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THE SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. One does not register for sessions.  Seating at individual sessions is first come, first served.
REGISTRATION and the Coat Room are on the 27th Floor along with many of the sessions. The Children’s Program, Lunch Room, Limmud Café and rooms E1, G3 and G4 are on the 16th Floor. There is easy access between the floors by 6 large elevators.
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Sunday, March 19
 

09:00

Registration
Registration begins at 9:00 in the S-Lounge and will continue throughout the day. Please arrive early enough to get through the registration process and to your first session at 10:00!

Sunday March 19, 2017 09:00 - 10:00
S - Lounge 27th Floor

10:00

Jewish Reflections in Canadian Visual Art: Practice and Impact
Over the last 100 years, Jews have left a tremendous mark on the contemporary art scene in Toronto, as artists, curators and philanthropists. These impacts parallel American achievements in the post-war era. The presentation will note some of the influential figures in the modern era of Jewish art practice and then will trace Jewish identity and expression through the work of American and Canadian artists and institution-builders. It will note the role of Jews as institution builders. We will first recognize the ways that artists deployed visual art to make sense of the impossibility and horror of the Holocaust and its aftermath, considering works by Louise Nevelson, Eva Hesse, Adolph Gottlieb and Leon Golub. Canadian artists Aba Bayefsky, Sorel Etrog, and Daniel Solomon brought Jewish approaches to modernist practices, each strongly rooted in their Judaism.

Presenters
avatar for Sara Diamond

Sara Diamond

Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada's 'university of the imagination'. She is a computer scientist, digital media artist and historian, and director of the Visual Analytics Lab at OCAD U, with funding from NSERC, SSHRC, Mitacs and the Ontario Research Excellence Fund. She researches and writes about media and other art histories. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists and a... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
L2 27th Floor

10:00

Human Sexuality in the Biblical Narrative
Unlike some other ancient languages, biblical Hebrew has only one word for love, ahava.  In this presentation I hope to explore some aspects of how the Bible relates to human love and its relationship to heterosexual family life.  Texts from Genesis, Hosea, and Song of Songs will be provided and studied.  In the 21st century, we are exposed to a long history of different concepts of love, from the romantic to the frivolous, and beyond.  For a brief session, we will look at ancient notions of love and sex, hoping that they can be read into our own lives today. 

Presenters
avatar for Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein

Educational Consultant, JDC
Dr. Seymour Epstein (Epi) has been involved in every form of Jewish education throughout a career spanning five decades. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Columbia University, Hebrew University, Brandeis University, and U of T (OISE). He worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Morocco, Western Europe, and Siberia for 18 years and was the director of Toronto's Board of Jewish Education for 10 years. He... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
L3 27th Floor

10:00

Ignored Texts: The Rabbi and the Prostitute and other Texts
Jewish education is often incomplete, even at the highest levels of study. We will look at some controversial and juicy texts from the Talmud and other sources, that show a side of Judaism that you won't hear about often [The 'peeping Tom' student in the Talmud, Moses meets Rabbi Akiva, and, of course, the Rosh Yeshiva and the Prostitute] . Texts will be presented in English; no prior text study background necessary.

Presenters
avatar for Arnie Samlan

Arnie Samlan

Executive Director, Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education
Rabbi Arnie Samlan, Executive Director of Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County, FL (Orloff CAJE), is a Jewish educational leader whose work has impacted Jewish learners, community leaders and professionals across North America. He has served as executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island, Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education in Miami and as national director of education of Jewish... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
E1 16th Floor

10:00

Jewish.Barren.Woman: a personal perspective from the Torah to modern times
We will start with canvassing the portrayal of barren women in the Torah, and briefly discuss their treatment in the Talmud. Then, a personal perspective on being barren and Jewish in modern Israel and in North America: how does it really feel, and what is the role of family, friends and the community. There will be plenty of time for discussion and sharing of experiences and approaches. 

Presenters
avatar for Judy Howard

Judy Howard

A lifelong learner and co-founder of Limmud Canada, Judy is an active member of Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto. Born in Montreal, she lived in Israel for 11 years before moving to Toronto with her husband Jerrold. She enjoys practising law as in-house counsel at a large retailer, almost as much as she enjoys Israeli dancing.


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
G3 16th Floor

10:00

Raphael Lemkin: The Awkward Jewish Lawyer Who Coined the Term Genocide
Though his name is not instantly recognizable, Raphael Lemkin is the man responsible for coining the term 'genocide' and drafting the international law against genocide. As a Jewish Pole born in the year 1900, Lemkin and his family witnessed some of the most tragic episodes of both human and Jewish history. As a child he had an odd fascination with death, destruction and languages (he spoke 9 and read 14), and this interest never quite diminished over time. A lawyer, academic, and human rights activist, Lemkin spent his entire, albeit short, life fighting for justice to ensure the crime of genocide was not perpetrated with impunity. Lemkin coined a phrase, and drafted internationally adopted legislation, but when it actually comes to the crime of genocide, where does that leave us all these years later? Has his legislation in fact brought people to justice? Has it stopped the crime from being perpetrated? And where does his story, as a son of Holocaust victims, fit into the wider narrative of Jewish history? This presentation will provide an overview of Lemkin's incredibly quirky life and try to shed light on the answers to some of these questions.

Presenters
avatar for Adam Hummel

Adam Hummel

Adam is a lawyer in Toronto, practising immigration law at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP. Prior to this firm, Adam practised general civil litigation in a boutique law firm in downtown Toronto. Adam has his B.A. (Hons.) in political science and history from York University and a J.D. from the law faculty at the University of Windsor. He spent a semester abroad at the law faculty of the Hebrew University while in law school.


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
G4 16th Floor

10:00

Bar Mitzvah Disco!
Unlike the bris, wedding and funeral which have clear guidelines and halakhic norms, the bar mitzvah is a wild card. The rite has no precedent in Scripture and merits barely any mention in rabbinic literature. Its history emerged from a patchwork of rabbinic sources, improvised practices, and cultural appropriations. And yet, of all the life cycle events, it has the biggest cultural footprint. From a small private event in medieval Europe, it has morphed into its triumphal apotheosis in North America. Even non-Jews are having bar mitzvahs. I will explore the history of this rite, explore its present-day manifestations, and consider what might be done with (or about) this religious and cultural phenomenon - if at all.

Presenters
avatar for Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dr. Dan Mendelsohn Aviv has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator, lecturer, professor, published scholar and author for almost twenty-five years. He hosts TanakhCast, a rollicking bi-weekly podcast about the Bible. He is also the author of End Of The Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next and Bar Mitzvah Palooza! Why the Jewish Rite of Passage Needs an Overhaul. Most of all, he is proud of his three children Maayan, Heala... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
S7 27th Floor

10:00

Vital Voices
We live in a time when open and honest conversation is being muzzled by political correctness. Vital Voices brings partners in peace from the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) on one platform to discuss how we can live better together as we move ahead to heal the world.

Presenters
avatar for Jordan Cohen

Jordan Cohen

Rabbi, Temple Anshe Sholom
Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen is the Rabbi of Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, Ontario. Originally from Toronto, Rabbi Cohen previously served as Rabbi of the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong, the only Liberal Rabbi at the time serving in Asia. Rabbi Cohen has worked and studied in Canada, Israel, and the United States and served for six years as a Rabbi in Sydney, Australia. Rabbi Cohen holds a BA in English Literature from the University of... Read More →
avatar for David Galston

David Galston

David Galston is the Executive Director of the Westar Institute and the Ecumenical Chaplain at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he is also an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy. A co-founder and Academic Advisor of the SnowStar Institute of Religion, a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and a United Church minister, David has written several articles and led many workshops on the question of the historical Jesus, the future of... Read More →
avatar for Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza, a leading global voice against Radical extremism is President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, founding member of The Muslim Reform Movement, author of the book Their Jihad - Not My Jihad, award winning journalist, public speaker, and advocate for human rights, gender equality and dignity in diversity. Raheel has been invited to speak locally at places of worship, the private sector, the Justice Department, School Boards... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
S1 27th Floor

10:00

The Middle East Conflict Through Maps
Why does the Middle East peace process always reach a standoff? An examination of maps of the Mid-East will enable us to explore various narratives on claims to the land. Is there a solution in there?

Presenters
avatar for Lawrence Englander

Lawrence Englander

Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander 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 Adjunct Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Toronto. Rabbi Englander received his Doctorate of Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR in 1984, in the field of Jewish Mysticism and Rabbinics. He has taught in the Religious Studies Department at York University... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
L4 27th Floor

10:00

The Shifting Nature of Jewish Peoplehood
The increasing rate of intermarriage, the responses of congregations, and the recognition of patrilineal descent are having a major and ongoing impact. That impact is evident in the shifting formal definitions of membership and participation in congregations; in the informal boundaries of Jewish community in local environments; and on the growing conflicts regarding the boundaries of the Jewish people. Those conflicts stretch from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate through local havurot dominated by twenty- and thirty-somethings. This may well hail the biggest shift in the definition of Jewish peoplehood since the days of the Roman Empire. We will discuss where we are and where we go from here.

Presenters
avatar for David Teutsch

David Teutsch

Rabbi David Teutsch is Director of the Center for Jewish Ethics and the Louis & Myra Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he previously served as President for a decade. His recent work, A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living won the Kraft Prize, the National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice. The second and third volumes, A Guide to Jewish... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
S3 27th Floor

10:00

Creating Community: (Re)Inventing Rituals for the Contemporary Jewish Life Span
Bored with synagogue services? Want to be part of something but not quite sure what? If you find yourself feeling deeply individual but hopelessly communal, this workshop is for you. Come discover what awaits you when you merge your life and community through the creation of Jewish ritual in your home or synagogue. Using traditional sources and historical records of Jewish communal healing praxis, we will look at new ways for you to get closer to Judaism while cultivating a supportive mainline Jewish community. Like the Maggid, the traditional Jewish teller of tales, you will be able to spin silk from sorrow and prune purpose out of life's perplexity. Furthermore, you will be able to enhance your own experience of Jewish life cycle while inching forward your community with life-giving ritual.

