Yom Limmud

San Diego's Community Day of Learning

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The vision for Yom Limmud is to create an environment in which the community unites to participate and celebrate Jewish education.

Yom Limmud Banner

Purchase Tickets

Admission is good for entire day. Includes kosher bagel bar lunch.
Adults: $47; JCC Members: $38
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 online purchase still apply.


Co-sponsored by Jewish Federation
Yom Limmud Co-Chairs: Jose Aroeste & Silvana Christy 

For Underwriting Opportunities and Benefits, please contact
Paige Pick, Director of Development at 858-362-1355 or paigep@lfjcc.org

Girls in Trouble

Girls in Trouble

Concert 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

Girls in Trouble is an ongoing indie-folk/art-pop song cycle by poet, singer, songwriter and violinist Alicia Jo Rabins. With this project, Alicia mines the complex and fascinating stories of Biblical women, exploring the hidden places where their lives overlap with her own. The result is a world of ancient stories brought intimately to life. Their 2009 self-titled debut album was called "one of the year's best" by Largeheartedboy.com; the New York Times praised Rabins' "gorgeous voice," and NBC.com lauded the band's "melodic, spare gorgeousness." They have been featured on CBC Radio and the BBC. Their 2011 release, "Half You Half Me," was labelled "stellar" by Largeheartedboy.com and "pure indie-pop gold" by Giant Robot Magazine. Their third album, "Open the Ground," will be released in Fall 2015

Zev Bar Lev

Zev Bar Lev

The Global Alphabet 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Teen Lounge (2nd Floor)

Come be "Try-lingual": Cure your "glossophobia" (fear of foreign languages) with the "Global Alphabet." By tweaking its "Key-letters" you can reliably hypothesize the meanings of words in almost any language. In your first lesson, you will read/comprehend classic verses in Italian, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew, and Arabic. You will also see how to order simple foods in 3 foreign languages; learn main meanings of 4 of of the 24 "qLetters" of the Global Alphabet; and practice tweaking...and "super-tweaking."
Zev bar-Lev was a professor of linguistics at San Diego State University, where he began teaching there in 1979. Previous teaching positions include Syracuse University and the University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel. His education includes the AB in Russian literature at Columbia College (1963), the MA in Slavic linguistics at Cornell University (1965), graduate studies at Moscow State University (1967-68), and the PhD in general linguistics at Indiana University (1969).

He has published research in several fields of theoretical linguistics (semantics, pragmatics, functional syntax, discourse theory, morpho-phonology, linguistics and computers) on (and in) several languages (Hebrew, Russian, and others), but has focused more recently on applied linguistics, developing and presenting his "heretical" method for faster teaching of confident abilities in foreign language: "Sheltered Initiation Language Learning" teaches, in the first place, confident speaking abilities; it also includes the "glyph" system for reading Hebrew and Arabic, "skip-reading" and "skip-listening" for reading and listening comprehension, "asymmetric sequencing" for teaching grammatical and other contrasts in any language (including Chinese tones), and other special innovations. (See 'Sheltered-Initiation Language Learning', APPLIED LANGUAGE LEARNING vol.4 #1-2, 1993, and other publications.)


Geula Hebron

Naava Michan

Tips and Tools for Interactive Hebrew 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Astor Judaica Library (2nd Floor)

Back to School Workshop.


Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life's Transitions to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Rehearsal Room

Join Rabbi Sherre Hirsch as she discusses her newest book, Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions to Live Fearless and Regret Free (released just last week by Random House). With her intimate style, she will discuss how to to build a rich and rewarding life even when those moments of transition seem to derail us. The next threshold may be upon you, with her help you will be ready to cross it.
Sherre Hirsch is a rabbi, author and spiritual life consultant. After eight years in the pulpit, Hirsch left Sinai Temple, Los Angeles’s largest and oldest conservative temple, in 2006. Since then, she has published We Plan, God Laughs: What to Do When Life Hits You Over the Head, and in August 2015 will publish Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free - both with Random House. In addition to writing, Hirsch has appeared on a variety of national media outlets from The Today Show to Extra! She counsels private clients, speaks nationwide at engagements for corporate and religious organizations, and teaches classes across a variety of themes. Hirsch serves as the Spiritual Life consultant for Canyon Ranch Properties, where she organizes retreats and leads workshops focused on coping with grief and the healing process. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Hirsch and they have four children. Hirsch’s mission is to empower individuals to be their own spiritual guides.


Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

We Plan, God Laughs: What to Do When Life Hits You Over the Head 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

Join Rabbi Sherre Hirsch as she discusses this ancient Yiddush proverb, We Plan, God Laughs and the title of her first book (Random House) and what it means in our own lives. She makes no foolish promise that life will turn out as we plan, but she will show that with hope, faith, and belief, we can change our lives for the better and make a positive difference in the lives of others


Claire KaufmannRoy Kaufmann


Claire Kaufmann
Roy Kaufmann

M-O-T's and P-O-T: Ending the Drug War as a Jewish Moral Imperative 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Teen Lounge (2nd Floor)

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the iconic Jewish civil-rights leader and philosopher, said, “Who is a Jew? A person whose integrity decays when unmoved by the knowledge of wrong done to other people.” Jews were murdered in Europe, starting with the First Crusades reaching a nauseating crescendo in the gas chambers and concentration camps of the 20th century. Throughout history, our people have wondered aloud, why did nobody intervene on our behalves?

Yet, in every aspect of our society, violence against Black Americans and Brown Americans is pandemic and institutionalized. And one of those institutions that has caused the most destruction has been and continues to be the War on Drugs. Decades in the waging, the Drug War has taken millions of lives, destroyed countless families, empowered the most dangerous drug cartels in history and cost taxpayers A TRILLION DOLLARS.

As Jews, as those who should have the most empathy for the 'other', we have a moral obligation to help end the Drug War. How do we do it? How should our Jewishness shape our thinking on drug policy? How should our own community's affinity for plants like marijuana inform our actions? Roy and Claire Kaufmann, co-founders of Le'Or (www.illuminating.us) will guide a lively and entertaining discussion of these issues.



Rachel Korazim

Israeli Children's Literature 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Senior Activity Room (2nd Floor)

Korazim will be skype'd in for this session.

Alison Laichter

Alison Laichter

Jewish Meditation Session 1 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Rehearsal Room

Drawing on the long history of meditation and contemplative practice in Judaism, this workshop will cover the basics of Jewish meditation with instruction, short exercises, Q & (maybe) A, and discussion. The workshop is open to people of all levels of experience and backgrounds, and is designed to offer a broad introduction to Jewish meditation, teachings, and contemplative practice. Come if you are a total beginner or an advanced yogi, if you're interested in deepening your practice, Jew-ing it up, or finally learning how to sit still.
Alison Laichter is a meditation teacher, consultant, urban planner, community organizer, and former Brooklynite, now based in San Diego. She has taught classes and retreats for children and adults throughout the world, including for staff and clients at JFS of San Diego, staff at LA Federation, workshop participants at the Silverlake Independent JCC, farmers and retreatants at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, students and professors at Yale University, doctors at Bellevue Hospital, children and teens in synagogues across the United States, social entrepreneurs in Jerusalem, nonprofit staff at Hazon's Makom Hadash, workshop participants in Mexico City, Yom Kippur retreatants at Seattle’s Kavana Cooperative, and at Limmud NY and Philadelphia. She founded and directed the Jewish Meditation Center (JMC) in NYC. She is a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group Dual Investment Program, a two-year, $100k fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs and was named one of the 2010 Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36: Visionaries for a New Era.” Alison studied civil engineering at The Cooper Union and urban planning at Columbia University.

