When he was 24, Evanston native Joel Chasnoff ditched his blossoming stand-up comedy career to volunteer for a combat unit of the Israeli Army.
G.I. Joel is Chasnoff's hilarious--and, at times, deeply moving--solo show about identity, friendship, and the absurd reality of life in the Israeli Army. Based on his bestselling memoir, The 188th Crybaby Brigade (Simon and Schuster), G.I. Joel is a coming of age story that begins at Solomon Schechter Day School in Skokie, Illinois and concludes on a deserted hilltop in Lebanon.
Joel's performance at Limmud Chicago is a workshop production that will include both a Q&A and an opportunity for audience feedback after the show.
Co-sponsored by The Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
At the age of 96, Miriam Weissenstein never imagined that she would be facing a new chapter in her life. But when "The Photo House" - her late husband Rudi's life's work - was destined for demolition, even this opinionated and uncompromising woman knew she needed help. Under the cloud of a family tragedy, a special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel's defining moments. Despite the generation gap and many conflicts, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching journey, comprising many humorous and touching moments.
Stereo Sinai is the Good Book like you’ve never heard it before.Dubbed “biblegum pop,” the band’s signature sound is the heretical combination of ancient, holy tongues with blasphemous backbeats and synthesized pop melodies. If Gwen Stefani and Will.i.am had been on the mountain with Moses, they would have come down sounding a lot like Stereo Sinai.
The married duo, made up of singer/songwriter Miriam Brosseau and producer Alan Jay Sufrin, comes with a few warnings for the uninitiated, claiming “We steal lyrics FROM GOD,” and “Rabbinic Advisory: Woman Singing.” But once you’ve tasted the sacred ear-candy that is Stereo Sinai, you’re bound to become a Thumper (Stereo Sinai fans are called “Thumpers,” from the term “bible-thumpers”).
Stereo Sinai released their debut double-album, “Biblegum Pop” and “The Revelation Will Not Be Televised” in December, 2011.
Rabbis going back to the Talmudic age recognized that in many ways, Deuteronomy was a book apart from the rest of the Torah. They even recognized Mosaic authorship (as opposed to divine authorship). Stylistically, thematically, and theologically, Deuteronomy is almost better-viewed as the first book of the Nevi'im rather than the last book of Torah. This session will explore how Deuteronomy can be viewed as "The Book of Moses" in the same way that we have the Book of Isaiah, Book of Jeremiah, and other individual books of the prophets. The session will aslo explore the implications of this viewpoint.
Participants will be introduced to mindfulness meditation through a Jewish lens. I will discuss the spiritual practice of ""being in the moment"", how we become the witness of our lives so as to cultivate healthy mind states. I will explain what mindfulness meditation is, its spiritual and health benefits and then lead two meditation sessions to bring them into the state of focused attention and relaxation. Meditation allows us to open our hearts and connect with God. We will also chant prayers to reach that loving state.Music and art are part of this presentation.
How does Jewish tradition view the role of sports in society? And how does that map onto the role of sports in society today? Together we will explore Jewish sources that can speak to the constructive and destructive value of sports, and how that can inform our relationship with sports in the 21st century. (T)
There is a lot of Jewish music out there. It comes in many forms and styles. In this session we'll explore the wealth of Jewish music and musical styles that is out there, and along the way you may discover some new artists, genres, and styles There'll be a little something for every taste, from classical to hassidic to rock to hip hop and beyond. Expand your horizons. Discover established artists, new artists, up and comers, and more. Treat your ears and your soul. (T)
What is the true motivation behind Evangelicals, Christian Zionists, Messianic Jews and otheres who offer unconditional, passionate and generous financial support for Israel and the Jewish people? After more than six years of talking to these people on a daily basis, Morene Dunn will explain their motivation. And it is NOT what Jews think. Entirely.
