is nearing completion of ALEPH's 3-year Hashpa'ah (Spiritual Direction) certification training. Yesh sits on the Board of the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction. He is a retired architect and corporate trainer, now focusing on spiritual... Read More →
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 →
avatar for Jacob Staub

Jacob Staub

Rabbi Jacob Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. At RRC, he co-founded in 1998 and still directs the Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction. This past year, he co-founded and co-directs Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a Jewish Meditation instructor and leads contemplative... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Student Center Ballroom B

4:30pm

Putting Together the Pieces: Reconstructing Tanakh (cont. from 3pm)
This is a continuation of the session that began at 3:00pm.

Presenter
avatar for Lee Shulman

Lee Shulman

Lee Shulman met his wife Judy in 1957 at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin where he was a counselor and teacher. Since then, he has been enthusiastic about opportunities for social and cognitive interaction in places for Jewish learning. He has devoted many years to research and writing on teaching and learning. He retired in 2008 after eleven years as president of the Carnegie Foundation and has returned to Stanford University where he is Professor... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
Student Center Ballroom C

4:30pm

A Reading from 'Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living'
In Yiscah's own words, “The story I want to tell is the story of a man, facing his truth, embracing the woman she was always meant to be and returning to her faith and home with wholeness and authenticity.” Yiscah’s story is important for everyone to hear and will inspire and empower others who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to wholeness in their lives.  Yiscah will share her story and excerpts from her book, followed by a Q&A period. At the conclusion, books will be available for sale and signing.

Presenter
avatar for Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith is a spiritual activist, Jewish educator and mentor. Her life has been an inspiring and courageous journey of the joy and struggles with her spirituality, gender identity and commitment to living a life of authenticity. She recently published her memoir: Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living. Yiscah lives in Jerusalem and teaches and lectures on texts that emphasize the Torah’s spiritual insights. In her... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

4:30pm

One Breath at a Time — Practicing Jewish Mindfulness Meditation
If you've always wondered what it would be like to meditate Jewishly, come join us! 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 linked to Shabbat, instructions about how to meditate and we will have a short meditation sit. Experienced meditators are welcome to join us, but the session is geared toward beginners. This is a lovely way to prepare for and enjoy Shabbat!

Presenter
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 24, 2016 4:30pm - 5:40pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

4:30pm

Race to Identity: How One Informs the Other and the Way We Live Our Lives
Through telling of story, grappling with rich questions, and exploring tools to deepen understanding and enhance skills, together we will discuss notions of Jewish identity, issues of race and racism, and fortify our personal and community capacities to advance racial justice.

Presenter
avatar for Ilana Kaufman

Ilana Kaufman

Ilana Kaufman is Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay, for the San Francisco, CA-based Jewish Community Relations Council. She has twenty years of leadership, community building and organizational development experience. As a strategic designer, planner and problem solver, Ilana is regularly engaged by regional and national Jewish federations, community relations organizations, philanthropic entities and community service... Read More →


5:45pm

LightUp Limmud: Gather & Greet
Kick-off the weekend getting to know your fellow Limmudnicks. Have some fun at a light hearted, lively, and fully participatory session where we will mix things up and find out about each other. Your smile is your entrance fee. No preparation or small-talk skills required.



Friday June 24, 2016 5:45pm - 6:30pm
Student Center Lobby

6:45pm

Poetry at Twilight: Jake Marmer's Performance
Jake Marmer is a poet and performer. Walking the line between poetry and music, improvisation and composition, written and performed word, Jake dips into the wells of Jewish mythology, riffing, rethinking classic and marginalized Jewish tropes on poetry's turf. His work was hailed as a “soulful narrative line in counterpoint to … language-drunk abstractions” (The Jewish Week), “experience of mystic pleasures … freshly contemporary” (Shofar), & a “thought provoking debut” (All About Jazz).

Presenter
avatar for Jake Marmer

Jake Marmer

Jake Marmer is a poet, performer and educator. His first record, Hermeneutic Stomp (Blue Thread Music, 2013), featuring jazz-klez luminaries Frank London, Greg Wall, Eyal Maoz, and Uri Sharlin, brings together diverse poetic traditions, jazz and klezmer. It was hailed as a “soulful narrative line in counterpoint to … language-drunk abstractions” (The Jewish Week) and a “thought provoking debut” (All About Jazz). His... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 6:45pm - 7:30pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

6:45pm

Contemplative Kabbalat Shabbat
Using niggunim, silence, chant, and movement we will experience prayer together in a spacious way, listening for the holy and the still small voice to emerge as we enter into Shabbat.

Presenter
avatar for Wendie Bernstein Lash

Wendie Bernstein Lash

Wendie Bernstein Lash, M.S., is a spiritual director, supervisor, and mentor. Wendie is the Co-director of the Morei Derekh Jewish Spiritual Direction training program and the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction and is a board member of Spiritual Director’s International. She leads a monthly contemplative chanting service at Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto. She completed Jewish meditation teacher training at Chochmat HaLev... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 6:45pm - 7:30pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

6:45pm

Kabbalat Shabbat Conservative egalitarian minyan
Kabbalat Shabbat traditional egalitarian minyan.

Friday June 24, 2016 6:45pm - 7:30pm
Student Center Ballroom C

6:45pm

Kabbalat Shabbat davening (with a mechitzah)
Traditional Kabbalat Shabbat davening with a mechitzah.

Friday June 24, 2016 6:45pm - 7:30pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley

6:45pm

6:45pm

'I'm Jewish.' 'So am I.' 'Me too.' Exploring Our Jewish Identities
Over the course of 3,000 years, generation-to-generation, the spark of our Jewish gene has thrived and flourished. Influenced by the unique qualities of our collective heritage, we individually develop a sense of what it means to be Jewish. In this humble session, we will sit with one another in circle to explore the essence of our Jewish identity through our own personal story telling. We will tap into the depth of who we were as Jews yesterday, who we are as Jews today, and who we want to intentionally become as the Jews of tomorrow. Please join us for a shared experience of connection, self-exploration and collective intelligence.

Presenter
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 →


6:45pm

Thoughts of a Jewish Futurist
Thanks to its illustrious prophets (Jonah, Isaiah, etc.), seers (Weizmann,  Ben Gurion, etc.), and future-makers (Rambam, Herzl, etc.) Judaism has a long relationship with the art of futuristics (a creative exploration of alternative futures; their strengths and weaknesses; and pragmatic ways to secure, improve, or avoid these alternatives). Attention in this workshop will go to four major future  scenarios (Probable/Possible/Preferable/ Preventable) and some prime "rules" for forecasting, as everyone can gain from familiarity with these basic forecasting "tools." With this as backdrop a discussion will be invited of alternative futures for American Jewry and also Israeli Jewry, guided in large part by the energizing tenet - "If you would 'know' the future, help shape it!"

Presenter
avatar for Arthur Shostak

Arthur Shostak

Art Shostak enjoyed a 43 year career as an Applied Sociologist and Professional Futurist, first at the Wharton School, U. of Penn. and then at Drexel University. A founding member of the World Future Society, Art authored or edited 33 books of bold forecasts or novel social problem responses. On retiring in 2003, he reinvented himself as a Holocaust scholar, and has since studied 195 survivor memoirs, visited 48 Holocaust museums... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 6:45pm - 7:30pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

7:45pm

Shabbat Dinner
Friday June 24, 2016 7:45pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom

9:00pm

Family Storytelling
Special Family Program: Kids (ages 2-10) get to come in pjs, all ready for bed, to listen to stories that will bring a big day of fun to a gentle end. This delightful 45-minute program is designed for children AND their parents, to hear Maggidah (storyteller) Liora Brosbe tell Jewish tales new and old, favorites and originals that will send the kids off to bed ready for another day of discovery at Limmud. Families are encouraged to eat dinner early with enough time to be ready to be enchanted by a real live storyteller. Time to snuggle up to pave the way for a night of sweet dreams.  (Sponsored by PJ Library)

Presenter
avatar for Liora Brosbe

Liora Brosbe

A Bay Area native, Liora currently serves as Youth and Family Concierge at the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. Liora connects families with PJ Library and supports them in engaging in Jewish life in the East Bay area. Liora is also a formally trained Maggidah, a Jewish storyteller and teacher, and has performed at Limmud Bay Area and Limmud UK. She is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist whose prior... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:00pm - 9:45pm
Camp Suite in dorms

9:20pm

Rikudei Am: The Energy and Elegance of Israeli Dancing — Oneg Shabbat Dancing
Oneg Shabbat Dancing. Celebrate Shabbat with Israeli music and dance. If you can walk and clap, you can do Israeli dance! Minimal teaching, just enough to get you up and dancing.

Presenter
avatar for Aaron Alpert

Aaron Alpert

Markid, Nirkoda!
Aaron was Israeli dancing before he could walk (carried by his parents, of course)! Israeli folk dance has since served as Aaron's connection to Israel, Jewish history and religion, and the Jewish community. Whether teaching at UC Berkeley, weekend dance retreats (e.g., Camp Rikud in Malibu), or at his own monthly harkada, Aaron loves to share the joy and energy of rikudei am. Come join the wonderful community of Bay Area dancers and friends!


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Recreation Center: Niagara Studio

9:20pm

A Woman Mohel: Yes, No, Maybe?
Enjoy a text based session exploring the Talmudic perspectives on women preforming circumcisions and it's modern day ramifications.