Presenters
avatar for Devon Spier

Devon Spier

Devon Spier is a rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur. She spends half her week studying at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and the other half creating rituals for the Jews of Southern Ontario to make meaning out of their lives. Devon has helped individuals and communities ritualize break-ups and quarter-life-crises, marriages and later-in-life b'nei mitzvot. Her approach bridges Jewish tradition with the spiritual hunger... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 10:00 - 10:45
L1 27th Floor

11:00

Soferet Stam - A Scribe Describes Her Work Creating a New Megilat Esther
In 2010 Laya Crust learned the ancient skill of writing "Sofer STAM". Joining centuries of male scribes Laya could now write Hebrew text for a megillah suitable to be read in an orthodox synagogue. In 2011 she completed scribing The Scroll of Esther and illustrated it with 32 ornate images. In this presentation Laya will take you through her process of executing this unique project. You will go from the streets of Mea She'arim to buy specially mixed inks to history books tracing Persian art. You will gain insight to the story of Esther and the deeds of Amalek, Haman, and more recent despots.

Presenters
avatar for Laya Crust

Laya Crust

Renowned artist, scribe, and speaker, Laya Crust fascinates audiences with her deep knowledge of manuscript art, Jewish liturgy, and Jewish art illumination. Her distinct way of weaving together biblical text, history, and ancient art offers awareness of the past while relating it to the present. As an artist, Laya has a unique understanding of historical technique and motivation. Laya is known for her art pieces which have been privately... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
L1 27th Floor

11:00

From Poland to Polo: The Assimilation of Hollywood's Immigrant Jews
This presentation will focus on the idea of Jewish identity and how based on political, economic and social situations spanning from the late 1800's to 1950's the Jewish European immigrants, in most cases, lost their "Jewishness" and their Jewish identity. A brief look at modern Hollywood will be discussed as well.

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Kahn

Michelle Kahn

Michelle Devorah Kahn is an award winning filmmaker and writer living in Toronto. She currently works in Marketing and Communications and as a featured writer for New York's FYI Magazine. She has completed 6 films that have been screened in festivals all over the world .


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
L2 27th Floor

11:00

Creating Comics, featuring Hereville!
This fun presentation for all ages features cartoonist Barry Deutsch drawing cartoons while you watch, including making up a character based on audience suggestions! We'll also hear how Barry became a cartoonist, read a scene from a comic book, and watch an animated film of the drawing process. Barry is the creator of Hereville, the award-winning graphic novel series about "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl," which School Library Journal called "the best graphic novel of the year for kids, bar none."

Presenters
avatar for Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

Award-winning cartoonist Barry Deutsch is best known for his Hereville series of graphic novels, about "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." Hereville is the only comic book ever to win the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award. Barry lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with pink trim, and has been obsessed with comics all his life.


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
S3 27th Floor

11:00

Are You My Mother? Nature vs. Nurture in Moshe's Life
Moses had a biological mother and an adoptive mother. Together we will explore the Biblical text and shine a spotlight on these relationships. We will ponder how they shaped Moshe and helped make him our greatest leader.

Presenters
avatar for Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe

Student ('17), Yeshivat Maharat
Bracha Jaffe is in her final year at Yeshivat Maharat. She delights in learning with people of all ages, whether dressing in costume for Bat Mitzvah programs, leading discussion groups with empty nesters, facilitating 'Wise Aging' programs or simply teaching Torah and inspiring others to learn. Bracha loves listening to people's stories; she is a dynamic and thoughtful educator. Her love of tefilla and ritual has led her to be an accomplished... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
E1 16th Floor

11:00

Do You Believe in Miracles?
We all remember the Jewish miracles: the Exodus from Egypt; the saving of the Jews from Haman's decree; the oil that lasted eight days and so many more. But what about us? Have we witnessed miracles? What is a miracle according to the Jewish definition? Is a miracle something random, or is it God's hands at work? Can we be agents of miracles? We will look at different Jewish sources of the past and the present to better understand what miracles are.

Presenters
avatar for Sandra Lilienthal

Sandra Lilienthal

Sandra Lilienthal is a 2015 winner of the prestigious Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and a 2016 ELI Talk speaker. She is a frequent speaker at Jewish education conferences, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations. Sandra has great enthusiasm for teaching Judaism as a living religion, and infusing true passion for it among those who study with her. | | Sandra’s participation in Limmud NY 2017 is made possible with... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
L4 27th Floor

11:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Yonah Berman

Yonah Berman

A Teaneck, New Jersey, native, Rabbi Yonah Berman is passionate about Israel, the Jewish community, and Jewish learning. Yonah studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, received his BA in psychology at Yeshiva University and served in the IDF Tank Corps., receiving honors for excellence in training. After receiving semikha in 2007 from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York City, Yonah served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaar... Read More →
avatar for Wayne Robins

Wayne Robins

The title of this seminar"Secular Rock, Jewish Recovery" is a kind of middle of the road version of the working title of the memoir "G-d, Booze, and Rock'nRoll," aka "Jews Drink at Home." It's about the search for spiritual satisfaction, release from the bondage of self, as the AA folks say. It's about drinking bourbon and playing air guitar with Keith Richards and mistaking that for the burning bush. The seminar is informed by a series of... Read More →
avatar for Shalom Schachter

Shalom Schachter

Rabbi Shalom Schachter’s experience uniquely bridges the biblical imperative to treat workers with respect together with practical support from his 35 years as a labour lawyer representing precarious workers. Shalom received his ordination from ALEPH the Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2005. He is the Toronto Board of Rabbis representative to the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition. His recent rabbinic postings include assignments at... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

11:00

A Great Debate: Should We Prioritize Funding Israel above Educating Canadians about Israel?
Get ready for a fast-paced, old-school debate in 40 minutes. Two sides, one resolution. We'll take a poll of the audience both before and after the debate. The winner of the debate is determined by how many people are persuaded to move from one opinion side to the other. Be it resolved that we should prioritize funding in Israel above educating Canadians about Israel. Go!

Presenters
avatar for Atarah Derrick

Atarah Derrick

Atarah Derrick is the National Outreach Associate for New Israel Fund of Canada, the nation’s leading organization committed to a more equal, democratic Israel. At NIFC, Atarah creates innovative programming for people in their 20s and 30s who want to engage more closely and honestly with Israel. She made Aliyah in 1997 and returned to Canada years later, making Toronto her home with her three children and husband. Prior to NIFC, Atarah... Read More →
avatar for Joan Garson

Joan Garson

Joan Garson is the Chair of New Israel Fund of Canada. Ms Garson is the immediate past chair of ARZENU, the international organization of Reform and Progressive Zionists and in that capacity filled a number of national and international positions. She is also active in Toronto, Canada in a range of Jewish and Zionist roles including leadership roles in her synagogue, Holy Blossom Temple, and with the Reform Movement in Israel and internationally... Read More →
avatar for Corey Shefman

Corey Shefman

Corey Shefman is a lawyer in Toronto, having recently relocated from sunny Winnipeg. In his law practice, Corey represents First Nations, and seeks to enhance justice and sovereignty for Indigenous peoples. Corey is the former President of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties and is currently on the Board of Directors of the New Israel Fund of Canada. When Donald Trump enacted his travel ban in January 2017, Corey coordinated the... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
G3 16th Floor

11:00

Choiceless Choices Faced by Women in the Holocaust
Women became pregnant and gave birth during the Holocaust. Due to Nazi restrictions on reproduction of Jewish lives, women faced overwhelming ethical dilemmas both as mothers and as caregivers of other women. Difficult life and death choices were faced following the banning of births in some ghettos, when in hiding with babies, and when arriving at camps during pregnancy. Doctors were confronted with conflicting ethical challenges when caring for these women while Rabbis were faced with difficult Halakhic guidelines. Some of these will be explored with discussion of options and choices made by women and caregivers to be discussed.

Presenters
avatar for Beverley Chalmers

Beverley Chalmers

Dr. Chalmers' research specializes in examining the birth experiences of women in difficult religious, social, political and economic situations. These settings reveal challenging circumstances ranging from political and economic repression in Apartheid South Africa, and in the former Soviet Union, religiously inspired cruelty of female genital mutilation, and over-medicalization of birth in the technologically developed world. None of these... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
L3 27th Floor

11:00

When a Friar met a Rabbi - What Really Happened in Barcelona 1263?
In Barcelona in the summer of 1263, a Dominican friar, a convert from Judaism, held a public disputation with Nahmanides, a leading Spanish rabbi. The Barcelona disputation has been portrayed in scholarship, on stage and in film as part of the Christian attempt to convert the Jews. But was that really the case? We will re-examine the evidence and try and understand what the Dominicans were really trying to do.

Presenters
avatar for Harvey (Haim) Hames

Harvey (Haim) Hames

Harvey (Haim) Hames is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Chaim received his PhD in Medieval History from Cambridge University in 1996, and since then has been a lecturer in the Department of General History at BGU. In 2013, he set up the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at BGU. Haim's research interests include Medieval and Renaissance Jewish, Christian... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
G4 16th Floor

11:00

Where Europe is Headed

A veteran foreign correspondent provides a look at the changing political realities of Europe and the multiple threats facing the continent's Jewish communities, based on recent reporting in a dozen European countries.

Presenters
avatar for Doug Saunders

Doug Saunders

Doug Saunders is the Globe and Mail’s international-affairs columnist and author of bestselling books on migration, cities and integration. | He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and joined the Globe in 1995. In 1999, he became the paper's Los Angeles bureau chief. From 2003 until 2012, he was the paper's London-based European bureau chief, responsible for the paper's coverage of more than 40 countries. He has also done extensive reporting... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
S1 27th Floor

11:00

Is 'Hope' a Real Thing?
It is forbidden for a Jew to be hopeless. How can we stay hopeful in times of sadness, hardship and challenges? This presentation will lift you up and give you the optimism to thrive in our struggles. Using the Torah and our tradition as our guide... you will walk away from this lecture with a hop and a skip!

Presenters
avatar for goldie plotkin

goldie plotkin

Rebbetzin Goldie plotkin is the co-founder of Chabad Markham community. Founded in1986 Goldie and her husband Rabbi Plotkin, started a fledgeling community from their living room in Thornhill. Today they have a thriving community with over 400 families and growing. Goldie lectures around the world on topics covering the gamut of Jewish interest. Mikvah, feminism, life's challenges. The power of joy, the power of hope.... and more. Goldie is the... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 11:00 - 11:45
S7 27th Floor

12:00

Cancelled: From Rags to Riches: The Evolution of the 20th Century Jewish American Fashion Designer
We will examine the late 19th and early 20th century working conditions of newly arrived East European Jews in New York's Lower East Side in the nascent and oppressive clothing manufacturing industry that laid the foundation for the rise of Jews in New York clothing retail and fashion designers like Lane Bryant, Hattie Carnegie, Ralph Lauren, Stan Herman, Donna Karan and Isaac Mizrahi.