In a perfect world we would like to support every important cause and work for every issue close to our hearts. In reality, while we may have unlimited passion, we only have so much time and money. Join me for a fun, interactive workshop for teens and adults, through which we will explore our Tikkun Olam priorities and set personal tzedakah goals using activities from the new AJWS tzedakah curriculum, Where Do You Give. (T)
The process by which the Torah is written and made and the values inherent in this process can inspire and teach us how to bring spirituality to our parenting. This session will focus on modern parents, with a special emphasis on the experience of interfaith parenting.
What does Judaism have to say about sexual relationships of the more or even less permanent kind? What might Judaism have to offer folks who aren't ready to settle down? How might Judaism's teachings on sex surprise, and even shock us from our contemporary perspective? What does it mean to move through the world with a "Jewish sexual ethic?" Does, or can, traditional Judaism intersect with sex-positive feminism? How? This session will look at a myriad of texts that might help point us towards a way of thinking about "kosher sex" for the 21st century. (T)
The Song of Songs has become the quintessential language of love poetry in Jewish culture. As much as Rabbinic sources want to keep this canonical book in an allegorical box (referring only to the love between God and the Jewish People), the imagery and words of the book have been employed in a variety of other uses in Jewish tradition and ritual, including some rather unexpected places. We will study selected passages together, addressing the unusual connections between love and death. (T)
What do Esther, Moses, Joseph and Ruth have in common? They all might have had trouble finding a rabbi to do their wedding! Jewish genetics, archival research, and contemporary scholarship has shed new light on an old-new challenge of Jewish life
Jews have lived all over the city and in many suburbs. Two areas the west side and south side define a lot of our current community. What defines them? What were their contributions and accomplishments? Why did they decline and fall? (T)
Explore how biblical characters and themes show up in pop music - everything from KISS to Hilary Duff - and how those interpretations color, and are colored by the original texts. Challenge the boundaries between ancient and modern, authentic and synthetic, all from the perspective of the musical zeitgeist. Join Stereo Sinai as we get up close and personal with our favorite biblical personalities and unearth the unexpected depth of pop culture. (T)
"Dancing Sephirot is a meditative body movement practice using ecstatic dance & world music as a spititual practice, integrating body, mind, heart, soul and spirit. This session will introduce participants to embody the four letter divine name, YHVH, thru the music and dance of the ten Sephirot, focusing on the energy and characteristics of Chesed." (T)
In this session, we will cover the history, possibilities and resources of the Science of Religion movement. We will use an actual example of its use in a Jewish organization. During the session, we will practice these methods and appy them to our own organizations and thereby increasings our personal effectiveness. This session is appropriate for mid-teens and adults. (T)
Join a former and current Limmud chair as they discuss the fundamentals of Judaism and Limmud and how they intersect with each other. Is Limmud an experience for Jews or a Jewish experience. What does it mean for an event or idea to have Jewish meaning and how can we use these ideas to make our lives and experiences more meaningful.
This session will introduce the curriculum and lesson plans being taught to 50% of schoolchildren in Israel on nature and environmental issues, including lesson plans that connect Judaism to the environment, season by season. Part of the goal in teaching nature and environmental issues to children in Israel is getting them to KNOW and LOVE the Land of Israel.
This session will be a discussion of the importance of the eternal flame throughout history and across religious lines. From ancient Greece and Rome to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; from Zoroastrianism to Hinduism, an eternal flame burns in many religions. Many more religions involve gods of fire. Participants will be provided with text to assist in the development of ideas as they think about why never-ending fire is of such divine importance. (T)
This is a one-hour workshop for teens and tweens on writing comics and
graphic novels. Graphic novelist Trina Robbins will go through all the stages of creating a
comic script, She will cover synopsis, character description, establishing shots, action scenes, and
dialogue. Short exerices will accompany the lession. If there’s time, participants will script a one-page comic, to be drawn by themselves on their own time. (T)
In February 2012, the Israeli Labor Federation, the Histadrut, led a general strike of organized workers who struck for the benefit of unorganized exploited subcontracted workers. The struggle culminated in an agreement of employers to directly employ thousands of bank tellers, production line workers, hotel housekeepers, warehouse workers, and other subcontracted workers and for these workers to be fully covered by Histadrut collective bargaining agreements. If directly employed workers tried that tactic here in the U.S. they could all be permanently replaced by subcontracted workers.We will discuss the struggle to end exploitative subcontracting and its implications for workers in Israel and the United States.
