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Limmud Toronto 2021
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Sunday, November 21
 

10:00am EST

When Klezmer Met Jazz
We will explore the history of Klezmer music as it developed and moved from Europe to America. After Klezmer music settled and percolated in America, we will review its remarkable rise and fall from popularity. We will then review Klezmer music's revival from near extinction, in the 70's. The presentation includes power point slides with images and historical video clips.

Speakers
avatar for Allan Cheskes

Allan Cheskes

I am retired from Public Accounting, and am now a part-time instructor at Seneca College and consultant. I am also very much invested in my own personal interests which includes music and Jewish studies and history. As such, I have prepared a course called Jewish American Influence... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
A

10:00am EST

The Morro Castle Disaster of 1934 and the Life and Death of Eva Hoffman
In a small Jewish cemetery in London, Ontario, the 1934 tombstone of Eva Hoffman reads that she died "due to the Morro Castle." Significantly, Eva was the only Canadian passenger to perish in this September 8 1934 maritime disaster in New Jersey, one of the worst in American history. This presentation will show how this accomplished young woman, born and raised in London's closely-knit Jewish community, came to be on this ill-fated ship and will reveal how Jewish perceptions and rituals played an important role in how the tragedy and Eva were memorialized.

Speakers
avatar for Sonia Halpern

Sonia Halpern

Sonia Halpern is an Art Historian and a multi-award winning professor at Western University. Along with publishing academic articles, two collections of poetry, and a book of original music compositions, she has appeared in many local theatrical productions, and is a regular contributor... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
D

10:00am EST

Little Synagogue on the Prairie: Jewish Farming Colonies in Western Canada
Early Jewish settlement in Canada took place mostly in urban communities in Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg. But did you know that dozens of Jewish farming colonies were established in Western Canada between the 1880s and the early 20th century? This presentation will delve into the surprising history of Jewish farmers in Canada and explore questions like: Why did some colonies thrive and others fail? To what extent were the colonists able to maintain their cultural and religious traditions? And how did the colonists interact with local Indigenous populations and non-Jewish settlers?

Speakers
avatar for Hannah Blazer

Hannah Blazer

Hannah is Chair of the Toronto Board of the United Jewish People’s Order, an organization her family has been a part of for four generations. She has been an active member of IfNotNow Toronto since 2017, and was in the 2020 cohort of JOIN for Justice’s “Don’t Kvetch, Organize... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
F

10:00am EST

How to Start a Jewish Childcare Co-op
“Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are older, they will not depart from it.” The trouble is many families in Canada cannot afford childcare or have to wait years on wait-lists. Similarly, many Jewish families cannot access formal Jewish educational institutions for a variety of reasons. Governments and community funders have made important investments in the past few years but a lot of work remains to be done. If you are currently in need of childcare, think you will be in the near future, or are just curious about how to create more Jewish educational opportunities, this workshop is for you! Childcare co-ops are some of the oldest co-ops in Ontario and offer parents the opportunity to come together in community to meet their personal and collective needs, shape an education that resonates with their values, and create more childcare spaces for others.
In this workshop, we will review the basic legal, organizational, and financial steps to start a distinctly Jewish childcare co-op. We will review how to determine whether it is right for you, and some of the unique advantages and challenges involved in providing childcare in this way.

Speakers
avatar for Benjamin Miller

Benjamin Miller

Since 2017, Benjamin Miller has been helped hundreds of individuals start and run small to medium size nonprofits by providing legal information and training with Community Legal Education Ontario. He has assisted the Ontario Nonprofit Network advocate for fairer funding practices... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
E

10:00am EST

Jewish Surnames and Name Changing Around the World: Diversity and Unity
What makes a family name Jewish? Did immigrants change their names at Ellis Island? This session answers these and many more questions about Jewish family names. Participants will learn the origins and meanings of patronymic (father-based) surnames like Abramovitch, Isaacs, and Yaghobian; geographic names like Ashkenazi, Dardashti, and Shapiro; and profession names like Hakim, Melamed, and Fingerhut. They will learn about Jews changing their family names in the 20th century, especially in the United States. They will come away with an understanding of the cultural diversity and unity of the Jewish Diaspora.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Benor

Sarah Benor

Sarah Bunin Benor is Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California Linguistics Department. She received her B.A. from Columbia University in Comparative Literature in 1997... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
G

10:00am EST

The Trial of Leo M. Frank - Antisemitism Georgia-style in 1913
1906 in the southern United States brought with it the Atlanta Race Riots. Incensed by scandalous (and likely false) accounts of four rapes of white women by black men, thousands of white Atlantans rioted and targeted black businesses, homes, and people. And so, when 7 years later 17 year old Grace Hicks’ white body was found in an Atlanta pencil factory, the police – the entire police force was white at that time – did what they generally did in Georgi … they arrested a Negro. Within a week over 200 people were questioned, often held for long periods of time, shackled and beaten. When they couldn’t find enough evidence to bring anyone to trial the police looked elsewhere – and put the Jewish superintendent of the factory – Leo M. Frank - on trial. Some say that perhaps no 20th century trial had more far-reaching effects on American society. Now largely forgotten, in its day it was on everyone’s lips from coast to coast and from quiet streets into the Oval Office. Come hear the story of this heinous trial and find out what lasting effect it has had.

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 the University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, York University, and Queen’s University. She has presented lectures from her Great... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
C

10:00am EST

Goldilocks and the Three Orthodoxies: Traditional Responses to Same-Sex Relationships
Goldilocks and the Three Orthodoxies: Traditional Responses to Same-Sex Relationships

Orthodoxy is arguably the most diverse of the contemporary Jewish denominations. While the Orthodox response to homosexuality has at times seemed univocal, in fact the record demonstrates much variety. On the basis of contemporary documents and alongside an Eshel Survey of 210 Orthodox rabbis, Rabbi Steve Greenberg will offer three distinctive portrayals offered by Orthodox rabbis to this challenging new set of human realities.

Speakers
avatar for Steven Greenberg

Steven Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is an Orthodox ordained educator, writer and speaker who has led the call for LGBTQ inclusion in the Orthodox world.  He is the author of the award winning book, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, (University of Wisconsin Press... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
B

10:00am EST

What’s so Jewish about political engagement and why should I care?
Do you know the percentage of the Canadian population made up by the Jewish community? What about our impact at the ballot box? Do you care about the leadership of our country but don’t know how to make an impact? Join CJPAC, the political engagement people, for a session where we will explore the values of community, responsibility, and peoplehood as it relates to political engagement. We will learn about what our tradition says about being involved in our community and in the political process and discuss our responsibility as a Jewish community to get politically engaged!

Speakers
avatar for Vanessa Fhima

Vanessa Fhima

Vanessa Fhima is an attorney and received her law degree from the University of Montreal. She has extensive experience in law & management in the private and not-for-profit sectors She has practiced as a litigator at Simon & Associés for nearly ten years and was later the General... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
J

10:00am EST

Advancement or Dissonance? A look at 25 years of Orthodox Feminism
In 1997, a group of women led by Blu Greenberg, gathered to imagine, plan and execute the first ever International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy in New York City. With over 1000 people in attendance, this conference galvanized the community and lead to the creation of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA). Now entering its 25th year, what changes, developments and growth opportunities emerged as a result of this historic gathering?

