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We look forward to ZOOMing with you on November 22 for Limmud Toronto.

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Sunday, November 22
 

10:00am EST

More than Menorahs: A Conversation with Authors of Jewish Children’s Literature

How do writers of Jewish books for children balance the need to provide educational and celebratory books about Jewish holidays and tell important Holocaust narratives while still ensuring a diversity of Jewish stories? Where are the stories about contemporary Jewish kids, about Sephardic kids, about lesser-known happenings in Jewish history? Why isn’t the range of Jewish identity reflected in books for young readers? In this conversation, led by moderator Sidura Ludwig, three authors of new Jewish middle grade novels talk about the importance of telling a variety of Jewish stories.

Moderators
avatar for Sidura Ludwig

Sidura Ludwig

Author
Sidura Ludwig (moderator) is a fiction writer, freelance editor and communications specialist. Her novel HOLDING MY BREATH was published in 2007. Her collection of short stories, YOU ARE NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED was published by House of Anansi Press, May 2020.

Speakers
avatar for Tziporah Cohen

Tziporah Cohen

Author
Tziporah Cohen is a psychiatrist at North York General Hospital and has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut novel, NO VACANCY, for middle grade readers, was published in September 2020 by Groundwood Books.
avatar for Anne Dublin

Anne Dublin

Author
Anne Dublin writes biographies and historical novels for young people. She has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including the Canadian Jewish Literary Award (Youth) for A Cage Without Bars in 2019. Anne’s latest historical novel, Jacob and the Mandolin Adventure, will... Read More →
avatar for Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer

Author
Kathy Kacer has written more than 25 books focusing on the Second World War and the Holocaust, including The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, To Look a Nazi in the Eye, and most recently, Broken Strings. Kathy teaches writing at the University of Toronto, (Continuing Studies) and speaks... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room F

10:00am EST

Jewish Single Seeking Soulmate
Statistics from the Pew Research Centre's Jewish People Policy Institute reveals a severe decline in Jewish marriage and families. This will have a major impact on Jewish community life, wether in schools, synagogues, Israel support, etc.
LevTOLev was founded to counter this trend. As Zale explains: "many singles have turned to dating apps to find their match, but the current 'swipe culture' is not conducive to long lasting relationships. The most important elements like shared values and aspirations are missing. LevTOLev has designed an online matching experience that takes the missing elements into account - including dating during covid19."
Zale will discuss the topic 'Single, Jewish And Looking For My Soulmate'.

Speakers
avatar for Zale Newman

Zale Newman

President, LevTOLev
Zale Newman MBA is a Jewish activist, teacher, speaker, author, and music producer. He has produced 23 children's albums and 9 of Shlomo Carlebach's. Zale is very involved in multiple not-for-profit projects including NCSY for teens, the Village Shul, Bikur Cholim (caring for the... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room I

10:00am EST

Corona and Keter: Disease and Divinity
Text study and discussion about plague, pandemic and prayer.

Speakers
avatar for Baruch Frydman-Kohl

Baruch Frydman-Kohl

Rabbi Emeritus, Beth Tzedec Congregation
Baruch Frydman-Kohl is Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Tzedec Congregation. During his leadership of the largest synagogue community in Canada, he focused on family education, life-long learning and care for the housebound, hospitalized and homeless. Rav Baruch initiated the development of... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room D

10:00am EST

Trumpism and text and the rule of Law:
How the fundamental shift of the Trump era was away from text -- constitutional, journalistic, and scientific -- and how that played out in law, politics and the courts. What does it signal for Jews, as textualists, and for the future of a responsible free press. Can it be cured and why does it matter?

Speakers
avatar for Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick

Senior Editor, Slate
Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate, and in that capacity, has been writing their "Supreme Court Dispatches" and "Jurisprudence" columns since 1999. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Commentary... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room B

10:00am EST

L'dor V'dor (from generation to generation)
Learn the basics of Jewish genealogical research and DNA testing. Learn how to use free online databases to find ancestors and connect with new relatives. Learn how DNA testing can generate interesting discoveries about your ancestors and the ethnicity of Jewish people. By preserving your Jewish past, you will be honouring your parents (Exodus 20:12) and will be leaving a legacy for future generations. Discovering the stories of one’s ancestors is what genealogy is all about.
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations”. (Deut. 32:7. Parsha Ha’azinu).

Speakers
avatar for Jerry Scherer

Jerry Scherer

Vice President - Communications, Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto
Hersz (Jerry) Scherer, the son of Holocaust survivors, was born in 1945, in Siberia. After WWII, he and his parents spent three years in a displaced persons camp, housed in the former barracks of the Waffen-SS. They emigrated to Montreal in 1949. Jerry has degrees from McGill University... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room C

10:00am EST

Discover the National Library of Israel - It's Your Library Too
The National Library of Israel (NLI) is the national institution charged with preserving the cultural and intellectual heritage of Israel and the Jewish people and endowing them to future generations. Home to globally significant collections, exquisite manuscripts, maps, archives and other cultural riches which tell the historic, cultural and intellectual story of the Jewish people and of Israel and its region through the ages, the Library is currently in the midst of an historic renewal, transforming itself into a cutting-edge global institution - a library without borders – at the forefront of open access, cultural creativity and empowerment through knowledge.

Join DJ as he tells the story of the Library, see some of its most exquisite and rare pieces, get an inside view of the Library’s beautiful, iconic new building due to open in 2022 in the heart of Jerusalem, and learn about the Library’s innovative digital, cultural and educational initiatives and international partnerships – including with the Toronto community - all of which are fast turning the NLI into the most significant cultural institution, not only in Israel, but in the Jewish world as a whole.

Speakers
avatar for DJ Schneeweiss

DJ Schneeweiss

National Library of Israel
Well known in Toronto from his time as Israel’s Consul General from 2012-2016, DJ is a seasoned diplomat and an accomplished and award-winning public speaker. In 2019 DJ completed a distinguished 25-year career in Israel’s diplomatic corps, during which he served on the personal... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room J

10:00am EST

What Was He Thinking: The Diaries of Mordecai M. Kaplan
Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement, had an extraordinary influence on Judaism in the 20th century. He was a teacher, innovator, founder, theologian and Jewish community advocate. Throughout his long career as a teacher of homiletics and theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he influenced generations of Conservative rabbis. Many of his ideas and innovations startled and upset the Jewish world: the first Reconstructionist Siddur was publicly burned in New York and Kaplan was excommunicated. His daughter, Judith, was the first girl to become Bat Mitzvah. Kaplan published The New Haggadah, among the first to celebrate Passover as a holiday of freedom. The Reconstructionist movement has grown to be a significant source of innovation and change in the Jewish community.
Kaplan kept a diary most of his adult life, by far the largest ever produced in English. This talk draws from the first two edited volumes of the diaries. They detail Kaplan’s thinking about his emerging concepts of God and Judaism, his conflicts and agreements with other prominent Jewish teachers and thinkers, including some of the faculty at JTS, and also deal with family and personal matters. This talk introduces this exceptional document by exploring some of its major themes.

Speakers
avatar for Mitchell Rothman

Mitchell Rothman

Mitchell Rothman is a long-term Reconstructionist and one of the first members of Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto’s Reconstructionist synagogue.  He has served Darchei Noam in several Board capacities, including President. For Darchei Noam, he was one of the speakers in a four-part... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room E

10:00am EST

The Unnamed Women in Tannach: 'The Daughters Of'
The reading hopes to invert stereotypical master stories, honoured in both Scripture & myth - permitting more liberating (& possibly startling) images to arise.