The Garden is where God gave birth to humankind and nourished us with God's love, protection and food aplenty. Today the garden can renew our connections with God and the earth, and community gardening adds a layer. It can enhance our relationships with one another, strengthen synagogue and communal life and serve as a model for tikkun olam, whether independently or in partnership with other organizations. The workshop will include study and planning to enable you to bring a garden proposal to your community. (T)
The bond between parents and children is usually unbreakable, but where does filial loyalty end? Through an examination of the case of the stubborn and rebellious child (ben sorer umoreh) as interpreted by the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, we will try to tackle the tricky question of relating to children who violate society's most basic standards. In the process we will see how the Torah understands the role of parents and the effect of parental relationships on children.
Dozens of novels have woven GLBT relationships into Jewish stories. How have these stories changed over the decades? What subjects remain taboo? Why are books with any gay content so often classified as “gay books,” and what does this do to the potential readership for these stories? How can we get more non-gay Jewish readers to read gay books—Jewish or not—without sacrificing the integrity of our stories?
A panel of Chicago Jewish politicos discussing short texts on Jewish political involvement, and responding to moderated questions regarding their and the Jewish community's involvement in politics in Chicago. Panelists include: Daniel Biss, Nancy Rotering, Sara Feigenholtz, Hon. Martin Oberman, and Howard Swibel.
Knit or crochet hats, scarves and blankets for children in Israel. Beginning knitters welcome! No experience required. Patterns and materials will be provided. Class size limited to 10.
What happens when you (or your teen) finishes high school? What does Jewish life look like in the "real world"? This panel featuring Jewish young adults from around Chicago will explore the possibilities for Jewish life after high school. (T)
A conversation on the values and principles that guide and inspire our everyday decisions. If there is time, we will start writing our own personal ethical wills
Joy and a fuller capacity to love and be loved are the natural outcomes of spiritual practice and of psychological healing from trauma. In this workshop we will examine some of the Jewish tools and teachings for healing and practice, such as the mikvah, Jewish meditation, and Hassidic teachings. We will also experience a blessings practice and a heart-opening meditation.
Participants will be introduced to mindfulness meditation through a Jewish lens. I will discuss the spiritual practice of "being in the moment", how we become the witness of our lives so as to cultivate healthy mind states. I will explain what mindfulness meditation is, its spiritual and health benefits and then lead two meditation sessions to bring them into the state of focused attention and relaxation. Meditation allows us to open our hearts and connect with God. We will also chant prayers to reach that loving state. Music and art are part of this presentation.
The session "Untold Stories from Israel and the West Bank" offers the sharing of personal experiences by two people who lived in those countries at any time since 1967, the beginning of the Israeli occupation. Q and A will follow the two presentations. All who attend this session, speakers and audience alike, are asked to leave their politics at the door. Come with an open mind to hear "Untold Stories".
"Hatboxes" is a narrative short film focusing on a relationship that develops between two women, a secular Jewish lawyer and an Orthodox hatmaker (see http://hatboxesthemovie.com/ ). The session include a sneak preview of the 18-minute film, followed by a discussion facilitated by the writer/director and the producer. Discussion will focus on the spectrum of identity, variability in observance, and the handling of taboos.
Many are familiar with the traditional uses of Mikvah within the context of relationships (bride or groom immersions, Niddah or Family Purity practices). There are other ways that Mikvah can help mark important relationship milestones (marking a divorce, preparing for conception). This session will explore the role of Mikvah within relationships, through the lenses of two Mikva’ot: the Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh in Boston and the Adam R. Straus Memorial Mikvah in Chicago.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" is certainly well known, but who is that neighbor? Does it mean geographical proximity or ideological conformity? Who is not my neighbor? We will explore these questions through Jewish text.