Presenter
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 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley

9:20pm

Elijah: Fierce Prophet, Time Traveler, Harbinger of the Messiah, Folksy Hero
From Biblical zealot to the ever-helpful folk hero, Elijah has captured the imagination of Jews throughout our history. How is it that Elijah appears in so many different guises? What is it about Elijah that Jews around the world and throughout the generations have felt so connected to his character and story? How is it that so many people feel a direct connection to Elijah? Have you ever had an Elijah moment? And, what's the deal with opening the door on Pesach? In this session, we will look at source texts that illuminate the various roles Elijah plays in our tradition.

Presenter
avatar for Abra Greenspan

Abra Greenspan

Abra Greenspan has been engaged in Jewish learning in the Bay Area for a long time! She has taught in a variety of settings including camps, synagogue schools, Hillel, Kevah classes and Limmud. She was the Director of Youth Education at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco for 12 years. She is currently the Director of Learning at Congregation Etz Chayim in Palo Alto. She has also taught at the synagogue in Tokyo, Japan where she lived for... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

9:20pm

Forgiveness and 'The Sunflower'
"While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he had participated, the soldier wanted to confess to--and obtain absolution from--a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But even years after the war had ended, he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place?" (From the Amazon blurb to "The Sunflower.") You don't have to have read the book. Short presentation. Much discussion. Some Jewish learning, too.

Presenter
avatar for Cary Rosenzweig

Cary Rosenzweig

A simple 'civilian' in the broader Jewish community, Cary is interested in a wide variety of Jewish topics. Cary "sheps nachus" from his son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Jessica, and their beautiful baby, Judah William. Professionally, Cary is a mentor/coach to CEOs of venture capital backed companies.


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Student Center Ballroom B

9:20pm

Midot (Qualities of Soul) for the Rodef Shalom (Pursuer of Peace)
The Psalmist commands us to be seekers and pursuers of peace in our lives. The best preparation to being rod'fei shalom (pursuers of peace) in our relationships, families, and communities is the state of our own souls. In this workshop we study and practice a number of middot/qualities of soul that are particularly important for the pursuit of peace.

Presenter
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 →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

9:20pm

On Becoming Human 1: How to Be an Image of God — Understood in Secular and Religious Terms
One of Judaism's most revolutionary teachings is that every human being is an image of God. We will try to understand this claim in both secular and religious terms, delving into the evolution of life, the nature of human dignities and human capacities, and the implications for ethics and ritual.

Presenter
avatar for Yitz Greenberg

Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg has founded, led and inspired organizations that enrich the religious, cultural and institutional life of American Jewry. For decades, he has had an immense impact on Jewish life and learning. An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as a historically and theologically transformative event and Israel as the Jewish assumption... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
Darwin 103

9:20pm

'My Open Book' Live
"My Open Book" uses Jewish and general texts to achieve personal breakthroughs. Come to this UNREHEARSED session, meet participants and be a fly on the wall as they discuss their challenges with their coach, using literature to advance and progress on their journey.

Presenter
avatar for David Levin-Kruss

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss sees himself as a bridge between Jewish tradition and those wanting to connect to that tradition. He directs special programs and is on the faculty of the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem as well as teaching and helping to organize the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash. He founded and directs “My Open Book,” which uses general and Jewish texts and life coaching techniques to achieve personal breakthroughs. He holds a... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

9:20pm

Fifty Shades of Talmud: Why and How I Wrote the Book
Maggie Anton will discuss how the research behind her "Rashi's Daughters" historical novels, which take place in 11th century France in the household of the great Talmud scholar, led her to start studying what our Sages had to say about sex. Surprised and impressed at their comparatively progressive views, she decided to share the best of what she'd learned in her newest book.

Presenter
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:30pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

9:20pm

From Artificial Senses to Electronic Soul: Progress in Neural Interfaces
The electrical nature of neural signaling allows efficient bi-directional electrical communication with the neural system. Such interfaces are utilized for restoration of sensory inputs, such as hearing for the deaf, and sight for the blind. Interfaces with the peripheral neuro-muscular system and with the motor cortex of the brain can actuate prosthetic limbs. Deep brain stimulation helps to control depression and tremor in patients with Alzheimer disease. With technological advances and progress in understanding neural systems, these interfaces may allow not only restoration of lost function, but also augmentation and expansion of our capabilities, such as external memory and data processing, artificial senses and new states of mind. What is the future of our electronic soul? 

Presenter
avatar for Daniel Palanker

Daniel Palanker

Daniel Palanker is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and in the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University. He is working on optical and electronic technologies for diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and prosthetic applications, primarily in ophthalmology. In the field of electro-neural interfaces, Dr. Palanker is developing neural stimulators for electronic control of organs, including retinal prosthesis for... Read More →


Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 10:40pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

9:20pm

FILM: The Kindergarten Teacher
Nadav Lapid's The Kindergarten Teacher is the story of a teacher who becomes at first enchanted, and then consumed, by the poetic genius of her five-year-old student. Yoav has an otherworldly talent for language and poetry -- gifts his teacher seeks to cultivate. When fascination morphs into obsession, Nira pushes the boundaries of her relationship with the boy and his family in an attempt to protect the purity of his talent. Israel/2014/120 minutes

Friday June 24, 2016 9:20pm - 11:20pm
Darwin 107
 
Saturday, June 25
 

7:30am

Saturday Breakfast
Saturday June 25, 2016 7:30am - 9:15am
Student Center Ballroom

8:45am

Orthodox Minyan
Saturday June 25, 2016 8:45am - 10:30am
SC2084 Alexander Valley

9:15am

What's Nu in American Jewish Music?
From singer/songwriters and Afro-beat big bands to Ladino and Yiddish singers in numerous styles, Jewish music is as fresh, deep and exciting as any American musical genre. Join radio host Andy Muchin to sample the best new Jewish tunes and learn about the artists who are creating the American Jewish hit parade.

Presenter
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 →


Saturday June 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
SC2081 Knight's Valley

9:15am

On the Map / Off the Map
The many maps of Israel and the stories they tell. An exploration of narratives, point of views and commentary through reading and decoding maps.

Presenter
avatar for Vavi Toran

Vavi Toran

As the Israel Education and Arts & Culture Specialist at Jewish LearningWorks, Vavi fashions educational strategies and programs focusing on the integration of the arts in Jewish settings that have since become a model locally and nationally. Vavi believes that TEXT, which most Jewish study and education is based on, is not exclusively verbal! It can be found in visual arts, music, movement and other creative expressions.


Saturday June 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
SC2085 Bennett Valley

9:15am

Retelling the Shoah: Adding Stealth Altruism
Shoah memorialization remembers primarily the Horror Story, or what perpetrators did TO Jewish victims. Overlooked is what victims tried to do FOR one another, the Help Story. At risk of life certain European Jews aided the survival of kin and strangers alike. Their acts of stealth altruism offer a lesson in humankind's altruistic impulse and related Judaic props. Fortunately, some major museums are moving beyond horror centrism in favor of an inspiring Both/And retelling of the Shoah.

Presenter
avatar for Arthur Shostak

Arthur Shostak

Art Shostak enjoyed a 43 year career as an Applied Sociologist and Professional Futurist, first at the Wharton School, U. of Penn. and then at Drexel University. A founding member of the World Future Society, Art authored or edited 33 books of bold forecasts or novel social problem responses. On retiring in 2003, he reinvented himself as a Holocaust scholar, and has since studied 195 survivor memoirs, visited 48 Holocaust museums... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

9:15am

The Limits of Belief or Does God Care?
In this session we will look at classical and contemporary Jewish texts (all in translation and accessible to all) to see how the Jewish tradition sets limits with regard to believing in the existence and behavior of God. In an age when inherited notions of the divine are increasingly hard to identify with, this session will present alternatives for the believer and non-believer alike.

Presenter
avatar for Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg is Head of School at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, CA. Ordained in 2005, Rabbi Kleinberg received his doctorate in 2014. The working title of his forthcoming book is Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg and the Encounter with American Jewish Identity. He is a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage Program, Melton, The Kitchen, and Gvanim, and serves on the board of Lehrhaus Judaica.


Saturday June 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
SC2082 Russian River Valley

9:15am

9:15am

9:15am

Shabbat Morning Hebrew 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).

Presenter
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 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
Under the Oak (outside between the Student Center and Salazar)

9:15am

Yin Yoga Soul Shine
This class is an invitation to rediscover your Jewish wisdom and neshama (soul) through a rejuvenating yin yoga flow accompanied by ancient Hebrew healing chants and soothing sounds which will allow us to release tension and stress and lead us into a sense of deep relaxation and reconnection with our true selves. It is open to ALL levels of Yoga practitioners wishing to journey inwards and rekindle their connection with Judaism in an embodied way.

Presenter
avatar for Helaine Sheias

Helaine Sheias

Helaine Sheias, PHD, ERYT-500 Helaine is a certified international group facilitator and Kripalu-inspired YinYoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. She holds a doctoral degree in Human Sciences and is the originator of Eco-Yoga Healing, an earth-based spiritual approach to health and well-being. She is a graduate of the Socially Engaged Spirituality program at Saybrook Graduate school. A pious believer in the Yogic 'My body is my temple... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 9:15am - 11:00am
Recreation Center: Niagara Studio

11:15am

Community Beit Midrash
One of the thrills of Limmud is the unique opportunity to consume tons of learning in generous helpings. This year, we continue the tradition of a Community Beit Midrash/Study Hall before Shabbat lunch. We'll enjoy a feast of learning before we feast again. The intellectual banquet laid out before us is overflowing with delights. After our text is presented by Yaffa Epstein, we will dive deep into chevruta study and a group conversation on the text, prompted by guiding questions. Then we'll return to the larger group to share reflections and insights.

