Loading…
This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
The schedule is subject to change. One does not register for sessions.  Seating at individual sessions is first come, first served.
View analytic

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

Sunday, March 6
 

10:00am

Jewish Spiritual Values in the Age of Mindfulness
It is estimated that although only 2% of the US population is Jewish, 30% of Western Buddhists in the United States are Jewish. Further, many teachers of so-called, "Jewish meditation," actually teach mindfulness meditation techniques derived from the Buddhist tradition with a thin veneer of Jewish religious trappings layered over top of them. Many Jews today feel a need for a more inward, spiritual, or experiential type of practice than they are able to find within their own Jewish communities. Those who feel spiritually disconnected from Judaism very often turn to Buddhism or to the now wildly popular secularized form of Buddhist meditation known as "mindfulness." Perhaps, the emphasis on simple sitting, stillnesss, and silence are restorative antidotes to the endless stream of words in synagogue and the frenetic busyness of traditional halachic observance?

Speakers
avatar for Avi Craimer

Avi Craimer

Avi works a spiritual counsellor and meditation teacher in Toronto. After graduating with two master's degrees in philosophy, with a research focus on ethics, selfhood, and phenomenology. He left academia in 2010 to pursue a certificate in non-denominational spiritual direction. He has been an Everett Fellow at the National Havurah Summer Institute, where he participated in an intensive program to train the next generation of Jewish leaders. He... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
L2

10:00am

From Poland to Polo
A discussion on the history of Jews in and on film! How the film industry began and was shaped by Jewish European Immigrants and made what it is today. The presentation will also stress the history and representation of the Jewish man/woman and culture and of ethnicity on film and the assimilation of the Jewish immigrants and their families into American gentile society. The issue of identity and what it means and how it changes will be examined as well as how, ironically, European immigrants developed the "American Dream"

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Devorah Kahn

Michelle Devorah Kahn

I am an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Toronto. For 10+ years I have been the creative director of Oy-Oy Productions and have completed 7 films that have been screened in festivals world-wide. I am currently a freelance writer for FYI Magazine, a Jewish women's lifestyle magazine in New York, and am working on my next film script. | My hobbies include fitness/nutrition, reading, going for coffee and visiting exhibits/museums


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
M1

10:00am

Tales of The Inverted Nuns (Numbers 10:35-36)
In the Torah, the text of Numbers 10:35-­36 is surrounded by two unique characters called 'inverted nuns' in Rabbinic literature. These markings are unique to this and no other Torah text. The history of the various graphic representations of these marks and how their inclusion in the torah has been rationalized, interpreted designed and explained over several thousand years is an intriguing tale of Jewish history and creative rabbinic interpretation. While we've been taught to believe that our Torah scroll has never changed, the history of the graphic design of these 'inverted nuns' tells us that with Rabbinic approval and participation it has changed and evolved.

Speakers
avatar for Sholom Eisenstat

Sholom Eisenstat

Consultant, Taskilu Resources
Sholom  has retired from a 35 year career teaching in Jewish day schools and public secondary schools in the Toronto area. Over the decades, he became an expert at educational technology for the classroom and an evangelist for technology integration across the curriculum. He currently consults to Jewish schools cultivating the integration of technology into Jewish Studies. | | The two characters which appear in the Torah surrounding the... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
L3

10:00am

The Source of Greatness is Greatness Itself
Using Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein's essay "The Source of Faith is Faith Itself," we will examine how our relationship to our teachers is both about learned skills and substance but also about shared identity. How do we come to see ourselves as links in the chain of the mesorah? How does this metaphor both limit and strengthen us?

Speakers
avatar for Chaim Strauchler

Chaim Strauchler

Chaim Strauchler is the rabbi of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto. He received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Strauchler earned a Diploma in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and is a Wexner Graduate Fellowship... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
S1

10:00am

Café Limmud

New to the program this year is Cafe Limmud, a unique space at Limmud that aims to generate more discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's CC Lounge area. For presenters, it's a great opportunity to begin or continue a conversation with participants who may not have been able to attend your full session, and for participants you might just want to know one last thing from an engaging presenter following their talk. Participants are encouraged to visit the cafe throughout the day, and join one or more conversations of interest to them. All presenter times in Cafe Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. We look forward to sharing this new experience with you.
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

 

Speakers
avatar for Rivka Campbell

Rivka Campbell

Rivka was born and raised in Toronto and earned her BScN from Ryerson University. She is also involved in media production, photography and is a computer geek. Those skills have been utilized in various roles in the Jewish community. Presently Rivka is the Synagogue Administrator for City Shul. | | Rivka works within the Jewish community to raise awareness of the rich diversity of Jews. She has started groups such as "A Minority within... Read More →
avatar for Jordan Helfman

Jordan Helfman

I am a New Jersey/Michigan transplant in Toronto, who loves to play music, eat food, and in March is a huge supporter of the MSU Spartans. Also, Assistant Rabbi @ HBT, World Union of Progressive Judaism Exec. Board Member, Heart2Heart Advisory Board, and father of three cute kids.
avatar for David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he researches Jewish law, Islamic law, and the history of technology. He is the director and co-founder of the podcast network Jewish Public Media and is the manager of Print-O-Craft, a publishing house for Jewish art books. He has written for Quartz, Tablet, Haaretz, and The Forward.


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
CC Lounge

10:00am

Branding Israel Matters - The Making of "A Universal Language"
The CBC documentary "A Universal Language" is an example of an Israel project that was able to inspire the hearts and minds of Canadians to view Israel in a more positive light, with many of the participants on the trip having never seen any media or film about Israel outside of a news context. Positive earned media, through print or film, is paramount in the difficult task of promoting Israel to the general public. A Universal Language documents the exciting once-in-a-lifetime journey of six Canadian comedians, Canadian comedy icon Mark Breslin among them, as they explore comedy, identity, and history throughout the Holy Land and beyond.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Khardas

Mike Khardas

Michael Khardas is the former president of Network - Israel On Campus at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is also the founder of the non-profit Jerusalem Heroes Club, which is a leadership development program that offers free mixed martial arts training to members of the community. Michael also works in the entertainment industry as a writer and film producer, having created projects with Yuk Yuk's and several other comedy troupes and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
S3/S4

10:00am

Hit the Road, Jack: Excommunication in Modern Israel
For those who wish to affiliate, Herem (excommunication) effectively limits membership in a religious community. But do we still excommunicate members of the Jewish community? And should herem be imposed on a non-religious society? Using discussion and short text study, we will explore religious freedom and human rights in modern Israel.

Speakers
avatar for Atarah Derrick

Atarah Derrick

Atarah is the National Outreach Associate for New Israel Fund of Canada, the nation’s leading organization committed to equality in Israel. She creates innovative programming for greater, honest engagement with Israel. She is also the Co-Chair of Programming for Limmud Toronto! This is her first presentation with Limmud Ottawa.


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
S2

10:00am

In Their Own Words: Young Jewish Adults in Toronto
This presentation will highlight key findings from my interviews and focus groups with a sample of Toronto's young Jewish adult (YJA) community (25 to 35 years of age). I will focus on topics such as: how YJAs define Jewish identity, the relationship between YJAs and the Toronto Jewish community, dating and relationships and family. This presentation will explore the ways in which YJAs think about and express their Jewish identity in ways and forms that take place outside of traditional spaces (i.e. synagogues, community centres) and offer a starting point for a discussion about ways in which this demographic engages with their Jewishness.

Speakers
avatar for Natalie Weiser

Natalie Weiser

Natalie Weiser is qualitative researcher and a PhD candidate in sociology at York University. Natalie's research areas include: sociology of religion, qualitative methodology, identity and social psychology. She researches the ways in which non-married young Jewish adults (25 to 35) in Toronto think about and express their Jewish identity.


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
L4

10:00am

We, Polish Jews: The Troubled Identities and Legacy of Poet Julian Tuwim, 1894-1953
Polish poet Julian Tuwim (1894-1953) created a remarkable body of work, and public profile, attempting to bridge both his Polish and Jewish identities. And sometimes bridges are swept away. Tuwim's writing and life reflect a commitment to Jewish diasporic hybridity in a more monolithic time and place. His triumphs and tragedies cast him as the interwar voice of Polish poetics, the most searing Jewish voice of Holocaust testimony, and the lost returnee to postwar Poland who brought his life to a premature end. Julian Tuwim is too little known in the West today. He is a major poet, reflecting the dilemmas of Jewish identity in 20th century Eastern Europe. Memory has been kinder to Tuwim in his homeland. In recent years, Poland has seen a flurry of memorials and celebrations in his honour. Is this how bridges are rebuilt? Come explore the writing, life and legacy of Julian Tuwim.

Speakers
avatar for Myer  Siemiatycki

Myer Siemiatycki

Myer Siemiatycki is a Professor of Politics & Public Administration at Ryerson University, and Founding Director of the MA Program in Immigration and Settlement Studies. His research and publications range broadly across immigration, urban, labour and religious studies. | | Sample publications of his work as book chapters and journal articles include "Continuity and Change in Canadian Immigration Policy", “Toronto: Integration in a... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
L1

10:00am

G-d, the Workplace, and You
For many of us work is where we bring a part of ourselves. A space for the profane, not the sacred. We often leave the best part of ourselves outside the office doors. The thing is we spend much of our lives at work and unless we can find a way to bring our spirituality into the workspace we are missing a great opportunity. Wherever two or more meet, as our Christian brothers and sisters say, there is G-d. Can we inject holiness, compassion, sacred relationship and deep meaning in to the workaday lives we lead? The answer is yes.

Speakers
avatar for Ralph  Benmergui

Ralph Benmergui

I am a long time broadcaster who now works in Academia as Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships and Sheridan College. I am in the last year of a three year program with the Aleph Ordination Program as a Mashpiah, Jewish Spiritual Director.


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
S7

10:00am

Jewish Farmers of Ontario Unite!
Did you know that southern Ontario is now home to the largest Jewish communal farm in North America?! Bela Farm is a 114-acre rural centre for land-based sustainable Judaism in southern Ontario. Come and meet two local Jewish farmers from Shoresh who are collaboratively creating this project with community members like you. Learn about the vision for the project, ask lots of questions and taste some sweet honey from Bela's bees.

