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Saturday, January 14
 

8:00pm

A Moral Quandary: Fair Process or Equitable Results?
With regards to adjudication, rabbinic law offers multiple models for achieving fairness. In this session, we will examine these models in the context of trying to achieve gender equity, exposing the advantages and the dilemmas of each. We will also offer a third strategy from beyond the world of adjudication, which expands the discussion considerably.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Elana Stein Hain

Dr. Elana Stein Hain

Dr. Elana Stein Hain is the Director of Leadership Education at the Shalom Hartman Institute, where she is a lead faculty member. Prior to serving at Hartman, Elana was the Community Scholar at Lincoln Square Synagogue and the Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center, both in Manhattan. She holds a doctorate in Religion from Columbia University, where she specialized in Talmud and focused her dissertation on Rabbinic Legal 'Loopholes.' She lived... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 9:00pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

Yoga
Please wear clothing you can practice yoga in, and bring a yoga mat. If you have two foam blocks and a belt that would be great too. If you don't have a mat a towel can help so they can keep your face off the floor.

Speakers
avatar for Joy Langer

Joy Langer

Joy Langer is a visual artist and yogi. A graduate of LaGuardia HS of Music and Art, Joy continued her education at F.I.T., and earned a BFA from The Art Institute of Boston. She has exhibited in New York, Boston, and Jerusalem where she lived for 5 years.  Her teaching artist work includes LEAP NYC, The Riverdale Country School, The Riverdale YMHA/YWHA, Foundation for Jewish Camps with the Cornerstone Fellowship, Young Judaea, and private... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 9:00pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

"Soon By You" Screening
Speakers
avatar for Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried

Leah Gottfried is an award winning director, producer, writer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment.  She graduated with a Film Studies degree from Yeshiva University and studied cinematography at NYU. Her short film The Setup won Best Short Film at The Washington Jewish Film Festival 2016 and now serves as the pilot episode of her hit web series Soon By You, which centers on young Orthodox... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Schechter

Jessica Schechter

Jessica Schechter has an MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School and a Bachelors degree in Educational Theatre from NYU.  She is a certified theatre teacher in New York State and has been acting, directing, and running drama programs for over ten years.  Trained through Stanislavsky and Meisner techniques, Jessica's directing credits include Beyond the Etchings (Infinite Variety... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 9:30pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

Comedy Workshop
Speakers
avatar for Lynn Harris

Lynn Harris

LYNN HARRIS is founder of the startup GOLD #comedyforgirls, designed to bring comedy to more girls and more girls into comedy. An award-winning journalist, she is also a former stand-up comic, author, and communications strategist for feminist and human rights causes. In her spare time, she enjoys being married to Rabbi David Adelson, Dean of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion New York City campus.


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 9:30pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

Post Traumatic Gifts
Based in part on Amy’s personal experience surviving ten years of medical interventions, sexual abuse and PTSD, Post Traumatic Gifts is a program combining storytelling, participatory discussion, creativity, and a keynote speech.

Speakers
avatar for Amy Oestreicher

Amy Oestreicher

Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright, sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.  As the creator of  "Gutless & Grateful," her BroadwayWorld-nominated one-woman autobiographical musical, she's toured theatres... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 9:30pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

Kumsitz
Speakers
avatar for Shoshana Jedwab

Shoshana Jedwab

Shoshana Jedwab is a composer and singer of sacred music, a hand-drummer, drum circle leader, ritual facilitator and award winning Jewish educator.  Shoshana recently released her debut album, “I Remember” available here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shoshanajedwab. Shoshana Jedwab is the Middle School Jewish Life Coordinator at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School where she has taught Jewish Studies for over a quarter of a century... Read More →
BS

Basya Schechter

Basya Schechter, a newly ordained Aleph Cantor (Class 2016), is most known for her group, Pharaoh's Daughter, a 7 piece world music ensemble that  travels effortlessly through continents, key signatures, and languages with a genre-bending sound. Basya Schechter’s  earthy, soulful  beautiful voice rings out over instruments that form a vibrant collage of East/West, Ashkenaz a  vision of a new Middle East. She is also... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 10:00pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

8:00pm

Supergirl
Speakers
avatar for Neshama Kutin

Neshama Kutin

Neshama Kutin is the proud mother of Naomi "Supergirl" Kutin and lives in Fair Lawn, NJ where she and her family are active members of the modern Orthodox Jewish community. She is a certified holistic health and nutrition coach and holds a degree in psychology. Originally from Colorado, Neshama has overcome a lot in her past to bring her to where she is today with her health, family, and religion. She strongly believes in parenting to empower her... Read More →
avatar for Naomi Kutin

Naomi Kutin

Naomi Kutin is a 15-year-old sophomore at Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in New Jersey. She began breaking all-time world records in powerlifting when she was 9 years old, earning the nickname "Supergirl" and becoming an international media sensation. In addition to her academic and powerlifting pursuits, Naomi runs track and works weekly with special needs students. She also loves to spend time with her family and friends.


Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00pm - 10:00pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

9:00pm

Monologues from the Makom

Inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, Monologues from the Makom (lit. "place" in Hebrew, but also the most popular Talmudic euphemism for "vagina") will be an all-women's** safe space to share and listen to self-authored creative pieces about sexuality, body image, gender, and Jewish identity.

Cuz it's time we talked about this.

The event will showcase individual women reading or sharing their prepared monologues and creative pieces. Submissions can be in the form of "traditional" monologues OR other modalities, such as poetry, short story, visual art, or music. They also can vary in terms of content, from more conceptual/thematic to stories of specific events--there’s no censorship here, and we would love to hear anything you want to share!

This is a safe space event, and we ask that all participants come with an attitude of respect, openness, and appreciation toward our peers for being brave enough to talk about this potentially sensitive topic.

**This event is open to anyone who identifies as female, regardless of gender expression.


Saturday January 14, 2017 9:00pm - 10:15pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

9:15pm

Book Review
Hear Marjorie Ingall in conversation with a Jewish Book Council Editor on her book Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children.

Moderators
avatar for Nat Bernstein

Nat Bernstein

Nat Bernstein is the contributing editor at Jewish Book Council, managing the organization’s digital content, media, and special projects. Nat is a 2011 Ingenuity Award recipient and an F’07 graduate of Hampshire College with a Division II in pedagogical content knowledge for English education and a Division III on the representation of modern genocide in American culture and education.

Speakers
avatar for Marjorie Ingall

Marjorie Ingall

Marjorie Ingall is a columnist for Tablet Magazine and the author of Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children. She’s a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and has written for many other magazines and newspapers, including The Forward (where she was The East Village Mamele), Real Simple, Ms., Food... Read More →


Saturday January 14, 2017 9:15pm - 10:15pm
The Kraft Center 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025
 
Sunday, January 15
 

8:00am

Registration / Breakfast / Shacharit
Sunday January 15, 2017 8:00am - 9:00am
TBA

9:00am

From Vision To Reality: Orthodox Women Rabbis and the Woman Who Willed it Into Being

This plenary highlights the fruits of the labor and wisdom of our founding president, Blu Greenberg. In honor of Blu Greenberg, we are launching a Festschrift which includes scholarly pieces from our community thought, lay and rabbinic leaders. Blu dreamed the dream and laid the groundwork for the Orthodox feminist movement when she authored On Women and Judaism. This plenary will share various perspectives of how her vision has become a reality including the challenges and opportunities that were met along the way. Please see the following excerpt from the editor, Devorah Zlochower's introduction to this momentous work

שלנו ושלכן שלה הוא – What is ours is hers.

This festschrift, and this plenary, honors Blu Greenberg, whose moral leadership, tenacity and gentle hutzpah have shattered the traditional limits for women and created undreamed of possibilities. We live in an unprecedented moment in Jewish history, when access to talmud Torah, tefillah be’tsibbur, and religious leadership are recognized as the rightful inheritance of Jewish women. This festschrift dedicated to Blu on the occasion of her 80th birthday gives us the opportunity to publicly acknowledge our debt to Blu.

שקמתי אם בישראל – You arose, a mother in Israel.

The festschrift takes its name from the Song of Devorah (Judges, chapter 5), in which Devorah, previously described as prophet, judge, and leader is here depicted as mother. The fierce advocacy, compassion, and persistence that mark her political, moral, and religious leadership are also traditional hallmarks of motherhood. As Rifka Rosenwein a”h wrote, “At its heart, it [feminism] is an effort by mothers willing to take risks in order to make life better for their children.” Creating a life that encompasses both private and public spheres, models strength and warmth, and attends to tsarkhei tsibbur, without compromising the needs of one’s family, is an accomplishment that seems unattainable. Blu does it every day.


Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Founder and Rosh Beit Midrash, Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem
Rabbi Herzl Hefter is the founder and Rosh Beit Midrash of The Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, a beit midrash for advanced rabbinic studies for men and women. In June of 2015, the beit midrash was the first to grant orthodox smikha to men and women together.  Rabbi Hefter is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he learned under the tutelage of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveichick זצ”ל. He received smikha from Rav Aharon... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

A dual Canadian and American citizen, Lila Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Rabbi Kagedan holds degrees and certificates from Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Toronto, Harvard University, The Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Massachusetts General Hospital and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow.  She is also a Hadassah Brandeis... Read More →
avatar for Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell is Professor of History and holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University, where she directs the Jewish Studies Program.  Her honors include AU’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the Year, and the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award for distinguished service.  Her books include Women Who Would be Rabbis: A History of... Read More →
avatar for Devorah Zlochower

Devorah Zlochower

Devorah Zlochower has taught gemara and Halakha for over two decades. She served as Rosh Beit Midrash at Drisha Institute for over a decade where she taught gemara and Halakha and headed the full-time fellowship programs. She has also taught gemara at SAR High School in Riverdale, Yeshivat Maharat, and most recently, at Yeshivat Hadar where she was a senior faculty member. Devorah serves on the advisory board of JOFA and on the parent board of... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 9:00am - 10:10am
Roone Arledge Auditorium
  • Subtitle Plenary and Festschrift

10:30am

High School Track: Feminism, Halakha, and Tradition
PLEASE NOTE: This is for High School students ONLY.

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

A dual Canadian and American citizen, Lila Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Rabbi Kagedan holds degrees and certificates from Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Toronto, Harvard University, The Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Massachusetts General Hospital and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow.  She is also a Hadassah Brandeis... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Multi-Purpose Room

10:30am

#LearnLikeAGirl: Daf Yomi
Every day tens of thousands of people around the world read one page of Talmud with the goal of completing the entire Talmud in seven years. Regular daf participants and beginners alike are welcome to join us as we tackle today's page. Copies of the text in the original and translation will be provided.

