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Below is the current list of sessions scheduled at the JOFA Conference. Check back often for speaker updates, and for the full schedule. 
The JOFA conference is being sponsored in part by the David Berg Foundation and many other private and corporate sponsors. A full list of sponsors will be available at the conference. 
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Saturday, December 7
 

7:30pm

Saturday Registration
Saturday December 7, 2013 7:30pm - 9:30pm
John Jay College

8:00pm

A Cappella: S'madar and Tizmoret

Two outstanding groups of acapella singers will offer a combination of riveting harmonies and uplifting solos. S’madar is the pluralistic Jewish women’s group of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel and Tizmoret is in its seventeenth year as Queens College Hillel’s professional coed a cappella group.


Artists
avatar for S'madar

S'madar

S’madar is the Pluralistic Jewish Women’s a cappella group of the Columbia/ Barnard Hillel. Founded in 2006, S’madar has grown both in number and in talent over the years. We have traveled around the Tri-State Area, and have recently been performing in communities beyond that region. Dedicated to the singing of both Jewish and Secular music, we sing music from a variety of genres. S'madar's repertoire ranges from liturgical music, to... Read More →
avatar for Tizmoret

Tizmoret

Tizmoret is in its seventeenth year as Queens College Hillel’s professional Jewish a cappella group. Tizmoret draws singers from colleges throughout New York City and has taken Jewish collegiate a cappella to the next level, performing classic Jewish melodies, American pop music and contemporary Israeli tunes. They have produced five CDs, with their most recent release, “Transitory,” receiving critical acclaim in contemporary Jewish and... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm
L2.85

8:00pm

Girls in Trouble Performance

With Girls in Trouble, poet and multi-instrumentalist Alicia Jo Rabins mines dark stories of Biblical women, exploring the hidden places where their complicated lives overlap with her own. The result is an album of fully orchestrated songs, both intimate and wide-ranging, with upright bass, drums, accordion, and layered electric guitars.

A classically trained violinist since the age of three, Alicia grew up practicing Bach and sneaking out to Baltimore punk shows. She began touring at eighteen, when she fell in love with traditional fiddle music, then traveled to Jerusalem to immerse herself in a new realm– the study of ancient languages and texts. For two years, she absorbed the stories and rituals of the Torah and Kabbalah. Returning to the States, Alicia attempted to resume her regular life, but found herself haunted still by the ancient stories she had encountered in her studies– especially those of Biblical women.

Realizing their stories echoed with the traditional ballads she loved, Alicia began writing her first songs, taking these Biblical women as her subjects. As she composed, harmonizing quietly into her laptop so as not to wake her roommates, Alicia’s love of American folk and underground rock fused indelibly with her knowledge of the Hebrew Bible: Girls in Trouble was born.

When bassist Aaron Hartman (Old Time Relijun, K Records) overheard Alicia describing the project in a Brooklyn bar, he introduced himself, and soon became an integral part of Girls in Trouble. Alicia wrote, arranged, sang the songs, and performed the string parts, but it was Aaron who expanded Girls in Trouble into a full band. Three months before the release of their debut album, Alicia and Aaron wed; since then, the full band has toured across the US and Europe, sleeping on floors and playing a range of venues, from The Smell in Los Angeles to the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden.

Girls in Trouble recorded their second album at Vacation Island Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with wunderkind engineer Matt Boynton. Half You Half Me retains the emotional vulnerability and poetic focus of Girls in Trouble’s self-titled debut while broadening the band’s sound into eclectic, atmospheric landscapes. In the first album, the women were quiet heroes; on Half You Half Me, ambiguous stories deepen, twist, and blossom into the complex terrain between right and wrong, between you and me.


Saturday December 7, 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm
L.63

8:00pm

High School Track: Open Mic

High school students will square off against one another in an open forum of original free verse poetry recitation. 

Only High School students may perform, but all are welcome to attend.  


Saturday December 7, 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm
L.61

8:00pm

Ofir: Performance and Q and A

Musical Performance by Ofir Ben Shitrit, finalist on Israeli "The Voice." Ofir was suspended from her Orthodox high school for appearing on the show and violating kol isha. Ofir will answer questions following her performance. 

Read about Ofir's suspension here.
Watch Ofir perform here.



Saturday December 7, 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm
L2.84

8:00pm

Woman in Jewish Folktales and Songs
Opening story by Jina Davidovich. 

Presented by the Minstrel and the Storyteller

To hear all the fascinating Jewish stories and songs that women have told or in which they are the main character would take more than 1001 nights – and days. In this program, Storyteller Peninnah Schram and singer/guitarist Gerard Edery interweave folktales and songs of various genres from the Sephardic (Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazic (Eastern European) oral traditions.

Women in midrashim and Jewish folklore are often learned, wise, strong – and they use their voices to advise, sing, question, comfort, pray, warn, cry, speak words of Torah and of love – and sometimes they remain silent too. Together Peninnah and Gerard will present stories and songs of how women have used their voices, what wisdom we can learn from them, and in turn, teach our younger generations.  

Speakers
avatar for Jina  Davidovich

Jina Davidovich

Program Associate, UJA-Federation of NY
Jina Davidovich is a recent graduate of Stern College for Women, where she studied English Literature with a concentration in Women's Studies and Poetry. Currently, Jina is pursuing a masters degree in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University. Last year, she was a participant in Drisha's Artists Fellowship where she had the unique opportunity to engage in in-depth study of Talmud, Bible, and Jewish law... Read More →

Artists
GE

Gerard Edery

Gerard Edery is recognized as a leading musical folklorist, master singer and guitarist. He has at his command a remarkable range of ethnic folk styles from around the world, singing in over fifteen languages. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Florence Gould Hall, United Nations in New York and Geneva, Kimmel Center, Royce Hall, Tanglewood, Fez Festival of Sacred Music, Festival... Read More →
PS

Penninah Schram

Peninnah Schram – storyteller, author - is known internationally for her elegant and dynamic presentations. Ms Schram is Professor of Speech and Drama at Stern College of Yeshiva University. She has appeared as a featured storyteller across the globe. Peninnah is the author of twelve books of Jewish folktales, and has recorded a CD “The Minstrel and the Storyteller” with singer/guitarist Gerard Edery. She is a recipient of the... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2013 8:00pm - 9:00pm
L.76

9:15pm

A Cappella: S'madar and Tizmoret

Two outstanding groups of acapella singers will offer a combination of riveting harmonies and uplifting solos. S’madar is the pluralistic Jewish women’s group of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel and Tizmoret is in its seventeenth year as Queens College Hillel’s professional coed a cappella group.


Artists
avatar for S'madar

S'madar

S’madar is the Pluralistic Jewish Women’s a cappella group of the Columbia/ Barnard Hillel. Founded in 2006, S’madar has grown both in number and in talent over the years. We have traveled around the Tri-State Area, and have recently been performing in communities beyond that region. Dedicated to the singing of both Jewish and Secular music, we sing music from a variety of genres. S'madar's repertoire ranges from liturgical music, to... Read More →
avatar for Tizmoret

Tizmoret

Tizmoret is in its seventeenth year as Queens College Hillel’s professional Jewish a cappella group. Tizmoret draws singers from colleges throughout New York City and has taken Jewish collegiate a cappella to the next level, performing classic Jewish melodies, American pop music and contemporary Israeli tunes. They have produced five CDs, with their most recent release, “Transitory,” receiving critical acclaim in contemporary Jewish and... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2013 9:15pm - 10:15pm
L2.85

9:15pm

Girls in Trouble Performance

With Girls in Trouble, poet and multi-instrumentalist Alicia Jo Rabins mines dark stories of Biblical women, exploring the hidden places where their complicated lives overlap with her own. The result is an album of fully orchestrated songs, both intimate and wide-ranging, with upright bass, drums, accordion, and layered electric guitars.

A classically trained violinist since the age of three, Alicia grew up practicing Bach and sneaking out to Baltimore punk shows. She began touring at eighteen, when she fell in love with traditional fiddle music, then traveled to Jerusalem to immerse herself in a new realm– the study of ancient languages and texts. For two years, she absorbed the stories and rituals of the Torah and Kabbalah. Returning to the States, Alicia attempted to resume her regular life, but found herself haunted still by the ancient stories she had encountered in her studies– especially those of Biblical women.

Realizing their stories echoed with the traditional ballads she loved, Alicia began writing her first songs, taking these Biblical women as her subjects. As she composed, harmonizing quietly into her laptop so as not to wake her roommates, Alicia’s love of American folk and underground rock fused indelibly with her knowledge of the Hebrew Bible: Girls in Trouble was born.

When bassist Aaron Hartman (Old Time Relijun, K Records) overheard Alicia describing the project in a Brooklyn bar, he introduced himself, and soon became an integral part of Girls in Trouble. Alicia wrote, arranged, sang the songs, and performed the string parts, but it was Aaron who expanded Girls in Trouble into a full band. Three months before the release of their debut album, Alicia and Aaron wed; since then, the full band has toured across the US and Europe, sleeping on floors and playing a range of venues, from The Smell in Los Angeles to the Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden.

Girls in Trouble recorded their second album at Vacation Island Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with wunderkind engineer Matt Boynton. Half You Half Me retains the emotional vulnerability and poetic focus of Girls in Trouble’s self-titled debut while broadening the band’s sound into eclectic, atmospheric landscapes. In the first album, the women were quiet heroes; on Half You Half Me, ambiguous stories deepen, twist, and blossom into the complex terrain between right and wrong, between you and me.



Saturday December 7, 2013 9:15pm - 10:15pm
L.63

9:15pm

Ofir: Performance and Q and A

Musical Performance by Ofir Ben Shitrit, finalist on Israeli "The Voice." Ofir was suspended from her Orthodox high school for appearing on the show and violating kol isha. Ofir will answer questions following her performance. 

Read about Ofir's suspension here.
Watch Ofir perform here.



Saturday December 7, 2013 9:15pm - 10:15pm
L2.84

9:15pm

Woman in Jewish Folktales and Songs
Opening story by Rena Fruchter.

Presented by the Minstrel and the Storyteller

To hear all the fascinating Jewish stories and songs that women have told or in which they are the main character would take more than 1001 nights – and days. In this program, Storyteller Peninnah Schram and singer/guitarist Gerard Edery interweave folktales and songs of various genres from the Sephardic (Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazic (Eastern European) oral traditions.

Women in midrashim and Jewish folklore are often learned, wise, strong – and they use their voices to advise, sing, question, comfort, pray, warn, cry, speak words of Torah and of love – and sometimes they remain silent too. Together Peninnah and Gerard will present stories and songs of how women have used their voices, what wisdom we can learn from them, and in turn, teach our younger generations.  

Speakers
RF

Rena Fruchter

Director of Arts Integration, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
I am deeply passionate about arts in education, and in life, as a venue to explore feelings and ideas in a deep and active way. The arts build self esteem, character, community, and the ability to experience things in ever changing ways.