Speakers
avatar for Risa Alyson Cooper

Risa Alyson Cooper

Risa is an ardent educator, environmentalist, and urban homesteader!  She completed her B.A. Honours at Queen’s University in Comparative Religious Studies, and her M.A. at the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, focusing on Contemporary Jewish Environmental Ethics.  Upon graduating, Risa moved to rural Connecticut where she worked as a Jewish environmental educator at the Teva Learning Centre... Read More →
avatar for Sabrina Malach

Sabrina Malach

Sabrina is a professional shmoozer, networker and pollinator-protector!  Sabrina began working with Shoresh in 2011 after spending six years working and volunteering in the Jewish Food Movement in New York and Israel. She participated in the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship in 2005, graduated from the Eco-Activist Beit Midrash in Jerusalem in 2006, and worked as the program assistant for Hazon from 2006-2007.  Upon returning to... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 10:50am
S5

10:00am

Hoops, Balls and Games

Right off the bat, kids will be playing with hoops, balls and more while they get informally acquainted with the volunteers. Next we will do a number of Ice-breakers (games) that will have the kids laughing together, working toward a common goal, and learning an aspect of “Love Your Neighbour as yourself.”


Sunday March 6, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
S6 - Children's Program

11:00am

The Meshugene Effect

Over the past few decades, Poland has become a true hotbed of contemporary Jewish identity debate—in Europe, but perhaps even more so in North America and in Israel, where we find so many descendants of Polish Jews. "The Meshugene Effect" is a research-creation project situated in a socio-cultural milieu, which has been receiving much attention in academic and popular circles. 

Since the fall of communism, thousands of people in Poland have discovered Jewish roots. Among them is a peculiar category of those, whose discovery was preceded by a ‘hunch’ – an irrational conviction that they were Jewish before they actually knew they were Jewish. Katka Reszke tries to make sense of the personal narratives of several Polish women (including her own), who embarked on a pursuit of Jewish identity following a feeling, an intuition, an uncanny precognition about their Jewish descent. These self-narratives reveal different ways of making sense of extraordinary experiences of memory and transition set against the landscape of troubled Polish-Jewish history and a new curious Polish-Jewish present. 


Speakers
avatar for Katka Reszke

Katka Reszke

Katka Reszke is a Polish-born, U.S.-based writer, documentary filmmaker, photographer and researcher in Jewish history, culture, and identity. Currently affiliated with Brandeis University, Katka holds a Doctorate in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of "Return Of The Jew: Identity Narratives of the Third Post-Holocaust Generation of Jews in Poland" (2013) and the screenwriter of the acclaimed documentary... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
L4

11:00am

Moroccan Sephardic Life Cycle: Customs and Songs
Suzanne will take participants through a traditional Moroccan Sephardic life cycle, with traditional objects from her family collection, and illustrated by Judith singing Moroccan Judeo-Spanish songs in traditional style. Suzanne will add some short examples of songs in Moroccan Arabic often heard on these occasions. The ritual sword to keep evil spirits away from the newborn baby, displaying the trousseau, the henna night, dressing the bride - who might be a volunteer from among the participants! - in the elaborate wedding attire - the Quessua el Kebira or Berberisca - and more, will give participants an unusual window into traditional Moroccan Sephardic life, far from stereotypes of "Ladino songs."

Speakers
avatar for Suzanne Benchimol

Suzanne Benchimol

Suzanne Benchimol was born in Meknes, Morocco, to an old Moroccan Jewish family; and emigrated to Canada with her family in 1964. She has been active in the community since that time, in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi contexts. She was president of the Sisterhood of the Petah Tikva Sephardic synagogue for over a decade, for over two decades was active with the women's auxiliary of Baycrest, and is regularly called upon for her expertise in all... Read More →
avatar for Judith Cohen

Judith Cohen

Dr Judith Cohen is an ethnomusicologist and singer specializing in Sephardic and related music; she has presented for LIMMUD Toronto 2015 (Gerineldo) and LIMMUD Warwick 2010.


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
S1

11:00am

Halachic Creativity: Moroccan Thought, Maimonidean Thought and Beyond

The present understanding of Halakha (Jewish Law) has been shaped by the phenomenon of "Ashkenormitivity", where the Ashkenazi Halakhic methodologies have been accepted as the norm. 

What happens when the focus turns to Halakhic ideas and positions from different parts of the world? Can the way in which Halakha has been conceptualized be maintained, or are the assumptions which are made specific to a particular Ashkenazi Jewish milieu?

The source material for this presentation will be based in the writings and ideas of Rav Yuval Cherlow, Rabbi Marc Angel, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, and others who push the distinction between Jewish philosophy and Jewish law. 


Speakers
avatar for Chaim Grafstein

Chaim Grafstein

I am currently a M.A. Candidate in the Religious Studies Dept. at McMaster University. I study contemporary Judaism, contemporary Jewish thought, as well as archaeology and and Medieval Jewish thought. My current research is centered around the Moroccan Jewish community of Toronto using an ethnographic lens.


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
S5

11:00am

Café Limmud
New to the program this year is Cafe Limmud, a unique space at Limmud that aims to generate more discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's CC Lounge area. For presenters, it's a great opportunity to begin or continue a conversation with participants who may not have been able to attend your full session, and for participants you might just want to know one last thing from an engaging presenter following their talk. Participants are encouraged to visit the cafe throughout the day, and join one or more conversations of interest to them. All presenter times in Cafe Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. We look forward to sharing this new experience with you.
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!
 

Speakers
avatar for Charles Heller

Charles Heller

Graduate of Cambridge University, and B.Ed U of T. | Recently retired music teacher, Peel Board of Education. Recently retired Choir Director , Beth Emeth Synagogue. | Member of editorial board, Journal of Synagogue Music (Cantors Assembly, NY). Author of award-winning book “What To Listen For in Jewish Music” (www.ecanthuspress.com). | I am a composer (details of my concerts, publications and CDs at: www.musiccentre.ca).
avatar for Devon Spier

Devon Spier

Devon Spier is a Program Coordinator, rabble-rouser and spiritual entrepreneur living in Kitchener, Ontario. By day, she organizes essential services for people on a limited income and by night, she programs out of her apartment - the "Shul Without Walls" - where she offers rituals for the unaffiliated to encounter Judaism. | Devon is also author of “Way of a Jewish Feminist” from the volume “Ways of the Spirit: Voices of... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
CC Lounge

11:00am

Gender, Religion, and Politics in Israel
An exploration of the power dynamics of gender and religion in Israel and how they play out on issues such as marriage/divorce, conversion, gender segregation in public, the army, reproductive rights, education, and more.

Speakers
avatar for Elana Sztokman

Elana Sztokman

Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is an award-winning author, and leading Jewish feminist thinker, educator and activist. She specializes in gender inclusion in the Jewish world, and has worked with communities, organizations and individuals around the world on advancing gender inclusion and gender equity In August 2015, she foundedThe Center for Jewish Feminism to provide resources and connections among Jewish feminists around the world. | The former... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
M1

11:00am

An Exploration of Eastern European Jewish History through Yizkor Books
In the decades following the Shoah, Holocaust survivors throughout the world felt the need to perpetuate the memory of their destroyed communities through the publication of memorial books known as Yizkor Books. These books contain sections on the Jewish and general history of the city or town, as well as the story of how the Holocaust unfolded in the specific community. The chapters are a unique blend of formal history and personal reminiscences and memoirs. These books are often complemented with copious photographs as well as lists of names. Approximately 1,200 such books exist, forming a significant information source on the entire spectrum of Eastern European Jewish life. In this talk, I will present an overview of the contents and structure of these books, as well as several unique and unusual Shoah testimonies gleaned from their pages. Of course, I will bring along several examples of these books in their original as well as in translation.

Speakers
avatar for Jerrold Landau

Jerrold Landau

For the past two decades, Jerrold Landau has been a translator of Yizkor Books, encyclopedia articles and other material of Jewish historical and genealogical interest from Hebrew and Yiddish into English. Jerrold’s translations are published on the JewishGen website as well as his own personal website at http://jerroldlandau.com . Several of the translated Yizkor Books now appear in print as well. Through this work, Jerrold has... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
L3

11:00am

Truth and Fiction - Memory and Jewish Tradition
This is a conversation about writing, memory, truth and fiction between two newly published first-time authors, and how one writes about matters very personal – personal not just to these two individuals, but rather to all of us. This is especially true when the two books – Conversations For Two (Jacqueline Markowitz) and Evolution of An Unorthodox Rabbi (John Moscowitz) embody the profound truth that memory is a crucial conduit of Jewish tradition.

Speakers
avatar for Jacqueline Markowitz

Jacqueline Markowitz

Jacqueline Markowitz is a writer and creative producer with a background in film, visual art and advertising. Conversations for Two (The Jam Press) is her first novel. Jacqui’s other writing can be found on her blog, recipeforlifeclub.com, which was borne out of the desire to share stories of home, culture and memory.
avatar for John Moscowitz

John Moscowitz

Rabbi John Moscowitz is Rabbi Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, where he served the congregation for twenty five years, including twelve as Senior Rabbi. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and is the author of Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi (Dundurn Press).


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
S7

11:00am

The Times They Are A-Changing: How Should We Prepare for a New Generation of Jewish Learners?
As happens with every new generation, the face of our community is changing. The faces of our neighbourhoods, families, interests and experiences are changing. This discussion based session will look at six emerging trends that will dramatically alter the face of the Jewish community. Together we will consider the implications that these trends will have on our community's strength and activities over the next decade and what other trends will have similarly powerful influences.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Held

Dan Held

Executive Director, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education & Silber Family Centre for Jewish Camping
Daniel Held is the Executive Director of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education, which builds the capacity Toronto’s system of Jewish education. He has a wide range of experience in strategic philanthropy, conducting research and evaluation to maximize funders’ impact in Jewish education. Daniel holds a doctorate in education from JTS’s Davidson School of Education and is an alumnus of... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
L2

11:00am

Why Children LOVE Home Depot: Engaging Children in Adult Spaces
“Daddy, I’m bored!” is the resounding cry of children in adult spaces, often dampened by the sounds of little fingers on digital devices. Synagogue services are becoming more family friendly but what about when that is not the case. How can children participate in adult environments in a developmentally-appropriate way? Together, we’ll talk about lessons we can learn from stories (and other experiences) to give children a more meaningful Jewish experience.

Speakers
avatar for Justin Sakofs

Justin Sakofs

Visionary & Co- Founder, MagneticShul
Justin Sakofs is a passionate Jewish Educator who has taken his years of experience to develop MagneticShul, a toy designed to engage children through developmentally appropriate play.


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
L1

11:00am

Combatting Hatred Within and Between Our Communities in Canada
Why is it that people recognize human rights violations against their own people but fail to see when they are the purveyors of prejudice, stereotypes and even hatred against others? With the increased use of propaganda techniques, heightened rhetoric and the politics of fear, how can and should we bring some of the factions in our community together to find common ground...for Israel's sake and for the sake of our future generations of Jewish leadership in Canada?

