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Saturday, June 15
 

7:00pm

Drinks & dessert bar
Saturday June 15, 2019 7:00pm - 7:30pm
Bar Area

7:30pm

Opening havdallah + Yoel Sykes in concert
PERFORMANCE | Join Yoel Sykes of Nava Tehila for an energetic and uplifting musical opening to Limmud Oz. Yoel's unique musical and spiritual background (with a helping of brilliant musicianship) lays the foundations for what promises to be an unforgettable performance. Drawing on traditional and contemporary melodies, Yoel and his band will make kahal (audience) become kehila (community).

Speakers
avatar for Yoel Sykes

Yoel Sykes

Musician & composer, Nava Tehila
Yoel studied music at the Center for Eastern Music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in the Fundacion de Christina Heeren school of Flamenco Arts in Seville, Spain. He is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jerusalem-based community and travels to Jewish communities around the... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Limmud Forum

8:35pm

Shaken, not stirred: a cocktail workshop
WORKSHOP | Have you ever wanted to treat your guests, your partner, or just yourself to a really nice drink? Having trouble turning that cobwebbed bottle of gin into something scrumptious? In this return of the infamous kosher cocktail session, host Josh will show you how to spruce up your cocktail menu, with fruits, jams, teas, and a few other secret ingredients.

Speakers
avatar for Joshua Goodman

Joshua Goodman

Director of the AUJS Susan Wakil Fellowship, Josh loves all things Jewish—community, tradition, myth, humour, food, philosophy, and talking ’til it’s late. Having recently moved to Melbourne, his favourite challah is the kosher vegan sourdough challah from Baker Bleu and his... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 8:35pm - 9:30pm
Club Bar

8:35pm

Living on the Gaza border: a personal view
In 2009 I founded an intentional community 5 kilometres from the Gaza border, which has grown and thrived while experiencing numerous military operations and constant missile attacks. What is it like to actually live there, and what hope for a better future can we generate through ongoing conversation with people on the other side of the fence? I am here to share one personal perspective.

Speakers
avatar for Aharon Ariel Lavi

Aharon Ariel Lavi

Community-builder, Hakhel
Aharon is a serial social entrepreneur, professional community organiser, and thinker who believes Judaism can inspire and inform all walks of life. He is co-founder of MAKOM, the Israeli umbrella organisation of intentional communities, and Hakhel, the first global incubator for... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 8:35pm - 9:30pm
Room 4

8:35pm

Testimonies from the inside: the secret Warsaw ghetto archives
Between August 1942 and April 1943, a small team of Polish Jewish researchers feverishly buried three caches of precious material. The first was unearthed in 1946 and the second in 1950. To this day, the third cache remains unfound. The caches represent the desperate attempt of Warsaw's embattled Jews to record and memorialise who they were for the remembering by a world that they would never see. In this session, we will consider the incredible story of the archive and present an overview of its remarkable contents.

Speakers
avatar for Simon Holloway

Simon Holloway

Simon  is an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he researches and runs seminars on the Holocaust. He has a PhD from the University of Sydney, for which he wrote a thesis on the use of metaphor in the Hebrew Bible. He also has two beautiful children, aged 1 and 3... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 8:35pm - 9:30pm
Room 2

8:35pm

Antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and intersectionality: are Jews welcome on the political left?
The left has been Jews’ political home for over a century. But with antisemitism flourishing in Jeremy Corbyn’s UK Labour party, Women’s March leaders in the US excluding Jewish and Zionist women’s groups, and Australian Jewish students facing hostility from some progressive groups on campus, this natural alliance seems unsteady in 2019. How are some progressive leaders committed to fighting racism while also espousing antisemitic and anti-Zionist views? How do concepts of intersectionality and privilege play into this mess? Do Jews still have a place in progressive politics?

Moderators
avatar for Jeremy Jones

Jeremy Jones

Jeremy Jones AM is a writer, lecturer, human rights advocate, interfaith leader, and Rabbitohs tragic. He has participated in international conferences and dialogues on behalf of both the Australian Government and the Australian Jewish community in 30 countries and has written widely... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ariel Bogle

Ariel Bogle

Reporter, ABC
Ariel is a technology reporter at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). She writes, edits, and makes radio about technology, science, and culture. Most recently, she was technology editor at The Conversation. Her work has been published in, for example, the New York Times... Read More →
avatar for Nell Cohen

Nell Cohen

Nell is an Arts, Media & Communications student at the University of Sydney. She graduated from Moriah College in 2014 and was a youth leader in the Zionist Jewish youth movement Habonim Dror. She is a participant in the 2019 Susan Wakil Fellowship (AUJS) and is Co-Editor-in-Chief... Read More →
avatar for Richard Angell

Richard Angell

Richard is in Australia working as a consultant at NSW Labor on the State and Federal Elections. Before heading Down Under, he was director of Progress – UK Labour’s leading centre-left pressure group – and a political commentator appearing regularly on BBC News, Sky News, LBC... Read More →
avatar for Lorin Muhlmann

Lorin Muhlmann

Lorin is an advisor to Dr Marjorie O'Neill, ALP Member for Coogee, and an accredited mediator with an interest in workplace dispute resolution. Lorin has a legal background and experience in community media. In 2005 she ran as a Labor Party candidate in the Hunter Ward of Waverley... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 8:35pm - 9:30pm
Room 6

8:35pm

Rabbis behaving badly: the R-rated Talmud
We often think of the rabbis as paradigms of virtue, but narratives throughout the Talmud suggest that they were not always so well behaved. We will explore stories of prostitutes, mistaken identities, murder, and magic to see a more human side of the ancient rabbis and to try to understand why they would record their worst selves for posterity.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Talmud scholar & teacher, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rachel lectures in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was voted Professor of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she teaches at the Drisha Institute and in Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS. She is currently a... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 8:35pm - 9:30pm
Room 5

9:35pm

We are only funny because we suffered: a Jewish comedy debate
What’s so funny about oppression? Would the Jews be so comedically renowned if it wasn’t for all that persecution? For millennia, Jews have been turning ‘knock knocks’ from the authorities into ‘knock knock’ jokes. This light-hearted debate will explore the origins of Jewish humour, featuring up-and-coming as well as established Jewish comics and community members. Prepare to laugh until your stomach hurts!

Moderators
avatar for Anita Zaid

Anita Zaid

Anita is a Change Manager at Westpac. She is an ex-President of AUJS NSW and, until recently, sat on the board for Or Chadash, a boutique shule in Bondi. She is a Jew who loves everything that comes with it: spirituality, religion, community, food, and guilt.

Speakers
avatar for Geoff Sirmai

Geoff Sirmai

‘Half watchdog, half wit’, Geoff is a former journalist and author who always maintained an ‘other life’ as actor, musician, and comedian. For the past 20 years he has balanced a full-time performing career with a consultancy in Arts PR. In communal life he founded the AUJS... Read More →
avatar for Robin Reynolds

Robin Reynolds

A British-born comedian of Jewish descent, Robin delights audiences with her anecdotes and one-liners. Much like her name, Robin is a bird in comedy. Rising fast in the Sydney scene, she's been featured in Powerbomb Comedy Festival and you can catch her show 'Relatable Material' at... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Kirk

Jamie Kirk

Jamie is a Sydney-based comedian and comedy-room runner. He is a regular performer and host at some of Sydney's best comedy venues. In addition to this he is one of the runners of Powerbomb Comedy, a collective that puts on a stand-up show every Friday night, featuring some of Australia's... Read More →
avatar for Thalia-Joan Halperin

Thalia-Joan Halperin

After starting her own small brand ‘Insert Laugh Here’, Thalia-Joan has continued to run an array of successful comedy nights across Sydney. This qualified teacher has found herself hanging up her responsibility jacket and chasing her dreams. With an impressive list of writing... Read More →
avatar for Jared Jekyll

Jared Jekyll

Jared’s comedy prowess has cemented him as a familiar face in Australian film, TV, and stand-up comedy. He is also a sought-after support act, having opened for international comedians Tom Green and Ari Shaffir. In 2018 he starred in Stefan Hunt’s ‘We’re All Going To Die... Read More →
avatar for Rodney Marks

Rodney Marks

Rodney is a comedian for business and private events, a comedy hoax speaker, and a corporate impostor. He delivers tailored jokes, gentle roasts, post-truth waffle, and double-talk. He's co-written 10 books *joke* books and joke *books*. With degrees from UNE, UNSW, and Harvard, he... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:35pm - 10:30pm
Room 6

9:35pm

The most moral army in the world? Dilemmas of the IDF
In this session Tuvia will present a view of Tzahal from the inside. Based on personal recollections and learning about the experiences of other soldiers, we will explore the meaning of the IDF for Jews in Israel and throughout the world and we will examine and discuss moral dilemmas faced by soldiers on a daily basis. Tuvia will present a number of recently declassified IDF film clips to help with development of good understanding of some of these complex issues. This is the IDF that you don't see in the media.

Speakers
avatar for Tuvia Book

Tuvia Book

IDF veteran & author
Tuvia was born in London and is an IDF veteran. He is an experienced Jewish educator in both formal and informal contexts and has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the world and throughout Israel. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education and is the author... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:35pm - 10:30pm
Room 5

9:35pm

TABOO TALK | Pleasure and desire: debunking infamous myths about Jewish sex
TABOO TALK | You think you know what Judaism has to say about pleasure, desire, and sexuality? Join religious psychotherapist Miriam Dolnikov as she debunks some famous and infamous myths about Jews and sex, supported by current research and Jewish sources. This is an opportunity to be curious and ask her your burning (or embarrassing) questions—all through anonymous sms. Interactive, fun, and a little risqué, you’ll go home with a more nuanced picture of Jewish sexual values, and even some tips …

These ‘taboo talks’ aim to create a space for brave, difficult conversations about complicated human experiences—sex, baby-making, illness, ageing—that may feature in our lives. Come with an open mind and leave with a new perspective.

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Dolnikov

Miriam Dolnikov

Miriam is a psychotherapist with a special interest in relationships and sexual wellbeing. Born in Moscow, she studied social psychology at Moscow University before embarking on a journey to Torah-observant life, making aliyah in 2000. She received her BA in Advanced Jewish Studies... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:35pm - 10:30pm
Room 4

9:35pm

Storytelling through images: over a century of Jewish life around the globe
Kol yisrael areivim ze la’ze (‘All Jews are responsible for one another’). For thousands of years Jews have moved from place to place—either by choice or force—and helped each other when they could. The Joint Distribution Committee was created in 1914 to assist Jews living in Palestine under Turkish rule; the Joint continues to serve communities in need around the world. Learn about more than a century of this incredible work—and maybe uncover a part of your family history you didn’t know.

Speakers
avatar for Romi Rutovitz

Romi Rutovitz

Romi spent almost a year living in Warsaw, volunteering as a JDC Entwine Jewish Service Corps Fellow. She developed innovative community programs, working to revitalise Jewish life in a country with a dark past, and marketed the Warsaw Jewish Community Centre to visitors from around... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:35pm - 10:30pm
Room 2
 
Sunday, June 16
 

8:45am

Doors open – registration & coffee
Sunday June 16, 2019 8:45am - 9:30am
Limmud Forum

9:30am

The importance of being Jewish: why a contemporary Australian novel needs a Jewish character
Paris 1981 … . The main character of Diana Blackwood’s novel Chaconne, Eleanor Weston, is tormented by a difficult love and self-doubt as a musician. Her best friend, Ruth Sonnenberg, a wholesome and sympathetic character, and many readers’ favourite, is Jewish. In conversation with Ludmila Stern, Diana explains why she made Ruth Jewish, what her Jewishness adds to the novel, and how a non-Jewish author managed to make this character credible as a Jew.

Moderators
avatar for Ludmila Stern

Ludmila Stern

Ludmila is a Professor of Interpreting and Translation at UNSW. Her interests include history and literature. The monograph Western Intellectuals and the Soviet Union, 1920–40: From Red Square to the Left Bank (Routledge 2007) comprises her historical research focusing on the study... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Diana Blackwood

Diana Blackwood

Author
Diana grew up in Sydney but has lived in Europe and the USA. She has worked as a teacher, editor of subtitles, and narrator of documentaries, and as an academic editor. Her publications include short stories and essays. Chaconne (2018) is her first novel.


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 8

9:30am

Diabetes and Israeli stem cells: a possible therapy
Type 1 diabetes affects 120,000 young Australians and 21 million worldwide, with daily insulin needed to control sugar levels. But new stem cell therapies are a possible means of overcoming the need for insulin administration. This session will discuss the science and halacha of using such cells, as well as the arrangements between an Australian consortium and the Israeli company Kadimastem Ltd examining the suitability of a device for clinical use. See Israeli innovation in action!

Speakers
avatar for Bernie Tuch

Bernie Tuch

Professor Tuch is an observant Jew spearheading an Australian consortium to use Israeli insulin-producing stem cells as a therapy for type 1 diabetes. He is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and Monash University, Director of the NSW Stem Cell Network and the Australian... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 2

9:30am

Morning news and brews: the latest from Israel
Grab a coffee and join analyst Dan Feferman for an up-to-date round-up of big news in Israel. There’s never a dull moment: coalition building, rockets in southern Israel, Bibi’s corruption woes … . A conversation on the hottest headlines since this program went to print, what’s trending on Twitter, and how an analyst keeps up with one of the most news-intensive places in the world.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Feferman

Dan Feferman

Israeli analyst, Jewish People Policy Institute
Dan is a Major (res.) in the IDF who served as a foreign policy and national security analyst in the IDF General Staff and as commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN's Research and Analysis Division. He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 6

9:30am

Takedown: an introduction to Krav Maga
WORKSHOP | Go home safer with an introduction to the most effective self-defence system around the world. Developed by the Israeli military to be effective and quick to learn, it’s used by millions around the world so that everyone may walk in peace. You will learn the basics of how to defend yourself against an armed attack. This workshop will be fun and high intensity—towels and water provided. See you at training. Kida!

Speakers
avatar for Jonathan Bruck

Jonathan Bruck

Jonathan is a certified civilian instructor with the International Krav Maga Federation. He has been practising Krav Maga for five years and currently holds the rank of Graduate 1. He runs the organisation Krav Maga Legends, which trains in Ultimo. Jonathan works professionally as... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 5

9:30am

'Kalisz', a journey of return
History has a way of showing up without being invited, and relatives can be hidden for decades, but when truth is revealed changes emerge. Kalisz: A Journey of Return is the novel I wrote after my first visit to Kalisz, my father's ancestral homeland. It's a sweeping drama, traversing Poland through Palestine and gathering up generations of two World Wars and beyond.

Speakers
avatar for Rosalind Brenner

Rosalind Brenner

Rosalind was born in Sydney to immigrant parents. Her father was a Polish Holocaust survivor. Rosalind married and raised three children before her working career began. With her Metaphysical Diploma in hand, she worked as a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor for many years. She has published... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 1

9:30am

TABOO TALK | Ageing isn't sexy
TABOO TALK | Judaism honours our elders, but current society exalts youth. We all hope we’ll grow old someday, yet we don’t want to imagine ourselves ageing. How do we provide for our seniors in a Jewish context? And how can we make aged care, one of the fastest growing industries, more engaging for younger people? Join us to break taboos around ageing and to explore ways to ‘bring sexy back’ to growing older.