Presenter
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 11:15am - 12:25pm
Student Center Ballroom

12:30pm

Saturday Lunch
Saturday June 25, 2016 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Student Center Ballroom

2:00pm

Art Labyrinth
Marina and Elena are back with an art workshop, an oasis where you will have fun exploring different techniques and media to produce your own work of art. Relax and express your style, learn to capture the beauty of a line, vibrancy of a color, elegance of a human shape, and enjoy the process of artistic expression that springs from your curiosity. All levels are welcome and everyone will have an opportunity to immerse into the creative process in combination with the magic sauce of inspiration from other artists, meditation, movement, and music.

Presenter
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 →
avatar for Marina Tolstunov

Marina Tolstunov

Marina has always been passionate about art, she is constantly learning (formally and informally) and experimenting with different forms of art: painting on canvas and silk, artistic photography, drawing. She loves sharing her passion for art and organizes "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" workshops where participants explore creativity, experiment with new techniques, and spend time together. She organized a very popular silk painting... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Stevenson 3076

2:00pm

The Unauthorized Autobiography: Taking a Humorous Look at Life, Including Your Own
In this part-performance, part-presentation, part-Q&A, Marc will share pieces of the one-man show he’s been developing throughout his life, Marc Engel: An Unauthorized Autobiography, to demonstrate the value of humor for catharsis and connection. The thought-bubble over your head might read: “Yeah, that’s great. Why should I go watch some unknown schmuck work out his act when I could learn something more substantive in another session?” Why? Because this session promises lots of laughs, relatable themes, and opportunities for self-reflection—all with the intention of helping you find and stay connected to the funny in your life, whether or not it’s turned out as you expected (or was expected of you).

Presenter
avatar for Marc Engel

Marc Engel

Marc Engel has been writing and performing comedy since age 18. He has headlined business, charity and Jewish events; performed on both coasts and in the UK; performed on live television with Shelley Berman; was in two improv/sketch comedy troupes with Kristen Wiig; and had his parody songs aired on The Howard Stern Show. Alan Kalter, former announcer on Late Night with David Letterman, called him, “Very funny”—unfortunately for... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

2:00pm

Naming in Middle East Geo-Politics or What's in a Name?
Throughout the history of the Middle East (or is it the Near East?), the naming of places and people has been a political/geo-political act. How do these names influence our political perceptions? How and from where are these names derived? We will focus on the meaning of Palestine (it's not what you think or were taught), including a few ironies along the way. For instance, some refuse to use the terms "West Bank" and "Palestine" and prefer "Judea and Samaria" -- two Roman names.

Presenter
avatar for Dani Renan

Dani Renan

Dani Renan is an attorney and environmental hydorgeologist/geochemist. He served in Nachal, the IDF, and studied history at Hebrew University, where he also worked as a tour guide and medic for the overseas programs. Water science, engineering, and water policy have intersected most of his studied subjects and professional work. Dani has sailed since the age of seven, winning second place in the Israel Nationals 420 (sailboat... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Darwin 102

2:00pm

The Sociology of American (Jewish) Identity
Beginning in the late 19th century, the United States quickly became the most diverse country in history. Ever since the great waves of immigrants arrived on these shores, scholars have tried to understand the nature and meaning of identity in America. In this session, Darren Kleinberg will take us on a journey across a century-long arc of theories of individual and group identity. From the melting pot, to pluralism, to postethnicity, we will consider the meaning of these theories for our own lives and for the contemporary American Jewish community.

Presenter
avatar for Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg is Head of School at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, CA. Ordained in 2005, Rabbi Kleinberg received his doctorate in 2014. The working title of his forthcoming book is Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg and the Encounter with American Jewish Identity. He is a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage Program, Melton, The Kitchen, and Gvanim, and serves on the board of Lehrhaus Judaica.


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

2:00pm

Actually It Does Matter Who Wrote the Torah
Some claim that it does not matter who wrote the Torah, what's important is what it says. I beg to differ. Come hear what Eliezer Berkovits (liberal orthodox), Harold Schulweis (conservative-reconstructionist), Louis Jacobs (conservative) and Tamar Ross (feminist orthodox) have to say on this issue and see how authorship affects what kind of Jew I am and how I practice.

Presenter
avatar for David Levin-Kruss

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss sees himself as a bridge between Jewish tradition and those wanting to connect to that tradition. He directs special programs and is on the faculty of the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem as well as teaching and helping to organize the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash. He founded and directs “My Open Book,” which uses general and Jewish texts and life coaching techniques to achieve personal breakthroughs. He holds a... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

2:00pm

Fire in the Bones: Hanna and Prayer of Outrage
Do you ever feel like raging to the heavens over the confounded, difficult, contradictory human condition? Feel like hurling the prayerbook aside, running from organized religion and loony religious leaders? So did Hannah, and the Talmud follows her as she prays to God, before God and then (as if) on God the prayer of righteous protest.

Presenter
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!


2:00pm

Mussar: The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions
If we all had what it takes to be a mensch, a person of extraordinary character, wouldn’t we all be one? In fact, everyone has what it takes; we just haven’t been trained to make it happen. Judaism has a program of extreme spiritual fitness that can teach each and every one of us to become a mensch; it’s called Mussar. For over 1000 years, Mussar has taught how to develop character, not simply to overcome our weaknesses but to shine and thrive in life. Join us for a highly interactive program to explore the Soul Trait of Humility. Mussar teaches that Humility is not about being meek, but rather finding the appropriate balance between meekness and arrogance. Whether you are the type of person who wants more courage to speak out, or someone who deep inside knows that you should be a better listener, you’ll come away energized and empowered to take one step closer to your best self.

Presenter
avatar for Greg Marcus

Greg Marcus

Dr. Greg Marcus, aka “the Mussar Man,” is a recovering workaholic who offers guidance on how to lead a life of mindful balance and spiritual integrity, drawing upon timeless Jewish teachings and contemporary wisdom alike. Dr. Greg has a Ph.D. from MIT in molecular genetics, worked for ten years as a marketer in Silicon Valley, and now is a stay at home dad, writer, speaker, and workshop facilitator. He discovered a series of empirical... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

2:00pm

Pirkei Avot/Sage Advice: Life Wisdom from the Rabbis of the Talmud
Since the tenth century, there is a tradition to regularly study a Talmudic book of wisdom, Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers). The book was specially edited for popular consumption and it consists of short, pithy, wisdom-for-life statements collected from 66 Rabbis who lived in the first two centuries of the Common Era. The six chapters of the book are studied every Shabbat, one chapter at a time, in three complete cycles, from Passover until Rosh HaShanah. Our text is chapter 2, and it is taken from Yitz Greenberg's just published book, Sage Advice, a new edition of "Chapters of the Fathers" with his translation, a historical introduction offering his theory of the distinctive rabbinic interpretation of Judaism and a new commentary applying its wisdom to our contemporary situation.

Presenter
avatar for Yitz Greenberg

Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg has founded, led and inspired organizations that enrich the religious, cultural and institutional life of American Jewry. For decades, he has had an immense impact on Jewish life and learning. An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as a historically and theologically transformative event and Israel as the Jewish assumption... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Darwin 103

2:00pm

Bran, Bagels & Bruschetta: My Journey In & Around the Jewish Food World
My "Jewish food story" includes growing up in the food business (my father was a food broker); founding and operating a natural foods store (1973-1975) in the heart of the Brookline, MA kosher food "ghetto"; the origins and evolution of Noah's New York Bagels (1989-1996); and finally the rise and fall of Ristorante Raphael, Berkeley's one and only kosher dairy white table cloth restaurant (1993- 1997). Strictly the facts, the foibles and the fun of selling food to Jews!

Presenter
avatar for Noah Alper

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 →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
Student Center Ballroom C

2:00pm

Creating Soul Connections: Conscious Community Through Mindfulness and the Arts
With an overview of her award-winning work in art and mindfulness with Jewish youth, Elyssa will explain the process she has developed and its roots in Jewish mysticism, and in particular, the Esh Kodesh/Holy Fire. You will have an opportunity to enter into the flow of this process, which includes text study, kavvana setting, art making, aesthetic meditation (modified shiviti practice) and witnessing.

Presenter
avatar for Elyssa Wortzman

Elyssa Wortzman

Dr. Elyssa Wortzman is an artist, educator, Jewish Spiritual Director and developer of award-winning Jewish cultural programs (www.elyssawortzman.com). Elyssa has a Doctorate of Ministry in youth mindfulness through the arts and recently received the Rabbi Samuel Sandler Award in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation for her work using art as a means of Jewish Spiritual Direction with children and youth. Wortzman is a Fellow... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:10pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

2:00pm

FILM: Every Face Has a Name
On April 28, 1945 a large number of survivors from Nazi concentration camps arrived at Malmo harbour in Sweden. Their first steps of freedom were recorded in a 1945 Swedish newsreel. Now, 70 years later, the survivors see the images from the newsreel for the first time. They relive memories of happiness, but also confusion and anxiety. Eventually they recognize themselves -- in a film reel showing the day their lives started again. Every Face Has a Name is a film about the complex moment of liberation. Sweden/2015/75 minutes

Saturday June 25, 2016 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Darwin 107

3:30pm

Israel and the European Union: A Complicated Relationship
Deputy Consul General Ravit Baer will share her insights into the relationship between Israel and the European Union, the vast cooperation in numerous fields such as science and technology, education, culture, free trade and justice. Ravit will also discuss the challenges facing the cooperation between the two sides and the EU’s political decisions that are impacting the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Presenter
avatar for Ravit Baer

Ravit Baer

Ravit Baer took up her position as Israel’s Deputy Consul General to the Pacific Northwest in August, 2015 after serving for five years at the Department for Multilateral European Institutions at the Europe Division. In that position, she was responsible for coordinating Israel’s cooperation with the European Union, NATO, OSCE, UFM, and was also responsible for coordinating the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy in... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Darwin 102

3:30pm

Five Ways to Save The Jewish People
In the midst of political intrigue and personal tension, R. Akiva taught five cases that seem to be obscure and to have absolutely nothing to do with each other. We will become Talmudic detectives and discover what they have in common and how their insights can guide us in building better, more exciting, more robust Jewish life.

