Yom Limmud

San Diego's Community Day of Learning

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Purchase Tickets

Admission is good for entire day. Includes kosher bagel bar lunch.
Adults: $42; JCC Members: $36
Teens: $18; JCC Members: $14
VIP Tickets: $118/person. Includes reserved parking, access to the VIP lounge, Priority Seating in the first 2 rows of all sessions held in the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, donor recognition.
Now includes service fees! Additional fees for on-line purchase still apply.


Co-sponsored by Jewish Federation
Yom Limmud Co-Chairs: Bill Friedel & Silvana Christy 

For Underwriting Opportunities and Benefits, please contact
Lorraine Fisher, Assistant Director of Development at 858-362-1179 or lorrainef@lfjcc.org


2:15 - 3:15 PM, Jewish Spirituality: It's All God

Jewish Spirituality: It's All God
If God doesn’t live up in heaven…

If God isn’t a he or a she…

If God doesn’t reward good people and punish bad ones…

If prayer isn’t telling God something God doesn’t already know…

If God doesn’t care if you keep kosher…

Then what is Jewish spirituality?

We begin by telling stories…

Bio:  Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He is an adjunct member of the faculty of the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. For 28 years he served as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He is the author of 18 books, most recently I’M GOD; YOU’RE NOT: Observations on Organized Religion & Other Disguises of the Ego, (Jewish Lights, 2011) and a novel, KABBALAH: A Love Story, (Doubleday/Morgan Road, October, 2006). He has also co-authored and co-starred in a feature length film, Your Good Friend.


10:15 - 11:15 AM, Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter


Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter
*WORLD-PREMIER-BOOK-RELEASE* Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia. This is the latest work of Maggie Anton, the award-winning author of historical fiction series "Rashi's Daughters" and "Rav Hisda's Daughter." She is a Talmud scholar, with expertise in Jewish women's history.

Bio: Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of historical fiction series "Rashi's Daughters" and "Rav Hisda's Daughter." She is a Talmud scholar, with expertise in Jewish women's history. Anton speaks to Jewish organizations all over the country about the research behind her novels. She is happy to join book groups by speakerphone or Skype, as well as do scholar-in-residence weekends, upon request. Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual observance.

In the early 1990's, Anton learned about a women's Talmud class taught by Rachel Adler, now a Rabbi and professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. Nearly every Wednesday for five years, she and about six other women met around Rachel's dining room table to study the Steinsaltz Hebrew edition of Tractate Berachot. Teachers, tractates, locations and students changed, but Wednesday remained Talmud night for serious Jewish women scholars. Now Anton continues her learning individually and with a study-partner.


9:00 - 10:00 AM, Tips & Tools: Special Needs in Today’s Learning Environment



Tips & Tools: Special Needs in Today’s Learning Environment
Start the school year with the necessary bag of tricks in your back pocket. Dr. Casper and Amy Siegel will provide you with the most up to date information on special needs and special education so you can best serve and educate all students in your classroom. Today, while so many students are on the autism spectrum, you need to be aware of what adaptations and modifications can easily be made.

Bios: Dr. Casper is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience working with children and families on simple to complex challenges. Her core expertise includes interventions for children, adults and families living with the challenges associated with developmental disabilities, autism, child development, and general parenting specializing in autism spectrum diagnosis & intervention, traumatic brain injury, and applied behavior analysis.

Amy Siegel has been working with children ranging in age from newborn through high school in general and special education settings for over 25 years. Miss Siegel has an undergraduate degree in Education, specializing in Child and Family Services and a graduate degree in Psychology. Miss Siegel has extensive experience with developmental testing, behavior management and special education laws/advocacy in the home and school settings. Miss Siegel has worked in State Child Development/Head Start programs and at the San Diego Regional Center under the Early Start Program. Miss Siegel has worked at Congregation Beth Am as a Resource Specialist for nearly four years.


10:15 - 11:15 AM, Jewish Education Today: What Do We Really Need to Know?
11:30 - 12:30 PM, From Boomers to Millenials and Beyond: The Changing Contours of American Jewish Engagement
1:00 - 2:00 PM, The Declining Jewish Middle, or the Rise of Orthodoxy and the Religious "Nones"

Jewish Education Today: What Do We Really Need to Know?
Current trends in American Jewish life pose newly emerging challenges for Jewish educators and therefore new responsibilities. The research demonstrates that Jews who are socially connected are the most likely to engage in and sustain Jewish involvement. Yet Jewish social networks are declining in number and thickness. The emerging mission for Jewish educators is to recognize, utilize, bestow, and strengthen Jewish social networks to the many "students," far and wide.