"REFUGE: Stories of the Self-help Home" reaches back more than 70 years to tell the story of a little known Chicago community that has provided a home to more than 1,000 Holocaust survivors and refugees from Central Europe. The critically-acclaimed documentary, directed by Ethan Bensinger, explores the lives of six Chicagoans against the the context of the Nazi cataclysm and how a small group of them came together after the war to care for their own. Film followed by a Q and A with the director.
A session based on the Chicago History Museum exhibition, Shalom Chicago. Olivia Mahoney, curator, will present a series of compelling personal stories that represent and illuminate the larger group's history from 1840s to the present. Each story features a rich array of images and artifacts drawn from the collections of the Chicago History Museum, Spertus Institute, numeorus organizations and private lenders. (T)
Organizing is hard work, and organizers do it because we want to make a difference. The best tool we have to make that difference is ourselves. This training will help you uncover the self awareness that you need to change in order to make more of a difference in the world. It's about how you work with others in community, how you understand your own role and how you lead others to correct injustice. It will challenge you to be honest about the attitudes and behavior that comprise your strengths, as well as those that make you less effective, and less powerful, than you could be. (T)
Does God have a sense of humor? What do the Garden of Eden and advice columnist Dear Abby have in common? And just why are Jews so funny?
In Laughing Through History, comedian Joel Chasnoff explores Judaism through the lens of our best jokes. He’ll look at the difference between Israeli and Jewish-American humor, explain why modern Jewish comedy has its roots in the Talmud, and discuss the history—and future—of Jewish humor, from the Book of Genesis to Curb Your Enthusiasm and beyond.
Part lecture, part one-man-show, Laughing Through History is packed with sample jokes. He’ll even invite a few lucky audience members to share their own favorite stories—so come prepared to laugh…and learn.
This text-based session will look at our prayers and our conversations with G-d as we express our individual needs, wants, and desires. We will examine some of the prayers printed in the siddur and the meanings that individuals might attach to those prayers. We will discuss how we can shmooze with G-d like the "bff" that G-d is.
Limmud is happening just steps away from Hull House, the settlement house founded in 1889 by Jane Addams. Hull House served as a place of community, learning, and support for many of Chicago's poorest immigrants, including Jews. Come on a tour of Hull House and learn more about the role that Hull House played in Chicago and how Jews were involved. We'll meet at 1:35 at the Help desk to walk over together. The tour will end in time for the next session.
Today's application in wake of our technological advances in medicine. Active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. I will included sources and cases from the Talmud as well from contemporary rabbis such as Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Solovechick.
In a mini-celebration of the diversity of Jewish music we're going to (lightly) analyze a few secular jewish songs from different communities - one from the Sephardic/Ladino tradition, one from the 'Yiddish dance' era in the United States, one from around the same era in North Africa, and one from modern Israel. Presentation will conclude with a performance.
See work-in-progress excerpts from "Rumbula's Echo", a powerful new documentary about the second largest massacre of the Holocaust (after Babi Yar). The documentary film project has been acclaimed in Europe, Israel and the U.S., by work-in-progress audiences as well as by Holocaust and genocide scholars. Discuss the cost to the world of the murders, of the entire Holocaust and of all genocide. The basis for the discussion is the work-in-progress excerpts and the Mishnah about how one who destroys a life destroys an entire world, and one who saves a life saves an entire world.
The sukkah is a powerful metaphor for pregnancy. From the image of welcoming new guests at the fall festival of Sukkot to God's "sukkat sh'lomecha" (shelter of peace), the Sukkah presents us with a framework for nine moths of spiritual preparation for for birth. Barbara will present her take on bringing Jewish spirituality into the sukkah of pregnancy with new rituals and meditations. The session is aimed at parents-to-be, anyone wanting to someday be a parent, and maybe even some grandparents (or grandparent wannabes).
It's a rare event when a woman "takes" something in the Torah -- but when one does, something big is happening! Together, we will explore what happens in these stories and what they say about the roles women play in the Jewish narrative. (T)
This workshop is for those who want to compose their own prayers for a refuah shlemah, a complete healing of body, mind and spirit. We will look at the role and structure of healing prayer from past to present and how creative prayer can be joined closely or stand free from traditional Jewish prayer. Together we will discuss and describe the many ways that we as contemporary Jews understand G-d and therefore how we might each approach the One. Participants will then have the opportunity to create their own prayers as an expression of the heart.
