Loading…
LimmudFest 2019 has ended
This is the 2019 LimmudFest Program IN PROGRESS! Please check back regularly for updates and corrections. Shana Tova! All LimmudFest sessions are first come, first served.

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

Torah & Philosophy [clear filter]
Sunday, November 17
 

9:00am

Arguments, Penalties, and the Still Small Voice
Many people who are drawn to Torah study out of a desire for spiritual growth, feel stymied by the study of Talmud. This is especially true because Talmud texts are legalistic, and those legal texts do not match modern notions of morality. We will examine such a text with an eye towards finding spirituality through Torah study.

Speakers
AS

Aaron Shub

Aaron Shub, Rabbi, at Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Portland, ME. He is the director of Jewish life and learning at Levey Day School. He has a Masters of Education from the University of Judaism, and received semikha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.


Sunday November 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
G-11 384 Harvard Campus

9:00am

Jewish Sex Ethics, or Sex with Judaism
It is fun to talk about sex, and having a strong understanding of sex ethics according to Judaism makes for an interesting conversation. We will look at a study of Jewish sex ethics throughout history, using sources from the Torah, Talmud, Medieval texts and modern day thought

Speakers
JG

Judy Greene

Judy Greene created a unique Jewish sex ethics course combining modern thought with Jewish content and has been teaching it for the past 30 years. A graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in Hebraic Studies, Judy has an MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
G-28 384 Harvard Campus

9:00am

Russian Discussion - First Two Chapters of Genesis
This session will examine, in Russian, the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. Why do we have two creation stories? How do we make sense of how they differ? What do the differences tell us about the world? About God? About ourselves? We will look at the Torah text, midrashim, and commentary.

Speakers
JM

Jim Morgan

Rabbi/Chaplain, Center Communities of Brookline/Hebrew SeniorLife
Jim Morgan serves as Rabbi/Chaplain and Russian-speaking Chaplain for Center Communities of Brookline, a Supportive Housing Community. He is also the Rabbi for the Worship and Study Minyan at Harvard Hillel, which serves the university and the larger community.


Sunday November 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
G- KI Chapel 384 Harvard Campus

9:00am

The Contributions of Women-Driven Biblical Study in North American Jewish Adult Education
Let's discuss the historical and contextual factors and conditions in Jewish education that address the perceived, widespread exclusion of the experiences of female biblical characters when teaching Torah to adults.

Speakers
MA

Melissa Adleman

Melissa Adleman, Cantor, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies from McGill, cum laude, and a Master of Sacred Music & Cantorial Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2019 she earned a PhD in Educational Studies from Lesley University.


Sunday November 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
G-19 The KI Campus

9:00am

Thoreau's Secret and the Language of the Jews: A Midrash on Walden
Surprise! Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) heavily influenced Henry David Thoreau's famous book, Walden. Explore his secret Hebrew studies at 19th-century Harvard with close readings from both texts. Learn how the Transcendentalist used ideas and actual verses from Kohelet.

Speakers
avatar for Natasha Shabat

Natasha Shabat

Natasha Shabat is an independent scholar, writer, and photographer, based in Concord, MA, who teaches Biblical & Modern Hebrew to adults. She is currently writing a book on Hebrew education at Harvard in the 19th century. She has a B.A. from Harvard in Near Eastern Languages & Ci... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
G-16 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

Benjamin Franklin's Influence on Jewish Thought and Practice
Find out how Benjamin Franklin's self-improvement method became incorporated into the practical Jewish ethical tradition of mussar through the publication of Rabbi Mendel Lefin's "Book of Spiritual Accounting," and how rabbis and Judaic scholars have dealt with this surprising historical development.

Speakers
avatar for Shai Afsai

Shai Afsai

Shai Afsai lives in Providence, RI. His recent research has focused on the writings of Thomas Paine, Jews and Freemasonry, religious traditions of the Beta Yisrael Jewish community from Ethiopia, Judaism in Nigeria, aliyah to Israel from RI, Jewish pilgrimage to Ukraine, and Jews... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-28 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

Echo Chambers Instead of Conversation: It Starts in the Bible
We will examine several sibling-centered stories in the book of Genesis, noting a recurring and dangerous tendency toward inattentive, one-sided conversation. We will draw a line from these narratives to the Jewish people today, noting the enduring nature of diminished communication among opponents, and the resulting increase in fractiousness. In our explorations, we will encounter signs of hope for repair.