As the founding director of the JMC, Alison created the first ever grassroots and community-led Jewish Meditation Center. At the JMC, Alison directed all aspects of the organization, earning a spot in Slingshot’s 50 Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits in North America three years in a row. She successfully partnered with local, national, and international stakeholders, institutions, and organizations to create programs, retreats, online resources, events, and a leadership training program. Alison is an accomplished spiritual leader who believes that truly sustainable tikkun olam, repairing the world, happens from the inside out, and she loves working with communities and organizations to create  inclusive, accessible, deeply meaningful, and resonant Jewish experiences.


Alison Laichter

Jewish Meditation Session 2 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM Teen Lounge (2nd Floor)

The days leading up to Rosh Hashana, the birthday of the world, and Yom Kippur, the day of at-one-ment, are a time for reflection and returning (teshuva). We practice returning to ourselves, our best selves, each other, holiness. Through prayer and practice, we can use the holidays to rededicate ourselves to create peace and justice in our lives and in the world. Alison Laichter will offer a pre-High Holiday meditation workshop  where we will press pause on our busy-ness, practice being fully present, and use Jewish meditation practices, including writing meditation, to reflect on the past year, look forward, and prepare for the High Holy Days in a deep and meaningful way. Open to total beginners and experienced meditators.

Goldie Milgram

Jennifer Meltzer

Taste of Foundations of Jewish Family Living 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Music Room

Foundations for Jewish Family Living is a new learning opportunity for parents that provides a thought-provoking encounter with the core values of Judaism.  At a time in a family’s life when a child is asking questions about his or her Jewish heritage, this rich learning experience provides you with the knowledge, the language, and the confidence to be a teacher to your own children and support Jewish learning at home.

Goldie Milgram

Rabbi Goldie Milgram

Creating a Mitzvah-Centered Life: Rapid and Effective Creative Exploration of 52 Jewish Spiritual Practices 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Astor Judaica Library (2nd Floor)

Back to school workshop.
Rabbi Goldie Milgram founded and directs the 501C3 Reclaiming Judaism and Reclaiming Judaism Press and is Dean of the Maggid-Educator Ordination Program and Bar/Bat Mitzvah [R]evolution at Bmitzvah.org. Her tenure in Jewish communal service has been in virtually every position--from serving as a Jewish Federation and Board of Jewish Education executive through an extensive career in academia--as a Dean of the Academy for Jewish Religion and now for the Jewish Spiritual Educator Maggid-Educator Ordination Program, on faculty for the ALEPH Ordination Programs, Princeton University, and Gettysburg College, as well as director and then consultant in Innovative Jewish Life and Learning for the 92nd St Y and other Jewish community centers, camps and college student life programs, and schools.


Rabbi Goldie Milgram

Do You Always Have to Forgive? 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

This time of year Jewish culture encourages us to focus upon the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual wounds that may have accrued in our relationships. Judaism emphasizes the potential for healing when the fullness of a spiritual depth process called Teshuvah is undertaken. In this interactive workshop we will explore the wisdom of ancient and contemporary Jewish spiritual masters on this important topic that overlaps with the question of when, whether and how to engage in forgiveness. "Reb Goldie" will draw upon methods derived from the human potential movement and the emerging field of Jewish spiritual education. Individuals from all backgrounds and traditions are welcome. No prior knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew is required. Sources will be provided in the original and in translation.


Rabbi Goldie Milgram

The God of Curried Fish 11:30 - 12:30 PM Teen Lounge (2nd Floor)

How do we find a comfort level within ourselves that allows for a meaningful encounter with someone who is suffering? What about with someone outside your acquaintance or usual comfort zone? Rabbi Milgram, professional storyteller and author of Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning, will share a powerful story about such an encounter. We will then explore the Jewish spiritual practices that inform the quality of listening and other mitzvah-centered approaches of the story. Through methods of experiential and spiritual Jewish education, participants can expand your knowledge and skill in manifesting essential Jewish values that are designed to honor, save and support human life.