Presenters
avatar for Rosalin Krieger

Rosalin Krieger

Rosalin Krieger, MA is a provocative, global lecturer and writer on contemporary East European Jewish identity, class, race, gender, sexuality and cultural production. She specializes in the 20th century Jewish sitcom, humor, the visual arts and fashion.


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
L1 27th Floor

12:00

Leyn In
What roles do the Ta'amim (cantillation notes) play in the Tanach? How many kinds of trop are there? What does a Tikkun look like? How do we sing the trop (cantillation)? Come and learn about Torah reading and start singing Shma Yisrael the correct way! Participants should be able to read and vocalize Hebrew text but no previous experience with trop is necessary.

Presenters
avatar for Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe

Student ('17), Yeshivat Maharat
Bracha Jaffe is in her final year at Yeshivat Maharat. She delights in learning with people of all ages, whether dressing in costume for Bat Mitzvah programs, leading discussion groups with empty nesters, facilitating 'Wise Aging' programs or simply teaching Torah and inspiring others to learn. Bracha loves listening to people's stories; she is a dynamic and thoughtful educator. Her love of tefilla and ritual has led her to be an accomplished... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
E1 16th Floor

12:00

Teaching Biblical Criticism and Revelation in Jewish High School
"Revelation as a model for teaching Biblical Criticism in Jewish High Schools." Revelation and Authority by Benjamin Sommer has been a wonderful book which blends a reading of the Bible through the lens of the critical Documentary Hypothesis as well as Jewish philosophy throughout the ages. Firstly, following Sommer, analyzing the Bible through the lens of Biblical Criticism has allowed students to see the various lenses and approaches that exist within the text we know as the Bible. Doing so directly in the Sinai Revelation has challenged the views of many students, and has allowed them to have a paradigm--arguably as old as the Bible itself--in which to interpret Revelation in the modern era. The exercise is not only beneficial for biblical studies as an opening to multiplicitous interpretation, the polyvalence of the texts, etc., but it has also proved beneficial to students creating their own lens of Jewish Thought in which to interpret for themselves Rabbinics. 
Throughout the process, we have explored the Midrashic, medieval, and modern Jewish philosophical interpretations of Revelation to allow students to see the tradition they know as Judaism as validating pluralistic models of Truth. In dividing these thinkers into Minimalist and Maximalist camps, students have been able to explore and evaluate the approaches for what they are, and how each theory carries with it some sort of benefit and detriment. In the modern age, I follow the lead of Sommer in seeing this fruitful conversation between Biblical Criticism & Jewish intellectual history as crucially relevant to the formation of CHAT student's own theological views. I hope that in sharing these ideas and discussing this paradigm we will become encouraged to keep challenging our perceptions of truth on the never ending journey of life.

Presenters
avatar for Rafael Sotto

Rafael Sotto

Growing up in Toronto, Raffi attended Or Chaim, went off to Israel, and returned to complete a BA in psychology at York University. Raffi then pursued a MA in Jewish Education at Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Raffi is currently in his final year of an MA in Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Jewish Leadership. Raffi has taught Jewish Studies at several Toronto day schools and currently at Tanenbaum... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
L3 27th Floor

12:00

The Mystical Meaning of the Hebrew Alphabet
Jewish mystics asserted that Hebrew is different from other languages. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has profound spiritual meaning and words are not arbitrary. This presentation examines the uncanny congruence between the Hebrew language and the world around us. We'll explore the meaning of Hebrew letters by analyzing their names, shapes, numerical equivalent and the significance of their first appearance in the Bible. The presentation also includes a fascinating look at startling 'gemmatrias' and Biblical codes.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Skobac

Michael Skobac

Rabbi Michael Skobac was educated at Northwestern University and Yeshiva University. He has been involved in informal Jewish education and outreach work since 1975 and worked as a campus professional with Hillel groups in Philadelphia, New York and Toronto. He has specialized in counter-missionary work since 1983. Rabbi Skobac is currently the Senior Counsellor and Director of Education for the Canadian branch of Jews for Judaism. Rabbi Skobac... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
S3 27th Floor

12:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

Award-winning cartoonist Barry Deutsch is best known for his Hereville series of graphic novels, about "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." Hereville is the only comic book ever to win the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award. Barry lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with pink trim, and has been obsessed with comics all his life.


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

12:00

Hearts of Hate: Confessions of a Teenage Neo-Nazi
At age sixteen, Elisa Hategan was recruited by Canada's most powerful neo-Nazi, white supremacist group, the Heritage Front - a domestic terrorist group later revealed to have been created and funded with the assistance of Canada's spy agency, CSIS. Weeks later she is introduced to the world's most infamous Holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel, who provides her with attention, shelter and work. Within a year, Elisa evolves into an extremist groomed for a leadership role in the global far-right movement. Her loyalty earns her the attention of Grant Bristow, co-founder of the Heritage Front, who is training a secret faction of skinheads and neo-Nazis in terror tactics targeting political opponents. Rapidly drawn into their web of hatred, the teenager witnesses a campaign of terror from which there seems no way out. Forced to confront her sexual orientation and Jewish ancestry, Elisa realizes that she must fight back. At only eighteen, her testimony would lead to the criminal convictions of prominent white supremacists and lead to the end of the Heritage Front. In her presentation, Hategan tells her story, discusses the global resurgence of anti-Semitism, and outlines the recruitment and radicalization tactics of extremist political movements who prey on young minds.

Presenters
avatar for Elisa Hategan

Elisa Hategan

Elisa Hategan is an author, journalist, speaker and subject matter expert on neo-Nazi, extremist political movements and terrorist recruitment tactics. She has been interviewed by CBC, CTV, CityTV, Global TV, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Globe & Mail, Metro News, Macleans, Now Magazine, Xtra, Canadian Jewish News, Ottawa Citizen, Vision TV and various international media. She has written for the Canadian Jewish News and assorted literary magazines... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
S1 27th Floor

12:00

Arthur James Balfour: The Accidental Zionist
The centenary of the Balfour Declaration will be celebrated on November 2, 2017. Who was Lord Balfour? An aristocrat whose deep respect for the Jews and their history evolved into a commitment to help Zionists achieve their dream of a restored Jewish homeland. Without the Balfour Declaration, which Balfour had to fight hard for, there would have been no Mandate and no state of Israel. In my presentation, how Balfour came to be a Zionist and inspired his political peers with excitement for his cause will be interwoven with history's perfect storm of Zionism, war and imperial ambitions in the Middle East, which together created the conditions for Israel to re-emerge as a sovereign nation.

Presenters
avatar for Barbara Kay

Barbara Kay

Barbara Kay has been a weekly columnist for the National Post's Comment section since 2003. She writes frequently about Israel, anti-Zionism on campus and other topics of Jewish interest in the Post, Canadian Jewish News and other publications. Barbara appears weekly on Montreal am radio station CJAD, and is a regular guest on CBC Radio's news-related entertainment series, Because News. Barbara is the author of three books: Unworthy Creature: A... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
L2 27th Floor

12:00

Rights Protection in Canada and Israel: The Jewish Story
Canada has had a strong effect on Human Rights globally since WWII. There is a strong but neglected history of Jewish contributions towards the adoption and interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Hear how our Canadian Charter has had a strong influence on the development of rights protection in Israel.

Presenters
avatar for Lorraine Weinrib

Lorraine Weinrib

Lorraine Weinrib is a professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, specializing in Canadian and comparative constitutional law and the post-WWII development of constitutional rights-protection. Her publications include articles on the Jewish contribution to rights-protection in Canada and the influence of the Canadian Charter of RIghts and Freedoms, 1982 on rights-protection in Israel.


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
S7 27th Floor

12:00

The Life and Death of Jacob De Haan - The Gay Dutch Ultra-Orthodox Civic Leader Who Almost Destroyed the State of Israel
A little-known story about the activities and goals of this strange man, who served as the chief spokesperson for the anti-Zionist Agudath Israel movement in 1930s Palestine.

Presenters
avatar for Jarrod Grover

Jarrod Grover

Rabbi Jarrod Grover serves as the senior spiritual leader and mara d'atra of Beth Tikvah Synagogue. He came as an assistant at 28 years of age and upon appointment in 2012, became the youngest Senior Rabbi of any large Jewish congregation in North America. A bilingual native of Montreal, Rabbi Grover went on to receive his bachelor's degree in Economics at Princeton University. His M.A. and rabbinic ordination are from the Jewish Theological... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
G3 16th Floor

12:00

Formalizing the Memory of the Shoah within the Cycle of Jewish Prayer and Liturgy
How do we memorialize the Shoah as it recedes from our memories? How do we do this in the context of our established Jewish tradition and liturgy. Several attempts, including Yom HaShoah, have been made. Liturgical responses to the Shoah have been developed in the Orthodox world. We will examine kinot for Tisha B'av, and additions to yizkor services. How do these prayers formalize the memory of the horrific events of the Shoah?

Presenters
avatar for Jerrold Landau

Jerrold Landau

Jerrold Landau has been translating yiddish Memory Books, and material of historical and genealogical interest for the English reading audience. His work is published through JewishGen and jerroldlandau.com Through his translation work, Jerrold has gained expertise in the history and life of destroyed European Jewish communities. Yizkor books are a unique source of Holocaust history and testimony. Jerrold is also an avid genealogist and takes... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
G4 16th Floor

12:00

Jewish Education: Do We Want it? Can We Afford It?
Toronto is known for its decades of strong commitment to Jewish Education. A large number of our students are enrolled in Jewish Day Schools. But a crisis is brewing. Now only half of Jewish children are getting any Jewish education. Enrolments are now falling as middle-income families baulk at the high cost of tuition. If the Jewish education system collapses, who will be Jewish? Where will future leaders come from? Do parents want to invest in the value of Jewish education? And at what price? Grassroots for Jewish Education is testing solutions with parents. Hear about making Jewish education attractive and affordable.

Presenters
avatar for Jodi Block

Jodi Block

Jodi Block is a liaison between newcomer families and Jewish day schools at JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto, a member of GAJE (Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education), and a parent of 3 children at Robbins Hebrew Academy.  
avatar for Hana Macmull

Hana Macmull

Hana Macmull has been a Judaic Studies teacher at Robbins Hebrew Academy, a school that her three children attended, for past twenty five years. Hana is passionate about the right of every child to access affordable Jewish education.  
avatar for Jeffrey Stutz

Jeffrey Stutz

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education
Jeffrey Stutz is a specialist in public policy. He volunteers with Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education. Married to Shirley, he is the father of three day-school graduates. Jeffrey would like Jewish education in Toronto to be as affordable for their grandchildren in Toronto as it is for their grandchildren in Israel.