These ‘taboo talks’ aim to create a space for brave, difficult conversations about complicated human experiences—sex, baby-making, illness, ageing—that may feature in our lives. Come with an open mind and leave with a new perspective.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Tanny

Rachel Tanny

Rachel is the CEO of COA Sydney, a non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish seniors. A baal teshuva who spent three years as the Rebbetzin of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation, Rachel also has a juris doctor and work experience in business innovation. A single mom with... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 4

9:30am

Acute emotional stress and heart attack: biblical and medical insights interwoven
Dramatic Torah scenes will be explored that provide insight into the link between acute emotional stress and heart attack. These include Sarah’s death after the near sacrifice of Isaac and the fainting then revival of Jacob when he learned that Joseph was alive. Geoff will weave Biblical commentary with current knowledge of the link between acute stress and heart attack, as well as findings from his own medical research, and suggest a guide to prevention.

Speakers
avatar for Geoffrey Tofler

Geoffrey Tofler

Geoff is a Professor of Cardiology at Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Sydney. He is fascinated by the insights that the Torah can provide into the association between stress and the heart and how it may link with his ongoing research interest into the relationship... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Room 7

10:45am

Designing a quest for the stage
What is it to be Jewish? That’s the question being asked by playwright James Sherman in The God of Isaac. Triggered by news of a planned neo-Nazi demonstration in his home of Skokie Illinois, title character Isaac goes on a journey to discover his true Jewish identity. This ’serious comedy’ is a perfect vehicle to demonstrate how a story is brought to life through close collaboration between the director and the set/costume designer.

Speakers
avatar for Moira Blumenthal

Moira Blumenthal

Moira believes that telling stories is the best way to create empathy. Since 1988 she has been telling Jewish stories through the medium of theatre in South Africa, America, and—for the past 22 years—in Sydney. Through the partnership of Shalom, Michael Shur, and more recently... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 3

10:45am

Israel’s social justice potential: how well do you know that which you love?
This thought-provoking quiz and interactive group discussion will focus on sharing ideas and opinions about a number of social justice and related issues affecting Israeli society. We'll lift the veil on some of the lesser known aspects of a country for which many of us feel such deep love and connection. We will explore issues to do with a range of topics, including refugees in Israel, religious observance, religious freedom, and Jewish practice in Israel.

Speakers
AG

Amy Goldman

Amy started her career as a freelance artist. Since moving to Australia she has worked within the Jewish community and with remote indigenous communities. Her passion for innovative education led her to her current role as a Montessori teacher. Amy was part of the New Israel Fund... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Kaplan

Ryan Kaplan

Ryan has been active in a wide range of Jewish communal organisations for many years. Professionally he is a clinical psychologist with a passion for mental health and he presents regularly at conferences around Australia. Ryan was part of the New Israel Fund Australia's fourth cohort... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 2

10:45am

TABOO TALK | Making meaning from hardship: building a life around disability and illness
TABOO TALK | At some point, most of us will be confronted with health challenges that will dramatically impact the way we live. But what happens when that time comes early? Our panelists will talk about how they have wrestled with halachic, social, and existential questions due to their health challenges and how they have built lives of meaning and interest in spite—or even because of—their ‘new normal’.

These ‘taboo talks’ aim to create a space for brave, difficult conversations about complicated human experiences—sex, baby-making, illness, ageing—that may feature in our lives. Come with an open mind and leave with a new perspective.

Moderators
avatar for Dalit Kaplan

Dalit Kaplan

Storyteller & impact entrepeneur
Dalit is a storyteller, impact entrepreneur, and occasional lawyer. She is the founder of Storywell, an organisation that teaches storytelling to impact-oriented individuals and organisations and engages in impact investing with Just World Investments. In another life she was a lawyer... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Tommy Sterling

Tommy Sterling

Tommy is a lawyer and long-time Limmudnik who currently sits on the Limmud Sydney Advisory Board. He loves to ask questions and explore the origin of all things Jewish. Tommy’s Jewish passions span the traditional to the academic, presented with his uniquely humorous and irreverent... Read More →
avatar for Ben Eretz

Ben Eretz

Ben cooks, reads, listens, and enjoys working with wood. During the day he likes to teach. He has lived with and through serious illness his whole adult life. Choosing to focus on the positive, Ben is interested in how unexpected events can provide new perspectives on living a fulfilling... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 1

10:45am

From other to brother: Jewish views of Jesus
Over the centuries, Jews have approached the figure of Jesus with curiosity, fear, hatred, and respect. He has been cast both as ‘brother’ and as ‘that man’ whose name is not pronounced. The way Jews view Jesus often reflects how Jews view themselves in relation to the culture in which they live.

Speakers
avatar for David Sandmel

David Sandmel

Interreligious Engagement Director, ADL
David has been Director of Interreligious Engagement at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) since 2014. An expert in Jewish–Christian relations, he was previously Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was involved in producing ‘Dabru Emet: A... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 5

10:45am

Memory wars: how Europe remembers, forgets, or revises the Holocaust
Poland’s 2018 Holocaust Law made it illegal to accuse the Polish state of complicity in Nazi crimes. How does this law fit with the revival of Jewish culture in Poland? Join the personal journey of a child of Polish Holocaust survivors visiting Kielce, the site of a post–WWII Polish pogrom. A senior lecturer in Modern and Jewish History will add a historian’s perspective to the memory wars now raging between public institutions and international historians.

Moderators
RB

Ruth Balint

Historian of migration, UNSW
Ruth is a senior lecturer at UNSW and convenor of History. She teaches and writes on histories of migration, displacement, and refugees and family, with a current focus on the Displaced Persons of postwar Europe. Her recent radio documentary for the ABC, ‘Cooking for Assimilation... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jan Lanicek

Jan Lanicek

Holocaust historian, UNSW
Dr Lanicek was born in the Czech Republic and is now senior lecturer at UNSW, specialising in the history of the Holocaust and modern European history. He is the author of three books: Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938–48 (2013), Arnost Frischer and the Jewish Politics of Early... Read More →
avatar for Yvonne Selecki

Yvonne Selecki

Yvonne is a child of Polish Holocaust survivors who had always been reluctant to visit Poland. For her parents it will always be one large graveyard. A recent trip changed that and she found a greater affinity to Polish culture than she imagined. Yvonne works as a doctor and a writer... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 7

10:45am

Australian Jews, the Left and ASIO: a shifting dynamic
For decades, ASIO maintained extensive files on people and organisations, many of them Jewish, with left- wing affiliations. Some were members of my own family. Using these files, I examine ASIO’s surveillance regime, explaining why so many Jews leaned left in the first half of last century and why ASIO took an unrelenting interest in them. I will conclude with a discussion on why, in recent years, the political allegiance of Australian Jews has shifted to the right.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Komesaroff

Michael Komesaroff

Michael is an engineer and freelance journalist who has spent a large part of his adult life living and working in Asia. Much of his writing relates to Asia and its economic development. He has been Executive in Residence at the School of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 4

10:45am

Hakhel: intentional communities and Jewish sustainability
Hakhel is the first and largest global incubator for Jewish intentional communities, operating in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. Its mission is to spark and support new expressions of Jewish life in the Diaspora by nurturing the growth of intentional communities with mentorship, seed funding, and network building. While the world transitions from centralist structures to networks and shared economies, Hakhel is at the forefront of implementing this spirit of grassroots innovation in Jewish life.

Speakers
avatar for Aharon Ariel Lavi

Aharon Ariel Lavi

Community-builder, Hakhel
Aharon is a serial social entrepreneur, professional community organiser, and thinker who believes Judaism can inspire and inform all walks of life. He is co-founder of MAKOM, the Israeli umbrella organisation of intentional communities, and Hakhel, the first global incubator for... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 8

10:45am

Post #MeToo: what now?
In 2017 the #MeToo movement took the world by storm, with millions of people sharing their experiences of sexual violence. It exposed just how common these experiences are and held some powerful men to account. But what now? How can Israeli and Australian societies transform this story-telling into law and action, to bring justice to victims and make us safer? Join the conversation about the impact of #MeToo in two vastly different societies and the power of social media to create cultural change.

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Zalkind

Miriam Zalkind

Lawyer & advocate, Israel Women's Network
Miriam is an Israeli lawyer serving as the Director of Policy and Legislation Promotion at the Israel Women's Network. She has been a feminist activist for more than a decade and is very active in the social struggle to end gender violence and to eliminate gender segregation in Israel... Read More →
avatar for Kim Rubenstein

Kim Rubenstein

Kim is a Professor in the Law school at ANU and Australia’s leading expert on citizenship law.  A graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School, she was the Director of the Centre for International and Public Law at ANU from 2006-2015 and the inaugural Convener... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Room 6

10:45am

The secret of Jewish survival
More than any other nation, the Jewish people has faced challenges to its very survival from its earliest days until the present. How has this remarkable nation survived? What are the secrets of its success, and how can it use its past successes to deal with today's continuity challenge? Can we unlock the secrets of our past in order to ensure the Jewish future?

Speakers
avatar for Danny Eisenberg

Danny Eisenberg

Danny is an Orthodox rabbi who has studied in Israel for a decade. He has worked at JLC and Or Chadash and headed the Sydney Torah MiTzion Kollel. For the past three years he has worked as a software developer at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW and is interested in the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Club Bar

10:45am

Warrior heroines in the Bible
Our collective memory is replete with the Tanakh's violent stories of war and conquest executed by men. In these stories, the role of women is often marginal and they are mostly presented as victims. So it might come as a surprise to learn that several heroines—deadly female protagonists—kill the enemy’s hero. In this session we will engage in a gender and feminist reading of the stories of these Biblical heroines.

Speakers
avatar for Yona Gilead

Yona Gilead

Dr Gilead is the Malka Einhorn Modern Hebrew Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator at the department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney. Yona teaches Modern Hebrew as an additional language (L2), including at beginners, intermediate, and advanced... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 10:45am - 11:45am
Collaboration Space 1

12:00pm

Mizrachi to Marx: my journey from the Melbourne shtetl to the urban kibbutz
How does a graduate of Yavneh and Mount Scopus find himself living in an urban commune in Haifa? Hear my story of traversing ideological, religious, and geographical divides and share in the dilemmas of living out Socialist-Zionism in the twenty-first century. I’ll also explore what that is, and how Socialist-Zionists in Israel today are modernising the ideals of the kibbutz and reviving the waning labour ideals of Israeli society.

Speakers
avatar for Adiel Cohney

Adiel Cohney

Educator, Dror Israel
After finishing his time in the Australian Zionist youth movements and his BA in Jewish Civilisation and Theatre, Adiel moved to Israel to form a Socialist commune with 10 of his peers. Today he is a member of Dror Israel Socialist-Zionist movement, on the executive team of the ‘Beit... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 3

12:00pm

The Israel–China relationship—in light of the ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’
In 2018 the relationship between Israel and China seemed to be a "match made in heaven" (Netanyahu, during his Beijing visit). However, tensions have since begun to appear in this diplomatic relationship, especially in light of Trump’s trade war with China and expressions of concern from Israel’s security establishment about China’s increasing interest in Israel. Has the honeymoon ended before it began? Aston will analyse recent developments and the unavoidable mismatches between the two countries’ geopolitical interests.

Speakers
avatar for Aston Rayment Kwok

Aston Rayment Kwok

Moriah College
Aston is a Social Science teacher at Moriah College, with a BA (Honours) in Chinese history (University of Sydney), Grad.Dip. in Education (UNSW), and Master’s in International Relations (UNSW), focusing on Putin’s role in the Iran nuclear negotiations. Aston has a keen interest... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 8

12:00pm

An Imam, a Hasidic Rabbi and a Psychologist reflect on spirituality and mental health
Many psychologists integrate their faiths into their work. This session explores faith and mental health from Islamic, Biblical, Hasidic and clinical perspectives. Can sacred texts help normalise depression? We will explore traditions such as "Even the Prophet Mohammad SAW was tested with Sorrow and grief”; and how Elijah the Prophet expressed a death wish and refused to eat. Religion can reinforce stigma or help us navigate sadness, bitterness and shame. Can God's infinite forgiveness empower us to forgive ourselves?

Moderators
avatar for Shirli Kirschner

Shirli Kirschner

Shirli is a consultant providing strategy and dispute resolution services. She is a Director of Resolve Advisors. She has won a number of awards for dispute resolution and is listed in Who’s Who International for commercial mediation. Shirli is a Senior Visiting Fellow at UNSW Law... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Zalman Kastel

Zalman Kastel

National Director, Together for Humanity Foundation
Zalman grew up a white Chabadnik in a racially divided Brooklyn and was transformed by encounters with Christians and Muslims. He is now National Director of the Together for Humanity Foundation—a multifaith, not-for-profit organisation that is helping schools and communities to... Read More →
avatar for Farhan Khalil

Farhan Khalil

Imam Farhan Khalil is the Imam and Chaplain at Australian International Academy, Kellyville. He is also a marriage celebrant and was the Religion Advisor for Muslim Issues at NSW Juvenile Justice Cobham Centre. Imam Khalil is a preacher at Hills District Muslim Society and is also... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Gordon

Amanda Gordon

Having been confronted with every question imaginable, over decades of psychology practice and talkback radio, Amanda is the go-to psychologist for the media. Past president of the Australian Psychological Society, advocate for asylum seekers for her profession, founder of Bendi Lango... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 6

12:00pm

Behind the scenes with Nava Tehila: revolutionising Jewish prayer and music
Nava Tehila is a Jerusalem-based NGO making Jewish prayer, music, and tradition relevant and meaningful for our times. As well as leading innovative musical services, Nava Tehila’s leaders record music and bring workshops, leadership skills, and resources to Jewish congregations around the world. Yoel will take you behind the scenes with Nava Tehila, share his own story, and give you a taste of the music for which Nava Tehila is so well loved.


Speakers
avatar for Yoel Sykes

Yoel Sykes

Musician & composer, Nava Tehila
Yoel studied music at the Center for Eastern Music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in the Fundacion de Christina Heeren school of Flamenco Arts in Seville, Spain. He is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jerusalem-based community and travels to Jewish communities around the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 4

12:00pm

A Jewish–Polish dialogue: what can be said?
Between 1939 and 1945 three million Polish Jews were murdered, as were three million non-Jewish Poles. Yet their experiences as victims of mass murder were vastly different. Jewish survivors speak of Polish complicity with the German Nazis, while Polish survivors speak of a common persecution at the hands of the German invaders and resentment of Jewish accusations. Within this atmosphere of animosity, is a dialogue possible or worthwhile?

Regrettably, Magda Szubanski will no longer be speaking at Limmud Oz. 

Speakers
avatar for Irving Wallach

Irving Wallach

Irving is a Sydney barrister, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors with family still living in Poland. The documentary A Town Called Brzostek told the story of his mother being hidden by her Catholic neighbour and Irving’s meeting with her grandson. He has been a NIF Australia... Read More →
avatar for CANCELLED - Magda Szubanski

CANCELLED - Magda Szubanski

Magda is one of Australia's best known and most loved performers. She appeared in university revues and in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 5

12:00pm

Hands off our artichokes! Roman Jews in revolt
Last year, Roman Jews were presented with an ultimatum: give up your artichokes or lose your kashrut status. The problem? Their much-loved carciofi all giudia (distinctively Jewish deep-fried artichoke) was considered impossible to check for bugs. What ensued was a battleground for the Roman Jewish soul. This session will explore the deep Jewish history of the artichoke, the showdown between rabbis, the wider Italian reaction, and a consideration of why food plays such essential part in Jewish identity.