Artists
GE

Gerard Edery

Gerard Edery is recognized as a leading musical folklorist, master singer and guitarist. He has at his command a remarkable range of ethnic folk styles from around the world, singing in over fifteen languages. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Florence Gould Hall, United Nations in New York and Geneva, Kimmel Center, Royce Hall, Tanglewood, Fez Festival of Sacred Music, Festival... Read More →
PS

Penninah Schram

Peninnah Schram – storyteller, author - is known internationally for her elegant and dynamic presentations. Ms Schram is Professor of Speech and Drama at Stern College of Yeshiva University. She has appeared as a featured storyteller across the globe. Peninnah is the author of twelve books of Jewish folktales, and has recorded a CD “The Minstrel and the Storyteller” with singer/guitarist Gerard Edery. She is a recipient of the... Read More →


Saturday December 7, 2013 9:15pm - 10:15pm
L.76

10:29pm

Kumsitz
Join in a participatory kumsitz led by Rabbi Uri and Dahlia Topolosky. Participants are encourage to have their own voices heard, and to be a part of this communal experience.

Saturday December 7, 2013 10:29pm - 11:29pm
L.61

10:30pm

Wine and Dessert Reception
TBA

Saturday December 7, 2013 10:30pm - 11:30pm
John Jay College
 
Sunday, December 8
 

7:10am

Shacharit - Conventional Minyan
http://www.jofa.org/node/854

Sunday December 8, 2013 7:10am - 8:10am
Lincoln Square Synagogue 200 Amsterdam Avenue

8:00am

Sunday Registration
Sunday December 8, 2013 8:00am - 5:00pm
John Jay College

8:10am

Shacharit-Partnership Minyan
The minyan will be composed of ten men and ten women. 
A woman will lead P'sukei D'zimra and a man will lead Shacharit. 

Sunday December 8, 2013 8:10am - 8:40am
L.61

8:10am

Shacharit-Women's Tefillah
This service is for women only. Women will lead all parts of the service. D'varim sh'bi'kdusha will be ommitted. 

Sunday December 8, 2013 8:10am - 8:40am
L.76

9:00am

Opening Plenary: Voices of Change
Sponsored by Sharon and Steven Lieberman.

Welcome to this morning’s openingplenary—Voices of Change. Since the first JOFA conference in 1997, we havebeen involved in championing the changing roles ofwomen in the Jewish community. We have seen seis-mic changes in women’s learning, women’s involve-ment in ritual and leadership, and an ever-expandingacceptance of shifting family realities and roles.

This morning we give voice to those changes byhighlighting four individuals who each represent amoment in time in JOFA’s history. Ronnie Becher willspeak about the early days of the organization andthe shifting wind that allowed for the formation ofJOFA. Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the first man to speak at a JOFA plenary, will focus on the generation of men and rabbis who stepped forward with the under-standing that JOFA’s issues were not “women’s issues”alone, but were issues that faced the entire commu-nity. Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold will addressthe changing roles of women of her generation andthe questions with which they struggle. Our youngestspeaker, Leah Sarna, a current college student, will speak to the future and what this generation hopes tofulfill in their lifetime.

We are grateful to be able to say we are lookingback at so much that has been accomplished andhumbled by what yet remains to be accomplished.Each of these voices has added one more thread tothe tapestry that is the rich and varied fabric of theJewish community. We are so delighted that you arejoining us as we hear from these voices of change—and hope that today, at the conference, you will add your voice as well. 

Moderators
avatar for Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen is the President of JOFA. She earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the mother of two daughters and a son. She also serves on the Boards of the Drisha Institute and the Halachic Organ Donor Society.
avatar for Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus, PhD is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality. The Center, founded in 2000, is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues and has three centers in New York, in Westchester, NYC and Great Neck. Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Marcus also holds a master’s... Read More →
avatar for Abigail Tambor

Abigail Tambor

Abigail Tambor volunteered for JOFA for many years before joining the board, working on branding, Shabbat T'lamdeini, The JOFA Journal editorial committee and as co-chair of the 6th International Conference Program Committee in 2007. She currently serves on the boards of JOFA, Yeshivat Maharat, Penn Hillel and Yavneh, a Partnership Minyan on the Upper East Side, where she also serves as Gabbait. She has been dedicated to developing greater... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ronnie Becher

Ronnie Becher

A founding member of JOFA, Ronnie Becher served as Executive Vice President of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale for over twenty years. She was an active member of the Womens Tefilla of Riverdale and currently is on the board of Shachar, the Riverdale Partnership Minyan. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, Ronnie was a Wexner Heritage Fellow. She currently serves as the Educational Director of Beth El Nursery School in... Read More →
avatar for Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold recently joined Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim as the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment. Previously, she served for six years as the Education and Ritual Director at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. Rachel (pronounced “Rakhel”) is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project, serves on the editorial board of the JOFA Journal, and was recognized as one of Chicago... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, the leading modern and open Orthodox rabbinical school in America, with over 85 alumni and 33 current students in a full-time, four-year course of study. For 18 years he served as the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. He received his ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in... Read More →
avatar for Leah Sarna

Leah Sarna

Leah Sarna is a senior Philosophy major at Yale University. She is a gabbai and co-director of Minyan Urim, the partnership Minyan at Yale, and a former co-president of Young Israel House at Yale, the Orthodox Community. She also co-directs Dwight Hall: the Center for Public Service and Social Justice at Yale and is a former co-director of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. Leah founded and now directs the only storage facility... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 9:00am - 10:15am
Gerald Lynch Theater

10:35am

Uniting a People in Diversity: The Thread of Tolerance in Our Rabbinic Tradition
In this shiur, we will learn texts which examine the origins and development of machloket (disagreement) according to rabbinic tradition. We will then discuss the possibility of truth expressed through differing opinions and its implications for unity and religious practice. 

Speakers
avatar for Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman has been the Marta d’Atra of Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan since 2006. She has extensive experience teaching and speaking in the Jewish community on topics ranging from bioethics to environmental law. She is has served on the board of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society (HODS) for more than 10 years and is Education Committee chair for the Agunah Task Force. RK Najman is head of the Gemara department at SAR... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.100

10:35am

Keeping Our Communities Safe: Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Community
Sponsored by The Rita Poretsky Memorial Foundation

What does it mean to take steps to prevent sexual abuse in the Orthodox community? This panel will speak to the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse, and discuss steps that parents, educators and communities can take towards preventing abuse in the Orthodox community.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Shira Melody Berkovits

Shira Melody Berkovits

Shira Melody Berkovits is a postdoctoral psychology fellow at Einstein’s Kennedy Center, where she works with parents and young children with trauma backgrounds. She is simultaneously completing her law degree at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she is a Monrad Paulson Scholar and represents adolescent defendants in the Youth Justice clinic. This past summer Shira worked at the Center for Court Innovation on issues of informed consent... Read More →
LG

Liana Goldmintz

Liana Goldmintz, LMSW is a clinical social worker at the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) Program. At SAVI, Liana coordinates the Takanot Program which provides free psychotherapy to Orthodox survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Prior to working at SAVI, Liana was a training and volunteer coordinator for the SOVRI Helpline at the Beth Israel Medical Center.
DE

Dr. Ellen Labinsky

Dr. Ellen Labinsky received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2002. While working as Assistant Professor in the Traumatic Stress Studies Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she remains on voluntary faculty, she opened a private practice in 2003 with offices on the Upper West Side of NYC and in Teaneck, New Jersey. She has a particular expertise in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but enjoys seeing both adolescent and adult... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
L2.85

10:35am

Leyn In: A Torah Reading Workshop
Sponsored by Erica and Robert Schwartz in memory of Nathalie Schacter Friedman and in honor of the bat mitzvah of their daughter, Gabby Schwartz.

What roles do the Ta'amim play in the Tanakh? How many kinds of trop (cantillation) are there? What does a Tikkun look like? How do we sing the trop? Learn about Torah reading and start singing Shma Yisrael the correct way! If you have always wanted to learn how to leyn but didn't know where to start, this is the workshop for you. Participants should be able to read and vocalize Hebrew text but no previous experience with trop is necessary.

Speakers
avatar for Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe has a true love for layning and has taught many Bnot/Barei Mitzva as well as layning classes for women of all ages. It is her voice on the JOFA app for Megillat Esther as well as the layning voice on the Kolech website. Bracha has recently moved to Riverdale, with her husband, from Raanana Israel. She is a life coach and currently attending Yeshivat Maharat as a full-time student. She plans to bring female spiritual leadership back... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.115

10:35am

Libi BaMizrach: Status of Women in Israel
Sponsored by Miriam and Nathan Zussman

What is with the gender divide in Israel these days? How are women treated on buses, on the streets, at the markets, at mikvahs and in politics? This session will present an in-depth discussion about how women are regarded in Israel featuring personal reflections from panelists on the current status of women in Israel. Panelists will also explore the impact this conversation has on Jews and feminists in the diaspora.

Moderators
Speakers
YF

Yaira Frankel-Schroeder

Yaira Frankel-Schroeder lives in Modi’in with her husband and two daughters. She has been working for the past eight years as a lawyer in the legal department of the Israeli Antitrust Authority, where she has been responsible for banking, financial, intellectual property, communication, and the food and retail sectors. At her last position she served as the Deputy Legal Adviser for Civil Affairs. Following her army service in the... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Biti Roi

Dr. Biti Roi

Dr. Biti Roi is a lecturer in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she teaches Kabbalah and Hasidut. She holds a PhD in Kabbalah from Bar Ilan University. She is a research fellow in the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought and the Academic Coordinator for North American Seminars at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel. Biti teaches at the Institute and for various programs in Israel and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
L2.84

10:35am

First Ladies
Sponsored by Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus and Dr. Elliott Schwartz.

Has the glass ceiling truly been shattered? What does the current field look like for women in Orthodox communal leadership positions? Hear from Orthodox women leaders who were among the first women in their respective positions. Panelists will discuss their personal journeys, including challenges they overcame and tips for the next generation of women leaders.

Moderators
avatar for Devorah Evron

Devorah Evron

As Director of the Elga Stulman Women’s Institute for Jewish Studies Nigun Nashim, Devorah Evron, M.A. is empowering Israeli women towards social equality and progressive leadership. Using the platform of gender and Judaism, Evron teaches in various forums, including study groups, community centers and women's organizations. In the Rabin pre-military "mechina" leadership program and other mechinot, Evron educates and inspires young... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Tamar Frankiel

Dr. Tamar Frankiel

Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D. is President of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, a transdenominational seminary educating rabbis, cantors, chaplains, and other community leaders. Prior to accepting this position in January 2013, she was the chief academic officer at AJRCA, and after several decades of teaching in universities. Her doctoral field is History of Religions (University of Chicago), and she has written many articles and several books... Read More →
avatar for Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik will begin her eighth year as Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy this coming Fall. She lectures nationwide on all things Jewish and writes a monthly column entitled “JQ” for Seattle’s JTNews. She was a 2002 recipient of the Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators and was co-editor of the CAJE publications, Turning Heaven and Earth and Eat, Drink and Be Merry. In 2010 she was awarded the... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rachel Levmore

Dr. Rachel Levmore

Dr. Rachel Levmore, Rabbinical Court Advocate, is the Director of the Agunot and Get-Refusal Prevention Project, of the International Young Israel Movement in Israel and the Jewish Agency. Rachel is one of a team that developed a Prenuptial Agreement for the Prevention of Get-Refusal─ “The Agreement for Mutual Respect". She is a sitting member of the State of Israel Commission for the Appointment of Rabbinic Court Judges. As an expert on... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
L.63

10:35am

Chick Flicks Revisited: The Bulletproof Stockings Documentary

The Bulletproof Stockings is a Chassidic rock band which plays for women-only events.  The short documentary film traces how the band came to be and how the band members bridge the gap between keeping their faith and following their dreams.  The film will be accompanied by a talkback from Perl Wolfe and Dalia Shusterman, the band members.    