This conversation will highlight the growth of the prolific educational opportunities of higher Jewish learning for Orthodox women, women’s deeper engagement in synagogue and ritual life, and the groundbreaking leadership roles for women in Orthodox communities that were developed over the last two decades.

What have we learned? What are the opportunities? What were some of the challenges that had to be (and still have to be) overcome? And where do we go from here?

Speakers
avatar for Daphne Lazar Price

Daphne Lazar Price

In February 2019, Daphne stepped into the role of Executive Director at the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) after years of experience in the Jewish non-profit world.  She has partnered extensively with lay leaders and professionals. Daphne worked at the Religious Action... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EST
H

11:00am EST

Haftarah through Art
Some of the most exciting Jewish stories are told in the haftarah (Bible portions read at synagogue each week). Laya Crust has just written and illustrated a book that brings those stories and Jewish history to life. Laya studied Jewish cultural art history and researched Renaissance and medieval manuscripts, ancient mosaics, murals, and early documents. She enlivens the Bible stories by weaving the stories of the images and artists into the narrative.

Come to this exciting presentation and learn about Isaiah and the Jewish cartographer who changed navigational maps forever; the Holocaust survivor who unknowingly illustrated a haggadah for a seder in 1945 Berlin, and how king Solomon's portrait ended up in a deck of cards.

Whether or not you are familiar with art or with Bible stories, you will see the original images and hear anecdotes, all of which are in Laya Crust's upcoming book, "Illuminations- An Exploration of Haftarah Through Art and History."

Speakers
avatar for Laya Crust

Laya Crust

Renowned artist, scribe, and speaker, Laya Crust fascinates audiences with her deep knowledge of manuscript art, Jewish liturgy, and Jewish art illumination. Her distinct way of weaving together biblical text, history, and ancient art offers awareness of the past while relating it... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
C

11:00am EST

Kvetching with Niv Mag: a discussion on new Jewish media!
Niv (which means expression in Hebrew) is an independent, not-for-profit online magazine, focusing on Jewish culture and creative work in Canada and abroad. Niv fosters a platform for the Jewish perspective, in all its diverse, pluralistic, and ever-changing forms of expression. It’s been a year since we launched and we want to share our experience with you! Niv was founded because there is a lack of inclusive Jewish publications in Canada geared towards a younger audience (but our magazine is enjoyed and has contributors of all ages). We want to hold an open forum and lead a discussion on what the future of Jewish media can be while giving insight into our process: from conducting interviews, to putting together an issue, to even our digital experience. New Jewish media in Canada does exist and it can be actualized; let us show you how!

Speakers
avatar for Clarrie Feinstein

Clarrie Feinstein

Orly and Clarrie are the co-founders of Niv. Orly is a writer, set designer, costume designer, and multi-disciplinary artist. She has worked in the independent Toronto theatre and film community, and is a publishing assistant at Brick, A Literary Journal. Clarrie is a writer and journalist... Read More →
avatar for Orly Zebak

Orly Zebak

Orly and Clarrie are the co-founders of Niv. Orly is a writer, set designer, costume designer, and multi-disciplinary artist. She has worked in the independent Toronto theatre and film community, and is a publishing assistant at Brick, A Literary Journal. Clarrie is a writer and... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
D

11:00am EST

Beyond Kosher: Jewish Ethics and What We Eat
What’s Jewish about the way we eat? Using the laws of kashrut as our guiding framework, we’ll explore veg living in a Jewish context within a modern, industrialized world. What do our sacred texts have to teach us about animal rights, environmental stewardship, personal and public health, food justice? Learn how changing our food system is an essential component of tikkun olam, repairing the world, and what we each can do to make a change.

Speakers
avatar for Sara Eifler

Sara Eifler

Sara Eifler is the Program Director of Jewish Veg, a national nonprofit that inspires and assists Jews to adopt plant-based diets as an expression of Jewish values. She holds a BA from Brandeis University and is a current rabbinic student at ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Sara... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
E

11:00am EST

Did Maimonides Direct His Prayers Toward Jerusalem or Athens?
Our central question pertains to what prayer accomplishes and what are its functions in Jewish thought according to Maimonides. What are the elements of Tefillah that make it relevant for the Jewish practitioner as well as the Jewish philosopher? How does Maimonides envision formal prayer in the schema of his commandments as well as his philosophical system? How does all this relate to me?

Speakers
avatar for Raffi Sotto

Raffi Sotto

Growing up in Toronto, Raffi attended Or Chaim, went off to Israel, and returned to complete a BA in psychology at York University. Raffi then pursued a MA in Jewish Education at Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Raffi is recently completed an MA in Jewish Studies at... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
G

11:00am EST

How We Choose and Why It Matters: Understanding Our Biases
How we make choices affects an incredible variety of Jewish organizational processes, from choosing a synagogue or school for our families to the selection of candidates for boards, rabbinic positions or even volunteer committees. What goes into making these choices? What's our thought process....and why does this matter? Biases are natural--we all have them. We even stereotype--even when we might be stereotyped ourselves. In order to understand these biases and stereotypes, and work around them, we must get to know ourselves and how they affect our choices, and consider how these cognitive shortcuts may affect our engagement in Jewish life. How do you choose? Join us to choose better by understanding how implicit bias affects your thinking as you make important choices both personally, professionally and as volunteers, and how we might be able to design work-arounds to enable our choices to be most useful and effective. We'll consider this in a variety of contexts so that you can take this and apply it to whatever choices feel important and relevant to YOU.

Speakers
avatar for Sara Shapiro-Plevan

Sara Shapiro-Plevan

Sara Shapiro-Plevan is all about relationships. Her essential focus: understanding the way relationships influence our ability to improve our practice, understand our work, and engage effectively with others as we build sustainable networks, communities, and workplaces. She is the... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
J

11:00am EST

"YHWH" ("Lord" or "Breath of Life"?), & the Climate Crisis
The "Name" of God is a way of describing our understanding of the nature of the world. Does "Adonai/Lord" fit our best vision? Would seeing YHWH as Breath-of-Life, Ruach Ha'Olam, change our ability to deal with issues like the climate crisis?

Speakers
avatar for Arthur Ocean Waskow

Arthur Ocean Waskow

Founder (1983) & director, The Shalom Center. Co-founder, Natl Havurah Inst., ALEPH:Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Truah: Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Author, co-author, or editor of 28 books, incl original Freedom Seder, Seasons off Our Joy, Godwrestling -- Round 2, Dancing in God's... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
A

11:00am EST

Advocacy Against Child Sexual Abuse
Content warning: sexual abuse; child abuse.

As an adolescent, Manny Waks was sexually abused at the religious school he attended.
In 2011 Manny went public about his experiences and attempted to hold his abusers, and the institutions that had covered up and enabled their abuse, accountable for their crimes. In this presentation, Manny will share his personal story of abuse, and his fights through the legal system and the powerful code of stigma and silence in Australia's Orthodox community, to pursue justice.