Speakers
avatar for Nathan Compton

Nathan Compton

Born and bred in Sydney to a family from Italy, Nathan is a high-school English teacher and full-timer fresser. When he’s not marking last-minute essays from frantic Year 12 students or searching for kosher Parmesan cheese, he’s cooking Friday night dinners for Young Adults at... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 1

12:00pm

Jews, now presented in technicolour
Even as more and more awareness of the rich racial and cultural mosaic of Judaism that has always existed comes to the forefront of public consciousness, there still exists the spectre of ‘whiteness’. While ‘whiteness’ inhabits a very specific social meaning nowadays, what has textual tradition said on the topic of Jews and race?

Speakers
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

Anti-racism activist & rabbi
New York–based African-American Orthodox Jew MaNishtana—born from two African-American Orthodox Jewish parents—is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi. His work tackles prejudice and bias head on and shatters misconceptions about Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 7

12:00pm

So I'm married to a Rabbi ...
A light-hearted exploration of what it’s like to be the ‘other (better?) half’ of a Rabbinic couple. Join us to hear the inside story directly from the partners of our local leaders. Did they know what they were signing up for before leaping into the relationship? How do they balance their private and their public lives? We can promise some banter and a few never-before-heard stories from the wo/man behind the pulpit.

Moderators
avatar for Tami Sussman

Tami Sussman

Marriage celebrant; your son’s favourite ex-girlfriend; still has her original nose.

Speakers
SA

Sorella Abrahams

Sorella grew up in London as 1 of 12 children. After working in Chabad centres in London, America and Israel, Sydney became home in 2010. She moved alongside her husband Rabbi Aycee and founded exciting youth programs at Dover Heights Shule. Sorella uses her love of people to inspire... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Kaiserblueth

Rachel Kaiserblueth

Designer. Cook. Loving Wife. Adoring Mummy. And somewhere in all that, I'm a Rebbetzin!
avatar for Tommy Sterling

Tommy Sterling

Tommy is a lawyer and long-time Limmudnik who currently sits on the Limmud Sydney Advisory Board. He loves to ask questions and explore the origin of all things Jewish. Tommy’s Jewish passions span the traditional to the academic, presented with his uniquely humorous and irreverent... Read More →
avatar for Michal Solomon

Michal Solomon

Michal was born in Melbourne about 30 years ago, fell in love with a Perth guy around five years ago, and landed up in Sydney approximately four years ago. She has a Masters degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology and works part-time in private practice. Her husband, Shua... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Collaboration Space 1

12:00pm

Sex and the City: Jerusalem, the ungrateful lover
Do you want to meet God’s wife, Jerusalem? Join me in this interactive discussion as we uncover the relationship between Jerusalem’s body, her many lovers, and the Temple in Ezekiel 16—a sexually graphic text that describes the city as God’s unfaithful wife. Discover the strong link between space and emotion that informs our feelings towards the city and its spaces as we read this text. N.B. This talk contains discussions of graphic violence, sex, and adult themes.

Speakers
avatar for Natalie Mylonas

Natalie Mylonas

Natalie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, whose research focuses on the intersection of emotion and space in Ezekiel 16. In 2016–18 she was co-chair of the Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies, an organisation working towards gender... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 2

12:00pm

Bobbie’s sauerkraut is back!
WORKSHOP | Back after rave reviews at Yom Limmud 2018, this is bobbie’s sauerkraut from the old country revamped! In this kosher session I give a brief introduction to sauerkrauts and a basic (non-fermented) pickle. I will lead you through making a sauerkraut—choosing ingredients, chopping, weighing, salting, and packing into jars, which you will take home and leave to ferment. You will come away armed with confidence to make and create sauerkrauts of your very own to bring a wow factor to your next Shabbat dinner.

This session is limited to 20 people and will run for 75 minutes. Please sign up at the registration desk.

Speakers
avatar for Carla Stern

Carla Stern

Carla has been a science researcher, business consultant, and fermented-food maker. Trained in molecular genetics and biochemistry, she has always had a deep appreciation for the microscopic world. As Carla moved from lab science to hospital strategy and beyond, she incorporated wholesome... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Club Bar

12:45pm

Lunch available for purchase
Sunday June 16, 2019 12:45pm - 2:45pm
Limmud Forum

1:15pm

Ilan Ramon: a Torah in space
In light of Israel’s recent Bereshit moon-launch we will look at another inspirational Israeli pioneer of space, Ilan Ramon. This session will focus on the symbolic importance of Ramon’s achievements for Israel, Zionism, and Jews throughout the world. Ramon’s mission symbolised that Israel, despite all that it is wrestling with, can go anywhere and continues to reach for the stars.

Speakers
avatar for Tuvia Book

Tuvia Book

IDF veteran & author
Tuvia was born in London and is an IDF veteran. He is an experienced Jewish educator in both formal and informal contexts and has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the world and throughout Israel. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education and is the author... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Room 7

1:15pm

Smartphones, mental health, and addiction: a conversation about relationships, ethics, and tweaking our behaviour
What’s worse, the impact of smartphones on our mood, our brain, or our family? What can we do about it? Join Dr Dani Einstein and Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio as they explore the links between our generation’s device use, mental health, and relationships. Dani will provide a practical way of thinking about what lures us into device addiction and suggest actions we can take to strengthen our families. Rabbi Ninio will tackle the ethics, looking at healthy device use from the perspective of Jewish teachings. The ultimate aim is cultural change.

Speakers
avatar for Jacqueline Ninio

Jacqueline Ninio

Rabbi Ninio was ordained in 1998 and has been at Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra, since then. She was the synagogue’s first female rabbi and the third Australian-born woman to receive rabbinic ordination. She has an interest in midrash, liturgy, and ethics and is an active leader in... Read More →
avatar for Danielle Einstein

Danielle Einstein

Dr Einstein is a clinical psychologist specialising in anxiety and depression. Previously Head of the Anxiety Clinic at Westmead Hospital, since 2008 Danielle has been working with schools and researchers across Australia to develop programs for treating and preventing anxiety and... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Room 5

1:15pm

From 1521 till now: the extraordinary history of Jews in the Philippines
A cigar-making family based in Manila during the 1930s were instrumental in saving the lives of over 1,300 German Jews in the last days before WWII. This is but one of many interesting episodes of Jewish life in the Philippines: Spanish occupation, the Inquisition, the Suez Canal, the American period, the creation of Israel, and contemporary fortune-seekers. Everywhere you look, a Jewish take on local and world events.

Speakers
avatar for Karina Veal

Karina Veal

Karina is a Sydney-based international public policy expert working with leaders across Asia to narrow the education divide. Moving from Australia to the Philippines seven years ago to take up a position with the Manila-based multilateral financier the Asian Development Bank, Karina... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Room 8

1:15pm

Could Harry Potter be Jewish? Rabbis, magic, and the struggle for power
The Bible is very clear that magic is forbidden but the Talmud is full of stories about rabbis engaging with the supernatural. How should we understand these two realities as standing together? From people who turn into donkeys to seven-headed demons, and from witches to miracle makers, we will study a selection of these stories to see who gets to do magic and how, and what rabbis can do that others cannot.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Talmud scholar & teacher, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rachel lectures in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was voted Professor of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she teaches at the Drisha Institute and in Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS. She is currently a... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Room 4

1:15pm

Why is antisemitism so hard to fight? What to do about our biggest threat
If you asked people on the street whether they oppose antisemitism, most would immediately say Yes. Yet, as survey after survey and incidents from Paris to Pittsburgh demonstrate, anti-Jewish prejudice seems as resilient as ever. If we agree antisemitism is bad, why are we so bad at fighting it? The answer: Much of what we think we know about antisemitism simply isn't so, and these misconceptions prevent us from recognising and tackling the problem.

Please note this session will run for 75 minutes.

Speakers
avatar for Yair Rosenberg

Yair Rosenberg

Senior writer, Tablet Magazine
Yair is a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where he covers the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Guardian and his writings have received awards from the Religion... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Room 6

1:30pm

Seeing the Holocaust: artists' responses to the Shoah
This session will review artists’ responses to the Holocaust, commencing with art from the ghettos, concentration camp artists, and art created by survivors. Later we look at the New York abstract expressionists of the 1960s, Israeli artists, and contemporary artists in Australia and around the world. Some works use irony, satire, and pastiche, testing the limits of respect and good taste. We will ask the tricky question: what is appropriate and respectful Holocaust art?

Speakers
avatar for Harry Aizenberg

Harry Aizenberg

Harry was born in Sydney in 1953 to Holocaust survivor parents. After ‘dropping out’ in the 1970s, he lived in New Zealand, trying to be the next Bob Dylan. He returned, and finished up as CEO of Wolper Jewish Hospital for 32 years. Recently Harry gained a BFA in painting at the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Room 2

1:30pm

Israel, how gay are you? LGBTQI+ rights in Israel: history, present and future
Set in the middle of the Middle East, Tel Aviv is known as a uniquely LGBTQI+ friendly city with a vibrant community, night-life, and culture, and freedom. But does the Israeli gay community have real freedom? We will explore the history of the LGBTQI+ community in Israel and its struggles, and ask the question: Will the only Jewish and democratic state ever allow equal rights for the gay community?

Speakers
avatar for Shai Habet

Shai Habet

Shai is a social change activist and former parliamentary advisor to MK Michal Rozin. He worked for three years on Rozin’s parliamentary and political activities, focusing on social policy, LGBTQI+ equality, women’s policy, sexual assault and domestic violence, and immigration... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Club Bar

1:30pm

Jewish responses to climate change: thought and action
In 2018 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we have 12 years to minimise a climate change catastrophe. What are the theological implications of the crisis we are facing? What would the Rabbis of the Talmud have said about the IPCC report? Is this even a Jewish issue? What is the Australian Jewish community doing to protect the earth and humanity? Join us for a discussion both philosophical and practical.

Moderators
SC

Steph Cunio

Steph has worked in social movements for most of her adult life. She is passionate about building and developing leadership in others and creating a world where women, people of colour and others who are not white men can live free from being othered. Steph's current focus is on building... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Danny Eisenberg

Danny Eisenberg

Danny is an Orthodox rabbi who has studied in Israel for a decade. He has worked at JLC and Or Chadash and headed the Sydney Torah MiTzion Kollel. For the past three years he has worked as a software developer at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW and is interested in the... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Forgasz

Rebecca Forgasz

Director & CEO, Jewish Museum of Australia
Rebecca has been Director & CEO of the Jewish Museum of Australia since 2010. She is an experienced curator and Jewish educator, having taught for many years in adult education and at secondary and tertiary levels. Rebecca has a Masters degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford as well... Read More →
avatar for Eve Altman

Eve Altman

Eve  works for the Sydney Alliance, organising the Jewish community for policy action on climate change and affordable and renewable power solutions. Eve was an active member of Habonim Dror, including being 2017 Sydney Director. She was involved in Sydney Yom Limmud 2018, is part... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Room 3

1:30pm

Trial by ordeal: how the Torah protects women
The Sotah ritual requires a woman suspected of adultery to undergo trial by ordeal, the only such example in the Torah. Traditionally seen as demeaning for women, we will show that, on the contrary, this ritual offers a protection for women that they often don’t have in the modern world. And it’s good for men, too.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Ellison

Mark Ellison

Originally from Manchester, UK, Mark has lived and worked there and in New York, London, Monaco, Paris, Almaty, Hong Kong, and now Australia. He is currently Treasurer of the Kehilat Nitzan Masorti community in Melbourne.


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Room 1

1:45pm

EXCLUSIVE FILM PREMIERE: ‘Madam Prime Minister’ + JIFF Q&A
FILM + JIFF Q&A | Forty years after her death, Golda Meir's image is still polarising and clouded by controversy. This Australian premiere of the feature-length film Madam Prime Minister, shown exclusively at Limmud Oz, delicately stitches together archival footage and intimate interviews.  Viewers are invited to walk in Meir’s iconic shoes and re-examine her groundbreaking and dramatic years as the first and only female prime minister of Israel. Eddie Tamir will introduce the film and answer questions about the Jewish International Film Festival.

Please note that this session will run for 120 minutes.

Speakers
avatar for Eddie Tamir

Eddie Tamir

Artistic director, JIFF
Eddie is the owner and operator of the Classic, Lido and Cameo Cinemas in Melbourne and the Ritz Cinema in Sydney. Passionate about film and storytelling, Eddie is also the artistic director of a number of successful film festivals, including the Jewish International Film Festival... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Collaboration Space 1

2:45pm

Outsider, scoundrel, devil, or prophet? The Jew in 20th-century English literature
The Jew is presented by great 20th-century English writers as an opportunist, anti-hero, schlemiel, stranger, intellectual, devil, swindler—and as an archetype of the human condition. In this session, we will look at how authors like James Joyce, E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Graham Greene and T. S. Eliot present the Jew in their literary works.

Speakers
avatar for Hilton Immerman

Hilton Immerman

Dr Hilton Immerman OAM was involved in bringing the first-ever Limmud outside the UK to Sydney in 1999. He has taught English literature and is fascinated by how great writers portray Jews. Hilton is an Honorary Fellow of UNSW, served as CEO of The Shalom Institute and Shalom College... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 2

2:45pm

NO SPIN ZONE | Settlements — ‘Obstacle to peace’ or ‘It’s all part of the plan’
This session is not a debate | Is the two state solution still a meaningful political aspiration? Join us as we walk through the implications of some recent political developments for communities over the Green Line, from different perspectives. Each presenter will provide some sources and there will be time for discussion and respectful challenge, leaving polemics out of it.

This ‘No spin‘ session is aimed at people who don’t feel they know it all. The aim is to have a real conversation considering different political positions and for you to leave knowing more than you came in with and an appetite to read and learn more.

Moderators
avatar for Jeremy Leibler

Jeremy Leibler

President, Zionist Federation of Australia
Jeremy is President of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), which is an elected and representative roof body of the Jewish community committed to advocating for Israel. He is also Deputy Chairman of Leibler Yavneh College. In his spare time, Jeremy is a partner at Arnold Bloch... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ron Weiser

Ron Weiser

Dr Ron Weiser AM is a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, a former President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, and the Honorary Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW. Ron is also a founding director of the Y2i Year 10 Israel programs project and initiated... Read More →
avatar for Mandi Katz

Mandi Katz

Mandi is a governance professional in the financial services sector, with a passion for Jewish life and community in all her non-working hours. She is president of Shira Hadasha synagogue in Melbourne and has had deep involvement in Limmud in Melbourne and through the broader Limmud... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 5

2:45pm

Immersion: musical prayer circle
Join Yoel in creating a beautiful musical space, with sincere and heartfelt music from the Book of Psalms with gorgeous Nava Tehila melodies. Come and sing together, pray for peace and healing, and experience the Psalms like you’ve never heard them before.



Speakers
avatar for Yoel Sykes

Yoel Sykes

Musician & composer, Nava Tehila
Yoel studied music at the Center for Eastern Music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in the Fundacion de Christina Heeren school of Flamenco Arts in Seville, Spain. He is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jerusalem-based community and travels to Jewish communities around the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 3

2:45pm

Owning your curls
WORKSHOP | Curly girls, guys, and allies all welcome for a light-hearted but passionate look at embracing our Jewish curly hair in all its glory. Come share your tips, tricks, and products to tame your frizz—but no straightening irons allowed.