Sunday March 19, 2017 12:00 - 12:45
L4 27th Floor

13:00

Comics 101 & Religion In Comics for Educators and Librarians
Cartoonist Barry Deutsch, creator of the Hereville graphic novels, will discuss some of the basics of comics, both in general and in regards to his own work. Topic covered will include some basic comics vocabulary (what are webcomics? Manga? Graphic novels vs. comic books?), diversity, the changing comics market, and how religion has been presented in kid's comics.  Barry will also discuss his own comics-creation process.

Presenters
avatar for Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

Award-winning cartoonist Barry Deutsch is best known for his Hereville series of graphic novels, about "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." Hereville is the only comic book ever to win the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award. Barry lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with pink trim, and has been obsessed with comics all his life.


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
L2 27th Floor

13:00

On the 40th and 50th Anniversary of Two Iconic Songs of Israel
This year we celebrate momentous anniversaries of two iconic songs of Israel composed at historic moments: Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) by Naomi Shemer, composed in 1967, just before the 6 Day War, and Yihye Tov (It will be Alright) by David Broza, composed in 1977 just before the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat visited Israel, the first Arab leader to ever do so. Both of these songs have stood the test of time for years. Both of these songs have had verses added or changed as time went on to reflect the reality and climate in Israel at the time the change was made. We will explore the history and meaning behind these songs, and end by having an open discussion reflecting on which version participants think is appropriate for today, or if we need yet another verse for these songs for own times.

Presenters
avatar for Joanna Sasson

Joanna Sasson

Joanna Sasson is the Community Development Direct Services Manager for JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto. Previous to her 10 years (and counting) with JIAS Toronto, she worked as a Jewish educator at The Family Resource Centre, Schechter Schools, Ramah camps and synagogues. She is on the board of the Toronto Partnership Minyan, which seeks greater spirituality and openness within the confines of halachah (Jewish law) through... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
L1 27th Floor

13:00

Confronting Your Fear To Unleash Your Creativity
You are what you fear. This is the starting point of this workshop designed for every creator, at any level. To truly unleash your creativity, you'll need to start to look at yourself as you are, as opposed to as you imagine yourself. And the best way to address this side of yourself is to access what you are scared of, especially the kind of work that scares you. Using a series of exercises, each scarier than the one before, Elad will push workshop participants to dig deep into who they are and expose themselves in ways they haven't before. Each exercise will be followed by sharing and discussion in order to fully digest what has been experienced. The goal: to come out of this session more honest and creative than you were when you came in.

Presenters
avatar for Elad Nehorai

Elad Nehorai

Elad is a blogger, writer, and marketer who has spent most of his adult life creating and nurturing online communities. From the time he started a small online arts magazine (before such a thing was common) in college, to his efforts as an online marketer for startups, to his viral campaign "I Have A Therapist," to his present-day communities of Pop Chassid, Hevria, and The Wisdom Daily, Elad cares about nothing more than connecting people who... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
S3 27th Floor

13:00

Little Mentions, Big Roles: A Look at Minor Characters' Major Roles in the Bible
Besides for the Abrahams, Sarahs, Isaacs and Rebeccas, the Biblical narrative has numerous minor characters as well - people mentioned once or twice and who could often be overlooked. Yet these individuals sometimes play very important roles both in the text and in rabbinic literature. This presentation will explore a few of these individuals and seek to understand the "what" and "why" of their existence in the stories where they are found.

Presenters
avatar for Yonah Berman

Yonah Berman

A Teaneck, New Jersey, native, Rabbi Yonah Berman is passionate about Israel, the Jewish community, and Jewish learning. Yonah studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, received his BA in psychology at Yeshiva University and served in the IDF Tank Corps., receiving honors for excellence in training. After receiving semikha in 2007 from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York City, Yonah served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaar... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
E1 16th Floor

13:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe

Student ('17), Yeshivat Maharat
Bracha Jaffe is in her final year at Yeshivat Maharat. She delights in learning with people of all ages, whether dressing in costume for Bat Mitzvah programs, leading discussion groups with empty nesters, facilitating 'Wise Aging' programs or simply teaching Torah and inspiring others to learn. Bracha loves listening to people's stories; she is a dynamic and thoughtful educator. Her love of tefilla and ritual has led her to be an accomplished... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

13:00

Torah Forbid! Same-Sex Love and Modern Judaism
How do Progressive Jewish rabbis allow what is explicitly forbidden in the Torah? A short survey of how we can wrestle with sacred text and still make sure that the Divine ends up on top.

Presenters
avatar for Jordan Helfman

Jordan Helfman

Rabbi, Holy Blossom Temple
Rabbi Helfman is the Assistant Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple, and on the board of the World Union of Progressive Judaism. He is doing research on late 18th / early 19th century Reform rabbis and their unique Torah interpretations, recently edited a multi-lingual siddur for use around the world, and is starting to play the alto trombone.


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
G4 16th Floor

13:00

Forget 'Who is a Jew?' - What is a Jew?
Are Jews a religion or a nation/ethnicity? The answer may be both. Can we really be both? Let's understand what 'nation' is and what 'religious' is. What is a Jew?

Presenters
avatar for Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht

Founding Director, NISHMA
Rabbi Benjamin Hecht is the Founding Director of NISHMA, an international Torah research, resource and educational endeavour devoted to the fostering of individual inquiry and the critical investigation of contemporary issues. www.nishma.org Rabbi Hecht is a blogger for Huffington Post Canada, Jewish Values Online and United with Israel. He serves as Rabbinical Advisor to Koshertube and Yad HaChazakah - the Jewish Disability Empowerment Center... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
L3 27th Floor

13:00

From Shiksappeal to Chrismukkah: Jewish Identity at the Crossroads
Intermarriage: what does it mean for the Jews? This question has occupied communal leaders, scholars, and the Jewish media for well over a century. Despite numerous studies on intermarriage, the data at our disposal is fraught with contradictions. Do intermarried families live Jewish lives? Do their children grow up considering themselves "Jewish"? Is intermarriage the result of assimilation? Or does it mean that the Jewish community is transforming itself? And what does this all tell us about gender, ethnicity and religion in the Jewish community and beyond? Using examples from pop culture and contemporary and historical case studies, participants will be invited to consider the facts and myths about and intermarriage and Jewish identity through the lens of gender and ethnicity.

Presenters
avatar for Tema Smith

Tema Smith

Director of Community Engagement, Holy Blossom Temple
Tema Smith is the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple and a Crown Family IFJE Fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement program at Hebrew College (Newton, MA). A sought after speaker on issues of Jewish diversity, Tema has presented or facilitated conversations at events such as the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Limmud Toronto, and Where Sinai Meets Spadina: Downtown Tikkun Leyl Shavuot... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
G3 16th Floor

13:00

A Viable Alternative to the Financial Crisis in Jewish Education
The financial burden of Jewish Day School education can be reduced through the redesign of schools for the 21st Century. Various researched and proven avenues for reducing the cost of day school will be explored. A description of a less expensive way to deliver High School credits and Jewish Studies called "Blended Learning" will be presented. 

Presenters
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. He has an MA in Jewish Studies. 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.


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
L4 27th Floor

13:00

The Camel on My Back: Carrying my Sephardic Legacy into the 21st Century
In 2013 I produced and directed the documentary "Wanted: the Joseph Esses Story", which tells the story of my Jewish grandfather's escape from Aleppo, Syria in 1950. My film was screened in film festivals worldwide and has gathered many prestigious awards and recognition. Since then I have been fortunate enough to be invited to speak on the topic of Syrian Jewry on several occasions, as well as being asked to write several articles for newspapers and magazines on the subject. This presentation will focus on discovering who you are based on your personal history, how to carry that through the generations and be a voice for those who no longer have one. 

Presenters
avatar for Michelle Kahn

Michelle Kahn

Michelle Devorah Kahn is an award winning filmmaker and writer living in Toronto. She currently works in Marketing and Communications and as a featured writer for New York's FYI Magazine. She has completed 6 films that have been screened in festivals all over the world .


Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
S7 27th Floor

13:00

Jewish Indigenous Conversation
A Jewish Responsibility to Reconciliation: since its inception, Canada has had a directed policy of assimilation, discrimination and Cultural Genocide against its first inhabitants. As we grapple with the ramifications of that history, what is the Jewish responsibility to repair the damage done and pursue a more just nation?  Join in discussion with Jewish and First Nations community members about how you can take steps every day to walk in solidarity with First Nations communities.
 

Presenters
avatar for Danny Richmond

Danny Richmond

Danny Richmond is currently the Director of Community Engagement with Ve'ahavta. As a public speaker he has presented to over 25000 people about social activism and global citizenship. In 2006, he had the honour of accompanying Micha‘lle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, as part of a 10 person Canadian delegation on her State Visits to five African nations. He also served as Campaign Manager for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation... Read More →



Sunday March 19, 2017 13:00 - 13:45
S1 27th Floor

14:00

A Dramatic Difference: The 1946 Production of 'A Flag Is Born'
In 1946, the Pro-Zionist "American League for a Free Palestine" produced Ben Hecht's "A Flag Is Born." The play starred actors Paul Muni, Stella Adler and a young Marlon Brando, and galvanized American support for the establishment of the State of Israel. The reading of selected scenes, sharing of multi-media resources and conversation will enhance our appreciation for this important American-Jewish drama.

Presenters
avatar for Rabbi Bill S. Tepper

Rabbi Bill S. Tepper

Rabbi Bill S. Tepper - a Toronto native - served Mizpah Congregation of Chattanooga, Tennessee from 2018-2016. He is presently serving Temple Shalom in Winnipeg on a part-time basis, teaching at Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton and Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, and a guest rabbi at congregations throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Rabbi Tepper was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 2008.


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
L3 27th Floor

14:00

Leonard Cohen - The Man
Leonard Cohen was a fellow-traveller for so many of us, and so his death last year hit hard. A true Canadian icon.In tribute to his work over six decades, this session will look at the religious aspect of the man and his songs .We will read lyrics, listen to a few songs and explore the world of Leonard Cohen .
( This was previously delivered as a co presentation at the 2016 U.K. Limmud Conference with Daniel Reisel and I would like to acknowledge his tremendous input)

Presenters
avatar for Peter Sevitt

Peter Sevitt

Peter has been a huge supporter of Limmud for many years .During the day he is a practising accountant but loves acting, the theatre, participating in sport , Jewish learning and listening to Leonard Cohen.