Presenter
avatar for David Levin-Kruss

David Levin-Kruss

Rabbi David Levin-Kruss sees himself as a bridge between Jewish tradition and those wanting to connect to that tradition. He directs special programs and is on the faculty of the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem as well as teaching and helping to organize the Silicon Valley Beit Midrash. He founded and directs “My Open Book,” which uses general and Jewish texts and life coaching techniques to achieve personal breakthroughs. He holds a... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

3:30pm

Judaism and Reincarnation
A text base class exploring traditional Jewish sources on soul transmigration.

Presenter
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 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Student Center Ballroom B

3:30pm

On Becoming Human 2: Choose Life — How Every Act in Living Can be Made into a Choice of Life
At the heart of the Jewish religion is the idea that we (actually, all human beings) are in a covenant (commitment/partnership) to repair the world. Jewish tradition teaches that this should be translated not only in community building and social action, but also on a very personal level. To live a life of covenant is to reshape every personal behavior into a maximum choice of life (rather than death). How does this work today ?

Presenter
avatar for Yitz Greenberg

Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg has founded, led and inspired organizations that enrich the religious, cultural and institutional life of American Jewry. For decades, he has had an immense impact on Jewish life and learning. An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as a historically and theologically transformative event and Israel as the Jewish assumption... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
Darwin 103

3:30pm

Queering Jewish Beliefs
LGBTQ+ Jews often trip over homophobic, heteronormative, and hierarchical aspects of the Jewish heritage. In hevruta pairs and in a group as a whole, we will queer traditional texts and engage in imaginative exercises to reframe aspects of Jewish traditions. The objective will be to prepare participants to continue this sacred, lifelong project.

Presenter
avatar for Jacob Staub

Jacob Staub

Rabbi Jacob Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. At RRC, he co-founded in 1998 and still directs the Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction. This past year, he co-founded and co-directs Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a Jewish Meditation instructor and leads contemplative... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

3:30pm

Spirituality in the Third Half
As Boomers face decades of retirement where do they look for meaning? Is there a personal theology for non-believers (as well as for believers)? At long last, is it possible to connect to Spirit, Source, Divine Mystery, or the G-word by any other name? What does “Spiritual Direction” offer? Why now? Explore these and/or other questions about discerning the presence of the ineffable in the most sublime as well as mundane moments of life.

Presenter
avatar for Yesh Ballon

Yesh Ballon

Yeshaya Douglas Ballon is certified as a Vatik (Sage-ing Mentor) by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He is a trained facilitator of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Wise Aging program and is nearing completion of ALEPH's 3-year Hashpa'ah (Spiritual Direction) certification training. Yesh sits on the Board of the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction. He is a retired architect and corporate trainer, now focusing on spiritual... Read More →


3:30pm

Six Weeks In Yeshiva...In One Hour!
When I retired in March of 2015, I brainstormed a list of what I wanted to do. Near the top of that list was to study in yeshiva. As a Jew by Choice I had many gaps in my learning to fill. In May and June of last year, I spent six weeks at Yeshivat Orayta in the Old City of Jerusalem. What led me to do it? What was it like for a 59-year old retiree from Wall Street sitting in class with fifty 18 and 19-year-old students? I will try to recreate that experience for Limmud participants. It was a TREMENDOUS experience, and I hope to pass on the learning and the excitement.

Presenter
avatar for Michael Sosebee

Michael Sosebee

Michael Sosebee lives in Oakland where he is a member of Beth Jacob Congregation. Originally from South Carolina, he is a Jew By Choice who spent 29 years as a Bond Trader and Bond Salesman for Investment Banks. Michael had his Conservative Jewish conversion in May of 2000 and his Orthodox conversion in June of 2015. He now focuses on his family, Judaic learning and supporting Israel. Michael holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

3:30pm

The Evolution and Bio-Mechanics of Standing Balance, A Spiritual Journey
This workshop will explore the intersection between the uniquely human practice of standing upright on two feet and the role this plays in the Jewish practice of “standing before God” to facilitate prayer. After a brief look at the evolution from quadruped to bipedal gait and the accompanying mechanics of the human foot and spine, we will explore the proprioceptive dynamics of standing, walking and balancing to reveal the small, but hugely significant journey between the heel and the forefoot, a journey that not only allows us to “stand before God”, but brings us into a constant relational state of mind.  We will discuss the fascinating emphasis on standing during prayer, a ritual that expresses the essence of what it means to be a human being balancing on those “ridiculously tiny platforms”, our feet.

Presenter
avatar for Deborah Marcus

Deborah Marcus

Deborah Marcus’ 30-year career as a movement professional has spanned the performing arts as a dancer and choreographer in SF and NYC where she danced with the Avodah Dance Ensemble and toured with her own intergenerational movement theater company, Marcus Dance Theater.  Transitioning to the healing arts as a Pilates teacher in the mid 90’s, Deborah founded the Pilates program at the Peninsula Family YMCA, and opened the... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

3:30pm

We Connect, We Inquire, We Share, We Commune!
Love meeting new people at Limmud but wish you knew more about them professionally and could form long-lasting connections to expand your network? This session is for you! We'll bypass the traditional networking format that results mostly in awkward conversations and instead engage in some light and imaginative teamwork that will help you learn about other participants and their core professional competencies. Everyone is welcome: professionals, students, retirees. Come and meet your fellow Limmudniks.

Presenter
avatar for Ivetta Starikova

Ivetta Starikova

Ivetta Starikova is a passionate community organizer with the goal to help others grow personally and professionally. She organizes group mentorship events and resume workshops for Russian-speaking women who work in high-tech. She runs a number of professional groups for Project Managers, Product Managers and Data Scientists. Ivetta has over 15 years of experience working in high-tech and holds a Masters degree in Software Management from the... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:40pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

5:00pm

Ess, Ess, Mayn Kind: Yiddish Songs About Food
Saying that food is central to Jewish culture is like saying that the Pacific Ocean is a little damp. With Yiddish cabaret singer Laura Rosenberg, explore how generations of Jews have used songs about food to settle domestic disputes, motivate children to learn, express their nostalgia for the Old Country, and maybe even teach everyone how to get along. No prior Yiddish or musical knowledge necessary!

Presenter
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 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Student Center Ballroom C

5:00pm

Rikudei Am: The Energy and Elegance of Israeli Dancing/Tzad Rishon: The First Step
Tzad Rishon: The First Step. This session serves as an introduction to those who have never tried Israeli dancing before, or have perhaps seen it only at a bar mitzvah or wedding. Even if you don't know your right from your left, we'll have you doing mayim and Yemenite steps in no time! Put on your dance shoes and get ready to find out what Israeli dancing is all about.

Presenter
avatar for Aaron Alpert

Aaron Alpert

Markid, Nirkoda!
Aaron was Israeli dancing before he could walk (carried by his parents, of course)! Israeli folk dance has since served as Aaron's connection to Israel, Jewish history and religion, and the Jewish community. Whether teaching at UC Berkeley, weekend dance retreats (e.g., Camp Rikud in Malibu), or at his own monthly harkada, Aaron loves to share the joy and energy of rikudei am. Come join the wonderful community of Bay Area dancers and friends!


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Recreation Center: Niagara Studio

5:00pm

Angels on the Margins
Torah is full of quick glimpses of angels playing pivotal roles in key stories, then disappearing. They hover in our siddur and populate our Midrash. We will look at some examples of familiar and unfamiliar Jewish texts and begin to explore the role of angels. Why are they in the stories? What do they say about how we imagine God? Are they meant symbolically – or might they be there because they are there?

Presenter
avatar for Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ner Shalom, just down the block in Cotati, since 2008. For 21 years he performed as “Winnie” in the Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. Irwin blogs about Torah, God, Israel, Earth, queerness, hope, and finding inspiration on the fringe on his blog, Itzik’s Well, located at irwinkeller.com. Irwin continues his rabbinic studies in the Aleph... Read More →


5:00pm

Biblical Psychoanalysis
What would it be like to be a fly on the wall in Moses' one hour session with his therapist?  What about for Cain after he killed his brother? Using the DSM V, what do you think Abraham struggles with just before or immediately following the Binding of Isaac?  Let's take Torah study to a whole new level. Instead of just engaging our tradition through the lens of what Torah can teach us, this session will give us an opportunity to critique, unpack, and psychoanalyze some of our favorite Biblical players. Perhaps when we see them as individuals, as human beings, we can begin to relate to them in a whole new way.  More poignantly, our ancient ancestors of the past seem alive and well even today.

Presenter
avatar for Corey Helfand

Corey Helfand

Rabbi Corey Helfand received his rabbinic ordination in May 2011 from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, along with a Masters in Talmud and Jewish Law. He has a certificate in pastoral care and completed two 400-hour units of Clinical Pastoral Education, one unit at the Zicklin Hospice Center and one at Bellevue Hospital.  As a Gladstein Fellow in Entrepreneurial Rabbinics, Corey served as a rabbinic intern in Riverdale... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

5:00pm

Sacred Wisdom for Living from the Tomer Devorah
The Tomer Devorah is a magnificent book written by the renowned kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (16th century Tsfat). In this book-length midrash on the 13 qualities of the divine, Cordovero offers profound inspiration on the nature of God and how we are to fashion our lives in the divine image.