Speakers
avatar for Sharon Berger

Sharon Berger

Sharon is the program manager at the New Israel Fund Australia. A long-time Limmud junkie she writes a monthly opinion column for Plus61J. A former journalist, she holds a BA (Hons) from the University of California Berkeley and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony’s... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 7

2:45pm

CANCELLED - The French Revolution and the Jews
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled. 

What led French Revolutionaries to offer Jews citizenship, for the first time in history? We'll explore this fascinating history and discuss its far-reaching consequences.

Speakers
avatar for CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

Professor of History, American University
Lisa  is a historian of European and Jewish history, specialising in the history of Jews in France. She is the author of Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth Century France (2006), Colonialism and the Jews (2017) and The Archive Thief: the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 4

2:45pm

From atheist to traditional: the evolving identity of Russian-speaking Jews
Former Soviet Jews immigrated to Australia after decades of official regime discrimination that almost completely destroyed Jewish religion and culture in the public sphere. After living in Australia in proximity to thriving Jewish communities for several decades, how have Russian-speaking Jews adapted their identity? The latest findings about Russian-speaking Jews in Melbourne are presented, based on data from the Gen17 survey and interviews.

Speakers
avatar for Emmanuel Gruzman

Emmanuel Gruzman

Emmanuel is a final-year PhD candidate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and recipient of the Jewish Care Victoria and Zeleznikow scholarship. He attained a Rabbinical Degree in Israel and speaks seven languages. His research project is about the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 8

2:45pm

Hearts filled with hatred: honest and personal reflections on interfaith challenges
Frank reflections on divisive faith, social, emotional, religious, and political barriers to tackling hate and the division will be shared by a US leader who experienced early Jewish–Christian dialogue and the ups and downs of current Jewish–Muslim and Jewish–Christian relations, a Catholic priest confronted by the leaders of a mosque who stopped the construction of a church in Pakistan, an Imam of the Salafi school, and his Chabadnik friend who brings Muslims and Jews together.

Speakers
avatar for Farhan Khalil

Farhan Khalil

Imam Farhan Khalil is the Imam and Chaplain at Australian International Academy, Kellyville. He is also a marriage celebrant and was the Religion Advisor for Muslim Issues at NSW Juvenile Justice Cobham Centre. Imam Khalil is a preacher at Hills District Muslim Society and is also... Read More →
avatar for Father Patrick McInerney

Father Patrick McInerney

Father Patrick McInerney is a Columban Catholic priest. He was assigned to Pakistan for over 20 years. Father McInerney has worked at the Columban Centre for Christian–Muslim Relations in Sydney for the past 18 years and is currently its Director.
avatar for David Sandmel

David Sandmel

Interreligious Engagement Director, ADL
David has been Director of Interreligious Engagement at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) since 2014. An expert in Jewish–Christian relations, he was previously Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was involved in producing ‘Dabru Emet: A... Read More →
avatar for Zalman Kastel

Zalman Kastel

National Director, Together for Humanity Foundation
Zalman grew up a white Chabadnik in a racially divided Brooklyn and was transformed by encounters with Christians and Muslims. He is now National Director of the Together for Humanity Foundation—a multifaith, not-for-profit organisation that is helping schools and communities to... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Club Bar

2:45pm

Mikvah: shedding light on an intimate Jewish ritual
Used for conversions and to ‘purify’ a married woman after her period, the mikvah is a mysterious and politically contested place. Who gets to use the mikvah and when? Are ritual purity practices outdated and misogynistic, resulting from a male fear of women's bodies? Or can the mikvah be a sacred place for renewal, even in the 21st century? Join us to hear voices from across the community as they unveil this hidden world, exploring the origins of mikvah practices and examining their relevance in our modern lives.

Moderators
avatar for Rachel Kleiner

Rachel Kleiner

Rachel was born and lives in Sydney. She has studied Judaism both in Israel, and at the University of Sydney. She has always had a keen interest in orthodox feminism, and enjoys listening to different perspectives about Jewish issues. She currently works in the library at Moriah... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rivka Ray

Rivka Ray

Rivka was born in the Ukraine, with the name Regina Tyunev. Upon emigrating to Australia in 1979 she embarked on a search for identity and a sense of belonging. Through studying science, philosophies, and religions, Rivka began to delve into and reclaim her lost Jewish heritage. She... Read More →
avatar for Jacqueline Ninio

Jacqueline Ninio

Rabbi Ninio was ordained in 1998 and has been at Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra, since then. She was the synagogue’s first female rabbi and the third Australian-born woman to receive rabbinic ordination. She has an interest in midrash, liturgy, and ethics and is an active leader in... Read More →
avatar for Viva Hammer

Viva Hammer

Viva escaped to New York after law school in Sydney and couch-surfed till she became a Rebbetzin and had children. Then she escaped to Washington, where she advised Treasury on taxation, wrote a Jerusalem Post column and homeschooled her kids. She was a law firm partner when she was... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 1

2:45pm

On economy and sustenance: Judaism, society, and economics
Economics is one of the strongest forces at play in human society, structuring our behaviours and quality of life. This session aims to explore the contribution of Jewish wisdom to economic thought, knowing that a viewpoint rooted in Judaism will allow us to provide new answers for the most basic questions that shape economic activity: What is property? What is efficiency? What is trade? Based on Lavi’s book About Economy and Sustenance.

Speakers
avatar for Aharon Ariel Lavi

Aharon Ariel Lavi

Community-builder, Hakhel
Aharon is a serial social entrepreneur, professional community organiser, and thinker who believes Judaism can inspire and inform all walks of life. He is co-founder of MAKOM, the Israeli umbrella organisation of intentional communities, and Hakhel, the first global incubator for... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Room 6

4:00pm

CANCELLED - Vegan Shabbat: a beginners' guide
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled.

"I would love to go vegan, but what would I serve for Shabbat dinner?" Once considered niche, veganism in 2019 is mainstream. This interactive workshop will keep you up-to-date, covering the the basics of vegan cooking and answering all your questions. What is tofu and how do I make it taste good? Can I really bake without eggs? We'll also discuss why a plant-based diet is better for our health and for animal welfare and the environment and how perfectly it aligns with Jewish values.

Speakers
CR

CANCELLED - Renee Dvir

Renee is originally from Israel and moved to Sydney in 2017 after spending some time in New York. Her interest in veganism started for health but it was only when she learnt about the realities of animal agriculture that she went totally vegan. Her three kids are constantly the envy... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Club Bar

4:00pm

Klezmer, kitkes, and beyond: a musical odyssey
PERFORMANCE | Showcasing the unique musical heritage of our South African Jewish community, we trace its Lithuanian and Eastern European origins through to South Africa and finally to Australia. Explore the diverse sounds and rhythms of Australian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Afrikaans, and African music, performed in four-part harmony by the Sydney Jewish Choral Society. Featuring Musical Direction by Rose Grausman, with narrator, keyboards, and percussion.

Speakers
avatar for Sydney Jewish Choral Society

Sydney Jewish Choral Society

Formed 33 years ago, the Sydney Jewish Choral Society regularly performs at concerts, music festivals, and events. Its 43 members come from a wide range of professions, countries, and musical backgrounds. Its repertoire has been wide-ranging, too, including classical works, opera... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Limmud Forum

4:00pm

Israelis and Palestinians changing the equation: a conversation with the Ambassador
Can progress be achieved on the Israeli–Palestinian front? If so, in which ways can it manifest itself; but if not, can anything be done in the interim, or should we merely sit and wait it out until the opportunity presents itself? This session will be a conversation with the Israeli Ambassador.

Speakers
avatar for Justine Saidman

Justine Saidman

Justine is Director of PJ Library in Australia and New Zealand and the Shalom: Sydney Jewish Writers Festival. She is a passionate educator and community engagement professional with a strong commitment to Jewish values. Justine has a BA in History and English (UNSW), a Diploma of... Read More →
avatar for Mark Sofer

Mark Sofer

Israeli Ambassador
Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer's diplomatic career has seen him posted to Peru, Norway, New York, Ireland, and India. He was a policy advisor to then–Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and headed the Jerusalem Foundation. Before his posting to Australia, Mark served as Deputy Director... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 6

4:00pm

Out of sight, out of mind: exclusion of women in Israel
IKEA magazines and election posters devoid of women’s faces; sex-segregated buses and government offices; signs demanding modest dress. For more than a decade, a battle has been waged between Haredi/conservative and liberal forces over the image of Israel’s public sphere and the place of women as equal-rights citizens in it. What is causing this push to exclude women from Israeli public life? And what can be done about it?

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Zalkind

Miriam Zalkind

Lawyer & advocate, Israel Women's Network
Miriam is an Israeli lawyer serving as the Director of Policy and Legislation Promotion at the Israel Women's Network. She has been a feminist activist for more than a decade and is very active in the social struggle to end gender violence and to eliminate gender segregation in Israel... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 4

4:00pm

Asia's unknown Jews
Did you know that there has been a constant Jewish presence in Central Asia for 2,700 years? A descendant of the last Emir of Boukhara’s Court Poet, Yvonne Green explores the history and culture of the Jews of Boukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan) and their Judaeo–Tajik language (written in Rashi script). This Jewish community was integral to the founding of the Silk Routes and constituted the First Aliyah to Israel in the 1890s to 1910s. Where is the Boukharan Jewish community today?

Speakers
avatar for Yvonne Green

Yvonne Green

Poet & translator
Born to a multilingual Central Asian family in London, Yvonne practised law in another life. She burst onto the poetry scene with Boukhara, which won the 2007 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. Yvonne has since published four more collections: The Assay (Hanisoo-yi (Hebrew... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 7

4:00pm

Made in Vienna: a fashionable society before the Anschluss
Most people limit association of the word ‘fashion’ to Paris, London, and Milan, but before WWII, Vienna was classified as one of Europe’s fashion capitals. Jewish people were involved in this exciting industry as designers, manufacturers, and purveyors of fashion. Using a range of sources, including photographs, artwork, and contemporary periodicals, this session will explore the participation of Vienna’s Jews in their city’s fashion and textile industry during its golden age before the National Socialist annexation of Austria in March 1938.

Speakers
avatar for Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

UTS
Jonathan is a doctoral candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. His research examines the Jews of Vienna, clothing, identity, and antisemitism during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Before going down an academic path Jonathan completed a Bachelor of Design... Read More →
avatar for Peter McNeil

Peter McNeil

Professor of design history, UTS
Dr McNeil is Distinguished Professor of Design History at the University of Technology Sydney. An award-winning author, he is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, where he is Section Head for The Arts. An award-winning author, he worked with the Sydney Jewish Museum... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 2

4:00pm

TABOO TALK | Baby-making: what’s love got to do with it?
TABOO TALK | Whether for medical, mechanical, or social reasons, the path to parenthood is rarely simple and raises many complex religious, existential, and psychological issues. But what can we learn about family, parenting, identity, feminism, and our culture generally when we break some of the taboos that stop us talking about reproductive challenges? Our panelists will reflect on their own personal journeys through infertility, IVF, and stillbirth as they explore how reproductive issues should be discussed in contemporary Jewish communities and beyond.

These ‘taboo talks’ aim to create a space for brave, difficult conversations about complicated human experiences—sex, baby-making, illness, ageing—that may feature in our lives. Come with an open mind and leave with a new perspective.

Moderators
avatar for Dalit Kaplan

Dalit Kaplan

Storyteller & impact entrepeneur
Dalit is a storyteller, impact entrepreneur, and occasional lawyer. She is the founder of Storywell, an organisation that teaches storytelling to impact-oriented individuals and organisations and engages in impact investing with Just World Investments. In another life she was a lawyer... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Charak

Sarah Charak

Sarah studied Tanach, Talmud and Jewish philosophy at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Jerusalem, and has worked in educational roles for Bnei Akiva and the ZYC. She is now an Arts/Law student at the University of Sydney and Chair of Limmud Oz. Sarah recently discovered that she carries a BRCA1... Read More →
avatar for Nikki Jankelowitz

Nikki Jankelowitz

Nikki is co-founder of Centred Meditation, a corporate meditation business with a drop-in studio in Sydney’s CBD. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner, is currently completing her Psychology degree, has worked as Hillel director at The Shalom Institute, and facilitated leadership programs... Read More →
avatar for Lesley Andrews

Lesley Andrews

Dr Andrews heads the Prince of Wales Hereditary Cancer Clinic and is a Board member of Wolper Hospital and the Australian Jewish Fertility Network. Lesley represents the Wolper Community Genetics Program, which tests Jewish students and couples for genetic traits that may result in... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 8

4:00pm

Truth, Justice, and the American (Oy) Vey: the significance of the Jewish influence on comic book superheroes
How important is mythology? Why do Americans love comic books so much? What is a superhero? And what do Jews have to do with any of it? These questions and more are addressed by MaNishtana in this session, as we explore the Jewish roots of comic books and superheroes and their cultural relevance to the global voice of storytelling.

Speakers
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

Anti-racism activist & rabbi
New York–based African-American Orthodox Jew MaNishtana—born from two African-American Orthodox Jewish parents—is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi. His work tackles prejudice and bias head on and shatters misconceptions about Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 5

4:00pm

Young, Jewish, and millennial
Today’s younger generation does not fit neatly into the old pigeon-holes that shaped the Jewish baby boomers. They are looking for new ways to express their identity, embracing social justice concerns outside the community organisations run by their parents. This panel will explore:
  • what they are looking for in their Jewish connections 
  • what differences they see between themselves and their parents’ generation
  • who or what is nourishing their sense of Jewish belonging

Moderators
avatar for Michael Visontay

Michael Visontay

Editor, Plus61J
Michael is Editor of Plus61JMedia. He is a former Editorial Manager at the Sydney Morning Herald and has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 30 years. Michael is the author of several books, including Who Gave You Permission?, co-authored with child sexual abuse advocate... Read More →

Speakers
JG

Jason Glass

Jason is a 22-year-old medical student. He has been heavily involved as a leader in Hineni Youth and Welfare, including holding positions as state and federal head of education over the past two years. Jason is also involved in informal education at Emanuel School and occasionally... Read More →
avatar for Maddy Blay

Maddy Blay

Maddy is a 21-year-old Politics student and is also the passionate Merakezet (Coodinator) of the Jewish youth movement Hashomer Hatzair. She has been a monthly columnist and video producer for Plus61J for over two years and is vocal on issues pertaining to Jewish and Australian youth... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Collaboration Space 1

4:00pm

Can we really have it all? Talmudic reflections on work–life balance
We often think of the work/life struggle as a modern issue, but a series of Talmudic stories shows that people have struggled with this for hundreds of years. From rabbis who forget the way home from the House of Study through to disappearing pillars of fire, the rabbis tell stories about themselves that highlight their ambivalence about both how to learn Torah and be good husbands and fathers. What can these stories tell us about how to balance our priorities in the modern world?

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Talmud scholar & teacher, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rachel lectures in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was voted Professor of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she teaches at the Drisha Institute and in Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS. She is currently a... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 3

4:00pm

Conversion to Judaism—in one hour
In this session, David will explore geirut, conversion, as a topic with relevance to both the past and present. As well as shedding light on some fascinating accounts of conversion from Jewish history, he will discuss the current landscape of conversion to Judaism in Australia. What is the experience like for converts? And what reforms are being undertaken?