Manny is the founder of VOICSA: Voice Against Child Sexual Abuse (https://www.voicsa.org) and will describe the important work and advocacy that his organization performs around the world, and discuss the ongoing struggles and opposition encountered as a victim advocate across Jewish communities.

Speakers
avatar for Manny Waks

Manny Waks

Manny is an advocate and public speaker, currently working on global consultancy projects addressing the issue of child sexual abuse. Manny is a sought-after speaker and consultant who has presented internationally in various settings on a number of topics such as his personal and... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
F

11:00am EST

Women Who Built Israel: The Rescuers
After last year’s presentation about four amazing women who built the State of Israel, Peta will introduce you to another four remarkable women whose contributions have been at the most fundamental level of state-building – building the population. These rescuers have brought Jews home from the four corners of the earth, taking personal risks for the love of the Jewish people and the vision of Israel as a safe haven and Land of freedom and opportunity.

Speakers
avatar for Peta Pellach

Peta Pellach

Educator and activist in Jerusalem. Made Aliyah in 2010 after a career in Jewish education, including being part of the team that created the first Limmud outside the UK,  Limmud-Oz (Sydney, Australia 1999). Currently Senior Fellow, Kiverstein Institute (“Proudly Feminist... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
B

11:00am EST

Hosting, Helping, Mentoring, & Managing: American Jewish Female Leaders
In today’s world, we are painfully aware of the many barriers to leadership faced by women for millennia. And yet, we know that women have profoundly impacted society in countless ways. This session will examine both conventional and unconventional female trailblazers in Jewish life and reflect on the impact of gender on their leadership.

Speakers
avatar for Shuly Rubin Schwartz 

Shuly Rubin Schwartz 

Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Irving Lehrman Research Professor of American Jewish History, a groundbreaking scholar of American Jewish history, and a visionary institutional leader, is the eighth chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the first woman to serve in this role... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
I

12:00pm EST

Everything I Love, Fried.
A special Limmud edition of 'Building The Jewish& Cookbook', a program that seeks to highlight dishes and stories from people in and of Jewish& (interfaith / multicultural / mixed heritage) homes, as a way of celebrating Jewish diversity and building community. Join Lauren of Jewish& at the Miles Nadal JCC and her husband Kevin as they fry up some "Okonomilatkees', a mash-up of okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake) and traditional potato latkes for Chanukah. Okonomiyaki is a popular street food from Osaka, made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, and your choice of protein, and topped with a variety of condiments. Feel free to grab a grater and cook along!

Speakers
avatar for Lauren Schreiber Sasaki

Lauren Schreiber Sasaki

Lauren Schreiber Sasaki is the Jewish Life programmer at The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Center in downtown Toronto, and the coordinator of their Jewish& program, which seeks to explicitly gather and support multi-faith, multicultural and mixed heritage Jewish folks and families... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
B

12:00pm EST

The Talmud, Astrology and Free Will
For centuries, Jewish tradition has had a complex relationship with the influence of astrology on our lives. The Talmud, and the great commentator Rashi devoted considerable attention to this topic, referring in particular to the connection between astrology and destinies of major biblical characters, in particular Abraham.

In this session, we will explore what the Talmud and Rashi have to say about the influence of the stars, planets and constellations, and how Jewish tradition struggles to balance how much of our lives is predestined, and how much is subject to free will.

Speakers
avatar for Irwin Huberman

Irwin Huberman

Rabbi Irwin Huberman is a Montreal born rabbi and teacher, and has served since 2006 as spiritual leader of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove, New York.  He is a former newspaper publisher, and communications director for both Ontario Environment and Alberta Environment... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
J

12:00pm EST

Experience with the 21% Israeli Arabs
Israel is a diverse country. Compare the 21% Arab citizens as similarly numerically as the 23% French-speaking Canadians. Each country has two main languages, cultures, differing religions, ethnic origins, and different versions of the same history.

Despite strife in Israel, people have much in common. Strife existed in Canada, yet we live well in a Confederation, recovered from terrorism, bombings, political murder, kidnappings, martial law, mass arrests without charges for most, in October 1970.

In Israel's north, where I spent most time, the ratio of Arabs:Jews is closer to 50:50. Successes for Israeli Arabs mount annually. Societal and governmental discrimination exists and there are many NGOs that work hard to enhance equality.

Mixed schools see Jewish and Arab kids learning together from JK-12. Hand-in-Hand Schools, https://handinhandk12.org. Both sides are friends, have respect, speak both languages, do sleepovers, and get high-level education. They lack something big of life: they do not learn abject fear common to Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Qfar Qara Arab town houses a Hand-in-Hand School and is the municipality in Israel with the highest proportion of professionals, especially doctors, in all of Israel, more than Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other places.

Speakers
avatar for Allan Fox

Allan Fox

I have been engaged as for 56 years as a volunteer in Israel, lecturer in my professional medical field, and volunteering in my specialty mainly at Rambam Hospital 18 two-week times from 2003-2015. I speak Hebrew and studied some Arabic.I love the style of Israel and appreciate the... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
A

12:00pm EST

Divine Justice
The world is full of so much pain. How does non-Orthodox Judaism grapple with divine justice, with questions of good and evil? In this talk, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, head of the Reconstructionist movement, will point to some answers from a progressive perspective.


THE FIRST WOMAN RABBI to head a Jewish congregational union and a Jewish seminary, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., became president and chief executive officer of Reconstructing Judaism in 2014.Since then, she has drawn on her training as a rabbi and historian to be the Reconstructionist movement’s leading voice in the public square.

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Deborah Waxman

Rabbi Deborah Waxman

THE FIRST WOMAN RABBI to head a Jewish congregational union and a Jewish seminary, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., became president and chief executive officer of Reconstructing Judaism in 2014. Reconstructing Judaism is the central organization of the Reconstructionist Movement. She... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
I

12:00pm EST

Traveling the Road of Tshuva
This talk will cover the importance of Tshuva in the Jewish Tradition, my personal journey from prison to my current life in Israel, and how the lessons we learn from Tshuva can be used to not only to help us get back on track after we make a mistake, but can also help us turn any negative situation we encounter into an opportunity for growth.

