Yom Limmud

San Diego's Community Day of Learning

 
The vision for Yom Limmud is to create an environment in which the community comes together to participate and celebrate Jewish education. Yom Limmud is a one-day major event, bringing together different elements of the community, including Jews and non-Jews, adult learners and educators, teens and college students.

For information, please call Ilene Tatro: 858.362.1154.
Yom Limmud Co-Chairs: Silvana Christy and Bill Friedel


2013 Yom Limmud Presenters (past event)

Session Start Time
Session Subject



KEYNOTE SPEAKER: DENNIS PRAGER

Time: Afternoon Subject: Jewish Life

Happiness is a Mitzvah
Most people believe that happiness is merely a feeling that comes over you when something good happens. Dennis Prager doesn't it see it that way. In his view happiness is a mitzvah, in the literal sense of that word — a commandment. In a talk that is utterly original, very funny and profound, Dennis explains how your life will change once you see happiness not as a choice, but an obligation.

Dennis Prager is a best-selling author, columnist and nationally syndicated radio talk show host based in Los Angeles and New York. A highly sought-after speaker and frequent news show guest, he has lectured all over the world including Europe, Asia, Israel, and Australia. His bestselling books include Think a Second Time and Happiness is a Serious Problem. His newest book, published in April 2012 and now out in paperback, is Still the Best Hope: Why American Values Must Triumph. His latest venture, Prager University, is a virtual university on the Internet with a powerful twist - all the courses are five minutes long.





DAVID EBENBACH

Time: Morning Subject: Spirituality

The Artist's Torah
The Artist's Torah is an uplifting and down-to-earth guide to the creative process, wide open to longtime artists and first-time dabblers, to people of every religious background--or none--and to every creative medium. In this book, you'll find a yearlong cycle of weekly meditations on a life lived artistically, grounded in ancient Jewish wisdom and the wisdom of artists, composers, writers, and choreographers from the past and present. You'll explore the nature of the creative process how it begins, what it's for, what it asks of you, how you work your way to truth and meaning, what you do when you get blocked, what you do when you’re done and encounter questions that will help you apply the meditations to your own life and work.





RABBI MORDECAI FINLEY, PhD

Time: Morning Subject: Spirituality

The Mystery and Metaphor of the Kol Nidrei
In this session, Rabbi Finley will lead us in a brief study of the actual Kol Nidrei service, and then describe how this fits into a larger understanding of Yom Kippur. He will demonstrate how the ideas of Yom Kippur, properly understood, can deeply enrich our own High Holy Day experience, as well us given us guidance in our own spiritual work.





RABBI REUVEN FIRESTONE, PhD

Time: Morning Subject: Jewish Life

Abraham: The First Jew, Christian, or Muslim? A Comparative Study of the Patriarch from the Perspectives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
The "Abrahamic Religions" regard Abraham as the common patriarch and the first monotheist with a deep, personal and ongoing relationship with God. About this we can all agree. But who is this person we all call Abraham? Is he really the same person? In this program we will see how the Jewish Abraham, the Christian Abraham and the Muslim Abraham are actually different personas. In each scripture he represents the quintessential believer – but each Abraham is a believer in a different faith. Texts will be provided.





DR. LAUREN GRANITE

Time: Morning Subject: Jewish Life

Diversity of Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe
Centropa, a Jewish historical institute based in Vienna, Austria, collected stories of Jewish life from over 1200 elderly Jews living in Central and Eastern Europe - and instead of using videotape we gathered and digitized their old family photographs to use in the short, multimedia films that we make to tell their stories.

We will introduce you to Katarina Loefflerova from Slovakia - when asked what she had learned from living through WWI, WWII, the Holocaust, Communism, and the fall of Communism, she paused and replied, "I learned never to give up the opportunity to take a good vacation."

Ernst Galpert will show you what it was like to grow up in one of Central Europe's centers of Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism, Mukacevo (in Czech, or Munkacs in Hungarian), a town that managed to be in five countries between 1918 and 1991: the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, interwar Czechoslovakia, wartime Hungary, the Soviet Union and today: Ukraine.

And Matilda and Breda Kalef will tell you of growing up in a Sephardic community in Belgrade. While scores of relatives were being shot and gassed, their mother, Dona Bat Kalef, fled with her two daughters to a Catholic church in Banovo Brdo. "Can you protect us?" she asked the priest. Father Andrej Tumpej did indeed save Dona and her daughters, and this film tells their story.