Speakers
avatar for David Solomon

David Solomon

David is an internationally acclaimed, globally-roaming scholar, teacher, writer, and translator. David teaches Jewish history and philosophy, Tanach, Hebrew, and Kabbalah, but is perhaps best known for his dynamic lecture, The Whole of Jewish History in One Hour.


Sunday June 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 1

5:15pm

All about Chava: the representation of queer Jewish women in film
WORKSHOP | From the lounge-rooms of Sydney, we bring you a taste of HaSodot, our grassroots film club catering to queer Jewish women. Join us as we watch and discuss the portrayal of queer Jewish women in contemporary film and television. We will examine the ways in which television and film represent (or misrepresent) our experiences and how this may impact our lives and identities. People of all genders and sexualities are welcome.

Speakers
avatar for Shoshana Gottlieb

Shoshana Gottlieb

Shoshana is a screenwriter and screen fanatic based in Sydney. A recent graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney, her honours thesis explores the need for queer representation in film and television. In her spare time, Shoshana watches TV shows and movies, reads and writes... Read More →
avatar for Liora Baram

Liora Baram

Liora is a student at the University of Sydney, undertaking Honours in the History and Philosophy of Science. She is co-founder of the Jewish queer women’s film club, HaSodot, and is passionate about increasing visibility of queer women in the Jewish community. When not raising... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 2

5:15pm

Leonard Cohen: the voice, the light, and the flame
Leonard Cohen's unmistakable voice, rich poetry, and chocolate melodies have inspired millions, but it is his Jewish voice that I will be exploring in this presentation. He is arguably the greatest Jewish poet of our times. We will explore his poetry and his music with a Jewish ear.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen

Moriah College
Jeff is a very Jewish Mathematics teacher, with the great merit of having married Tracy and being the father of David. He has been a Leonard Cohen tragic since 1970.


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 7

5:15pm

Give peace a chance: NSW JBD’s first NGO study tour of Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Come and engage with participants of a very special trip to Israel and the West Bank, whose focus was on human stories and the potential of ordinary people to take up the reins when leaders fail. Hear about what they saw, what they learned, what changed them, and what they plan to do with all of this. Ask them questions, even tough ones. After what they’ve seen, they are well equipped for a rousing discussion!

Regrettably, Magda Szubanski will no longer be speaking at Limmud Oz. 

Moderators
avatar for Gael Kennedy

Gael Kennedy

Gael serves on the Executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies as the Chair of the Community Relations Committee. She is co-facilitator of the JBD – Uniting Church Dialogue on Israel/Palestine, which has met monthly for over three years. Gael has 30+ years professional experience... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for CANCELLED - Magda Szubanski

CANCELLED - Magda Szubanski

Magda is one of Australia's best known and most loved performers. She appeared in university revues and in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet... Read More →
avatar for Joshua Kirsh

Joshua Kirsh

Political Affairs Director, AUJS
Joshua is the Political Affairs Director of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) for 2019. As a Deputy of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, he serves on the Social Justice Committee and the Community Engagement Working Party. Joshua was a Public Affairs Intern at the Board... Read More →
avatar for Nicolas Parkhill

Nicolas Parkhill

Nicolas has over 20 years' experience in the public and community health sectors. He is CEO of ACON, Australia’s largest health-promotion organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTI health, and previously worked for NSW Health and the NSW Cabinet Office. Nicolas has served on the... Read More →
avatar for Kylie Beach

Kylie Beach

Kylie is a writer and communications professional who currently works as a journalist and social media coordinator for the national Christian publication Eternity News. Her areas of interest include asylum seeker and refugee rights, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, and... Read More →
avatar for Lyndall Katz

Lyndall Katz

Lyndall recently retired after over three decades of working in the social housing sector, as a provider and facilitator, trainer and educator. She is co-convenor of a network of diverse Jews who hold conversations and dialogue on the Middle East and related issues. She has been part... Read More →
avatar for Teresa Pirola

Teresa Pirola

Teresa is a Sydney-based educator with the Catholic Schools Office (Broken Bay Diocese). In 2007 she visited the Holy Land for the first time and undertook a Torah study program at Bat Kol Institute in Jerusalem. This new encounter with Judaism, scripture, and the Land encouraged... Read More →
avatar for Tara Curlewis

Tara Curlewis

Reverend Curlewis was ordained as a Uniting Church minister in 1994 and has extensive experience in interfaith dialogue. She is a member of the national Uniting Church—Jewish dialogue team. Tara has travelled to Israel five times in the past 20 years, observing many changes in the... Read More →
avatar for Rob McFarlane

Rob McFarlane

Rev Dr Rob McFarlane is a Uniting Church minister, serving in a regional oversight role in Parramatta Nepean Presbytery. Rob has a PhD in New Testament studies and worked on the Bethsaida dig in northern Israel, both of which  inform the regular study tours he leads to Israel/Palestine... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 6

5:15pm

Is the Chief Rabbinate obsolete? Religion and state in Israel
Does Israel have religious pluralism or is it an ultra-Orthodox theocracy? Based on the findings of his book Rising Streams: Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel, Dan Feferman looks at key issues of religion and state, such as marriage, conversion, and access to the Kotel, identifying the fault lines between what the law says and where the Israeli people are.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Feferman

Dan Feferman

Israeli analyst, Jewish People Policy Institute
Dan is a Major (res.) in the IDF who served as a foreign policy and national security analyst in the IDF General Staff and as commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN's Research and Analysis Division. He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 5

5:15pm

Unzipping your genes: making you comfortable or too exposed?
Genetic testing is increasingly affordable and accessible for all. How reliable are these tests and what do they tell us about our health? Are Jewish genetic testing programs medically responsible or socially irresponsible? How useful is testing for genetic ethnicity? What are the ethical dangers of knowing too much about our genes? Join us as we explore what is the hype and what is reality and how to balance health with idealism.

Speakers
avatar for Lesley Andrews

Lesley Andrews

Dr Andrews heads the Prince of Wales Hereditary Cancer Clinic and is a Board member of Wolper Hospital and the Australian Jewish Fertility Network. Lesley represents the Wolper Community Genetics Program, which tests Jewish students and couples for genetic traits that may result in... Read More →
avatar for Ron Fleischer

Ron Fleischer

Ron is a genetic counsellor at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, passionate about helping people understand the genetic basis of disease. He has worked extensively in the Jewish community as part of the Wolper Hospital Advisory Board, coordinating genetic carrier screening in schools... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 8

5:15pm

Ten tantalising tales of Jewish life, history, and culture
From secret Persian marriage certificates to haggadot made in Australian World War Two internment camps: the collection of the Jewish Museum of Australia is a treasure trove of Judaica, contemporary art, historical documents, and artefacts. In this session, you will discover ten intriguing objects from the collection, with stories and contexts that will surprise, enlighten, and delight.

Speakers
avatar for Rebecca Forgasz

Rebecca Forgasz

Director & CEO, Jewish Museum of Australia
Rebecca has been Director & CEO of the Jewish Museum of Australia since 2010. She is an experienced curator and Jewish educator, having taught for many years in adult education and at secondary and tertiary levels. Rebecca has a Masters degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford as well... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 1

5:15pm

Philosemitism and Judaising in contemporary Christianity
For centuries, Christians shunned Jewish rituals as part of their wider contempt for Jews and Judaism. But more recently, some Christians have begun incorporating Jewish rituals and symbols into the practice of their Christianity,  including running Seders and using the Star of David. Why is this happening? What are the implications for the Jewish community and for JewishChristian relations? And how should Jews respond to this appropriation of our culture and rituals?

Speakers
avatar for David Sandmel

David Sandmel

Interreligious Engagement Director, ADL
David has been Director of Interreligious Engagement at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) since 2014. An expert in Jewish–Christian relations, he was previously Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was involved in producing ‘Dabru Emet: A... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 3

5:15pm

Religion, schools, and the law: an unholy alliance?
What is the state of ‘religious freedom’ in Australian schools? For example: may Jewish schools exclude non-Jewish students/staff? May an Anglican school force a Jewish student to attend chapel? How do religious schools deal with sexuality and dress codes? Religious schools juggle complicated questions, trying to avoid unlawful discrimination while also transmitting religious identity. We’ll explore what Australian Jewish schools can/can’t do compared to other countries and what the Religious Freedom Review (2018) had to say about these issues.

Speakers
avatar for Jacquie Seemann Charak

Jacquie Seemann Charak

Jacquie is an employment, discrimination, and education lawyer. She wrote the chapter on religion and schools in the Palgrave Handbook of Education Law for Schools. She is a co-founder of both Or Chadash, a Modern Orthodox Synagogue, and Sydney’s Women’s Tefila Group. Jacquie... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Room 4

5:15pm

The Rorschach Rasha: Jewish perceptions of wickedness
Of the four children portrayed in the Haggadah, it is only the rasha—the wicked child—who is defined in ethical rather than intellectual terms. Emblematic of ‘other’, the rasha acts as a mirror of our notions of wickedness—which differ across temporal, spatial, and ideological communities. In this session we will examine various depictions of and responses to the rasha, with a view to better understanding our own perspective on wickedness.

Speakers
avatar for Avi Bart

Avi Bart

After receiving semicha in Israel, Avi returned home in 2018 to begin his rabbinical career and continue studying medicine at the University of Melbourne. Avi studied at the Rabbinical College of Australia and NZ (Yeshivah Gedolah) and Yeshivat Machanayim. He has held leadership roles... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Club Bar

6:00pm

Dinner available for purchase
Sunday June 16, 2019 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Limmud Forum

6:45pm

Safra: from Baghdad to Bondi
WORKSHOP | Safra, in the JudeoArabic dialect of Iraqi Jews, means to go on a journey. In this workshop I will teach a few of the sacred melodies that accompanied my family’s journey from Iraq to Myanmar, India, Borneo, Singapore, and finally Australia, which were lovingly imparted to me. We will explore the beautiful traditional sounds of Iraqi​​​​Jewish musical culture and learn how to apply these melodies to contemporary congregations and community singing circles.

Speakers
avatar for George Mordecai

George Mordecai

George serves as the Cantor at Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra. He was raised in the Iraqi Jewish community in Sydney, where he was blessed to experience the transformative power of devotional singing. He has dedicated his life to bringing this music to congregations and performance... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 8

6:45pm

Understanding Israel's elections: the past and present
The Israeli election season has come and gone ... or so we thought! With a second-round of elections being called, what does it mean for Diaspora Jews? Some analysts are concerned that liberal Diaspora Jews will become disaffected with Israeli politics. Join our all-star panel as they analyse the election results and the upcoming election from the perspective of Diaspora Jewry. What would a Netanyahu victory mean for IsraelDiaspora relations? Are we heading towards a rift? What does all of this mean for Australian Jewry?

Moderators
avatar for Joanna Kalowski

Joanna Kalowski

Joanna is the daughter of refugees from Germany, Rose and Martin Ball, and grew up in an observant family with strong links to Israel. She is a mediator and judicial educator with a lifelong commitment to social justice and human rights.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Feferman

Dan Feferman

Israeli analyst, Jewish People Policy Institute
Dan is a Major (res.) in the IDF who served as a foreign policy and national security analyst in the IDF General Staff and as commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN's Research and Analysis Division. He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank... Read More →
avatar for Yair Rosenberg

Yair Rosenberg

Senior writer, Tablet Magazine
Yair is a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where he covers the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Guardian and his writings have received awards from the Religion... Read More →
avatar for Liam Getreu

Liam Getreu

Executive director, New Israel Fund Australia
Liam is executive director of New Israel Fund Australia, a former national chair of the Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC) and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), and a graduate of Bialik College and Habonim Dror. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Middle East Studies... Read More →
avatar for Jeremy Leibler

Jeremy Leibler

President, Zionist Federation of Australia
Jeremy is President of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), which is an elected and representative roof body of the Jewish community committed to advocating for Israel. He is also Deputy Chairman of Leibler Yavneh College. In his spare time, Jeremy is a partner at Arnold Bloch... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 6

6:45pm

CANCELLED - Antisemitism in France: a historical perspective
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled.

The news of rising antisemitism in France in the past couple of years has sparked concern all over the world. In this session, we will discuss the multifaceted historical roots of the current crisis.

Speakers
avatar for CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

Professor of History, American University
Lisa  is a historian of European and Jewish history, specialising in the history of Jews in France. She is the author of Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth Century France (2006), Colonialism and the Jews (2017) and The Archive Thief: the... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 4

6:45pm

Leifer vs Australia/Israel: who will win and at what cost?
Malka Leifer, ex-principal of the Melbourne Adass Israel School, faces 74 counts of indecent assault and rape in Australia, yet has managed to evade extradition from Israel. In this session, Dassi Erlich will explore the personal and public cost and conflicts arising from the #bringleiferback campaign. What have the Australian and Israeli governments done and can they do more? What happens when the Jewish state fails to protect Jewish children? Where do we go from here?

Speakers
avatar for Dassi Erlich

Dassi Erlich

Advocate, #bringleiferback
Dassi is an advocate and educator, working for long-needed cultural change in our communities to protect survivors of sexual abuse. She founded the campaign #bringleiferback against her former school principal and abuser. The campaign has reached the highest levels of government in... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 5

6:45pm

Zionist Youth Movements: still radical or out of touch?
Rebellious political faction or communal institution? This session explores the role of the youth movement historically and examines its effectiveness, relevance and essence. Are the youth movements still an important and inspirational force in the Jewish and Zionist world and does the Australian community need eight of them?

Speakers
avatar for Adiel Cohney

Adiel Cohney

Educator, Dror Israel
After finishing his time in the Australian Zionist youth movements and his BA in Jewish Civilisation and Theatre, Adiel moved to Israel to form a Socialist commune with 10 of his peers. Today he is a member of Dror Israel Socialist-Zionist movement, on the executive team of the ‘Beit... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 2

6:45pm

Naming and shaming: narratives around names in the Torah
Judaism makes a pretty big deal about names. Many people refer to God as ‘the Name’ (‘Hashem’). The Bible includes many lists of names and many stories suggesting the origin or aptness of a particular name: the babble of Babylon, Adam from the earth, and the laughter heralding Isaac. What are these stories all about? This question will carry us on a journey among text, taboo, cultural conflict, word play, and the ultimate quest for meaning.

Speakers
avatar for Joel Nothman

Joel Nothman

Joel’s fascination with language has cut across interests in linguistics, computing, Judaism, education, and song. He consults as a data scientist within the University of Sydney, where he did his PhD in natural language processing and subsequently lectured. He enjoys sharing his... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 6:45pm - 7:45pm
Room 7

8:00pm

Big macher trivia: Limmud Oz's first Jewish quiz
Quizraelites: time to use your yiddishe kop for Limmud Oz’s inaugural Jewish-themed trivia quiz! Which Jewish musician was born Matthew Miller? Which Yiddish two-word term refers to the ‘whole family’? How many times has Israel won Eurovision? Who was the oldest person in the Torah? Can you name the Jews amongst the 10 wealthiest Australians? Create a table with your friends or we’ll find teammates for you!