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
L1 27th Floor

14:00

The Haggadah - an Illustrated Gallery of Antisemitism?
The haggadah is one of the most illustrated, popular books in the Jewish library. Who knew that haggadah illustrations from the 13th Century up until today chart the paths of antisemitism? Come to this fascinating investigation of historical and current haggadahs. See for yourself the surprising way Jewish history unfolds before your eyes.

Presenters
avatar for Laya Crust

Laya Crust

Renowned artist, scribe, and speaker, Laya Crust fascinates audiences with her deep knowledge of manuscript art, Jewish liturgy, and Jewish art illumination. Her distinct way of weaving together biblical text, history, and ancient art offers awareness of the past while relating it to the present. As an artist, Laya has a unique understanding of historical technique and motivation. Laya is known for her art pieces which have been privately... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
E1 16th Floor

14:00

So You Fell Asleep During Services, Do You Still Count for a Minyan (and other little discussed Jewish texts)
From traditional source texts that have been ignored, we will discover through the 'give and take' the deep Jewish values really not-so-hidden in the words.
  • This session is made possible with generous support from the Covenant Foundation.  
 

Presenters
avatar for Danny Siegel

Danny Siegel

Author, poet, and lecturer in synagogues and other Jewish institutions around North America for the past 50+ years. Topics are Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and Mitzvahs, combining Jewish texts and stories of Giants of Tikkun Olam = Mitzvah heroes. | Danny Siegel's participation at Limmud is made possible with generous support from the Covenant Foundation.    


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
S7 27th Floor

14:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

Dr. Dan Mendelsohn Aviv has been engaged in Jewish learning as an educator, lecturer, professor, published scholar and author for almost twenty-five years. He hosts TanakhCast, a rollicking bi-weekly podcast about the Bible. He is also the author of End Of The Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next and Bar Mitzvah Palooza! Why the Jewish Rite of Passage Needs an Overhaul. Most of all, he is proud of his three children Maayan, Heala... Read More →
avatar for Beverley Chalmers

Beverley Chalmers

Dr. Chalmers' research specializes in examining the birth experiences of women in difficult religious, social, political and economic situations. These settings reveal challenging circumstances ranging from political and economic repression in Apartheid South Africa, and in the former Soviet Union, religiously inspired cruelty of female genital mutilation, and over-medicalization of birth in the technologically developed world. None of these... Read More →
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. He has an MA in Jewish Studies. 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.
avatar for Elisa Hategan

Elisa Hategan

Elisa Hategan is an author, journalist, speaker and subject matter expert on neo-Nazi, extremist political movements and terrorist recruitment tactics. She has been interviewed by CBC, CTV, CityTV, Global TV, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Globe & Mail, Metro News, Macleans, Now Magazine, Xtra, Canadian Jewish News, Ottawa Citizen, Vision TV and various international media. She has written for the Canadian Jewish News and assorted literary magazines... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

14:00

Employing Spirituality and Jewish Values for Mental Health
This seminar aims to examine the role that Judaism can play in the pursuit of mental wellness. Issues of Mental Health affect nearly one in four Canadians, making the concern both pressing and personal for all of us. This session will provide a brief overview of a selection of mental health concerns with an emphasis on anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Together, we will examine how Jewish values target mental wellness, and explore the connection between mental health and spirituality. Through enhanced understanding and greater appreciation of the struggle that individuals are battling with every day, we can access the tools of empathy, acceptance, and action; propelling us forward in helping to reduce the stigma around mental health and increase support for those struggling, both inside and outside of the Jewish community.

Presenters
avatar for Tali  Aziza Robinson

Tali Aziza Robinson

Tali Aziza Robinson is a Social Worker and Holistic Nutritionist with the designation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner. After earning her undergraduate degree in Psychology in Israel, Tali moved back to Canada to become a Holistic Nutritionist with the goal of eventually working in the field of eating disorders. Tali went on to earn her Master's degree at Wurzweiler School of Social Work out of Yeshiva University. Today, Tali works at... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
S3 27th Floor

14:00

Young Jewish Voices on Zionism
This panel aims to help our audience explore a variety of ways one can relate to the state of Israel and its intersection with Judaism. Are these matters separate or intertwined? Through discussion, this panel will provide a space to hear diverse ways in which Jewish students relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will provide an opportunity for others  to feel as though their voices are heard, while exposing the audience to a range of thoughts and tactics of young activists, which may be different than what they are accustomed to. While the panelists are all currently undergraduate students, this presentation is open to people all ages.

Presenters
avatar for Gabriella Gadol

Gabriella Gadol

Gabriella Gadol (panelist) is a second-year student at York University majoring in cognitive science. Throughout her primary and high school careers, her ultra-Orthodox schools never mentioned anything regarding Zionism and the State of Israel, so her position was only formed post high school. During her first year at York University, Gabriella quickly learned of the campus's hostility towards Jewish and pro-Israel students. As a result... Read More →
avatar for Rachel  Landau

Rachel Landau

Rachel is a second-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, pursuing a double major in Public Policy (Co-op) and International Development Studies. Growing up  in the Toronto Jewish community and attending Jewish day school, Zionism and Israel were  frequently mentioned as an important aspect of Judaism . Towards the ends of high school, and throughout Rachel's time at university, she began challenging some of the ideals she had... Read More →
avatar for Shai Reef

Shai Reef

Shai Reef (panelist) Shai is a third year student at York University studying Political Science. Shai grew up in an ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Montreal and studied in Yeshiva there for most of his formative years. Shai spent a year in Israel at Orayta and was a part of a think tank that sought to explore the Hebrew and Palestinian narratives from those who'd fight and die for their people and homeland. While in his youth, Zionism was... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
S1 27th Floor

14:00

Lo Ta'asok Sachir Ani - Respect the working poor

The Torah is full of the exhortation “Zachor Ki Eved Ha’yita B’eretz Mitzra’yim” – Remember that You were a Slave in Egypt. We are enjoined to treat workers with respect, ensuring that they are paid living wages. Attendees will learn how Jewish values can influence the Provincial Government initiative to update employment laws and what recommendations the community can make to increase protection for precarious workers. We will outline the steps that Rabbis joining with other clergy are taking to encourage changes to promote worker self sufficiency. We will make concrete suggestions on engaging in Tikun Olam to support these workers.

Presenters
avatar for Shalom Schachter

Shalom Schachter

Rabbi Shalom Schachter’s experience uniquely bridges the biblical imperative to treat workers with respect together with practical support from his 35 years as a labour lawyer representing precarious workers. Shalom received his ordination from ALEPH the Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2005. He is the Toronto Board of Rabbis representative to the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition. His recent rabbinic postings include assignments at... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
G4 16th Floor

14:00

The Adult Learner of the 21st Century: What Works and What Doesn't In Adult Jewish Education
A new generation of adults is joining adult Jewish learning: they are highly educated, used to immediacy, and have been exposed to a highly sophisticated market of general adult education. What else do we know about them? What are they looking for? How can we meet their needs? Based on research done for a doctoral dissertation, this workshop will look at the characteristics of adult learners and discuss what seems to be most effective when working with them.

Presenters
avatar for Sandra Lilienthal

Sandra Lilienthal

Sandra Lilienthal is a 2015 winner of the prestigious Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education and a 2016 ELI Talk speaker. She is a frequent speaker at Jewish education conferences, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations. Sandra has great enthusiasm for teaching Judaism as a living religion, and infusing true passion for it among those who study with her. | | Sandra’s participation in Limmud NY 2017 is made possible with... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
L2 27th Floor

14:00

Oliver Sacks: Change your Mind
Oliver Sacks, known for his neurobiology and writing, had a fascinating life. He struggled with Judaism, his sexuality, his disability, and his work. Come learn about his life and his legacy and find out why his story can help us all grow, develop, and "change our minds."

Presenters
avatar for Denise Handlarski

Denise Handlarski

Rabbi Denise is the spiritual leader of the Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
G3 16th Floor

14:00

Living with Fire
I have a fire burning inside me to live a passionate and driven life. I sometimes have a hard time listening to that small voice inside, guiding me. But, the more Torah I learn, the more tools I discover for not only unleashing the fire, but also for taming it and channeling it into a motivated, intentional Jewish life. Together, we will explore the Torah of living as our most authentic selves, being empowered to love others, and igniting the perpetual flame that will not be extinguished.

Presenters
avatar for David Grundland

David Grundland

I grew up in "Jewish Toronto". While pursuing an undergraduate degree at York University, I uncovered my passion for learning Torah, and subsequently, my desire to share life through a Torah lens. In 2008, I moved to Israel to study in Yeshiva in Efrat. In 2014, I was granted semicha (Rabbinic Ordination) by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. I returned to Toronto with a mission and purpose to share the Holy Torah of Eretz... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 14:00 - 14:45
L4 27th Floor

15:00

The Dylans & Cohens of the Golden Age of Spain: Hebrew Poetry of 1001 Nights & Contemporary Israeli Music
A thousand years ago, in the sunny medieval world of Muslim and Christian Spain, Hebrew culture produced the greatest body of Jewish poetry since the Bible. In a cosmopolitan Mediterranean world there flourished an urban Jewish society radically different from the shtetl culture of Eastern Europe.  In these multicultural warring Islamic and Christian kingdoms, influenced by Greek wisdom texts, Arabic love of poetry and Islamic reverence for the written word, Jewish doctors, merchants and army generals - including stars like Shmuel HaNagid, Ibn Gvirol and Yehuda HaLevi - composed Hebrew poetry of beauty, sensuality and pre-Shulkhan Aruch Judaism. Today in Israel, that poetry has been enthusiastically set to Israeli popular music.  An introduction to the Golden Age of Hebrew poetry in Spain of 1000 – 1200 AD, and a listen to contemporary Israeli renditions of that poetry, a millennium later.

Presenters
avatar for Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin is a Toronto lawyer by trade. Under his pen name, eBenBrandeis, he composes poetry, lyrics and YouTube video poems. He has edited and published a book of contemporary Jewish humour, translated from the Hebrew an autobiography of life in pre-war Pinsk, Poland, and was the creator of NewHouseOfIsrael.net, an online Zionist conceptual art project. Having lived in Israel for four years, he has maintained a special interest in Israeli... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
L2 27th Floor

15:00

Secular Rock, Jewish Recovery
I’ve been a rock music critic for more than 40 years. I also have been a recovering alcoholic since 2010. Connecting recovery to Jewish life came from an unexpected source: Vampire Weekend's 2013 album "Modern Vampires of the City." It appeared to be full of references to the Torah, the Shoah, and modern Israel and Jewish identity. A switch was flipped, and as a journalist, I continued to pursue stories that reflected my interests in recovery and secular rock, meeting some fascinating people and musicians along the way, including Peter Himmelman, Jorma Kaukonen and Rabbi Rami Shapiro. They deepened my connection to Judaism and enhanced my sobriety: I’ll tell some stories about that journey.