Speakers
avatar for Eryn London

Eryn London

Scholar in Residence, JOFA UK
Eryn London received smicha from Yeshivat Maharat in June 2017. Following receiving smicha, she trained and worked as a multi-faith hospital chaplain in New York City. She currently lives in London,UK, where she has been the scholar in residence for JOFA UK and serves as a volunteer... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am EST
Zoom Room H

11:00am EST

Opera in Israel
Welcome to the Opera! Beruchim Ha Baim! what does the classical art of Opera have to do with the young state of Israel, in the middle east? What does it mean to sing in Hebrew, and are there Original Israeli Operas at all? The meeting will begin with the little opera house on the shores of little Tel Aviv, and will go through the development of the New Israeli Opera, the international stars who performed there over the years, the place of opera in the contemporary Israeli culture, original pieces that were produced and even toured the world, festivals, and milestones in the history of Opera in Israel, from a personal point of view of a soloist of the Israeli Opera. during the meeting a selection of excerpts from performances would be played. We would also discuss a wonderful innovation of singers to support their colleagues during Covid-19.

Speakers
avatar for Guy Mannheim

Guy Mannheim

Born and raised in Israel, Guy Mannheim had been a soloist of the Israeli Opera for 15 seasons, singing over 30 roles. Guy has performed and recorded with international orchestras and opera houses in Israel, Europe and China and worked with renowned conductors such as Oren, Stern... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room F

11:00am EST

Widening Our Tent: Intermarriage and Jewish Community
A text-based look at how Jewish tradition has approached intermarriage , with an emphasis on recognizing trends, delineating opportunities and threats, and building an approach that is both inclusive and steeped in tradition.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Streiffer

Micah Streiffer

Rabbi, Kol Ami Congregation
Rabbi Micah Streiffer is a writer, teacher, and musician, and the spiritual leader of Kol Ami, a Reform congregation in Thornhill, Ontario. A gifted speaker, Rabbi Streiffer is known for his informal and approachable style on the bima and in the classroom, and for making Judaism accessible... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room B

11:00am EST

Show Me Your Face - Spiritual Care in a Brooklyn Hospital During the First Surge
The Stay at Home world - During C-19 people are told to stay home unless they think they need hospitalization. The hospital is overrun with people who are “alone”. People with a cough walk into the ED and sit down, breathless, to text their loved one to tell them that they have arrived and are waiting. Sometimes that is the last time the family will hear directly from the patient. That’s how fast this happens. My new world is faceless. This story of Spiritual Care in the Age of Covid is not like any story we've ever told. As you know, a story has three components - a beginning, a middle and an end. But this story doesn't.  It doesn’t have a clear beginning,  none knows how close we are to a middle and our sharpest scientific minds don't know how to say when it will end. What does a chaplain do? We do what we are trained to do: we listen. We see. We absorb. We witness. We comfort. We pray.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Tav

Kara Tav

Manager of Spiritual Care, NYU Langone Hospital
Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Rabbi Tav has moved around the globe, settling most recently in New York City. There, she and her husband Kobi raised their daughter Ella, who made Aliya and is currently serving as an officer in the IDF.   After a twenty year career as a Jewish... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room C

11:00am EST

Hindsight is 2020: Modernizing Holocaust Education for 2020 and Beyond
This discussion focuses on one potential way of modernizing Holocaust education to better deal with the realities of life in 2020: the inclusion of perpetrator narratives. We will have a broad discussion of some of the typical mediums and contexts of Holocaust education, and I will propose some ideas of how the inclusion of perpetrator narratives, long ignored, will help bolster students’ understanding of the Holocaust, its role in Jewish history, and our contemporary relationship with it.


Speakers
avatar for Alexandria Silver

Alexandria Silver

Teacher, TanenbaumCHAT
Dr. Alexandria Silver teaches Jewish History at TanenbaumCHAT. She completed her BAH at Queen's, her MA/MA at Brandeis and her Ph.D. at The University of Toronto. Her research focuses on two primary areas: 1) Poland, 1918-1948, and 2) the educational experience of Jewish students... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room G

11:00am EST

The Nuremberg Trials: How have they changed everything?
The ascent of human often seems to be just the opposite. The Dreyfus trial began to install the idea that individuals could be held responsible for their personal actions. By the time we get to Nuremberg we witness for the first time the concept that individuals acting on behalf of the state could be held personally responsible for their actions. But for what kinds of crimes? How do we put someone on trial who is presumed guilty? The concept of human rights was a new idea and in this lecture you will see how the idea of individual human rights is enshrined in a new legal concept of international law.

Speakers
avatar for Sylvia Solomon

Sylvia Solomon

Dr. Sylvia Solomon is a retired educator with over thirty years in elementary schools, secondary schools, and several universities including UWO, U of T, York, Trent and Queen’s. For the last fourteen years of her career, she worked at the Ontario Ministry of Education where she... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room A

11:00am EST

Meeting with the Biblical Angels 
 Who are the angels and what is their role in Jewish life? A unique and open-minded workshop, a discussion followed by a meditative experience.
Every day in our prayers we mention the four angels: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Rafael.

Who are they? What is their part in the Bible and in modern times? In the direct relationship between God and believers, are the angels creating a distance or do they serve as a necessary mediator? And why today, more than ever before, for modern westerners like us, and under the COVID 19 influence we’re called again to bring the angels into our lives. 


Open your heart, free your mind, leave your doubts aside, and enter an auspicious zone where any believer can communicate with the angels. There is a good chance that due to this workshop, whenever you mention the four angels in your daily prayers the words will be filled with meaning, a sense of peace, strength, healing, and inner guidance that will guide your way

Speakers
avatar for Tami Yaari

Tami Yaari

I was born in 1973 in Israel and I live in Israel with my beloved twin boys, Adam and Tom. Since my early childhood, I was strongly attracted to worldwide traveling which I was exposed to through family vacations. I felt deeply connected to the magnificent nature and the richness... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room J

11:00am EST

Comfortably Uncomfortable - A Conversation with Rivka
The ongoing events in the United States and Canada throughout this year have shone a strong light on anti-black racism. It is now, more than ever, that we need to reflect on where we stand as a community on this important issue. The Jewish people come in a variety of hues, and in a world that is already so set against us as a nation, we must reflect within our own community, to make sure that we are not excluding any of our own Jewish Siblings.
The root of antisemitism and black racism is the same – it is white supremacy.
How do we, as a community, stand against the rising tide of white supremacy? How do we have those difficult conversations around race? Where does your white privilege end, and the Jewish antisemitism begin? These are important questions.
As many white appearing Jewish people can attest, there are many times when white privilege works in their favour. They rarely get pulled over; they stand a fair chance at acquiring jobs. And yet … when their Jewishness is determined, it is the white appearing person who is targeted with antisemitism, and it is assumed that the Jew of Colour standing next to them, is not Jewish enough to warrant the same antisemitic treatment. We are fighting two sides of the same battle against white supremacy – and it is important that we rise up against it together, as one Jewish People, the way we have conquered all past adversaries.

Speakers
avatar for Rivka Campbell

Rivka Campbell

Co-founder, Jews of Colour - Canada
Rivka, a Jew of Jamaican descent born and raised in Toronto, seeks to build community among Jews of Colour in Canada while opening dialogue among the mainstream Jewish community about the experience of Jews of Colour. She is the co-founder of the group Jews of Colour – Canada and... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room D

11:00am EST

Israel's Foreign Policy in the times of COVID
Limmud Toronto is delighted to be hosting a presentation on "Israel's Foreign Policy in the times of Covid" with Israel's Consul General Galit Baram accompanied by a message from Israel's Minister of Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevitch.