Speakers
avatar for Dane Stern

Dane Stern

Dane is a Limmud junkie who is passionate about local and global Jewish community affairs. He is a member of the Limmud Sydney Advisory Board and co-chaired Limmud Fest 2014. In his life outside Limmud, Dane is on the Executive Committee of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and works... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Club Bar

8:00pm

Hot klezmer, hotter jazz!
PERFORMANCE | In this not-to-be-missed one-time performance, three Sydney locals bring you the sounds of Klezmer, Hot Jazz and Israeli Folk Music, infusing the familiar with their own unique flavour! Ben Adler (violin), casual player with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, jams regularly with Paul Khodor (piano) in the Emanuel Synagogue Shabbat Live band. They join with Joshua Druery (clarinet), a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Speakers
avatar for Ben Adler

Ben Adler

Ben Adler is the Artist in Residence at St Andrew's College, within the University of Sydney, and has played casually with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for the past three years. He toured Australia and Europe as first violinist of the Hillel String Quartet. Ben also revels in... Read More →
avatar for Joshua Druery

Joshua Druery

Joshua is a home-grown musician, an alumnus of Mount Sinai and Moriah College. Since school he has completed a Bachelor of Music Studies in Classical Clarinet at the Sydney Conservatorium. Josh has been an assistant choir conductor at Central Synagogue, returned to Moriah College... Read More →
PK

Paul Khodor

For the past 15 years, Paul has been an integral part of the Sydney Jewish music community. He has been the resident accompanist of numerous Jewish choirs, including the Sydney Jewish Choral Society, and frequently plays alongside Ben Adler and Joshua Druery at many high-profile Jewish... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Limmud Forum

8:00pm

Is BDS winning the game?
The BDS movement is an international pro-Palestinian network that has been around for over a decade. Its principles and tactics are very different from any other pro-Palestinian initiative, past or present. The movement is gathering support around the world and influencing public opinion effectively in many cases. How successful is the BDS campaign and what are its chances of achieving its goals?


Speakers
avatar for Oren Thaler

Oren Thaler

Oren is a graduate of Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University. He came to Australia in 2016 after working for 15 years in Jerusalem as a teacher and leader of grassroots peace and reconciliation initiatives between Arabs and Jews. Oren now teaches at Emanuel School while completing... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Room 5

8:00pm

Einstein and the Rabbi: the untold story of a friendship
It sounds like fiction, but in fact is history: Albert Einstein, the fabled physicist, forged an abiding friendship and corresponded with an eclectic Orthodox rabbi, Chaim Tchernowitz. Beginning with their first meeting at Einstein’s summer home outside Berlin, we’ll chart their unlikely story, which spanned two continents and two decades. Along the way, you’ll learn why Einstein wrote a public letter praising the Talmud—even though he couldn’t read it—and how he opposed an early attempt to depose the first president of Hebrew University for his heterodox political views.

Speakers
avatar for Yair Rosenberg

Yair Rosenberg

Senior writer, Tablet Magazine
Yair is a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where he covers the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Guardian and his writings have received awards from the Religion... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Room 4
 
Monday, June 17
 

10:30am

Doors open – registration & coffee
Monday June 17, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am
Limmud Forum

11:00am

Ditch the plastic: DIY beeswax wraps
WORKSHOP | Worried about the environmental impact of plastic waste and committed to the Jewish imperative to care for our world? Join this hands-on, creative workshop to make beautiful, reusable, and eco-friendly beeswax wraps—the perfect alternative to plastic wrap and foil for covering leftovers and packing lunchboxes. No prior experience required. Go home with a new skill and set of sustainable and money-saving beeswax wraps!

This session is limited to 20 people. Please sign up at the registration desk.

Speakers
avatar for Rebecca Solomon

Rebecca Solomon

Rebecca is a creative soul, with over four years’ experience in the fashion world. She now uses her creativity as a Program and Digital Content Manager at Shalom. Rebecca is a recycling addict and tries to reduce her footprint on the earth. When she is not working, creating, or... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Club Bar

11:00am

You, me, and Martin Buber—is this the new Jewish threesome?
WORKSHOP | Relationship breakdown affects the Jewish community to no lesser degree than the general population, and those struggling attend therapy all too late and all too reluctantly. Inspired by Martin Buber’s notion of authentic ‘IThou’ relationships and the sacred space between two people, this workshop is an upstream preventative strategy. Come and hone the skills and techniques that will transform your relationship. Learn how to talk without criticism, listen without judgment, and truly connect with others.

Speakers
avatar for Janine Zimbler

Janine Zimbler

Janine is a relationship therapist working with individuals, couples, and families. Highlights of her 40-year career include leading the therapy team at Boys’ Town, co-creating the primary-school counselling program for the Catholic Education Office, working with parents of children... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 7

11:00am

ANZACs 101: reflections on the Jewish experience of WWI
One million Jews fought in WWI—almost half with the enemy. What happened when they met on the battlefield? Explore this and some of the myths and stories of Jews in WWI, including thousands of Iron Crosses, five Victoria Crosses, and Australia’s 1,700 Jewish Diggers, of whom almost 200 died on service. Peter will also share a song by a Jewish member of the ‘Gallipoli Strollers’, rare video footage, and reflections on his personal journey over the Anzac Centenary years.



Speakers
avatar for Peter Allen

Peter Allen

As National Coordinator of the Centenary of Anzac Jewish Program, Peter organised the publication of Mark Dapin's Jewish Anzacs, facilitated projects in every state from 2014 to 2018, including the opening of the Australian Jewish War Memorial in Canberra, and attended centenaries... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 3

11:00am

CANCELLED - Loss of faith: religious institutions and child protection
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled. 

Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, serious questions have been raised about the capability and willingness of religious institutions to keep our children safe. With Malka Leifer evading justice and George Pell in prison, what needs to be done to restore the faith? Panelists speak about the role religious organisations have played in enabling or ignoring child sex abuse and what they can do to heal the scars of a dark history.


Moderators
avatar for Bettina Cass

Bettina Cass

Bettina Cass AO is Emeritus Professor at UNSW and the University of Sydney. Her research includes child protection, aged care, family and children’s wellbeing, family carers, and social security. She was Chair of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Social Justice Committee for 10 years... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dassi Erlich

Dassi Erlich

Advocate, #bringleiferback
Dassi is an advocate and educator, working for long-needed cultural change in our communities to protect survivors of sexual abuse. She founded the campaign #bringleiferback against her former school principal and abuser. The campaign has reached the highest levels of government in... Read More →
avatar for Mendel Kastel

Mendel Kastel

Rabbi Kastel OAM is the CEO of the Jewish House Crisis Centre. He has grown the organisation into a major player in areas including homelessness, child protection, mental health, domestic violence, suicide prevention and other nature of crises. Rabbi Kastel is also chaplain of many... Read More →
avatar for Jodi Lee

Jodi Lee

Journalist, Channel Seven
Jodi is a news journalist with Channel Seven. Originally from Sydney, she is now based in Melbourne, where she spends her time meeting real people and telling their stories. Jodi has reported on toppled Prime Ministers in Canberra, Melbourne’s grief in the wake of the Bourke Street... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 6

11:00am

Trolling the trolls: turning the tables on online antisemitism
The rise of vitriolic bigotry on social media can often leave those targeted by it feeling helpless, forever waiting on capricious corporations to clean up their platforms and protect minority voices like Jews. Rather than holding out for a top-down solution to online abuse that may never arrive, come to this crash course on bottom-up strategies for countering antisemites and other racist trolls on the internet.

Speakers
avatar for Yair Rosenberg

Yair Rosenberg

Senior writer, Tablet Magazine
Yair is a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where he covers the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Guardian and his writings have received awards from the Religion... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 5

11:00am

Karaite Judaism: same, same but different
Karaite Jews reject the authority of the Talmud and other rabbinic literature. Therefore, their calendar and kashrut (dietary laws) practices are different, their liturgy is almost all taken from the Bible, and they observe holidays differently. For example, this year they were already celebrating Passover when we were celebrating Purim and their seder ritual does not include telling stories about rabbis. Join me to learn about the 50,000 people who still practise Karaite Judaism today.



Speakers
avatar for Norman Green

Norman Green

Norman is a tax and estate planning lawyer from Los Angeles, California, with two sons (one of them a Masorti/Conservative rabbi) and two grandsons. He has participated in Limmuds in Los Angeles (six times), New York, and the UK. He has spoken on Karaite Judaism in all three of those... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 2

12:15pm

Jews and meditation: the Jewish roots of the secular mindfulness movement
WORKSHOP | Salzberg, Goleman, Goldstein, Kornefield & Zinn: a Manhattan law firm? No—a roll-call of prominent meditation and mindfulness teachers and researchers. Jews have been crucial in bringing meditation from Buddhism to Western culture and establishing mindfulness as an evidence-based intervention. But why? This session will explore the history of Jewish meditation and Jews in meditation, introducing participants to some of the underlying theories and practices of mindfulness—without the need to adopt the lotus position.

Speakers
avatar for Stiofan Mac Suibhne

Stiofan Mac Suibhne

Stiofan is a registered osteopath and long-time meditator, trained in the Buddhist meditation tradition and secular mindfulness. In clinical practice he uses mindfulness as a technique to help patients with long-term health conditions and chronic pain or as a resource for resilience... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room 7

12:15pm

The future of the past: Holocaust commemoration in 2019 and beyond
Holocaust commemoration remains a core priority for Jewish communities in Australia and around the world. Our panelists will explore how Sydney has commemorated the Shoah so far—and ponder the future of Holocaust commemoration. How important will survivor testimony be for future generations—who will not meet those survivors in person? What innovative forms of remembering are being developed to fill this gap? In what ways should we preserve or adjust our collective narrative to make Holocaust memory relatable to future generations?

Moderators
avatar for Jacqueline Wasilewsky

Jacqueline Wasilewsky

Manager of Community Stories, Sydney Jewish Museum
Jacqui is Manager of Community Stories at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Her department has recorded more than 150 interviews and published 85 biographies. Jacqui completed her BA/LLB in 1987, MA (History) in 1998 at UNSW, and Certificate of Interactive Multimedia in 2004 at UTS.

Speakers
avatar for Roslyn Sugarman

Roslyn Sugarman

Curator, Sydney Jewish Museum
Roslyn joined the Sydney Jewish Museum as Curator in 2005, managing both temporary exhibitions and permanent displays. She was awarded a Museums & Galleries NSW Fellowship to Yad Vashem in 2014 and an EHRI Fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017. In 2017 the SJM opened... Read More →
avatar for Jared Engelman

Jared Engelman

Jared is one of the five co-founders of Youth HEAR (Holocaust Education and Remembrance), a new organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between young adults and the Holocaust generation. In April, Youth HEAR organised and conducted its inaugural Youth Yom HaShoah commemoration... Read More →
avatar for Yoav Yaron

Yoav Yaron

Shaliach, AUJS NSW
Yoav is the AUJS NSW Shaliach. Born and raised in Kibbutz Afek in Israel, Yoav was a youth counsellor and activist as a teenager. He served in the IDF for six years in the Strategic & International Divisions, where he gained vast experience in politico-military affairs. Yoav holds... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Hochberg

Daniel Hochberg

The son of Holocaust survivors, Daniel has been a youth leader and active parent of Habonim Dror, including Mazkir of NZ Habonim and President of the P&F in Sydney. A past Coogee Synagogue Board member, he held leadership roles within Maccabi NSW, including President, and was a Governor... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room 4

12:15pm

Culture and argument: does being Jewish affect your negotiation style?
Jews are famously a people of words, opinions, argument, and negotiation. While we each have a unique negotiation style, do all Jewish negotiators have something in common? We all negotiate every day, whether in a professional context or in our private lives. This session will explore the factors that influence the way in which we negotiate and looks specifically at how our Jewish culture affects how we interact with others.

Speakers
avatar for Noa Sheer

Noa Sheer

Noa’s role in an Israeli–Palestinian peace initiative sparked her interest in negotiation and problem-solving; she is now lecturing at the UNSW Business School and Australian Graduate School of Management in the area of negotiation. She co-authored the new edition of Effective... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room 8

12:15pm

TABOO TALK | How to stop your child having (bad) sex
TABOO TALK | The thought that your child is, or will soon be, having sex is no doubt an uncomfortable one. It’s followed by some troubling questions—What if they’re not ready? Will they get an STI? What if they’re traumatised? This workshop, presented by 22-year-old sex educator Matt Friedman, provides a research-driven window into how parents can approach these taboo conversations to help their children stay healthy, happy, and even satisfied as they start to explore their sexual identities.

 These ‘taboo talks’ aim to create a space for brave, difficult conversations about complicated human experiences—sex, baby-making, disability, ageing—that may feature in our lives. Come with an open mind and leave with a new perspective.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Friedman

Matt Friedman

Sex educator, 2 Birds 1 Bee
Matt is the founder of 2 Birds 1 Bee, a youth-run relationships and sex education project that engages through interactive workshops with students, parents, and schools in areas including pornography, gender and sexuality diversity, and building healthy relationships. Matt also volunteers... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room 5

12:15pm

Not as it seems: peeling back the layers of the biblical story
Chazal (the rabbis), followed by the medieval biblical commentators, claimed that ‘there is no chronological order in the Torah’ and dealt thus with mismatches in the linear sequence of the biblical stories. What happens, though, when one goes a bit further with the rabbis’ claim and reads the biblical stories detached from their current linear order? In this session we will extract Torah stories from their final literary framework and reveal their hidden messages.

Speakers
avatar for Gili Kugler

Gili Kugler

Bible scholar, University of Sydney
Dr Kugler is a lecturer in the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney. Her main area of teaching and researching is the Hebrew Bible, especially the historical and literary development of beliefs and traditions in the Bible. Gili is originally... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room 2

1:00pm

Lunch available for purchase
Monday June 17, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Bar Area

1:45pm

Swinging with Yiddish songs
PERFORMANCE | Di Yiddishe Mammes will be performing a variety of Yiddish songs. They include shtetl songs, Yiddish lullabies, songs from the swing era from America, and Holocaust songs. Come along and enjoy!

Speakers
avatar for Di Yiddishe Mammes

Di Yiddishe Mammes

Di Yiddishe Mammes are Bettina Ebert and Nogah Strum, a mother–daughter duo passionate about revitalising the Yiddish language through song. They sing a variety of Yiddish songs in harmonies, with Nogah accompanying them on her guitar. Di Yiddishe Mammes have been singing together... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Club Bar

1:45pm

Israeli politics and feminism—a tango
Over the past few months Israel witnessed a passionate election campaign and a historic women’s domestic violence protest. But the elected 21st Knesset has fewer women than the 20th, and gender equality issues are hardly its top priority. This session will examine the main challenges for Israel’s feminist movement. How does Israel compare to other countries in terms of female political representation? What is being done to promote gender equality in Israeli politics?

Speakers
avatar for Miriam Zalkind

Miriam Zalkind

Lawyer & advocate, Israel Women's Network
Miriam is an Israeli lawyer serving as the Director of Policy and Legislation Promotion at the Israel Women's Network. She has been a feminist activist for more than a decade and is very active in the social struggle to end gender violence and to eliminate gender segregation in Israel... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Room 7

1:45pm

"Arigato gozaimasu Sugihara-san!" (Thank you, Mr Sugihara!)
In only a few months in 1940, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara helped 6,000 Jews escape Hitler, spending 18–20 hours per day hand-writing transit visas for them. Marcel Weyland is one of the last two Holocaust survivors in Australia saved by one of these visas. Hear him being interviewed by Professor Konrad Kwiet about his lucky escape during WWII, his subsequent internment in Shanghai, and how he has built a successful life in Australia.