Speakers
avatar for David Ben Moshe

David Ben Moshe

David Ben Moshe is an inspirational speaker and expert fitness coach whose life is a testament to the power of positive change. While serving a prison sentence for selling drugs and guns he decided to build a better life. After his release he underwent an Orthodox Jewish Conversion... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
H

12:00pm EST

A Jewish Journey in the White House and Beyond
After years as a political speechwriter – serving as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama, a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama, and chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton on her 2008 presidential campaign – Sarah Hurwitz decided to apply her communication skills to writing a book…about Judaism. And no one is more surprised than she is. Sarah was the quintessential lapsed Jew—until, at age 36, on a whim, she attended an introduction to Judaism class and was blown away by what she found: beautiful holidays and rituals, high ethical standards, conceptions of God beyond the judgy bearded man in the sky – none of which she had learned in Hebrew school or during the two synagogue services she grudgingly attended each year. That class led to a years-long dive into Jewish study, which continues to this day. In a wide-ranging interview, Sarah Hurwitz will discuss her book, Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There), and she will also share stories from her time at the White House.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Hurwitz

Sarah Hurwitz

From 2009 to 2017, Sarah Hurwitz served as a White House speechwriter, first as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. Prior to working in the White House, she was the chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton on... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
D

12:00pm EST

"That's My Sipur": Jewish Literature and Multilingualism
Until fairly recently, the majority of Jews spoke, thought and wrote in more than one language. Since the late nineteenth century, the development of modern Jewish literature, especially in Hebrew and Yiddish, was in many ways defined by multilingual tensions. Today, however, Jews are increasingly monolingual, and rely on translation to gain access to Jewish heritage languages. So what does it mean to raise a multilingual Jewish child today? In this lecture, literary history intersects with personal anecdotes to explore the past, present and future of Jewish multilingualism.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Seelig

Rachel Seelig

Rachel Seelig is a literary scholar, teacher and writer based in Toronto. Her research focuses on migration, multilingualism, and cross-cultural exchange in German, Hebrew, and Yiddish literatures. She is the author of  'Strangers in Berlin: Modern Jewish Literature between East... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
C

12:00pm EST

Sex, Drugs and Fermented Seal Flipper - Harm Reduction in Jewish Public Health Ethics
When is it acceptable for a Bayt Din to pay for prostitutes? Are Overdose Prevention Sites permissible or obligatory in Jewish Law? Should the HPV vaccine be offered to all religious groups in Israel? Which takes precedence, human lives or critically important cultural practices? This session will draw from the presenter’s experience as a public health specialist and ethicist in Nunavut, London and York to explore the halachic perspectives on the philosophy and practice of harm reduction.

Speakers
avatar for Barry Pakes

Barry Pakes

Barry Pakes is a Public Health specialist physician based in Toronto, currently working in the York Region COVID-19 Response.He is assistant professor and the Program Director of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
E

12:00pm EST

Zionism in seventeenth century philosophy?
The classic story of the foundations of the modern Jewish state starts in the nineteenth century, with Herzl and others of his time. Yet long before Jewish thinkers advocated for the possibility of a physical homeland that would protect the Jews from hatred and allow them to thrive culturally and religiously, modern philosophers raised the idea of a modern Jewish state. My presentation will offer insights into the early-modern discussion of the Jews in the founding theory of the modern state, and will ask what difference it makes to us today, if the modern world of states was imagined from the onset - by Christian theorists in the Christian world - of having a state for the Jews.

Speakers
avatar for Meirav Jones

Meirav Jones

Meirav Jones is a political theorist by training and an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University. She moved to Toronto with her family in August 2020. Her work focuses on the intersection between perceptions of Jews, Jewish texts and modernity, and she teaches... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
G

12:00pm EST

Jewish meditation to heal the world
I’m going to give a workshop in Jewish meditation._x000b_Meditation is the technique and also the state of mind through which we connect life into their original flourishing nature. The original nature of the mind is coming from silence and rest in silence. as such it can cause no harm. While suffering from over stress or over control we weekend ourselves. Covid 19 just like any other disease, is then can easily take a too strong and unstoppable govern over our life. _x000b__x000b_How to use awareness in a simple an effective way, in order to connect us back to our natural strength? In the workshop we will practise together a few intuitive exercises, and you will experience the immediate relief, even if you’ve never meditated before. It’s going to be fascinating and fun._x000b__x000b_We are going to practise two levels of meditation. One is for each participant personally and the other is to heal the world. Both techniques will relay on phrases from the bible and our free imagination._x000b__x000b_Practising meditation for many years in different traditions, I came to know that the Jewish tradition has powerful and inherent ability to help humanity in connecting the sacred realm and everyday’s life. God creates life through words. How can we use words too, to balance life and encourage healthy flow?_x000b_In the workshop I wish to share knowledge that can be used by the participants for many years to come._x000b_Thank you.

Speakers
avatar for Tami Yaari Or

Tami Yaari Or

I was born in 1973 in Israel and I live in Israel/ Bulgaria 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... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
F

1:00pm EST

Berlin 28, Paris 36, Jerusalem 61. A “Golden Age Travel” Zoom teleplay
Yehuda HaLevi, 12th century Hebrew poet and Arabic philosopher, is a spy for Rambam Maimonides' “Future Prophets” project, Cairo 1199. Keen to recruit German Jews to his team, Rambam sends Halevi on a mission to Weimar Jewry’s Golden Age, at its peak, Berlin 1928; in exile, 1936 Paris; and in Jerusalem, 1961. Two star candidates are friends: literary critic, Walter Benjamin (who, in September 1940, having failed to escape France and the Nazis, committed suicide); and political philosopher and first-wave feminist, Hannah Arendt, who escaped France to New York, where she had a long, productive, controversial career.

Since German Jews are in Unknown Future, HaLevi engages historian Izzy Zimmerman from Toronto 2021 to help. Izzy convinces his old Brandeis University rock-bandmates to assume identities of Benjamin, Arendt and Company, on a history mission. But it’s also a mission to bring dejected Walter Benjamin consolation, since in the future his work achieves fame.
Arendt is on trial, Court of History Public Opinion, for her judgment, in Eichmann in Jerusalem, and for forgiving Martin Heidegger, her ex-lover German Philosophy Prof turned Nazi.

12th century Then explores unknown Jewish Futures; 21st century Now reconsiders a famous Jewish Past in light of the Present.

Speakers
avatar for Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin

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 21, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
E

1:00pm EST

The Burning Bush
THE BURNING BUSH

This performance of original songs is the core of a new musical about the life of Moses, featuring old stories seen through a new lens.

Songs include:

Moses' Two Mamas - The First Open Adoption!
Batya discovers Moses in the Sea of Reeds, watched over by his sister Miriam

A Lump of Coal, A Lump of Gold
Baby Moses faces a life-and-death test, which explains the origin of his life-long stutter

Miriam's Hug
Miriam gives a gift to her little brother Moses, as she and her mother drop him off at the palace of the Princess of Egypt, to start a new phase in his life

The Burning Bush
Moses encounters The Divine Presence, and faces his call to leadership

Foot Forward
Nachshon Ben Aminidav stands at the shore of the Red Sea and solves an impossible problem

My Heart Will Still Be Free
"You can bind my feet and hands, steal my labour and my lands, cast me into slavery, but my heart will still be free."