Presenter
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 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

5:00pm

Scandals of the Talmud 1: Stories They Didn't Teach You in Hebrew School / Ugly Men and Beautiful Rabbis
Ugly Men and Beautiful Rabbis: What is beauty in Judaism? Let's face it - looks matter! But should they matter in Judaism? How do looks play a role in the world and in Jewish life? This class will look at the concept of beauty and ugliness in the Talmud, and try to shed some light on Judaism's perspective on beauty.

Presenter
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Darwin 103

5:00pm

A Jewish Perspective on Coping with Profound Stress
We all face periods of prolonged, intense stress such as during bereavement, caregiving, marital problems, or parenting challenges.  Contrary to what used to be believed, positive emotions play an important role throughout these periods of stress. In this talk, I will describe the purposes served by positive emotions and how we generate them. I will give special attention to the contributions of Jewish beliefs, values, and customs  in sustaining well-being in the midst of stress. The session will include ample time for discussion and Q/A.

Presenter
avatar for Susan Folkman

Susan Folkman

Susan received her PhD from UC Berkeley in 1979 and spent the next thirty years first at Berkeley and then at UCSF learning how people get through periods of sustained, intense stress. Her articles on stress and coping are among the most widely cited in the field. Susan retired from UCSF in 2010 and is now Professor of Medicine, Emeritus at UCSF. Since moving to the Bay Area in 1974 with her husband, David, and their four children, Susan has been... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

5:00pm

Crossing Borders from Exceptional to Criminal: African Asylum Seekers in Israel
The summer of 2015 was dramatically shaped by the "Refugee Crisis," migrations from the global south to the global north. Dealing with irregular migration has become the lot of many Western, developed, democratic states. For such states, negotiating between democratic, universal claims to human rights and state rights to self-sovereignty and border control has become a central challenge. Israel, and its dealings with African asylum seekers, provides a compelling case study for this dynamic. I will explore how African asylum seekers and their rights are constructed in Israeli legal and legislative discourse in order to better our understanding of minority rights in Israel and Israel's commitment to rights protections.

Presenter
avatar for Maayan Ravid

Maayan Ravid

Maayan is an Israeli American hybrid, who has spent the last decade working on social justice issues in Israel, particularly focused on migration and minority rights. She recently completed a Master's degree which examined conceptions of African Asylum Seekers in Israeli legislative and judicial discourse. Simultaneous to her academic work Maayan was involved in grassroots organizing and NGO activism alongside migrant communities in Israel from... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

5:00pm

Social Justice vs. Tikkun Olam: Evolving Ideas or Just Changing Terminology?
In 21st century Jewish life, the term Tikkun Olam can seem omnipresent. But what are the origins of the term? How has it been used and understood at different time periods? When did it become so widespread within Jewish discourse, and why do some Jews shy away from it? Come discuss this fascinating topic and find out!

Presenter
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 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
Student Center Ballroom B

5:00pm

The 11th Commandment - Innovate!
The Jewish people have always been innovators. At pivotal moments in our history, visionary leaders have not just adapted (or adopted), they innovated. Innovation envisions a leap forward and takes our work, our product, or our community to the next level. Innovative thinking can be learned and practiced. When infused with Jewish values and narrative, we can bring Silicon Valley-caliber innovation to our programs and communities. Entrepreneurship tools (business model canvas and systematic inventive thinking) will provide our springboard. We will discuss case studies of innovation, both biblical and contemporary, to inspire our work. We will become a cohort of social entrepreneurs, looking to challenge assumptions, tradition, and cultural norms in order to transform our communities into living laboratories of Jewish life.

Presenter
avatar for Andrew Keene

Andrew Keene

Andrew Keene is an entrepreneurship student at Drexel University and formerly served as the North American President of NFTY, The Reform Jewish Youth Movement. He currently serves as an Executive Board member for the World Union for Progressive Judaism which supports two million progressive Jews across 50 countries. Andrew has spent five summers at the URJ Kutz Camp, the Reform movement's teen leadership development summer camp. Andrew is... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:10pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

5:00pm

FILM: The Farewell Party
The Farewell Party is a unique, compassionate and surprisingly funny story about a group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of their assistance begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with a life and death dilemma. Israel/2014/95 minutes.

Saturday June 25, 2016 5:00pm - 6:35pm
Darwin 107

6:15pm

6:15pm

Egal-Mincha (Torah & Meditation)
Presenter
avatar for Aubrey Glazer

Aubrey Glazer

Aubrey L. Glazer, Ph.D. (University of Toronto) is rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco. As a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Aubrey continues studying and practicing Jewish meditation. Aubrey publishes reflections on contemporary spirituality, including Mystical Vertigo (2013) and is completing a forthcoming book on the intersection of Jewish mysticism and Rinzai Buddhism in the songbook of Leonard Cohen, called... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 6:15pm - 6:45pm
Student Center Ballroom C

6:30pm

Saturday Dinner
Saturday June 25, 2016 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Student Center Ballroom

7:50pm

PANEL: What's So Funny About Yiddish Anyway?
Is there something inherently funny about mamaloshen? What are her charms and how did it come to be that Yiddish is experienced, by some, as an essentially funny language. Is there, in fact, a depth of humor to Yiddish? Is there a specifically Yiddish form of humor? If so, what does it consist of? Kumen tsu trakhten und lakhn with Irwin and YidLife Crisis guys.

Moderators
avatar for Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ner Shalom, just down the block in Cotati, since 2008. For 21 years he performed as “Winnie” in the Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. Irwin blogs about Torah, God, Israel, Earth, queerness, hope, and finding inspiration on the fringe on his blog, Itzik’s Well, located at irwinkeller.com. Irwin continues his rabbinic studies in the Aleph... Read More →

Presenter
avatar for Eli Batalion

Eli Batalion

1/2 of the YidLife Crisis team, Eli Batalion is an award-winning writer, producer, actor, composer and content strategist (or W-PACCS, for short) with an honors MBA from HEC and a magna cum laude BA from Brown University. Eli has created several musical comedy projects for stage and screen, including the feature film Stage Fright with Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf, and the cult short The Legend of Beaver Dam. Eli has also enjoyed teaching and... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Elman

Jamie Elman

1/2 of the YidLife Crisis team, Jamie Elman has been acting on stage, screen and film for more than 20 years, appearing in dozens of award-wining and critically acclaimed movies and television series, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad Men, House MD, American Dreams, Bomb Girls, Shattered Glass, The Chicago 8, and Student Bodies, to name but a few. He is also a Smotrich Scholarship Award recipient for Excellence in Jewish Education, given... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom C

7:50pm

The Crypto-Jewish Experience
Jews were forced to hide their faith and practices at multiple times and places throughout history. This session will explore the history, culture and strategies of Crypto-Jews in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, as well as their contemporary descendants today.

Presenter
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 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Balcony: access via SC 2084/Alexander Valley

7:50pm

The Legal Status of the Waters of the Middle East: Who is Stealing Whose Water?
Mark Twain once remarked: "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fightin’ over.“ This session will present fascinating issues related to this most important life-sustaining resource, with a focus on the Middle East. Are the Middle East "water wars" metaphoric or real?  We will look at where and how much water is there? Who owns or has the legal rights to the waters when different states are involved? Is the situation in the Middle East unique? Are there solutions to the water predicament? Come and learn.

Presenter
avatar for Dani Renan

Dani Renan

Dani Renan is an attorney and environmental hydorgeologist/geochemist. He served in Nachal, the IDF, and studied history at Hebrew University, where he also worked as a tour guide and medic for the overseas programs. Water science, engineering, and water policy have intersected most of his studied subjects and professional work. Dani has sailed since the age of seven, winning second place in the Israel Nationals 420 (sailboat... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

7:50pm

Developing Sacred Chutzpah
Sacred or Holy Audacity/Brazenness/Chutzpah...there is something deep-rooted, a fundamental matter, that without it, one’s spiritual journey – the entirety of a life journey in general – is not able to succeed. From a teaching by Rav Raz Hartman Kehilat V’ani Tefilah, Nachlaot-Yerushalayim, Parshat Shelach, 5774/2014.

Presenter
avatar for Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith is a spiritual activist, Jewish educator and mentor. Her life has been an inspiring and courageous journey of the joy and struggles with her spirituality, gender identity and commitment to living a life of authenticity. She recently published her memoir: Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living. Yiscah lives in Jerusalem and teaches and lectures on texts that emphasize the Torah’s spiritual insights. In her... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

7:50pm

I Place God Before Me Perpetually: Jewish Spiritual Direction
We will engage in the practices of discernment (hitlamdut) and contemplative listening as we explore ways to increase our sense of the sacred Presence in our lives at every moment.

Presenter
avatar for Jacob Staub

Jacob Staub

Rabbi Jacob Staub is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. At RRC, he co-founded in 1998 and still directs the Program in Jewish Spiritual Direction. This past year, he co-founded and co-directs Bekhol Levavkha: A Training Program for Jewish Spiritual Directors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a Jewish Meditation instructor and leads contemplative... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

7:50pm

Scandals of the Talmud 2: Stories They Didn't Teach You in Hebrew School / Suffering is Precious
Suffering is Precious: Physical pain as Spiritual Redemption. There are several stories in the Talmud where the Rabbis praise, extol and even request physical pain, in order to prevent some sort of greater punishment. We will examine these stories, and explore the connection between physical and spiritual pain.