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Karen  Mock

Dr. Karen Mock

Dr. Karen Mock is a human rights consultant, educational psychologist and teacher educator. Former Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and of the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, Karen is one of the few people in Canada qualified by the courts and human rights tribunals as an expert on human rights, discrimination, racism, antisemitism and hate crime. Considered a pioneer in the field of multicultural... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 11:50am
S3/S4

11:00am

Bridges, Team Work and Song

Children will be watching a short video clip. They will learn the song “Kol Ha’olam Kulo, Gesher Tzar Me’od” and play two games that will help the children understand its meaning: “The entire world is a very narrow bridge, and it is essential that we should not fear anything.” These are movement and teamwork games that will have the child up around and smiling!


Sunday March 6, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

12:00pm

Moses's Wife was a What? Poetry Takes on Jewish Diversity
What can we learn today from contemporary multi-ethnic Jews about inclusion and diversity in the Jewish community? In this interactive session featuring poetry and Torah, we'll explore the ways we think of who is a Jew, in our tradition and today.

Speakers
avatar for Tema Smith

Tema Smith

Congregation Darchei Noam
Tema Smith is the Manager of Membership and Communications for Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto's only Reconstructionist Synagogue. She is also the Toronto Program Coordinator for Be’chol Lashon, an organization that advocates for the diversity that has characterized the Jewish people throughout history, and through contemporary forces including intermarriage, conversion and adoption. Tema holds a BA (Hon) in Cultural Studies and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
L3

12:00pm

What's Your YidLife Crisis? Understanding the Jewish identity Crisis Around the World

YidLive! Limmudnik Nudniks in the Fleish!

What is a 'YidLife Crisis'? YidLife Crisis creators Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion speak about their sense of what makes up modern Jewish identity crises, hoping to learn how this is experienced across geographic and demographic boundaries. (Warning - humour)


Speakers
avatar for Yidlife Crisis

Yidlife Crisis

In summer 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, and Milk & Meat. In Yiddish." Rated Chai+. You've been warned.


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
S1

12:00pm

The Jewish Warrior: Battlefield Morality in Jewish Scripture
Does the Torah's text present war as an ideal, or a concession to reality? How are these two possibilities reflected in the Torah's rules of morality on the battlefield?

Speakers
avatar for Mordechai Torczyner

Mordechai Torczyner

Rosh Beit Midrash, YU Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
After receiving ordination from Yeshiva University's rabbinical seminary in 1997, Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner served as a pulpit rabbi in Rhode Island and then Pennsylvania, for 12 years. He then came to Toronto in 2009 to head the newly formed Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov, a rabbinic training program which also provides learning opportunities for university students, and Adult Education classes on a range of subjects... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
S5

12:00pm

War and Conflict (Limmud International Chevruta)
In this interactive session, we will explore, debate, and discuss what is conflict between people, family members, and nations from a Jewish perspective. When is conflict justified? Under what circumstances are we allowed to go to war? Ancient sources, modern scholarship, song lyrics, and more will be used. All are welcome; prior knowledge of Jewish texts or Hebrew is not required. Part of the new Limmud Chavruta series on war and peace.

Speakers
avatar for Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax

Ellen Flax is a longtime member of Limmud's International Chavruta team and directs the Hadassah Foundation, which invests in social change for girls and women in Israel and the US. She received her rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
S2

12:00pm

Finding Home: A Journey of Life Lessons in the Land of Israel
Finding Home explores the concept of home and the qualities that make a place our home. This session opens with an audio visual depiction of the beauty and challenges of Israel followed by an overview of the struggles a new immigrant faces when they have to make somewhere other than their birthplace their home. The presentation incorporates personal stories of integration with audience discussion on what makes a place home and how, as Jews living outside of Israel, we can maintain a meaningful relationship with a place that is our homeland, but not necessarily our home.

Speakers
avatar for Danita Dubinsky Aziza

Danita Dubinsky Aziza

In 2008 I left my comfy cozy life in Winnipeg and with my husband and three teenage children pursued a lifelong dream of living in Israel. I documented my trials of integration in the form of life lessons to provide an appreciation of daily life within Israeli culture and to demonstrate that meeting challenges can provide enormous opportunity for personal growth. My articles were published and were so well received that I went on to write... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
L1

12:00pm

Pinkwashing Israel/Palestine: It’s Not Black and White

As the State of Israel seeks to boost its public image, and boost tourist dollars, one way it has done so has been to highlight its excellent record on LGBT equality.  Israel’s critics, however, call this “pinkwashing” – the attempt to whitewash/pinkwash Israel’s occupation of the West Bank by depicting Israel as a liberal democracy.  The battle has grown fierce, leading to boycotts and denunciations from right and left.  Which side is right?  What are the facts and the values at issue, and what do they say about how all of us – left, right, gay, straight, Zionist, anti-Zionist – formulate our political allegiances and solidarities?



Speakers
avatar for Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of six books and three hundred articles on religion, sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. He is a weekly columnist for the Daily Beast and the Forward newspaper, and is a frequent commentator on public affairs on National Public Radio. In 2010 and 2014 he won the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ award for opinion writing. | | Dr. Michaelson enjoys a second career as a scholar and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
S3/S4

12:00pm

The Magic of Fiction: Why One Writer Chose to Write a Novel about Anti-Israelism on Campus
My recent book, Fields of Exile, is the first novel about anti-Israelism on campus, and the question I am most frequently asked about it is why I chose to write a novel on this difficult topic, rather than a non-fiction book. This is not surprising, given that Fields of Exile contains a considerable amount of intellectual content — so much so that both Phyllis Chesler and Thane Rosenbaum have called Fields of Exile a “novel of ideas.” In this talk, I will discuss some of the reasons why I elected to approach a complex contemporary issue through fiction rather than through nonfiction. In addition, I will reflect on how the activism and research that I did on the topic of anti-Israelism prior to writing this novel both helped my book and created some special challenges for it. I will also comment on the “usefulness” or “uselessness” of books, and whether or not fiction (or art in general) can — or should — play a role in trying to promote social change. Finally, I will relate some of these issues to my new novel, The Dead Man, which will be published in April 2016.

Speakers
avatar for Nora Gold

Nora Gold

Dr. Nora Gold is a writer, activist, and the creator and editor of the prestigious online literary journal, Jewish Fiction .net. Gold’s novel Fields of Exile won the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was also the recipient of high praise, including from Cynthia Ozick, Phyllis Chesler, Irwin Cotler, Steve Stern, Naim Kattan, and Alice Shalvi. Ozick called Fields of Exile “a brave and luminous book” that she read... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
S7

12:00pm

Chabad in Russia: Hasidic Power in the Post-Soviet Space
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chabad-Lubavitch has established itself as the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. Its reach extends to some 140 cities across Russia and the country’s chief rabbi, a Lubavitcher named Berel Lazar, maintains close ties with President Vladimir Putin. Through its wealth and enthusiastic activism, the ultra-Orthodox movement has profoundly shaped the religious, cultural and political agendas inside a Jewish community that has an extremely complicated relationship with its ex-Soviet identity and past. This session will begin with an overview of post-Soviet Russian Jewish history--a fascinating story of renewal and growth. Then through lecture and discussion we will examine not only the controversial politics of Chabad’s rise to power, but how the movement speaks so effectively to the peculiar sensibilities of post-Soviet Russian Jewry as well. Tapper will share findings from his own ethnographic fieldwork inside Moscow’s Chabad synagogues.

Speakers
avatar for Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper

Joshua Tapper is journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, the Jewish Daily Forward, and Tablet magazine, among other publications. Currently a correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tapper has been on staff at the Toronto Star and Moment magazine and reported widely from across North America and Russia. Away from journalism he is a master's candidate at the University of Toronto's... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
M1

12:00pm

From Tay-Sachs to DNA Tax? Understanding the Historical Evolution of Jewish Genetic Screening in North America
Beginning in ancient times, this presentation discusses how genetic screening developed into a widespread phenomenon in the North American Jewish community. With each advancement in the screening process itself, this presentation examines the Jewish community's reactions, distilling each discussion into a recurring set of core dilemmas. Ultimately, this presentation raises the question: is the current landscape of genetic testing beneficial for either individuals or the Jewish community at-large? The presentation then provides the listeners with the historical and contextual framework to decide the answer to this question for themselves.

Speakers
avatar for Naomi Rosenfeld

Naomi Rosenfeld

Naomi Rosenfeld was born in Toronto, Ontario and completed her undergraduate education at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON where she graduated first in her program and received the highest non-academic honour awarded by the university. Upon finishing her studies, Naomi became the Hillel Director of Atlantic Canada where she spearheaded innovative Jewish programming on university campuses spanning four different provinces and a landmass... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
L4

12:00pm

The Jew as an Agent of Tikkun Olam
The Jewish imperative to repair the world and how it has translated over the years and, in particular, in modern days.

Speakers
avatar for Avrum Rosensweig

Avrum Rosensweig

I was born into a rabbinical home in Kitchener, ON. In my early years, I attended yeshiva and, later studied journalism at Ryerson. In 1990 I began my community work as a fundraiser with UJA. In 1994, after Rwanda, I decided to launch Canada's first Jewish humanitarian organization. Our mission was to encourage all Jews to play a role in tikun olam and to create programs to allow them to do so. Since then, Ve'ahavta has worked in three... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 12:50pm
L2

12:00pm

Lunch and Magnetic Shul for Children!

Justin Sakofs will be fresh off presenting an engaging session for adults and will jump right in to work with the children. While the children and parents eat together, Justin will show the group how much fun they can have in Shul!


Sunday March 6, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

1:00pm

Jewish Without God
The phrase “Christian atheist” isn’t something you hear very often. Neither is “Muslim atheist.” But Judaism – especially the North American variety – seems less attached to its theological roots, and “Jewish atheism” is, as the young people say, very much a thing these days. You don’t have to go very far to find people who don’t believe in God, but still consider themselves Jews. In many cases, they’re still very much in touch with their Jewish heritage – it’s just that they’ve decided they can get along without believing in a deity. The goal for this session is to start a discussion about the nature of Jewish identity in a post-belief age. Along the way, a number of provocative questions will be confronted: Is there some connection between the reduced role of God in Judaism (compared to other faiths) and the traditional Jewish love of science and learning? Did the Holocaust make it impossible for Jews to believe in God – or was the decline in belief inevitable, in a high-tech, science-oriented world? And, what does it mean, exactly, to be a Jew if one no longer believes in the God of Abraham, Moses, and the rest of the gang?