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Dalia G. Shusterman

Dalia G. Shusterman

Dalia G. Shusterman grew up in the D.C. area and traveled around as a teenager drumming for Mardi Gras Indians at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, playing in Cirque de Ville's traveling circus orchestra & recording and touring the US & Europe in a rock band called Hopewell. Ready to embark on a new adventure, she stepped off the tour bus to embrace her path as a Chabadnikit, marriage to a Rabbi, a move to Los Angeles and motherhood, allstwhile... Read More →
avatar for Perl Wolfe

Perl Wolfe

Perl Wolfe was born and raised in Chicago, IL, in a Chabad-Lubavitch family. She was classically trained in piano from the age of six and has been singing her whole life. She began writing music in 2011 at the age of 25, and quickly realizing the potential to take it further, she began the search for fellow musicians to ultimately found the Chasidic Alt-Rock Girl-Band, Bulletproof Stockings. In addition to rocking out with BPS, she enjoys working... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.107

10:35am

Educating in the Divine Image: Gender in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools
What is it like to be a girl in our Orthodox Jewish day schools? What kind of environment is created for our daughters? This session explores the presenters' newly released book on gender issues in Orthodox Jewish day schools. Hear how different areas of school life, including pedagogical practices, curricula, books, décor, leadership structures, rituals, dress codes, and school policies, construct gender roles and identities in our schools. Then learn practical tips for parents, educators, students and members of the community on raising consciousness about gender issues and promoting gender-sensitive educational practices.

Moderators
DT

Dr. Tamara Beliak

Dr. Tamara Beliak is a middle school Chumash educator at Oakland Hebrew Day School. Dr. Beliak is a graduate of Brandeis, Drisha's HaSha'ar program and Yeshiva University's EdD program where she wrote her thesis Teacher Planning: Biblical Texts, Gender and the Young Adolescent.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman

Dr. Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman

Dr. Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman, Ed.D, Clinical Associate Professor of Education, and the Co-Chair of the Education Department at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. She specializes in supervision of student teachers and curriculum studies. Her research has focused on mentoring novice teachers in Jewish day schools. More recently, as the Educational Director of the Educational Leadership Advancement Initiative of the Lookstein... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman

Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman

Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is the Executive Director of JOFA and a leading writer, educator and activist in the world of Orthodox feminism. Her first book, "The Men's Section: Orthodox Jewish Men in an Egalitarian World" (Hadassah Brandeis Institute, 2011) won the 2012 National Jewish Book Council award for women's studies. Her second book, co-authored with Dr Chaya Gorsetman, "Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.103

10:35am

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I See a Feminist Looking at Me: Shaping Our Children's Sensibilities
Sponsored by Ariela Rosenberg Brafman and Yonatan Brafman in celebration of our future feminist.

A discussion about shaping feminist values for boys and girls in the Orthodox world. Learn how to address the challenges of preaching equality within the framework of a practice that ascribes specific gender roles. Panelists will talk about their efforts to teach balance and equality, while embracing Orthodox traditions.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Rabba Sara Hurwitz is on the Rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and serves as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox program to ordain women as clergy. Rabba Sara graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and completed Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program. She was ordained in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Rabba Sara was awarded the Hadassah Foundation Bernice S. Tannenbaum prize in... Read More →
avatar for Samantha Kur

Samantha Kur

Ms. Samantha Kur teaches English at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has also taught English, History and Drama in South Africa and England, and Tanakh, Talmud and English at schools in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Samantha studied as a Fellow at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Israel... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Yossi Pollak

Rabbi Yossi Pollak

Rabbi Yossi Pollak is a 2005 musmakh of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. After 8 years serving in the pulpit at The National Synagogue in Washington, DC, the Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side of NYC, and Beit Chaverim Synagogue in Westport, CT, Rabbi Pollak has recently embarked on a new career as a Jewish educator. He is the Lead Instructor in Tanach for the Pre-Collegiate Learning Center of New Jersey in East Brunswick, NJ... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.105

10:35am

Time is on Our Side: A New Look at Mitzvot Aseh She ha Zman Grama

New historical research suggests that when the rabbis formulated the rule exempting women from time bound, positive commandments (m. Kid. 1:7), they were not attempting to regulate women’s time nor were they offering accommodations to a preconceived notion of women’s schedules.These new findings call into question the explanatory value of traditional explanations for the rule and consider the implications this new take will have for contemporary Jewish feminists.


Moderators
avatar for Professor Tamar Ross

Professor Tamar Ross

Tamar Ross is Professor Emerita of the Department of Jewish philosophy at Bar Ilan University. She has taught in many academic and religious settings in Israel, the United States, England and South Africa, and continues to teach at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem, with which she has been associated since its inception in 1976.  She has published widely on many topics relating to Jewish thought and the philosophy of halakha, including a book... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander

Dr. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander

Elizabeth Shanks Alexander is an associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1998. She has published widely in academic forums on gender and rabbinic literature. Her most recent book, entitled Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism, came out in April with Cambridge University Press. Alexander's other academic interests... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
L.76

10:35am

Fertility and Jewish Law: Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Responsa Literature
Sponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute 

Gender studies scholar, Ronit Irshai, will explore the concept of sex without procreation, the main thesis of her book, Fertility and Jewish Law. New insight is shed on halakhic responses to contemporary reproductive issues through probing the gender-based values that underlie their halakhic interpretations and determinations. This lecture explores the tendency to rule strictly on abortion and birth control, while ruling leniently on issues of assisted fertility, and uncovers inherent gender perceptions underlying the decisions

Moderators
avatar for Rachel Berke

Rachel Berke

Board Trustee, Akiba Academy of Texas

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Ronit Irshai

Dr. Ronit Irshai

Ronit Irshai (Ph.D), is an assistant professor at the Gender Studies Program at Bar Ilan University and a researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Between the years of 2007-8, she was a visiting scholar at the Women Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School. Her work analyzes the tension between feminist critique and Jewish law (Halakhah); Jewish theology and Jewish bioethics. Her book: Fertility and Jewish Law... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 10:35am - 11:30am
1.101

11:45am

After the Summit: New Solutions for Agunah
Sponsored by Judy and Gary Rosenblatt

A follow up to the JOFA-Tikvah Agunah Summit that convened in June 2013. The 2013 Summit called for systemic halakhic solutions to end the agunah crisis. Panelists will provide a recap of the summit, highlighting the lessons learned, next steps and progress since this historic event, focusing on the possibilities for establishing a new beit din to resolve issues of iggun.

Speakers
avatar for Blu Greenberg

Blu Greenberg

Blu Greenberg, JOFA’s founding President, has been involved in Jewish feminism for four decades. She was Conference Chair of both the first and the second International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy. She chaired the NY Federation Task Force on Jewish Women and the AJC National Jewish Family Center, and was president of the Jewish Book Council. Dialogue is another long standing passion of hers, and she has participated in various inter... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Adam Mintz

Rabbi Adam Mintz

Rabbi Adam Mintz is the founder and Rabbi of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim, a Modern Orthodox community on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is also Associate Professor of Jewish History at City College, New York and Scholar-at-Large at the Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization at NYU Law School.


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
L.76

11:45am

Responding to Our Critics
Women’s ritual participation has advanced in recent years, however, the movement is not without its critics. This text-based session will explore how women’s ritual participation has developed, discuss opportunities for advancement found within halakhic boundaries, and offer halakhic responses to the criticisms that have been levelled.

Moderators
RJ

Rabbi Jeffrey Kobrin

Rabbi Jeffrey Kobrin is the Head of School at the North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, NY.  He has a BA and MA from Columbia University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD, and semicha from RIETS and Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg.  He lives in Riverdale, NY with his wife Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin and their four daughters.

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber

Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber

Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber is the author of a multi-volume series on the history of Jewish law and customs, as well as tens of books and hundreds of momographs dealing with a wide range of halakhic, linguistic and historical subjects. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1992, has taught at Bar-Ilan University in the Departments of Jewish History and Talmud since 1968, and now is president of the Bar Ilan's Institute of Advanced Torah... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
L.63

11:45am

The Producers: Gabbai Training for Women and Men
Sponsored by Allie Alperovich and Dr. Jeremy Simon.

Are you interested in organizing a women’s tefillah service or a partnership minyan in your community? Learn what it takes to take on a more active role in the tefillah in your community. This interactive workshop will cover the basics--what is a gabbai, what does a gabbai do, what are the ritual and logistical responsibilities. Learn about a gabbai’s role in a women’s tefillah, partnership minyan, and megillah reading. No experience necessary. This workshop is open to women and men.

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal

Rachel Rosenthal is a member of the faculty at the Drisha Institute and is a PhD Candidate in Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of the Drisha Scholars Circle and holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel is a board member at Darkhei Noam, where she serves as a lead gabbai and the co-chair of the ritual committee.
avatar for Abigail Tambor

Abigail Tambor

Abigail Tambor volunteered for JOFA for many years before joining the board, working on branding, Shabbat T'lamdeini, The JOFA Journal editorial committee and as co-chair of the 6th International Conference Program Committee in 2007. She currently serves on the boards of JOFA, Yeshivat Maharat, Penn Hillel and Yavneh, a Partnership Minyan on the Upper East Side, where she also serves as Gabbait. She has been dedicated to developing greater... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.100

11:45am

State of Marriage: Marriage and the State

Sponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

The state of marriage in the Orthodox tradition poses a variety of challenges for feminists. Panelists will explore two of these challenges, their impact on the general population and proposed solutions. Susan Weiss will focus on the current state of marriage laws in Israel and the Israeli religious courts' monopoly on conducting and terminating marriages. Dr. Melanie Landau will focus on the unequal nature of kiddushin (betrothal) and the legal and social consequences for women.



Moderators
avatar for Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin is the Dean of Students and Lecturer -in-Law at Columbia Law School.  Prior to her appointment at Columbia, she was an attorney in the Corporate and Securities and Financial Institutions groups at Arnold & Porter, LLP.  She received both her B.A. and her J.D. from Columbia. She was a Bruria Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum and a Torat Miriam fellow. She has written and lectured extensively on a range of... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Melanie Landau

Dr. Melanie Landau

Dr. Melanie Landau is currently living in Jerusalem, learning at Pardes Advanced Kollel, is in Yeshivat Maharat Class of 2015, and works for Encounter as Director of Davar Acher: Leadership Program.  Born in Melbourne, Australia Melanie was a lecturer in Jewish Studies at Monash University for 8 years where she also co-founded Darsheini- Community Learning Program. She is the author of “Tradition and Equality in Jewish Marriage: Beyond the... Read More →
avatar for Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss, Esq. has been actively working to find solutions for the problems of Jewish women and divorce for over 20 years, first as a private attorney, then as the founder and director of Yad L'Isha from 1997-2004, and now as the founder and executive director of the Center for Women's Justice (CWJ). She is also an editor of “The Law and its Decisor” (a quarterly journal published by Bar Ilan University Law School) and has written... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.105

11:45am

How to Talk So Your Rabbi Will Listen and Listen So Your Rabbi Will Talk
Sponsored by the Belfer, Weiner and Weinblatt Families in honor of Dr. Michelle Friedman.