Speakers
avatar for Galit Baram

Galit Baram

Consul-General, Israel Consulate
Galit Baram was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1969. Her academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Archeology and English from Tel Aviv University (1991-1994) followed by a Master’s Degree in American Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2003-2006).  She... Read More →
avatar for Omer Yankelevitch

Omer Yankelevitch

Diaspora Affairs Minister, Israel
Omer Yankelevitch is the minister of diaspora affairs in the Knesset. She was born in 1978 in Tel Aviv. She attended the Rabbi Wolf Women's Seminary in Bnei Brak, and continued to higher education studies at the Gateshead Seminary, in England, and at Beit Hamore in Tel Aviv. Yankelevitch... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room H

11:00am EST

What I learned about Israelis and Palestinians from working at an Interfaith Youth Movement in East Jerusalem
In this session, Ittay Flescher will share his reflections about the complex identities of Jewish, Muslim and Christian residents of Jerusalem through his experience as the Education Director at Kids4peace.

Speakers
avatar for Ittay Flescher

Ittay Flescher

Education Director, Kids4Peace
Ittay Flescher is the Education Director at Kids4Peace, an interfaith movement for Israelis and Palestinians and Jerusalem Correspondent for Plu61J Media. He also frequently teaches on gap year programs about the identity, narratives and cultures of the people who call Jerusalem... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room E

11:00am EST

My Teacher, Nehama (Leibowitz)
Nehama Leibowitz was arguably the most important Torah scholar of the Twentieth Century and I had the honour of learning with her, in her home, twice a week for two years. The impact she had on my life is immense but that is nothing compared to her impact on the Jewish world and on Biblical scholarship beyond. Hear about this amazing woman and enjoy an example of her teaching method.

Speakers
avatar for Peta Pellach

Peta Pellach

Senior Fellow, Kiverstein Institute
Peta Jones Pellach is Senior Fellow at the Kiverstein Institute (“Proudly Feminist”) in Jerusalem and Director of Education for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.  A veteran of Limmuds internationally, she was co-Founder of Limmud-Oz (Sydney), the first Limmud outside the UK. A... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
Zoom Room I

12:00pm EST

Join Aviva Chernick, Neshama Carlebach and Batsheva Capek for an intimate conversation about music, life on the road and navigating the Jewish World as Artists and Women
An intimate conversation about music, life on the road and navigating the Jewish World as Artists and Women.

Speakers
avatar for Neshama Carlebach

Neshama Carlebach

Performing Artist
Neshama Carlebach is an award-winning singer, songwriter and educator who has performed and taught in cities around the world.  A six-time entrant in the Grammy Awards and winner and four-time Independent Music Awards Nominee for her most current release, Believe, Neshama has sold... Read More →
avatar for Batsheva Capek

Batsheva Capek

Singer/Songwriter
Born and raised in Toronto, Batsheva is an internationally known singer and songwriter.She is a concert artist, singing in Ladino, Yiddish and Ivrit. She is an award-winning songwriter. A ballet based on three of Batsheva’s translations of Leonard Cohen in Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish... Read More →
avatar for Aviva Chernick

Aviva Chernick

Performing Artist
Aviva Chernick is an artist and meditation teacher who brings the artistry of voice, story and movement to each and every offering. As a founding member of the Canadian World Music group Jaffa Road, Aviva has toured across Canada, the United States and Brazil. Aviva has been further... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room F

12:00pm EST

Welcoming Newcomers in a Pandemic: What You can Do
The Torah commands us no less than 36 times to welcome the stranger. Join JIAS Toronto in discussing the challenges of fulfilling this mitzvah during COVID-19. How do we welcome others at a time when we cannot meet them in person or invite them to our Shabbat table? While there have been less immigrants entering the country since the onset of COVID-19, Canada does continue to welcome newcomers. JIAS Toronto, the only Jewish community organization in Canada with the sole mandate of welcoming and settling immigrants and refugees, continues to see new arrivals – and just as importantly – to serve those who arrives in the year(s), months and even weeks prior to the country’s dramatic lockdown beginning in March. This experience has been overwhelming for all Canadians – and all the more so for immigrants with language, culture and economic barriers who have been shown to have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. At the same time, new research shows that although Canada relies upon immigration for economic growth (an recovery), the hardships of COVID-19 have negatively impacted Canadians’ attitudes towards immigrants and immigration.   Learn how JIAS Toronto is supporting newcomers and how you can help ensure that our community and society remain committed to diversity & the value of welcoming the stranger.

Speakers
avatar for Naomi Kramer

Naomi Kramer

Program Manager, JIAS
Naomi Kramer has worked at JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto for four years, managing programs that aim to support the settlement of newcomers. Naomi has a background in social work, conflict resolution, fund development, and program management. Fun fact: Naomi's parents... Read More →
avatar for Jodi Block

Jodi Block

JIAS
Jodi Block has worked at JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto for 15+ years in various roles, helping to welcome and connect new immigrants to the Jewish community and to Toronto.  Jodi has been privileged to work with community partners on various aspects of JIAS Toronto’s... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room J

12:00pm EST

Integrated Judaism and a Remixed Approach to Tikkun Olam
Tikkun Olam has become a mantra for progressive Jewish communities, particularly in their embrace of social action. This talk examines how Tikkun Olam can be "remixed" in a way that provides an integrated approach to Judaism that balances themes of universal interest with an emphasis on the particularities of Jewish tradition. It explores the origins and history of Tikkun Olam in Jewish tradition and traces its sociological development in American Judaism. In addition, the discussion illustrates why Tikkun Olam must be part of an overall program that emphasizes Jewish practice if transmission of the tradition is the goal.

Speakers
avatar for Roberta Kwall

Roberta Kwall

Professor/Author
Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. She graduated from the Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also has a master’s degree in Jewish Studies. Kwall is an internationally renowned scholar and... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room B

12:00pm EST

How Halacha Changes: The COVID Cases
COVID acts as a pressure cooker. Social changes that typically unfold over decades have been compressed into just a few weeks’ time. The impact on halakhah has been no exception, as COVID has wrought changes to the rhythm of synagogue life, prayer, and mikvah, as well as holiday practices ranging from Purim and Passover in the early months, right through the High Holidays. These responses offer a series of test cases to study when and how halakhah responds to social pressure and change. The session will examine different halakhic responses to the COVID crises, that range from understanding that halakhah requires more cautious behavior than mandated by state law, to denying that any behavioral modifications are required. Finally, we discuss what these decisions may foretell about halakhic receptivity to state authority and change wrought by other social factors, and mine the COVID rulings to assess how halakhic authority is created, disseminated and enforced across a range of observant communities.

Speakers
avatar for Chaim Saiman

Chaim Saiman

Professor of law, Villanova University
Chaim Saiman is a scholar of Jewish law, insurance law and private law, and the author of Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law with Princeton University Press. Professor Saiman has served as the Gruss Visiting Professor of Talmudic Law at both Harvard Law School and the University of... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room C

12:00pm EST

The Future of Campus Antisemitism: Are the Kids Alright?
Jewish student leaders at York and the University of Toronto Hilly Adler and Sofia Freudenstein explore their experiences with campus antisemitism. By exploring their respective involvement in the Kosher Forward Campaign and the YFS opposition election, Hilly and Sofia will highlight the changing nature of discourse surrounding Jewish students in Toronto universities. Through combating common misconceptions about the contemporary nature of Jewish campus life, Sofia and Hilly will illustrate alternative methods of campus activism. By expressing the most productive ways that the Jewish community in Toronto can respond to future campus crises, Sofia and Hilly will examine the effect of sensationalism surrounding campus antisemitism on the students themselves. Their presentation will explore different methods of discourse through the lens of equity and Torah, showing that there is indeed potential for the kids to be alright.