Does gender affect a clergy-person’s role? Can clergy establish a work life balance? And is there a difference in perspective working in a congregation or a non-profit? Join Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld from Beth Chaverim Humansitic Jewish Community in Deerfield; Rachel Finegold, the Education and Ritual director of Anshe Shalom Bnai Israel Congregation in Chicago; Ari Moffic, Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago; and Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann from Mishkan Chicago in discussing these questions and more.
Beginning with biblical and post-biblical texts we will explore how Jews who lived long before professional matchmakers, speed dating, and the internet found love, sometimes before and sometimes after marriage.. We will also consider contemporary techniques that some Jews use to screen potential mates and to keep love alive. (T)
This interactive (bet-midrash style) session will explore the way Jews have interacted and viewed non-Jews, grappled with being a minority and tried to ensure our survival. We'll cover the gamut from Biblical texts to Rabbinic texts to contemporary views of issues such as intermarriage, conversion and non-Jewish members of our community. You may be surprised by the way these questions have been asked for thousands of years. Our ancient ancestors were often more open-minded than we might imagine.
Romantic relationships involve an often-tricky and sometimes-contentious balancing act between expressing love in physical and emotional ways. Drawing on the laws of niddah (family purity/sexual separation), we will discuss how different expressions of affection can impact relationships, and how sexual restraint can sometimes have a strong long-term positive effect.Le
JCUA is an organization with a long and rich history in Chicago and has played a major role in justice work in the city since the civil rights movement. Through a variety of media, this session takes participants through the ways the Jewish community has been integral to fighting racism, hatred, and other injustices in the city. This historical journey will take the participants to today, creating a context for the important work JCUA is currently doing. We will then introduce one of our campaigns and how participants can continue this strong history through justice work today.
Using costumes, humor , and texts, Evan and Miron will introduce participants to who Rambam was. Using an interview format to start, participants will gain a better insight to Maimonides' life and times and a few of his works. The presentation then shifts into a more interactive format as the goals of the "Guide for the Perplexed" are presented and explored. (T)
Is kavannah (intense feeling) a necessary component of prayer or the fulfillment of the mitzvot? In an attempt to answer, or at least respond to the questions, we will study two rabbinic stories which touch upon the relationship between kavannah at the fulfillment of the mitzvot.
Whether it’s part of ancient scripture, a rabbi’s sermon, a Sholom Aleichem fable, or a Larry David comedy routine, a traditional Jewish story doesn’t need to be “true” to be truthful; fiction is considered instructive for real life, and real life is considered fodder for fiction. On the other hand, in this confessional age of reality television, tell-all memoir, and the festival of self-disclosure that is social media, we have learned that we must speak as personally and directly as possible to build up credibility and a sense of authenticity, if we want to dispel myths, combat ignorance, and build understanding. So when Jews tell our stories, do we turn to fiction or nonfiction, parable or autobiography? In this workshop, Wayne Hoffman will explore different methods of storytelling, using examples from his own work, and lead a discussion about how different methods can be used to create something “true.” (T)
Ever been slapped or spit on by a loving older relative (think "pu-pu-pu")? Ever wonder about the red strings you saw those folks selling by the Western Wall in Jerusalem? Or maybe you've seen those charms that look vaguely like a hand called a "hamsa" that seem to pop up in Jewish contexts? Demons, angels, wraiths, imps, spirits, dybbuks - they're all real and they're all around us, and Jews have been coming up with ways to control them since ancient times - for good AND bad. Join the "Biblegum Pop" music stars in Stereo Sinai for just a glimpse of the incredible Jewish underworld. (T)
"What kinds of power do we have as individuals and as a community? What does the Jewish tradition have to say about how we should use it?What is a loving way to use our power?