GLENN LEVINE, PhD

Time: Morning Subject: Jewish Life

Much More Than a "Jargon:" The Yiddish Language From its Origins to the Present Day
In this presentation Professor Levine will trace the rich and fascinating history of the Yiddish language from its origins along the Rhine River and elsewhere in Western Europe in the middle ages, through its migrations into the many regions of Eastern Europe, its refinement and blossoming as a modern European language, its near-extinction during the traumas and crimes of the 20th century, and to its status today and the revival of interest in Yiddish language and culture around the world.





DAVID EBENBACH

Time: Morning Subject: Spirituality

Guided Meditation
Guided Meditation.








SARAH ABREVAYA STEIN

Time: Morning Subject: Middle East

A Jewish Voice From Ottoman Salonica
A Jewish voice from Ottoman Salonica explores one of the world's most important Jewish centers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century--a city in which Sephardic Jews represented 60% of the urban population and in which one was more likely to hear Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) spoken on the street than any other language. We are guided through this world by the once lost memoir of Sa'adi Besalel a-Levi (1820-1903), a singer, composer, printer, and rebel, who chaffed against the constraints of his day and beautifully narrated the world he saw before him--a world he both loved and believed to be falling to pieces."





RABBI DEBORAH PRINZ

Time: Morning Subject: Jewish Life

On The Chocolate Trail
Deborah R. Prinz's book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, was published in the fall of 2012 by Jewish Lights and is already in its second printing. Rabbi Prinz lectures about chocolate and religion around the world, and the book is being used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings.

Prinz blogs at jews-onthechocolatetrail.org. She was awarded a Starkoff Fellowship and a Director's Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives as well as a Gilder Lehrman Fellowship from the Rockefeller Library to pursue this research. This project stirs age-old passions for chocolate and religion using information gathered from travel in several countries, including Belgium, Egypt, England, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. It spans several cultures, countries, centuries, and religions, exploring how faith traditions share consumption, ritual and business interests in chocolate.





MARCELLA ROSEN

Time: Afternoon Subject: Middle East

Tiny Dynamo: How One of the World's Smallest Countries Is Producing Some of Our Most Important Inventions
While everyone has been focused on the country's decades of military conflicts, Israel has quietly become the most energetic, ambitious, go-go incubator of invention the planet has ever seen. Acre-for-acre, citizen-for-citizen, no place is churning out more ideas, more products, more procedures and devices and technologies than this tiny strip of land along the Mediterranean. Israel’s life-saving, life-giving, life-enhancing creations make a positive difference every day in your life, in the lives of people you care about, and in the lives of people you’ll never meet.





RABBI RUTH SOHN

Time: Afternoon Subject: Middle East

Crossing Cairo: A Jewish Woman's Encounter with Egypt
In Crossing Cairo, Rabbi Ruth Sohn has written an exceptional account of her and her family's experiences living in Egypt. Advised not to share the fact that they are Jewish, they discover what it means to hide and then increasingly share their identity. Wondering whether it would be possible to cross the boundaries of language, culture, and religion to form real friendships and find a home among the Egyptians, Sohn takes us on a remarkable journey as she encounters the many faces of Cairo.

Throughout this probing contemplation of self and other in a world that is foreign and in many ways inimical to her own as an American Jew, Sohn shows how even the seemingly mundane events of daily life can yield unexpected discoveries.





GLENN LEVINE, PhD

Time: Morning Subject: Jewish Life

Sholem Aleichem's Tevye through the Ages: From the Yiddish Mark Twain to Fiddler on the Roof
One of the most popular and endearing characters in modern Jewish culture is Tevye, a poor milkman eking out a living and doing his best to find matches for his daughters and cope with the social and political changes of his time, the late 19th and early years of the 20th century. Yet Sholem Aleichem's beloved character is not the same Tevye in its several representations throughout the generations. In this presentation, accompanied by excerpts and film clips, Professor Levine will show how the character in the stories penned by the "Yiddish Mark Twain", the powerful portrayal by Maurice Schwartz in the 1939 Yiddish film version, and the complex world depicted in Levinson's 1971 film adaptation of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" present the audience with timeless Jewish themes, but they also eloquently channel the social, political and cultural concerns, and world views of each generation.





SARAH ABREVAYA STEIN

Time: Afternoon Subject: Middle East

Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce
In the early years of the twentieth century, ostrich feathers were more valuable a commodity, by pound, than diamonds, and Jews were the principle linchpins of a global feather industry that linked sites of supply in southern and northern Africa, the fashion houses of Paris, London, and New York, and feather warehouses, auction houses, and manufacturers the world over. This talk considers why Jews gravitated to the global trade in plumes, and how they weathered the fantastic feather boom and bust of the early twentieth century.