Speakers
avatar for Sofia Freudenstein

Sofia Freudenstein

Student
Sofia Freudenstein is a fourth year student pursuing a double major in Jewish Studies and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She's actively involved in Hillel at UofT, was a multifaith intern in her second year, Rosh Beit Midrash at Camp Stone, an intern for the organization... Read More →
avatar for Hilly Adler

Hilly Adler

Founding Member, Bridging the Gap
Hilly Adler is a third-year Political Science student at York University. In addition to his activism in fighting antisemitism at York, Hilly is passionate about interfaith and intercultural initiatives. He has been successful in finding shared values among different student groups... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room E

12:00pm EST

Collecting the Dream
Theodor Herzl lived from 1860 to 1904. The country that he envisioned has existed for over 70 years. So should anyone care about him any more? Illustrated by items in his collection of Herzl memorabilia (the largest in the world), David will tell Herzl's story and share what he believes are the four important lessons from Herzl's life that are as relevant today as they were in 1904 or 1948. From New York's Fifth Avenue to a distressed suburb of Chicago to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, Herzl continues to teach us that tomorrow can be better than today, and that each of us has the power to help make that so.

Speakers
avatar for David Matlow

David Matlow

David Matlow is a partner at Goodmans LLP.  He owns the world's largest collection of Theodor Herzl memorabilia (over 5,000 items). David exhibits pieces from his collection and speaks regularly about Herzl and his vision hoping to inspire people to be a little like Herzl and work... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room D

12:00pm EST

Change Talk: Jewish Wisdom on Making Positive Life Changes
In Jewish tradition, one of the major perspectives and themes of what makes us human, is our ability to make good decisions and positive life changes, both personally and relationally, as free willed human beings. Yet, actually following through with these changes and making them stick is described as a task more difficult than conquering major cities in battle or a mastering a page of the Talmud! In this presentation, I will share Jewish wisdom, as well as psychotherapeutic literature (especially Motivational Interviewing) on how to make positive life changes, in many different areas in a way that is sustainable and reachable. I will provide an opportunity for a live demonstration of a Change Talk, with a guest, who is thinking about one area where they want to improve. I will also plan to provide a sample worksheet that can allow others to practice having Change Talk with themselves and others.

Speakers
avatar for Noah Tile

Noah Tile

Host, Change Talk Podcast
Noah is the founder of @StudentStress providing psychotherapy, academic coaching and counselling for students in high school and university. He is also the founder @LivingMemories, interviewing people in the post-retirement age to create audio albums of their life stories and values... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room H

12:00pm EST

Talmud From the Balcony: Rabbinic Perspectives on Perennial Human Questions
Social scientists describe the difference between being “on the balcony” and being on the “dance floor.” Those who are on the dance floor are often following the steps but are not able to see the bigger picture like those standing on the balcony watching the dance from above. Talmud from the Balcony helps the learner “get on the balcony” to understand what big questions and issues the rabbis are trying to address through the various dance steps of their legal discussions. In this segment, we will study the sugya (Talmudic section) regarding the rabbinic concept of “Laws of Heaven.” There are instances in which the rabbis describe that while someone is exempt from payment or punishment from a human court, they remain liable “according to the Laws of Heaven.” What does this concept say about the ability of law to regulate human morality? About the place of integrity in the legal system? About the relationship between God and integrity in rabbinic thought?


Speakers
avatar for Elana Stein Hain

Elana Stein Hain

Scholar in Residence & Director of Faculty, Shalom Hartman Institute
A widely well-regarded teacher and scholar, Elana earned her doctorate in Religion from Columbia University with a dissertation on the topic of legal loopholes in rabbinic law. She is an alumna of the Yeshiva University Graduate Program in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) and the... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room I

12:00pm EST

Conducting Global Digital Diplomacy and Expanding Middle Eastern and Jewish World Views from Home During a Pandemic
Diplomats, including ambassadors, usually function in a world of corridor chats, conferences, meals and embassy cocktail parties. Through lively story-telling, which captures that dynamic, SEPHARDIC HERITAGE INTERNATIONAL (SHIN) DC director Franz Afraim Katzir will talk about SHIN-DC’s mission of cultural diplomacy and how the organization is successfully engaging in digital diplomacy during the Covid-19 pandemic. SHIN-DC is explicitly dedicated to building awareness of the heritage of Sephardic Jews and other under-represented Jewish communities through its engagement of the diplomatic community, government and a diversity of religious and ethnic communities. Katzir’s presentation will also highlight how SHIN’s engagements promote understanding and healing through a broader view of both the Middle Eastern and Jewish mosaics.


Speakers
avatar for Franz Afraim Katzir

Franz Afraim Katzir

Founding Director, Sephardic Heritage International (SHIN) - DC
Franz Afraim Katzir is the founding director of SEPHARDIC HERITAGE INTERNATIONAL (SHIN) DC, a cultural diplomacy organization that builds intercultural bridges while raising awareness of Sephardic and other underrepresented Jewish heritages, including engagement of Congress, the diplomatic... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room A

12:00pm EST

Israel - Navigating Multiple Landscapes
The word "Israel" in the phrase "Israel Education" is a complicated term, and connotes multiple and, at times, disparate meanings which often add confusion rather than consistency to the field. This session explores five different conceptual landscapes which inform the historical evolution and perception of Israel in our collective narrative, and shows how all play a role in our contemporary, often complex, understanding of Israel: Israel imagined; covenantal Israel; Israel remembered; lived Israel; and Israel envisioned.

Speakers
avatar for Zohar Raviv

Zohar Raviv

Vice President of Educational Strategy, Taglit-Birthright Israel
Dr. Zohar Raviv is a recognized Jewish thought-leader and educator who currently serves as the International Vice President of Educational Strategy for Taglit-Birthright Israel. Raviv's professional experience spans Israel, North America, South America, Europe, South Africa and Australia... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zoom Room G

1:00pm EST

Musical Performance
Speakers
avatar for Neshama Carlebach

Neshama Carlebach

Performing Artist
Neshama Carlebach is an award-winning singer, songwriter and educator who has performed and taught in cities around the world.  A six-time entrant in the Grammy Awards and winner and four-time Independent Music Awards Nominee for her most current release, Believe, Neshama has sold... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 1:00pm - 1:45pm EST
Zoom Room F

2:00pm EST

Achdut and Jewish Media: Striving to Represent the Unrepresented
How can we present diverse - sometimes conflicting - opinions, in the same Jewish newsmedia? What voices need to be heard more, and why haven't they been given ample space before? And how do we weigh these issues, against the need for "clicks"? These are among the questions, and the challenges, facing Jewish media today, as we strive to present all sides - and sometimes face backlash for doing so.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon

Writer
Dave Gordon is the editor emeritus of TheJ.ca. He is also an author and a prolific writer


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room I

2:00pm EST

Journeying Through Myth, Midrash & Mystery; A Poetry Reading with Carol Rose
Calling upon spiritual ancestors, Carol dares the reader/listener to reimagine Biblical women - silenced by history - yet resilient & strong on the pages of her first collection, "Behind the Blue Gate”. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi has called this volume “an entrance to the sacred via transformative imagery”.Several of the poems are set in the sensual landscape of Jerusalem - the heartland - both physical & transcendent.Her second collection, “From The Dream” invites us to draw upon memory, loss, death, friendship & love in an attempt to give shape & meaning to our lives. As though in a waking-dream, the poems spiral back & forth through time where, as author Howard Schwartz tells us, “angels interact with the Shekinah … & “words waiting to be exhumed” fulfill their ancient purpose as spells & prophecies” Rather than focusing on landscape, these poems ask us to travel the strangely familiar terrain of dreams & images where the author hopes readers wrest both meaning & blessings.The reading hopes to invert stereotypical master stories, honoured in both Scripture & myth - permitting more liberating (& possibly startling) images to arise.

