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Saturday, January 13

8:45pm PST

Hanna's Journey
Ambitious Berliner Hanna decides that if she is going to succeed in business, she will need some volunteer service on her resume. She heads to Israel to work with disabled Jews, cynically saying, “Helping Jews always gets you points, and disabled Jews count double.” Probing the effects of the Holocaust’s looming shadow on third-generation Israelis and Germans, the film deftly weaves the personal and the political, illustrating how they are inextricably linked.

avatar for Seattle Jewish Film Festival

Seattle Jewish Film Festival

Founded in 1995, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) is an annual, 10-day, and year-round cinematic exploration and celebration of global Jewish and Israeli life, history, complexity, culture, and film for everyone. SJFF is the largest and most highly anticipated Jewish event... Read More →

Saturday January 13, 2018 8:45pm - 10:00pm PST
Highlander (North)
Sunday, January 14

8:45am PST

Beneath the Layers of Sephardic Jewish History
Sephardic Jews began in Spain (Sepharad), where many came after the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem. Muslims took over Spain in 711: a good period for Jews. The Christians brought hardships, including forced conversion and later expulsion. After waves of emigration, a few young Turkish Jews ultimately made their way to US cities such as Seattle, where the community grew rapidly until the stricter 1920s immigration laws. Explore the journeys of groups from Tekirdag, Rhodes, and Marmar and their descendants, to the founding of synagogues Ezra Bessaroth and Sephardic Bikur Holim.

avatar for Eugene Normand

Eugene Normand

Dr. Eugene Normand, a recognized aerospace engineer, has been involved with Jewish institutions for more than four decades (Chicago and Seattle). He has served as the President of the Seattle Hebrew Academy and Chair of the Education Committee of Northwest Yeshiva High School. He... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 8:45am - 10:00am PST
McAleer (South)

8:45am PST

A Virtual Tour of Jewish Seattle
Washington's Jewish history began around the 1850's—mostly not in Seattle. However, as Seattle grew, so did its Jewish population. The first wave of Jewish population were German Jews, followed by the Eastern Europeans and then the Sephardim. This presentation will take a virtual tour of institutions that reflected Seattle's growth into the mid-20th century.

avatar for Linda Elman

Linda Elman

Teacher, Temple de Hirsch Sinai
Linda Elman is a native Seattleite who attended the Seattle Hebrew Day School and graduated from Garfield High School. She left town for college, and it took her 18 years to get back to the Northwest and 36 to get back to Seattle. Linda was a school district data guru, and now teaches... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 8:45am - 10:00am PST
Cromwell (South)

10:15am PST

Should Jews Seek Converts? Exploring the Boundary Between Hospitality and Proselytizing
In the ancient world, rabbis and Jews actively proselytized. Many modern Jews are surprised to learn this. Jewish Shabbat table fellowship was greatly admired by pagans of the ancient world. I will discuss texts on the role of "modern Shabbat table fellowship" and newer understandings of Jewish traditions of hospitality. What are the limits and opportunities of Shabbat hospitality? How do Christian hospitality traditions differ from Jewish traditions? I will share some of the things we have learned in Panim Hadashot and its mission to revitalize Shabbat hospitality.

avatar for Dov Gartenberg

Dov Gartenberg

Convener, Panim Hadashot
Rabbi Dov Gartenberg is the Convener and Director of Panim Hadashot—New Faces. Rabbi Dov has been practicing Shabbat and Jewish hospitality from his college days. He loves to convene people to experience Shabbat joy, singing together, learning together, and improving the world... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am PST
Ballinger (South)

10:15am PST

Tell Me a Story: Children of Holocaust Survivors Take on Their Legacy
Who will testify when survivors cannot? Children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are telling the stories of their legacy in classrooms of our state. The Holocaust Center for Humanity has worked with the children and grandchildren of survivors to help them research and share their family histories. In this session Michal Lotzkar and Naomi Newman, children of survivors, and Ingrid Steppic, child of Righteous Among the Nations, will offer a look into the process of uncovering their parents' stories, finding documents, and the challenge of confronting their family histories to become classroom witnesses. Learn of the work of Legacy Speakers in the Pacific Northwest, featuring video/audio presentations.

avatar for Laurie Warshal Cohen

Laurie Warshal Cohen

Laurie Warshal Cohen, EdD, Holocaust Center for Humanity, developed and taught an award-winning Holocaust literature class at Seattle Central Community College, where she was a faculty member for 32 years. She served as Co-Executive Director of the Holocaust Center from 2002 to 2012... Read More →

avatar for Michal Lotzkar

Michal Lotzkar

Michal Lotzkar’s father, Arieh Engelberg, was caught up in the partitioning of Eastern Europe when the Nazis invaded his home country of Poland in 1939. After moving into Soviet territory, the family was exiled to Siberian labor camps during the war. Using primary sources, maps... Read More →
avatar for Naomi Newman

Naomi Newman

Naomi is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. She tells the stories of both of her parents with details from primary source documents and historical records. Their survival is truly remarkable. Naomi calls her story, “Resilience: My Family Story.” She gathered all the documents... Read More →
avatar for Ingrid Steppic

Ingrid Steppic

Born during World War II in Holland, some of Ingrid Kanis Steppic’s earliest memories include the Canadian liberation of her town and her father’s return from Dachau. As a Legacy Speaker with the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Speakers Bureau, Ingrid shares with students and... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am PST
Hamlin (South)

10:15am PST

Levinas and the Talmud: Understanding the Concept of Infinite Obligation
According to the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, ‘‘Everything begins with the right of the other man and with my infinite obligation toward him." This "difficult condition" became the basis for his definition of Judaism in his writings. Levinas finds a concrete example of this fairly radical worldview in the Talmud. We'll explore the Talmudic text and how Levinas makes sense of it, and how this challenge for Judaism can serve as a deeply appealing view of our moral universe.