Speakers
avatar for Dan Falk

Dan Falk

Dan Falk is a journalist and author living in Toronto. He’s written for The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, New Scientist, Scientific American, and many other publications, and is the author of three popular science books, The Science of Shakespeare, In Search of Time and Universe on a T-Shirt. He’s been a regular contributor to CBC Radio, especially “Ideas” and “Quirks and Quarks.” In 2011, Dan was a Knight... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
S2

1:00pm

Rabbi, Rabba, Maharat, Morateinu : Orthodox Women Breaking New Ground in Jewish Religious Leadership
Hear Rabbi Lila Kagedan, the first Orthodox woman in North American to assume the title of rabbi, share her journey as a woman to the orthodox rabbinate. A discussion about women in leadership roles in Orthodox Judaism as well as an exploration of text will highlight Rabbi Kagedan's journey. 

Speakers
avatar for Lila Kagedan

Lila Kagedan

Lila Kagedan has smicha (rabbinic ordination) from Yeshivat Maharat and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow. Lila is also a clinical ethicist and chaplain and sits on ethics committees of major hospitals, hospices and academic institutions. A seasoned teacher, Lila has taught Talmud, ethics and Jewish studies in formal and non-formal settings and has written and lectured on medicine and Jewish law, and Jewish ethics, as well as on... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
S1

1:00pm

There's No Business Like Shul Business: The Jewish History of the American Broadway Musical
The greatest creative geniuses of the American Broadway musical all seem to be Jewish - George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jules Styne, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein - and why? The story begins in 1876, on the humble streets of a small town in Romania, with a frustrated Yiddish newspaper columnist named Avraham Goldfaden...

Speakers
avatar for Cantor Jeremy Burko

Cantor Jeremy Burko

Cantor, Beth Radom Congregation
Chazzan Jeremy Burko serves as cantor of the Beth Radom Congregation in his home city of Toronto. Before his appointment to the position in 2015, Chazzan Burko served as cantor of Agudath Israel Congregation in Ottawa and the New North London Synagogue, in the heart of England’s Masorti Jewish community. He grew up in a musical family, studying various instruments and cantorial technique, and in 2010, received his Masters of Sacred Music... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
L4

1:00pm

Clocks and Jewish Law
Modern timekeeping devices, like atomic clocks and quartz watches, are the end product of a long series of groundbreaking innovations, beginning with the invention of the mechanical clock in the 13th century. Jews, of course, needed to keep track of time long before that. In this class, we'll look at the long, tangled history of Jews and timekeeping, from the age of sundials through modern era.

Speakers
avatar for David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he researches Jewish law, Islamic law, and the history of technology. He is the director and co-founder of the podcast network Jewish Public Media and is the manager of Print-O-Craft, a publishing house for Jewish art books. He has written for Quartz, Tablet, Haaretz, and The Forward.


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
L1

1:00pm

What's on Your Seder Plate? Contemporary, Environmental, Egyptian, and Feminist ideas
The humble seder plate with its ceremonial foods. We will look at a variety of seder plate designs and the foods we display on them as a way to look at the Passover story through different lenses. We think we know what each object represents, but might be surprised by the fascinating history of the foods and the changes that have occurred. And we'll consider some new ideas of what might be put on a contemporary seder plate. Your seder will never be the same. 

Speakers
avatar for Baruch Sienna

Baruch Sienna

Designer/Educator
Baruch Sienna is a senior Jewish educator who has worked in day schools and supplementary schools in a variety of denominations as a teacher, principal and curriculum developer. For many years he has explored the intersection of Judaism and the environment and published the iBook The Natural Bible. He is a graphic artist and has created Hebrew fonts, designed the Leo Baeck Day School Siddur and educational posters. His current project is a Hebrew... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
S5

1:00pm

What are Israelis Thinking? - A Kaleidoscope of Leading Minds
This session will be a brief survey of a broad range of leading Israel thinkers with diverse perspectives on some key issues affecting Israel today. The thinkers will come from a range of disciplines - politics, religion, literature, economics, law, science and technology - and include right and left, religious and secular, Jews and Arabs. We will look at examples from their writing and explore the common ground - with a view to a more nuanced understanding of current Israeli outlooks.

Speakers
avatar for Stephen  Pincus

Stephen Pincus

Stephen is a Partner and Executive Committee Member at Goodmans LLP and is widely recognized as one of Canada's leading business lawyers. | | He has played a key leadership role in the development of Canada’s real estate capital markets, the country’s seniors housing sector, and many landmark IPO and M&A transactions in a wide range of industries. | | Stephen grew up in South Africa, where he was head of Habonim and Chair of... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
S3/S4

1:00pm

Benjamin Brown: Architect
Solomon will speak about the significance of Toronto's first Jewish architect, Benjamin Brown and will illustrate how his career is a lens into Toronto's Jewish community during the 1920s and 30s. This talk is in conjunction with the OJA's major exhibition on view at Urban Space Gallery (401 Richmond Street West).

Speakers
avatar for Dara Solomon

Dara Solomon

Since 2012, Dara Solomon has been the Director of the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre. At the OJA, she has organized exhibitions at all of the Jewish community campuses around the GTA, developed a new school partnership program, and grown access to the OJA collection in social media, print, and other online initiatives. She recently oversaw a major renovation to the OJA’s facility with funding from the... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
M1

1:00pm

A Minority Within A Minority: Jews of Colour
How are you jewish? I am fine thanks. How are you, Jewish? - Manishtana

Jews of Colour encompasses Jews who do not fit the definition or stereotype of what a Jew looks like.  We are from Jamaica, Africa, China, India, Yemen, Israel and many other non European countries. Some of us have a long Jewish history or are new members of the family.
The presentation will explore what it is like to be a "minority within a minority" while navigating within the larger Jewish community and the challenges and misconceptions we often face.
Our goal is for the community to recognize, learn about and celebrate the diversity of our Jewish community. And above all, to remember that we are family.

Speakers
avatar for Rivka Campbell

Rivka Campbell

Rivka was born and raised in Toronto and earned her BScN from Ryerson University. She is also involved in media production, photography and is a computer geek. Those skills have been utilized in various roles in the Jewish community. Presently Rivka is the Synagogue Administrator for City Shul. | | Rivka works within the Jewish community to raise awareness of the rich diversity of Jews. She has started groups such as "A Minority within... Read More →
avatar for Joel  Niederhoffer

Joel Niederhoffer

Joel Niederhoffer (34) is a Jew with roots in Jamaica and Canada. He grew up in the close knitted Jewish community of Victoria, British Columbia. He was active in Jewish community being involved in the Congregation Emmanuel and local U.S.Y. chapter. He attended Public school as well as a supplementary afternoon Hebrew school provide by the synagogue. In the mid-90's the family helped to co-found a small orthodox shul that helped to diversify... Read More →
avatar for Tyler Samuels

Tyler Samuels

I am a fourth-year (senior) university student at the University of Toronto concluding a double-major degree in political science and history. Concurrently, I work with Hillel of Ontario as an Israel engagement intern operating around UofT campus Scarborough. I mostly peform independent research on Judaism and race and how it impacts the wider Jewish community.  My last article, published by Tablet magazine, discusses why “white&rdquo... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
S7

1:00pm

The Relevance and Enjoyment of Postal History and Philately (the Hobby of Stamp Collecting) For Jews in the 21st Century
Philately and postal history have great relevance for Jews for many reasons. They allow Jews to connect to their Jewish roots. Postal history provides opportunities to collect material about people, themes and topics which publicize Jewish achievement, the Jewish religion and the roles of Jews in history and society. People therefore assemble items which tie to specific areas of Judaism or Zionism. They also collect material relating to Holocaust themes. People also collect just stamps of Palestine and Israel. These stamps commemorate many Jewish people and events. Ed Kroft , our presenter, is a postal historian who serves as the international president of the Society of Israel Philatelists, an international non-profit organization, with members in 24 countries.

Speakers
avatar for ed kroft

ed kroft

Ed Kroft of Vancouver now serves as the international president of the Society of israel Philatelists. Members of the Society are located in 24 different countries. Ed is a renowned writer and speaker on postal history and is a national judge of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. Aside from being a tax lawyer and a Torah,Haftorah and Megillah reader for many years, Ed has written many scholarly articles on various aspects of Holy Land... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
L3

1:00pm

The Philanthropic Mind
The session is based on the results of our in-depth interviews with dozens of Canada’s top philanthropists and our recently published book The Philanthropic Mind. Through revealing quotes and rich anecdotes, we will elucidate the passions, motivations, defining experiences, likes, dislikes, joys and challenges of these givers. More importantly, we will shed light on what some might find very surprising about the actions and attitudes of these notable Canadians, many of whom are Jewish. Ultimately we will demonstrate that despite their wealth and the magnitude of their giving, they are - first and foremost - people.

Speakers
avatar for Chuck English

Chuck English

Chuck English is a leader in the field of strategic marketing, providing expert consulting and counsel to businesses and not-for-profits for over twenty years. His successful firm, English Marketing Works, has improved the capacity of dozens of independent schools, fundraising organizations, and businesses by producing measurable results from their marketing investment. Chuck speaks at seminars and conferences, is an accomplished writer, and is... Read More →
avatar for Mo Lidsky

Mo Lidsky

Mo Lidsky is a principal at Prime Quadrant, an investment research and consulting firm. Previously, Mo was the co-founder of TMX Inc., FundCoaches, CharityBids, and Apex Global Capital. Mo served as the chief executive officer of Yeshiva University (Canada) and chairman of the THJ Foundation. Mo continues to serve on a number of boards and is the co-author of In Search of the Prime Quadrant: The Quest for Better Investment Decisions.


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 1:50pm
L2

1:00pm

Singing and Sukkot!

Children will learn some new songs in English and Hebrew that will create great energy and connection. Then they will play a game called Caterpillar that will be followed by a video and discussion about Sukkot.


Sunday March 6, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

2:00pm

Makeshift Spirituality: Jewish Home-Making in the Secular 21st Century
Are you hungry for Judaism that merges tradition and the spirit? Unsure of how to create programs and services that resonate with your community? Inviting burnt-out and inspired Jewish leaders to join for a workshop that replenishes your self and moves you to nurture everyone else. Experimenting with innovative and nonconventional ways to draw people back to Jewish tradition, you will grapple with your Jewish journey and the needs of your community. Using the metaphor of the sukkah, you will leave this workshop flexible and rooted in the power of Jewish living to carry Judaism - and your self - to unfamiliar and dangerous communal terrain.