From Boomers to Millenials and Beyond: The Changing Contours of American Jewish Engagement
Today's Millenials are extending trends in Jewish connection and conception first noticeably initiated by their parents, the Boomers. Among them are: diminished social connections with other Jews, increased voluntarism, autonomy, anti-judgmentalism, "journeyism," and emphasis upon personal meaning as the ultimate arbiter of whether, where, and how to engage in Jewish life. This and more from Dr. Cohen, lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.

The Declining Jewish Middle, or the Rise of Orthodoxy and the Religious "Nones" 
The high rates of intermarriage (as much as 82% among born-Reform Jews) and low rates of fertility (1.7 among the non-Orthodox) are combining to diminish the number of middle-aged middle-positioned Jews in the coming decades. The types of people who (now) populate JCCs, Conservative shuls, Reform temples, and Federation campaigns will be diminished. What are the implications for philanthropists, policy makers, and practitioners?

Bio: Steven M. Cohen is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner. In 1992 he made aliyah, and taught for 14 years at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

With Arnold Eisen, he wrote, The Jew Within, and with Charles Liebman he wrote, Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences. His earlier books include American Modernity & Jewish Identity, and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? He was the lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.

He received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, the Marshall Sklare Award of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and a National Jewish Book Award. He had been cited as one of the Forward Fifty. In 2012, he was elected president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.


11:30 - 12:30 PM, Israel in the World’s Media: The Problems and the Solutions


Israel in the World’s Media: The Problems and the Solutions
Israel is faced daily with challenges in the world media. Bias and lies in the media about Israel are rampant, turning the world's opinion against it. We can blame the world, but Tazpit News Agency has decided to fight back. What are the solutions? Director of Tazpit News Agency Amotz Eyal will present the challenges facing Israel in the media and will share Tazpit's solutions to this problem.

Bio: Amotz Eyal was born in 1987 in Psagot, and today lives in Jerusalem. He is currently a BA student in Political Science and Management at the Open University .
Already as a young boy, Amotz was socially active. At the age of 12, he filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court, requesting that Saturday soccer games be re-scheduled to the middle of the week. At the age of 14, Amotz was involved in founding the "Tzur Israel" external studies High School in Psagot.

During the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Amotz managed several projects that worked against the disengagement and organized several protests. Amotz served in the IDF as a combat soldier in an elite unit. After his army service he dedicated years of volunteering, as a "medical clown" in several Israeli hospitals where he helped cancer patients, and as an instructor at the "One Family Fund" for families of terror victims.

In the last few years Amotz founded and managed the "Migdalim Student Village" organization, near Ariel. In 2010 Amotz established Tazpit News Agency. In 2013 Amotz received the Moskowitz "Spirit of Zion" Award. The Spirit of Zion is given by the Moskowitz family to young Israelis who have established outstanding Zionist initiatives.


10:15 - 11:15 AM, Poetry of Possibility: Amichai & the Search for Peace
11:30 - 12:30 PM, Help. Thanks. Wow: Putting Down the Siddur and Starting to Pray


Poetry of Possibility: Amichai & the Search for Peace
Yehudah Amichai, Israel's poet laureate, had an extraordinary gift for making the political, personal. Come and explore some of his most remarkable and challenging poems, which take us beyond the bitter war of words over Israel's future and invite us to think in fresh ways about what is possible in our shared dream of a peaceful future.

Help. Thanks. Wow: Putting Down the Siddur and Starting to Pray
Leading a Birthright trip at the Kotel, Rabbi Greenwald, named one of 2014’s “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by the Jewish Daily Forward, discovered that not one of my forty participants was willing to pray because they thought they didn’t know how. And, they’re not the only ones. Building on the work of Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers on prayer, come and rediscover the language that your heart already speaks.

