Chabad Hebrew Academy • Congregation Beth Am • Congregation Beth El • Congregation Beth Israel • Congregation Dor Hadash • Hillel of San Diego • Jewish Family Service
Ohr Shalom Synagogue • Rabbi Aaron S. Gold Institute of Adult Jewish Studies at Tifereth Israel Synagogue • StandWithUs • Temple Emanu-El

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Yom Limmud: San Diego's Community Day of Learning

9:00 A.M

Sessions run concurrently

Leonard Felder: Here I Am: Using Jewish Spiritual Wisdom to Become More Present, Centered, and Available for Life

Want to live a more balanced life? Want to learn how to live “in the moment” and find peace whenever you need it most? You can. And it’s not through some new age philosophy or the mnemonic tactics and tricks espoused by so many TV gurus. It’s actually in the sage advice found in traditional Jewish prayers and practices. Meet author and psychologist Leonard Felder as he shares true stories and actionable advice—part religious scholarship, part neuroscience—that will help you live a more fulfilling and peaceful life

Community Host: Ohr Ami -The Jewish Hospice Program

Bias Free Foundations: Early Childhood Activities for Parents and Children

During this workshop, parents and preschool children (ages 3–5) will have the opportunity to participate together in facilitator-led interactive exercises designed to help your child develop a positive self-image and respect for difference. This program is a project of the Miller Early Childhood Initiative of A World of Difference Institute.

This workshop is open to a maximum of 10 families per session

This workshop will be repeated at 10:15 a.m.

Natalia Indrimi and Rabbi Philip Graubart: One, None and a Hundred Thousand: Jewish Writers in 20th Century Italy

Since the debut of De Sica’s masterpiece, The Garden of the Finzi Continis, we have been intrigued by the topic of Italian Jewish writers and the world they narrate. At the center of this talk is Primo Levi’s science fiction which aims at articulating perspectives for a better appreciation of a seldom forgotten and often misunderstood chapter of the Jewish experience. Levi’s contructs of a society where technology rules everything including memory, desire and death are rooted in his experience of totalitarian Italy and the chemical laboratory of Auschwitz.

Pam Jenoff: The Things We Cherished

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls this novel “a provocative window onto the continuing effort to bring Nazi war criminals to justice… a tale that is at once a historical mystery, a legal thriller, and a romance novel.” Meet this up-andcoming author as she shares the story behind her new novel that “…further cements Jenoff's reputation for adeptly using the harsh realities of WWII Europe as a context for a timeless love story” (Publisher’s Weekly).

10:15 A.M

Sessions run concurrently

Jay Michaelson: God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality

Although so much of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament preach compassion for all, there is still a huge divide between many people in religious institutions and the LGBT community. Jay Michaelson—in his book, and in his life as an author, lecturer, and gay rights activist—attempts to bridge this divide. The author (whose work has been featured in the New York Times, as well as on CNN and NPR) will leave you with a greater insight and under standing of the issues, and will help tear down the falsehoods surrounding propping up the so-called “god-gay divide.”

Lisa Aiken: Why Jews Love to Eat-Mystical Secrets of Food

Have you ever noticed how Jews love to eat? Bar mitzvahs, weddings, holidays--you name it, food is a central part. There are some very deep spiritual roots to the foods that we eat. When we appreciate them, we have a healthy relationship to food and eating. Hear about the kabbalistic understanding of eating—why it is so central to Judaism and the religious significance of foods that we usually take for granted.

Alan Rosen: Postmen, Poets and Priests: Literary Responses to the Holocaust

How does literary response differ from other approaches to the Holocaust? What have been the various kinds of literary responses? How have literary responses to the Holocaust changed from the time of the war to the present day? How do the different languages of this literature shape the response to the Holocaust?

11:30 A.M

Sessions run concurrently


James Kugel: In the Valley of the Shadow: On the Foundations of Religious Belief

James Kugel shouldn’t be here. More than a decade ago, the author and Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University was diagnosed with an aggressive, and often fatal, type of cancer. But he turned this supposed “death sentence” into an opportunity to reaffirm life… not just his own life, but your life, our lives, and filter this affirmation through the phenomenon of religious beliefs.

Community Partner: San Diego State University, Jewish Studies Program

Lisa Aiken: Jewish Response to Terror

We have heard the media's and politicians' reactions to terror for many years, yet we Jews have probably experienced more terror than any group for millenia. Hear the perspectives that traditional Judaism offers about dealing with terror, and learn about some surprising sources of terror against Israel today. How can we apply some traditional Jewish approaches to counter terror against Israel today?

Marc Baer: The Dönme: The Secret Rulers of Turkey?

For the past decade the best-selling books in Turkey have claimed that Crypto-Jews are the secret masters of the country. These antisemitic conspiracy theories focus on the ethno-religious group known as the Dönme, the descendants of the followers of Shabbatai Tzevi who converted to Islam in the seventeenth century. Who are the Dönme? What is their relation to Jews and Crypto-Jews? What role have they played in Turkish history? Marc Baer, author of the first academic account of this group, will discuss the history and memory of this controversial group.