Presenter
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Darwin 102

7:50pm

Leadership of Tomorrow: Developing Our Future Leaders by Revealing Qualities of Our Past
Our history, since the days of Abraham, is dotted with inspiring leaders who guided an entire people, uniting them with love, wisdom, and vision. Nowadays, we see an ever-growing need for a more developed model of leadership in every field of social endeavor — Jewish and otherwise. This session offers insight into what it will truly take to develop new models of leadership and act according to the unique needs of our people and our times. We will discuss the critical elements that characterize a new leadership approach, while experiencing a proven method for nurturing these qualities. How does leadership emerge? Who speaks for the Jews? How can our voices be heard? We will share our insights in meaningful, respectful and connected conversation.

Presenter
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 →


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 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) some Shabbat spirituality to boot. A taste of Shabbat sweetness included!

Presenter
avatar for Doron Shapira

Doron Shapira

Cantor 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 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom B

7:50pm

Civil Rights: Not A History Lesson — A Current Event
We have come a long way as a nation since the heyday of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, but the hard-earned victories of that struggle are far from secure. This session will focus on the top civil rights challenges we face today to secure just and fair treatment for racial minorities, immigrants, women, and the LGBT community.

Presenter
avatar for Deborah Lauter

Deborah Lauter

Deborah Lauter has been with the Anti-Defamation League for 16 years and currently serves as Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs overseeing ADL’s domestic portfolio, including Civil Rights, Education, Government Relations, and the Center on Extremism. A native Californian, Deborah received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley; and a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law and currently resides in New York City with her... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley

7:50pm

Genetics: A Lens into Jewish History
Genetics have a strong relationship with human health, and we know that many Jewish populations have particular genetic backgrounds that are unusual. How do scientists learn about those backgrounds, and what relationship do they have with Jewish history? In this presentation, we will discuss basics of human genetics in relation to Jewish populations. We'll focus on the new insights about genetics in the Jewish population in the last decade. First, we'll introduce the concept of a genome, human variation, and trait dominance and recessiveness. After summarizing inheritance, we'll ask how Jewish genetics reflect the history of different Jewish populations as they've formed over time. The presentation will touch on (a) origin, (b) diversity, and (c) relationships to populations they live with for Ashkenazim, Sfardim, and other populations of Jews. We'll conclude with notes on how geneticists interpret the relationship between our genetic history and our modern health.

Presenter
avatar for Natalie Telis

Natalie Telis

Natalie Telis is a PhD student at Stanford studying the relationship between recent human history, genetics, and modern disease. Originally from the Bay Area, she graduated from Kehillah Jewish High School in 2009, did undergraduate work at UC Davis and is doing doctoral research in the lab of Jonathan Pritchard. For more on her work, check out... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

7:50pm

Memory and Narration: The Persistence of Jewish Identity in Conversion
In my recent interviews with 25 family members, direct descendants of my parents, German Jewish refugees who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1930s, I seek to ascertain the impact of a contested Jewish identity on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the Jewish self. I begin with a few family documents: poems by a paternal grandfather written just before his conversion to German Protestantism; a brief autobiographical sketch by my aging mother recounting her terrifying escape from Nazi Europe some sixty years earlier; an email from a brother's trip to Theresienstadt in homage to our maternal great-grandmother's death there. I follow with excerpts from recent interviews with 25 family members, all attesting in one way or another to the remarkable impact of my mother's role in preserving the family mythos of flight, escape,and survival. Taken together, these texts present an overwhelmingly Jewish story -- however tenuously held or understood.

Presenter
avatar for Angela Botelho

Angela Botelho

I am the Jewish daughter of German Jewish refugees who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1930s. Following a career as an attorney in the California State Attorney General's Office, I began a course of studies at the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. My current presentation is an outgrowth of my 2013 Master's Thesis, entitled 'Modern Marranism: German Jews and the Persistence of Jewish... Read More →


Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

7:50pm

FILM: Above and Beyond
In 1948 a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. As members of Machal – “volunteers from abroad” – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war, they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride. ABOVE AND BEYOND is their story. U.S./2014/90 minutes

Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:20pm
Darwin 107

9:20pm

9:25pm

10:15pm

Saturday Night Bash
Saturday June 25, 2016 10:15pm - 11:45pm
Person Theater

10:15pm

FILM: Footnote
FOOTNOTE is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son, two eccentric professors, who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies. The father, Eliezer, is a stubborn purist who fears the establishment and has never been recognized for his work. His son, Uriel, is an up-and-coming star in the field, who appears to feed on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition. One day, the tables turn. When Eliezer learns that he is to be awarded the Israel Prize his vanity and desperate need for validation are exposed. In a darkly funny twist, Uriel is forced to choose between the advancement of his own career and his father's. Will he sabotage his father's glory? Israel/2011/105 minutes

Saturday June 25, 2016 10:15pm - 11:50pm
Darwin 107
 
Sunday, June 26
 

8:00am

8:00am

Sephardi Piyyutim, Spirituality and Movement
Begin your day with study, meditation and movement. Piyyutim are liturgical poems recited in Jewish prayer services and life cycle celebrations. For centuries piyyutim have been composed across the Jewish diaspora. In the Middle Ages Sephardic poets such as Judah Ha-Levi,  Shlomo Ibn Gabirol  and Avrahm ibn Ezra composed piyyutim that found their way into prayer books and services. Later, Ashkenazi poets composed piyyutim that have also found a place in prayer books. And today, piyyutim continue to be composed. Piyyutim fill the gaps between prayers of praise and supplication, and are sung to any number of melodies. This session will examine the general structure of piyyutim, concentrating on two or three classic Sephardic piyyutim, exploring the meaning and central themes of the texts. We will learn to sing them together. Finally, we will combine melody and movement for a total immersion in the piyyutim that unites melody, voice, breath and body.

Presenter
avatar for Rivka Amado

Rivka Amado

Rivka Amado was born in Israel in a Sephardic family and grew up listening to her grandmother singing Ladino lullabies. As a child Rivka sang Ladino songs, played the piano informally, and sang in her synagogue choir in Jerusalem. Then for over two decades, Rivka taught at several universities: Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv Medical School, Stanford, Berkeley, and Princeton, and has received several awards for her scholarship and teaching. Since... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 8:00am - 8:45am
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

8:15am

Sunday Breakfast
Sunday June 26, 2016 8:15am - 9:15am
Student Center Ballroom

9:30am

Creator Studio
Join the creator of BimBam (formerly G-dcast) and contribute to the artwork for a new music video on the theme Etz Chayim Hi/A Tree of Life. We will do some expressive painting, perhaps some singing, and the video will be produced after Limmud. All are welcome...adults, kids, families, and the young at heart. As a recipient of the 2012 Pomegranate Prize for exceptional young Jewish educators, Sarah’s participation at Limmud Bay Area is supported through the Covenant Foundation.

Presenter
avatar for Sarah Lefton

Sarah Lefton

Kids and adults will create with a pro in workshops with Sarah Lefton, the founder and Director of Bimbam (formerly G-dcast). BimBam is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life. Sarah began working in interactive media in the last millenium, at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Sarah joined Camp Tawonga and, inspired by its... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
Stevenson 3076

9:30am

Rikudei Am: The Energy and Elegance of Israeli Dancing
Le'Machar u'le'Etmol: The History of Israel through Israeli Dancing. The very first Israeli Folk Dances were created in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s by visionaries endeavoring to create a culture for the nascent state of Israel. As the country grew, so did its culture. Experience the history of Israel, as reflected in the development of Israeli folk dancing. This session assumes participants have some familiarity with Israeli dance.

Presenter
avatar for Aaron Alpert

Aaron Alpert

Markid, Nirkoda!
Aaron was Israeli dancing before he could walk (carried by his parents, of course)! Israeli folk dance has since served as Aaron's connection to Israel, Jewish history and religion, and the Jewish community. Whether teaching at UC Berkeley, weekend dance retreats (e.g., Camp Rikud in Malibu), or at his own monthly harkada, Aaron loves to share the joy and energy of rikudei am. Come join the wonderful community of Bay Area dancers and friends!


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
Recreation Center: Niagara Studio

9:30am

What IS a Jewish Film Festival Anyway?
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. What does and does not belong in a Jewish Film Festival?

Presenter
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 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
Darwin 107

9:30am

If Not a Two-State Solution, Then What? If Not Now, Then When?
With the recent increase in terrorist activity, some Israelis to the right of the political spectrum have become more vocal about supporting a one-state solution. At the same time some Palestinians, especially the younger generation, have also expressed greater support for a one-state solution. This session will discuss each group's understanding of a one-state solution, and whether such proposals will allow Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Discussion will then turn to a detailed assessment of the risks and benefits of a two-state solution, just how close we have come to such an agreement, and why negotiations have failed repeatedly in the past.

Presenter
avatar for Stanley Wulf

Stanley Wulf

Dr. Stanley Wulf is a retired physician who speaks about the conflict in the Middle East and the difficulties we experience as Diaspora Jews in hearing and sharing differing views. Stanley was raised in South Africa as a committed Zionist and traditional Jew. His family has a home in Jerusalem. He spends extended periods in Israel and serves on the Board of Molad, the Center for Renewal of Israeli Democracy, headquartered in Jerusalem. Stan was... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

9:30am

Taharah and Shmirah: What Happens to You Between Death and Burial?
In this session I will teach about the Jewish traditions of taharah and shmirah, describing what happens to a person in the time between death and burial. We will explore both the spiritual and physical aspects of this liminal time, which we will all go through at some point. I will be sure to allow plenty of time for questions from the participants.

Presenter
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 →


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2081 Knight's Valley

9:30am

The Alphabet That Changed the World
Learn how the letters of the rabbinic Hebrew alphabet are generated by hand gestures, whose natural meanings are the meaning of each letter. The Hebrew letter-gestures engage all of us with Hebrew, our lashon kodesh/holy language, by teaching and embodying it in a way that is both experiential and meaningful. When children learn the Hebrew alphabet while expressing the gestures, they also get that Hebrew learning as a whole is not just intellectual; it has a spiritual component which embodies the golden rule and how we treat each other.