Moderators
avatar for Liat Greenwood

Liat Greenwood

Liat Greenwood is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania where she is studying nursing. At Penn, Liat is the co-chair of the Shira Chadasha community and sits on the Leadership Council for Hillel Board. After finishing her BSN, Liat hopes to continue on to become a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner/Nurse-Midwife. One of Liat's main areas of interest is the intersection between health, Jewish lifestyle, and halakha; she has been able... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jenna Englender

Jenna Englender

Jenna Englender is a member of the class of 2019 at Yeshivat Maharat. She has served as the Assistant Director of Recruitment for the Pardes Institute, as well as Communications Fellow for the Samuel Bronfman Foundation. Jenna has facilitated community conversations around conversion and mikveh through her role as co-founder of the Orthodox Converts Network and is a trained mikveh salon facilitator with ImmerseNYC. Jenna holds a B.A. cum laude... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
East Ramp

10:30am

First Comes Semikhah, then comes...? Next Steps in Women's Leadership
Women's ordination as spiritual clergy is a reality in both the United States and Israel. Come join pioneers Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as they discuss the future of women's leadership, new opportunities and challenges, the differences between the US/Israel communities, and their vision for 21st century Jewish life and the role of the rabbinate in shaping it.

Moderators
avatar for Ariel Groveman Weiner

Ariel Groveman Weiner

Ariel Groveman Weiner is Chair of the Board of Yeshivat Maharat and serves on the boards of JOFA, the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at Penn and Penn Hillel. Ariel is an Advisory Board member of Midreshet Lindenbaum's Women's Institute for Halachik Leadership, serves on SAR Academy's Board of Education and is currently participating in the Wexner Heritage Fellowship.  For over a decade, Ariel served as the Associate Director of... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Dean and Co-Founder, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabba Sara Hurwitz has served on the rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale- The Bayit since 2003. After Rabba Sara was officially ordained in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber, she went on to co-found Yeshivat Maharat, the first yeshiva to ordain Orthodox women as clergy, where she serves as Dean. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and completed Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s contributions to Israel and world Jewry over the course of the past five decades have been instrumental in shaping today’s Modern Orthodox society. | Noted teacher, author and visionary, Rabbi Riskin originally hails from Brooklyn NY. Rabbi Riskin graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Yeshiva University in 1960, where he majored in Greek, Latin and English literatures. He went on to receive... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Roone Cinema

10:30am

The Politics of Conversion

Who is a Jew? It is a question that was not often debated in Orthodoxy's internal rabbinic politics. Those who have converted or are on the path to be coming a Jew by choice are often pawns in a rabbinic power play for authority. This session will explore some of the darker elements of our system, and, in doing so, suggest ways to better the status quo. 


Moderators
avatar for Mark Oppenheimer

Mark Oppenheimer

Mark Oppenheimer hosts the Unorthodox podcast for Tablet magazine. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale, where he teaches literature. He also writes a monthly column for The Los Angeles Times. He lives with his wife, four daughters, two dogs, and a cat in New Haven.​

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

President, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, an Orthodox rabbinical school that teaches an inclusive, open and welcoming Torah. Previously, he was the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago, for 18 years.  He received his ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago, and from Yeshiva University, as a Wexner Graduate... Read More →
avatar for Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky

Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky

Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky is one of the leading women Talmud scholars and educators in the world today, a sought after lecturer in Talmud, Jewish law and women's issues. She holds a Master's Degree in Law and a Doctorate in Talmud from Bar Ilan University. Through her scholarly and incisive articles Rabbanit Tikochinsky has had a profound influence on the Halakhic discourse regarding women's issues. She has also... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Party Space

10:30am

“This wall is my wall, this wall is your wall” Original Women of the Wall (OWOW) Update
Together with members of the Original Women of the Wall, this session will explore the role of women and prayer within our Jewish and Israeli context and specifically the innovative efforts of Jewish women in prayer groups and the consequential movement to the kotel space. This session is dedicated to the memory of Rivka Haut,Z'L, a champion of Orthodox Jewish women, who noted in 1988 when women first read from the Torah at the Kotel: We redeemed the Torah for women today.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Professor Norma Baumel Joseph

Professor Norma Baumel Joseph

Norma Baumel Joseph, Professor, teaches in the Department of Religion of Concordia University, Montreal. She supervises the Women and Religion specialization and is an Associate of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Jewish law and gender and is currently working on an anthropological study of food, identity and gender. In 2002, she edited a collection on gender and food in... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Dr. Vanessa L. Ochs

Rabbi Dr. Vanessa L. Ochs

Vanessa L. Ochs is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies Program at the University of Virginia where she teaches courses in Judaism, anthropology of religion and spiritual writing. She was ordained as a rabbi in 2013. ​She has worked for nearly 30 years on behalf of securing the rights for women to pray in the ezrat nashim of the Kotel and is a member of the Original Women of the Wall. Ochs is the author of... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
West Ramp

10:30am

Infertility & New Reproductive Technologies

Learn about the medical and halakhic parameters of new reproductive technologies and ways we can continue to remain sensitive to families struggling with infertility. 


Moderators
avatar for Dr. Susan J. Gross, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACMG

Dr. Susan J. Gross, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACMG

Dr. Gross received her medical degree from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as a fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine and a second residency/fellowship in Medical Genetics at the University of Tennessee (Memphis).  She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Genetics.  Dr. Gross is a Professor of Clinical Obstetrics &... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Richard Grazi

Dr. Richard Grazi

Richard V. Grazi, M.D. is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Maimonides Medical Center and the founder of Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine.  The Genesis program is a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for the treatment of infertility. Dr. Grazi and the Genesis staff have been leaders in developing approaches to treatment that sensitively accommodate the special needs of Orthodox... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Broadway

10:30am

The International Beit Din: Resolving the Agunah Crisis

The International Beit Din was formed in 2015 as an attempt to put an end to the agunah crisis once and for all. Come learn how the IBD was formed, how is functions as a halakhic authority, and what it will take to gain unanimous support. This session will feature an interactive Q&A session. 


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rav David Bigman

Rav David Bigman

Rosh Yeshiva, Ma'ale Gilboa
Rav David Bigman moved from suburban Detroit, Michigan to Israel to work the land in the spirit of the Zionist pioneers and to make it his home. Soon after his arrival, the leadership of the Religious Kibbutz movement took note of his prodigious knowledge, his open-mind, and his moral sensitivity and appointed him to head the movement’s most important educational institutions.  Rav Bigman was a founder of Midreshet Ein Hanatziv (one of... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Satow Room

10:30am

A Blessing On Your Head: Tevye's Daughters and Ours
Join Dr. Miriam Udel as she explores what the Tevye stories can teach us about contemporary questions involving the lives of girls and young women.

Moderators
avatar for Ateret Frank

Ateret Frank

Ateret Frank is a freshman at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she is a College Park Scholar majoring in Psychology. Last year, Ateret attended Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem. Ateret grew up in Riverdale, Jerusalem, and Baltimore. One of her proudest claims to fame is that she attended the first JOFA Conference in utero.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Miriam Udel

Dr. Miriam Udel

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in Comparative Literature from the same institution. This year saw the publication of her first book, with the University of Michigan Press, entitled Never Better!: The Modern Jewish... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Room 568

10:30am

Destigmatizing Mental Illness in the Orthodox Community
Is mental illness a 'Jewish' problem? Although we deeply value mental health, our synagogues often ignore the need for education and support for those living with mental illness and for their loved ones. Silence in our spiritual communities increases stigma and suffering, and ultimately becomes the real 'Jewish' problem. This panel will discuss how to increase awareness and build support for those suffering from mental health challenges. 

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Clergy, B'nai David-Judea Congregation
Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the spiritual leadership at B'nai David-Judea Congregation, an Orthodox shul in Los Angeles. She received her semicha from Yeshivat Maharat and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Classical Studies Archaeology and Ancient History.  Rabbanit Alissa is also a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. She has... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 11:15am
Room 569

10:30am

Confronting Sexual Abuse In Orthodox Institutions (90 minutes)

The statistics are clear 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys  will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18.  What can we do to raise awareness and make our kids, camps, schools and synagogues tough targets?  How do we  recognize the signs and empower kids and adults without creating a culture of fear?  How do we make sure our communities become and remain safe spaces? This panel of experts, advocates and survivors of abuse will explore all of these issues in an engaging and informative manner. 


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rahel Bayar

Rahel Bayar

Rahel J. Bayar joined T&M Protection in August 2016 as a Senior Consultant of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division after serving in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. In her many years as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau, she was responsible for the prosecution of serious felony cases from investigation and indictment to trial.  As a... Read More →
DC

David Cheifetz

David Cheifetz has founded a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the issues of child sexual abuse in the Jewish community, Mi Li—Who Is for Me. He has had a nineteen-year career in general management in the private sector following a six-year career working for the Israeli government in both the United States and Israel.
avatar for Meira Ellias, MSW, LICSW, LCSW

Meira Ellias, MSW, LICSW, LCSW

Supervising Social Worker, The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington
Meira is the Supervising Social Worker at The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, an inpatient psychiatric treatment center in Washington, D.C. specializing in posttraumatic and dissociative disorders. Meira designs and runs intensive group and individualized therapy programs for adults with acute symptoms associated with trauma-based conditions.  Meira also has clinical experience with children and... Read More →
avatar for Manny Waks

Manny Waks

CEO, Kol V'Oz


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm
Room 555

10:30am

emBODYment of Jewish femininity
The emBODYment of Jewish femininity is a photography exhibit that explores the connection of 15 different women to their bodies. The photos were taken in nature or in an environment where the women felt most comfortable in their own bodies. Narratives accompany each photograph, which range from a teen in remission from cancer to a woman in her eighties who spends her days taking dance classes at the 92nd Street Y. 

Speakers
avatar for Aviva Braun-Finkler

Aviva Braun-Finkler

Aviva Braun,L.M.S.W.,  L.C.S.W. is a Licensed clinical social worker practicing in NYC.  She works with adolescent and adult women who have eating and body image problems and practices from  feminist-relational and psychodynamic approaches. She obtained her MSW at NYU’s school of Social work and then went on to obtain her post graduate training at the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute. She has been presenting on the... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 5:45pm
TBA

10:30am

Women of the Book
Women of the Book: Jewish Women Recording, Reflecting, Revisioning is a groundbreaking creative endeavor. The project, in essence a visual “Torah” scroll, comprises works on parchment (one for each Torah portion) by fifty-four professional Jewish women artists from around the world. Women of the Book was conceived and is headed by Shoshana Gugenheim who remarks, “There has never before been a worldwide Jewish women’s arts-based collaboration that brings women’s voices to the forefront."

Sunday January 15, 2017 10:30am - 5:45pm
TBA

11:30am

"One of the Guys": Language and Belonging in the Beruriah Narrative
Beruriah speaks with the sharp erudite tongue of the Rabbis - until one day when she doesn't. To what extent does learning Torah encourage women to speak and think like men? How can each learner discover his or her own voice?