Speakers
avatar for Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz

Ros Schwartz is a Jewish composer and performer whose work has been published and performed around the world.  Her CD “Singing Through The Night” has been described as nourishing, inspiring, & healing. She has an extensive catalogue of music, for both adults and children, and... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
B

1:00pm EST

Film and Q & A: "Commandment 613: A Sacred Craft"
Screening of a new 23-minute documentary by Miriam Lewin. Rabbi Kevin Hale joyfully practices the sacred craft of Torah restoration as he repairs scrolls that are hundreds of years old, rewriting sections of them when necessary. The film focuses on his work with torah scrolls saved in Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. These 1,564 scrolls now belong to the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London, which lends them to communities around the world. As Rabbi Hale’s scribal work takes him to two of these communities, he reflects on his own path to faith and practice. Film will be followed with a discussion with R Hale and Filmmaker Lewin

Speakers
avatar for Kevin Hale

Kevin Hale

Rabbi Hale is a Sofer STaM, a traditionally trained Torah scribe. Following  in the footsteps of his teacher, master scribe Rabbi Dr. Eric Ray (1926-2005),  his work includes evaluating and restoring Torah scrolls, writing megillot and mezuzot, and teaching about Judaism’s sacred... Read More →
avatar for Miriam Lewin

Miriam Lewin

Miriam Lewin, producer/director of “Commandment 613,” has made documentary shorts on topics ranging from teaching the arts to housing discrimination. She also writes and produces radio programs on classical music, including a series of Jewish holiday specials hosted by violinist... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
C

1:00pm EST

“ALL EXISTENCE WHISPERS TO ME ITS SECRET”:THE ILLUMINATED POETRY OF RAV KOOK
“It’s the good that I desire, It’s broad expanses entrance me, ...Good for ever, good right now, Good for every people and nation."

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (1865-1935) was a being of immense illumination. As the first Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel he directed and defined the transition from the Torah of exile to the Torah of Israel and the world.. His influence on modern Israel and the Jewish world continues to grow. His wide-ranging poetry is an expression of his most elevated states of consciousness and insights. Rav Itzchak will perform a selection of these in Hebrew and English with musical accompaniment. Itzchak has presented these creatively in Israel and North America.
“A generation will awaken, And sing to beauty and to life. And draw unending delight From the dew of heaven.”

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Itzchak Evan-Shayish (Marmorstein)

Rabbi Itzchak Evan-Shayish (Marmorstein)

Rabbi Itzchak Even-Shayish  (Marmorstein) is a passionate student of the teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (1865- 1935) Itzchak is doing pioneering work in bringing Rav Kook to the public through classes, writings and creative musical and dramatic presentations in... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST
A

2:00pm EST

Religious Feminist Education – Do It Yourself!
As a modern Jewish woman, how should I read classical rabbinic texts about women? Should I read them with grace or suspicion? Should I impose modern complexities on the text, or try to walk a mile in the shoes of the ancient sages—reading the text from their perspective? Is it even possible to read historical texts without anachronism? How free should I feel to seek out strong woman predecessors to serve as models for me? These are not simply theoretical questions—they keep sleep from the eyes of feminist religious educators, who feel obligated to their tradition and who ask themselves if traditional and feminist values are mutually exclusive or if they can be contained within a single education.
The Hartman high school for girls in Jerusalem aims to be a laboratory for religious feminist education—teaching girls Torah and Talmud at a high level, teaching them to take part in public rituals and ceremonies, teaching them to be proud of and comfortable in their bodies, making them into leaders who will change the world. Join us as we explore challenges involved in teaching an ancient tradition to young, empowered women, who see traditional texts not just as sources of inspiration but also as sources of authority.

Speakers
avatar for Renana Ravitsky Pilzer

Renana Ravitsky Pilzer

Dr. Renana Ravitsky Pilzer is Educational Director of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Center for Israeli-Jewish Identity. She works to define the program’s educational direction and the integration of the Institute’s philosophical-pluralistic approach in the program’s curricula... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
J

2:00pm EST

Television and teshuva - three great excuses for watching lots of Netflix (and DVDs)
Spiritual growth can take many forms. We will explore what we can learn about teshuva (repentance) from two award-winning American tv series -- 'The West Wing' and 'Northern Exposure'. Then we will ask about the meaning of life and the nature of morality, with 'The Good Place' as our guide. No prior knowledge of philosophy required.

Speakers
avatar for Tamra Wright

Tamra Wright

Dr Tamra Wright specialises in 20th century Jewish philosophy and has published on Buber, Levinas and post-Holocaust philosophy. She is the author of The Twilight of Jewish Philosophy: Emmanuel Levinas’s Ethical Hermeneutics. Her most recent book, co-edited with Peter Atterton... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
F

2:00pm EST

Secret Recipes: Food in the Judeo-Arabic Rabbinic Tradition
The Judeo-Arabic tradition is a trove of cultural knowledge from songs, philosophy, to food. Together we will explore some Judeo-Arabic texts, and prepare one of the foods we read about together. Prepare to learn a new (old) recipe, tap into a rich segment of Jewish history, and hopefully try a tasty dish!

No cooking experience or knowledge of Judeo-Arabic required!

Speakers
avatar for Chaim Grafstein

Chaim Grafstein

Chaim Grafstein is a PhD Candidate in the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations studying Sephardi rabbinic writing. His focus is on Moroccan rabbinic writer Yosef Messas. He is also passionate about studying Judeo-Arabic, making Moroccan Jewish... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
G

2:00pm EST

Ivrit in Israel and Abroad: The Miracle and the Challenge of the Revival of Hebrew
The Hebrew language is the core of Jewish life in many ways. In this session we will explore a historical perspective of the evolution of Hebrew in Israel while examining the cultural and spiritual challenges we face and how those are reflected in the language we speak. Learn about how Hebrew serves as a performative utterance in the Torah, the Diaspora, and in relation to Zionism, as we work through the tension between the secularization and the sanctity of the Hebrew language. Explore the significance and context of new Hebrew words while thinking about Hebrew as our connector to Zionism and the Jewish people.

Speakers
avatar for Channa Pinchasi

Channa Pinchasi

Dr. Channa Pinchasi is Deputy Director of Be’eri and Director of the Be’eri School for Teacher Education at the Shalom Hartman Institute.She is a member of the inaugural graduating class of the Institute’s Maskilot program. She received her PhD in gender studies from Bar-Ilan... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
H

2:00pm EST

The Arab, the Jew and the Construction of Modernity
What is it to be a "modern" person? European Jews constructed Jewish modernity with a critical eye toward Christianity and an identification of Judaism with Islam. Arabs looked at modernity with a similarly critical eye toward Christian Europe. The Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and the Nahda (Arab Renaissance) developed during the same era and with many similar intellectual and political concerns. This session will explore both movements together in order to better understand the emergence of the modernity and the nature of modern subjectivity.

Speakers
avatar for Tarek el-Ariss

Tarek el-Ariss

Tarek El-Ariss is the James Wright Professor at Dartmouth College and Guggenheim Fellow 2021-22. He is the author of Trials of Arab Modernity: Literary Affects and the New Political (Fordham, 2013) and Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals: Arab Culture in the Digital Age (Princeton, 2019... Read More →
avatar for Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel is the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College (USA). Her scholarship focuses on German Jewish intellectual history, with a particular focus on Jewish historiography, debates between Jews and Protestants over biblical scholarship... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
C

2:00pm EST

Whats in a name: Exploration of Iraqi Jewish Identity
Sephardic, Mizrahi, Iraqi, Arab, Middle Eastern... What's in a name? These are all words that my family has identified or been identified as, yet these terms can have very different connotations and meanings. This presentation will specifically focus on the impact of history and contemporary politics on identity among the Jewish Iraqi community. I will utilize both my personal family history and academic research on the topic to reflect on the ways that Orientalism, colonialism, Zionism, modern nationalism, and geographic relocations impact identity.