Presenter
avatar for Daniel Gil

Daniel Gil

Daniel Gil is a composer, musicologist, folk musician, producer, arranger, teacher and performer living in the Boston area. He earned his degree in Composition from Berklee College of Music and has composed and performed music across many genres including classical and folk. Daniel has lectured on the history and nature of Jewish Music at the New England Conservatory, Dartmouth College, Tufts University and various synagogues. He has taught music... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

9:30am

Torah Trope on One Foot
Learn everything you need to know to be able to chant from the Torah scroll. Then practice, practice, practice.

Presenter
avatar for David Gaskill

David Gaskill

Dovid HaSandlar is an apprentice Maggid and B'nai Mitzvah tutor, and was once a well known sandal maker. He is still in the business of molding souls.


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2085 Bennett Valley

9:30am

What *Else* Did Moses Bring Down from Sinai?
We will look at the remarkable convergence of archeological and Torah evidence showing that the Hebrew alphabet was a powerful and disruptive new technology that Moses deployed in Pharaoh's court to liberate the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. It gifted them with extraordinary cognitive and cultural talents, and began a cultural revolution that resonates for millenia.

Presenter
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.


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
Darwin 102

9:30am

Mussar — A Spiritual Practice for Right Speech and More!
Do you ever struggle with how to use words in the way that will bring most benefit to yourself and others? Right speech can be deceptively challenging to apply. Come learn some new tools, as offered by the Mussar tradition, for gaining understanding and skill with this most common aspect of interacting with others. Mussar is a Jewish practice that 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 in the past at Limmud, this year we are looking at a different attribute/middah.) Please come learn about this revolutionary, yet simple, spiritual practice.

Presenter
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.


9:30am

Not Your Mother's Tay Sachs Test: A Modern Approach to Jewish Genetic Screening
What does it mean to be genetically Jewish? What diseases are we at risk for and why? How can you get screened for these diseases without having to jump through hoops? It used to be that Tay-Sachs was the only disease Jewish couples would get screened for before having children. However, we now know of 19 different disorders commonly carried by people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and more than 9 in the Sephardic population. We also know of multiple diseases carried by Jews that aren't exclusively Jewish diseases. For this reason, carrier screening has become much more expanded than just looking at Tay-Sachs disease. This fun and interactive talk will teach you what you need to know to make the best health decisions for you and your current or future family.

Presenter
avatar for Dena Goldberg

Dena Goldberg

Dena Goldberg is a licensed and board-certified genetic counselor at UCSF. She has a BS in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and an MS in Genetic Counseling from University of California, Irvine. She specializes in hereditary cancer syndromes and sees patients through the UCSF Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program. Outside of work, she is very passionate about teaching her community about Jewish genetics and... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2082 Russian River Valley

9:30am

The Jewish Language Debates: Which Languages 'Should' Jews Speak?
A discussion of Jewish languages can engender a spirited exchange, evoking strong opinions and emotions. This presentation will ask participants to discuss their languages of choice or necessity. Then we'll take a stroll through the history of Jewish language development that will include source material. Then we'll look toward the future of Jewish languages. What language would you like to learn?

Presenter
avatar for Karen Bergen

Karen Bergen

Karen Bergen loves to share the music and dance of Ashkenazi culture with children, teen and adults. She served as song-leader for various religious schools for 20 years. She leads Yiddish/klezmer dance; and she serves as a presenter for the "Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids and Teens" project of KlezCalifornia.


Sunday June 26, 2016 9:30am - 10:40am
SC2084 Alexander Valley

11:00am

YidLive! Screening and schtick with YidLife Crisis
Join the creators of YidLife Crisis, the world’s first Chai+ web series, Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, as they mix skits, discussion and screenings, using the “trojan horse” of comedy to bring Yiddish and yiddishkayt to the fore. During an hour of comedy and creativity, they will engage the topic of Jewish identity with their inclusive approach that accepts all forms of Jewry and revitalizes the discussion of Jewish identity. (Warning -- humor.)
 

Presenter
avatar for Yidlife Crisis

Yidlife Crisis

In the summer of 2014, Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion set off to pay tribute to the Yiddish language, culture and comedic tradition they'd been reared on. Calling it "YidLife Crisis," they hatched the world’s first Yiddish sitcom, exploring modern Jewish identity with a mix of comedy, inclusiveness, and a bisl irreverence. Sex, Drugs, Milk & Meat. In Yiddish (and accessible to non-Yiddish speakers!). Rated Chai+. You've been warned.


Sunday June 26, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
Student Center Ballroom

12:00pm

1:20pm

My Jewish Journey: Playful Art
Personal and communal exploration highlighting the art of Israeli artist Hanoch Piven. A hands-on art activity with junk and found objects.

Presenter
avatar for Vavi Toran

Vavi Toran

As the Israel Education and Arts & Culture Specialist at Jewish LearningWorks, Vavi fashions educational strategies and programs focusing on the integration of the arts in Jewish settings that have since become a model locally and nationally. Vavi believes that TEXT, which most Jewish study and education is based on, is not exclusively verbal! It can be found in visual arts, music, movement and other creative expressions.


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Stevenson 3076

1:20pm

Nu, What's Klezmer?
Most of us have heard the European Jewish celebratory music that is now called klezmer. And some of us have heard music masquerading as klezmer. This session will explain the key characteristics of this Jewish roots music, featuring important klezmer recordings from the past 111 years and informative anecdotes about crucial klezmer musicians and bands. (Dancing is welcome and perhaps inevitable, but please not during the anecdotes.)

Presenter
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 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

1:20pm

FILM: African Exodus
The documentary film "African Exodus" explores Israel's struggle to handle the recent and unexpected influx of African refugees, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, that began in 2005. Can Israel, a country founded by refugees, find a solution consistent with its own identity and values? Seeking safety and asylum, some 60,000 people from Africa have fled to Israel over the past decade. The film explores how Israel, a tiny country established as a haven for persecuted Jews from around the world, has no policy, infrastructure or political will to handle this wave of migrants. African Exodus explores Israel's other refugee crisis. The film is directed by Brad Rothschild. A trailer can be viewed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X97D7kdkZ_s

Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
Darwin 107

1:20pm

The Arab-Israel Conflict: Routes to Resolution
The Arab-Israel Conflict: Routes to Resolution will analyze the major dynamics that keep the conflict burning, as well as the options available for a resolution that will result in two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and mutually beneficial cooperation. We will analyze the peace process to ascertain what works and what does not. 



Presenter
avatar for David Meir-Levi

David Meir-Levi

David Meir-Levi has spent the last 16 years researching, analyzing, teaching, publishing, learning and debating issues related to the Arab-Israel conflict. Both an Israeli and an American, with a strong background in ancient and modern Near Eastern history, David brings a high level of acumen, training, and experience to any conversation about Israel and the modern Middle East.


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley

1:20pm

Falling with Our Angels, So Human: Zoharic Afterglow in Leonard Cohen
How can our own falling, like the angels, teach us about our spiritual journey? Join this journey of falling angels to develop a deeper appreciation of Leonard Cohen’s embrace of this motif as human spiritual yearning. This session, based on my forthcoming book, Tangle of Matter & Ghost: Leonard Cohen’s Post-Secular Songbook of Mysticism(s) Jewish & Beyond, analyzes the lyrical poetry of Leonard Cohen, fusing sophisticated theory and popular culture with critical analysis that is lacking in most biographies about Cohen. How does this mystical maestro’s songbook illuminate questions of meaning making in a post-secular context? We will analyze Cohen's mysticism in relationship to Kabbalah, Hasidism and Rinzai Buddhism.

Presenter
avatar for Aubrey Glazer

Aubrey Glazer

Aubrey L. Glazer, Ph.D. (University of Toronto) is rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco. As a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Aubrey continues studying and practicing Jewish meditation. Aubrey publishes reflections on contemporary spirituality, including Mystical Vertigo (2013) and is completing a forthcoming book on the intersection of Jewish mysticism and Rinzai Buddhism in the songbook of Leonard Cohen, called... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

1:20pm

With my Eyelashes All in Curl: Queer Panic in the Story of Joseph
Many elements of Joseph's story read like a queer biography. Gifted child, different from his brothers, brutalized by them, transplanted, new identity. The sages are uncomfortable with Joseph's beauty and apparent femininity - describing him primping eyes and hair before a mirror. In kabbalistic tradition Joseph is considered as associated with sexuality. Together we'll look at text and commentary and celebrate one of Torah's queerest stories.

Presenter
avatar for Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller

Irwin Keller is the spiritual leader of Congregation Ner Shalom, just down the block in Cotati, since 2008. For 21 years he performed as “Winnie” in the Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. Irwin blogs about Torah, God, Israel, Earth, queerness, hope, and finding inspiration on the fringe on his blog, Itzik’s Well, located at irwinkeller.com. Irwin continues his rabbinic studies in the Aleph... Read More →


1:20pm

Once Upon A Life: Memoir and Memory as Paths to Finding Your Voice
Be inspired by the story of a group of Child Shoah Survivors who found collaborative 
support and realized their individual voices as bearers of memory of lost worlds, of home, family, and community. Following a discussion of creative metaphor, and readings, we will use words, imagery, objects and more to discover new avenues to capture and share our own personal memories - transcending the expected to a richer exploration of time, place, and relationship. Participants are invited to bring photos, objects of sentimental value or found objects from the natural world.