In this session, we will delve texts from the Bible, Biblical commentary, and from the Mussar (Jewish Ethical Development) tradition. Together we will explore what these textual paradigms can teach us about power and use them as a springboard for an open conversation about how we, as modern American Jews, can use our power in a loving way." (T)
This session will provide attendees with information about choices at the end of life, or during serious illness, and how the Jewish Care Services program at Midwest CareCenter addresses the specific needs of Jewish patients and families. We will explore how hospice is a "hug" during times of crisis, and share some methods of working through the stress a serious illness brings. Materials will be provided
The tefillah (prayer) experience is deeply enhanced by the influence of niggunim, of wordless tunes. Join us as we sing and learn niggunim, some perhaps familiar and some new, in an effort to enhance our prayer communities. (T)
Yoga is the transformational practice of bringing the mind, body and spirit together thus nourishing our essence and bringing us closer to a heart centered life. Jewish yoga is a Jewish spiritual experience informed by the sacred healing wisdom of our texts and traditions. In our session together we will explore the theme of love and the teaching that we are all created in God’s image. Through our own body prayer we can come to realize that we are the gift that we have always wanted and holiness is within us and all around us. Some yoga mats will be available for use, but feel free to bring your own.
The way we learn Torah can influence how we relate to our "internal Torah"; that is, our inner world. The qualities and assumptions that we bring to Torah study reflect how we discern meaning through paying attention to what arises in the mind and body. One element of life in which this is particularly true is in how we experience love. In this session, we will weave together short periods of meditation and text study in an exploration of how Jewish textual wisdom about love is a reflection for how we might study the inner texts of love.
In story and song we’ll explore how some Holocaust victims found the love, determination and human connection to help them survive, and why we all must continue to work against hatred, bigotry and racism. (T)
This session will explore the Akedah as it presents the love of a father for a son and the effort it takes for a parent to let go of his or her child. The Akedah will be juxtaposed to the story of Oedipus from Greek tradition which has the son unconsciously overcoming his father instead of the father consciously letting go of his son. Discussion will focus on the Genesis text as it relates the tensions between love for one's child, love for God (or one's heritage), and the moral necessity that the child make his or her own decisions.
Richard Reeder will discuss and read from his book "Chicago Sketches." He will explain how the vignettes in the book were influenced by Chicago's historically Jewish neighborhoods, including Lawndale, Albany Park, and West Rogers Park. He will describe the evolution of his written sketches from blog entries into a book.
Brisket, Kugel, Bagels and Cream Cheese, Falafel, Hummus, Pickles, Kohlrabi? What makes food Jewish? Jews have lived in nearly every country around the world, incorporating the local cuisine into their Jewish identities. But now in a world of 24-hour supermarkets, global cuisine, and year-round access to food, how can we maintain our cultural identity? How do we overcome the challenges of eating locally and ethically at our Shabbat tables during Chicago winters? Lead by Jewish changemaker and double chi award recipient Gan Project Founder Jill Zenoff, changing the landscape of Chicago's Jewish community one shovel full at a time. (T)
Genealogy has become the number one interest of Americans. To be successful, a Jewish researcher must first recognize the unique features of this type of research. Assessing what you may know about your family, gathering relevant documents, identifying other sources of information, as well as recognizing helpful internet sites will be discussed. Questions will be answered and a handout will be provided.
Knit or crochet hats, scarves and blankets for children in Israel. Beginning knitters welcome! No experience required. Patterns and materials will be provided. Class size limited to 10.
James Kugel in his 2007 best seller "How to Read the Bible" stated that the gap between academic and traditional Bible study was "unbridgeable". Ben Katz believes that it is not the case. In this session, Ben Katz will show that academic Bible study is not always as scientific as its proponents make it out to be, while at least some medieval Bible commentators are quite critical and 'modern' in outlook. The presenter will also give examples of some of the recent trends towards literary analysis of Scripture.
How do we discuss Jewish Identity through sports and why do sports play such a large part in Jewish Culture and American Culture. This conversation is based on Andrew Gershman's book Modern Day Maccabees.
An exploration of the laws, lore and art of the Eruv. An eruv is often a critical component of a Jewish community. Using examples from the various chicago Eruvs we will explore what makes an Eruv and how an eruv makes a community.