An exploration of strategies for congregants and community members to effectively express and communicate their concerns, thoughts and suggestions for change around gender issues in their respective communities.

Moderators
avatar for Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker

Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker

Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker, Esquire is the managing attorney of E. Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker LLC, a certified WBE (Woman-owned Business Enterprise) that focuses on business and employment law, restructuring and bankruptcy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department. Her research interests include the legal aspects and social... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Nissan Antine

Rabbi Nissan Antine

Rabbi Antine is the Rabbi at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, Maryland. Rabbi Antine was ordained by YCT Rabbinical School in 2006 and was awarded Alumnus of the Year in 2012. He was a founding member and officer of the International Rabbinic Fellowship.
avatar for Dr. Michelle Friedman

Dr. Michelle Friedman

Dr. Michelle Friedman did her undergraduate work at Barnard College where she majored in religion. After medical school at the New York University School of Medicine, she did an internship in medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital and then a residency in psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical Center where she is on staff as an associate clinical professor of psychiatry. She then went on to receive a certificate in psychoanalysis at the... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.101

11:45am

Chick Flicks Revisited: Pinpoint of Light

Pinpoint of Light documents a couple’s first two years of marriage, their longing for a child, and the terrifying medical issues they face on that journey. The husband is the filmmaker, and as he uncovers his and his new wife’s moments of fear, hope, joy, and disappointment, we are gripped by the honesty and the poignancy of the film. The film records how Judaism serves as a source of strength for both of them as they travel uncharted territory. 



Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.107

11:45am

Educators Track: Opening Plenary
Stretching the Walls of the Schoolhouse: The Quest for a Broad and Transcendent Feminism in Orthodox Education
This session will explore the feminist quest in the context of other “inclusions” we seek both in the classroom and beyond. How do we employ a feminist lens in our school policies and school life, while remaining open to the ongoing evolution of what feminism means? How do we engage and include everyone, faculty and students, in an ongoing dialogue about the role of women in Judaism and society, while staying committed to our ideals? Using Parker Palmer's influential book The Courage to Teach as our foundation, and incorporating educational works from secular and contemporary Orthodox literature, we will explore the philosophical boundaries of feminism in Orthodox educational settings and discuss their applications to school policy and programming.

This session is closed to Jewish Day school educators who have registered for the Educators Track.  

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Aaron Frank

Rabbi Aaron Frank

Rabbi Aaron Frank is the High School Principal at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore, MD. Prior to assuming his current role at Beth Tfiloh, he served for eight years in the Lower School administration. Rabbi Frank is a graduate of the Jerusalem Fellows program at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem where he completed a final project entitled "Toward an Understanding of Male Gender Identity in Contemporary American... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.113

11:45am

High School Track: Creating a Constructive Dialogue about Tefillah
Sponsored in honor of JOFA's teen leaders by Pam and Matt Greenwood.

Identify, discuss, and learn to advocate for changes in the tefillah culture of your school. This session will address peer-to-peer advocacy, liturgy through a feminist lens, a step-by-step guide to organizing tefillah in your school, and the pros and cons of different tefillah styles (e.g. egalitarian, partnership minyan, women’s tefillah and traditional Orthodox).

Moderators
CE

Chava Evans

Chava Evans is a Jewish educator, illustrator, and student at Yeshivat Maharat. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and two children. She is the madrichah for the High School Track.

Speakers
EF

Eden Farber

Eden Farber is 16, unschooled and lives in Atlanta. She is a columnist for the Atlanta Jewish Times, has been published in the JOFA Journal, and has written for online sites such as Modern Hippie Magazine, the F Bomb, Fresh Ink for Teens, and the JOFA blog. She has studied at the Drisha Dr. Beth Samuels High School program and studies Daf Yomi independently. 
RH

Ricki Heicklen

Ricki Heicklen is a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. She spends her free time working on the school newspaper and Model UN. She loves creative writing, math, and debating feminism on the internet. She wears mismatched socks, refuses to eat dead animals, and wants to be a student when she grows up. She is currently co-chairing the High School track of this year’s conference. 
SS

Shalhevet Schwartz

Shalhevet Schwartz is a junior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. As a six-week-old, she got several shout-outs from her mother at the first conference of Orthodoxy and Feminism in 1997, which gave her no option but to get involved in JOFA. She is currently co-chairing the High School track of this year’s confer- ence. Shalhevet enjoys learning Talmud, watching The West Wing, and wearing mismatched socks.


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.115

11:45am

Brits Do It With An Accent: Orthodox Feminism Across the Pond
Learn about the progress feminist leaders have made in spreading the gospel of Orthodox feminism in the United Kingdom. JOFA UK held its inaugural conference in June 2013 in London. Panelists will discuss the pressing issues for British Orthodox feminists, as well as strategies for creating grassroots change.

Moderators
avatar for Rachel Lieberman

Rachel Lieberman

Rachel Lieberman is a Master’s student at NYU, pursuing an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Previously, Rachel was the Assistant Director at JOFA. Rachel has written and spoken on the intersection of Judaism and gender in many venues. Her essay "Blessed are You Who Has Made Me A Woman" was published in Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Women on Why We Stay (White Cloud Press, 2015) and her... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dina Brawer

Dina Brawer

Dina Brawer was born and raised in Milan, Italy and studied in Jerusalem and New York. She holds a BA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of London and an MA in Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, London. She also studied at Pardes in Jerusalem and is a Bradfield Fellow and is an associate faculty member at the London School of Jewish Studies. For close to twenty years she worked alongside her husband, a... Read More →
avatar for Miriam Shaviv

Miriam Shaviv

Miriam Shaviv is a columnist for the Jewish Chronicle in the UK. She is formerly the London correspondent for Times of Israel, as well as the comment editor and foreign editor of the Jewish Chronicle. Between 2000 and 2004, she was a features writer, and then literary editor, of The Jerusalem Post in Israel. Born and currently resident in London, she has lived in Jerusalem, Sydney, Montreal and Toronto.
avatar for Lindsay Simmonds

Lindsay Simmonds

Lindsay Simmonds has a degree in Speech and Language Pathology and an MSc in Gender Studies from the LSE, where she is now working towards her PhD which explores theories of agency and British Orthodox Jewish Women. She studied at the Nishmat Centre for Advanced Women's Torah Study and was a Bruria Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Israel. She is a graduate of the London School of Jewish Studies Susi Bradfield Women Educators’ Fellowships, where... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
1.103

11:45am

Green is the New Black: Women and Money
Sponsored by Suri Kasirer

Who pays the bills in your family? Who makes the large financial decisions? Who makes decisions about charitable donations? This discussion will explore the ways that Orthodox women and men approach money and how these dynamics are affected by women’s careers and stature in the secular world.

Moderators
DC

Dr. Carmella Abraham

Dr. Carmella Abraham earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed both her residency training in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Internal Medicine/Women’s Health at Mount Sinai Hospital. Carmella then practiced at the Women’s Health Program, where she held a dual appointment in Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. This program... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen is the President of JOFA. She earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the mother of two daughters and a son. She also serves on the Boards of the Drisha Institute and the Halachic Organ Donor Society.
avatar for Judith Stern Peck

Judith Stern Peck

Judith Stern Peck, M.S.W., has had extensive experience as both a family therapist and family business consultant. She holds leadership positions on the boards of numerous not-for-profit institutions and is actively involved in asset management of her own family's business. An author and lecturer, she presents seminars on family business, women and philanthropy and intergenerational issues. Judith is a principal of JSP Associates, a firm designed... Read More →
avatar for Gloria Perelman Schneider

Gloria Perelman Schneider

Gloria Perelman Schneider is a member of the faculty at SAR High School. At SAR, Gloria is a Grade Level Coordinator and teaches introductory and Advanced Placement courses in economics. Prior to joining SAR, Gloria spent 15 years working on Wall Street and structuring and marketing derivative products to corporate, institutional and high net worth clients. Gloria was a Managing Director at both Citigroup and Wells Fargo in the Capital Markets... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
L2.85

11:45am

Mirror Image: Eating Disorders in the Orthodox Community
This panel will discuss how to nurture the development of a healthy body image and healthy eating in ourselves and in our children.  Parents will be encouraged to consider how struggles with their own bodies may influence their sons’ and daughters’ body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Problematic messages in the culture at large and in the Jewish community in particular will be discussed. Data from Israel will also be presented.  

Speakers
DE

Dr. Esther Altmann

Esther Altmann, Ph.D. is the Director of Pastoral Education at Yeshivat Maharat, the Orthodox program that ordains women as clergy, and is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Formerly on the teaching faculty of NYU, Adelphi University, Drisha, and YCT Rabbinical School, she has also been a supervising psychologist at several NYC hospitals. Dr. Altmann has served as an eating disorders consultant to Jewish Institutions and helped... Read More →
avatar for Professor Yael Latzer

Professor Yael Latzer

Professor Yael Latzer holds a BA and MA in Clinical Social Work from Haifa University, and a Doctorate of Medical Science degree (DSc) from Medical School, Technion. Haifa.  Professor Latzer’s main areas of research are the relationship between eating and sleeping disorders, identifying at-risk groups and prevention of eating disorders among Israeli Adolescents sub groups, eating disorders and family issues, and treatment... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Sarah R. Roer

Dr. Sarah R. Roer

Sarah R. Roer is a Psychologist with a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from Yeshiva University's Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Her area of focus, both in research and clinically, is in the field of eating disorders. Her previous clinical experiences include work at The Renfrew Center of New York, St Luke's Obesity Research Clinic in New York, and Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. Sarah's area of research has focused on... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 11:45am - 12:40pm
L2.84

12:40pm

Lunch
TBA

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

Agunot and Agunah Activists
Sponsored by Batya and Ezra Levin

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

Activism for Orthodox Feminists-Promoting Social Justice
Sponsored by Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Josh Abraham

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

12:40pm

12:40pm

US/Israeli Exchange Program-Coming Together, Sharing Stories
Sponsored by Rena Donin Schlussel and David Schlussel.

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

Aspiring Shul Presidents and Their Supporters
Sponsored by Audrey and Dr. Chaim Trachtman.

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

Meet the Maharats
Sponsored by Hinda and Arnold Bramnick

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

Making Educational Choices for My Child as an Orthodox Feminist
Sponsored by Leah Krakinowski and Andy Silberstein

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

12:40pm

12:40pm

Everyone Else on Campus Either Thinks I'm Not Orthodox Enough or Not Feminist Enough
Sponsored by Jennifer and Marshall Breger. 

Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

12:40pm

12:40pm

JOFA Westchester
Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

12:40pm

12:40pm

12:40pm

12:40pm

Every Orthodox Shul Should Make Women Saying Kaddish Feel Welcome
Sponsored by Sarah and Robert Steinberg

What is it like for women to say Kaddish in shul?  
Would you like to help make it better?
Would you like to learn more about it? 
Did you know just saying "Amen" - just the one word - can help?