Speakers
avatar for Judy Klitsner

Judy Klitsner

Judy Klitsner is a senior educator at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies; is the founding board chair of Sacred Spaces, an organization that addresses abuses of power in Jewish institutions; and is author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G- KI Chapel 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

From the Rib, Which Elohin Took From Eve, She Made a Man: A Regendering Torah Experience
Whether an intellectual exercise or a women-centered sacred text, the Regendered Bible unsettles habitual thinking. For the past two and half years, Yael Kanarek has been rewriting the Torah, transitioning all characters to the opposite sex: Imagine Moshah on Har Sinai receiving the ten commandments from Elohin. During this group reading and discussion, we will explore these familiar stories through the mother-daughter lineage.

Speakers
avatar for Yael Kanarek

Yael Kanarek

Yael Kanarek is a visual artist and jewelry designer, with exhibits in prestigious galleries. She is a recipient of fellowships with the Rockefeller New Media grant, Eyebeam, and The Laboratory for Jewish Culture. She created the Regendered Bible in response to the void of women-centered... Read More →



Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-27 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

Joseph in the Torah and Qu'ran
We will explore the stories of Joseph in the Torah and Qu'ran in an active, lively dialogue. The goal is to achieve a deeper, more robust understanding of the stories in Torah, and a new appreciation for the structures and beliefs of Islam.

Speakers
avatar for Jim Brule

Jim Brule

Maggid Jim Brule has been deeply engaged in spiritual storytelling for decades and leads a faculty seminar on the topic. His online school for multi-faith spiritual storytellers is in its fourth year. He received S'micha as a Maggid from Yitzhak Buxbaum in 2009.


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-11 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

So You Fell Asleep in Services - Do You Still Count For a Minyan? Uncovering Authentic Jewish Values
So many topics and authentic Jewish values were never covered in advanced Jewish educations. We will study short, often ignored, forgotten, or off-beat texts to uncover those values. Topics include what does Judaism say about competitiveness, self-image, failure, decision-making, heroes, fulfillment, consistency, excellence, achievement, talent, and well-roundedness.

Speakers
avatar for Danny Siegel

Danny Siegel

Founder and former Chairman, Ziv Tzedakah Fund
Danny Siegel is an author, poet, and lecturer who has spoken on Mitzvahs, Tzedakah, and Tikkun Olam in 400 Jewish communities in North America. He is a 1993 Covenant Award Winner and in April 2020 will publish, Radiance - Creative Mitzvah Living, The Selected Prose and Poetry of Danny... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-06 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

The Powers That Bind: Women in the Family Circle
Our ancient texts are riddled with tales of lust, seduction and adultery. However, the female voices are often missing. In this workshop, we will explore Eve and Lilith. We will go through new portals and deeply explore the text, as we invite the missing voices to speak out.

Speakers
NL

Noreen Leibson

Noreen Leibson has been a Jewish educator for 30 years. Most of her professional life has been in a synagogue supplementary school serving as Education Director. She enjoys learning and teaching Torah through a creative lens. She lives with her husband, Mitch, in Nashua, NH, with... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-25 384 Harvard Campus

10:10am

Whose House is it? House of Aharon and House of Miryam
In the Hallel psalms, recited on holidays, the term Beit Aharon is used several times. As part of the ongoing work to make the liturgy more egalitarian, the question arises whether Beit Miriam is a legitimate substitution. Learn about the results of the investigation with a surprising midrashic punchline.

Speakers
avatar for Aliza Arzt

Aliza Arzt

Aliza Arzt is a home care speech therapist and long-time member of Havurat Shalom of Somerville MA. She loves researching questions about Biblical Hebrew and often discovers new insights. In her free time she enjoys making pottery, keeping geckos, and practicing aikido.