Bio: Rabbi Adam Greenwald is the Director of the Louis & Judith Miller Introduction to Judaism Program at American Jewish University (intro.aju.edu), the largest preparatory program for those considering conversion to Judaism in North America. He also serves as an Lecturer in Education in the AJU's Graduate School of Education. In 2014, Rabbi Greenwald was named one of "America's Most Inspiring Rabbis" by the Jewish Daily Forward.

Rabbi Greenwald previously served as Revson Rabbinic Fellow at IKAR, a Los Angeles congregation often recognized as one of today's most innovative spiritual communities. Prior to ordination, he spent two years as Rabbinic Intern at Congregation B'nai Israel in Tustin, CA and four years creating and leading experiential educational programming for the PANIM Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values in Washington DC. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post and Jewish Journal, and he is a regular online contributor to "Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas", the Ziegler School's "Today's Torah", and "Jewish Values Online."

Rabbi Greenwald is a graduate of UCLA with a B.A. in History and received his Master's Degree and Rabbinic Ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2011.


9:00 - 10:00 AM, The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible
11:30 - 12:30 PM, This is Your Brain on Hebrew: What You Have to Know About how People of All Ages Learn Languages


The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible
*WORLD-PREMIER-BOOK-RELEASE* The Bible you usually read is not the complete story. Some holy writings were left out for political or theological reasons, others simply because of the physical restrictions of ancient bookmaking technology. At times, the compilers of the Bible skipped information that they assumed everyone knew. Some passages were even omitted by accident.

In The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor, acclaimed author and translator Dr. Joel M. Hoffman gives us the stories and other texts that didn’t make it into the Bible even though they offer penetrating insight into the Bible and its teachings.

Session for Educators (Back to School Workshop):  "This is Your Brain on Hebrew: What You Have to Know About how People of All Ages Learn Languages"
What happens when a child's brain learns Hebrew? What about a teenager? Or an adult? Why is studying at night more effective than studying during the day? And how can we use this information --- and much more --- to improve our Hebrew schools? If you are designing a Hebrew program, teaching in one, or if you're just curious about what's really going on, you'll want to spend an hour learning about "your brain on Hebrew."

Bio: Dr. Joel M. Hoffman focuses on bringing the Bible to life and is known for his "fresh insights and interpretations about religious life in the 21st century." A popular speaker, he presents to churches, synagogues, community groups, and university audiences across the world. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and has served on the faculties of Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College.

Dr. Hoffman is the chief translator for the popular 10-volume series, "My People's Prayer Book" (winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and for "My People's Passover Haggadah." He is the author of the critically acclaimed "In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language" (NYU Press), and the popular "And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning" (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press). Writing under the pen-name "J.M. Hoffman," he is the author of the thriller series "The Warwick Files."

His latest book, "The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible," hits book stores on September 2, 2014.


11:30 - 12:30 PM, Tools for Survivor Testimonies- -Using IWitness in the Classroom



Tools for Survivor Testimonies- -Using IWitness in the Classroom
IWitnessbeta enables students to engage on an individual level with the testimonies and to discover connections to their own lives while building the literacies needed in the 21st century, including information, media, and digital literacies. Using the IWitnessbeta search engine, students can open the door to a deeper understanding of history through the personal accounts of eyewitnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, while gaining 21st-century digital and media literacy skills they need to understand how to navigate online information sources.

Bio: Jenna Leventhal, a native San Diegan and alumnae of the San Diego Jewish Academy, is the IWitness Manager at the USC Shoah Foundation. She has worked with the education and communications teams at the Shoah Foundation since May 2011. As a public historian, her research has explored Holocaust education in museums and the resettlement of Holocaust survivors in the U.S. after liberation. She is the author of The Brandeis-Bardin Institute: A Living History, published by American Jewish University. She received a master's degree is public history from the University of Houston and B.A. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


11:30 - 12:30 PM, The Nazi Séance: The Strange Story of the Jewish Psychic in Hitler’s Circle


The Nazi Séance: The Strange Story of the Jewish Psychic in Hitler’s Circle
Hear Author Arthur Magida, contributing correspondent to PBS's "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly;" and consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, share the fascinating story of Erik Jan Hanussen. Hanussen, a popular Jewish mind reader in 1930’s Berlin, rose from obscurity to fame and became so popular he even rubbed elbows with high-ranking Nazis. Rumors circulated that Hanussen was advising Hitler as his personal psychic. For all his supposed clairvoyance, Hanussen failed to see what awaited the Jews, including himself, in the years ahead.