Moderators
Speakers

Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
West Ramp

11:30am

Moving the Ball Forward: Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein's Enduring Contribution to Women's Torah Education

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l was a leading advocate for close to half a century for intensive Talmud Torah for girls and women in the Modern-Orthodox community. This session will explore the origins of his perspective, the parameters of what it entailed, the impact it had and the directions it did and did not go.


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot is chair of the Dept. of TSBP at SAR High School and rabbi of Cong. Netivot Shalom in Teaneck, NJ. He also serves on the faculty of YCT Rabbinical School, the Drisha Institute of Jewish Education and the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He lectures and publishes widely and is most recently the author of Mikra and Meaning: Studies in Bible and Its Interpretation (2014)


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
East Ramp

11:30am

Our Fierce Foremothers: American Jewish Women Fighting for Change
Jewish women have a long and storied history of fighting for political and social change in America. In this session, we will discuss the impact that Jewish women had on social movements in America such as the turn-of-the-century battles for women's suffrage and workers' rights, and the liberal and radical feminist movements of the 1960s and 70s. What lessons can Jewish women today who want to work for social change take from our fierce foremothers? 

Moderators
AG

Alissa Gold

Alissa Gold is Regulatory Counsel at the Food and Drug Administration. She previously served as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow working with disabled military veterans in Miami, Florida. Alissa attends Ohev Sholom synagogue in Washington, D.C., where she coordinates programming for young professionals and volunteers as a mikvah guide. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Miami School of Law.

Speakers
avatar for Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank

Laura Shaw Frank is the Director of Recruitment, Placement, and Alumnae Support at Yeshivat Maharat. She is also the Director of Israel Guidance and a member of the history faculty at SAR High School in Riverdale. A former corporate litigator, Laura is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. She is currently completing her PhD in American Jewish history at the University of Maryland. Laura lives in Riverdale with her husband and... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
Room 569

11:30am

We Can Do It! Advocating For Change Within The Israeli Legal System

What does advocating for change with respect to religious women's rights look like in a secular Israeli legal system? How is this battle similar to fighting for halakhic change? How is it different from feminist movements in America? Hear from Yael Rockman of Kolech and Naava Shafner of ImaKadima as they share their experiences fighting for the right for women to attend mikvehs without state issues mikveh attendants. 


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Yael Rockman

Yael Rockman

Executive Director, Kolech
Attorney Yael Rockman is the Executive Director of Kolech.  Yael has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and in Law from Bar Ilan University.  She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Gender Studies also at Bar Ilan.  She was admitted to the Israeli Bar in 2004.  Yael is an Orthodox feminist activist. In 2002 Yael began working at Yad LaIsha and then in 2005 was part of the team that established the Center... Read More →
avatar for Naava Shafner

Naava Shafner

Naava Shafner was born in the USA, but her soul took flight the first time she breathed the Jerusalem air. After making Aliya at age 12 with her family, she finished high school in Jerusalem, and did two years of national service helping disadvantaged populations. She has a degree in Political Science and Communications from Bar Ilan. In 2014 Naava co-founded ImaKadima, an organization that supports career minded mothers and advocates for... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
Multi-Purpose Room

11:30am

Past as Prologue: Ordaining Women Rabbis & Their Discontents
This session provides a glimpse into the long history of women’s ordination from the glimmers of the question first raised in 1889 to a century later when, following the ordination of the first Conservative female rabbis, the notion of the woman rabbi, only one facet of the challenges posed by feminism, spilled over into Orthodoxy.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff

Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff

Chief Academic Officer, Hebrew Theological College
Zev Eleff is Chief Academic Officer of Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, IL. He is the author of six books and more than thirty scholarly articles in the field of American Jewish history. His Who Rules the Synagogue (Oxford) and Modern Orthodox Judaism (JPS) both appeared in 2016. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Dr. Eleff was also named to a recent list of Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago's Jewish "36 Under 36," sponsored by... Read More →
avatar for Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell is Professor of History and holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University, where she directs the Jewish Studies Program.  Her honors include AU’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the Year, and the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award for distinguished service.  Her books include Women Who Would be Rabbis: A History of... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
Room 568

11:30am

Somewhere a Place For Us? Personal, Societal, and Institutional Changes for Orthodox Women in America and Israel
Modern Orthodox Jewish women in America and Dati Leumi women in Israel are experiencing rapid changes in their personal expectations and experiences and also in the institutional structures around them. This session presents the most recent information about Modern Orthodox women’s lives, along with the decline of established institutions and the emergence of new enterprises. The audience will be invited to reflect along with the presenters about the ongoing impact of these personal and institutional transformations.

Moderators
avatar for Rachel Shtern

Rachel Shtern

Rachel Shtern is currently the Director, Jewish Education and Engagement at the Jewish Federations of North America. Rachel works to share ideas, best practices, models, and thought leadership in Jewish education and engagement through their blog, webinar series, and other platforms with the federation system. She recently moved to New York from Chicago where she worked as the Assistant Director for Planning, Community Building and Jewish... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Professor Jerome Chanes

Professor Jerome Chanes

Professor Jerome Chanes is the author of four books and more than 100 articles, book-chapters, reviews, and encyclopedia articles on Jewish public affairs and history, the history of Zionism and Israel, anti semitism, and arts and letters.  He is a senior fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies of the CUNY Graduate Center.  Jerry's current projects are a book on Israeli theater and a reader on the history of antisemitism.
avatar for Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman

Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman

Sylvia Barack Fishman is the Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University, and Co-Director of the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. She is the author of eight books, including Love, Marriage, and Jewish Families: Paradoxes of a Social Revolution, and numerous articles on Jewish life, education and culture. Professor Fishman received The Marshall Sklare Award... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
Broadway

11:30am

Everyone's Favorite Topic: Girls' Dress Code in Day Schools
Students hate dress code, parents hate fighting about dress code, schools hate having to enforce dress code. So why do we still have them? What communal values and choices do they embody? And how can we make the whole thing less painful, and less charged?

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Esther Hidary

Esther Hidary

Esther Hidary is an Assistant Principal at the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School. She holds an MA in English and American Literature from NYU and an MA in English Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her passion for literary analysis emerged from a lifelong love for the intricacies of Tanakh narratives and her area of concentration is the intersection of Midrash and Literary Theory. Alongside her work as an... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz

Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz

Associate Principal, General Studies, SAR High School
Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz has spent more than 15 years in the field of Jewish secondary and post-secondary education.  She currently serves Associate Principal, General Studies at SAR High School, and previously served as Director of General Studies at The Frisch School. Dr. Schwartz earned her B.A. in physics and history of science at Case Western Reserve University.  She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University, writing... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 12:15pm
Satow Room

11:30am

But How Does She Pasken? Women & Halakhic Decision-making (90 minutes)

This dynamic conversation will explore how the boundaries are being drawn around women's involvement across areas of halakhic decision-making and the reasons and motivations for these developments. The panelists will also discuss the ways, if any, in which halakhic decisions rendered by women differ -- in style, content, or otherwise -- from those of their male counterparts, and the underlying reasons for such differences. 


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Director of Education, North America, The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Rabba Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Founder and Rosh Beit Midrash, Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem
Rabbi Herzl Hefter is the founder and Rosh Beit Midrash of The Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, a beit midrash for advanced rabbinic studies for men and women. In June of 2015, the beit midrash was the first to grant orthodox smikha to men and women together.  Rabbi Hefter is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he learned under the tutelage of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveichick זצ”ל. He received smikha from Rav Aharon... Read More →
avatar for R. Rachel (Urbach) Keren

R. Rachel (Urbach) Keren

R. Rachel (Urbach) Keren is head of the Beit Midrash at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv for the past 30 years. She is the daughter of Prof. Ephraim Urbach z”l and Channah Urbach. She received her BA and MA in Jewish History and Jewish Philosophy from Hebrew University as well as an MA in Gender Studies from Bar-Ilan University. She is a graduate of the School for Educational Leadership – Mandel Institute. She is currently... Read More →
avatar for Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman is the Marta d’Atra of The Kehilah in Riverdale.  From 2006-2013, RK Najman was the Marta d’Atrah at Kehilat Orach Eliezer in Manhattan.  She is head of the Gemara department at SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY.  RK Najman has extensive experience teaching and speaking in the Jewish community on topics ranging from bioethics to environmental law. Rosh Kehilah Najman has served on the board... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 1:00pm
Party Space

11:30am

Jewish Feminism Across Denominations: Courage and Responsibility in an Era of Divisiveness (90 minutes)
Join a conversation with a diverse panel of women of different denominations and generations, all of whom work for feminist change within Jewish contexts. We will address our relationship to feminism within and beyond the Jewish community; the legacies and successes of feminism; and the remaining challenges we face in our communities. We will also consider the responsibilities of feminists across denominations to one another.

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Judith Rosenbaum

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum

Executive Director, Jewish Women's Archive
Judith Rosenbaum is Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, a national organization that documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change. A writer, educator, and historian, Judith earned a BA in History from Yale University, a PhD in American Studies from Brown University, and a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Israel. She teaches and lectures widely on Jewish studies and... Read More →

Speakers
RT

Rabbi Tamara Cohen

Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief of Innovation at Moving Traditions, has worked as a Jewish feminist and social justice educator for over twenty years in varied contexts including as Program Director of Ma’yan and as Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at the University of Florida where she co-led an annual leadership retreat and taught a course on Leadership for Social Justice. She holds rabbinic ordination from the... Read More →
avatar for Avigayil Halpern

Avigayil Halpern

Avigayil Halpern is a sophomore Judaic Studies major at Yale, where she is a gabbait of the traditional egalitarian minyan. A native of West Hartford, Connecticut and a proud day school graduate, Avigayil has learned Torah at Drisha Institute, Midreshet Ein Hanatziv, and most recently Yeshivat Hadar. She is an alumna of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships and the Rising Voices Fellowship, and in 2013 she was included in the Jewish Daily... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

A dual Canadian and American citizen, Lila Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Rabbi Kagedan holds degrees and certificates from Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Toronto, Harvard University, The Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Massachusetts General Hospital and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow.  She is also a Hadassah Brandeis... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 11:30am - 1:00pm
Roone Cinema

12:30pm

“Women Have Minds”: A Text Study on Women and Zimmun
Are three women required to make a zimmun when eating together or is this ritual only optional for women? Do ten women constitute a quorum for zimmun? May men and women join together to create a zimmun of three and may women be counted in the ten with men to add to the blessing of God? How much did women’s knowledge and education affect the rulings of the poskim in this area? These and other questions will be discussed in this session by examining sources from the Talmud through to modern legal Rabbinic literature.

Moderators
AL

Atara Lindenbaum

Atara Lindenbaum is currently studying towards a Master of Urban Planning at Hunter College. She has taught Tanach, Talmud and Jewish History at Maimonides, Beren Academy and Ramaz. Atara is a graduate of the Matan Advanced Tanach Program, as well as Hebrew University's Melton Program for Jewish Education. Atara lives in Riverdale with her husband and 3 daughters.