Speakers
avatar for Adriana Tugg

Adriana Tugg

Adriana is a Zillennial (Millennial/Gen Z) Jew of Iraqi and Ashkenazi descent. She works in home care, as a Registered Nurse, mostly providing palliative and end of life care to clients in their homes. They enjoy Jewish learning, engaging in ritual and building grassroots Jewish community... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
B

2:00pm EST

Lessons From the Pandemic – An Interfaith Perspective
What happens when two rabbis, an imam and a bishop come together? Join us as communal religious leaders from several different faiths share the lessons they have learned from the pandemic--both the personal and communal lessons. Within these presentations we will hear our differences, but also the myriad of spiritual beliefs we have in common. The session will then open to questions from the audience that will be answered by the members of the panel.

Speakers
avatar for Yusuf Badat

Yusuf Badat

Imam Yūsuf Badāt has a passion to serve humanity and make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible. He uses his training, education and experiences to inspire people like you towards leadership and meaningful understanding of religion. Yūsuf Badāt is the founder... Read More →
avatar for Tina Grimberg

Tina Grimberg

Rabbi Tina Grimberg grew up in the Ukrainian city of Kiev. She moved to North America with her family when she was sixteen, and immediately became involved in the Jewish community of Indianapolis. While working for the rights of “refuseniks” back in the Soviet Union, she developed... Read More →
avatar for Jarrod Grover

Jarrod Grover

Rabbi Jarrod Grover serves as the senior spiritual leader and mara d'atra of Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto. A bilingual native of Montreal, Rabbi Grover received his bachelor's degree in Economics at Princeton University. His M.A. and rabbinic ordination are from the Jewish Theological... Read More →
avatar for Riscylla Shaw

Riscylla Shaw

Bishop Riscylla Shaw is the area bishop of Trent-Durham. Before becoming a bishop, Bishop Shaw was the incumbent (rector) of Christ Church, Bolton. Before that she was the incumbent of the Parish of Minden-Kinmount. She earned a Master of Divinity from Wycliffe College in 1999 and... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
D

2:00pm EST

From Gaza to Jerusalem: How to prevent the next war
This session will explore the causes and outcomes of the most May 2021 war fought between the IDF and Hamas, sharing insights about the lessons learned and a possible pathway to peace.

Speakers
avatar for Ittay Flescher

Ittay Flescher

Ittay Flescher is the Education Director at Kids4Peace Jerusalem, an interfaith movement for Israelis and Palestinians and Israel 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 21, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
I

3:00pm EST

Israeli Journalism
What is it really like to be a journalist in Israel? This presentation exploring that question will be delivered by an award-winning reporter who has lived and worked Israel for more than 25 years for the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and many foreign publications. Allison Kaplan Sommer will discuss changes in the Israeli media landscape over the years, the evolving role of foreign correspondents in the Middle East overall, pressures from the right and the left, and the tremendous impact of the internet and social media.  

Speakers
avatar for Alison Kaplan Sommer

Alison Kaplan Sommer

Allison Kaplan Sommer has been a journalist and columnist for Haaretz.com since 2012. She is the former Washington DC correspondent, feature writer and critic for The Jerusalem Post, and has written on a freelance basis for U.S. publications, including the New Republic, Politico, The Forward, Hadassah Magazine, and JTA. Originally from Rhode Island, she ea... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
F

3:00pm EST

Wrestling with Texts: Three Jewish Poets Explore Jewish Literary Traditions
Poetry has always found creative inspiration in reworking and rebelling against its inheritance. With such rich literary materials in our tradition, Jewish poets in particular have a vast reservoir of ancestral texts, both secular and sacred, to explore and adapt. Three recent collections by Toronto-based poets Alisha Kaplan, Lisa Richter, and Adam Sol engage with texts from the Tanakh, the Siddur, and Yiddish literature to create books resonant for our own time. The poets will read short excerpts from their books and then speak about ways their works address, struggle with, and pay homage to the texts that came before.

Speakers
avatar for Adam Sol, Alisha Kaplan, Lisa Richter

Adam Sol, Alisha Kaplan, Lisa Richter

Alisha Kaplan is a poet and practitioner of narrative medicine. She has an MFA in Poetry from New York University and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Barnard College. Honours she has received include the Hippocrates Prize in Poetry and Medicine, a Rona Jaffe Fellowship... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
G

3:00pm EST

Why Jew + Woman = Climate Activist
My journey: why being a Jewish woman has made me a climate activist.
I am a climate activist, because of the obligation of tikkun olam. And because, as a Jewish woman, our vulnerability is deeply personal. I will never be among those who believe “it cannot happen to me”.
The climate crisis is a Jewish issue because of our obligation to repair the world, because we are big polluters, because we have influence and therefore responsibility, because it may make Israel uninhabitable, and because it will create times of great disruption. History tells us that times of disruption are not good for Jews. Yes, I live a wonderful life, and I have a good chance of being dead before the worst arrives. But my children and my grandchildren do not.
Come hear about my journey, why you should take action now, and what options we have in the time that is left.

Speakers
avatar for Dianne Saxe

Dianne Saxe

Dianne Saxe, Ph.D. in Law, is one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers. She ran an environmental law boutique for 25 years, and was the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2015 – 2019, reporting to the Legislature on environment, energy and climate. Now heads SaxeFacts... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
A

3:00pm EST

The Mystical Body: Transforming Darkness into Light
Pain is a gateway to understanding and grief is an invitation to healing. The teachings of the Kabbalists and Hasidic Masters outline the stages of this timeless journey. Judaism has always been a lineage of people actively engaged in the physical world and day-to-day responsibilities. As such, many of our spiritual teachings involve tuning into the wisdom and potential of the physical body itself. Far from escapism, this meditative path tells us to turn inwards towards our challenges, our anxieties, and our suffering in order to begin the process of transformation, insight, and healing. By pairing these teachings with contemporary methods of body-based self-inquiry, Rabbi Matthew Ponak will articulate a Jewish path of embodied growth that is both steeped in tradition and ripe for our time. Through an exploration of texts along with a guided body-centred meditation you will get a taste for the depths of the mystical body.

Speakers
avatar for Matthew Ponak

Matthew Ponak

Rabbi Matthew Ponak is a teacher, guide, and musician. He is co-founder of Mekorah Institute, an online spiritual innovation platform that offers classes, one-on-one guidance, and refreshing new perspectives on religion and spirituality. Matthew holds an MA in Contemplative Religions... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
J

3:00pm EST

Rivkush - A Live CJN Podcast - With Dr. Susannah Heschel
In this podcast by The CJN Podcast Network, Rivkush interviews fascinating Jews from all over the world, discussing more than just diversity and identity: they’ll discuss Israel, politics, food, culture and religion, opening dialogue with the mainstream Jewish community about their views and experiences. She will be interviewing Dr. Susannah Heschel.