Ransom Riggs: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs is a filmmaker and author and his latest, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, is a book like no other, really. Filled with haunting, captivating photographs/ artwork of the “peculiar children,” the book tells the story of a teenaged boy unraveling a mystery that takes him to a remote Welsh island where these children—said to be dead—are all apparently alive and… well… it gets complicated. Meet the artist and author as he discusses his new book/montage/mystery/artwork.

This is a current best-seller for teens, young adults and the general public.

1:00 P.M.


Consul General David Siegel: Israel, Meeting the Challenges of the Middle East

The JCC is honored to host the Honorable David Siegel, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, where he serves as the senior representative of the State of Israel to the Southwestern United States. Mr. Siegel has also served as Chief of Staff to Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and served two terms at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. He was deeply involved in policy coordi - nation with the State Department, the National Security Council and the White House. He was, in essence, Israel's voice to the Washington press corps and liaison to the U.S. Congress.

2:15 P.M.

Sessions run concurrently


What are the top ten most important points of information you should know in order to be a knowledgeable Israel advocate on your high school campus? Join J.J.Surbeck as he engages teens in a dialogue on how to respond to critics of Israel in an fair an objective fashion. A special briefing for TEENS ONLY will be held with Consul General David Siegel. Join the Consul General of Israel as he briefs teens on the latest challenges facing Israel as well putting a personal face to Israel.

Briefings provided by: T.E.A.M. (Training and Education About the Middle East) and the Israel Consulate

David Levinson, Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins: How Absolutely Any one Can Pitch In, Help Out, Give Back and Make the World a Better Place

He heads up Big Sunday, one of the largest grassroots volunteer organizations there is, with more than 50,000 members across California alone. David Levinson will help you tap your inner volunteer and improve your “volunteer IQ.” If you’re not already one of the 61 million Americans who volunteered time and effort last year, this event is sure to equip you with the tools and inspiration you need to pitch in. If you’re already a volunteer worker in any capacity, this event will give you what you need to ensure your efforts deliver even more.

Alan Rosen: The Words, Too, Will Nourish: Poetry and Resistance

How (and what) does poetry resist? Can it properly be described as a form of spiritual resistance? Or does victim writing during the Holocaust solicit a category of its own? Can we say, moreover, that poems written in the aftermath of the Holocaust also resist—and, if so, what? The session will hope to address these and related questions, drawing on among others the nourishing words of Avraham Sutzkever.

Ayelet Harel-Shalev: Democracy in Deeply Divided Societies: A Comparative View on India and Israel

Israel’s democracy has been often described in academic literature as unique, extreme or a significant exception. Nevertheless it is almost impossible to properly understand the Israeli political experience without recourse to comparative research. Dr. Harel-Shalev will demonstrate that despite deepseated differences, Israel and India can readily be compared as divided democracies, and even tend to use similar political mechanisms in order to stabilize and sustain their democratic regime on the one hand; and to nurture their national ethos on the other.

Mark Horowitz: Ani V'Atah - How You and I Can Change the World

This session will serve as a road map which will lay out the key challenges faced in early childhood Jewish education. The session will plot a course through the complex regions of Jewish life and living, cutting edge thinking in early childhood education, meaningful engagement of parents, and educational technology. This workshop is designed to stimulate your thinking and assist in ensuring a thoughtful and excellent classroom.

This session is open to Early Childhood Educators.

Shani Lourie: Teaching Holocaust AppropriatelyThroughout the Year

A how-to guide on using Yad Vashem Curriculum.

This session is open to Community Educators.

Nanci Freedberg, The Jewish Path: A Concise Guide & DVD Bringing Judaism to Life

For some this may be an introduction, for others a refresher, but for all who attend, this crash course in “actionable Judaism” is sure to be a delight. Highlights of this book/DVD combo—many of which the author will expand upon at this event—include, “What Does It Mean to Be Jewish,” “Torah & Jewish Law,” “Judaism in the Contemporary World,” and much more. For more than a decade, Nanci Freedberg has made the study and application of Judaism her singular focus.

This session is open to Jewish Community Educators.

3:30 P.M.


Life in a Jar: Irena Sendler Project

In the fall of 1999, a rural Kansas teacher encouraged four students to work on a year-long National History Day project which would, among other things, extend the boundaries of the classroom to families in the community, contribute to history learning, teach respect and tolerance, and meet their classroom motto, “He who changes one person, changes the world entire.”

They found that Irena Sendler, a non-Jewish social worker, had gone into the Warsaw Ghetto, talked Jewish parents and grandparents out of their children, rightly saying that all were going to die in the Ghetto or in death camps, taking the children past the Nazi guards and then adopting them into the homes of Polish families or hiding them in convents and orphanages. She made lists of the children's real names and put the lists in jars, then buried the jars in a garden, so that someday she could dig up the jars and find the children to tell them of their real identity.

They take a jar to every performance and collect funds for Polish rescuers.

The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture is proud to bring this performance to San Diego and to Yom Limmud: San Diego’s Community Day of Learning.

Community Partner: USC Shoah Foundation Institute

Adult Member/$32.00; Non-member/$38.00
Teen Member/$15.00; Non-member/$18.00
Child Member/$5.00; Non-member/$7.00
Life in a Jar: Member/$8.00; Non-member $10.00 (Included in full price ticket)