Alicia Jo Rabins

Women in Torah 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Senior Activity Room (2nd floor)

Back to school workshop.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

JudaismNext: Rethinking what it is to be Jewish in the 21st Century 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

Working in small teams and guided by Rabbi Rami's thought experiment called Judaism, Inc, you are invited to imagine Judaism as an entrepreneurial start-up with yourselves as the executive leadership team. Thinking outside historical conventions and inherited norms, and using tradition as a catalyst for, rather than a constraint on, creativity you and your team will articulate the purpose, vision, mission, values, and goals of Judaism along with key practices for bringing this alive in people's lives.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author, poet, essayist, and educator whose poems have been anthologized in over a dozen volumes, and whose prayers are used in prayer books around the world. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and holds both Ph.d. and D.D. degrees. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami is currently Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to writing books, Rami writes a regular column for Spirituality and Health magazine called “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler” and he has a blog.


Rabbi Rami Shapiro

The Untameable God: The Book of Job and the Nature of Evil 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

The Hebrew Bible is an anthology of voices espousing a variety of ideas about the nature of life and how best to live it. Among the most stark, controversial, and honest is the Book of Job. A sixth century BCE challenge to the normative theology of "Do Good, Get Good," the Book of Job challenges your understanding of God, and asks you to wrestle the nature of evil and the perennial question of why good people suffer. Rabbi Rami will lead you into the heart of Book of Job to tackle this question, challenge normative theology, and perhaps experience a new understanding of God and reality.

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

China, Mongolia and Manchuria: The Unknown Jewish Experience 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

We are blinded by the Western world but in truth we have lived in the Eastern world for 2,000 + years - the oldest Hebrew manuscript on paper found anywhere in the world was found on the Chinese-Tibetan border - the music for the Chinese national anthem was written by a Jewish composer who lived in China - even today there is a community of Chinese Jews, and the street of the former synagogue is called, Teaching Torah Lane South, and two Chinese Jewish families have been living on that street with the same address for over 800 years, and so much more.

Consummate storyteller Rabbi Marvin Tokayer draws on a half century of personal experiences in Asia and a wealth of knowledge about Jews and the Far East; he weaves together colorful characters and their captivating stories into these fascinating sessions.

After his ordination as a rabbi, Marvin Tokayer served as United States Air Force Chaplain in Japan. Upon discharge he returned to Tokyo to serve for eight years as the rabbi for the Jewish Community of Japan. He wrote 20 books in Japanese, including several bestsellers; discovered literally the last of the Chinese Jews; located a long-lost Jewish cemetery in Nagasaki; contributed to the Encyclopedia Judaica; acted as a bridge for many travelers between East and West; served the needs of his congregation; and became spellbound by the threads of a story which he began piecing together. His investigation of the facts took him throughout Asia, to Israel and Washington D.C. as he searched for documents and tracked down the people, both Jewish and Japanese, who had taken part in the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust.
After his time in Japan, he founded and led the Cherry Lane Minyan shul in Great Neck, New York for fourteen years, while leading tours of Japan, China,  India and Southeast Asia.

He and his wife are the parents of four children and grandparents of fifteen.

Rabbi Tokayer is now in high demand for his dynamic presentations, scholarship, and annual tours of Jewish Asia.


Rabbi Marvin Tokayer

Jews and India: The Most Benevolent Jewish Diaspora Experience 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Rehearsal Room

Who would believe that Jews have lived in India for over 2,200 years without ever a trace of anti-Semitism, and there was even a Jewish king of a Jewish state in India; the accomplishments of Indian Jewry could fill an encyclopedia, and from ancient times to modernity, Jews have always been considered as "the sugar in the tea."

Consummate storyteller Rabbi Marvin Tokayer draws on a half century of personal experiences in Asia and a wealth of knowledge about Jews and the Far East; he weaves together colorful characters and their captivating stories into these fascinating sessions.

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 & Jose Aroeste

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