Moderators
avatar for Konrad Kwiet

Konrad Kwiet

Resident historian, Sydney Jewish Museum
Professor Kwiet is a historian of the Holocaust who has worked in universities and museums around the world, including Oxford, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Israel, and Washington DC. Born in Germany, he has lived in Australia since 1976 and has held academic positions at UNSW, Macquarie... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Marcel Weyland

Marcel Weyland

Marcel was born in Lodz. Thanks to a Sugihara visa, he fled Europe and survived WWII, settling in Sydney in 1946. Marcel has been recognised worldwide for his translations of Polish texts, including 'Echoes: Poems of the Holocaust'. He has received the Medal of the Order of Australia... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Room 8

1:45pm

Two Jewish gentlemen from Egypt hop on a bus in 1930s Tel Aviv
It’s 1937, an amazing time to tour Jewish Mandatory Palestine. Come join us! Our guidebook is Nous Venons de Palestine ('We Come from Palestine'), a novelised account of the travels of two enthusiastic Jewish Cairenes, Jules Levy and Willy Chalom. We’ll visit cities and countryside, flourishing new Jewish institutions, a Misada Hapoalim, Hebrew theatre, and much more. We’ll meet Jews of Palestine and new Jewish immigrants, talk politics and history with them, and marvel at their hopes and dreams.

Speakers
avatar for Carol Langley

Carol Langley

Author, photographer & artist
Carol is an Australian author, photographer, and artist, with a PhD in Theatre (UNSW). Carol also researches the pasts of Middle Eastern and North African Jews and has been gathering oral histories for the Sydney Jewish Museum’s 2020 exhibition on Jews of Arab Lands and Iran. In... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Room 2

1:45pm

Did you just shush me?
AUJS creates Jewish spaces on campuses across Australia and New Zealand. It fosters Jewish life and identity and provides unparalleled leadership and development opportunities to our university students. What does that look like in 2019 and how is AUJS navigating an ever-changing university landscape?

Speakers
AM

Ariel Mekler-Peled

AUJS National Vice-Chairperson
Ariel is the 2019 Vice-Chairperson of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students. She has an extensive history in Jewish tertiary student engagement, having previously served as AUJS’ NSW President, National Campaigns Co-Ordinator, NSW Education Officer, and General Executive of... Read More →
avatar for Yoav Yaron

Yoav Yaron

Shaliach, AUJS NSW
Yoav is the AUJS NSW Shaliach. Born and raised in Kibbutz Afek in Israel, Yoav was a youth counsellor and activist as a teenager. He served in the IDF for six years in the Strategic & International Divisions, where he gained vast experience in politico-military affairs. Yoav holds... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Collaboration Space 1

1:45pm

Visionaries, reformers, and agitators: the prophets of Israel
David explores the wider historical and political background to the unique institution of prophecy and its profound influence upon the development of Judaism. He reviews the personalities, contributions, and controversies of the astonishing prophets of the Hebrew Bible.

Speakers
avatar for David Solomon

David Solomon

David is an internationally acclaimed, globally-roaming scholar, teacher, writer, and translator. David teaches Jewish history and philosophy, Tanach, Hebrew, and Kabbalah, but is perhaps best known for his dynamic lecture, The Whole of Jewish History in One Hour.


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Room 4

1:45pm

Would the rabbis have tweeted? Rabbinic thoughts for a social media age
In a time of increasingly uncivil discourse, anonymous internet name calling, and anxiety about our polarised society, it is easy to look at the internet as a uniquely modern source of destruction. However, the rabbis of the Talmud were well aware of the way that anonymous speech could destroy, far and wide. We will consider a few classical rabbinic texts about the power of language and try to develop a framework for applying these ethics to the social media age.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Talmud scholar & teacher, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rachel lectures in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was voted Professor of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she teaches at the Drisha Institute and in Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS. She is currently a... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Room 6

3:00pm

Songs on the wild side: Jewish pop that changed the world
Of the millions of modern pop songs, only a few have transcended their brief popularity to become true classics. These rare gems somehow define generations, challenging accepted norms and even changing the course of history. A sizeable number of such songs have been written by Jewish songwriters. Join Gary ‘Yid Rock’ Holzman in this entertaining, multimedia presentation as he counts down the top ten pop songs written by Jews that literally changed the world.

Speakers
avatar for Gary Holzman

Gary Holzman

Founder and director of Shir Madness (Sydney’s Jewish music festival), Gary is an intellectual property lawyer who has spent most of his spare (and work) time listening to and reading about popular music. He has developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of Jewish songwriters... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 3

3:00pm

Being lost and found in the Negev desert
A year ago I was staying on Kibbutz Almog in the Negev, the northern part of the Dead Sea, near the Qumran Caves. As a walker and lover of the desert, I was up early each day, stepping out into the large moonlight-filled land. One day I took a recommended route and had the experience of being lost and eventually rescued. What happened in between is the desert story that I would like to tell.

Speakers
CJ

Claire Jankelson

Claire supervises and mentors PhD candidates through Macquarie Graduate School of Management. She is married to David, with three sons and a stunning grandchild. Interested in a spiritual and pluralistic Judaism, and with an abiding love of learning, Claire currently serves as director... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 2

3:00pm

The synagogues Israelis don't attend: shifting religious identities in Israel
Recent studies show a surprising number of Israelis are choosing to identify as Reform or Conservative, although the two movements have low membership and attendance statistics. What does this mean? Based on the findings of his book Rising Streams: Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel, Dan Feferman claims that this amounts to nothing less than a fundamental shift in the religious identity of Israeli Jews.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Feferman

Dan Feferman

Israeli analyst, Jewish People Policy Institute
Dan is a Major (res.) in the IDF who served as a foreign policy and national security analyst in the IDF General Staff and as commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN's Research and Analysis Division. He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 5

3:00pm

Waking up the body
WORKSHOP | How do you dance Jewishly? Experience a taste of the immersive Jewish engagement for which Yoel and Nava Tehila are so celebrated. Together we will breathe, move, be still, use our voices, and shake ourselves to life—with the intention of opening our body, heart, and mind to the life energy that is flowing through us and through all.

Speakers
avatar for Yoel Sykes

Yoel Sykes

Musician & composer, Nava Tehila
Yoel studied music at the Center for Eastern Music in Jerusalem and flamenco guitar in the Fundacion de Christina Heeren school of Flamenco Arts in Seville, Spain. He is a main prayer leader in the Nava Tehila Jerusalem-based community and travels to Jewish communities around the... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Collaboration Space 1

3:00pm

CANCELLED - Napoleon and the Jews
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled.

Napoleon is remembered as an ambiguous hero for Jews, affirming Jews' citizenship even as he put conditions on it. We'll discuss his acts and legacy. We recommend (but do not require) that you attend the 'French Revolution and the Jews' session before coming to this one.

Speakers
avatar for CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

Professor of History, American University
Lisa  is a historian of European and Jewish history, specialising in the history of Jews in France. She is the author of Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth Century France (2006), Colonialism and the Jews (2017) and The Archive Thief: the... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 7

3:00pm

From exclusion to hope: a changing LGBTQI+ experience
With more acceptance both formally and informally in parts of the Jewish community, and more spaces to be open about identity, LGBTQI+ Jews can start to look forward. They are no longer asking for acceptance, instead asking questions like "What will my Jewish wedding look like?" and "On which side of the mechitza do I stand?" This panel will ask LGBTQI+ Jews what answers they are looking for and how communities can transform tolerance into celebration.

Moderators
avatar for Liora Baram

Liora Baram

Liora is a student at the University of Sydney, undertaking Honours in the History and Philosophy of Science. She is co-founder of the Jewish queer women’s film club, HaSodot, and is passionate about increasing visibility of queer women in the Jewish community. When not raising... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Benjamin Huggins Strum

Benjamin Huggins Strum

Benjamin is a budding documentary filmmaker. He started his career as the Creative Producer at Heaps Gay, publishing short videos about LGBT+ issues online. He has since worked as associate producer at Mint Pictures, where he developed and shot an SBS hour-length documentary about... Read More →
avatar for Alex Linker

Alex Linker

Queer advocate
Alex is a passionate queer advocate who is pushing for trans acceptance. After coming out as trans at Moriah College in year 12 in 2014, they have been an openly trans voice within the Jewish and wider community. Alex has previously held the role of Dayenu president as well as UNSW... Read More →
avatar for Bruria Hammer

Bruria Hammer

Bruria Hammer is a full-time book store manager, part-time photographer, and occasional writer. She lives with her grandparents in Sydney.
avatar for Rebecca Forgasz

Rebecca Forgasz

Director & CEO, Jewish Museum of Australia
Rebecca has been Director & CEO of the Jewish Museum of Australia since 2010. She is an experienced curator and Jewish educator, having taught for many years in adult education and at secondary and tertiary levels. Rebecca has a Masters degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford as well... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Club Bar

3:00pm

Sex, lies, and Talmudic rabbis
The Talmud was written close to 2,000 years ago but its profound treatment of the human condition is as relevant today as it was then. We will explore some of the nuanced ways the Talmud treats sexual desire, the quest for truth, and the need for communitas.

Speakers
avatar for Tommy Sterling

Tommy Sterling

Tommy is a lawyer and long-time Limmudnik who currently sits on the Limmud Sydney Advisory Board. He loves to ask questions and explore the origin of all things Jewish. Tommy’s Jewish passions span the traditional to the academic, presented with his uniquely humorous and irreverent... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 4

4:15pm

Poetry as empowerment
WORKSHOP | What Jews say, think, feel, fear ... . Poetry is an ancient and persistent way for you to find and cultivate your voice. Yvonne Green, former English barrister and New York attorney, and now prize-winning poet, translator, and essayist, guides a session giving you the tools to tell and test your story through what you have seen, tasted, known, confronted, heard, and felt.

Speakers
avatar for Yvonne Green

Yvonne Green

Poet & translator
Born to a multilingual Central Asian family in London, Yvonne practised law in another life. She burst onto the poetry scene with Boukhara, which won the 2007 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. Yvonne has since published four more collections: The Assay (Hanisoo-yi (Hebrew... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 2

4:15pm

David and Goliath: Israel at the UN
Israel is confronted by endemic bias at the United Nations, with over 500 resolutions against it in the General Assembly—more than against all other countries put together. And that's before we talk about the Human Rights Council!

Speakers
avatar for Vic Alhadeff

Vic Alhadeff

CEO, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Vic is CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. He was formerly Chair of Multicultural NSW, Editor of the Australian Jewish News (reporting from Moscow on the campaign to free Soviet Jewry and from Israel on the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin), and chief sub-editor... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 7

4:15pm

Why the Left needs the IDF
Since the foundation of Israel in 1948, the IDF has been a people’s army - aiming to fulfil a social role in society as well as a military one. Today, conscription numbers are lower than ever and the army’s historical role is transferring to civil society. I grew up being told the smaller Israel’s army got the better. Why does this trend actually serve the Right?

Speakers
avatar for Adiel Cohney

Adiel Cohney

Educator, Dror Israel
After finishing his time in the Australian Zionist youth movements and his BA in Jewish Civilisation and Theatre, Adiel moved to Israel to form a Socialist commune with 10 of his peers. Today he is a member of Dror Israel Socialist-Zionist movement, on the executive team of the ‘Beit... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 4

4:15pm

How music saved 1000 lives: the birth of an orchestra
In 1935, following Germany’s Nuremberg Laws, violinist Bronislaw Huberman decided to establish the Palestine Orchestra by recruiting the best European Jewish musicians no longer allowed to perform. Miraculously, 80 musicians were convinced to leave Europe for the ‘cultural wasteland’ of Palestine; they first performed on 26 December 1936, conducted by the world-renowned Arturo Toscanini. Hear the gripping story of how Huberman not only saved 1000 lives, but established one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Israeli Philharmonic.

Speakers
avatar for Andy Bromberger

Andy Bromberger

Andy started her musical career as a professional clarinettist, in numerous orchestras and her own successful quintet, Enigma Five. For nearly ten years she has spearheaded ‘Coffee, Cake and Culture’, providing interactive lectures on classical music’s historical, political... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 8

4:15pm

What makes this Jew different from all other Jews? Race, difference, and safety in Jewish spaces
We are a people of questions, but perhaps certain types of questions directed at certain kinds of people diminish the safety of all of us. A modern liberal idea? MaNishtana thinks not; he explains that checking people at the door is not something we Jews can or should recognise as ‘traditional’. Join him for some personal and political reflections on the joys and challenges of being a Jew of colour in the 21st century.

Speakers
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

Anti-racism activist & rabbi
New York–based African-American Orthodox Jew MaNishtana—born from two African-American Orthodox Jewish parents—is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi. His work tackles prejudice and bias head on and shatters misconceptions about Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 5

4:15pm

Your people, your politics
The success and wellbeing of liberal democracy is a hot topic for all Western countries at the moment. The Susan Wakil Fellowship hosts a panel of Australian Jews across the spectrum – in terms of party, ideology, gender and age – participating in Australian politics. We will ask: What do they care about? Why and how did they end up in politics? And what do they have to say of their experience working from within the machine?



Moderators
avatar for Joshua Kirsh

Joshua Kirsh

Political Affairs Director, AUJS
Joshua is the Political Affairs Director of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) for 2019. As a Deputy of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, he serves on the Social Justice Committee and the Community Engagement Working Party. Joshua was a Public Affairs Intern at the Board... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Lorin Muhlmann

Lorin Muhlmann

Lorin is an advisor to Dr Marjorie O'Neill, ALP Member for Coogee, and an accredited mediator with an interest in workplace dispute resolution. Lorin has a legal background and experience in community media. In 2005 she ran as a Labor Party candidate in the Hunter Ward of Waverley... Read More →
avatar for Will Nemesh

Will Nemesh

Will is an advisor to Liberal Federal MP Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services. Will is also a Liberal councillor for the Hunter Ward of Waverley Council, Secretary of the Liberal Friends of Israel, and has been involved in the Jewish community for more than 10... Read More →
avatar for Miriam Guttman-Jones

Miriam Guttman-Jones

Miriam is a registered nurse and ran an endoscopy clinic for 22 years. She was the only independent councillor on Waverley Council from 2009 to 2017, during which time she also served as deputy mayor for the calendar year 2011–12. Miriam ran for the seat of Vaucluse as an independent... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Room 6

4:15pm

Why do the Jews get blamed for everything? A Christian Zionist's response
The Sinai covenant is the key to understanding Israel as a nation, the Jews as God's chosen people, and the nations of the world, with special reference to the importance of the Sabbath. Is there a link between the Sabbath of Genesis and the Six Day War of June 1967?

Speakers
avatar for John Hall

John Hall

After 10 years of farming John trained for the Methodist ministry and served in Gloucester and Liverpool. In 2001 John and his wife, Margaret, took leading roles in the Jerusalem conference ‘Changing the Future by Confronting the Past’, which concluded with a service of repentance... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Club Bar

5:30pm

'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel': an alternative history of stand-up comedy
The fabulously successful new TV series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel presents an appealing but flawed alternative history of stand-up comedy. Join Debra as she explores the real history of the birth of stand-up and how daring and different from its predecessors it was. Mrs Maisel may be wishful, nostalgic thinking, but it nevertheless opens up a new way of exploring the history of Jewish women in stand-up.