Speakers
avatar for Rav Rahel Berkovits

Rav Rahel Berkovits

Rahel Berkovits is a senior lecturer in Mishnah, Talmud and halakha, at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching for almost twenty years. She created and teaches a course on women’s participation in Jewish ritual and another course on sexual ethics. Rahel writes articles and lectures widely in both Israel and abroad on topics concerning women and Jewish law, and recently published the book “A... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
East Ramp

12:30pm

Heels, Pant Suits and Binders, Oh MY! Women & Secular Politics
With the 2016 presidential election complete, the issues that were of greatest import during the election will continue to have major effects on women, children, and families. This session explores NCJW’s Jewish values-based advocacy efforts for reproductive health, rights, and justice; contraceptive access; paid family leave; voting rights; and filling judicial vacancies. Nancy K. Kaufman will share her insights about these significant policy challenges, where women’s organizational priorities might best be focused with the new administration, and action steps for new and experienced advocates to make their voices heard in their hometowns and on Capitol Hill.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Nancy K. Kaufman

Nancy K. Kaufman

Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
Nancy K. Kaufman is the chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Kaufman has had a distinguished career as a public servant, advocate, and... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Room 555

12:30pm

Where Have All The Women Gone? Vanishing Women & What We Can Do About It

This session will describe the various ways women and girls are disappearing from publications,magazines-even shul directories. From Bet Shemesh where local circulars are women free, some bus lines have women in the back, and even the word 'woman' is crossed out or dropped from publication, to the US where couples are honored with only the man given the award. We will discuss the extent of the practice, its dangers, and the concerns that go along with it. We will explore practical ways to push back against this new and extreme practice and where it has a chance to make change and where it does not.


Moderators
avatar for Dr. Tova Hartman

Dr. Tova Hartman

Tova Hartman is the Dean of Humanities at the Kiryat Ono Academic College. She was formerly Professor of Gender Studies and Education at Bar Ilan University. She is the author of Appropriately Subversive, Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism, and Are You Not a Man Of God? Devotion, Betrayal and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition. She is a founder of Kehillat Shira Hadasha.

Speakers
avatar for Shoshana Keats Jaskoll

Shoshana Keats Jaskoll

Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll is a writer and activist for social justice in the Jewish community. She is a founding member of Chochmat Nashim, an organization that brings women's voices to the conversation of Judaism to raise awareness and improve policy. She is also a co-founder of Reach3K, a company that brands messages for non-profits and businesses. Shoshanna lives with her husband and five children in the Beit Shemesh area in Israel.


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Multi-Purpose Room

12:30pm

Equal Partners? Evolving Gender Roles in the Family
As women’s opportunities have advanced by light years over the past few generations, men’s roles have not adapted as quickly to the new realities. In the Orthodox community, this is even trickier to navigate because of deeply entrenched cultural and halakhic norms and expectations. In this session we will discuss our own experiences in trying to create an equal partnership in the home, out of the home, in our family, religious, and professional lives, and then guide a discussion among participants about these issues and various approaches to the challenges encountered.

Speakers
avatar for Shira Hecht-Koller

Shira Hecht-Koller

Director of Communal Engagement, Drisha
Shira Hecht-Koller is Director of Communal Engagement at Drisha. She has taught Talmud and comparative ethics for many years, most recently at SAR High School. She is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project and was a fellow at the Paideia Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm. She is a graduate of the Bruriah Scholars Program in Advanced Talmud Studies at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She received her BA in Biology from Yeshiva... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Aaron Koller

Dr. Aaron Koller

Yeshiva University
Aaron Koller is an associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he studies the ancient world of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. His most recent book is Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought(Cambridge University Press, 2014). Aaron has served as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and held research fellowships at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research and the Hartman... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Room 568

12:30pm

When Plan B Becomes Awesome: Jewish Single Motherhood by Choice
Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rav David Bigman

Rav David Bigman

Rosh Yeshiva, Ma'ale Gilboa
Rav David Bigman moved from suburban Detroit, Michigan to Israel to work the land in the spirit of the Zionist pioneers and to make it his home. Soon after his arrival, the leadership of the Religious Kibbutz movement took note of his prodigious knowledge, his open-mind, and his moral sensitivity and appointed him to head the movement’s most important educational institutions.  Rav Bigman was a founder of Midreshet Ein Hanatziv (one of... Read More →
avatar for Yael Ukeles

Yael Ukeles

Co-Founder/Director, KayamaMoms
Yael Ukeles, who made Aliyah from NYC since 1996, worked in the tech world as a UI designer and product marketing manager. In 2002, she founded/directed Derech Hateva, providing Jewish outdoor educational programs in Israel. In 2010, Yael founded KayamaMoms with Dr. Dvori Ross and Dina Pinner to create a supportive community for Jewish Single Mothers by Choice. Ms. Ukeles was an ATID Fellow focusing on experiential education and taught at the Eco... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Broadway

12:30pm

Embodied Voices: Personal Narratives on the Female Body
Hear original narratives shared by authors featured in the forthcoming anthology Embodied Voices, edited by Aviva Braun-Finkler, which captures female reflections on body image and experience.

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Sarah Weinberger-Litman

Dr. Sarah Weinberger-Litman

Dr. Sarah L. Weinberger-Litman, Phd is an Associate Professor of Psychology at at Marymount Manhattan College, and the director of the program in Public Health.  One of her main research interests focuses on the intersection of spirituality and health with an emphasis on eating disorders among Jewish women. She also studies areas related to body image, sexuality and gender roles. She is the Associate Producer of “Hungry to be... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Aviva Braun-Finkler

Aviva Braun-Finkler

Aviva Braun,L.M.S.W.,  L.C.S.W. is a Licensed clinical social worker practicing in NYC.  She works with adolescent and adult women who have eating and body image problems and practices from  feminist-relational and psychodynamic approaches. She obtained her MSW at NYU’s school of Social work and then went on to obtain her post graduate training at the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute. She has been presenting on the... Read More →
avatar for Tehilah Eisenstadt

Tehilah Eisenstadt

As a Jewish educator, activist, officiant, consultant, community builder and storyteller, Tehilah Eisenstadt has worked in several leadership roles with prominent Jewish educational agencies. She has lectured across the US on Jewish topics where ancient text and ritual intersect with meaning in our lives today. Tehilah works with a tireless team of multi-faith leaders (#Bringbackourgirls New York) on issues related to Jewish values... Read More →
avatar for Ann Lapin

Ann Lapin

Ann owns a Mary Kay business, teaches boot camp, and is an interim boarding care provider for the Spence-Chapin adoption agency. She writes about babies, parenting, and body image and has been published by kveller, Mama’s Comfort Camp, Times of Israel, NYMetroParents, and Upworthy. Ann and her family live in Riverdale, NY. Look for her new book, coming soon!


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
West Ramp

12:30pm

The Birds & The Bees: Sex Ed In Jewish Settings
Developing an appropriate sex education curriculum in the Orthodox community is complicated. It requires us to communicate necessary practical information at the same time as we attempt to communicate those values or sex ethic which is reflective of our overarching Jewish values. Making matters more complicated, most of us have not articulated for ourselves what that sex ethic is, nor how it translates into “real-life”. This session will look at both the big questions and the practical manifestations. If we do our job right, it may make you uncomfortable but you are sure to learn a lot.

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Termed “The Orthodox Sex Guru” by a recent profile in the NY Times, Bat Sheva Marcus, is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health. One of the largest centers of its kind in the US, the center is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues.  Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA., She... Read More →

Speakers
SF

Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer received his B.A. from Columbia University with a major in English and a concentration in psychology. He spent two and a half years in Yeshiva University while pursuing his M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Fordham University. He joined the SAR 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 currently teaches English and... Read More →
avatar for Ora Weinbach

Ora Weinbach

Ora Weinbach teaches Limmudei Qodesh at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School. She received her degree in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University in the first graduating cohort of the Legacy Heritage Fellowship Program and has been honored to educate Jewish learners of almost every age.


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Satow Room

12:30pm

In Her Shoes: Addressing Domestic Violence in Our Communities A Rachel Coalition (JFS) workshop
In Her Shoes is a Rachel Coalition experiential and interactive workshop where individuals experience what a victim of domestic violence has to do once she decides to reach out for help. Participants will explore the challenges and frustrations of women suffering from domestic violence. Background information will be provided on domestic violence within the Orthodox Jewish community.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Shari Bloomberg

Shari Bloomberg

Shari Bloomberg, LCSW is the Clinical Director of Domestic Violence Services/Rachel Coalition at Jewish Family Services of Metrowest serving Essex and Morris Counties in New Jersey. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Essex County Domestic Violence Working Group on Children Exposed to Violence and represents Rachel Coalition in various regional and statewide organizations. An expert on the topic, she has been working in the field of domestic... Read More →
SH

Sylvia Heller

Sylvia Heller is the Coordinator of Community Programming for Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ.  She is in charge of developing, creating and managing all community programming and fundraising efforts undertaken by JFS and Rachel Coalition (Domestic Violence program of JFS).  Sylvia works closely with JFS social workers, community organizations and other local agencies to promote JFS services.  Sylvia has been with JFS for... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Room 569

1:15pm

High School Track: Lunch
Sunday January 15, 2017 1:15pm - 2:25pm
Broadway

1:15pm

Lunch
Sunday January 15, 2017 1:15pm - 2:25pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

PARENT/CHILD - Music Together with Naomi
Naomi's Music offers the Music Together program in Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill. Family classes are for children ages 0-5, and baby-only classes are for newborns to 8 months. All classes are with the adults who love these children. Naomi’s Music also works with Kiddie Korner, a licensed Music Together preschool. Since 1999, thousands of children have sung, danced, wiggled, and played with Naomi’s Music. This world renowned, research-based program depends on adult participation and is based on a playful and encouraging atmosphere that optimizes musical growth in children during the most crucial period of their development. Each enrolled family gets digital musical downloads, a song book, lesson plans, and access to online educational content including videos. The proven methods support all types of musical expression and stages of development with an “accept and include” philosophy. Come! Naomi’s Music teachers are active and certified music teachers, performers, and parents.