.Bio: A professor at Georgetown University, writer-in-residence at the University of Baltimore and consultant to a recent two-hour PBS film on "forgiveness," Magida has been a columnist for the on-line religion magazine, Beliefnet.com; a contributing correspondent to PBS's "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly;" a consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; editorial director of Jewish Lights Publishing, which specializes in books on religion/spirituality; senior editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times; environmental reporter for National Journal; writer/editor for Ralph Nader; director of publications for an energy conservation project; and a reporter for two Pennsylvania newspapers.

His op-eds have appeared in major newspapers around the country and he has free-lanced such publications as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Tikkun, and Geo, Islands and Historic Preservation magazines. His work appears in several anthologies.
Magida is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Religion, Who's Who in the East and International Authors and Writers Who's Who. He has appeared on Dateline, the CBS Early Show, Court TV's "Catherine Crier Live," "The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour," ABC's "World News Tonight," C-Span's "Booknotes," NPR's "Morning Edition" and an A&E documentary.

He has received 16 Simon Rockower Awards from the American Jewish Press Association; five A.D. Emmart Awards for writing on the humanities; two Smolar Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism; two National Mass Media Certificates of Recognition from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Fund for Investigative Journalism and The Dick Goldensohn Fund have supported his work. He has spoken at colleges and civic and religious groups around the country.


8:30 - 9:00 AM, Guided Meditation
9:00 - 10:00 AM, iSpirituality: A Personal Story of Boundaries and Boundary-Crossers
1:00 - 2:00 PM, Evolving Dharma: Meditation and Enlightenment in the Jewish Context

iSpirituality: A Personal Story of Boundaries and Boundary-Crossers
What are the boundaries of contemporary Jewish experience? In the last fifteen years, Jay Michaelson has taught Kabbalah at Yale and Burning Man; sat five months in silent Buddhist meditation retreat; written a doctoral dissertation on a great Jewish heretic; beat out Christopher Hitchens for a journalism award for a notorious article called How I'm Losing My Love for Israel; come out as gay and founded two LGBT Jewish organizations; and has sampled the spiritual paths of Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism, earth-based spirituality, Peruvian shamanism, mystical Christianity, neo-Hasidism, paleo-Hasidism, and even plain old Judaism. Speaking from his own experience as well as his perch as a contributing editor to the Jewish Daily Forward, Jay will provoke questions and conversation on the construction of identity, the boundaries of Jewishness, and the evolution of the contemplative path.

Evolving Dharma: How the “Meditation Revolution” is Changing Judaism
By now, it’s not unusual for American Jews to meditate, to do so in Jewish contexts, and to mix and match among Jewish, Buddhist, and other forms. But how do we get beyond ‘Meditation 101’ and get serious about personal and social transformation? How does the current ‘meditation revolution’ impact how we think about Jewish practice? And how can we tailor our practice to specific, achievable goals?

.Bio: Dr. Jay Michaelson holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination. He is an author, activist, and academic. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, Director of the LGBT Global Rights Initiative at the Democracy Council, a Fellow at Political Research Associates, and a weekly columnist for the Forward newspaper.

Jay is the author of five books and two hundred articles on religion, sexuality, law, and contemplative practice. His new book, Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment, was published in 2013 by North Atlantic Books. Other books include God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality, an Amazon bestseller and Lambda Literary Award finalist; Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism; and Another Word for Sky: Poems.


11:30 - 12:30 AM, Cyber Education: What Classroom Teachers Need to Know



Cyber Education: What Classroom Teachers Need to Know
This presentation will cover 3 core topics in regards to dealing with internet safety: managing your digital reputation, cyber-bullying and social networking. Our students are often much more computer savvy than we are and we need to be on top of this technology. We need to assist our students in understanding how their “Digital Reputation” can affect their “Real World” reputation. This presentation will also expose us to the latest trends and techniques used to cyber-bully someone and how to deal properly with such instances.