Speakers
avatar for Carol Rose

Carol Rose

Poet
Carol Rose, was born in New York City, spent most of her adult life in Winnipeg, Canada.She has enjoyed two sabbatical years & twenty five summers living in Jerusalem. Currently a dual citizen, with landed immigrant status in Israel, Carol now resides in St Louis, but looks forward... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room F

2:00pm EST

The State of Jewish Philanthropy with Andrés Spokoiny
President and CEO of Jewish Funders Network, Andrés Spokoiny will discuss the current trends and strategies in the philanthropic world affecting Jewish and Israeli organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

In time of great changes for the Jewish Communities and the world, Jewish philanthropy is also undergoing major transformations.

How is the environment created by the COVID-19 crisis creating change and evolution in philanthropic practices? How are the young generations relating to Jewish philanthropy? What are the new ways of doing philanthropy that technology and networking allow? How is giving to Israel changing?

Where are resources going? Are they going where they are most needed? What motivates people to give in the 21st century? What are the new ways in which philanthropy works with business and for profit ventures?

Whether you are donor, a communal leader or a philanthropic practitioner, this event will expose you to the trends impacting Jewish philanthropy and the Jewish world as a whole.

Speakers
avatar for Andres Spokoiny

Andres Spokoiny

President & CEO, Jewish Funders Network
Andrés Spokoiny, President & CEO, Jewish Funders NetworkThe Jewish Funders Network works with Jewish funders, at the individual and collective levels, to improve the quality of their giving and maximize their impact as they make the change they want to see in the world. JFN leverages... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room B

2:00pm EST

Spielberg and the Sephardi: Testimonies of Jewish Refugees from Islamic lands
"Spielberg and the Sephardi: Testimonies of Jewish Refugees from Islamic Lands" is an exploration of oral testimonies from the last generation of Sephardi Jews born in North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran. Dr. Henry Green, founder of the Sephardi Voices Digital Archive, will moderate a panel discussion featuring Toronto Sephardi Voices interview participants, exploring their lived experiences in their home countries during the 1940s to 1980s, when state-sanctioned discrimination, violence, and political unrest saw Sephardi Jews displaced as refugees. "Spielberg and the Sephardi: Testimonies of Jewish Refugees from Islamic Lands" is a response to the need for better access to Sephardi history and culture in Jewish educational spaces, as well as education on human rights abuses that have impacted Jews both connected to and beyond the Holocaust. The panel will touch on the role of oral history in preserving life stories for human rights records and opens a window onto the Sephardi community’s survival and resilience.

Speakers
avatar for Henry Green

Henry Green

Executive Director, Sephardi Voices
Dr. Green is the Executive Director of Sephardi Voices, a digital archive that preserves the history and heritage of the Sephardi, Mizrahi, Babylonian and Persian Jews. He received his Ph.D. from St. Andrews University (UK), MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and BA from... Read More →
avatar for Lisette Shashoua

Lisette Shashoua

Lisette Shashoua’s family has lived in Iraq for centuries. In 1920, her grandfather Shaoul Shashoua’s residence (Kasser Shashoua) was chosen to house King Faisal I, when he was first appointed king by the British. After Lisette graduated from Al Hikma University during the brutal... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room A

2:00pm EST

Showing Cavodכבוד) 18 ) during COVID19 – Living honourable lives in precarious time - What we can learn from Sefer Breishit
This session will explore the nature of the temporary precarity in our lives and the ongoing precarity of some of our neighbours. We will study the texts of some early chapters in the Torah where our ancestors had to live through their own challenging situations. Both Parshat Toldot and Parshat Va’yeitzei (the Parshiyot surrounding current scheduled date for Limmud Toronto 2020) deal with persons in precarious positions. In Parshat Toldot, we encountered a mother in pregnancy distress, a son who was famished, a refugee subject to the whims of the local population, a father whose eyesight impaired his ability to concretize his legacy and a brother escaping fratricide. In Parshat Va’yeitzei we encounter a spiritual seeker, a migrant worker, a bride in a forced marriage, sister wives, a barren wife and a man about to lose his children and grandchildren. We will identify what guidance we can extract from these parshiyot on how we can address current precarity.

Speakers
avatar for Shalom Schachter

Shalom Schachter

After a long and successful career as a lawyer, primarily representing healthcare workers, Shalom decided to finish rabbinical studies which he had started at the Lubavitch Rabbinical College of Canada. He completed his training and received his ordination from ALEPH, the Alliance... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room G

2:00pm EST

Panel: What does the future of Jewish life look like in Ontario's smaller Jewish communities?
Synopsis: Three immigrant Jewish professionals hailing from Argentina, South Africa and the United States are at the helm of reviving a number of smaller Jewish communities in Ontario. How does Jewish life in their adoptive community differ from where they came from, and what are the unique challenges and opportunities facing smaller Jewish communities in the province?

Panellists: Dan Brotman (Executive Director, Windsor Jewish Federation & Community Centre), Joe Roberts (Executive Director, London Jewish Community Centre) and Gustavo Rymberg, (CEO, Hamilton Jewish Federation).

Speakers
avatar for Dan Brotman

Dan Brotman

Executive Director, Windsor Jewish Federation & Community Centre
Boston-born Dan Brotman is the new Executive Director of the Windsor Jewish Federation & Community Centre. Canada is his third immigration in fifteen years, having made aliyah to Israel straight after high school and then spending the past decade living in South Africa. He began his... Read More →
avatar for Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts

Executive Director, Jewish London
Joe Roberts is an organizational leader, development expert, and former political operative with over 15 years of strategic leadership experience. Currently serving as the Executive Director of Jewish London, he previously served as Global Chief Advancement Officer at The Israel Project... Read More →
avatar for Gustavo Rymberg

Gustavo Rymberg

CEO, Hamilton Jewish Federation
Hamilton Jewish Federation’s CEO was born and raised in Argentina, but his Jewish professional journey began in Winnipeg. In 1997, Rymberg, his wife Marisa, and their two young children were among the first Argentinian immigrants brought to that city under the Jewish community’s... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room D

2:00pm EST

Golden Age Travel - Freshman Spring: A Live Zoom-performed Teleplay
The premise of this Zoom teleplay: What if Yehuda HaLevi, born 1075, Hebrew poet of Golden Age Islamic Spain, was participating in real time, in 2020 Zoom calls, with former members of a college rock band that played together at Brandeis University?  Yehuda HaLevi, invited by 21st century Toronto Jew, Izzy Zimmerman, finds himself trapped by Coronavirus in Izzy’s bubble. Forty years ago, Izzy was one of four members of a college rock band. After graduation, each went their separate way. But during the 2020 Corona lockdown, there blossoms an intense Zoom reunion among the former band-mates, with HaLevi a participant. In those Zooms, they are inspired - by HaLevi’s time travel insights into his own “Golden Age” and his poetic vision.  With memories and imagination interweaving, the band reunites, and "travels back in time" to their personal Golden Age: Freshman Spring, Brandeis University, 1976.  Perhaps their reunion tour is a chance to “try it again for the first time” and acquire grandparent-age insight into their youthful life and loves.