Speakers
NW

Naomi Weinberger

Naomi Weinberger has taught 1000's of children from birth to age 5 since 1999 at her Brooklyn Heights Music Together center. She is a master teacher with advanced certification from the Center for Music and Young Children. Prior to teaching MT, Naomi received a BA from Yale University in architecture and a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. She has four children ages 17-23 and has been happily married to Michael an attorney for... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
TBA

1:30pm

Ask a Chaplain how to Navigate Today's Political Climate
Speakers
avatar for Abby Brockman

Abby Brockman

Abby Brockman believes that showing up is one of the most radical things we can do to build community. As a graduate student at Boston University in the School of Theology, she is training to be an interfaith hospital chaplain. She also works part-time as a research assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital with a team dedicated to providing empowering trauma-informed care for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Ask a Frum, Gay Couple
Speakers
JD

Jina Davidovich

Jina Davidovich holds a BA in English Literature, with focuses in Poetry and Women's Studies from Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. During her tenure at Stern, Jina had the opportunity to participate in the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance's (JOFA) On-Campus Fellowship. In the year after her graduation, Jina was selected to participate in Drisha's Beit Midrash program and Arts Fellowship. She has presented her poetry at the Bowery... Read More →
avatar for Rachael Fried, LMSW, MFA

Rachael Fried, LMSW, MFA

Originally from Fairfield, CT, Rachael Fried is now the Assistant Director of JQY (Jewish Queer Youth), a non-profit organization that supports and empowers LGBTQ youth from Orthodox homes. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design in Transdisciplinary Design. Rachael spends her summers at Camp Nesher, where she has been a Division Head, Program... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Ask a Viral Social Media Performer
Speakers
avatar for Talia Lakritz

Talia Lakritz

Talia Lakritz is a journalist, singer/songwriter, and digital content creator known as "nerdwithavoice" on YouTube. She works as a human interest reporter at INSIDER, the lifestyle branch of Business Insider. She earned a degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Barnard College, where she served as the College's official songwriter lovingly nicknamed the "Barnard Balladeer." Her outspoken videos about feminism and LGBTQ... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Ask an Expert and Advocate in Agunot Issues
Speakers
avatar for Yael Machtinger

Yael Machtinger

Yael Machtinger is a PhD Candidate in Socio-Legal Studies, at York University, Canada. She has been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship twice, and most recently has been funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, and the Religion and Diversity Project Fellowship. Yael’s Doctorate exploring religion and law, examines get refusal in Toronto and New York, relying on socio-legal literatures dealing with... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Ask an Expert who Confronts Sexual Abuse
Speakers
avatar for Meira Ellias, MSW, LICSW, LCSW

Meira Ellias, MSW, LICSW, LCSW

Supervising Social Worker, The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington
Meira is the Supervising Social Worker at The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, an inpatient psychiatric treatment center in Washington, D.C. specializing in posttraumatic and dissociative disorders. Meira designs and runs intensive group and individualized therapy programs for adults with acute symptoms associated with trauma-based conditions.  Meira also has clinical experience with children and... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Ask Someone Who Has Experienced Infertility
Speakers
avatar for Abbie Wasserman Adamit

Abbie Wasserman Adamit

Abbie Adamit is usually known by her photographer name, "Abbie Sophia." She is a photographer in the tri-state area who has also been vocal about her journey with infertility and going through the process of IVF. Her hope is that people learn to share and seek support from their friends and family rather than keep their infertility a secret as to make the very hard process easier.


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Connect to Discuss Being Part of a Documentary on the Women's Tefillah Movement
Molly Pollak and Devorah Preiss-Bloom, long time veterans of the women's tefillah network, are documenting the history and important contribution of women's tefillah for posterity. We would like to hear about your experiences as 1) as an originator of a women's tefillah in your community, or 2) as a participant in one in the past or the present or 3) your thoughts and feelings about women's communal prayer and 4) if you are no longer participating, where did you move and why?

Speakers
avatar for Molly Pollak

Molly Pollak

Molly Pollak received a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. in English from Columbia University. She recently retired from a forty year career teaching at both Jewish and secular schools. She one of the founder's of the Lincoln Square Synagogue's Women's Tefillah and is now a member of the partnership minyan, Darkhai Noam.  She is currently writing a book about revamping the way we think about teaching and teacher training as well as... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Connect with other Middle School Students and their Parents
Speakers
LR

Lamelle Ryman

Lamelle Ryman has been enthusiastically attending JOFA conferences for 15 years. She is a Jewish feminist mom of 3 and a writer, l/activist and advocate for children and families facing medical challenges.  A violinist and vocalist, Lamelle collaborated on an album of new Jewish lifecycle music (Ashira). Lamelle graduated from Harvard College, where she was the first woman elected president of the... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

1:30pm

Women and Semikha: America-Israel challenges and steps forward
We will explore current attitudes towards women's semikha, other titles and opportunities to work on the ground. We will speak about the authority women get and give themselves and challenges women have as leaders.

Speakers
avatar for Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat

Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat

Clergy, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat serves as part of the clergy team at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Anat feels passionate about issues of feminism and social justice, was a T’ruah Rabbinical Fellow in Human Rights and attended the JOIN for Justice cross seminary organizing course. Anat completed a chaplaincy internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Sharbat graduated from Bar-Ilan University with an M.A. cum laude and a Ph.D. in... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Not So Black & White: Exploring the Complexity of Race & Judaism
The recent election has heightened our country's focus on issues of race, identity and equality and how these issues effect the fabric of our society. We will explore issues of every day racism, racelessness and privilege through Jewish text study to identify language and concepts to initiate an honest communal dialogue.


Speakers
avatar for Dr. Carmella Abraham

Dr. Carmella Abraham

Yeshivat Maharat
Dr. Carmella Abraham, a graduate of Barnard College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine is a physician who has worked in clinical practice specializing in Women’s Health. She has also worked in pharmaceutical marketing and currently works to support oncology drug development. In parallel, Carmella has been active in the White Plains, NY community serving as chair and gaba’it of Women’s Tefillah. She co-founded her... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

Tanach in Modern Israeli Poetry
"The TaNaCh in Modern Israeli Poetry" - A new way to read Israeli poetry of the last 100 years, finding references to Biblical words, expressions and stories in it. Samples include selections from Yehuda Amichai, Rachel and more. Prior knowledge of Hebrew helpful but not a must.

Speakers
avatar for Michal Kohane

Michal Kohane

Born and raised in Israel, Michal Kohane has been a leader and educator in the Jewish Community of Northern California for over twenty five years. She has served as acting rabbi to a 120 family congregation; was a day-school educator, federation executive director and more. She is passionate about Jewish learning and building community. She has studied in Pardes as well as taught at Limmud Bay Area, and other events and venues. She holds a BA... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

1:30pm

There’s No Wrong Way To Learn A Mishna: Models of Different Learning Styles
Parents and educators often struggle with learning differences in children. In this session we will explore learning differences as portrayed in our sources and models for inclusion.

Speakers
avatar for Claudia Marbach

Claudia Marbach

Claudia Marbach is currently interning in two locations -- as a Chaplain Intern dealing with end of life issues at Hebrew Senior Life Long Term Care at Newbridge on Charles, and as a congregational intern at Congregation Beth David in West Hartford. Before enrolling at Yeshivat Maharat, Claudia was a middle school teacher at JCDS Boston, a pluralistic Jewish Day School, for fifteen years, where she developed a Toshba curriculum and also taught... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Roone Arledge Auditorium

2:05pm

A More Complete Tefillah Experience: Alternative Texts in Place of Divarim Shebikdusha
Traditionally, Orthodox Women's Tefillah Groups omit the communal call-to-prayer (barechu), repetition of the amida, and kaddish, because these sections of the liturgy contain devarim shebikdusha. For some, this may cause Women's Tefillah to feel like it is "missing" the essence of communal Jewish prayer. We propose a new liturgy with alternative texts derived from ancient sources, which maintain the structure and kavanah of a complete tefillah service, and feel as authentic. Join us for a panel discussion (men & women welcome) followed by mincha using this alternative liturgy (women only).

Moderators
avatar for Bracha Jaffe

Bracha Jaffe

Student ('17), Yeshivat Maharat
Bracha Jaffe is in her final year in Yeshivat Maharat. She loves teaching, inspiring and connecting with people of all ages. It has been her joy to intern at Orthodox shuls, NYP as chaplain, and currently in a JCC as well as a maximum-security prison for women. She proudly calls herself a leyning nerd and enjoys taking an active part in Women's Tefillah and Partnership minyanim. Looking forward to the energy at the JOFA conference!

Speakers
avatar for Egon Levy

Egon Levy

Egon Levy is PhD student and lecturer in Hebrew Bible at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. His research interests include rabbinic literature, the intersection of law and halacha, American gun culture, and biblical narrative. He has given lectures and shiurim and served on panels at universities, synagogues, and academic conferences, including the University of Chicago, the Orthodox Community at Penn, and the Society for Biblical... Read More →
avatar for Nechama Levy

Nechama Levy

Nechama Levy runs the Brooklyn Women's Chavura, a Women's Tefilah Group that meets monthly in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Following a strict Skverer Chassidish upbringing, Nechama took a 14 year hiatus from Jewish observance, during which period she hitchhiked across the United States, got lost in the jungle in India, played drums in a band, and opened a bicycle store. In 2014 she had the opportunity to learn to leyn from... Read More →



Sunday January 15, 2017 2:05pm - 2:45pm
TBA

2:25pm

Mincha
Sunday January 15, 2017 2:25pm - 2:40pm
TBA

2:50pm

High School Track: Facilitated Discussion on Sex Ed and Tzniut
PLEASE NOTE: This session is open to High School students ONLY.

Speakers
SF

Simon Fleischer

Simon Fleischer received his B.A. from Columbia University with a major in English and a concentration in psychology. He spent two and a half years in Yeshiva University while pursuing his M.A. and M.Phil in English Literature from Fordham University. He joined the SAR 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 currently teaches English and... Read More →
avatar for Ora Weinbach

Ora Weinbach

Ora Weinbach teaches Limmudei Qodesh at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School. She received her degree in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University in the first graduating cohort of the Legacy Heritage Fellowship Program and has been honored to educate Jewish learners of almost every age.


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Multi-Purpose Room

2:50pm

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Emergence of Female Responsa Literature

Many are aware of the seemingly insurmountable challenge of Orthodox feminism, that of the reality that it was written by men and, arguably, benefits men. This session will explore today's climate in which learned women are now researching and authoring rabbinic responsa. This session will present the facts on Israeli ground, why this matters, and what challenges lay ahead.


Moderators
avatar for Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Dean and Co-Founder, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabba Sara Hurwitz has served on the rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale- The Bayit since 2003. After Rabba Sara was officially ordained in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber, she went on to co-found Yeshivat Maharat, the first yeshiva to ordain Orthodox women as clergy, where she serves as Dean. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and completed Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Pnina Neuwirth

Dr. Pnina Neuwirth

Dr. Pnina Neuwirth is a judge in the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court.  She holds a Ph.D. in Tax Law from the Haifa University. She teaches law at Bar Ilan University & Sapir College and teaches Torah in Matan HaSharon Raanana and in other frameworks. During the years 2004-2006, Pnina was a visiting professor at Stern College for Women and taught Jewish Studies in the fields of Torat Eretz Yisrael and Jewish Philosophy.  
avatar for Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky

Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky

Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky is one of the leading women Talmud scholars and educators in the world today, a sought after lecturer in Talmud, Jewish law and women's issues. She holds a Master's Degree in Law and a Doctorate in Talmud from Bar Ilan University. Through her scholarly and incisive articles Rabbanit Tikochinsky has had a profound influence on the Halakhic discourse regarding women's issues. She has also... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
East Ramp

2:50pm

So-Tah Speak: Reading as the Illiterate
Can we read a woman through the words of a man? Does God talk to women? We will approach these questions through texts that discuss the Sotah, the woman who can only say Amen.