Bio: Jon Moffat has been working with youth for the past 14 years. During that time he earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State San Marcos. He started as a Violence Prevention Coordinator for at risk youth. During that time he developed the Teen Cyber Educators Program, which trained youth to teach their peers, and their parents about digital dangers. The program then evolved into Cyber Advocate Program. The Cyber Advocate program worked with one school to raise awareness about cyber harassment through a social marketing campaign, as well as worked with students, administrators, and parents recommend policy changes to the school board. The program's curriculum is constantly evolving to keep up with the latest digital trends. To date the program has reached to over 50,000 students, parents, teachers and school administrators. After his final grant ended he started his own consulting business at the end of 2012.


10:15 - 11:15 AM, Ode to Joy: A Few Takes On Some Powerful Emotions
1:00 - 2:00 PM, Tears, Poop, and Radical Amazement: Parenting as a Spiritual Practice

Ode to Joy: A Few Takes On Some Powerful Emotions
What are joy and happiness? Are they the same thing? What, if anything, can we learn about the way that Judaism talks about, and sometimes even commands, these emotional states? We’ll discuss a few traditional texts in light of our understandings of contemporary American culture and our own understandings of happiness and joy. Hopefully, we will gain some insights about what it is to be happy, and how a person might go about getting there.

Tears, Poop, and Radical Amazement: Parenting as a Spiritual Practice
How can the experience of parenting open up new insights about God, spirituality, the sacred and the mystical? How can understandings from the Jewish tradition transform even the most grueling of difficult moments into something profound? How does the Jewish tradition connect the work of child care with Divine work? And how can those in the trenches of childcare change the way everyone understands what it means to live a spiritual practice when life gets messy? In a lively, interactive discussion with Rabbi Ruttenberg, named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten "rabbis to watch," one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis, and as one of the “36 Under 36" (36 most influential leaders under age 36), you’ll talk about Jewish perspectives on parenting and the spiritual and theological implications it might have for everyone.

Bio: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is the author of Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion (Beacon Press), nominated for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature and a 2009 Hadassah Book Club selecton, as well as editor of The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism (NYU Press) and Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism (Seal Press).

She has been named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten "rabbis to watch," one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis, and as one of the “36 Under 36" (36 most influential leaders under age 36). She has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, and many other publications.

Rabbi Ruttenberg is also co-editor, with Rabbi Elliot Dorff, of three books for the Jewish Publication Society’s Jewish Choices/Jewish Voices series: Sex and Intimacy, War and National Security, and Social Justice. She’s also a contributing editor to Lilith and the academic journal Women and Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal and is on the editorial board of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas.

Rabbi Ruttenberg has served as Senior Jewish Educator at Tufts Hillel and Campus Rabbi at Northwestern Hillel, and is currently the Director of Educational Content for Ask Big Questions, a major initiative of Hillel International. She is writing a book on parenting as a spiritual practice and lives in the Chicago area with her partner and sons.


9:00 - 10:00 AM, Are You What You Eat? Bringing Hazon's Materials into Your Classroom



Are You What You Eat? Bringing Hazon's Materials into Your Classroom
Hazon now has an office in San Diego! During this session you will become acquainted with their Min Ha’Aretz curriculum, engage in text study about food & Jewish tradition, and discuss how to create a sustainable Shabbat program. During this year of Shmita, Hazon will also provide you with materials on how to incorporate learning about the Sabbatical year.

Bio: Gabi Scher is the Associate Director for Hazon San Diego. Gabi is a native San Diegan. After graduating from Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration, she moved back to Southern California to return to the beach and sunshine. An avid foodie, she worked for Urban Kitchen Group and then started Gabi’s Table, her own catering company. She then joined corporate America, which proved to be far less hilarious than we’ve been led to believe.

After a transformative trip to India with JDC Entwine surrounded by peers who were making strides in their communities, Gabi sought to do the same. For Gabi, Hazon is the place where her love of food and connection with Judaism merge. Gabi loves traveling, folk music, hiking, impressionist art, high-fives, and trying new recipes.


9:00 - 10:00 AM, "Tradition": Eastern European Jewish Music and its (Post-)Modern Offsprings
10:15 - 11:15 AM, Judeo-Spanish Mystique: "Ancient" and "Modern" in Contemporary Sephardi Music

Judeo-Spanish mystique: "Ancient" and "Modern" in Contemporary Sephardi Music
The Sephardi musical repertoires, especially the songs in Ladino, are usually presented as being "old" songs from medieval Spain. Professor Seroussi, past chair of the Department of Musicology at the Hebrew University, will explore the origins of this idea and examine it in the light of what is known to us today about the songs in Ladino.