Sunday November 17, 2019 10:10am - 11:10am
G-07 384 Harvard Campus

2:00pm

A Chasidic Perspective & Practical Applications for 2019
We will share a beginners overview on how Chasidism transforms and elevates the details of Judaism into a celebration. Torah, Mitzvot and Tikkun Olam, truly at the core, can upgrade our Motivation. Love your fellow neighbor as thyself- is that really possible?

Speakers
MS

Mayshe Schwartz

Mayshe Schwartz was born and raised in West LA, Smicha in Israel & moved with his amazing wife Shifra to Brooklne in 2004. They founded the Chai Center and YJP Boston to serve young adults. He brings his spirited Jewish vibe to young adults wherever they are and has officiated over... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
100 Centre Street - Room B 100 Centre Street, Brookline, MA, USA

2:00pm

Bibliodrama: Integrating Theater with Torah
In this workshop we will dive underneath the text of the bible to breathe life into its characters. Through role play and embodiment we will explore the unwritten stories that lie beneath the surface of our traditional teachings. Learn how stepping into another’s shoes exercises our empathy muscle. This session was made possible with generous support from The Covenant Foundation. 

Speakers
avatar for Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Grazi-Shatzkes

Sally Shatzkes is a Drama Therapist with over 15 years in the field, innovating creative arts based counseling programs and spearheading creative approaches in Jewish education, such as the Witness Theater program. She is a 2019 Covenant Award recipient. Her participation was made... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
U-13 384 Harvard Campus

2:00pm

Jewish Exploration of the Power of Words
Speaking Volumes: LimmudFest is proud to play a role in the Global Day of Learning, an international effort to encourage Jews around the world to study the same sources on the same day in their own way. Along with Jewish Learners across the globe, we will explore the power of words.

Speakers
NG

Naomi Gurt Lind

Naomi Gurt Lind is a rabbinical student at Hebrew College, in pursuit of her fourth and hopefully final career. She has studied at Hadar and DLTI and has a consultancy on community engagement. In her free time she hangs out with her two genius boys, solves crossword puzzles, and bakes... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
G-07 384 Harvard Campus

2:00pm

Legacy-What Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? A Hearing Men's Voices Experience
We do not have the advantage of seeing our own obituaries. But often, after you have attended funerals, you may think back as to how the deceased was remembered at the funeral or at the shiva minyan. We will be holding a Hearing Men's Voices, HMV, session in which we will create our own legacy. What will they say about you when you are gone? Reserved for 10 male attendees. 

Speakers
MP

Martin Paley

Martin Paley has facilitated Hearing Men's Voices for over 15 years, leading sessions locally, nationally and internationally. Hearing Men's Voices creates intimacy among men through dialogue, creating conversations to connect Jewish men in a safe and nurturing environment.


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
G-27 384 Harvard Campus

2:00pm

Oh My God! Theology in Israeli Women's Midrash
In this session, we will discuss midrashim written by contemporary Israeli women who offer varying strategies to deal with the horrifying question, is God involved or even in charge of patriarchy? We will read from texts in English.

Speakers
TB

Tamar Biala

Tamar Biala engages with Jewish feminism as a writer and lecturer. She has a BA in Jewish Studies and Literature and MA in Women's Studies and Jewish Studies. She co-edited Dirshuni: Midrashei Nashim, first-ever collection of midrashim by contemporary Israeli women.


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
G- KI Chapel 384 Harvard Campus

2:00pm

When God Speaks in 'Black English' to Moshe Rabbenu
I Am That I Am. So, we are told, God names Himself to Moses at the burning bush. In this session we shall see how the Black English, I Be As I Be, better expresses the dynamism - and passionate movement into the future - suitable for a text devoted to the theme of liberation.

Speakers
DW

Davin Wolok

Davin Wolok is the Hazzan Sheni of Temple Emeth. He has taught Jewish thought at Hebrew College and is an author.


Sunday November 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
G-19 The KI Campus

3:10pm

Giant Sea Creatures and Where To Find Them
Have you ever noticed the giant sea creatures in Chapter 1 of Genesis? Or wondered why the traditional blessing when leaving a sukkah involves a leviathan? Come and discover these and other giant sea creatures lurking in the Tanakh and a few (scholarly) theories about why they are there!