Speakers
avatar for Devon Spier

Devon Spier

Devon Spier is a Program Coordinator, rabble-rouser and spiritual entrepreneur living in Kitchener, Ontario. By day, she organizes essential services for people on a limited income and by night, she programs out of her apartment - the "Shul Without Walls" - where she offers rituals for the unaffiliated to encounter Judaism. | Devon is also author of “Way of a Jewish Feminist” from the volume “Ways of the Spirit: Voices of... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
L3

2:00pm

Mapping Ararat: Remembering an Imaginary Jewish Homeland
Mapping Ararat: An Imaginary Jewish Homelands Project is a collaborative digital art and humanities project that reanimates Mordecai Noah's 1825 plan to transform Grand Island New York (located in the Niagara River near Buffalo on the border between the United States and Canada) into Ararat, a "city of refuge for the Jews." While this bold plan failed, it was the first attempt to create an autonomous Jewish state in modern times. Utilizing the new digital technology augmented reality this project offers Noah’s Ararat the chance to become a virtual reality. This presentation will review the major components of the on-site augmented reality walking tour of Ararat that consists of a series of electronic monuments, buildings, and landmarks (whether a virtual synagogue or a port of entry). Shiff will also screen the short film Mapping Ararat: Globally Positioned Sites as part of her presentation. Shiff will end her presentation with a sneak preview of her current project Imaginary Jewish Homelands, for which she was recently awarded a five year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Imaginary Jewish Homelands explores the proposals of I.N Steinberg, leader of the Freeland League for Jewish Colonization who sought to find a place for the Jews to settle outside of Europe during the time of the Holocaust.

Speakers
avatar for Melissa Shiff

Melissa Shiff

Research Associate, Sensorium Centre for Digital Art and Technology, York University
Personal websites: www.melissashiff.com, www.mappingararat.com | | Melissa Shiff is a digital media artist whose current work utilizes augmented reality to engage with Jewish cultural memory. Shiff’s highly acclaimed projects have been exhibited internationally at such institutions as The Jewish Museum New York, The Jewish Museum in Prague, The Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, and The Israeli Center for Digital Art. Shiff... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
S7

2:00pm

Biblia Erotica -- Sexy Passages in the Bible
Biblical personalities are presented as flesh-and-blood people – which includes sexual desires. We’ll study a few narratives that reveal the foibles of some of our ancestors, including: Judah and Tamar, David and Batsheva – and more.

Speakers
avatar for Lawrence Englander

Lawrence Englander

Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander received his Honours B.A. degree from York University in 1970. He then attended Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (one year in Jerusalem and four years in Cincinnati), receiving ordination as Rabbi in 1975. He is the founding Rabbi of Solel Congregation, Mississauga, serving there since its inception in 1973 until his retirement in June 2014; he now serves Solel as Rabbi Emeritus. He is also... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
S2

2:00pm

Echad Mi Yodeiah? Who Knows One
We all say the Shm'a and ponder the meaning of God. But do we ask about the meaning of "one"? From before Plato through to John Conway, the question of one means by "one". I wish to look at this through a Jewish lens, trying to see what these various ideas of "one" do to our Jewish understandings of one and of God. As no one seems to have tackled this before I expect the discussion to be quite freewheeling. 

Speakers
avatar for Eric Mendelsohn

Eric Mendelsohn

Eric Mendelsohn has been profoundly influenced by the teachings of R’Zalman Schacter Shalom. Mendelsohn is a founder of Congregation Darchei Noam and was a commentator for the Reconstructionist Siddur "Kol Haneshama". He is a professor emeritus in both the departments of Mathematics and Computer Science at University of Toronto and an Adjunct professor of Mathematics at Ryerson University. He and his wife Lillian have two children and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
S3/S4

2:00pm

Café Limmud
New to the program this year is Cafe Limmud, a unique space at Limmud that aims to generate more discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's CC Lounge area. For presenters, it's a great opportunity to begin or continue a conversation with participants who may not have been able to attend your full session, and for participants you might just want to know one last thing from an engaging presenter following their talk. Participants are encouraged to visit the cafe throughout the day, and join one or more conversations of interest to them. All presenter times in Cafe Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. We look forward to sharing this new experience with you. 

Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!


Speakers
avatar for Nora Gold

Nora Gold

Dr. Nora Gold is a writer, activist, and the creator and editor of the prestigious online literary journal, Jewish Fiction .net. Gold’s novel Fields of Exile won the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was also the recipient of high praise, including from Cynthia Ozick, Phyllis Chesler, Irwin Cotler, Steve Stern, Naim Kattan, and Alice Shalvi. Ozick called Fields of Exile “a brave and luminous book” that she read... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Devorah Kahn

Michelle Devorah Kahn

I am an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Toronto. For 10+ years I have been the creative director of Oy-Oy Productions and have completed 7 films that have been screened in festivals world-wide. I am currently a freelance writer for FYI Magazine, a Jewish women's lifestyle magazine in New York, and am working on my next film script. | My hobbies include fitness/nutrition, reading, going for coffee and visiting exhibits/museums


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
CC Lounge

2:00pm

Hacking Terror: Israel and the Digital Battlefield
Israel is at the forefront of the digital battlefield as both a target and instigator of game-changing cyber warfare. Hacking Terror: Israel and the Digital Battlefield introduces participants to the darker side of the Internet. The presentation will identify different types of cyber attacks; pinpoint major kingpins of the digital battlefield; question what this all means to Israel's security; and illustrate how Israel's technological innovation might just be its greatest weapon yet.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Cravit

Rachel Cravit

I'm a web developer, designer and recent graduate of Bitmaker, a web development school in Toronto. Prior to jumping into the tech industry, I worked for 5 years as a professional blogger and social media strategist while dabbling in website design on the side. | | Although women are still vastly outnumbered by men in the tech industry, this isn't my first time being part of the minority. In 2008, I enrolled at York University, unaware of the... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
L2

2:00pm

Keeping the Faith: City Hall Behind Closed Doors
This is a light and informative talk about what it is was like as an observant Jewish City Councillor before during and after the tumultuous Ford years. Councillor Pasternak will share stories about what happens when an observant elected official navigates the secular world of municipal politics. What happens when Toronto's former Mayor Ford attends a Menorah lighting on his first day in office and then dances the Horah to much horror? What happens when Toronto Councillors and Mayor Ford attend an Eruv educational session and it ends up being a feature story in Now magazine? What surprises Councillor's got when they went on a Shiva visit for the first time? And what the real fight was when the anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid tried to hijack the political agenda of Pride Toronto? Councillor Pasternak will also share the inside story of how as a school board Trustee he was responsible for navigating the political minefield when setting up Canada's only black-focussed school. Hear the background stories of power politics and the Jewish community in an amusing and informative format.  



Speakers
avatar for James  Pasternak

James Pasternak

Councillor James Pasternak was elected to City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Councillor Pasternak sits on Mayor John Tory's Executive Committee as the current chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee for the City of Toronto. James is also a member of the Budget Committee. During his time in office, Councillor Pasternak has been committed to fiscal responsibility while simultaneously investing in communities... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
L4

2:00pm

Playing Hitler's Games: The 1936 Nazi Olympics and the Canadian Jewish Community
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the infamous 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, an priority event not only for Hitler and Germany but also for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the organized Canadian Jewish community which, in the wake of the Nuremberg Laws, campaigned against Canadian participation in the Games. The campaign failed. Canada participated in what turned out to be a propaganda bonanza for Nazi Germany. Troper will discuss the legacy of the Nazi Olympic Games and the part played by Canada and Canadian Jewish community in the Nazi Olympic saga.

Speakers
avatar for Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper

Hesh Troper is a professor at the University of Toronto. He is perhaps best known as co-author of None Is Too Many. His most recent book is More than Just Games: Canada and the Nazi Olympics, written in partnership with Richard Menkis of the University of British Columbia. Hesh’s work has received numerous honors and awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the American Jewish Book Award, the Canadian Historical... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
S5

2:00pm

Jewish National Consciousness in The Soviet Union (1960s-1970s)
This presentation will profile underground Zionist groups, underground educational groups, the Soviet trials of the Jews of the period, the Dolnik case, the legal struggle for aliyah, and the reaction of the Soviet regime from the eyes of someone who lived through the Soviet-Jewish experience.

Speakers
avatar for Vladimir Machlis

Vladimir Machlis

1944 - born in Moscow to Jewish parents.1951 - 1961 - elementary/high school.1962 - 1965 - Flight Academy (graduated as a helicopter pilot).1965 - expelled from the Youth League for expressing discontent with Soviet treatment of the Jews.1965 - 1971 - a pilot with Aeroflot Soviet Airlines, airplanes (co-pilot, Flight Instructor, Captain, Link Commander, Deputy Squadron Commander).1966 - 1967 - under investigation/interrogations in Dolnik... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
M1

2:00pm

The Road Less Travelled: Women on the Fringe
A biblical and contemporary exploration into the lives of daring women

Speakers
avatar for Tina Grimberg

Tina Grimberg

Rabbi Tina Grimberg grew up in Kiev. She moved to North America as a teenager. Rabbi Grimberg initially trained and worked as a family therapist. She was ordained by Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Institute of Religion and is the first female émigré from the Soviet Union to become a rabbi in North America. Since 2002, Rabbi Grimberg has served Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto. Rabbi Tina’s “Out of Line&rdquo... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
L1

2:00pm

The Gate of Tears: Joyful Sadness, Activism, and the Spiritual Path
Authentic spiritual practice embraces sadness and joy, spirituality and social justice, equanimity and emotion, seriousness and play. Living in the dynamic tensions between them is the subject of the sixth book by Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson, a book called The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path. The Gate of Tears is both a personal chronicle of Dr. Michaelson’s coming to terms with the loss of his mother, and a heartfelt spiritual teaching about the happiness that can coexist with the full range of human experience. Drawing on Jay’s fifteen years in Jewish, Buddhist, and LGBTQ spiritual communities, Jay's teaching is infused with a contemporary sensibility, skepticism, and, yes, even humor. And as a public figure who regularly appears on national media, Jay argues for an integration of political engagement and spiritual vulnerability

Speakers
avatar for Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of six books and three hundred articles on religion, sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. He is a weekly columnist for the Daily Beast and the Forward newspaper, and is a frequent commentator on public affairs on National Public Radio. In 2010 and 2014 he won the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ award for opinion writing. | | Dr. Michaelson enjoys a second career as a scholar and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 2:50pm
S1

2:00pm

Magic Show!

Children will be delighted by a Jewish magician who will include some Jewish magic!


Sunday March 6, 2016 2:00pm - 3:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

3:00pm

Haggadah Messages - Jews and Culture Through the Hagaddah
We use a haggadah every Pesach. The first haggadda was written about 1100 years ago. Since then, thousands of haggadot have been written and published. They were written and illustrated in medieval Europe and Spain; in Renaissance Italy; through the Industrial Revolution, Communist Russia, and the Holocaust. This presentation will trace the political and realities of the lives of Jews from throughout history, illustrated with pictures and illustrations from ancient and modern haggadot.