"Tradition": Eastern European Jewish Music and its (Post-)Modern Offsprings
Eastern-European Jews created a rich palette of unique musical expressions. These musical traditions entered a process of deep transformation even prior to the massive waves of immigration and the Holocaust that changed Easter-European Jewry almost beyond recognition. Since the end of World World II, we have witnessed an unprecedented revival of Eastern-European Jewish music throughout the Western world, including songs in Yiddish, klezmer and Hassidic music. Yet, this revival makes use of only a small fraction of the lore of Eastern-European Jewish music to represent an imaginary "old country".

Bio: Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Edwin Seroussi immigrated to Israel in 1971 where he studied at the Department of Musicology at the undergraduate and graduate levels continuing into his doctoral studies at the University of California Los Angeles (1981-1987). As a faculty member of the Department of Musicology at the Hebrew University, he teaches ethnomusicology, world music, theory and methodology in the study of oral traditions and popular music. His research focuses on the musical cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, interactions between Jewish and Islamic cultures (specifically in art music genres) and popular music in Israel. Within these subjects he explores process of hybridization, diaspora, nationalism and transnationalism in specific contexts such as the Ottoman Empire, and the constitution of Jewish identities through music making in settings as diverse as colonial Morocco and Algeria, Germany’s Second Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the early Zionist settlement in Palestine and the Judeo-Spanish speaking diaspora. His approach to research stresses the agency of individuals in the shaping of folk and popular culture, social networks and the role of reception and consumption in the making of musical cultures.

He has previously taught at the Department of Music of Bar Ilan University (1987-2000) and chaired directed it (1996-2000), chaired the Department of Musicology at Hebrew University (2004-2008) and established and directed the new School of the Arts at the Hebrew University (2008-2013). Since 2000 he directs the Jewish Music Research Centre of the Hebrew University. He has been a visiting professor at several institutions, among them the University of California at Berkeley, Moscow University, Institut für Mussikwissechaft in Zürich and Dartmouth College, where he is a Visiting Scholar since 2008. More recently, in the spring of 2013, he was a Starr Fellow at Harvard University working on “The Jewish music experience under Islam and Christianity; A comparison”. Besides his academic activities he is active in the music scene of Israel and abroad in diverse capacities, such as consultant for music festivals, member of state committees in music and the arts and producer of music programs. Formerly he represented Israel at the International Music Council of UNESCO.


1:00 - 2:00 PM, Wow! Gimme. Thanks. Oops.



Wow! Gimme. Thanks. Oops.
‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ ‘Gee, I want that.’ ‘Thanks for giving me that.’ ‘Sorry I did that.’ This is the essence of prayer: Wow! Gimme. Thanks. Oops. But is it really that simple? Alden, Jewish poet and liturgist, a writing coach, and award-winning essayist and journalist, will guide you through examples of these kinds of prayers from our liturgy as well as Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. Then we’ll talk about whether or not there are clear distinctions between them and whether or not it matters.

Bio: Alden Solovy is a Jewish poet and liturgist, a writing coach, an award-winning essayist and journalist. His poetry was transformed by the sudden death of his wife in 2009 when he began to explore writing liturgy and prayer as a spiritual practice. His work has appeared in several prayer anthologies and will be included in the forthcoming Rabbi’s manual from CCAR Press. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing and Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings. Alden made aliyah to Israel in May, 2012, and splits his time between Chicago and Jerusalem.


Yom Limmud: San Diego’s Community Day of Learning is not associated with Britain’s Limmud, Limmud NY, Limmud LA or any other affiliate of Limmud international.

Yom Limmud Co-Chairs: Silvana Christy & Bill Friedel 

Yom Limmud Committee: Susan Arenson, Jose Aroeste, Elaine Chortek, Marc Covitt, Sol Kempinski, Joe Oppenheimer, Eli Meltzer, and Jacquelyn Schwartz

Generously supported by the Jewish Education Leadership Fund Families:
Chortek Family Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Melvin Garb Foundation, Viterbi Family Foundation, Eric Weisman & Susan Chortek Weisman