Come join the editors and several contributors of the groundbreaking new book "Kaddish: Women's Voices" as we discuss women's experiences.  Share your stories and ideas as together we brainstorm on how to improve the environment for women saying kaddish around the world. 

Everyone is welcome, men and women, with and without the kaddish experience!  Together we can make a difference.


Sunday December 8, 2013 12:40pm - 2:00pm
Student Dining Room

2:00pm

Breaking the Chains: Making a Difference in the Agunah Fight
Sponsored by Joyce and Daniel Straus

What is the current state of agunah activism? How can communities support agunot and the organizations that advocate for them? What are the different tactics used in Israel and America?  This session will explore the current advocacy strategies employed by agunah organizations, as well as strategies to prevent iggun from happening to you or your family members.

Moderators
avatar for Beverly Siegel

Beverly Siegel

Chicagoan Beverly Siegel is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a journalist and public relations professional. Her film "Women Unchained," focusing on the problem of 'get' refusal and  | ways to combat it, premiered in March 2011 in Jerusalem and has since been featured at Jewish film festivals and special screenings around the world. This summer, "Women Unchained" had a six-week run on The Jewish Channel. Ms. Siegel... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Rachel Levmore

Dr. Rachel Levmore

Dr. Rachel Levmore, Rabbinical Court Advocate, is the Director of the Agunot and Get-Refusal Prevention Project, of the International Young Israel Movement in Israel and the Jewish Agency. Rachel is one of a team that developed a Prenuptial Agreement for the Prevention of Get-Refusal─ “The Agreement for Mutual Respect". She is a sitting member of the State of Israel Commission for the Appointment of Rabbinic Court Judges. As an expert on... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Jeremy Stern

Rabbi Jeremy Stern

Rabbi Jeremy Stern serves as the Executive Director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), an international nonprofit organization which advocates against the abuse of the get (Jewish divorce) process. Rabbi Stern received a B.A., a Master’s in Jewish Education, and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University, and a Master’s in Public Administration specializing in Nonprofit Administration from Baruch College. With ORA, Rabbi... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
L.76

2:00pm

'Im la'et kazot higaat la malchut' Ta Shma: Women and Megillat Esther
Sponsored by Adrienne Goldfeder and Michael Turock.

Who is obligated in the reading of Megillat Esther? Who is eligible to read the megillah and fulfill the obligation on behalf of others? This session will explore these questions through texts and provide participants with the resources to bring answers back to their own communities.

Speakers
avatar for Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld

Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld

Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the director of education and community engagement at Sefaria.org. She served as JLIC educator and director of education at Princeton University's Center for Jewish Life for five years. Sara has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at a variety of synagogues and schools, including at the Drisha Institute, and at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston. Sara holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.100

2:00pm

How is a Partnership Minyan Like Ikea Furniture? It's Do It Yourself But It’s Worth the Effort
Sponsored by Elena and Jay Lefkowitz

Creating a partnership minyan, and working to sustain it, can be daunting and time consuming, but, ultimately, tremendously gratifying. What does it take to start a minyan, and to ensure its continuity? What particular challenges are involved in fostering a minyan that is dedicated to traditional halakha and to creating a prayer space that belongs to both women and men? These questions will be addressed by our panel members, who have each been instrumental in founding a partnership minyan.

Moderators
MS

Miriam Schacter

For the past 30 years, Ms. Schacter has been practicing psychoanalysis and | psychotherapy on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, seeing both individuals and | couples. At Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Ms. Schacter is a faculty member in the  | Department of Pastoral Counseling, is the Pastoral Counseling Fieldwork Supervisor and  | meets with each of the students to monitor their Professional Development.  | Ms. Schacter received her MSW... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Judy Abel

Judy Abel

Judy Abel is a freelance writer based in Manhattan whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The New York Observer. She is a member of JOFA's executive board and serves as president of Yavneh, a partnership minyan on the Upper East Side, which she co-founded.
avatar for Evan Hochberg

Evan Hochberg

Evan Hochberg was the founding chair of Minyan Tiferet of Englewood and Tenafly. Previously, he founded Minyan Shirat Miriam and co-founded and co-chaired Minyan Tehillah, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Evan is an attorney serving as Senior Restitution Policy Specialist at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
avatar for Shari Kleiner

Shari Kleiner

Shari Kleiner is a native New Yorker who has spent the last 13 years living in Brookline, Massachusetts.  After leaving her job as an attorney at a large law firm for more focus on her personal and spiritual life, she helped found Minyan Kol Rinah, the partnership minyan in Brookline. MKR has been meeting monthly in the Coolidge Corner area of Brookline since March 2010. Shari is still trying to figure out how to transition from leadership... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.105

2:00pm

Passing the Baton: Models of Young Women Leaders
Sponsored by Dr. Amy Fox Griffel and Dr. Martin Griffel in memory of her mother Sima bat Moshe and Michlah and by Ellie Werber in memory of her mother Raizel bat Chayim and Devorah.

A frank discussion about the future for women in Orthodox communal leadership positions. Today’s female leaders discuss the expanding halakhic, spiritual and communal opportunities available to Orthodox women today.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman recently moved to Washington DC to serve as Maharat at Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue. Ruth graduated from Barnard College in 2007, and then spent 2 years studying at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York before attending Yeshivat Maharat. As a supporter of dialogue and pluralism, Ruth has participated in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College's Retreat for Emerging Jewish and Muslim Leaders... Read More →
avatar for Dyonna Ginsburg

Dyonna Ginsburg

Dyonna Ginsburg is the Director of Jewish Service Learning at The Jewish Agency for Israel. Upon completing her B.A. in political science at Columbia University, Dyonna made Aliyah in 2002 and obtained an M.A. in Jewish Education from Hebrew University. Prior to her current position at The Jewish Agency, Dyonna served as International Director of Yavneh Olami; as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Education Department of The Jewish Agency; and... Read More →
avatar for Gilah Kletenik

Gilah Kletenik

Gilah Kletenik is the Congregational Scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. She was featured as one of the young leaders reimagining Jewish life in The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36," is an inaugural recipient of The Covenant Foundation's Pomegranate Prize and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow.


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
L2.84

2:00pm

Chick Flicks Revisited: DevOUT
This session will feature the documentary film DevOUT, followed by a Q and A with film subjects Pamala Plastock and Elissa Kaplan. DevOUT follows the lives of six women who are trying to reconcile their alternative sexuality with their commitment to Orthodox Judaism. Find out how Chani, Pam, Elissa, Hayley, Lina, and "Miriam" have dealt with being "unacceptable" while still remaining devoted to their faith and community. 

Moderators
avatar for Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov is an Executive Director of Eshel, an organization which fosters LGBT inclusion in the Orthodox world by creating community for Orthodox LGBT people, and by galvanizing Orthodox LGBT people and their families across the nation to advocate on behalf of LGBT community members, relatives and friends. Miryam is also the editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books, 2010). 

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Elissa Kaplan

Dr. Elissa Kaplan

As a child, Elissa Kaplan attended afternoon Hebrew school in a Conservative synagogue. She became more Torah observant during college. Unaware that she was gay, she married an Orthodox man while in her 20s. They had 3 children whom they were raising in a modern Orthodox community when she came out to herself and, slowly, to everyone else. She and her ex-husband have an amicable divorce and have continued to co-parent closely. Elissa... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Pamala Plastock

Dr. Pamala Plastock

Pamala Plastock has had a strong Jewish identity since early childhood in Newark, NJ. She realized that she is gay and came out of the closet in 1973, only 4 years after the Stonewall riots, which began the modern gay rights movement. Pam has been active in gay rights causes throughout the last 4 decades. She became more involved in daily religious observance over the past 15 years. Pam and Elissa Kaplan have been together for 9 years and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.107

2:00pm

Educators Track: Best Practices: Gender Issues in Education
In this panel discussion, we will hear from several experts in gender and education. Our specialists will share their experience and advice in regard to feminist concerns that arise in various aspects of school life, including classroom management, teaching problematic texts, working in a diverse community, and extracurricular activities. The focus will be on practical strategies educators can implement to manage these concerns.

This session is closed to Jewish Day school educators who have registered for the Educators Track.   

Moderators
avatar for Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer received his B.A. from Columbia University with a major in English and a concentration in psychology. Mr. Fleischer spent three years at Yeshiva University while pursuing his M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Fordham University. He joined the SAR High School staff after having taught composition and literature for three years at Fordham, and English for two years at Ma’ayanot High School. At SAR, he is currently the... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rachel Levitt Klein

Rachel Levitt Klein

Rachel Levitt Klein, Dean of Students at the Rabbi Moshe H. Levinson Upper School, was born in the Boston area and grew up rooting for the Red Sox even when her family made aliya in 1979. Upon their return from Israel in 1982, her family moved back to Boston where Ms. Levitt Klein graduated from Maimonides School. After attending Michlalah in Jerusalem and then Stern College for Women, she earned a Master's Degree from Yeshiva University's... Read More →
avatar for Molly Pollak

Molly Pollak

Molly Pollak received a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. in English from Columbia and is A.B.D. (all but dissertation) at NYU in English. She taught sixth through ninth grade at The Dalton School for twenty-five years and ninth,tenth and eleventh at Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School. Currently she is teaching eleventh and twelfth grade English at SAR High School. She has trained teachers at Hasha'ar, the Drisha Scholars’ circle, YCT and in... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Schlaff

Lisa Schlaff

Lisa Schlaff is Assistant Principal at SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, where she teaches Gemara and Tanakh. She has an EdM in curriculum development from Teacher's College, Columbia University, and is working on a PhD in Talmud at New York University. Lisa has studied and taught at Drisha and is a founder of Darkhei Noam, a partnership minyan in Manhattan. She is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate fellowship program. 
avatar for Mrs. Zipora Schorr

Mrs. Zipora Schorr

Mrs. Zipora Schorr has been Director of Education of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School since 1982. Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School has an enrollment of over 1000 students from Pre-School through Grade 12, which encompass students from a variety of Jewish denominational affiliations. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Mrs. Schorr holds teaching certification for general studies as well as Judaic studies and has taught subjects of both Judaic and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.113

2:00pm

High School Track: Navigating Relationships and Sexuality as a Feminist High School Student
This panel will explore the ways in which students’ feminist beliefs impact their relationships, with a particular focus on navigating traditional gender roles. Panelists will include a therapist, a current college student, and recent college graduates, and will be moderated by high school students. 

Moderators
RH

Ricki Heicklen

Ricki Heicklen is a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. She spends her free time working on the school newspaper and Model UN. She loves creative writing, math, and debating feminism on the internet. She wears mismatched socks, refuses to eat dead animals, and wants to be a student when she grows up. She is currently co-chairing the High School track of this year’s conference. 
SS

Shalhevet Schwartz

Shalhevet Schwartz is a junior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. As a six-week-old, she got several shout-outs from her mother at the first conference of Orthodoxy and Feminism in 1997, which gave her no option but to get involved in JOFA. She is currently co-chairing the High School track of this year’s confer- ence. Shalhevet enjoys learning Talmud, watching The West Wing, and wearing mismatched socks.