Speakers
ZL

Zoë Lang

Zoë Lang is an active member of the Orthodox community in Cambridge, MA and the special events coordinator for the Open Beit Midrash. She has taught a course on the Talmud for Shalom Maine and has spoken at various synagogues in Boston.


Sunday November 17, 2019 3:10pm - 4:10pm
G-07 384 Harvard Campus

3:10pm

Is Gender Inequality a Biblical Mandate?
Is Inequality a Biblical Mandate? To what degree do God's words to woman in the Garden of Eden -- "to your husband is your desire and he shall rule over you"-- constitute a mandate of subjugation to all women for all time? Through a comparison of the narrative of Eve with that of Sarah and several later biblical characters, we will note the recurrence of this difficult motif, along with signs of reexamination, and at times, reversal, of God's pronouncements in the Garden.

Speakers
avatar for Judy Klitsner

Judy Klitsner

Judy Klitsner is a senior educator at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies; is the founding board chair of Sacred Spaces, an organization that addresses abuses of power in Jewish institutions; and is author of Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 3:10pm - 4:10pm
M-KI Sanctuary 384 Harvard Campus

3:10pm

Lilith: Recovery of an Ancient Israelite Demoness
Legends and midrashim about Lilith are a fascinating entry into the demonic underbelly of early Jewish mythology. Her contemporary reclamation testifies to the way each generation infuses ancient traditions with new meaning. We'll explore the primary texts of her legend and their meaning for today.

Speakers
avatar for Neal Gold

Neal Gold

Rabbi, Babson College
Neal Gold, a rabbi, teaches for Me 'ah, a Hebrew College program, and serves as Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College. He is currently President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis.


Sunday November 17, 2019 3:10pm - 4:10pm
G-11 384 Harvard Campus

4:20pm

Tekiah: Waking My Soul From A Deep Slumber
In this session we will explore our spirituality though original holiday songs. We will awaken our souls, evoke our fragility, encounter divinity and more.

Speakers
avatar for Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz is a Jewish composer, performer, and founder & director of the Kingston Jewish Choir. Her music has been described as nourishing, inspiring, & healing. A Family Physician and psychotherapist, Ros believes music and medicine flow from the same healing source.


Sunday November 17, 2019 4:20pm - 5:20pm
U-Mishkan Tefila Sanctuary 384 Harvard Campus

4:20pm

The Endangered Daughter: Bat Yiftah in Bible and Midrash
In the father-daughter stories of the Hebrew Bible, almost all the female figures meet a tragic fate. Where home should promise protection and comfort, it harbors menace for the daughter when the boundary of home is crossed. This session entails a close study of the story of Jephthah's daughter as an example of the father-daughter paradigm.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Adelman

Rachel Adelman

Hebrew College
Rachel Adelman (Ph.D. Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is currently an associate professor of Hebrew Bible in the rabbinical program at Hebrew College in Boston. She published two books and when not writing articles, or divrei torah, it is poetry that flows from her pen.



Sunday November 17, 2019 4:20pm - 5:20pm
M-04 384 Harvard Campus

4:20pm

The Jewish Road to Character: The Study and Practice of Mussar as a Jewish Spiritual Path for Our Times
In our confusing time, many in our Jewish community seek to a greater sense of grounding in core values and ideas to guide, uplift and inspire us to become the best persons we can be. We will explore the ancient tradition of Mussar as an authentic Jewish spiritual path for our times, and our lives.

Speakers
EG

Eric Gurvis

Eric Gurvis, rabbi, was ordained at HUC-JIR and has served congregations in NYC; Jackson, MS; Teaneck, NJ; and Newton, MA. He is currently rabbi of Shaarei Shalom in Ashland, MA. Eric also works with The Mussar Institute directing the CHAVERIM Initiative and facilitates Mussar groups... Read More →


Sunday November 17, 2019 4:20pm - 5:20pm
G-07 384 Harvard Campus