Moderators
avatar for Sari Steinberg

Sari Steinberg

Sari Steinberg is a freelance writer, editor, and communication consultant, and a longtime fan of JOFA and its founders. Over the years, at Matan, Penn, Hebrew U, Spertus, and Shma Koleinu, Sari has had the privilege of learning from and with some of the people she admires most. She davens with Kol Sasson, the partnership minyan of Skokie.

Speakers
AW

Ayelet Wenger

Ayelet Wenger studies Classics at Princeton University, where she is writing her thesis about the intersection between Latin, Greek, and Rabbinic lexicography in 11th-century Italy. She has studied at Migdal Oz, Nishmat, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ayelet founded the Princeton women’s Rosh Chodesh Torah reading, served as Rosh Chinuch at Camp Stone, and founded the Undergraduate Judaic Studies Conference. She organizes... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Room 568

2:50pm

Feminism as Evolution—Not Revolution: Harnessing Women's Empowerment in the Chasidic Community
What does women's empowerment look like in the Chasidic community? Can one size truly fit all?

Join director/producer Paula Eiselt for a sneak peak of her upcoming PBS documentary 93QUEEN, which features Ezras Nashim founder Ruchie Freier, the first female Chasidic woman elected to office in the U.S. 

Moderators
avatar for Laura Adkins

Laura Adkins

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward's Contributing Network Editor. Previously, she has served as the editor of Jewish Insider, Assistant Blogs Editor at The Times of Israel, and as a fellow at The Israel Project. She graduated from NYU in 2016 with a B.A in Economics and a minor in Hebrew Judaic Studies. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Hill, The New York Observer, Legal Insurrection, The Jewish Week, The Times of Israel, Jewish... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Paula Eiselt

Paula Eiselt

Director/Producer
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Paula Eiselt is currently a 2016 IFP Documentary Lab Fellow. Her work has also been supported by New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Independent Television Service (ITVS), International Documentary Association (IDA), Hartley Film Foundation, and Women Make Movies. She is currently directing two feature-length documentaries set in Brooklyn's Hasidic community, 93QUEEN and Following... Read More →
avatar for Heidi Reinberg

Heidi Reinberg

Producer
Heidi Reinberg's work spans the breadth of the nonfiction realm, from developing series for branded-content powerhouse Cinelan to long-form docs for HBO and PBS. Previous credits include: House Hunters International (Director; HGTV); War Photographer/ Exposure (Co-Creator/EP with Oscar winner Ross Kauffman; NBCUniversal); The Arc Audi Racing Program (Dir/Prod); Words of Witness and Garbage... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Broadway

2:50pm

Feminist Faces of Faith: An Interfaith Conversation
In a world where women's issues are political issues and one is forced to take sides, there is continuous debate about one's ability to identify as both feminist and religious simultaneously.  However, more and more often, religion is what fuels women's efforts to revolutionize the world.  Women are drawing on the overarching messages of love and social justice expressed within their religions and are leading feminist movements that promote positive social change – not only within their own traditions but within the broader world as well. This panel will explore the many ways women across faith traditions are claiming space and voice - once denied - in creative ways and grounded within their traditions to become active agents of change.

Moderators
avatar for Dr. Gina Messina

Dr. Gina Messina

Gina Messina, Ph.D. is an American feminist scholar, Catholic theologian, author, and activist. She is also Co-founder of Feminism and Religion. She writes for The Huffington Post,  is the author of Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence and the forthcoming If Jesus Ran for President.  She also co-edited the highly acclaimed Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay and Women Religion Revolution. Messina... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Xochitl Alvizo

Dr. Xochitl Alvizo

Xochitl Alvizo teaches in the area of Women and Religion and the Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. She dedicates her work to bringing a feminist lens to the study of religion and integrating feminist, queer, and congregational studies. Her most recent research investigated the ecclesiology of the Emerging Church in the U.S. from a feminist perspective. She is co-founder of Feminism and Religion (FAR) – an online project that... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Jerusha T. Lamptey

Dr. Jerusha T. Lamptey

Dr. Jerusha T. Lamptey (@jerushatanner) is a Muslima theologian, scholar, and public educator. She is Assistant Professor of Islam and Ministry and Director of the Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement Program (ISJIE) at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Her work and writing focus on Islamic feminism, interreligious engagement, religious pluralism, and social justice. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Theological and... Read More →
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 →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Satow Room

2:50pm

Watershed Moment: Leadership in Mikveh
This panel­ (with audience participation) will explore issues around mikveh, including asking who runs and designs mikvehs, who serves as the mikveh leadership and management team, and who makes the decisions that impact the users. Additionally, we will address the substantive issues that arise for women when using the mikveh (such as dealing with miscarriage), raising questions as to how the mikveh could respond to those needs. We will close by presenting our vision of a reimagined mikvah that serves as a larger resource to women in the community.

Moderators
avatar for Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold

Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold is the Director of Education and Spiritual Enrichment at Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. She previously served as the Education and Ritual Director at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago. Rachel is a board member for BJEC (Bronfman Jewish Education Centre) and a member of the Editorial Board of the JOFA Journal. She received her B.A. in Religion from Boston University... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet

Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet

Founder and Director, Eden Center
Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet is the Founder and Director of the Eden Center in Jerusalem, a non-profit organization that has become a driving force in creating a paradigm shift to turn mikveh into more than just a ritual location. Under Naomi's leadership, Eden is  working to empower women around mikveh and enhance its connection to women's health, well-being and intimacy education. She holds a Ph.D... Read More →
avatar for Ariele Mortkowitz

Ariele Mortkowitz

Director, The Agam Center @ Mikvah Chaim
Ariele has been a volunteer mikvah guide in the Washington DC area for over twelve years. Through her work, she has seen how mikvah can help people in their spiritual journeys and create a space for personal connections. She created The Agam Center at the Ohev Sholom synagogue in 2016 as an expansion of what a mikvah can mean to a community; providing opportunities for connection, support, and education around issues that arise in the intimate... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Roone Cinema

2:50pm

Mekudeshet? Alternative Models to Kiddushin
This session will explore the ritual act of Kiddushin, the most fundamental act that takes place under the Huppah. We will explore the creation of the ritual, and the repercussions for Jewish, Israeli, and American law. We will articulate some of the difficulties surrounding kiddushin in our present moment and explore different solutions that have been posed and what innovations are currently being utilized. 

Moderators
avatar for Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen is a past president of JOFA.  She is a managing director at Credit Suisse and serves on the Board of Princeton University’s Hillel.  She lives in Teaneck with her three children.

Speakers
avatar for Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Director of Education, North America, The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Rabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University. Rabba Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has... Read More →
avatar for Yedidah Koren

Yedidah Koren

Yedidah Koren is a PHD student in Talmud at Tel-Aviv University, currently writing her dissertation on lineage and illegitimate persons in Rabbinic literature. Her MA thesis, completed at Tel-Aviv University, dealt with the category of the "foreskinned Jew" in Rabbinic literature. Yedidah is also a junior research fellow at the Hartman Institute. She has been a faculty member of Yeshivat Hadar, the Drisha Institute and the Paideia institute... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman

Yeshivat Hadar
R. Aviva Richman is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar where she teaches Talmud and Halakhah and directs the winter learning seminar.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Aviva studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and received ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes in Jerusalem. Particular interests include Halakhah, gender and sexuality in Judaism and niggunim. A Wexner fellow, Aviva is currently pursuing a doctorate in... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Room 555

2:50pm

From Freedom to Liberty: Navigating the Hazards of Power
The journey of Israel from Egypt to Sinai is fraught with hazards and threat, both internal and external. The challenges and responses of Israel teach us about the essentials of Freedom, Law and Responsibility. Will Israel learn the wrong lessons from Egypt?

Moderators
MZ

Miriam Zussman

Miriam Zussman is a managing director at Jennison Associates, where she manages bond-investment portfolios. She holds an M.B.A. from New York University.

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Founder and Rosh Beit Midrash, Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem
Rabbi Herzl Hefter is the founder and Rosh Beit Midrash of The Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, a beit midrash for advanced rabbinic studies for men and women. In June of 2015, the beit midrash was the first to grant orthodox smikha to men and women together.  Rabbi Hefter is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he learned under the tutelage of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveichick זצ”ל. He received smikha from Rav Aharon... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Room 569

2:50pm

Was I Asking You? Feminism, Leadership, & Rabbinic Authority
Dr. Tova Hartman and Rabbi Ethan Tucker will explore the relationship between feminism and the concepts of leadership and rabbinic authority. They will address the dynamics at play in differing modern responses such as Maharat and Halakhic egalitarian minyanim, among others, and perspectives on what the relationship could and should look like.

Moderators
avatar for Susan Weidman Schneider

Susan Weidman Schneider

​Susan Weidman Schneider is Editor-in-Chief of Lilith magazine, and one of its founding mothers. She is the author of three acclaimed books, among them the groundbreaking Jewish and Female. Her writing in Lilith includes innovative reports on Jewish women’s philanthropy, the Jewish stake in reproductive rights, the persistent negative stereotypes of Jewish women, the cost of women's silence, and much more. Among her awards: a... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Tova Hartman

Dr. Tova Hartman

Tova Hartman is the Dean of Humanities at the Kiryat Ono Academic College. She was formerly Professor of Gender Studies and Education at Bar Ilan University. She is the author of Appropriately Subversive, Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism, and Are You Not a Man Of God? Devotion, Betrayal and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition. She is a founder of Kehillat Shira Hadasha.
avatar for Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Co-Founder and Rosh Yeshiva, Mechon Hadar
Rabbi Ethan Tucker is co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan also directs Mechon Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values. Previously, 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 doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 3:35pm
Party Space

2:50pm

Educational Cohort

Alan Silverman, Director of Moshava Indian Orchard, will share Moshava’s two-year process in which lay leadership, administration, families, rabbis, teachers, and various stakeholders learned, discussed, and proactively educated themselves and determined how to include gay members in the Moshava community. Dr. Mark Shinar, Administrator of SAR High School, will share SAR’s similar process in a school setting. In the morning, participants will join all of the conference attendees in choosing their own sessions on a variety of topics.



