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Sunday, March 6


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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


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?

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


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.

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


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.

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


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.

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