Speakers
avatar for Debra Aarons

Debra Aarons

UNSW
Debra  is a linguist at UNSW. She writes about humour and language and has a particular interest in Jewish comedy. Her Jokes and the Linguistic Mind (2011) explores the art of joke-making through the lens of cognitive science. Debra has written extensively with Marc Mierowsky on... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 5

5:30pm

Jews, Christians, and Israel
Christian theology, end-time scenarios, and classic Christian antisemitism influence Christian responses to Zionism and the State of Israel. They increasingly affect Jewish–Christian relations as well as geopolitics, as Christian Israel-lovers and Israel-haters try to influence policy in the US (think Trump, Pence, Jerusalem) and elsewhere.



Speakers
avatar for David Sandmel

David Sandmel

Interreligious Engagement Director, ADL
David has been Director of Interreligious Engagement at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) since 2014. An expert in Jewish–Christian relations, he was previously Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was involved in producing ‘Dabru Emet: A... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 2

5:30pm

Teaching Israel: four paths to shape meaning
As every Jewish educator knows, there is no simple way to teach about Israel in the 21st century. The teacher’s own perspective about the place of Israel in Jewish life will always have enormous implications. In this session we will explore four distinct ‘versions’ of Israel we might teach and the implications of each. Hopefully we can educate students to relate to Israel with some nuance and sophistication, alongside their passion.

Speakers
avatar for Talya Wiseman

Talya Wiseman

Talya is passionate about Jewish education and community leadership and has been professionally involved in this space for over 12 years. She holds a Masters in Jewish Education (Hebrew University), a BA in Jewish Studies and History (UNSW), and a DipEd (Excelsia College). Currently... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 8

5:30pm

Life and love in Nazi Prague
Letters provide a window into their writer’s profound hopes and fears. We will read a series of letters sent by Marie Bader, a Jewish widow in occupied Prague, to her widower friend Ernst Löwy, in Thessaloniki. The letters span the period 1940 to 1942, when Marie was deported to Theresienstadt. They paint a vivid, dramatic, and moving picture of Jewish life in Heydrich’s Prague. Amidst the chaos and across a vast distance, Marie and Ernst found love.

Speakers
avatar for Jan Lanicek

Jan Lanicek

Holocaust historian, UNSW
Dr Lanicek was born in the Czech Republic and is now senior lecturer at UNSW, specialising in the history of the Holocaust and modern European history. He is the author of three books: Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938–48 (2013), Arnost Frischer and the Jewish Politics of Early... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 6

5:30pm

Judaism as a meme: planning for 2050
A ‘meme’ is an idea or behaviour that spreads from person to person within a culture. Looking at Judaism as a meme competing with other memes in our surrounding society, we will analyse what is working and failing in Sydney and speculate on the future of Judaism in 2050 and beyond. How can we effectively transmit Jewish culture, texts, and values to the next generation? What reason are we giving people to still be Jewish in 2050?

Moderators
avatar for Justine Saidman

Justine Saidman

Justine is Director of PJ Library in Australia and New Zealand and the Shalom: Sydney Jewish Writers Festival. She is a passionate educator and community engagement professional with a strong commitment to Jewish values. Justine has a BA in History and English (UNSW), a Diploma of... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Donny Janks

Donny Janks

Donny is a politically progressive Jew from Sydney. He has a background in Habonim Dror as a madrich and chairperson and works in informal education at Emanuel School and Emanuel Synagogue. Donny is passionate about engaging young Jews through new channels for participation, expression... Read More →
avatar for Rafael Kaiserblueth

Rafael Kaiserblueth

Rafi was born in Puerto Rico and has spent time in Jewish communities across the spectrum and the globe, from Reform, Masorti, and Chabad, to the United States, South America, Europe, and Australia. Currently a member of the clergy team of Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra, Rafi previously... Read More →
avatar for Daphna Levin-Kahn

Daphna Levin-Kahn

Emanuel School
Having fallen into Jewish Education—and into Australia—by accident, Daphna realised that her intended purpose was to tackle the tough challenges connecting Sydney teenagers to their Judaism in a meaningful, engaging, and creative manner as Head of High School Jewish Studies at... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 4

5:30pm

CANCELLED - ‘Alone in the crowd’: a short history of the Talmudic herem
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled.

One of the most ubiquitous (but least understood) of the Talmud's weapons is the herem, or ban. From the sage known only as Acher (‘somebody else’) to the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, many who transgressed Rabbinic consensus have felt the lash of social exclusion. In this session, we will consider the Talmudic passages that speak of this phenomenon, determine precisely what the herem looked like, and what one need do to incur the wrath of the Rabbinate.

Speakers
avatar for Simon Holloway

Simon Holloway

Simon  is an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he researches and runs seminars on the Holocaust. He has a PhD from the University of Sydney, for which he wrote a thesis on the use of metaphor in the Hebrew Bible. He also has two beautiful children, aged 1 and 3... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 7

5:30pm

Modern Judaism and materialism
We all know that our community has an affordability problem and that people are being priced out of Jewish engagement. Continuing to worsen, it exacts significant moral and economic costs on us and the future of our community. In this session we will use text to explore drivers and downstream effects of the socioeconomic realities of modern Jewish life—and speak to the fundamental question ‘Is this really our ideal of a Jewish community?’



Speakers
avatar for Avi Bart

Avi Bart

After receiving semicha in Israel, Avi returned home in 2018 to begin his rabbinical career and continue studying medicine at the University of Melbourne. Avi studied at the Rabbinical College of Australia and NZ (Yeshivah Gedolah) and Yeshivat Machanayim. He has held leadership roles... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Club Bar

6:00pm

Dinner available for purchase
Monday June 17, 2019 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Bar Area

7:00pm

Is it time to say goodbye to the two-state solution?
The two-state solution has been widely accepted as ‘the’ answer to the Israel–Palestine conflict for decades. But after years of hopes and efforts, the two sides seem as far from reaching an agreement as ever. While public confidence in the two-state solution wanes, new paradigms are entering public discourse left, right, and centre. In this session we will explore some of these new ideas, evaluate their feasibility, and try to predict which will survive the test of history.

Speakers
avatar for Oren Thaler

Oren Thaler

Oren is a graduate of Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University. He came to Australia in 2016 after working for 15 years in Jerusalem as a teacher and leader of grassroots peace and reconciliation initiatives between Arabs and Jews. Oren now teaches at Emanuel School while completing... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 6

7:00pm

30 years at the back of the shul: a physio’s observations
Do biblical commentators say anything about the harms of sitting? Do I need to bend my knees to safely lift a Torah for Hagbah? Why does my shoulder hurt when I put on my Tallit? Come to this session to explore the problems of deteriorating spinal posture and back pain, and their relationship to Judaism. We will discuss prolonged sitting, prolonged screen-time, and lifting techniques—and how Orthodox Judaism hints at a solution.

Speakers
avatar for Larry Cohen

Larry Cohen

Larry  is the founder and principal physiotherapist at UprightCare. He has an MSc in Exercise Physiology, is a graduate of Harvard’s PPCR clinical research course, and has worked as a gymnastics coach and physiotherapist at the Olympics and Special Olympics. He is in the latter... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 7

7:00pm

CANCELLED - ‘The Archive Thief’ — the man who salvaged French Jewish history in the wake of the Holocaust
Regrettably, this session has been cancelled.

The Archive Thief tells the story of a Polish-born Jewish historian who took tens of thousands of Jewish documents from Europe in the 1940s and 1950s and moved them, illicitly, to New York, eventually selling them to Jewish research libraries in the United States and Israel. Was this a heroic act of salvage or simply theft? In exploring this question, Lisa Leff raises questions about where the material remnants of the Jewish past are best kept.

Speakers
avatar for CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

CANCELLED - Lisa Leff

Professor of History, American University
Lisa  is a historian of European and Jewish history, specialising in the history of Jews in France. She is the author of Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth Century France (2006), Colonialism and the Jews (2017) and The Archive Thief: the... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Club Bar

7:00pm

'Israel created ISIS’: inciting violence and kindling conspiracies against Israel
Out of sight, extreme preachers, so-called columnists, and radio broadcasters in Arabic take advantage of Australia’s freedom of speech to preach hatred against the West, spread conspiracy theories and antisemitism, and incite for terror. Unlike the vast majority of law-abiding Muslims in Australia, a handful of Australians are being radicalised by such messages. This session is based on studies I conducted for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).



Speakers
avatar for Ran Porat

Ran Porat

Dr Porat is a multidisciplinary scholar, analyst, and researcher. He teaches Middle Eastern history, conflict studies, and Israel studies at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC), Monash University. He is also a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 5

7:00pm

Jewish texts we love to hate
What do we do with Jewish texts that are morally questionable? Can we push aside boring or uninspiring work just because it doesn't suit our current climate? Can we redeem a problematic historical narrative in today's post-truth and #MeToo world? Join our panelists as they pick apart, critique, and perhaps redeem a piece of tricky or troubling Jewish text.

Moderators
avatar for Alon Meltzer

Alon Meltzer

Alon is Director of Programs at Shalom and Rabbi of Or Chadash Synagogue. He trained at Yeshiva University and the University of Auckland. Alon is passionate about sociology, medieval history, and how our past, present, and future shape or could shape the Jewish world. He loves camping... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Talmud scholar & teacher, Jewish Theological Seminary
Rachel lectures in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was voted Professor of the Year in 2018. A graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle, she teaches at the Drisha Institute and in Nishma: A Summer of Torah Study at JTS. She is currently a... Read More →
avatar for MaNishtana

MaNishtana

Anti-racism activist & rabbi
New York–based African-American Orthodox Jew MaNishtana—born from two African-American Orthodox Jewish parents—is a writer, playwright, speaker, novelist, and rabbi. His work tackles prejudice and bias head on and shatters misconceptions about Orthodox Judaism, American Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Gili Kugler

Gili Kugler

Bible scholar, University of Sydney
Dr Kugler is a lecturer in the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney. Her main area of teaching and researching is the Hebrew Bible, especially the historical and literary development of beliefs and traditions in the Bible. Gili is originally... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 8

7:00pm

When Jewish law and Australian law clash – Contempt? Fines? Lack of fairness? What’s up with the Rabbis and why do they keep getting smashed by the courts?
The past decade has seen significant clashes between Jewish law and Australian law played out in Supreme Courts in Australia. Some of these clashes reflect different approaches to law and conflict resolution, while others reflect the difficulties of traditional Jewish society accommodating to the norms and expectations of the rule of law in a liberal democratic and secular environment. The presentation will explore these issues as well as the tensions they create for freedom of religion.

Speakers
avatar for Marcus Solomon

Marcus Solomon

Rabbi Marcus Solomon SC grew up in Perth and Melbourne and studied in Yeshivot in Melbourne, Israel, and New York. He graduated in law from the University of WA and practised in law firms until moving to the Bar in 2006. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013. Rabbi Solomon also... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 4

8:15pm

From Andalusia to Jerusalem and beyond: poetry + music
PERFORMANCE | What’s the most Jewish cultures you’ve ever seen represented in an hour? Dahlia Dior’s music is just like her history—a unique blend of Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Yemenite, and Moroccan, with some German, Romanian, and Polish for garnish, performed in 20 languages. Joining Dahlia will be poet Yvonne Green, delivering evocative music-backed renditions of her vivid and enthralling poetry reflecting on her own Boukharan background. Together, they’ll take you around the Jewish world with finesse and flair.

Speakers
avatar for Shirley Politzer

Shirley Politzer

Shirley was a pre school to year 12 classroom music specialist and teaches piano, flute and theory. She is well known in the Jewish community for entertaining and accompanying, mostly on piano, and flute. She has fulfilled roles as conductor, director, performer, arranger and choral... Read More →
avatar for Yvonne Green

Yvonne Green

Poet & translator
Born to a multilingual Central Asian family in London, Yvonne practised law in another life. She burst onto the poetry scene with Boukhara, which won the 2007 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. Yvonne has since published four more collections: The Assay (Hanisoo-yi (Hebrew... Read More →
avatar for Dahlia Dior

Dahlia Dior

Dahlia, born in Jerusalem, comes from a long line of Sephardic and Ashkenazi community leaders. She served in the IDF Nahal entertainment troop, starred in ‘Kazablan’, a musical with Yehoram Gaon, and was a member of the (Naomi) Shemer Sisters popular song ensemble. Singing in... Read More →
MS

Marilyn Schock

Marilyn spent 10 years travelling in Europe as a professional dancer, specialising in flamenco and modern dance. Recent visits to Israel, Turkey, Chile, and Cuba have given her more insight into different cultures, dance, and music. Marilyn plays percussion and castanets in world... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 8:15pm - 9:15pm
Limmud Forum

8:15pm

Israel in a shifting Middle East: security challenges and opportunities in 2019
The past decade has ushered in drastic changes to the world order and the Middle East, directly affecting Israel for both good and ill. Together we will explore these major shifts and how they affect Israel, including the challenge to the democratic-liberal order and the reorientation of the Middle East. We will also discuss Israel's preeminent challengers, from Hezbollah in the north to Hamas in the south, and learn how Israel is confronting these challenges.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Feferman

Dan Feferman

Israeli analyst, Jewish People Policy Institute
Dan is a Major (res.) in the IDF who served as a foreign policy and national security analyst in the IDF General Staff and as commander in an elite intelligence unit of AMAN's Research and Analysis Division. He is a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, a leading think-tank... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 8:15pm - 9:15pm
Room 6

8:15pm

Right in our midst: the threat of white supremacy
Attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh and Poway and on Muslims in Christchurch have shown the far right to be a real and dangerous threat globally. What forces have precipitated this rise in right-wing extremism? What can we do to combat white supremacist ideology and violence? Should online platforms take responsibility for controlling the development and transmission of this hatred? How can we keep our synagogues safe?

Moderators
avatar for Shirli Kirschner

Shirli Kirschner

Shirli is a consultant providing strategy and dispute resolution services. She is a Director of Resolve Advisors. She has won a number of awards for dispute resolution and is listed in Who’s Who International for commercial mediation. Shirli is a Senior Visiting Fellow at UNSW Law... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Andre Oboler

Andre Oboler

Online Hate Prevention Institute
Dr Oboler is CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute and a Senior Lecturer in the Law School at La Trobe University. He is an expert member of the Australian Government's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and a former co-chair of the Global Forum for... Read More →
avatar for Yair Rosenberg

Yair Rosenberg

Senior writer, Tablet Magazine
Yair is a senior writer at Tablet Magazine, where he covers the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Guardian and his writings have received awards from the Religion... Read More →
avatar for David Sandmel

David Sandmel

Interreligious Engagement Director, ADL
David has been Director of Interreligious Engagement at the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) since 2014. An expert in Jewish–Christian relations, he was previously Professor of Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was involved in producing ‘Dabru Emet: A... Read More →
avatar for Julie Nathan

Julie Nathan

Research Director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Julie is the Research Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community. Since 2013, Julie has authored the annual ECAJ Report on Antisemitism in Australia, researching, documenting, and compiling each report... Read More →


Monday June 17, 2019 8:15pm - 9:15pm
Room 5