CYNTHIA CAPERS

Time: Morning Subject: Educator Sessions

EDUCATOR SESSION: Implementing "All Behaviors Count" in School Settings
Start your school year off prepared to handle issues related to bullying and other socially cruel behaviors with this workshop to learn about Holocaust Museum Houston's "All Behaviors Count" program.





RABBI ELLIOT DORFF, PhD

Time: Afternoon Subject: Current Events & Issues

God without Ethics, Ethics without God
Why do we find people who claim to be religious but who regularly justify their own immoral behavior and that of others to be self-contradictory at best and duplicitous at worst? At the same time, why do we presume that there is some connection between religion and ethics? Specifically, what are the ways in which religion actually makes moral thinking and behavior harder to achieve, and what are the ways in which religion contributes to moral thinking and behavior?





RABBI REUVEN FIRESTONE, PhD

Time: Afternoon Subject: Current Events & Issues

Islam and Suicide Bombings: How the Forbidden Became Acceptable
Islam forbids suicide and forbids the killing of non-combatants. Then how can it be possible that some authoritative Muslim religious authorities authorize suicide bombings? In this program we will read the Qur'an and Islamic tradition through the eyes of Muslim commentators and observe the process by which certain fatwas (religious pronouncements) have been made to authorize what has always been forbidden by normative Islam. Texts will be provided.





RABBI MORDECAI FINLEY, PhD

Time: Morning Subject: Educator Sessions

EDUCATOR SESSION: Yom Kippur Liturgy
In this study session, Rabbi Finley will define what he means by Jewish spirituality (a term notorious for its vagueness), and how liturgy can be used as a spiritual path toward human wholeness and realization.

Those attending will be introduced or advanced in their own use of liturgy for spiritual growth, as well as pedagogy for teaching others.





CYNTHIA CAPERS

Time: Afternoon Subject: Current Events & Issues

Parent/Teen Seminar: All Behaviors Count: Stop Social Cruelty, Starting Here
Every day, 160,000 American students skip school to avoid being bullied. All Behaviors Count is a program created by HMH (Holocaust Museum Houston) to address the five types of social cruelty (taunting, exclusion, rumoring, ganging up and bullying) in today's society, particularly among young people. Through the use of the web-based platform, which includes Holocaust survivor testimony and contemporary media, this program is designed to create meaningful change in our schools and community.





RABBI ELLIOT DORFF, PhD

Time: Afternoon Subject: Current Events & Issues

Contemporary Issues in Jewish Bioethics
In this session we will first explore how one might apply the Jewish tradition to new developments in bioethics that our ancestors never dreamed of, let alone dealt with, and then we will discuss what contemporary rabbis and ethicists have said about some of these new developments: cloning, stem-cell research, biologically engineered foods, genetic testing and genetic engineering in humans.





DR. LAUREN GRANITE

Time: Afternoon Subject: Educator Sessions

EDUCATOR SESSION: A Taste of Centropa
Centropa, a Jewish historical institute based in Vienna, interviewed over 1200 elderly Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, asking them to tell us their entire life stories as they showed us their old family photographs. We didn’t use video tape, but we did digitize the photos – so our resources tell of how Jews fell in love, the sports they played, where they vacationed, how they survived the war and how they rebuilt their lives after the war.

In this session, you will learn about Centropa's resources and innovative ways for engaging students in discussions of Jewish values, Jewish identity and Jewish history - whether in the classroom, adult education courses or family education programs. Centropa's photograph and interview databases, short films and lessons for teachers can all be found at centropa.org, and are free of charge. Come to this session to learn how to bring 20th century history to life for your 21st century students.





RABBI DEBORAH PRINZ

Time: Afternoon Subject: Educator Sessions

EDUCATOR SESSION: Dip Your Class Into Chocolate!
Explore three lesson plans to tantalize your students with tidbits about Jews and chocolate. Use the material to teach about Chanukah or Pesach, about the Expulsion from Spain, about Sephardim, about colonial traders in North America or about berachot. Consider which chocolate is the best from a Jewish values perspective.






Yom Limmud: San Diego's Community Day of Learning is a program of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS and is not associated with Britain's Limmud, Limmud NY, Limmud LA or any other affiliate of Limmud International.