Speakers
avatar for Laya Crust-Lightstone

Laya Crust-Lightstone

Laya Crust grew up in Winnipeg, Canada and later moved to Toronto where she studied art and Jewish text. Always fascinated by the inter- relationships of Torah text with nature, faith and human dynamics, Laya’s work weaves together imagery, faith and understanding. | | Laya doesn’t limit her work to one medium. Although much of her work is a combination of painting and calligraphy she ahs also created hand-made artist books, designed... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:45pm
S5

3:00pm

TRANSforming Traditions: Exploring Trans Issues in Jewish and Islamic Texts and Discourses
In societies that were defined by clear gender binaries, and in which ritual, social, and physical work was divided along gender lines, it is perhaps not surprising to discover that both Jewish and Islamic texts had anxieties about bodies that did not easily fit into these sex/gender paradigms. The Talmud explores the ritual obligations of the tumtum and the androgynus, while Islamic legal sources examine the rights of the khuntha and the mukhannath, all of whom represent either intersexed bodies, bodies with ambiguous genitalia, or those who "behave" like someone of the opposite sex. While the mere recognition of sexual diversity in such ancient texts is encouraging, can these texts serve as a basis for more inclusive discourses on LQBTQ issues in contemporary Jewish and Muslim communities? Or does the fact that they were written to solve 'the problem' presented by these 'nonconforming' bodies render them too problematic to be useful? This session will explore the relationship between Jewish and Islamic textual traditions and contemporary attempts at inclusion in living Jewish and Muslim communities, using translated passages from classical texts as well as examples from popular media such as the Amazon Prime series "Transparent" and a recent documentary on the "Trans" mosque of Indonesia.

Speakers
avatar for Shari Golberg

Shari Golberg

Shari Golberg has a PhD in Religion from the University of Toronto. Her academic work explores feminist approaches to Jewish and Islamic texts and contemporary text-based collaborations between Jewish and Muslim women. Her other research interests include Canadian public policy and religious accommodation, diversity and conflict mediation, and interfaith activism. Golberg also co-ordinates and facilitates Shema & Iqra': The Jewish-Muslim Text... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
L2

3:00pm

Find The Miracle Deep In Your Heart
This performance of original songs will explore Jewish stories of miracles, self-discovery, and transformation. A miracle is a transformative experience at the intersection of the holy & the mundane. “The Burning Bush” is a song about an extraordinary miracle, performed by God outside the rules of ordinary life, which serves as Moses’ call to destiny. “The Lake of Always” describes a natural miracle, performed by God within the rules of ordinary life, in which our role is to recognise the presence of holiness. “Foot Forward” chronicles Nachshon Ben Aminadav’s fearless march into the waters of the Red Sea, a participatory miracle initiated by God, but requiring human action to be fulfilled. “The Farm” tells the story of a transformative miracle, an expression of our free choice to transform bitter into sweet. “The Sound of Aleph” is about the connection between God’s presence without and within.

Speakers
avatar for Roslyn Schwartz

Roslyn Schwartz

Roslyn Schwartz is a Jewish composer and performer whose work has been described as nourishing, inspiring, and healing. She serves as Cantorial Soloist & Music Educator in Kingston, Ontario, and is the founder and director of the Kingston Jewish Community Choir. She recently released the album "Singing Through The Night." A physician with over 30 years of experience in Family Medicine and psychotherapy, facilitating healing and personal growth... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
L1

3:00pm

So, You Want to Make a Jewish Podcast?
There are many Jewish­-related podcasts out there now...but Vox Tablet was a pioneer in the field. Formerly called the Nextbook podcast, it has been around for 10 years, and boasts an archive of hundreds of stories and interviews on all aspects of Jewish life and culture. Guests have included Michael Chabon, Aline Crumb, Golem, David Rakoff and more. How did it come together? How does it work? What does its future hold?

Speakers
avatar for Sara Ivry

Sara Ivry

Sara Ivry is an editor at Tablet Magazine, the Jewish publication based in New York City. She hosts Vox Tablet, the National Magazine Award Winning podcast on Jewish arts and culture, and is a producer of Unorthodox, the newest podcast from Tablet Magazine. She has written about education, culture, media, health, food, art, business and other topics for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bookforum, Bright, Food52 and other publications,


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
S1

3:00pm

The Lines that Exclude: The Contours of our Jewish Community
A presentation and discussion on the power of lines to create a Jewish community, and what happens when those lines erode. We will look at rabbinic texts both ancient and modern to get a feeling of what challenges community leaders feel has putting our community at risk. In the end we will have an guided discussion on what lines are making our community and what likes are breaking our community today.

Speakers
avatar for Jordan Helfman

Jordan Helfman

I am a New Jersey/Michigan transplant in Toronto, who loves to play music, eat food, and in March is a huge supporter of the MSU Spartans. Also, Assistant Rabbi @ HBT, World Union of Progressive Judaism Exec. Board Member, Heart2Heart Advisory Board, and father of three cute kids.


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
L3

3:00pm

Café Limmud
New to the program this year is Cafe Limmud, a unique space at Limmud that aims to generate more discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's CC Lounge area. For presenters, it's a great opportunity to begin or continue a conversation with participants who may not have been able to attend your full session, and for participants you might just want to know one last thing from an engaging presenter following their talk. Participants are encouraged to visit the cafe throughout the day, and join one or more conversations of interest to them. All presenter times in Cafe Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. We look forward to sharing this new experience with you. 

Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!


Speakers
avatar for Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator, lecturer, professor, published scholar and author for almost 25 years. He hosts TanakhCast, a biweekly podcast about the Tanakh, authored End Of The Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next and casually maintains a blog at thenextjew.com. Most of all, he is proud of his darling children Maayan, Heala and Tal.
avatar for Danita Dubinsky Aziza

Danita Dubinsky Aziza

In 2008 I left my comfy cozy life in Winnipeg and with my husband and three teenage children pursued a lifelong dream of living in Israel. I documented my trials of integration in the form of life lessons to provide an appreciation of daily life within Israeli culture and to demonstrate that meeting challenges can provide enormous opportunity for personal growth. My articles were published and were so well received that I went on to write... Read More →
avatar for Shalom Schachter

Shalom Schachter

I began my rabbinic training at Lubavitch Rabbinical College in Montreal and Kfar Chabad. I completed my training through ALEPH - the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received smicha in 2005. I have served congregations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario and am currently the Chesed Rabbi at Beth Tzedec. I am a member of the Toronto Board of Rabbis and am the TBR representative to the Interfaith Social Action Reform Coalition. I was a... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
CC Lounge

3:00pm

Israeli Chutzpah in Toronto
A panel discussion (in ENGLISH) addressing the unique experience of growing up Israeli in Toronto and how it affected the panelist's connections to the Jewish community here. As well, the panelists explain how the Israeli chutzpah got them to where they are today, and how it has helped them advance their careers and lives!

Speakers
avatar for Ronen Geisler

Ronen Geisler

Ronen Geisler is a Jewish stand-up comedian based in Toronto, Ontario. He has appeared at a variety of comedy clubs in Toronto, Beijing, Montreal, Ottawa, and New York City. He also hosts the popular Learn English Funcast Podcast. Where he teaches English learners around the world how to learn English through jokes. He currently hosts a monthly show called Cowboy Comedy at the Korean Cowboy.
avatar for Gonen Hollander

Gonen Hollander

Gonen is an MBA candidate at Rotman School of Management and founder and director of Bar Lectures. Born and raised in Israel, Gonen, the oldest of four brothers, grew up in the coastal area of Israel. In 2006, after the second Lebanon War, Gonen joined the Navy, as his father and grandfather before him, to begin his Naval Academy training. Graduating the Academy in 2009, Gonen then became a naval officer and served as a Missile Ship Tactical... Read More →
avatar for Rafi Yablonsky

Rafi Yablonsky

Born in Israel, raised in Thornhill, living in Toronto. I grew up in the Jewish day school system attending Associated and CHAR. While attending York University I encountered my first experience of an anti-Israel demonstration. I then founded Hasbara at York, which still exists today and is still student lead and student run. After completing my degree in Business Management, I went to work in telecom industry and then computer software. In... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
S7

3:00pm

Hidden Gold - A True Story of the Holocaust
Profiling the following from Ella Burakowski's Holocaust novel Hidden Gold: Why I wrote; how I wrote; the importance of recording all testimony; how to cloak true events in a dialogue of emotion to engage a young reader.

Speakers
avatar for Ella Burakowski

Ella Burakowski

Most people know me as Ask Ella, the advice columnist in The Canadian Jewish | News, however this year I am gaining notoriety for my book that was published by | Second Story Press – HIDDEN GOLD – A True Story of the Holocaust. | | I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors Shoshana Gold and Fishl Burakowski. | Hidden Gold is the story of my mother’s family who were hidden in a cramped, | secret compartment of a barn for... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
L4

3:00pm

Finding Judaism in Kenya
In 2008, Adam Hummel was a participant on a peacebuilding project to Kenya, a few months following that country's worst civil war. While, strangely enough, being shown how to pick tea in one of Kenya's numerous tea-fields, Adam was asked by a local girl: "Do you know what the parsha is this week?" Stunned, Adam began to ask questions and discovered a group of Kenyans who, once they had discovered Adam's faith, wanted to know everything they could about Judaism. That experience, coupled with the little known Zionist history found in Kenya, gave Adam the unique opportunity to explore his own Judaism and Jewish identity in a place where he least expected it. These experiences took place over four visits that Adam made to Kenya between 2008 and 2012, during which time he helped found the peacebuilding project "Youth Ambassadors for Peace." In his presentation, Adam will share these Jewish experiences, mixed with a little bit of Zionist history, in an effort to show how one's Judaism can both inspire, and be inspired, almost anywhere in the world.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Hummel

Adam Hummel

Adam Hummel is a lawyer and founder of Youth Ambassadors for Peace. YAP is a grassroots peace-building project and youth group based in the rural village of Matongo in Western Kenya. The project was born in the aftermath of Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence, and is designed to both empower and bring together youths affected by that civil conflict. In the last six years, those Kenyans involved with YAP have helped initiate ten high... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
S3/S4

3:00pm

Hakhel - Jewish Intentional Communities
Second only to the nuclear family, the Jewish community has been what binds Jews to our identity and fortifies our commitment to Jewish peoplehood. However, it appears that a paradigm shift is evolving in Jewish society, as a growing proportion of young adults do not identify with the traditional structures of Jewish communities, not to be confused with Judaism itself. Judaism has a long theoretical and practical tradition of what today would be called “Intentional Communities”, and session explores Jewish Intentional Communities as a new method for engaging young adults (and families) in Jewish life, drawing in part on the experience and knowledge of this movement within Israel.