Presenter
avatar for Denah S. Bookstein

Denah S. Bookstein

Denah has been cheerleader and co-participant/leader of a Holocaust Survivor Memoir Writing Group, under the auspices of the Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay, since its inception eight years ago. She has edited and published three chapbooks of the group's writings, drawings, photos and poems, organized public readings, and co-produced the City of Berkeley annual Holocaust Remembrance Event since 2010. A... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

1:20pm

Sacred Chant Healing Circles
Participants will learn the practice and art of Sacred Hebrew Chant as a way to support those in need of healing, including themselves. I will teach Sacred Phrases taken from Torah, Psalms & other texts with simple melodies that become a meditation, creating a bond between the people in the circle & beyond. Participants may take home a CD of chants & a brochure that describes Temple Isaiah's Healing Circles Project as a model that they might use in their own communities.

Presenter

Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

1:20pm

Horace Kallen, Forgotten Founding Father of Multiculturalism: Lessons for Jewish Community Builders of Today
In 1900, Horace Kallen broke from his Orthodox Judaism to embrace secularism as a freshman at Harvard. The roots of his youth forged the foundation for what today seems normative, but was radical at the time: making an individual choice for Jewish education and community outside the synagogue. Credited with being an influential leader in the formation of Harvard's first Hillel, helping turn fellow-Bostonian Louis Brandeis to support Zionism, and forging the theory of Cultural Pluralism in a series of articles in The Nation opposing anti-immigrant movements of his day, Horace Kallen deserves our attention.

Presenter
avatar for Dean Goldfein

Dean Goldfein

Dean Goldfein has served as the Head of the Contra Costa Jewish Day School in Lafayette since 2000. His Masters thesis in American History from The University of Virginia focused on Horace Kallen. He received a Frommer Fund Award from the East Bay Jewish Federation to study Kallen's papers at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati. In his presentation, Dean discusses how his understanding of Kallen's life and legacy informs his own work.


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:30pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

1:20pm

Scandals of the Talmud 3: Stories They Didn't Teach You in Hebrew School / Bruriah
Bruriah: Truth, Myth, and the Construction of the Ideal Jewish Woman. Bruriah is one of the few women named in the Talmud. More interestingly, she is one of the only learned women mentioned. We will examine the stories told about her, and ask the question - who do the Rabbis see as the Ideal Woman? In 2016, is Bruriah a role model for the Modern Woman or a relic of the patriarchy?

Presenter
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:40pm
Darwin 102

1:20pm

Yitz Greenberg in Conversation with Darren Kleinberg
Rabbi Dr. Irving “Yitz” Greenberg is the most influential American Jewish leader of the past half century. Yitz has been a pioneer in the realm of intra-Jewish and Christian-Jewish dialogue, a groundbreaking theologian, a strident defender of Holocaust memory, and a visionary communal leader. In this session, he will be engaged in a far-reaching conversation with Darren Kleinberg, author of the forthcoming book Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg, Encounter, and the Changing Nature of American Jewish Identity (Academic Studies Press, October 2016), and Head of School at Kehillah Jewish High School, in Palo Alto.

Presenter
avatar for Yitz Greenberg

Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg has founded, led and inspired organizations that enrich the religious, cultural and institutional life of American Jewry. For decades, he has had an immense impact on Jewish life and learning. An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as a historically and theologically transformative event and Israel as the Jewish assumption... Read More →
avatar for Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg

Darren Kleinberg is Head of School at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, CA. Ordained in 2005, Rabbi Kleinberg received his doctorate in 2014. The working title of his forthcoming book is Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg and the Encounter with American Jewish Identity. He is a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage Program, Melton, The Kitchen, and Gvanim, and serves on the board of Lehrhaus Judaica.


Sunday June 26, 2016 1:20pm - 2:40pm
Darwin 103

2:50pm

On Becoming Human 3: Humanity Comes of Age — Human Power, World Transformation and Their Limits
Humanity has "come of age" in modern and post-modern civilization. Humans have taken charge of every area: politics, economics, culture, technology, medicine and health. We have developed disciplines for change and powers for world transformation. Nothing seems fixed and the sky's the limit. Yet worrisome pathologies have developed as well. What can Jewry and Jewish wisdom contribute at this moment in history?

Presenter
avatar for Yitz Greenberg

Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg has founded, led and inspired organizations that enrich the religious, cultural and institutional life of American Jewry. For decades, he has had an immense impact on Jewish life and learning. An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as a historically and theologically transformative event and Israel as the Jewish assumption... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
Darwin 103

2:50pm

The Spiritual Journey to Authentic Living
We will explore sections from “The Quest for Authenticity: The Thought of Reb Simhah Bunim” (of Preshischa, d.1827), by Michael Rosen, Urim Publications, 2008. “The emphasis was not on trying to understand God, but on trying to understand oneself. It was clear to Reb Simhah Bunim that one could not stand with any sense of integrity before the Divine Presence unless one first had some clarity of who one really was.”

Presenter
avatar for Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith is a spiritual activist, Jewish educator and mentor. Her life has been an inspiring and courageous journey of the joy and struggles with her spirituality, gender identity and commitment to living a life of authenticity. She recently published her memoir: Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living. Yiscah lives in Jerusalem and teaches and lectures on texts that emphasize the Torah’s spiritual insights. In her... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2085 Bennett Valley

2:50pm

What the Talmud Actually Teaches About Sexual Relations
Any Talmud student knows that our Sages debate all sorts of subjects in great detail. So it should come as no surprise that they also discuss every aspect of sexual relations—how, when, where, with whom—often in startlingly explicit fashion. Author Maggie Anton reveals how Jewish tradition is progressive in many respects—and more bawdy, than one might think.

Presenter
avatar for Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton

Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of the historical fiction trilogy 'Rashi's Daughters' and new series 'Rav Hisda's Daughter.' The first volume, 'Apprentice,' was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A Los Angeles native, Maggie worked for 33 years as a clinical chemist for Kaiser Permanente before becoming an author. Her newest work is the nonfiction 'Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.'


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2083 Sonoma Valley

2:50pm

Can Cancer be Jewish?
Most cancers are caused by a variety of factors including lifestyle, environment, and overall genetic makeup. However, 5-10% of cancers are hereditary, meaning that they were caused by a genetic change or mutation a person was born with that was passed down from a parent. Of the 5-10% of breast and ovarian cancer caused by an inherited mutation, most cases are due to a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. These mutations increase the probability of developing certain cancers including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, or melanoma and 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries a BRCA mutation. This informative session discusses the options for BRCA mutation testing for people with or without a family history of cancer, who in a family should get testing, and what to do to prevent cancer if a person has a mutation.

Presenter
avatar for Dena Goldberg

Dena Goldberg

Dena Goldberg is a licensed and board-certified genetic counselor at UCSF. She has a BS in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and an MS in Genetic Counseling from University of California, Irvine. She specializes in hereditary cancer syndromes and sees patients through the UCSF Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program. Outside of work, she is very passionate about teaching her community about Jewish genetics and... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2082 Russian River Valley

2:50pm

Managing Conflict When Talking About Israel – How to have Constructive Conversations
In Israel, debate and dissent are seen as legitimate expressions of care and engagement in Israel’s vibrant political conversation. However, such discussions 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 these sessions participants will learn a proven approach to navigating such sensitive conversations— including “The 3 No’s”, the 3 areas that most often lead to conflict, how to side-step pitfalls, and how to facilitate a more constructive discussion.

Presenter
avatar for Stanley Wulf

Stanley Wulf

Dr. Stanley Wulf is a retired physician who speaks about the conflict in the Middle East and the difficulties we experience as Diaspora Jews in hearing and sharing differing views. Stanley was raised in South Africa as a committed Zionist and traditional Jew. His family has a home in Jerusalem. He spends extended periods in Israel and serves on the Board of Molad, the Center for Renewal of Israeli Democracy, headquartered in Jerusalem. Stan was... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2081 Knight's Valley

2:50pm

Mussar Blues: Strengthen Your Patience through Song
Want to be more patient? This workshop can start you on that path. Mussar Blues infuses the wisdom of Mussar masters with the infectious energy of Blues and Jazz, adding even more leverage to a classic Jewish tool for reshaping our character. Lyrics show the way to be a mensch, sing the words to engrave their message in the heart, change habits and behavior. In addition to singing, we'll use other time-tested Mussar techniques, such as visual imagery and self-assigned missions. We'll also look at other traits that affect Patience, such as Humility, Anger, Silence, and Honor. Already have a Mussar practice? Come deepen it with music. New to Mussar? Come learn how you can use Mussar to mold your inner mensch. You don't have to sing well -- just sing with intensity!

Presenter
avatar for Rick Dinitz

Rick Dinitz

Rick Dinitz combines 11 years of Mussar practice with his experience as a baal tefilah and song-leader. Singing Mussar Blues every day, he inches his way closer to holiness. A life-long Jewish learner, he is also grateful for Blenheim apricots, Jazz, and cycling.


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2086 Dry Creek Valley

2:50pm

A Jewish Shield in Online Security
Do you use online banking? Think about security? So do many Israeli technology complanies. Julia will share the insights from her work with online money fraud and identity theft, and how Israeli technology and Jewish brains help protect American banking users from hackers.

Presenter
avatar for Julia Minkowski

Julia Minkowski

Julia Minkowski is a community leader in Russia, Israel and Silicon Valley. Together with Lilia Shwarts, she founded a Russian-Speaking Women in Tech Silicon Valley network that grew to 1,500 members within a year and a half.  In her technology job, Julia currently manages Fraud and Credit Risk at Fiserv for over 2,500 US banks and financial institutions, including 27 out of the top 30 US banks, saving millions of dollars of... Read More →


Sunday June 26, 2016 2:50pm - 4:00pm
SC2084 Alexander Valley