Speakers
DE

Dr. Esther Altmann

Esther Altmann, Ph.D. is the Director of Pastoral Education at Yeshivat Maharat, the Orthodox program that ordains women as clergy, and is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Formerly on the teaching faculty of NYU, Adelphi University, Drisha, and YCT Rabbinical School, she has also been a supervising psychologist at several NYC hospitals. Dr. Altmann has served as an eating disorders consultant to Jewish Institutions and helped... Read More →
AA

Ami Altzman

Ami Altzman is a New York native, and is currently a first-year student at the joint program of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. He has worked to create safe spaces for discussion of issues surrounding sexuality and gender through co-founding the Sexuality, Identity, and Society Club at his high school. Amram has also written for the Huffington Post's Teen section, and for MyJewishLearning.com. 
YG

Yedidya Gorsetman

Yedidya Gorsetman recently directed and co-wrote his first feature film, a comedy titled, The Epic Concept. He has a bachelors degree in English Literature from Yeshiva University. And he also has three older sisters who are feminists; and some believe this may have affected him.
PK

Pessy Katz

Pessy Katz grew up in Brooklyn, NY, graduated from Bais Yaakov High School, studied at Touro Col- lege, and was a Dorot Fellow in Israel. She currently works for the College Counseling Department at SAR High School.


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.115

2:00pm

Baghdad, Benghazi and Brooklyn: Feminism in the Sephardic Community

Sponsored by Linda and Morris Shamah.

What is the state of feminism in the Sephardic community? Explore the challenges and vision for progress in this community. Panelists will address these questions and more.


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Sara Aharon

Sara Aharon

Sara Y. Aharon is the author of From Kabul to Queens: The Jews of Afghanistan and Their Move to the United States. She studied modern Jewish history at NYU and Brandeis University. Speaking credits include the 92nd Street Y, Columbia University, Boston University and Fifth Avenue Synagogue.
avatar for Ronda Angel Arking

Ronda Angel Arking

Ronda Angel Arking is the Director of Language Arts Programs for an international education company and is the Managing Editor of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. She is an active member of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Baltimore, where she teaches classes in biblical literature.
avatar for Ellen Cohen

Ellen Cohen

Ellen Cohen has been participating in Yavneh, a partnership minyan on the upper east side of Manhattan, since its inception in 2006. Ellen grew up in a family that, for generations, had been steeped in the rich Syrian liturgical tradition. Inspired by her family, Ellen learned to read Torah as an adult. With their help Ellen became the first woman in her family, and the first Syrian-Jewish woman at Yavneh, to read Torah with te’amim (Syrian... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.103

2:00pm

Modern Family: Unconventional Structures
Not all families look alike, even if they share a commitment to Modern Orthodoxy. This panel will discuss the issues that arise for people with non-traditional family structures who embrace some traditional Jewish views. What challenges arise in communities, day schools and synagogues?

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman

Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman

Sylvia Barack Fishman is Chair of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University, where she is the Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life; and also co-director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She is the author of seven books and numerous monographs and articles on the interplay of American and Jewish values, transformations in the American Jewish family, the impact of Jewish education, gender... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is a Senior Teaching Fellow at CLAL, a think tank, leadership training institute and resource center and is the Director of the CLAL Diversity Project. He is the author of the book, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, (University of Wisconsin Press) which was awarded with the 2005 Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought. Steve is a founder and co-director of Eshel, an Orthodox... Read More →
avatar for Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen is the President of JOFA. She earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the mother of two daughters and a son. She also serves on the Boards of the Drisha Institute and the Halachic Organ Donor Society.


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
L.63

2:00pm

No More Whispers: Talking Openly and Honestly about Mikvah
Sponsored by Gail Katz and Meyer Bick

Explore diverse mikvah experiences through anonymous polling, creative activities and open facilitated discussion. Members of the JOFA community will share mikvah stories, and learn why it's crucial to make space to talk about our reactions to mikvah, both positive and negative. Learn techniques for opening up conversations about mikvah in your own community. This session is open to all.

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Mulhern

Sarah Mulhern

Sarah Mulhern is a student at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and a member of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She also serves as the Rabbinic Intern at the Boston Synagogue, an unaffiliated traditonal-egalitarian community in downtown Boston. Previously, she worked in the Department of Experiential Education at the American Jewish World Service, where she developed educational resources, led service-learning programs, and spoke and... Read More →
avatar for Rori Picker Neiss

Rori Picker Neiss

Rori Picker Neiss serves as the Director of Programming, Education and Community Engagement at Bais Abraham Congregation in St Louis, MO as she completes her final year of study at Yeshivat Maharat, a pioneering institution training Orthodox Jewish women to be spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities. As part of her work, Rori teaches private classes to brides and couples on the laws of Niddah and issues in sexuality. She previously served as... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
1.101

2:00pm

'Slut!' The Shame Effect
Girls and women in the Orthodox community are taught to guard their bodies from the male gaze, conform to implicit and explicit dress codes and to physically embody the values of tzniut and modesty. There is a narrow line between preaching the sanctity of modesty and creating a culture that actively shames girls and women who explore their sexuality through relationships, behavior and clothing. This session will discuss the phenomenon of slut shaming and its manifestation in the Orthodox community.

Moderators
avatar for Dasi Fruchter

Dasi Fruchter

Student, Yeshivat Maharat
Dasi Fruchter, a student at Yeshivat Maharat, thrives on spiritual leadership, community building, and faith-driven social justice work. In addition to her seminary studies, Dasi is a student at NYU and a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar, pursuing an MPA at the Wagner School for Public Service and an MA in Judaic Studies. Dasi, who has organized for economic justice in New York, Washington D.C., London, and Israel, is a presenter on... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Laila Goodman

Laila Goodman

Laila Goodman has been a high school educator since 1985, first as a public school teacher and for the bulk of her career in independent schools. Since 2005, she has worked at Gann Academy, a pluralistic Jewish high school in Waltham Massachusetts. She is currently the Dean of Students, teaches Biology and also leads a liberal minyan and a meditation group. She also teaches tefillah at the religious school of Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Hercman

Rachel Hercman

Rachel Hercman, LCSW is a psychotherapist specializing in sexual health, dating and relationships. She earned undergraduate degrees in History and Education from CUNY Queens College and a Master of Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. She currently works at the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, a medical center in the tri-state area dedicated to helping women achieve a healthier, more satisfying sex life... Read More →
avatar for Leora Tanenbaum

Leora Tanenbaum

Leora Tanenbaum is the author of four books on girls’ and women’s lives. Her work on slut-shaming, Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, is a staple in sociology and gender/women’s studies courses. She is a popular lecturer and media commentator on issues ranging from women’s roles in religious communities to the allure of high-heeled shoes. Her newest book, She Is Not a Slut, an update on slut-shaming in the... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 2:00pm - 2:55pm
L2.85

3:05pm

Mincha
Sunday December 8, 2013 3:05pm - 3:20pm
L.61

3:35pm

Wherever You Go: Friendship in the Book of Ruth
Naomi cannot understand why Ruth wants to continue to be with her once they are no longer related by marriage. Although the book of Ruth is concerned with family continuity and lineage, it is also a powerful meditation on the importance of friendship.

Speakers
WA

Wendy Amsellem

Wendy Amsellem is a faculty member at Drisha Institute and the Director of Drisha’s July Collegiate Program. She is currently pursuing a Phd from NYU in Rabbinic Literature. Wendy is an alumna of the Drisha Scholar’s Circle and has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.100

3:35pm

Kaddish, Women's Voices: Emotional and Personal Perspectives
Sponsored by friends from the Stamford, CT community.

Editors Michal Smart and Barbara Ashkenas discuss their groundbreaking new book, Kaddish, Women's Voices, sharing the reflections of 52 women from around the world. A panel discussion with contributing authors will be followed by Q and A and book signing. "This book will surely help make a practice that is just coming into its own become a fixed ritual for all time!"--Blu Greenberg

Moderators
avatar for Michal Smart

Michal Smart

Michal Smart is the editor of Kaddish, Women’s Voices, a groundbreaking new book from Urim Publications. Michal serves as the Director of Judaic Studies at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, CT. A Fulbright Scholar in Jewish Thought, Michal received her A.B. from Princeton University in Religion and an M.S. from Cornell. She is also an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, the Melton Senior Educators Program at Hebrew University, and the... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Barbara Ashkenas

Barbara Ashkenas

Barbara Ashkenas received her BA in early childhood education from the Ohio State University, and a Masters in Art Education from Manhattanville College. She has been professionally involved in the Arts for over thirty years. Earlier in her career, as a freelance calligrapher, she crafted Ketubot, logos and invitations. More recently, as an Arts educator, she conducts seminars for staff development on the integration of the Arts into Jewish... Read More →
avatar for Shelley Cohen

Shelley Cohen

Shelley Cohen, Founder and Director of the Jewish Inclusion Project, which develops and conducts Inclusion Training Programs for Rabbinic Students and is funded in part by a grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation. Shelley is a member of the Boards of Directors of RespectAbility USA, the New Jersey YM/YWHA Camps which runs the largest Jewish inclusive camp in the US, and Beit Issie Shapiro, an innovator of the therapies and programming for... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.115

3:35pm

The WOW Factor: Women of the Wall
Sponsored by Bethia Straus and Paul Quintas.

How women choose to pray at the holiest Jewish site has incited controversy and clashes, making its way to the highest courts in Israel. What is really going on with the Women of the Wall and how does it affect Jews and feminists in the diaspora? Get the latest updates from activists and members of Women of the Wall. This panel will explore the monthly reality on the ground, the potential solutions for the kotel plaza and the implications of these events for the Jewish and feminist communities in the diaspora.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson

Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson

Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson is Director of the Women's Rabbinic Network, the international support and advocacy organization for women in the Reform rabbinate. She serves as an International Vice-Chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall, is a former Chair and board member of the Hadassah Foundation, a former board member of the Rodeph Sholom School in New York, and currently is on the boards of the Yedidya Center for Jewish Spiritual Direction... Read More →
avatar for Rahel Jaskow

Rahel Jaskow

Rahel Jaskow, originally from New York State, lives in Jerusalem, where she works as a translator and editor. A former member of Women of the Wall, she was with the group for about 18 years and served as a prayer leader. Rahel's writing is published in several anthologies, including Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Jerusalem's Holy Site (edited by Phyllis Chesler and Rivka Haut). In 2000 she released Day of Rest, her award-winning... Read More →
avatar for Cheryl Birkner Mack

Cheryl Birkner Mack

Cheryl Birkner Mack is a teacher of Judaics and English as a Foreign Language. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Jewish Education from Jewish Theological Seminary. She has taught in Chicago, New York, Cleveland and Jerusalem. She made aliya in 2006 and has been on the board of directors of Women of the Wall since 2007.


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
L.76

3:35pm

Women Rule: Feminist Influences on Halakha
Sponsored by Abigail and Shai Tambor.