Speakers
avatar for Aharon Ariel Lavi

Aharon Ariel Lavi

Aharon Ariel Lavi is a serial social entrepreneur and a well-established community development professional, who believes that networks are the key to shaping our reality in the upcoming generation. Lavi is one of the founders and leaders of the Nettiot Mission-Driven Communities Network, reengaging Haredi Ba'aley Teshuva (Returnees) into Israeli society. He is also founder of Garin Shuva – A Jewish Eco-Mission-Driven-community on the... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 3:50pm
M1

3:00pm

Our Connection to Israel

Children will watch a few video clips about Israel and discuss what Israel might mean to them. They will also learn about the service that Israeli women and men give to Israel.


Sunday March 6, 2016 3:00pm - 4:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

4:00pm

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education
We are a grassroots organization of concerned individuals who view the most important immediate and long-term priority for our community to be making Jewish education affordable for the majority of the families in our midst.By striving to make Jewish education more affordable, we fulfill a moral obligation to our community and a historic obligation to the wider Jewish people. The status quo is an affront to conscience. Inaction is not an option. Nor is failure.

Speakers
avatar for Jeffrey Stutz

Jeffrey Stutz

Jeffrey Stutz is a public policy advisor and Jewish community activist. His special interests are the impact of day school affordability on families and raising major funding to reduce the cost to parents. Jeffrey's children graduated from Toronto day schools. His grandchildren attend Jewish schools in Toronto and Israel. Jeffrey is a member of Congregation Beth Haminyan.


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
S7

4:00pm

But Will Your Kids Be Jewish? Family Matters
The format will be a conversation between Yacov a member of the clergy of Beth Tzedec and Kayla a congregant who is committed to raising a Jewish family together with her non-Jewish partner. Join Kayla Kwinter and Yacov Fruchter for an open discussion about the latest data on the effects of intermarriage on the Jewish community in North America and how they understand the opportunities and challenges that the current reality presents.

Speakers
avatar for Yacov Fruchter

Yacov Fruchter

From August 2009 until June 2015, Yacov served as the Spiritual Leader of the Annex Shul where he built a community of hundreds of inspired young Jews and empowered them to take ownership over their Jewish experiences. | | Yacov is married to Ryla Braemer and is the proud father of two girls. Yacov and his family enjoy living in the heart of the Annex and are proud to contribute to the vibrancy of Jewish life South of Eglinton. | | He believes... Read More →
avatar for Kayla Kwinter

Kayla Kwinter

Kayla Kwinter is a litigation lawyer in Toronto and engaged member of the Jewish Community. Kayla is committed to building an inclusive and engaged Jewish community. She is enthusiastic and always willing to discuss new ideas. Kayla is particularly interested in the Jewish Community's relationship with interfaith families.


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
L2

4:00pm

Portraits In Faith

Ken Burns, Emmy Award winning documentary film maker, said this about PORTRAITS IN FAITH:  "I was­­, we were (as several folks in the office crowded 'round)­­completely blown away. By its power and dignity, its implicit compassion and yet unblinking eye. What a wonderful project and I only wish I hadn't been on the road for the last three and a half months because I would have been able to see this amazing project sooner."

For eleven years, Daniel Epstein, a Marketing Director at one of the world’s largest corporations, Procter & Gamble, has been traveling the world for business and for faith. Motivated by his own search to fill the "God­sized hole" in his life, he did not know where it would lead. He felt that if he did not develop some type of spiritual faith he would die. Born and raised a Jew, Daniel’s challenges with relationships, work, and "life" forced him at age 36 to pray to a God he did not know, a higher power not specific to either his own Judaism or any religion, and ask for help. In order to keep his new found sense of faith alive and to gain from the experience of others, Daniel created a spiritual exercise out of interviewing people around the world about the role of faith in their lives. As a photographer, Daniel also captured a moment with each person in a black and white portrait meant to evoke their true spirit.   What emerged is the world’s most extensive oral history / testimony project conducted by one person on the subject of faith. Daniel has interviewed and made portraits of 450 people from 27 countries representing well over 50 religions, denominations, and spiritual followings. 

Portraits in Faith is not about religion. It is about documenting the role of spiritual experience inside and outside of formal religion, expected and unexpected, told in people’s own words, and brought to life with video and photography. The message of Portraits In Faith is that despite all the negative press on faith in the world today, faith is a powerful healer, transformer, and changer of lives. The overriding message is that however one calls God (Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Higher Power, The Divine, Creative Intelligence, etc.) there is a greater force that connects us all and it is good for each person to find a path that leads to a faith that works for them. As someone who identifies as Jewish and who has a strong day school/youth group/ Israel/Jewish community background, Daniel helps audiences reflect on their own spiritual journey especially as Jews. Faith and spiritual journeys are not often spoke about in Judaism and Daniel believes this is a deficit that needs to change. Or said in the language of Judaism, we need to decrease the time and space between Naaseh and Nishma!

Please see this video about the project: http://portraitsinfaith.org/about/intro­video/

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein is the Founder of Portraits In Faith, a non profit digital documentary that feature the portraits and interviews of 450 people in 27 countries all on the topic of their spiritual journeys and the different manifestations of faith in their lives. | | Daniel is a consultant who specializes in the intersection of cognitive and behavioral science with marketing & innovation. He has taught innovation strategy at the Rotman... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
S3/S4

4:00pm

From Aging to Saging - V'hadarta P'nei Zakein
The presentation will focus on a significant element of respect for the Elderly, namely ensuring that they receive proper care when they can no longer care for themselves. We are informed by examples in the Torah from Noah to Miriam. The presentation will review Jewish imperatives for caring for the Elderly and their practical application. We will discuss the overlap between the mitzvot of Kibud Av v'Eim (honouring one's parents) and Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick) and how they can be fulfilled on both an personal and communal basis.In this regard we will consider government policies regarding regulated long term care homes and home care and how we can make individual and systemic improvements.

Speakers
avatar for Shalom Schachter

Shalom Schachter

I began my rabbinic training at Lubavitch Rabbinical College in Montreal and Kfar Chabad. I completed my training through ALEPH - the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received smicha in 2005. I have served congregations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario and am currently the Chesed Rabbi at Beth Tzedec. I am a member of the Toronto Board of Rabbis and am the TBR representative to the Interfaith Social Action Reform Coalition. I was a... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
L3

4:00pm

Café Limmud
New to the program this year is Cafe Limmud, a unique space at Limmud that aims to generate more discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's CC Lounge area. For presenters, it's a great opportunity to begin or continue a conversation with participants who may not have been able to attend your full session, and for participants you might just want to know one last thing from an engaging presenter following their talk. Participants are encouraged to visit the cafe throughout the day, and join one or more conversations of interest to them. All presenter times in Cafe Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. We look forward to sharing this new experience with you. 

Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!


Speakers
avatar for Ella Burakowski

Ella Burakowski

Most people know me as Ask Ella, the advice columnist in The Canadian Jewish | News, however this year I am gaining notoriety for my book that was published by | Second Story Press – HIDDEN GOLD – A True Story of the Holocaust. | | I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors Shoshana Gold and Fishl Burakowski. | Hidden Gold is the story of my mother’s family who were hidden in a cramped, | secret compartment of a barn for... Read More →
avatar for Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson is the author of six books and three hundred articles on religion, sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. He is a weekly columnist for the Daily Beast and the Forward newspaper, and is a frequent commentator on public affairs on National Public Radio. In 2010 and 2014 he won the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ award for opinion writing. | | Dr. Michaelson enjoys a second career as a scholar and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
CC Lounge

4:00pm

Creating Conscious Community
Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira of the Warsaw Ghetto put together a guide for how to create a community of commitment. This is a template for shuls to start thinking about how they create synagogue cultures. We will study sections from his text to discuss the "ingredients" for a successful community.

Texts will be presented in Hebrew and English.  

Speakers
avatar for Elyse Goldstein

Elyse Goldstein

Rabbi, The City Shul
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein served for twenty years as the Director of Kolel in Toronto, a liberal Jewish adult education centre, which she founded. She is currently creating a new Reform congregation in downtown Toronto called City Shul. She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and graduated from Brandeis University, where she later received her Doctor of Divinity, honoris causis. She writes a monthly column for the... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
S2

4:00pm

Not By Bread Alone - כי לא על הלחם לבדו
Between rushing toward the Future and clinging to the Past lies the moment we live in, the ever-demanding Present. Experience has taught Jews a great deal about how to behave in the here and now. Certainly most, if not all, of this wisdom can be found in the books on the shelves of our beit midrash. But this talk will focus on some themes that have made repeated appearances over the decades as the Jewish community evolved and expanded from Union Station up to Thornhill, and back downtown again...from the perspective of a seat at one of the city's longest-lived family eateries.

Speakers
avatar for Philip Ladovsky

Philip Ladovsky

Philip Ladovsky is a Toronto restaurateur with a lifelong interest in Jewish study. Along with his sister, Ruth, he is the third generation proprietor of a family business that has been serving soups, salads and lots of bagels to hungry Torontonians for over a century of continuous operation. He is optimistic that, with a little luck, his sons may carry the family tradition forward.


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
S1

4:00pm

The Hilsner Blood Libel of 1899 - Still Not Resolved

The murder of Anezka Hruzova in Bohemia in 1899 is the only case in history in which a Jew (Leopold Hilsner) was found guilty of “Jewish ritual murder”. This Kafkaesque trial is the reason why “Jewish ritual murder” is accepted as a fact in the antisemitic and Arab press. How did this bizarre case unravel? Why did prominent Jews support Dreyfus but not Hilsner? Why is the verdict not yet overturned?

Charles Heller is the grandson of Siegfried Heller, who was Hilsner’s guardian. He has visited Czech Republic many times and is familiar with modern research in this case, most of which is not available in English.


Speakers
avatar for Charles Heller

Charles Heller

Graduate of Cambridge University, and B.Ed U of T. | Recently retired music teacher, Peel Board of Education. Recently retired Choir Director , Beth Emeth Synagogue. | Member of editorial board, Journal of Synagogue Music (Cantors Assembly, NY). Author of award-winning book “What To Listen For in Jewish Music” (www.ecanthuspress.com). | I am a composer (details of my concerts, publications and CDs at: www.musiccentre.ca).


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
M1

4:00pm

A Jew at the WHO: Pandemic and Ebola Ethics in Jewish Law
Can public health authorities forcefully isolate and quarantine individuals with communicable diseases? Can humanitarian workers lie to save thousands of lives? What to do when vaccine supplies save millions of children but infect thousands with hepatitis B and HIV? How can Ebola vaccine research be carried out during an outbreak? Dr. Pakes will lead a discussion of these real-life public health and global health ethical dilemmas and use talmudic and responsa literature, as well as his own Global Health Ethical Reflection Matrix to begin to answer them.