avatar for Marc Cohen

Marc Cohen

Marc A. Cohen is an Associate Professor at Seattle University with a shared appointment in the Department of Management and the Department of Philosophy. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and, prior to joining Seattle University, worked in the... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am PST
Aurora (South)

10:15am PST

Chagall Was Not Alone: Jews, Art, and Change In Revolutionary Russia…and Now
Marc Chagall was a very significant artist, but he did not stand alone, nor did his styles emerge from nowhere. Learn about the influences of radical universalist art movements, cooperation, fertile imaginations, and the radically important work of Jewish artists, including Chagall, at the intersections of Jewish culture, modernity, and the Russian Revolution—and discuss whether the cultural, artistic, and political revolution represented by these artists intersects with our own times.

avatar for Rainer Waldman Adkins

Rainer Waldman Adkins

Rainer Waldman Adkins is a Hebrew calligrapher, draughtsman, painter, muralist, and printmaker, with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington. Artworks by Rainer are highly visible at Congregation Beth Shalom and the Kline Galland Home. He is the Program/Art... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am PST
McAleer (South)

1:15pm PST

Bridging Cultures: The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng
What can an almost-extinct Jewish community teach contemporary Jews? Often cited as a cautionary tale about the dangers of assimilation, in fact, the Kaifeng Jewish community has survived for over 1000 years by blending Jewish and Chinese cultures, just as Jews have done in every age and place. Come and explore their history, and learn about the community in its heyday and the current crackdown against them. More significantly, we will discuss what we post-Holocaust Jews can learn from their ideas about G-d and Torah, and the question of what constitutes Jewish identity.

avatar for Anson Laytner

Anson Laytner

Rabbi Anson Laytner retired from his position as program manager of the Interreligious Initiative at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry in 2015. He also was adjunct faculty with SU’s Department of Theology and Ministry. Prior to this he worked with a variety... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm PST
Cromwell (South)

2:45pm PST

Tsadiks and Socialists
Jewish immigrants were instrumental in the labor struggles at the turn of the 20th century, a force that has been termed the Jewish Labor Movement. Conventional wisdom understands this labor struggle to be secular in nature_x0097_even anti-religious. But is that true? In text and song, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell will lead an exploration of the religious character of the Jewish Labor Movement.

avatar for Mike Rothbaum

Mike Rothbaum

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum serves as rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, MA, and lives with his husband, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, in Concord. Rabbi Mike has received accolades for his achievements in religious school, B'nai Mitzvah, youth group, and camp settings. He has... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell

Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell

Eight years after making his professional operatic debut, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell is now a vocalist, composer, and arranger specializing in Yiddish art and folk song, chazones, and Chasidic nigunim. Inspired by the phenomena of diaspora culture, his work in traditional Ashkenazi... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm PST
Mr. Rainier (North)

2:45pm PST

Jews, America, and Politics—Examined through Primary Sources: Sometimes Inspiring, Sometimes Revolting, but Always Intertwined
For generations, our Jewish voice has been deeply intertwined with America’s politics and development—and built into the fabric of this country. We've stood as a moral voice, influencing presidents and the powerful, or we've fought to survive, pushing back against waves of bigotry and xenophobia. Our discussion will examine numerous important sources, some familiar, some that might shock. These foundational documents may even inspire us with the challenges of today’s political landscape. In a time when our politics are tested and strained, dive into American Jewish history and its incredible wealth of wisdom—and together learn from our past to enrich our future.

avatar for Jason Levine

Jason Levine

Rabbi Jason Levine serves as the associate rabbi at Temple Beth Am in North Seattle. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally from the Midwest, he studied neurobiology and behavior and Near Eastern studies at Cornell University before working in both... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm PST
Alumni (South)

2:45pm PST

Tanya on One Foot
Do you have conflicting desires and emotions? How can you determine what you really want out of life? Come explore the wisdom of the Kabbalah. It is waiting to help you overcome barriers to self-fulfillment. Through the lens of the Tanya, a book written by the first Chabad Rebbe in 1796, we will dig deep into the human psyche. This is no ordinary self-help lecture; it will provide you with the perspective to understand who you are and what you can become. No previous Jewish experience or knowledge is needed—come chart a new course for a life filled with purpose, all in 75 minutes. Can’t beat that, can you?

avatar for Shnai Levitin

Shnai Levitin

Shnai Levitin was born and raised in Seattle and left for Yeshiva at age 14. After spending some time studying in Detroit, New York, and Israel, he then received his rabbinic ordination in Israel. He moved back to Seattle three years ago with his wife and children to establish Chabad... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm PST
Aurora (South)

4:15pm PST

On Our Doorposts—Never Forget! A New Mezuzah
We are exhorted to remember Torah teaching on our doorposts and our eyes...to teach, pray, remember, and share with the future. Mezuzah scrolls and covers are critical to Jewish life. If the traditional mezuzah represents our commitment to Torah commandments and values, how can we create a second kind of mezuzah to remind us to honor the courage and resilience of survivors of the Shoah? We will discuss and create a mezuzah and cover as an endless physical, spiritual, moral reminder of the Shoah. There will be a wide variety of materials to work with.

avatar for sooze bloom deLeon grossman

sooze bloom deLeon grossman

Artist, educator, revolutionary bon vivant. Gardens of love, flowers and food, community, solidarity and learning, art and making...alchemy of co-creation lived in the splendid, amazing Now. My central spiritual practice is radical appreciation and gratitude. My primary life task... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 4:15pm - 5:30pm PST
Olympic (East)