Speakers
avatar for Rivka Campbell

Rivka Campbell

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 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
C

3:00pm EST

Why the Two State Solution is the Only Option for a Jewish and Democratic Israel
The presentation will briefly discuss the recent history of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis (1900 to the present). It will then explore the different narratives and asymmetry of power between the two peoples that contribute to the current political impasse. It will explain why the alternatives to the two state solution would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state and will conclude with an analysis of what would be needed to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.

Speakers
avatar for Jon Allen (Ott)

Jon Allen (Ott)

Born in Winnipeg in 1950, Jon Allen (LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 1976; LL.M., International Law, University of London School of Economics, 1977) joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1981. In addition to postings abroad in Mexico City (1983-85), New Delhi (1989-92... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
D

3:00pm EST

Jewish Perspectives on Mental Health
Join this panel discussion to learn how and why mental health matters in both traditional and contemporary Judaism. The session will begin with Denise, who will lead us in an exploration into the wisdom of our teachers as it relates to mental health. We will then take you into the world of practical application as we see what Judaism has to say about the mental health of both the individual and the community. In supporting the individual, Noah Tile will take us on a journey to discover gratitude, and how we can apply it as a way of life and practice. Rabbi Torczyner will then take us outwards, in helping us understand the great power and responsibility of the community to support mental health. 

The hope is that through this session, we will come away with a deeper and more grounded approach to improving the quality of our life and relationships, with God, our community and ourselves.


Speakers
avatar for Denise Lawee

Denise Lawee

Denise Lawee works in private practise as a psychotherapist after working for more than 30 years in various agencies across Toronto. She is also a life long learner and teacher of Jewish studies. She holds a degree in Jewish Studies from University of Toronto and has been teaching... Read More →
avatar for Noah Tile

Noah Tile

Noah is a Registered Psychotherapist and Academic Coach, specializing in providing support for the unique mental health needs of the student population. His primary clinical areas of focus are on ADHD, anxiety and OCD for teenagers and adults of any age.Noah is also the co-founder... Read More →
avatar for Mordechai Torczyner

Mordechai Torczyner

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner is the Rosh Beit Midrash (dean) of Beit Midrash Zichron Dov, a resource for education which creates communities around Torah study, for Jews of all affiliations and all levels of background knowledge. Nearly 3000 of Rabbi Torczyner's classes and articles... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
H

3:00pm EST

The Power of Giving
Our first born son was born with a fatal neurodegenerative illness called Canavan Disease. Jacob wasn't able to walk, talk, see or move. We were told he wouldn't live to reach his fifth birthday. Miraculously, Jacob lived until the age of twenty-one. Jacob couldn't see, but he taught me how to see life. He couldn't speak but he taught me how to listen. He couldn't move, but he was able to move community and make change. As a teacher at a Jewish orthodox school and a member of the Jewish community of Toronto, Jacob's life lessons inspired me to see life through Jacob's eyes. This presentation will highlight the lessons learned from a Jewish lens of living a life dedicated to Tikkun Olamm and Tzeddekah. I will share many of these lessons hoping to inspire others to do the same and live their best lives.

Speakers
avatar for Ellen Schwartz

Ellen Schwartz

Ellen Schwartz is an elementary teacher, community leader, author, and public speaker. As founder of Project Give Back she links her decades of teaching together with her personal passion for charitable causes. She co-founded Jacob’s Ladder, Canadian Foundation for the Control of... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
E

3:00pm EST

The Tikkun Project: Integrating Social Action and Jewish Values into Classroom Learning
Since its establishment in 2017, the Tikkun Project has helped to shape transformative learning by bringing Critical Thinking, Jewish Values, and Hands-on Action together in classroom learning. The project’s intentional focus on creating opportunities for students to make positive change, informed by progressive Jewish ideas, has allowed transformative Social Justice learning to continue to develop and flourish inside and beyond the walls of the classroom.

Join Daniel to get a glimpse inside classrooms where teachers invite students to think critically about authentic challenges and anchor learning and action within the rich inheritance of Jewish thinking. In this session, you will learn about the three foundational lenses of the Tikkun Project and how they can be used by teachers in different schools and communities to increase student engagement and to facilitate the development of meaningful social action projects with the support of local experts and organizations. This session can support teachers and administrators in day schools, supplementary schools, summer camps and other formal and informal educational settings to enhance their existing programs and to foster student action within a context of living Jewish experiences.

Speakers
avatar for Daniel Abramson

Daniel Abramson

Daniel Abramson is the Curriculum Development Director for the Tikkun Project at The Leo Baeck Day School.  He has over 20 years of experience as a passionate Jewish educator.  He has been a teacher both inside and outside of the classroom, in formal and informal Jewish educational... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
I

4:00pm EST

From the Shadow of the Shoah to Human Rights Fighter: A Journey
Growing up on the antisemitic streets of Ottawa Canada as a child of a Holocaust survivor in the 1950s and 60s Bernie Farber learned first hand about Jew hatred. Follow him on this journey that ends up taking him to the leadership of Canada's Jewish community. Discover how his past impacted his future in his personal fight against racism and antisemitism.

Speakers
avatar for Bernie Farber

Bernie Farber

Acknowledged as one of Canada’s most accomplished NGO CEOs, Bernie Farber’s career spans more than a quarter century focused on human rights, pluralism and inter-ethnic/faith/race relations. Recognized and called upon by the courts, media and law enforcement as an expert in human... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
E

4:00pm EST

Singing our way through Torah
Topic Title: Singing our way through Torah ~ Exploring the songs in our Holy Texts
Leaders: Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen & Cantor Paula Baruch

Brief Description: An exploration of the songs that come from Torah. Rabbinic tradition identifies 10 Songs of Torah. Where are they, what are they and how do we sing them? How does song bring life to text? In this session we will look at the structure and meaning of each of these Torah ‘songs’ and share in the singing of the musical interpretations of these texts. Traditional melodies and contemporary interpretations will be explored. Singing is encouraged and expected in this session.

Speakers
avatar for Paula Baruch

Paula Baruch

Cantor Paula Baruch serves Temple Anshe Sholom, leading engaging worship and directing choirs and religious school music. Cantor Baruch holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Economics from the University of Guelph, Bachelor of Education Degree from Queen’s University, Masters... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
J

4:00pm EST

Why We Do What We Do
We will explore different ideas about why and how we relate to halakhah and theology, going through the thought of Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Rabbi Heschel

Speakers
avatar for Sofia Freudenstein

Sofia Freudenstein

Sofia Freudenstein is a first year student at Yeshivat Mahrat, the first orthodox institution to give rabbinic ordination to women. She graduated from the University of Toronto, with a double major in Jewish Studies and Philosophy. Her undergraduate thesis assessed Revelation in Modern... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
H

4:00pm EST

Newcomer Narratives: Contemporary Jewish Immigration to the GTA
The first Jewish permanent resident in Toronto arrived in 1838, making way for the growth and development of Canada’s largest and most diverse Jewish community. From 1901 to 1927, the Jewish population of Canada grew from under 17,000 to 125,000, with Ontario and Quebec each having close to 50,000 Jewish residents. It was during this period that the newly formed Canadian Jewish Congress formed the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society of Canada, which later changed its name to Jewish Immigrant Aid Services.