Speakers
avatar for Barry Pakes

Barry Pakes

Barry Pakes is a Public Health specialist physician, who also works in primary care and emergency medicine. He is a Royal College Fellow in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. His Doctor of Medicine was earned at the University of Toronto, his Microbiology/Immunology degree at McGill, his Masters in Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health and his Diploma in Tropical Medicine from Cayetano Heredia and the Gorgas Institute in Lima... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
L4

4:00pm

Tackling Mental Health Stigma through Jewish Learning
My Chevrutah study session aims to reduce mental-health related stigma within Toronto’s diverse Jewish community through Torah text study. Although mental health stigma is a society-wide problem, existing research – coupled with my own experience – suggests that it manifests itself uniquely within the Jewish community. At the same time, I believe that our community possesses unique resources to combat mental health stigma – particularly Torah study itself. As such, I have chosen text study as a vehicle for having potentially uncomfortable conversations around this critical issue. We will examine biblical, talmudic, rabbinic, and Jewish historical texts, media articles, and personal narrative. From within our own tradition, we will counter judgement and blame, and even uncover direct contrasts to stigma – such as the dignity and holiness that can be bound with the pain of emotional distress and “mental illness.” This session has been created as part of my training in social work, in collaboration with Rochelle Goldman-Brown and The Chai Tikvah Foundation.

Speakers
avatar for Aviva Bellman

Aviva Bellman

Aviva is a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) student at Smith College working with The Chai Tikvah Foundation on an initiative called the Jewish Mental Health Anti-Stigma Project. Her interest in mental health stigma – which she views as a social justice issue – and Jewish learning stems from her prior work in the area of Jewish social justice leadership training and education. Prior to beginning her studies in clinical social work... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 4:50pm
L1

4:00pm

It’s time for Purim!

Children will learn about Purim through videos and discussion. Then they will make their very own Purim masks to take home!


Sunday March 6, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
S6 - Children's Program

5:00pm

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Exmining the role of siblings within the lives of people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and complex needs, The Judith Trust presents a workshop session exploring the dynamic of siblings within families who have a child with learning disabilities, mental health issues and complex needs. The session will include a range of perspectives and approaches to roles and responsibilities of siblings as well as offering a unique opportunity for siblings and parents to share their views.

Speakers
avatar for Jo Richler

Jo Richler

Jo Richler | BA Hons, PGCE, MSc, FLPI | | Jo’s work and research has focused on the management of change, with a specific focus on education, special education and inclusion. | | She has worked for twenty five years in further and higher education as a tutor and senior manager, and she has an excellent reputation as a leader and innovator in the field of independent learning and learning resources. In 2004 she was awarded the Learning... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
L3

5:00pm

Jews: The Remake

Throughout history, the Jewish people have confronted many grave challenges. In each instance, the Jewish response has been wildly inventive, versatile and robust. In response to each challenge, Jewish practice, belief and sense of self and nation were utterly transformed. And yet, Jewish tradition perceives itself as a continuous, uninterrupted chain extending back to Abraham and Moses.

Though Jewish people continue to honour and venerate Moses, their tablet of choice today is an iPad. The present moment in Jewish history is one of tremendous challenge and change. The crisis is profound. The radical break has broken. And most importantly, the remake is live, wireless and extraordinary.


Speakers
avatar for Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator, lecturer, professor, published scholar and author for almost 25 years. He hosts TanakhCast, a biweekly podcast about the Tanakh, authored End Of The Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next and casually maintains a blog at thenextjew.com. Most of all, he is proud of his darling children Maayan, Heala and Tal.


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
S3/S4

5:00pm

Serenading Beloved
So many Jewish prayers are filled with love, passion, yearning and intimacy. Jew-cy!! Yet, many of us don't know how to bring those parts of ourselves into our spiritual lives and prayer. And we live in a culture that teaches us to hate or ignore the wisdom, beauty and power of our bodies, numbs or distracts us from our inner lives and distorts our sensual aliveness into consumerism. In this interactive songful, prayerful, sounding, meditative, movement laboratory, we will explore ways of listening to the stirrings and truths of our inner lives, reaching into the world with open and courageous hearts, and healing our relationships with our bodies and voices so that we can sing and pray and act in the world with our whole selves.

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Margles

Miriam Margles

Miriam Margles is a rabbi, artist and activist. She has been serving as the rabbi of the Danforth Jewish Circle in Toronto since 2010. Her original compositions of Jewish liturgical music are sung by communities throughout North American, Israel and Europe. Integrating dynamic Jewish learning, heart-opening spiritual practice, community building and creative exploration in movement, voice and writing, Miriam facilitates workshops and retreats... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
S7

5:00pm

Exploring Religious Identity: A Hands-On Creative Workshop
This session revolves around having participants discuss and debate their understanding of the word religious and consider a broader, and potentially more nuanced, definition of the word as a way to strengthen the religiosity of one's own Jewish identity, regardless of practice. The session will be conducted as a workshop in which participants will have time to draw and illustrate, to reflect and share, and to discuss the complicated nature of defining the word "religious". Through conversation and art, participants will (hopefully) leave with a new way of thinking about their own Jewish identity.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Reingold

Matt Reingold

Dr. Matt Reingold completed his PhD in Jewish Education from York University in 2015. A Wexner Fellow, Matt researches the intersection between the fine arts and Jewish identity and how learning through the arts can lead to new ways about thinking about ones Jewishness. Matt has been teaching at TanenbaumCHAT for the past eight years in the Jewish History, Jewish Thought, and Tanach departments.


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
S2

5:00pm

Making Sense of It All - Challenges and Opportunities for Israel and the Jewish World in 2016 and Beyond
A quick survey of challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Jewish world today presented by Consul General DJ Schneeweiss, followed by Q&A/discussion with the audience on possible responses, remedies, and actions.

Speakers
avatar for DJ Schneeweiss

DJ Schneeweiss

DJ Schneeweiss | Consul General of Israel to Toronto and Western Canada | | DJ Schneeweiss was born in Sydney, Australia in 1964 and immigrated to Israel in 1987. | | A Masters Graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, DJ joined Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994, serving as Policy Assistant to Foreign Ministers Ehud Barak (1995-1996) and David Levy (1996-1998). | | His first overseas posting was as Press Secretary at... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
S1

5:00pm

Jews and Blacks: From the Bible to Brooklyn
Beginning with the infamous Curse of Ham (Noah's son, not the pig product) through rabbinic pronouncements on slavery in the American south, school integration in New York City, and culminating with Jewish voices in Black Lives Matter, our people and our texts have had a lot to say - both positive and negative - about individuals with dark skin. This presentation will highlight some of the major texts and events that have shaped Jewish attitudes on this topic. We will see what themes emerge and discuss current tensions as well as possible solutions.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Cutler

Adam Cutler

Rabbi Adam Cutler has served as rabbi at Beth Tzedec Congregation since August 2009. | | An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Rav Adam graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City where he worked as a Beit Midrash advisor and synagogue gabbai (secretary). He previously served as the Resnick Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor, New York and as the Legacy Heritage Fund Student... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
L1

5:00pm

Jewish Canadian Responses to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

This presentation will focus on the Canadian Jewish community’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis and put it in the context of previous such events. Our presenters have a full range of policy and implementation experience.  We will describe previous refugee crises, Canada's policies at the time and the role played by the Jewish community.  The Executive Director of JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto will talk about JIAS’ work with over 34 Jewish community groups, families and members of congregations to privately sponsor Syrian refugees. We will describe how these groups evolved and the issues they have faced.  Some of them have inspiring stories of how they came to sponsor and how they formed and grew their partnership groups.  We will hear directly from members of several of these groups who will describe their own experience and successes.


Speakers
avatar for Naomi  Alboim

Naomi Alboim

Naomi Alboim is a Fellow, Adjunct Professor and Chair of the Policy Forum at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston. She is an active public policy consultant, advising governments and NGOs across Canada and in the Caribbean, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ghana and Kenya. | | Previously, Ms. Alboim worked at senior levels in the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments for twenty-five years, including eight... Read More →
avatar for Pippa Feinstein

Pippa Feinstein

Pippa Feinstein is a Toronto-based lawyer, researcher, and mediator dedicated to promoting social and environmental justice and helping to build more compassionate communities. She works in an interdisciplinary way to respond to the needs of grassroots organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and other sole practitioners. She has been a member of the First Narayever Congregation since childhood and is a member of... Read More →
avatar for Abby  Robins

Abby Robins

Abby has spent the last 15 years working in Communications for non-profit organizations. She has worked at Frontier College, JVS Toronto, Second Harvest, and the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation. Prior to 2001, Abby worked in television production for 15 years. She has volunteered as a literacy tutor, a CanSurmount visitor, a Coordinator of Hillel Children's Workshop, and a member of the City Shul Leadership Team. 
avatar for Janis Roth

Janis Roth

Janis Roth is the Executive Director of JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto. She earned both her Bachelor and Master of Social Work from McGill University and has been working in the social service field for 35 years within and connected to the Montreal and Toronto Jewish communities. Janis has received several awards for her academic achievements and work innovations including a James McGill Award, Canada’s Social Sciences and... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
L2

5:00pm

Our Choice of Hate and Intolerance – Us vs Us
“Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater”. George Washington Carver

I was almost destroyed. I was lost. I was angry. I was filled with hate and intolerance in my life. There was so much I didn’t understand and couldn’t know at the time. But along this path I was able to develop through introspection, by meeting some extraordinary modern “enemies” and in the process the hate and the intolerance I held for too long began to come down. And just as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, so too did my own walls. East Berlin holds a special place for me ever since my momentous visit there in 1983 – the genesis of my story. Who knew, that personal liberation would have remarkable life changing consequences – including an unfathomable and unforeseen end to a bitter 42-year estrangement from my father.

Speakers
avatar for Stuart Lewis

Stuart Lewis

Author of Us versus Us, An Intimate Journey of Letters and WallsStuart Lewis is a businessman living in Toronto. Born into a secular Jewish home, he grew up in a predominantly Jewish Toronto neighbourhood surrounded by families of Holocaust survivors. Despite the comfortable middle-class appearances, money was a constant struggle and when he was fourteen his father — a failed salesmen of the Willy Loman variety — abandoned home and family... Read More →


Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 5:50pm
M1

5:00pm

Jewish Crafts and Videos
By this point in the day, we know that the children will be have different levels of energy and different needs. We will be watching some Jewish cartoon videos as well as carrying on with crafts - whatever is the best for each child. All will be supervised. Snacks will of course be available.

Pick up by 6:00 PM 

Sunday March 6, 2016 5:00pm - 6:00pm
S6 - Children's Program