Speakers
avatar for Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin

Poet, playwright, eBenBrandeis
Benjamin Rubin, a Toronto lawyer by trade, was Festival Chair of Limmud Toronto 2018. Under his pen name, eBenBrandeis, he composes poetry, lyrics and YouTube video poems. He has edited and published a book of contemporary Jewish humor, translated from the Hebrew an autobiography... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room C

2:00pm EST

Sacrifice, Cravings, and Bloodshed: Does Torah Allow City-Dwellers to Eat Animals?
What's at stake when we eat animals? How does the Torah envision humans and Jews doing so, and how did the Rabbis translate that vision as their economy shifted from an agricultural one to a commercial one? We will survey key Biblical passages and look closely at Rabbinic texts on the proper attitude and context required by Jewish law for meat consumption, asking along the way what this means today for people who don't interact with farm animals and who live in the reality of a factory farm-dominated meat market.

Speakers
avatar for Aryeh Bernstein

Aryeh Bernstein

Staff Educator, Jewish Initiative for Animals
Aryeh Bernstein is a fifth-generation Chicago South Sider with extensive experience in Torah education, especially in progressive Jewish communities. Aryeh works as National Jewish Educator for the Avodah Service Corps, Educational Consultant for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room E

2:00pm EST

You don't look like a rabbi!
Two queer rabbis reflect on the changing faces of Jewish communal leadership. Together, we will explore the texts, role models, and lessons that have guided us on our paths. We will consider the significance of representation, discuss together our visions for where we might be headed next.

Speakers
avatar for Becca Walker

Becca Walker

Engagement Rabbi, Beth David Congregation
Rabbi Becca Walker is a recent transplant to Toronto. Rabbi Walker currently works as the engagement rabbi at Beth David. Prior to this Rabbi Walker served as the Senior Jewish Educator for Michigan State University and the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan. 
avatar for Ariella Rosen

Ariella Rosen

Senior Jewish Educator, Hillel at UofT, York, Ryerson
Rabbi Ariella Rosen is a recent transplant to Toronto. Rabbi Rosen recently started as the Senior Jewish Educator for Hillel at the University of Toronto, Ryerson and York. Prior to this Rabbi Rosen was the director of admissions for the rabbinical and cantorial school of the Jewish... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room H

2:00pm EST

Nehemiah: Our First Politician : A Man for OUR Season
In examining Nehemiah, our first politician, we will explore the historical context in which he lived in Persia and his difficult mission in coming to Judea. We will discuss his style of political leadership as reflected in some of the texts in the Book of Nehemiah. We will focus particularly on how he confronted issues of security, social inequality, intermarriage, religious authority, hostile locals, international relations, and culture, and how he created a vision for the future. As well, we will question why he was not well regarded by later rabbinic authorities. Finally and most important, we will analyze his vision for Judea and the diaspora and its relevance for our present day Jewish community and Israel.

Speakers
avatar for Jerry Friedman

Jerry Friedman

I am a semi-retired psychiatrist with a passionate interest in Biblical texts, Jewish history and the natural history of the land of Israel. I presented three years ago at Limmud, when I examined the link between Israelite and bird migration through the Sinai wilderness, and explored... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Zoom Room J

3:00pm EST

We're Jewish. It's funny: A Musical Performance
We’re Jewish. It’s funny”


The Jewish roots of standup comedy and comedy writing in American popular culture are well known and well established.
But standup and writing are not the only media where Jewish comedy lives.
Funny songs and satire, have a long Jewish history.
Internationally renowned singer and songwriter, Batsheva, will take you through songs you know and many you don’t - in Yiddish, Ladino, Ivrit – and in English. They’re Jewish – and they’re funny.

Speakers
avatar for Batsheva Capek

Batsheva Capek

Singer/Songwriter
Born and raised in Toronto, Batsheva is an internationally known singer and songwriter.She is a concert artist, singing in Ladino, Yiddish and Ivrit. She is an award-winning songwriter. A ballet based on three of Batsheva’s translations of Leonard Cohen in Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room G

3:00pm EST

“BAYAMIM HAHEM BAZ’MAN HAZEH”  The Glorious History of Hazzanut and its Art
When Cantors Ruled the Earth

This presentation traces the history of Shliach Tzibur, Ba'al T'filah, as it evolved into the sacred calling of Hazzanuth. A variety of cantorial art styles will be explored and analyzed, and musically illustrated by the magnificent voices of Master Hazzanim from the Golden Age of Hazzanuth, as well as others from the 20th and 21st centuries. We will also explore Jewish musical traditions from Eastern and Western Europe, and how they influence contemporary Cantorial styles and the education of the modern Cantorate.
I hope to see you there.
--Beny

Speakers
avatar for Beny Maissner

Beny Maissner

Cantor Emeritus, Holy Blossom Temple
Benjamin Z. Maissner is the Cantor Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple, the Conductor and Music Director of Lachan Jewish Chamber Choir, and a part-time faculty member at Abraham Geiger College.A versatile Shliach Tzibbur and performer, Cantor Maissner has mastered a variety of musical... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room I

3:00pm EST

The End of Israel Advocacy
Campus leaders at the forefront of Israeli-Palestinian alternative peace activism, Noam Sibony, Leena Muti, and Hilly Adler share their perspectives and stories as a joint Israeli-Palestinian Jewish-Muslim team. Their cutting-edge approach to dialogue between parties has shaken up the conversation about Israel-Palestine at York University, and their model for easing campus tensions is currently being spread to campuses across Ontario.

Through confronting the taboo of humanizing the “Other” within both the Israeli and Palestinian communities, they will challenge basic assumptions regarding the mutual exclusivity of claims to land, history, and justice. Their presentation will show that creating a space in which both Israelis and Palestinians feel welcome to share their experiences can yield shocking results. Noam, Leena, and Hilly will also address the harmful dichotomy assumed on university campuses between “us” and “them”, and present an alternate framework to ease tensions between Israeli and Palestinian camps.

Speakers
avatar for Hilly Adler

Hilly Adler

Founding Member, Bridging the Gap
Hilly Adler is a third-year Political Science student at York University. In addition to his activism in fighting antisemitism at York, Hilly is passionate about interfaith and intercultural initiatives. He has been successful in finding shared values among different student groups... Read More →
avatar for Noam Sibony

Noam Sibony

Founding Member, Bridging the Gap
Noam Yekutiel Sibony is a third-year student at York University studying Biology, Psychology and Neuroscience. Growing up in a Moroccan-Ashkenazi home, he has always found the marriage between Arab and Jewish culture to be natural, and that has consistently been reflected in his campus... Read More →
avatar for Leena Muti

Leena Muti

Founding Member, Bridging the Gap
Leena Muti is a 3rd-year student pursuing an International Bachelor of Science at York University. Her interest in international affairs began with a fascination for languages, which soon evolved to encompass the curiosity for cross-cultural ties and relationships upon her arrival... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room E

3:00pm EST

Crisis & Opportunity: Intergenerational Musings on Jewish Life in the Age of COVID-19
Three generations of Rose family rabbis (Rabbi Neal Rose, Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose, and Rabbi Michael Rose Knopf) offer a candid, Interactive, text-based conversation about how COVID-19 disrupted the Jewish world, how they’ve navigated the crisis with their respective communities, and how, with the aid of Jewish wisdom, they envision the future.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Knopf