Moderators
avatar for Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein

Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein

Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein (Sunnie) is a Jewish educator who has worked in all venues and with all ages for over forty years. Sunnie especially loves bringing texts of our legacy, contemporary issues and the people who confront them together and has worked in doing this regarding a wide array of concerns, including women's issues, inclusion of LGBTQ Jews, learning differences and multiple-modality learning, environmental sustainability and... Read More →
avatar for Tikvah Wiener

Tikvah Wiener

co-Founder and Director, I.D.E.A. Schools Network
Tikvah Wiener is co-Founder and Director of the I.D.E.A. Schools Network, which helps schools implement project-based learning (PBL). She’s been in Jewish education for over 20 years and is also Chief Academic Officer at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn, NY, where she oversees General Studies and works with faculty across disciplines to implement PBL. Tikvah is passionate about making learning relevant and meaningful for... Read More →

Speakers
DM

Dr. Mark Shinar

Dr. Mark Shinar, the director of general studies at SAR, will be making aliyah this summer to embark on an educational adventure with the founding of a new groundbreaking school. Dr. Shinar has been part of the SAR Academy family for over a decade, where he began his career in 1999 teaching fifth grade general studies and eighth grade English. From 2003 to 2009, he brushed up his school administrative skills when he and his family relocated to... Read More →
avatar for Alan Silverman

Alan Silverman

Director, Camp Moshava & the Torah Va’Avodah Institute
Alan Silverman, M.S.Ed. has been the director of Camp Moshava & the Torah Va’Avodah Institute for 31 years. He served for five years as Director of Education, Development and Training of Bnei Akiva of North America. For 14 years, he worked as a teacher and -- subsequently -- as the Principal of Secular Studies for the elementary and middle schools of S.A.R. Academy in Riverdale, NY. He worked on a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction... Read More →
avatar for Tikvah Wiener

Tikvah Wiener

co-Founder and Director, I.D.E.A. Schools Network
Tikvah Wiener is co-Founder and Director of the I.D.E.A. Schools Network, which helps schools implement project-based learning (PBL). She’s been in Jewish education for over 20 years and is also Chief Academic Officer at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn, NY, where she oversees General Studies and works with faculty across disciplines to implement PBL. Tikvah is passionate about making learning relevant and meaningful for... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 2:50pm - 5:30pm
West Ramp

3:50pm

Are Tallit and Tefillin Only for Men?
Today many women sit in the sukkah, shake the lulav, hear the shofar and recite the Shma- all mitzvot from which they are exempt- and yet it is still considered taboo in the Modern Orthodox world for a woman to wear either a tallit of tefillin. Why are these two mitzvot treated so differently from the rest? Do the issues surrounding them just stem from social discomfort or is there a halakhic difference that sets tallit and tefillin apart from the rest of the time-caused mitzvot? Is there room for future development with regards to women’s practice of these mitzvot? In this session these issues will be examined and discussed by studying sources from the Talmud through to modern legal Rabbinic literature.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rav Rahel Berkovits

Rav Rahel Berkovits

Rahel Berkovits is a senior lecturer in Mishnah, Talmud and halakha, at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching for almost twenty years. She created and teaches a course on women’s participation in Jewish ritual and another course on sexual ethics. Rahel writes articles and lectures widely in both Israel and abroad on topics concerning women and Jewish law, and recently published the book “A... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
East Ramp

3:50pm

New Models of Women's Leadership in the Syrian Jewish Community
When it comes to women's leadership in the Jewish world, headlines are often focused on new forms of ritual involvement and professional titles.  This session will focus on models of leadership in communities where female Rabbis or new rituals (such as "partnership minyanim") are not part of the discussion.  We will explore questions on the emergence of alternate leadership roles in these communities and the ways in which they have developed, been sustained and continue to progress.  As a model, we will look to one particular community - the Syrian Jewish community - to better understand these issues and questions.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Mijal Bitton

Mijal Bitton

Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Mijal Bitton is a faculty member and Doctoral Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. She is a Doctoral candidate at New York University as an Avichai Fellow, where she is studying the experience of contemporary Sephardic communities in the United States. Through her fellowship research and teaching, Mijal is interested in exploring new paradigms of Jewish identity for diverse Jewish populations and expanding normative... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Room 568

3:50pm

Town Hall Meeting

Struggling with internal and external politics: How should or shouldn't JOFA respond to our current political climate? This session marks JOFA's first town hall meeting. As a grassroots organization, we want to hear from you and be available to answer questions about JOFA's next steps in our ever-changing society. We are specifically seeking JOFA constituent's input about how far JOFA should go when it comes to areas that JOFA has not historically been involved in, including such items as one's right to an abortion.


Moderators
DS

Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg

Sharon Weiss-Greenberg is the Executive Director of JOFA.  She was recently named by the Jewish Forward as a "Forward 50" Jew of influence and by the Jewish Week as a person to watch as a "36 Under 36" honoree. Previously, Sharon served as the Director of Recruitment at Yeshivat Maharat,  Rosh Moshava at Camp Stone, co-director of the Orthodox Union JLIC at Harvard Hillel and as the first Orthodox woman chaplain at Harvard University... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen

Judy Heicklen is a past president of JOFA.  She is a managing director at Credit Suisse and serves on the Board of Princeton University’s Hillel.  She lives in Teaneck with her three children.
avatar for Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Termed “The Orthodox Sex Guru” by a recent profile in the NY Times, Bat Sheva Marcus, is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health. One of the largest centers of its kind in the US, the center is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues.  Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA., She... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Party Space

3:50pm

University of Change: A Campus Perspective on Orthodox Feminism
What makes campus communities different from other Orthodox communities? What types of opportunities are available for students on campuses that do not exist elsewhere? What role do campus clergy and Hillel staff play for students? How do students' campus experiences shape their lives in Orthodox communities after college? Learn the answers to these questions and more through a panel conversation with Rabbi Noam Friedman, JLI Rabbi of Columbia / Barnard Hillel and Nataly Weiss, Director of Binghamton Hillel. 

Moderators
Speakers
RN

Rabbi Noam Friedman

Rabbi Noam Friedman is the OU-JLIC Rabbi at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, where he has been serving since 2013. He spent two years in Israel studying at Yeshivat Torat Shraga and Yeshivat Har Etzion, and studied at Yeshiva University for a BA in psychology, an MA in medieval Jewish history, and rabbinic ordination. A former Tikvah Fellow, he has also spent many summers on staff at Camp Moshava in Indian Orchard, PA. 
NW

Nataly Weiss

Nataly Weiss is the Director of Hillel at Binghamton University. She is a graduate of the University of Hartford and is a Masters candidate in Jewish Studies at Touro College. Prior to working at Binghamton, Nataly served as the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC) educator at Rutgers University. In this position sponsored by the Orthodox Union, Nataly developed Jewish learning and other substantive opportunities for Rutgers... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Multi-Purpose Room

3:50pm

"What's Your PGP?" Transitioning in the Orthodox Community
The Jewish people are a big family with a highly diverse membership. This session will present an opportunity for us to engage in better understanding transgender Jews from three vantage points, the personal, the communal and the halachic. Our hope is that this conversation can lead to a path of greater welcoming and communal inclusion toward these members of our family. 

Moderators
avatar for Rachael Fried, LMSW, MFA

Rachael Fried, LMSW, MFA

Originally from Fairfield, CT, Rachael Fried is now the Assistant Director of JQY (Jewish Queer Youth), a non-profit organization that supports and empowers LGBTQ youth from Orthodox homes. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design in Transdisciplinary Design. Rachael spends her summers at Camp Nesher, where she has been a Division Head, Program... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox

Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox

Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat Maharat
Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat, was the first graduate of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.  Upon graduation he served as the Rabbi of Kehilat Kesher: The Community Synagogue of Tenafly and Englewood for seven years.  In Rabbi Fox’s tenure at Kesher, the community grew three-fold from thirty families to nearly one hundred.  During that time Rabbi Fox also taught at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah as well as the... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Hyim Shafner

Rabbi Hyim Shafner

Rabbi, Bais Abraham Congregation
Rabbi Hyim Shafner, LCSW, is the rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri.   Prior to Bais Abraham he was the Rabbi of the Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis and the Rabbi of India for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.  He has S’micha, an MSW in social work and an MA in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University.   Rabbi Shafner is the author of the Everything Jewish Wedding... Read More →
avatar for Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith

Yiscah Smith is a spiritual activist who speaks to the spiritual dimension of authentic living. As one who transitioned from a Chabad man to an observant woman, she presents topics in an accessible and vivid style, from both a personal and a text-based perspective. Yiscah lives in Jerusalem and teaches at Pardes and the Conservative Yeshiva on Jewish spirituality. In her private practice she provides spiritual guidance for authentic living. She... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Satow Room

3:50pm

Rabbi? Doctor? Rabbinic Authority and Pastoral Care: Conflict of Interest or Therapeutic Synergy

How does a woman decide whether to consult a rabbi or a therapist? What should she expect from a pastoral encounter as compared to a psychotherapy session? What should our community require from clergy, educators and policy makers by way of pastoral training and policies that safeguard appropriate boundaries?


Speakers
avatar for Dr. Michelle Friedman

Dr. Michelle Friedman

Michelle Friedman is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice, the chair of Pastoral Counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabinnical School (YCT) and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. A graduate of Barnard College, NYU School of Medicine and The Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, Dr. Friedman has been involved in bridging... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rachel Yehuda

Dr. Rachel Yehuda

Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Mental Health Patient Care Center at the James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital, both in New York City. She founded and directed the Specialized Treatment Program for Holocaust Survivors and their Offspring from 1993-2005. Over her 25 year career, she has published several hundred papers and compiled... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Room 569

3:50pm

What Say You? Interactive Session on Mikveh

In recent years, mikvaot have become complicated sites of communal anxiety and resistance to abuses of rabbinic power. This session will provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions, share experiences, and reinvision the way mikvaot function in communal settings. 


Moderators
avatar for Rabbi Mia Smiring

Rabbi Mia Smiring

Rabbi Mia Simring is New York City-based Conservative rabbi with ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  She has focused on pastoral care and counseling and practiced chaplaincy at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai Hospitals.  She is excited about the intersection between pastoral care, active listening, and ritual experiences. Mia is an ImmerseNYC Rabbinic Fellow.

Speakers
MD

Maharat Dasi Fruchter

Maharat Hadas (Dasi) Fruchter thrives on spiritual leadership, vibrant Torah learning and teaching, and community building. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Maharat Fruchter was ordained by Yeshivat Maharat in June of 2016. She graduated summa cum laude from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, and completed an M.P.A. in Non-Profit Administration and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Tessler Lopatin

Rachel Tessler Lopatin

Rachel Tessler Lopatin grew up in West Bloomfield, MI, and has a BA in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan and an MSW from Columbia University and an MA in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She worked as the year round Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in the Poconos and the Program Director of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Rachel is married to Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who served as the Rabbi of Anshe Sholom... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:35pm
Broadway

3:50pm

Northern Exposure: Agunah in Canada (90 minutes)
This panel brings together academics and activists to expose how Canadian experiences of divorce are distinctive and differ from the US and Israel. From facts on the ground to hard questions, from civil court to beit din, from challenges to best practices; this is the human face of the Agunah in Canada.