Presenters
avatar for Wayne Robins

Wayne Robins

The title of this seminar"Secular Rock, Jewish Recovery" is a kind of middle of the road version of the working title of the memoir "G-d, Booze, and Rock'nRoll," aka "Jews Drink at Home." It's about the search for spiritual satisfaction, release from the bondage of self, as the AA folks say. It's about drinking bourbon and playing air guitar with Keith Richards and mistaking that for the burning bush. The seminar is informed by a series of... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
L1 27th Floor

15:00

Teach Your Son To Swim: A Chevrutah on Jewish Education
Who is in charge of educating the next generation? What roles, responsibilities, and obligations do we have as Jews regarding the pursuit of knowledge? What do these obligations suggest about the society/ies we are trying to build? Join us as we explore these critical questions through a variety of Jewish and Western texts both old and new on everything from teaching your kids to higher education.

Presenters
avatar for Jenny Isaacs

Jenny Isaacs

Jenny Isaacs has been engaged in community building and social justice education for over ten years. Jenny is the director of Base: Pluralistic Beit Midrash. Jenny is also the director of Heart to Heart. Jenny holds a Masters of Teaching from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto.
avatar for Paul Sileika

Paul Sileika

Paul Sileika is the assistant director of Base: Pluralistic Beit Midrash. Aside from his involvement in the downtown Toronto Jewish community he has a masters degree in Higher Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto and works for Ryerson University in Academic Advising. 


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
L4 27th Floor

15:00

Migrations: The Encounter of Birds and Israelites in the Wilderness
The geography of Israel provides a land bridge which hosts the world's second largest bird migration of 500 million birds each year, using the route of the Rift Valley through the Arava to Europe and Asia. When I witnessed this phenomenon a number of years ago, I realized that this migration would have also been witnessed by generations of the area's inhabitants, going back to ancient and Biblical times. I wondered if the impact of this awesome sight affected the wandering Israelites, and sought clues and references in textual sources, including Torah and Midrash. In my presentation, I will share my findings and my excitement in discovering the impact the spectacle of the migrating birds had on our migrating ancestors.

Presenters
avatar for Jerry Friedman

Jerry Friedman

I am a practising psychiatrist in Toronto. My passion for birding began many years ago at Camp Northland/B'nai Brith, where I was the nature counsellor, "Jerry Nature". Over the years I have continued to enjoy birding, participating in bird hikes with the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (FON), a birding workshop at Point Pelee, and a Spring Bird Migration Conference at Lotan, Israel in the Arava. My interest in nature extends to the arts. I... Read More →



Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
L3 27th Floor

15:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Laya Crust

Laya Crust

Renowned artist, scribe, and speaker, Laya Crust fascinates audiences with her deep knowledge of manuscript art, Jewish liturgy, and Jewish art illumination. Her distinct way of weaving together biblical text, history, and ancient art offers awareness of the past while relating it to the present. As an artist, Laya has a unique understanding of historical technique and motivation. Laya is known for her art pieces which have been privately... Read More →
avatar for Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

Award-winning cartoonist Barry Deutsch is best known for his Hereville series of graphic novels, about "Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." Hereville is the only comic book ever to win the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award. Barry lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with pink trim, and has been obsessed with comics all his life.
avatar for Tema Smith

Tema Smith

Director of Community Engagement, Holy Blossom Temple
Tema Smith is the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple and a Crown Family IFJE Fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement program at Hebrew College (Newton, MA). A sought after speaker on issues of Jewish diversity, Tema has presented or facilitated conversations at events such as the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Limmud Toronto, and Where Sinai Meets Spadina: Downtown Tikkun Leyl Shavuot... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

15:00

Ten Commandments of Jewish Social Media
Who knew that Jewish values and ethics can be applied to our online lives on Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Even more so, we can impact our Jewish community and our world through how we use these powerful tools. Explore Jewish teachings that apply to our online experiences and look at some people who are changing our communities and our world through their efforts. Session will use this article as a jumping off point: http://www.behrmanhouse.com/news/the-ten-commandments-of-social-media

Presenters
avatar for Arnie Samlan

Arnie Samlan

Executive Director, Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education
Rabbi Arnie Samlan, Executive Director of Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County, FL (Orloff CAJE), is a Jewish educational leader whose work has impacted Jewish learners, community leaders and professionals across North America. He has served as executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island, Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education in Miami and as national director of education of Jewish... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
G3 16th Floor

15:00

Ask Jewish Millennials About the F-Word
Deidre Butler will provide a brief history of feminism and reflect on the role, strategies, and impact of Jewish feminism. Panelists Talia Lakritz, Miriam Herman, and Rebecca Ihilchik will start the informal discussion with a short overview of their journey in identifying as a feminist (if they do) and the compatibility of that identity with their Judaism. Topics panelists address may include Jewish practices like wedding rituals; career ambitions and financial literacy; restrictions on creative expression and women-only spaces; and judgements on clothing and appearance choices. The second half of the session is the time for participants to ask questions to these Jewish feminists and discuss how Jewish communities can incorporate feminism. Deidre Butler will moderate the panel discussion.

Presenters
avatar for Deidre Butler

Deidre Butler

Director, Carleton University, Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies
Dr. Deidre Butler is Director of the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Studies specialist in the Religion program at Carleton University. She researches and teaches at the intersections of religion, gender, sexuality, and Jewish thought as well as Limmud Ottawa’s fearless academic advisor.
avatar for Miriam Herman

Miriam Herman

Miriam Herman is pursuing her MA/PhD in Mathematics at Yeshiva University. Her research interests are in analytic topology, abstract algebra, and Jewish law. She is a self described “creative problem solver,” with several years experience as a software engineer. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yeshiva University in 2014, with degrees in both Mathematics and Judaic Studies, and began work as a senior developer at a hedge fund in... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Ihilchik

Rebecca Ihilchik

Rebecca Ihilchik is a past programming chair of Limmud Toronto. She recently graduated with an M.A. in religion from the University of Toronto, where she completed a thesis about Orthodox women’s writings on hilchot niddah (laws of ‘family purity’). Before that, she earned her B.A. in creative writing at York University, graduating summa cum laude. She works in nonprofit communications.
avatar for Talia Lakritz

Talia Lakritz

Talia is a reporter at INSIDER and a digital content creator known as "nerdwithavoice” on YouTube. Her videos about feminism and LGBTQ+ issues in the Orthodox Jewish community - including her viral original song “Dear RCA” - have been featured in The Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Yahoo! News, and The Times of Israel and done wonders for her shidduch resume. Talia graduated with a degree in English with a concentration in Creative... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
S7 27th Floor

15:00

Brother Daniel and the Mystery of Jewish Identity
Shmuel Oswald Rufeisen, born Jewish, became a Carmelite Monk after World War II. In 1958, he applied to make aliyah as a Jew under Israel's Law of Return, sparking an international political and religious controversy: Can a Jew cease to be Jewish? Join us to discuss this remarkable true story, and the reaction of key leaders of that time.

Presenters
avatar for Mordechai Torczyner

Mordechai Torczyner

Rosh Beit Midrash, YU Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Mordechai Torczyner is the Rosh Beit Midrash for Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov, a program which trains rabbinical students, and offers community education programs geared toward university students and adults. Rabbi Torczyner specializes in accredited Continuing Education classes for professionals - lawyers, doctors, and financial services - on the voice of Jewish ethics and law in the practice of their careers.


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
G4 16th Floor

15:00

Don't Call Me Orthodox: Perspectives from a Gay Baal Teshuva
As the sun lowers on Yom Kippur and Jews return to synagogue for afternoon prayers, the Torah is opened.
“You shall not lie down with a male, as with a woman: this is an abomination, says the reading.
This verse is at the root of deep-seated pain felt by many LGBTQ Jews. It is also at the root of Andrew Dale’s Jewish journey, and a deep dive into Jewish spirituality Andrew is in the midst of after years of aiming to reconcile his gay identity with his desire to become more observant.
This session will use an interactive approach to discuss approaches to LGBTQ Jewish observance, inclusion, and living, with a focus on traditional streams. 

Presenters
avatar for Andrew Dale

Andrew Dale

Andrew Dale is formerly one of Canada's youngest finance executives, rapidly ascending the ranks of Bay Street to become a Partner at age 26. In December 2015, he quit.  With the goal of changing the rules of the historically-toxic fashion industry, Andrew founded fashion startup LeDaveed in July 2016. A play on his middle and Hebrew name, and infused with the values of honesty and respect for people and the environment, the growth of... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
S1 27th Floor

15:00

Ten Myths and Misconceptions about Orthodox Jews
Do Orthodox women shave their heads? Do Orthodox Jews do it through a hole in the sheet and disavow science? With so many misunderstandings about this group, come to this session to finally understand! 

Presenters
avatar for Allison Josephs

Allison Josephs

Allison Josephs has been involved in the field of Jewish Outreach for over fifteen years, working at Partners in Torah, Sinai Retreats, and NCSY, and is the Partner in Torah mentor to actress Mayim Bialik. She was named one of NJOP's Top Ten Jewish Influencers in 2012 and was one of the Jewish Week's 36 under 36 in 2013. Allison has been quoted or written about in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Daily Beast... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
S3 27th Floor

15:00

Want to be Happier? Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
What is gratitude? What does Judaism teach us about gratitude? Is there a connection between gratitude, health, and happiness? Is it possible to learn ways to cultivate gratitude? This talk will explore these questions by discussing the science of gratitude. Different types of gratitude exercises will also be presented and practised in session. You will leave with concrete take-home activities that, when used regularly, will help you live a more meaningful, satisfying, and healthy life.

Presenters
avatar for Kim Edwards

Kim Edwards

Dr. Kim Edwards is a registered clinical and health psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (Canada). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 2014 where she focused on studying the relationship between humour, gratitude, and health. Dr. Edwards currently works at McMaster Children's Hospital, in the pediatric chronic pain clinic, as well as in private practice with children who have Tourette Syndrome and... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 15:00 - 15:45
E1 16th Floor

16:00

Why I am an Orthodox Rabbi and a Pluralist
As an Orthodox Jew and and ordained Orthodox rabbi, I am bound to follow a set of beliefs and practices. Yet I very much consider myself a pluralist when it comes to my interactions with other Jews. Contradiction? Maybe. The way I try to lead my life? Certainly. Let's learn together and explore Jewish texts that speak about this challenge and the importance of tackling it head-on!