When the mostly draft-age male cartoonists joined the army during World War ll, women cartoonists took their places at the drawing tables. Of all the comics publishers, Fiction House employed the most women cartoonists, and probably the most successful of these women was Lily Renee Wilheim, their only woman cartoonist to draw covers as well as interior stories. Lily Renee’s own life story reads like a comic book; she was a Jewish teenaged Holocaust survivor who escaped to England from Nazi-occupied Austria via Kindertransport. Trina Robbin's all-ages graphic novel biography, “Lily Renee, Escape Artist,” has been awarded a gold medal from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and a silver medal from the Sydney Taylor Jewish Library, and Trina has put together a collection of her comics which will be published in 2013. This session will illuminate Lily Renee’s art and amazing life. (T)
In the newspapers, on TV, and across other forms of news media we hear about ideological Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and we see images of fanatically religious individuals grasping their hold on land – but are fundamentalist ideologies the major motivation behind their actions and decisions? In this session, we will encounter stories, thoughts, and attitudes expressed by women from a specific established settlement. We will discuss what is revealed when we attend to these women’s voices and what factors are underlying their choices to live in this contested place, and we will consider some of the complexity lying beneath this conflicted landscape.
This highly interactive, PowerPoint-enhanced, discussion session will explore the ups and downs, twists and turns of Brian's own Eastern European family of origin (19 generations) and the participants Jewish, European families of origins. All attendees are encouraged to bring any/all family histories and photo documents to share! Our focus will be on all our respective, significant ancestors and descendents, starting from the early modern era (mid 1500's) to present, with awareness of the impact on our ancestors of their diverse, multi-ethnic/religious neigbors, and visa versa. (T)
Using “The Nine Billion Names of God,” a short story by Arthur C. Clarke as a starting point, we’ll ponder the purpose of humans in the Universe. This one-shot book club will be long on the questions and wondering and short on definitive answers. We may venture into traditional Jewish thought (and we may not). Mainly this session is about enjoying great speculative fiction and seeing where the conversation takes us. (T)
Beyond our ‘foremothers’ Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel: We all know others in the Torah: Miriam, Shifra, Puah, Yocheved, Devorah, Dina. . . Who are the unnamed, or less known women who, but for their courage and decisive action, Jewish history would not have turned the way we know it today?When did they live? What were their lives? Of what Jewish significance were they? Why do we call them Female Action Heroines? We will learn from each other, in the true Limmud way. Bring your ideas and take some more away! (T)
Is there a congregation in America that still practices true Classical Reform Judaism? There is one in our city--Chicago Sinai Congregation. One of the very first Reform congregations in the nation, the first in the western states, and the first American congregation to have its origins as a Reform congregation, Chicago Sinai upholds the Classical Reform tradition, a tradition more liberal than the commonly practiced Mainstream Reform of today. In the documentary "Chicago Sinai: Inspiring Reform for 150 Years," we examine how Sinai's leaders - from rabbis like Emil Hirsch (the most influential rabbi in America in his day) to members like Julius Rosenwald (who endowed Tuskegee University and more than five thousand schools for African-American children throughout the country) - put the ideals of Classical Reform to the service of social progressive action in fighting poverty, labor inequity, and racism. (T)
"Famous Chicago Jews. Describes and contrasts personalities and accomplishments of Rabbis Saul Silber, Hannah Greenebaum Solomon and Julius Rosenwald. Are they important today in 2012."
A•zam•ra is part of a nationwide movement putting Hebrew psalms and songs to the rhythms and melodies of kirtan, a form of call-response devotional music that originates in Eastern spirituality. Our music is meant not so much to be listened to as to be experienced and joined to the voices in the room.
Azamra is Rabbis Lizzi Heydemann and Sam Feinsmith, Hannah Shefsky and Yoni Sarason. Azamra means "I will sing," and evokes the psalm that invites us to sing not only with our voices, but with our very lives. (T)
Finish out a day of Limmud Chicago sessions with a rousing session of singing with the popular singing duo, Kol B’seder: Jeff Klepper and Dan Freelander.