How does the halakha change to accommodate new roles and opportunities for women? Where do these innovations come from? Do they stem from minority opinions that have been hidden for centuries? Do they arise from a sociological or a halakhic need? What are the opportunities for innovation and challenges to innovation that are intertwined with questions of gender and advancing women's roles in Judaism?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, a groundbreaking Orthodox smicha program. Rabbi Linzer spearheaded the development of YCT to create an innovative four year smicha program which provides its students with rigorous talmud Torah and halakhic study and sophisticated professional training in the context of a religious atmosphere which cultivates openness and inclusiveness. He has... Read More →
avatar for Professor Tamar Ross

Professor Tamar Ross

Tamar Ross is Professor Emerita of the Department of Jewish philosophy at Bar Ilan University. She has taught in many academic and religious settings in Israel, the United States, England and South Africa, and continues to teach at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem, with which she has been associated since its inception in 1976.  She has published widely on many topics relating to Jewish thought and the philosophy of halakha, including a book... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is Rosh Yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and Chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was a faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, where he taught Talmud and Halakhah in the Scholars Circle. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
L.63

3:35pm

Chick Flicks Revisited: The Rabbi's Daughter

Sponsored by Debbie Pine and Mark Orenshein

The Rabbi’s Daughter
is a documentary film that grew out of the director’s own experience as a rabbi’s daughter who struggled with the public role that thrust her into and who eventually left observance.  She documents the lives of three other rabbis’ daughters who are in similar situations, their relationships with their families and communities, and the inner tensions they deal with.  The session features a talkback with the director, Racheli Vasserman, who will introduce the film and take questions at the end.   



Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Racheli Vasserman

Racheli Vasserman

Racheli Vasserman, born in Jerusalem, graduated from Ma’ale film school in 2011. Her first movie The Rabbi’s Daughter won several awards, and she has been continuing her career as a film director. She was Director’s Assistant for the successful television show Srugim and has worked on a documentary and internet series. Racheli produces cultural events in Jerusalem for new and young artists in the city. She is also a tour guide and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.107

3:35pm

Generation Gap: The Israel Year
Spending a post-high school year in Israel learning in yeshiva or seminary has become a rite of passage for most Orthodox day school graduates.  This panel discussion will explore how gender concerns intersect with the "shana ba'aretz." Panelists will address the process of selecting a seminary, the messages conveyed to young women and men learning in Israel, and the impact of the year in Israel on post-Israel family and university life.

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Michelle Friedman

Dr. Michelle Friedman

Dr. Michelle Friedman did her undergraduate work at Barnard College where she majored in religion. After medical school at the New York University School of Medicine, she did an internship in medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital and then a residency in psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical Center where she is on staff as an associate clinical professor of psychiatry. She then went on to receive a certificate in psychoanalysis at the... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Shoshana Benjamin

Shoshana Benjamin

Shoshana Benjamin graduated from SAR High School in 2012 and spent the following year at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv in Israel. She is currently a student at Barnard College of Columbia University.
avatar for Debbie Braverman

Debbie Braverman

Debbie Braverman, a lawyer- in-transition, is Senior Associate Director, Development at Barnard College. She and her husband Hillel Grossman reside in Riverdale, NY. They are raising and being elevated by their three sons and two daughters.
avatar for Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank is a doctoral candidate in modern Jewish history at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also the the Jewish History Department Chair and Israel Programs Advisor at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School in Baltimore. A former corporate litigator, Laura is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. Laura is a founding board member of JOFA and currently serves on the JOFA Executive Board as well as... Read More →
AG

Aminadav Grossman

Aminadav Grossman is from Riverdale, NY, attended SAR High School, Yeshivat Har Etzion and is currently a senior in Columbia College majoring in History along with a Concentration (minor) in Jewish Studies. 
avatar for Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna

Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna

Dr. Michelle Waldman Sarna is Director of Early Childhood at the Educational Alliance, a community of young families inspired by Jewish values for a diverse population in downtown Manhattan. Michelle was named one of 36-under-36 change-makers by the Jewish Week for her commitment to empowering Orthodox Jewish women to assume communal leadership. She earned her PhD from Fordham University and completed a post-doctoral... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
L2.84

3:35pm

The Y Factor: Men and Feminism
Sponsored by Evi Musher.

What does it mean to be a male feminist in the Orthodox Jewish community? Hear from three self-identified male feminists about their personal experiences navigating feminism, and their approaches to advancing inclusivity and the role of women in their respective communities. Panelists include a congregational rabbi, day school educator, and recent, active college campus leader.

Moderators
avatar for Susan Fader

Susan Fader

Susan Fader is an experienced strategist, moderator and interviewer. She is the president of Fader & Associates, a qualitative research and strategy firm that has fielded research studies in 20+ countries, across 5 continents.  Clients include many Fortune 100 companies. | | She received her BBA from George Washington University and her MBA from Columbia University. She is a member of QRCA, ESOMAR and the AMA (American Marketing... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Steven Exler

Rabbi Steven Exler

Rabbi Steven Exler serves as Rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit, a large open Orthodox synagogue in the Bronx. He has a B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and has studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion, in the Yeshiva University Beit Midrash and at Yeshivat Maale Gilboa. His ordination is from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, where he was a Wexner Graduate... Read More →
avatar for Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer received his B.A. from Columbia University with a major in English and a concentration in psychology. Mr. Fleischer spent three years at Yeshiva University while pursuing his M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Fordham University. He joined the SAR High School staff after having taught composition and literature for three years at Fordham, and English for two years at Ma’ayanot High School. At SAR, he is currently the... Read More →
avatar for Yishai Schwartz

Yishai Schwartz

Yishai Schwartz is currently a full-time fellow with the New York based Tikvah Fund. He graduated from Yale this past May, where he studied philosophy and religious studies. He spent over three years as the gabbai of Yale's partnership minyan, Minyan Urim, and created JOFA's first high school programming for the 2007 conference.


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.103

3:35pm

Here, Queer and Machmir: Orthodox Life in the LGBT Community

Sponsored by Mosaic of Westchester - Enriching our Jewish Community through LGBTQ Inclusion.

How can the Orthodox community be more inclusive of the LGBT members of the community? How can Orthodox feminists and Orthodox LGBTs work together as allies? How can parents of LGBT children and others create a more inclusive, open and welcoming environment for LGBT individuals and their families? This session will explore the ways in which the feminist and LGBT communities can learn from each other and work together to create a more inclusive Orthodox community. 



Moderators
avatar for Diane Werner

Diane Werner

Diane Werner is the Founding Chair of Mosaic of Westchester, a new initiative working for the full integration of LGBTQ Jews into Westchester Jewish life. Mosaic's work is guided by the conviction that becoming truly LGBTQ inclusive enriches our entire Jewish community by making us more diverse and more connected. Ms. Werner is also a past President of Westchester Hebrew High School and serves on the Board of the Westchester Jewish Council.

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is a Senior Teaching Fellow at CLAL, a think tank, leadership training institute and resource center and is the Director of the CLAL Diversity Project. He is the author of the book, Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, (University of Wisconsin Press) which was awarded with the 2005 Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought. Steve is a founder and co-director of Eshel, an Orthodox... Read More →
avatar for Viva Hammer

Viva Hammer

Viva Hammer moved to New York two days after finishing law school in Sydney. She founded the first women’s tefila group in Australia and in New York participated in as many of these groups as she could. She advocated for individual agunot, and founded the Wedding Resource Center to promote the use of pre-nuptial agreements as global solution to the problem. Professionally, Viva has worked in tax law for over twenty years, as a partner in... Read More →
avatar for Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov

Miryam Kabakov is an Executive Director of Eshel, an organization which fosters LGBT inclusion in the Orthodox world by creating community for Orthodox LGBT people, and by galvanizing Orthodox LGBT people and their families across the nation to advocate on behalf of LGBT community members, relatives and friends. Miryam is also the editor of Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books, 2010). 


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
L2.85

3:35pm

I Don't Know How (S)he Does It: Balancing Work and Home Life
Can Orthodox women and men have it all? Is it possible to lean-in at work, be an active member of an Orthodox ritual community, and have a fulfilling home life? This is the challenge facing Orthodox feminists who strive to reimagine gender roles and responsibilities in their homes and communities. Female and male panelists will discuss their personal experiences negotiating work, home and ritual obligations from the particular vantage of an Orthodox feminist.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Russel Neiss

Russel Neiss

Director of Educational Technology, G-dcast
Equally fluent in Yiddish and Javascript, Russel Neiss is a Jewish educator, technologist and activist. Russel began his career as an itinerant Jewish educator traveling across the deep south and has worked in a variety of Jewish educational settings including day schools, supplemental schools, museums and archives. He holds a BA in Religious Studies and Jewish Studies from CUNY's Macaualy Honors College, an MLS with a specialization in... Read More →
avatar for Frani Pollack

Frani Pollack

Frani Pollack is a licensed psychologist and social worker. She has been working with individuals, families and couples for over 20 years, and is currently in private practice at Bala Child and Family Associates in Philadelphia. Frani has particular expertise in working with eating disorders, trauma, and relationships. She also spends a great deal of her time supervising and training graduate students. On a sabbatical year in Jerusalem in... Read More →
avatar for Brooke Pollak

Brooke Pollak

Brooke Pollak has a BA in Judaic Studies from Yale University, completed the Beit Midrash Program at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and has a JD from the New York University School of Law. She is an attorney at Day Pitney LLP in Greenwich, CT, specializing in estate planning and administration, tax planning and tax-exempt organizations. Brooke recently moved to White Plains, NY, where she lives with her husband, Rabbi Yossi Pollak, and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.105

3:35pm

Splitting Hairs: Views on Kisui Rosh
Jewish women make the personal choice to cover or uncover their heads and their hair for a variety of reasons. Some decide after an in-depth study of halakhic sources, others feel communal pressures, while others follow family traditions, without understanding why. Panelists will address their own experiences and journeys with kisui rosh. They will talk about the social and communal implications of their choices and address the ways in which their decisions have affected them as role models in their communities.

Moderators
VS

Victoria Sutton

Victoria Sutton is a fourth year student at Yeshivat Maharat. Prior to that, Victoria spent one year studying Talmud at Mechon Hadar.  A graduate of Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences, she also holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She is currently the rabbinic fellow for synagogue initiatives at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and is continuing in her... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman recently moved to Washington DC to serve as Maharat at Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue. Ruth graduated from Barnard College in 2007, and then spent 2 years studying at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in New York before attending Yeshivat Maharat. As a supporter of dialogue and pluralism, Ruth has participated in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College's Retreat for Emerging Jewish and Muslim Leaders... Read More →
avatar for Amy Newman

Amy Newman

Amy Newman teaches Biblical Literature at Gann Academy the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston. Before moving to Boston, Amy lived in New York City, where she taught at Ramaz and was a board member and co-chair of Darkhei Noam. She is a graduate of the Scholars Circle program at Drisha Institute of Jewish Education, and holds a Masters of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
avatar for Dr. Naama Weinstock

Dr. Naama Weinstock

Dr. Naama Weinstock is a general dentist practicing in Queens and Long Island. A graduate of Stern College and Columbia Dental School, she attended Michlelet Orot after graduating from her hometown Yeshiva of the South in Memphis. For the past decade, she and her family have resided on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where her husband, Rabbi Elie Weinstock, serves as Associate Rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun (KJ). While raising her 4... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 3:35pm - 4:40pm
1.101

4:55pm

Fasting for Two: Who Makes the Call?
For centuries, halakhic questions around pregnant and nursing women fasting have been asked by women and answered by men. This session will explore the sources surrounding fasting from the female perspective. What does it mean to study these sources with a woman who is a halakhically knowledgeable member of the clergy who has actually experienced pregnancy and nursing? The answers may surprise you.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold recently joined Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim as the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment. Previously, she served for six years as the Education and Ritual Director at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. Rachel (pronounced “Rakhel”) is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project, serves on the editorial board of the JOFA Journal, and was recognized as one of Chicago... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
L2.84

4:55pm

Come Learn With Us: Young Women Tackle Gender Issues in the Talmud
Sponsored by Lisa Javitch and Louis Benjamin.