Presenters
avatar for Yonah Berman

Yonah Berman

A Teaneck, New Jersey, native, Rabbi Yonah Berman is passionate about Israel, the Jewish community, and Jewish learning. Yonah studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, received his BA in psychology at Yeshiva University and served in the IDF Tank Corps., receiving honors for excellence in training. After receiving semikha in 2007 from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York City, Yonah served as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaar... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:30
E1 16th Floor

16:00

Moe, Larry and Bernie: On American Schlemiels, Shlimazels, and Nudniks Today and Tomorrow
The schlemiel is not new to the Jewish world and it is no longer new to America. It has become what one scholar calls an 'American cultural icon'. Some people argue that if the schlemiel is to continue existing and remain relevant, it must play a political role. Otherwise, it will remain in Hollywood or on the pages of novels and screenplays. The difference between the two views has a lot to do with how a large part of North Americans (both Jews and non-Jews) envision the comical meanings of life. On the one hand, when Larry David takes on the role of Bernie Sanders, we see the two come together. In contrast, when we see David, in his Larry David Show in the Woody Allen film, Whatever Works (2009), incorporate a schlemiel, a schlimazel, and a nudnik into one character, we see something else. I will discuss these characters, the schlemiel as an 'American cultural icon,' and the urgent meaning and far-reaching implications of the tension between two kinds of schlemiels that Larry David has brought to the forefront of American culture.

Presenters
avatar for Matthew Feuer

Matthew Feuer

Menachem Feuer has a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MA in Philosophy.  He has written several articles, essays, and book reviews on the schlemiel, philosophy, religion, comedy, and literature for various academic journals, book collections, and magazines. Feuer teaches Jewish Studies at York University.  And besides having created the most popular and relavant blog in the world on schlemiel - Schlemiel Theory... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
L4 27th Floor

16:00

The Legacy of Elie Wiesel the Journalist
Several months after the passing of Professor Elie Wiesel, there are still many opportunities to explore some of the forgotten articles that he wrote when he was a journalist from the 1950s to 1970s. In my talk, I will share some of these findings and suggest how further research into these articles can enhance our understanding of the literary legacy of Elie Wiesel.

Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
L2 27th Floor

16:00

Café Limmud
Café Limmud is a unique space that aims to generate further discussion between presenters and participants. During each hour of the program, specific presenters will "host" a table in the venue's room F1 (on the 16th floor). 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. All presenter times in Café Limmud will be advertised, but it's a fluid space where any new topic can be born. 
Books and other merchandise will be available for sale at some presenters' tables in each Cafe hour - come to schmooze and to browse!

Presenters
avatar for Jerry Friedman

Jerry Friedman

I am a practising psychiatrist in Toronto. My passion for birding began many years ago at Camp Northland/B'nai Brith, where I was the nature counsellor, "Jerry Nature". Over the years I have continued to enjoy birding, participating in bird hikes with the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (FON), a birding workshop at Point Pelee, and a Spring Bird Migration Conference at Lotan, Israel in the Arava. My interest in nature extends to the arts. I... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Rotsztain

Jonathan Rotsztain

Jonathan Rotsztain is an artist, writer and graphic designer based in Toronto and one half of ALLCAPSdesign.com. He recently earned his MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. Rotsztain has produced a one-page journal comic DrearyDiary.com, daily since 2013. He is currently collaborating with playwright Michael Rubenfeld on a graphic novel, entitled Motherland, which tells Rubenfeld's autobiographical story of healing Polish-Jewish... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
F1 - Limmud Cafe 16th Floor

16:00

Exploring the Taboo: A View from Under the Bed
Why is addressing issues of sex and sexuality important for the Jewish community and how do we frame those issues for ourselves and present them to our children? We will look at those questions and explore how tzniyut and privacy may affect our ability to effectively deal with issues critically important to our well-being and that of our community.

Presenters
avatar for Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus

Clinical Director, Maze Women's Sexual Health
The New York Times called her "The Orthodox Sex Guru". Bat Sheva Marcus, is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of Maze Women's Sexual Health. One of the largest centers of its kind in the world, the center is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues. Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA., She also holds a master's degree in... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
S1 27th Floor

16:00

Do the Palestinians Want to Live in Peace?
The peace accords with the PLO were signed over twenty years ago. What has happened to the Palestinian leadership? What has changed at street level?

Presenters
avatar for Colin Hames

Colin Hames

Colin Hames was a reserve lieutenant colonel in the IDF. He served most of the time as a liaison officer to the Palestinian Authority and over the years had personal doings with Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Chairman and many other prominent leaders. Since leaving the IDF, he has been working on municipal issues in Jerusalem, East and West. He established the Jerusalem Suburb Community Center in Arab neighborhoods of the City and... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
S7 27th Floor

16:00

Is This Justice, Justice? The Canadian Criminal Justice System and the Biblical Concept of Justice & Punishment
"Justice, justice, you shall pursue!" Plenty of ink has been spilled expounding on this commandment. How do you think the Canadian and North American justice systems measure against the Biblical concept? Do you think our system is more lenient, progressive, and forgiving than the one described in the Torah? Is it the other way around? The Canadian criminal justice system is both praised for its fairness and neutrality, and criticized for ignoring the needs of victims, being overly punitive toward offenders, and at times inhumane. The Jewish concept of justice, as described in the Torah, appears to be filled with inconsistencies: great compassion and ruthless punishment live side-by-side in the pages of the Torah. Can the Jewish concept of justice shed light on our adversarial, punitive justice system? How would the biblical portrayal of justice and punishment change the way we do things in Canada and the western world? Is the Canadian system one that upholds "Justice, justice?"

Presenters
avatar for Dyanoosh Youssefi

Dyanoosh Youssefi

Dyanoosh Youssefi is the Executive Director and founder of All IN, an organization that advocates for inclusive communities. She is a former criminal defence lawyer, a legal studies professor, a writer, and a social justice advocate. Her passion for justice and building community led her to run for Toronto City Council in 2014. For over 30 years, she has volunteered consistently, both at the local and international level, and has served in... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
G4 16th Floor

16:00

Cancelled: Making Jewish Education Great Again
We often only hear the negatives about Jewish education despite there being so much right with it. During the course of my discussion, I will be looking at the history of Jewish Education in North America from 1731 to present. We will look at several of the major developments in both the day school and supplemental school movements, the goals and visions of specific schools, the impact of Jewish immigration had on Jewish Education, why did some schools succeed while others failed, and most importantly what can we learn from this history and how to apply it to today's world. The session will conclude by working with together to create a plan to "Make Jewish Education Great Again!"

Presenters
avatar for Geremy Miller

Geremy Miller

Geremy Miller spent the last 15 years working as a professional in the Jewish Community. He began his career as a Development Associated within the Jewish Federation System followed by four years as the Cultural Affairs and Media Relations Officer for the Embassy of Israel in Ottawa, Ontario. Geremy returned to communal work in 2008 and spent 7 years serving as a development and communications professional at Jewish Family Services of Ottawa... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
L3 27th Floor

16:00

36 Ways to Change the World Big Time with Little Effort and Money
From sources, we will review, from 'aleph to tav', how to accomplish good things in a wide variety of areas of human need.....many almost unknown!
  • This session is made possible with generous support from the Covenant Foundation.  
 

Presenters
avatar for Danny Siegel

Danny Siegel

Author, poet, and lecturer in synagogues and other Jewish institutions around North America for the past 50+ years. Topics are Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and Mitzvahs, combining Jewish texts and stories of Giants of Tikkun Olam = Mitzvah heroes. | Danny Siegel's participation at Limmud is made possible with generous support from the Covenant Foundation.    


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
S3 27th Floor

16:00

Beyond the Big Guy in the Sky: Talking to Children about God
How do we answer those difficult, dreaded God questions from children when we struggle with or reject traditional views of God ourselves? Drawing from formal theories in child psychology, the teachings of modern rabbis and ministers on the development of faith and spirituality and our personal experiences as parents and teachers, we will explore honest, age-appropriate metaphors and ways of engaging with curious children.

Presenters
avatar for Aurora Mendelsohn

Aurora Mendelsohn

Aurora Mendelsohn earned a PhD in cognitive psychology and currently works in institutional research at the University of Toronto. She has written about the intersection of Jewish ritual and liturgy, feminism and parenting for more than a decade (in the Toronto Star, the Forward, Sh'ma, and Lilth) and blogs at RainbowTallitBaby. She is a cofounder of Hagbah, a discussion group for observant, progressive, feminist Jews. Her connection with... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
G3 16th Floor

16:00

Do I Have Free Will?
We feel that we are in control of our choices, but are we? In this session we will explore what Jewish tradition, contemporary science and philosophy say about free will, choice, and change.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Satz

Michael Satz

Rabbi Michael Satz is the associate rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple. At HBT he helps oversee adult education, social justice and Israel programming, and Bikkur Cholim. He is a student of the Jewish spiritual path of Mussar, and is the proud husband of Rabbi Janice Elster and proud father of Eitan and Ami.


Sunday March 19, 2017 16:00 - 16:45
L1 27th Floor

17:00

Cancelled: Gd is a Four-Letter Word

To say that we believe in God is dangerous. Naïve, at best quaint. But why? Why do I even care about this whole unknowable piece we call God. Where did that word come from? How is it that it has ebbed and flowed through our remarkably short human history. Some say we have invented God; others say God has invented us. We are given a choice, I believe, to bend our knee to the majestic unfolding of the universe or build our towers through the sky.. Without God we lack humility. As the saying goes: We can worship one God in many worlds or many Gods in one world. My fear is that we have thrown God out in a fit of hubris. This hour together is my small attempt to move us from the profane, silly God to the four letter word for the holy, YHVH, that is the breathing in and out of life.

Presenters
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 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:30
L4 27th Floor

17:00

What Is Israeli Judaism? – What is Israeli Reform Judaism?

Berl Katznelson, one of the intellectual founders of Labor Zionism wrote: "…We are now in a period of preliminary construction in the Land…We do not yet have spare time for profound spiritual life… Many, many Jews will yet dwell in the Land and our cultural woes (and will cause) great spiritual distress…"

We will read and study together Katznelson and others [A.D Gordon, Ahad Haam and more] and discuss and try to understand the key to having various denominations of Jews live together in Israel today and the place of Reform Judaism in Israel of the 21st century.