Michael Knopf

Rabbi, Temple Beth-El
Named by The Forward as one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis,” Michael Rose Knopf is a leading advocate for interfaith collaboration, an activist for social justice and global human rights, and the author of Thirty Days of Liberation: Pathways for Personal and Social Transformation... Read More →
avatar for Neal Rose

Neal Rose

Senior Rabbinic Scholar, Congregation B'nai Amoona
Dr. Neal Rose received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York) in 1967. In 2017  he was honored with the Jubilee Award,( Rabbinical Assembly of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) for 50 years of outstanding service in the rabbinate. Dr... Read More →
avatar for Carnie Rose

Carnie Rose

Senior Rabbi, Congregation B'nai Amoona
Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose, has lived, studied, and taught throughout the world - including stints in Canada, Israel, the Far East, and Europe. He is married to Pauline and they have four wonderful children - "The RoseBuds", Noa, Zakai, Lev & Ellior. Deeply committed to Jewish Pluralism... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room F

3:00pm EST

Rescue Mission: Inside Diarna's race to save Jewish history in the Middle East and North Africa
Jason Guberman, co-founder and coordinator of Diarna: the Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life, will talk about how a diverse, international team of volunteers has worked for over a decade to digitally document endangered Jewish historical sites, ranging from synagogues on the edge of the Sahara to Jewish fortresses in Arabia.

Speakers
avatar for Jason Guberman

Jason Guberman

Executive Director, American Sephardi Federation and Digitial Heritage Mapping
Jason Guberman, a social entrepreneur who specializes in building broad coalitions and melding intellectual and technical innovation, serves as Executive Director of two organizations, the American Sephardi Federation and Digital Heritage Mapping, as well as coordinator of DHM’s... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room C

3:00pm EST

Towards a More Liberal Religious Epistemology: Science, Reason and Miracles
Widespread belief in reason and science is a good thing. The residual belief that reason and science somehow render religious beliefs, beliefs in miracles in particular, unreasonable or unscientific, is dubious. This additional belief persists due to the very best of outmoded early 18th century philosophy, notably championed by the Scottish philosopher and historian, David Hume. In this lecture and discussion, we will discuss some problems and alternatives to this hyper-conservative approach to religion.

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Shore

Jesse Shore

Jesse Shore was the assistant rabbi at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto.  He pursued his ordination and a Masters in Bible at Yeshiva University.  Jesse's interests are in rabbinic literature, bible and analytic philosophy.


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room D

3:00pm EST

"The Jewish Experience in Politics"
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul shares her experience of running for the Green Party of Canada Leadership contest, from the perspective of being a Jewish woman. Ms. Paul will also reflect on what it was like to become the Leader of the Green Party, and then immediately find herself running in the Toronto-Centre by-election, during a pandemic.

Speakers
avatar for Annamie Paul

Annamie Paul

Leader, Green Party of Canada
Annamie is a lawyer, international affairs expert, and social entrepreneur. Born and raised in Toronto, she is a first-generation Canadian with a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton and a law degree from UOttawa. She was also a former Green Party International Affairs Critic... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room J

3:00pm EST

Jewish Roller Derby: A Game Without Borders
Roller derby is an incredibly athletic high-speed sport played on roller skates. It is a grass-roots sport that emerged from riot grrl culture, and is predominated by women, non-binary folk and queer folk.

The rules of the Roller Derby World Cup are that you just have to prove that you have ancestry from the nation you are intending to represent. But for many Jews in the Diaspora, proving ancestry can be a difficult thing. Some of us have no documents at all, and for those that do have papers, a lot of them only say “Stateless”, because so much was lost during the Holocaust.

Jewish Roller Derby was created in 2019 with the intention of playing in the 2022 World Cup as a “borderless nation”. Jews are a religion, but more than that, we are a culture and we have a distinct identity as Jews.

I joined Jewish Roller Derby in September 2019, and in this presentation I will tell the story of this incredible team – how we came together as Jews and athletes, honoured our cultural identity, and came out to the world in the WE ARE NATION: A Game Without Borders in Montreal in November 2019.

Speakers
avatar for Allison Vanek

Allison Vanek

Toronto Roller Derby All Star Team
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I'm a member at the First Narayever Synagogue, and have been attending services there since I was 6 years old. I had my Bat Mitzvah there. Currently, I am a lawyer working for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union as a Grievance Officer... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room B

3:00pm EST

Hiking from Sea to Sea: A Virtual Israel Experience
What normally takes three days of difficult hiking across the country, we will do in an hour with a glass of Israeli wine! Hiking in the small but diverse landscape of Israel is a true Israeli cultural experience. Our trek will be our backdrop for exploring sites and songs, both ancient and modern, which had a lasting impact on the local areas of the north and the rest of the country.

Speakers
avatar for Josh Hartuv

Josh Hartuv

Virtual Israel Experiences, Hartuv Tours
Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Josh Hartuv moved to Israel in 2011. He is a licensed tour guide in Israel since 2017. The pandemic forced Josh to adapt to leading virtual Israel tours.  He aims to utilize this technology to provide an immersive experience that allows you to experience... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room A

3:00pm EST

Torah, Lashon Hara (Gossip) and the Internet
Torah, Gossip and the Internet:

The role of Judaism's rich ethical tradition surrounding lashon hara (gossip, loose language) will be explored within the context of today's flurry of tweets, texts, emails and social media platforms.

There are numerous examples in the Torah of gossip and slander. The Talmud addresses these actions, and sets out a strict code of conduct to protect us from this barrage of "verbal arrows."

In this session, we will follow the thread from Torah, to Talmud, to the advent of "new technologies." Our ancient rabbis debated whether it was appropriate for the carrier of a sealed letter to open it, and share its contents. The thread also carries us to the advent of the party line telephone, and ultimately email, text messaging and various social media platforms.

Do Judaism's strict laws against lashon hara still apply in a largely unregulated world of Internet based communication? Do we have an expectation that our emails, texts and posts remain private?

What can we do -- or not -- to manage the flow of lashon hora within our lives, and within the lives of those that we influence?

Speakers
avatar for Irwin Huberman

Irwin Huberman

Rabbi, Congregation Tifereth Israel
Rabbi Irwin Huberman, 66, has served since 2007 as rabbi of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove, NY. During this time, the congregation has experienced a 250 percent increase in membership. In 2003, Rabbi Huberman left a highly successful career in government and corporate communications... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Zoom Room H

4:00pm EST

Literature or Propaganda? How Children's Authors Write about the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Children’s author Marjorie Gann will compare how authors from different interest groups (Jewish, Arab, and outside the invested communities) depict the history of the conflict and the lives of Jews and Arabs in Israel and the West Bank. Drawing on personal interviews with children’s writers in Canada and Israel, Marjorie will evaluate authors’ goals and research methods. Do they simply set out to tell a story, or is their purpose to educate or even indoctrinate young readers? Do they contextualize the horrors they depict, or cherry-pick incidents to make a political statement? Finally, how does this literature compare with other socially-engaged children’s books in Canada and the United States, from the mid-twentieth century to now? What comes first – literature or ideology?

Speakers
avatar for Marjorie Gann

Marjorie Gann

Author
Marjorie Gann is a Canadian author of non-fiction books for middle grade and young adult readers. Her two most recent books, co-authored with Janet Willen, concern the themes of slavery and abolition.  Five Thousand Years of Slavery, recognized as a 2012 Notable Book for a Global... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room H

4:00pm EST

SNL's Jews
Some of the most memorable performers and sketches in the 45-year history of Saturday Night Live (created by Jewish Toronto native Lorne Michaels) have been Jewish. We'll look at some performances and discuss their significance. Which humor counts as Jewish humor? Can non-Jews make Jewish jokes? What's the boundary of good taste? Included: Jewess Jeans, the Chanukah Song, Coffee Talk with Linda Richman, (Canadian Jew) Drake's Bar Mitzvah, Larry David's Holocaust monologue.