This session will explore how to successfully teach Torah texts related to gender. We will begin with a fishbowl-style demonstration in which we will show how the מגדר ויהדות (Gender and Judaism) shiur is taught at Midreshet Ein HaNatziv. We will then facilitate a discussion about how our communities can best support Torah learning around issues of gender.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Shoshana Benjamin

Shoshana Benjamin

Shoshana Benjamin graduated from SAR High School in 2012 and spent the following year at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv in Israel. She is currently a student at Barnard College of Columbia University.
avatar for Elianna Kaplowitz

Elianna Kaplowitz

Elianna Kaplowitz is an undergraduate student at Barnard College of Columbia University majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. She is an active member in the Columbia/Barnard Hillel community, participating in the Jewish Women on Campus (JWOC) group, Feminism and Judaism course, and Yavneh (Orthodox) services.
avatar for Rachel Keren

Rachel Keren

Rachel Keren was born in Jerusalem to Hannah and Professor Ephraim Urbach Z”l. She is married to Gedalia and they have three children and two grandchildren. Rachel holds an MA in Jewish History and Jewish Philosophy from Hebrew University. A graduate of the Mandel Institute for Educational Leadership, she is currently a student in Tochnit Halacha at Bet-Morasha. For her doctorate, she is researching the Halakhic attitude of Sepharadic rabbis... Read More →
avatar for Shifra Mincer

Shifra Mincer

Shifra Mincer was a student at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv for the 2004-2005 academic year. She currently lives in NYC where she is a post-bac premedical student at Columbia University.
avatar for Maya Rosen

Maya Rosen

Maya Rosen is currently a freshman at Princeton University. She spent a year studying at Midreshet Ein HaNatziv and the past two summers studying at Yeshivat Hadar. She is a 2011 Bronfman Youth Fellow and hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
L.76

4:55pm

Blogging For Change
Read a blog post lately? Blogs are going viral, and these posts can be a powerful catalyst for change. Join experienced writers and bloggers to learn first-hand about the this exciting new forum and how to shape your ideas into blogs with the potential to create real change on the ground.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Sonia Isard

Sonia Isard

Sonia Isard is the Associate Editor at Lilith Magazine (independent, Jewish & frankly feminist), where she edits features, commissions new articles, and acts as lead editor for the website and blog. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she focused her studies on the history and literature of Jews in the Soviet Union. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in Brooklyn.
avatar for Sarah Marian Seltzer

Sarah Marian Seltzer

Sarah Marian Seltzer is a blogger for the Forward's Sisterhood blog and a journalist, essayist and fiction writer in New York City. Her nonfiction has appeared in places like The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, and online at The New York Times, the Nation, the LA Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal. Her fiction has been published in Lilith and honored with a grant from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Earlier this year, she was the... Read More →
avatar for Talia Weisberg

Talia Weisberg

Talia Weisberg is a first year student at Harvard University planning to concentrate in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She created and maintains Star of Davida, an Orthodox Jewish feminist blog. She has written for over 50 publications, including the FBomb, Jewesses with Attitude, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Press, Jewish Week, Ms. magazine blog, and The Sisterhood. At Harvard, she is the Communications Chair of the Radcliffe Union of... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
1.101

4:55pm

Breaking Barriers: Religious Women Leading Social Change in Israel
Moderators
avatar for Dr. Anat Sharbat

Dr. Anat Sharbat

Dr. Anat Sharbat is a third year student at Yeshivat Maharat in NYC and serves as a Rabbinic Intern at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Anat feels passionate about issues of feminism and social justice, and was a T'ruah Rabbinical Fellow in Human Rights and has been attending the JOIN for Justice cross seminary organizing course. Anat completed a chaplaincy internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Sharbat graduated from Bar-Ilan... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Devorah Evron

Devorah Evron

As Director of the Elga Stulman Women’s Institute for Jewish Studies Nigun Nashim, Devorah Evron, M.A. is empowering Israeli women towards social equality and progressive leadership. Using the platform of gender and Judaism, Evron teaches in various forums, including study groups, community centers and women's organizations. In the Rabin pre-military "mechina" leadership program and other mechinot, Evron educates and inspires young... Read More →
avatar for Riki Shapira Rosenberg

Riki Shapira Rosenberg

Riki Shapira Rosenberg, Adv. has served as Legal Advisor and Board Member of Kolech-Religious Women’s Forum since 2001. She was head of the committee that handles sexual harassment complaints for five years and wrote the Ethical Code for Rabbis on issues of sexual harassment. She represented Kolech in “Forum Takana” and does litigation on religion and state issues with the Israeli Religious Action Center. Riki Has written three annual... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
L.63

4:55pm

Chick Flicks Revisited: A Tale of a Woman and a Robe

Sponsored by Susan Fader and Lawrence Krule in honor of their friend Steve Klitsner.

A Tale of a Woman and a Robe
 is a series of film clips exploring the difficult process that women converts go through as they ritually immerse in front of an all-male panel of rabbis. The clips, which dramatize the women’s experiences of privacy and gaze under the watchful eye of the male bet din, include interviews with three leading Orthodox rabbis in Israel. The session will be accompanied by a panel discussion with the director, Nurit Jacobs Yinon, using these clips as a launching point to discuss the dynamics of women’s conversion.   

 

 



Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Nurit Jacobs-Yinon

Nurit Jacobs-Yinon

Nurit Jacobs-Yinon is an independent filmmaker (branded Aluma Films), director & producer focusing in the field documentary projects and video-arts. Nurit's films were screened at film festivals all around the world; "Covanent"(2005) won the "Best documentary" in the Religious film festival in Italy 2007; “Holy Stone”(2006) short video art, an episode of the ”Moment Jerusalem” project for the International Jerusalem Film Festival 2007... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld

Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld

Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld is studying towards dayanut (for conversions and issues of marriage and divorce) at Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership and teaches Talmud in the Hartman High School for Girls in Jerusalem. She holds a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she wrote her dissertation on “Talmudic Re-readings: Toward a Modern Orthodox Sexual Ethic” as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. A... Read More →
avatar for Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss, Esq. has been actively working to find solutions for the problems of Jewish women and divorce for over 20 years, first as a private attorney, then as the founder and director of Yad L'Isha from 1997-2004, and now as the founder and executive director of the Center for Women's Justice (CWJ). She is also an editor of “The Law and its Decisor” (a quarterly journal published by Bar Ilan University Law School) and has written... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
1.107

4:55pm

Educators Track: Living on a Prayer
What does tefillah look like in your school?  Do boys and girls daven together or separately? Do they have different roles?  Are there opportunities for girls to lead tefillah or read Torah?  Are boys and girls interested in tefillah and open to the role it can play in their lives? The challenges and opportunities of formal tefillah differ based on age and stage, so this session will be broken into separate sections to address the specific issues that come up in preschool, lower school, middle school and high school. Presenters will discuss challenges and share best practices.

This session is closed to Jewish Day school educators who have registered for the Educators Track.   

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Nissan Antine

Rabbi Nissan Antine

Rabbi Antine is the Rabbi at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, Maryland. Rabbi Antine was ordained by YCT Rabbinical School in 2006 and was awarded Alumnus of the Year in 2012. He was a founding member and officer of the International Rabbinic Fellowship.
SC

Shoshana Chanales

Ms. Shoshana Chanales has been on the Judaic Studies faculty at SAR High School for 10 years. She currently teaches Tanakh and Machshevet Yisrael and serves as Grade Level Coordinator for the 9th grade. She has developed Tanakh and Advisory curricula for the high school in addition to being a featured lecturer in SAR High School's Adult Education program.
avatar for Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik will begin her eighth year as Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy this coming Fall. She lectures nationwide on all things Jewish and writes a monthly column entitled “JQ” for Seattle’s JTNews. She was a 2002 recipient of the Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators and was co-editor of the CAJE publications, Turning Heaven and Earth and Eat, Drink and Be Merry. In 2010 she was awarded the... Read More →
avatar for Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman has been the Marta d’Atra of Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan since 2006. She has extensive experience teaching and speaking in the Jewish community on topics ranging from bioethics to environmental law. She is has served on the board of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society (HODS) for more than 10 years and is Education Committee chair for the Agunah Task Force. RK Najman is head of the Gemara department at SAR... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
1.113

4:55pm

Teach Your Children Well: Raising Sexually Healthy Children
Sponsored by Valerie Altmann and Daniel Perla.

A discussion of the major issues facing parents trying to raise children in the Orthodox community with a positive, healthy attitude towards sexuality. The session will focus on tzniut, masturbation, introduction of taharat hamishpacha and sexual identity. It will address the issues that arise when messages from a community, school or synagogue on these topics conflict with what is taught at home.

Back by popular demand, from the 2010 conference!

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Bat Sheva Marcus, PhD is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality. The Center, founded in 2000, is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues and has three centers in New York, in Westchester, NYC and Great Neck. Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Marcus also holds a master’s... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
L2.85

4:55pm

Tell Your Story: A Personal Narrative Writing Workshop
What is your story, and how can you share it with others? In this session, we will examine personal narrative pieces describing struggles surrounding gender and religion. We will then begin writing and sharing our own stories.

Speakers
avatar for Nomi Schneck

Nomi Schneck

Nomi Schneck teaches writing and literature at Yavneh Academy and Tanakh at Drisha's Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program. She has an MA in Bible Studies from Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. She is also a certified yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance.


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
1.100

4:55pm

Baby It's You: Ceremonies for Newborn Girls
Sponsored by Ruthy and Steven Rosenberg.

How do we welcome our daughters into the Jewish covenant and community? Explore ways to create the ceremonies that welcome newborn girls into the Jewish community. The session will present both historical and contemporary trends.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Debra Nussbaum Cohen is an award-winning journalist and essayist. Author of “Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter: Creating Jewish Ways to Welcome Baby Girls into the Covenant,” (Jewish Lights), she is the New York correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and founding writer at The Sisterhood, a blog about Jewish women’s interests and issues at The Forward, where she is a contributing editor. Debra’s work has also been published in... Read More →
avatar for Sharon R. Siegel

Sharon R. Siegel

Sharon R. Siegel is the author of the forthcoming book “A Jewish Ceremony for Newborn Girls: The Torah’s Covenant Affirmed,” to be published by Brandeis University Press in the Hadassah Brandeis Institute (HBI) Series on Jewish Women. Sharon has also published a number of articles about rituals for newborn Jewish girls. A graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, Sharon is an attorney and lives in New Jersey with her husband and... Read More →


Sunday December 8, 2013 4:55pm - 5:50pm
1.105

6:00pm

Ma'ariv
Sunday December 8, 2013 6:00pm - 6:30pm
L.61