Moderators
avatar for Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin is a Clinical Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School and the Founding Director of the Program on Leadership at the Heyman Center for Corporate Governance.  She is also the Special Advisor to the Dean and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School.  Previously, Michelle served as Dean of Students at Columbia Law School.  Michelle teaches in the areas of transactional law, negotiation, and leadership. Prior to... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Deidre Butler

Dr. Deidre Butler

Director, Carleton University, Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies
Dr. Deidre Butler is Director of the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Studies specialist in the Religion program at Carleton University. She researches and teaches at the intersections of religion, gender, sexuality, and Jewish thought as well as Limmud Ottawa’s fearless academic advisor.
avatar for Professor Norma Baumel Joseph

Professor Norma Baumel Joseph

Norma Baumel Joseph, Professor, teaches in the Department of Religion of Concordia University, Montreal. She supervises the Women and Religion specialization and is an Associate of the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Jewish law and gender and is currently working on an anthropological study of food, identity and gender. In 2002, she edited a collection on gender and food in... Read More →
avatar for Betina Appel Kuzmarov

Betina Appel Kuzmarov

Professor Betina Appel Kuzmarov is the Associate Dean (Students and Enrolment) in the Faculty of Public Affairs and she researches and teaches at the intersections of religion, law (international law) and culture in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University.
avatar for Yael Machtinger

Yael Machtinger

Yael Machtinger is a PhD Candidate in Socio-Legal Studies, at York University, Canada. She has been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship twice, and most recently has been funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, and the Religion and Diversity Project Fellowship. Yael’s Doctorate exploring religion and law, examines get refusal in Toronto and New York, relying on socio-legal literatures dealing with... Read More →
avatar for Diane Sasson

Diane Sasson

Diane Sasson has focused her career on human rights and social change. She was President of Women’s Federation CJA in Montreal from 1992-1994 when her efforts were focused on women’s issues in the Jewish Community. In 1995, she became Executive Director of Auberge Shalom pour femmes until August 2016. Auberge Shalom is a centre for abused women and their children dedicated to ending the cycle of violence... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 5:20pm
Roone Cinema

3:50pm

Blurred Boundaries: Post Orthodoxy (90 minutes)
While there have been ongoing debates between rabbinic Orthodox leaders in regard to who is in and who is out, the next generation does not seem to care for labels in the same way. This panel will offer a thoughtful and provacative conversation about the new trend in the Jewish community for those who may observe Judaism in various manners, but are not interested in being labeled on denominational lines. How have affiliations been useful in our community and are they becoming passe?


Moderators
avatar for Dr. Yonatan Brafman

Dr. Yonatan Brafman

Dr. Yonatan Brafman is assistant professor of Jewish Thought and Ethics and the director of the MA Program in Jewish Ethics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His research focuses on the intersection of Jewish thought, Jewish law, and contemporary moral and legal philosophy. He also studies the implications of religious practice for critical social theory and praxis. | | He has published or has forthcoming articles on these topics in... Read More →

Speakers
RS

Rabbi Shmuel Hain

Rabbi Shmuel Hain was appointed Rabbi of Young Israel  Ohab  Zedek of North Riverdale/Yonkers in 2006.  In addition to his work as a pulpit Rabbi, Rabbi Hain is    an  educator and scholar. As Rosh Beit Midrash at SAR  High  School, he  directs the Beit Midrash Fellowship  and    teaches advanced Judaic  Studies classes. Rabbi Hain previously served as Rosh Beit Midrash of... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Dr. Shai Held

Rabbi Dr. Shai Held

Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Rabbi Dr. Shai Held--theologian, scholar, and educator-- is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas.  Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel.  A 2011... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer

Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer

President, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is the President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, the value of the Jewish past to the Jewish present, and questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda leads the efforts of the Institute across the North American Jewish communal landscape, and teaches widely in the Institute's many platforms for rabbis, lay... Read More →
DW

Dena Weiss

Dena Weiss is rosh beit midrash at Mechon Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash and Hasidut. Dena earned a BA in Religious Studies from New York University and an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Mima'amakim journal of Jewish... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 3:50pm - 5:20pm
Room 555

4:50pm

Feminist Performance Art
Speakers
JD

Jina Davidovich

Jina Davidovich holds a BA in English Literature, with focuses in Poetry and Women's Studies from Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. During her tenure at Stern, Jina had the opportunity to participate in the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance's (JOFA) On-Campus Fellowship. In the year after her graduation, Jina was selected to participate in Drisha's Beit Midrash program and Arts Fellowship. She has presented her poetry at the Bowery... Read More →
GD

Glaser Drive

GLASER DRIVE is a New York based Americana / Folk / Rock band comprised of sisters Faige, Chaya, Eden & Doren Glaser, and Elly Geldwerth, Erik Naslund & David Keesey.  The sisters have been singing together for as long as they can remember.  They compose, arrange and perform original Americana/Folk/Rock harmony-driven music, drawing from the roots of their musical heritage. San Diego, where the girls were raised, was a place... Read More →
avatar for Talia Lakritz

Talia Lakritz

Talia Lakritz is a journalist, singer/songwriter, and digital content creator known as "nerdwithavoice" on YouTube. She works as a human interest reporter at INSIDER, the lifestyle branch of Business Insider. She earned a degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Barnard College, where she served as the College's official songwriter lovingly nicknamed the "Barnard Balladeer." Her outspoken videos about feminism and LGBTQ... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 4:50pm - 5:35pm
Party Space

4:50pm

What You Told Us: Results From The First-Ever JOFA Member Survey
A recent JOFA member survey explored members’ top needs and priorities, to identify the most critical initiatives at this time. What are they, and why? Hear what JOFA members told us about the initiatives and where they feel we are headed.

Moderators
avatar for Beth Hait

Beth Hait

Beth Hait is a psychotherapist in private practice in Manhattan. She received a Master’s degree in Counseling from Brooklyn College, a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from Columbia University and a doctorate from the Azrieli graduate school of Yeshiva University.  Her doctoral dissertation was on the topic of “The Relationship Between Role Models in Education and the Religiosity and Spirituality of Emerging Adults&rdquo... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Mark Trencher

Mark Trencher

Mark Trencher had a 40-year executive business career before founding Nishma Research, which conducts marketing research in the Jewish community. He has held many Jewish lay leadership positions, including presidencies at a day school, synagogue, kashrut organization, Israel media advocacy organization and a series of Jewish film festivals. Nishma recently conducted on a pro bono basis the first-ever... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 4:50pm - 5:35pm
East Ramp

4:50pm

KayamaMoms: Thinkers, Tryers, Pregnant, Mother
This closed session is strictly for single women who are part of the 'Single Mother By Choice' demographic (women who become mothers outside of romantic partnering). If you are thinking of having a baby on your own, are trying to become pregnant, pregnant or a single mom by choice already, this session is for you to come to ask questions, listen and support each other in a confidential forum.

Speakers
avatar for Yael Ukeles

Yael Ukeles

Co-Founder/Director, KayamaMoms
Yael Ukeles, who made Aliyah from NYC since 1996, worked in the tech world as a UI designer and product marketing manager. In 2002, she founded/directed Derech Hateva, providing Jewish outdoor educational programs in Israel. In 2010, Yael founded KayamaMoms with Dr. Dvori Ross and Dina Pinner to create a supportive community for Jewish Single Mothers by Choice. Ms. Ukeles was an ATID Fellow focusing on experiential education and taught at the Eco... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 4:50pm - 5:35pm
Room 568

4:50pm

Feminism, Halakha and Homosexuality: Some Reflections on the Interactions Between Them in a Globalized Age
Does religious feminism entail advancing the cause of homosexual inclusion in the Orthodox community?  Are there halakhic red-lines for JOFA regarding this issue?  Linking feminist, halakhic and LGBT interests is symptomatic of an age of globalization, social media and mass communication that, in addition to breaking down gender binaries, promotes a blurring of distinctions at large.  Beyond its theological significance, this development contributes to a shift in the balance of power between poskim and their intended audiences and places a new burden of responsibility on grassroots initiatives. 

Moderators
avatar for Rabbi Steven Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is the co-Director of Eshel, a support, education and advocacy organization for LGBT Orthodox Jews and their families. He is on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and the author of Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition. Steve currently lives with his partner... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Tamar Ross

Dr. Tamar Ross

Dr. 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... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 4:50pm - 5:35pm
Satow Room

4:50pm

The Joy of Text Live: LIVE RECORDING

Come join us for a LIVE recording of The Joy of Text! The Joy of Text is a podcast about Judaism, sexuality, and the intersection of the two. Co-hosted by Rabbi Dov Linzer and Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus and moderated by Rabba Ramie Smith, this podcast features in-depth conversations by rabbinic and medical experts about subjects that you’ll almost never hear discussed anywhere else, even online. Guest: Naomi Grumet


Speakers
avatar for Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet

Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet

Founder and Director, Eden Center
Dr. Naomi Marmon Grumet is the Founder and Director of the Eden Center in Jerusalem, a non-profit organization that has become a driving force in creating a paradigm shift to turn mikveh into more than just a ritual location. Under Naomi's leadership, Eden is  working to empower women around mikveh and enhance its connection to women's health, well-being and intimacy education. She holds a Ph.D... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbi Dov Linzer is the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and holds the Norman and Tova Bulow Rosh HaYeshiva Chair. He is the primary architect of YCT’s groundbreaking curriculum of Torah, Halakha, pastoral counseling and professional training. He teaches regular classes in advanced Talmud, advanced Halakha and the thought of Modern Orthodoxy, and serves as a religious guide to the yeshiva’s  34... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Termed “The Orthodox Sex Guru” by a recent profile in the NY Times, Bat Sheva Marcus, is one of the founders and the Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health. One of the largest centers of its kind in the US, the center is dedicated to helping women with a wide variety of sexual issues.  Bat Sheva earned her PhD in Human Sexuality at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, CA., She... Read More →
avatar for Rabba Ramie Smith

Rabba Ramie Smith

Rabba Ramie Smith is a graduate of Yeshiva University with a BA in English communications with emphases in television writing and public relations and a focus in Women's Studies. She worked as an intern and freelance production assistant at Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. She taught with Manhattan College's Inside Outside program teaching Criminal Justice Ethics on Rikers Island. Combining her training at Maharat with her experience... Read More →


Sunday January 15, 2017 4:50pm - 5:35pm
Broadway

5:50pm

Maariv
Sunday January 15, 2017 5:50pm - 6:05pm
TBA