Presenters
avatar for Benjie Gruber

Benjie Gruber

Rabbi Benjie Gruber was raised in Beersheva, after his family made aliya from Chicago. He attended the Netiv Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem and later combined military service in the Israeli Defense Forces with advanced college level courses at the Hesder Yeshiva in Yerucham, of which he was a founding member. Under the auspices of the Jewish Agency, Benjie taught Jewish Studies in the former Soviet Union. Thereafter he spent 2 years in Portland... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
G4 16th Floor

17:00

An Unorthodox Playlist for My Orthodox Rabbi
My Chabad rabbi, having heard Leonard Cohen's "Who By Fire?" and who knew about Bob Dylan's song that referred to Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac ("Highway 61 Revisited"), asked me to make him a list of 20 secular songs by Jewish artists or Jewish related topics. They included Kinky Friedman's "Ride 'em Jewboy," Dan Bern's "Jerusalem" and others. The controversial question of whether to include female artists came up It was an interesting story that would make for an interesting presentation and discussion.

Presenters
avatar for Wayne Robins

Wayne Robins

The title of this seminar"Secular Rock, Jewish Recovery" is a kind of middle of the road version of the working title of the memoir "G-d, Booze, and Rock'nRoll," aka "Jews Drink at Home." It's about the search for spiritual satisfaction, release from the bondage of self, as the AA folks say. It's about drinking bourbon and playing air guitar with Keith Richards and mistaking that for the burning bush. The seminar is informed by a series of... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
S3 27th Floor

17:00

Self-Loving Jew: Claiming A Contemporary Jewish Identity
Jonathan Rotsztain's Self-Loving Jew comics assert a contemporary, cultural Jewish identity. The work is a secular reclamation of the self-hating Jew slur. Published on the Koffler Centre of the Arts koffler.digital platform, each short visual essay seeks to briefly explore a topic of religious significance while challenging and embracing the various contradictions of reconciling these practices with secular life. Self-Loving Jew comics are an engaging attempt to establish a new discourse that embraces a Jewish future based in a knowledge and respect for Jewish religious practices while acknowledging an equal place for Jews of all orientations, backgrounds and value considerations. In this Self-Loving Jew workshop, Rotsztain will introduce his series and the comics medium, specifically looking at other Jewish graphic narratives around identity. Following a brief discussion and drawing on Jewish religious and cultural history, Rotsztain will then lead participants of any experience or skill-level through the process of creating their own Self-Loving Jew comics. In coming together to debate and express a multitude of views on ways to adapt Judaism to the challenges of modern life, this workshop will empower participants to articulate their own self-love strategies in easily digestible, highly shareable comic strips.

Presenters
avatar for Jonathan Rotsztain

Jonathan Rotsztain

Jonathan Rotsztain is an artist, writer and graphic designer based in Toronto and one half of ALLCAPSdesign.com. He recently earned his MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. Rotsztain has produced a one-page journal comic DrearyDiary.com, daily since 2013. He is currently collaborating with playwright Michael Rubenfeld on a graphic novel, entitled Motherland, which tells Rubenfeld's autobiographical story of healing Polish-Jewish... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
L3 27th Floor

17:00

Coming Out: A Jewish Perspective
Three individuals with different backgrounds and experiences will share their coming out stories. The panel includes Ryan Kraft, who in 1998 was the first out gay student at CHAT, Melissa Green, who came out recently in high school, and transactivist Shoshanna Pellman.

Presenters
avatar for Melissa Green

Melissa Green

Melissa Green was born on April 5,1994 to Eric and Lesley Green into a Reconstructionst Jewish family. Melissa is a Videographer, Photographer and Social Media Specialist. She has passion for making documentary film and photo Journalism. Using her skills of photography and video she wants to promote and address awareness within the LGBQT community.
avatar for Ryan Kraft

Ryan Kraft

Ryan Kraft grew up in the Thornhill and Toronto Jewish community. He currently works as an ASL-English interpreter in Canada and the USA, primarily in post-secondary education, the arts, and the Jewish and LGBT communities. In his spare time he enjoys watching musical theatre, training aerial silks, reading literature and traveling the world. He tries to find joy in everything he does.
avatar for Shoshana Pellman

Shoshana Pellman

In 2005 a mature Orthodox Jew became a TransLesbian activist. Over the years she has spoken and presented or co-presented at various workshops and conferences in places in Ontario including Oakville, Guelph and GTA. She featured in The Current CBC special Back in The Closet that was aired June 20 2011 and in summer of 2011. She is a SPN member and sings in Singing OUT a LGBTQ choir in Toronto. Since 2015 she has been a co-facilitator at... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
S1 27th Floor

17:00

Open Orthodoxy and Liberal Jews
Over the past decade the Open Orthodoxy movement, whose innovations have included the approval of more ritual participation for Orthodox women, the ordination of women, more embracing of LGTB Jews and of intellectual criticism as well as welcoming inter-denominational and inter-faith conversation has become increasingly visible and popular. For Liberal Jews watching on the sidelines, reactions have ranged from delight and cheering on of new allies, to a slightly cynical "been there, done that". This panel will discuss what Open Orthodoxy can mean for Liberal Jews and the possibilities and limits for dialogue and cross-pollination.

Presenters
avatar for Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus

Clinical Director, Maze Women's Sexual Health
The New York Times called her "The Orthodox Sex Guru". Bat Sheva Marcus, is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of Maze Women's Sexual Health. One of the largest centers of its kind in the world, the center is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues. Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA., She also holds a master's degree in... Read More →
avatar for Aurora Mendelsohn

Aurora Mendelsohn

Aurora Mendelsohn earned a PhD in cognitive psychology and currently works in institutional research at the University of Toronto. She has written about the intersection of Jewish ritual and liturgy, feminism and parenting for more than a decade (in the Toronto Star, the Forward, Sh'ma, and Lilth) and blogs at RainbowTallitBaby. She is a cofounder of Hagbah, a discussion group for observant, progressive, feminist Jews. Her connection with... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
G3 16th Floor

17:00

The Oy of Sex: Shomer Negi’ah and Jewish Sexual Ethics in the Millennial Age
The halachic concept of shomer negi’ah, which restricts physical contact between unmarried males and females, may seem archaic in the Age of Tindr.  But chastity, it turns out, is making a comeback.  Studies show Millennials are having sex later and choosing fewer sexual partners than their predecessors.  This session will explore the concept of shomer negi’ah in contemporary culture, such as blogs, the Shomer Chronicles, and the hit Israeli sitcom “Srugim,” as well as in traditional sources like Maimonides and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. What would a more expansive understanding of sexuality look like in contemporary religious communities? In light of revaluing chastity in both secular and religious circles, there is a need to re-think what a Jewish sexual ethics might look like in the 21st century.

Presenters
avatar for Shari Golberg

Shari Golberg

Shari Golberg holds a PhD in Religion from UofT. Her academic work explores feminist approaches to Jewish and Islamic texts and contemporary text-based collaborations between Jewish and Muslim women. Shari also coordinates and facilitates Shema & Iqra': The Jewish-Muslim Text Project, a grassroots initiative which brings communities of Muslims and Jews together using classical religious texts as a springboard for dialogue to explore issues of... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
E1 16th Floor

17:00

The Frummiest Common Denominator: Hearing Canadian Stories of Jewish Divorce
What do we really know about Jewish divorce in Canada?  If you are on facebook, or read Israeli newspapers, or read the Canadian Jewish news, you’ll notice that the phenomenon of divorce is often described as a crisis.  We hear of women suffering for years without the ability to remarry, of men who extort more favourable terms for custody and support.  There are reports of men being beaten to force them to give religious divorces to chained women.  We see images of protesters publicly shaming such men.  But to really understand what is happening in Canada, we need to hear all of the stories, the stories where the system is working and not working, the stories where ties to community and Jewish identity are strained or strengthened,  the stories from the Orthodox world to the liberal and secular world, the stories that come when we listen to women and men, adult children and activists, rabbis and poskim.  Two professors share unexpected tales of Jewish divorce and Agunot from rabbis, men, women, and adult children. 

Presenters
avatar for Deidre Butler

Deidre Butler

Director, Carleton University, Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies
Dr. Deidre Butler is Director of the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Studies specialist in the Religion program at Carleton University. She researches and teaches at the intersections of religion, gender, sexuality, and Jewish thought as well as Limmud Ottawa’s fearless academic advisor.
avatar for Betina Appel Kuzmarov

Betina Appel Kuzmarov

Professor Betina Appel Kuzmarov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies and Associate Dean Student Success in the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University. She has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since her call to the Bar in 2002 and has been a Visiting Scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, and a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Common Law, University of... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
S7 27th Floor

17:00

But He Didn't Hit Me
In a dynamic presentation, Penny will provide the statistics and facts about violence against women, what it looks like, the impact on the women and their children and the community resources available. Judy's brutally honest presentation is from her own personal experience living in an abusive relationship for more than 20 years. She and her ex-husband were both well-educated upper-middle-class professionals. She describes her life during the marriage and since her divorce candidly and with amazing courage as she discloses intimate and painful events in her life, how it affected her and her sons. The presentation is designed to allow a lively question and answer session as well.

Presenters
avatar for Penny Krowitz

Penny Krowitz

Executive Director, Act To End Violence Against Women
Over the past 30 years, Penny has played a leadership role in identifying the strategic issues facing Jewish women and their families and developing and implementing programs and projects to strengthen their lives. She speaks about the issue of domestic violence and trains lawyers, mediators and educators about it. In the late 1980's Penny was instrumental in developing the first and only kosher shelter in partnership with Jewish Family and Child... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
L2 27th Floor

17:00

Cancelled: Creating a Mission Statement For Life
An inspiring talk on how to discover who you are and identify and meet all your life goals. This session will touch upon topics such as relationships, Jewish religion and culture, success and inner strength!

Presenters
avatar for Glenn  Black

Glenn Black

Rabbi Glenn Black, former Regional Director of NCSY Canada, has become the first Chief Executive Officer of the Region, a role with additional responsibilities to help the area grow and to develop strategic programming. Rabbi Black has 18 years of experience leading NCSY Canada, and has been instrumental in helping thousands of teens form a connection to Jewish observance. He is a dynamic leader who will undoubtedly use his numerous talents and... Read More →


Sunday March 19, 2017 17:00 - 17:45
L1 27th Floor