The Jewish community in the GTA continues to grow thanks to immigration – and may be seen as a microcosm of the global Jewish community. In recent years, JIAS Toronto has welcomed Jewish newcomers from around the world, including (but not limited to!) various republics of the Former Soviet Union, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America, Turkey, India, South Africa, Australia, and of course Israel. Join us at Limmud to meet current-day Jewish immigrants from far-flung communities and explore what drew them to GTA, some of the challenges they’ve faced, the surprises of resettlement, and how they’re connecting Jewishly!

[*Note that this panel session will feature 4 immigrants from any of the various countries... we will submit speakers/bios if/when the session is approved: India, Mexico, Brazil, France, Turkey, Russia, Israel]

Speakers
avatar for Alon Gurfel

Alon Gurfel

Alon Gurfel was born and raised in Israel and moved to the GTA in 2018 with his husband. Alon is a Registered Nurse. In Israel he worked in a major hospital, and in Canada he is bringing his skills to the community. Last summer he worked at a Jewish summer camp as the Camp Nurse and... Read More →
avatar for Elise Herzig

Elise Herzig

Elise Herzig is the Executive Director of JIAS (Jewish Immigrant Aid Services) Toronto, with 30 years of experience as a senior executive and consultant in the private and public sectors. Her lifelong Jewish community involvement includes volunteerism with organizations including... Read More →
avatar for Teresa Berkman

Teresa Berkman

Teresa Berkman is a young professional who immigrated with her husband from Mexico City to Toronto in 2012. Teresa is a proud mom of 3 kids and balances being a mother with her professional career. Teresa is an experienced Sr. Manager with 10+ years of experience leading complex projects... Read More →
avatar for Robi Bahar

Robi Bahar

Born and raised in Turkey, Robi Bahar has been an active member of various Jewish organizations in Istanbul since his childhood. (He was even one of the presenters at Limmud Turkey in 2006.)  He moved to Canada in 2017 and has benefited from JIAS programs aimed at connecting newcomers... Read More →
avatar for Deborah Bhonkar

Deborah Bhonkar

Deborah Bhonkar grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to the US to pursue her graduate studies, before immigrating to Toronto in 2017.  Deborah has an MBA and MS from New York, and has worked in marketing at companies like Unilever, Mattel, David Yurman, and American Express.  She... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
A

4:00pm EST

Jewish values and investing
What does it mean to invest responsibly as a Jew? How do we understand Jewish ethics through the lens of investing? Paula can explain the notion of responsible investing and how to feel good about your investments while doing well in a pragmatic way.

Speakers
avatar for Paula Glick

Paula Glick

Paula co-founded Honeytree Investment Management with Liz Simmie in 2018. Paula is involved in all aspects of the business including portfolio management, investment research, client service, and administration. She brings over 20 years of experience in the investment industry and... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
F

4:00pm EST

Preaching Under Pressure: Rabbi Isaac Arama before the Spanish Exile
Following broad based violence against Jews in 1391, the failure of rabbinic and intellectual leadership, and mass conversions to Catholicism, Spanish Jewry was in crisis. Rabbi Yitzhak Arama provided sermons and commentaries that sought to redefine and strengthen the faith of his embattled community. We’ll examine some of his writing and explore whether there are similarities to post-Holocaust Jewish thought.

Speakers
avatar for Baruch Frydman-Kohl

Baruch Frydman-Kohl

Baruch Frydman-Kohl is Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Tzedec Congregation and a Rabbinic Frllow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. An advocate for human rights, Israel and interfaith relations, he has led multifaith study missions to Israel and Palestine. He has advanced degrees in philosophy... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
D

4:00pm EST

Bava Qama 83b
In this presentation, we will go through as much of the daf together as time permits. On the one hand, we will stay close to the language of the text. On the other, we will allow ourselves to explore fully the meaning of what is being said.

Speakers
avatar for Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli

Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli

R. Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli lives in Hamilton, Ontario, mostly working as a Torah/tefilin/mezuzah scribe (i.e. STA"M). For the past four years, she has run the Hamilton Beit Midrash, a place where committed Jews of any gender can learn Talmud using traditional methodology, in its original... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
C

4:00pm EST

Jews, Canada and the Sense of Home
Has there ever been a better home for Jews than Canada? By certain measures, Canada might be the most socially welcoming, economically secure, and religiously tolerant country for Jews in the diaspora, past or present. A new book, No Better Home? Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging, takes this audacious question seriously, while also exploring the many contested meanings of the idea of "home." In this talk Professor David S. Koffman, a contributor to the book and its editor, discusses how the book came to be, and offers some insights on the unique characteristics and qualities of Canadian Jewry foregrounding what the Canadian experience has to teach about Jewish modernity.

Speakers
avatar for David Koffman

David Koffman

David S. Koffman is the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry, and an associate professor in the Department of History at York University, where he teaches courses on Canadian Jewish history, religion in American life, the meanings of money, genealogy as history... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
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4:00pm EST

A Torah of Allyship
What does it mean to be an ally? At this epic moment in our lives, many people are understanding for the first time the need to be active in this holy resistance, but are worried about getting it right. Allyship can feel awkward. It is hard work – sometimes uncomfortable and painful – not just because it is predicated on people being dehumanized but also because we recognize our own complicity in an unjust society. Being an ally requires an exceptional precision to take up the appropriate amount of space. That exactness can be as aspirational as it may be elusive, even for seasoned allies. This discussion, based on the book Chaver Up!, will explore allyship as spiritual practice.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Moskowitz

Mike Moskowitz

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
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4:00pm EST

How a Girl From the Suburbs Became the First Female Cantor in Jewish History
Why would an awkward little suburban girl of the 50's decide to become a cantor? In Girl Cantor, the answer is explored. Barbara Ostfeld will talk about following the sound of her own voice as its high pitch shattered a stained glass ceiling. "Little Barbi" could imagine being on the bima, wearing a black robe and singing in Hebrew, but she didn't anticipate the different kinds of ridicule that "Cantor Ostfeld" would encounter. Never would Barbara have guessed that, 40 years after her lonely ordination, female cantors would be commonplace in North American liberal synagoges. If you've ever struggled to find your voice, if you've ever dared to mouth off, Barbara's story will ring true.

Speakers
avatar for Barbara Ostfeld

Barbara Ostfeld

Barbara Ostfeld didn’t become obsessed by singing until she was two. Though she didn’t learn to ride a bike until she was twelve and never did learn to climb to the top of the rope in gym, at seventeen she innocently cracked through a stained glass ceiling and was admitted to... Read More →


Sunday November 21, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
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