Speakers
avatar for David Benkof

David Benkof

David Benkof is a Jerusalem-based teacher whose online classes help students find meaning in cultural products like literature, musicals, art, music, and TV/film. His Jewish culture videos: youtube.com/user/DavidBenkof.


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room J

4:00pm EST

In the trenches fighting anti-Semitism: City Hall behind closed doors
Municipal governments can play a transformative role in fighting anti-Semitism and responding to endless loop of anti-Israel rhetoric. Eighty per cent of Canadians live in cities; cities are centres of commerce, culture and diversity. They are a level of government, until recently played a quiet role in the federation. These days cities are flexing their muscles on the world stage and here domestically. But despite all this growing influence and power, sometimes cities - and the politicians that serve them - have a tough time shutting down events, messaging and discourse that is hateful, hurtful and demonize. Moreover, why are we quite successful in shutting down some of the endless loop of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate on some occasions and on others it is virtually impossible? What is going on behind the scenes that allows success in some fights are bitter frustration in others? Some of the answer rests with the interaction between specific elected officials and the civil service, or in some cases the “deep state.” How is it that in some cases we can stop this hate with a phone call and other times, even after months of work, it is near impossible? What is behind this paradox? What are the roots? Why is it so frustrating when our community watches from a distance and it seems that nothing is being done? Where are the police? Where is the attorney general? Where is the criminal code? Where are the courts? These are tough questions that only a city hall insider can try to answer.

Speakers
avatar for James Pasternak

James Pasternak

Councillor, City of Toronto
Councillor James Pasternak was first elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Councillor Pasternak sits on Mayor John Tory’s Executive Committee as the current Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee and Chair of North York Community... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room I

4:00pm EST

The Who What Where When of Hatzoloh Toronto
History and current explanation of Who Hatzoloh is. What we do. Where we respond to. When we respond and Why. Save a life, save a world!

Speakers
avatar for Heshi Kuhnreich

Heshi Kuhnreich

Hatzoloh
Heshi Kuhnreich was born and raised in Toronto to holocaust survivors. His father, Mr. Moshe Kuhnreich O”H, and YB”L his mother Mrs. Chana Kuhnreich, are first-hand witnesses to the destruction that took place in Europe. They came to Toronto in 1952 to begin life anew.After attending... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room G

4:00pm EST

Introduction to Post-Pandemic Theology
Pandemics, like other natural disasters, leave us searching for someone or something to blame, and both God and human beings are frequently called to account. How do we disentangle divine and human responsibility without letting either one off the hook? We will look at a number of answers to this question, drawing in particular from theological responses to the AIDS epidemic.

Speakers
avatar for David Zvi Kalman

David Zvi Kalman

Scholar in Residence & Director of New Media, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
David Zvi Kalman was born and raised in Toronto and is a Scholar in Residence and Director of New Media at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where he leads the Kogod Research Center’s Judaism and the Natural World research seminar. He received his Ph.D. from the University... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room F

4:00pm EST

Animating Change: Innovating Toward a Brighter Jewish Future
Is innovation Jewish? Can Jewish communities innovate? Join Limmud North America Executive Director Rabbi David Singer for an exploration of the movement toward and complex relationship with innovation in Jewish tradition, leveraging rabbinic texts and modern examples to explore the complex issue.

Speakers
avatar for David Singer

David Singer

National Director, Limmud North America
Rabbi David Singer serves as National Director of Limmud North America. Previously the Executive Director of UC San Diego Hillel, David oversaw a period of exponential growth in the organization’s student-facing programs and brought to positive conclusion a nearly 20-year legal... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room A

4:00pm EST

Shang-Chai: Reflections on My Time in Asia's Jewish Community
How much do North American Jews know about the Jewish communities in the Far East? Usually, not so much! Before I learned of a job opportunity to serve Kehilat Shanghai, I had no idea there was a significant Jewish community (and Jewish history) in many cities around Asia. In this presentation, I'll share a bit of historical context especially about Shanghai's Jewish history, and provide a sense of the landscape of the current situation in the Asian Jewish communities (both pre- and post- pandemic).

Speakers
avatar for Julia Ullman

Julia Ullman

Julia Ullman is an experiential educator, t’filah leader, and Jewish community organizer.  She most recently served as the Community Coordinator of Kehilat Shanghai in China.  Previously, Julia has held a variety of positions as a Jewish educator and youth professional.  Julia... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room C

4:00pm EST

Enlisted Archaeology
As an Israeli human rights professional who is also the holder of an MA in Hebrew Bible and a former guide at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, I found myself in a unique position in my approach to archaeology in the West Bank. In both Israeli (B'Tselem) and international (Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council) organizations I worked for, I was unique in promoting a nuanced approach that was willing to acknowledge the importance of findings from the West Bank to Jewish history; Whereas in my religious community, my objection to the exploitation of archaeology as a means to take over land, and to the twisting of the historical narrative for political purposes, was simply incomprehensible to many. In this talk I will share my approach to this dilemma. This talk is sponsored by the New Israel Fund of Canada.

Speakers
avatar for Naama Baumgarten-Sharon

Naama Baumgarten-Sharon

Naama Baumgarten-Sharon has been a peace and anti-occupation activist since she completed her military service as an intelligence officer in 2001, and has worked professionally for Israeli NGOs, most notably as a researcher at B'Tselem, and for international NGOs operating in Israel-Palestine... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room E

4:00pm EST

Jewish Baseball - More than Koufax and Greenberg
On an average baseball day back in September 1996, Jewish hitter Shawn Green walked up to the plate. He looked back at catcher Jesse Levis, and then at umpire Al Clark. He greeted them with the words “Hello Yids.” The men had a good laugh and exchanged wishes of Shana Tova, and the game went on. That day is believed to be the only time when all three men at the plate were Jewish.

Jewish involvement with baseball is filled with similar stories, records and myths. There were star Jewish ballplayers as early as the 1800s. Later, baseball became a way for immigrant Jews to feel included in American culture. Parents often said their sons could grow up to become “a doctor, a lawyer or Sandy Koufax.” Jews also had a major impact on building many of the institutions of the modern game.

Come and explore the deep connection between Jews and baseball, as early as Lipman Pike being considered baseball’s first home run king. (He hit 4.) Bob has collected stories of Jews that will ignite your passion for the game, and will show some original artifacts from his private collection.

Since Bob is also a teacher, you can expect a test at the end, in the form of a Jewish trivia challenge to test your knowledge of the history of Jewish baseball. So you may want to brush up on your knowledge beforehand.

Play ball!

Speakers
avatar for Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper

Baseball Enthusiast
Bob Cooper has always had a deep passion for the game of baseball. Lately, his interests focused more intensely toward the rich history of Jews and baseball. He discovered a connection between these two communities that runs deep into the psyche of both America’s national pastime... Read More →


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room D

4:00pm EST

Sarah Schenirer and the Founding of Bais Yaakov
This presentation will discuss the founding of the Orthodox school system for girls, Bais Yaakov, in interwar Poland by Sarah Schenirer, a divorced seamstress with an eighth-grade education. It will explore the character of the movement as a "revolution in the name of tradition."

Speakers
avatar for Naomi Seidman

Naomi Seidman

Professor, University of Toronto
Chancellor Jackman Professor of the Arts at the University of Toronto


Sunday November 22, 2020 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Zoom Room B
 
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