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Social Justice [clear filter]
Saturday, January 13

8:45pm PST

Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Threats to Living with Safety and Dignity
The Jewish value of b’tzelem elohim (a biblical quote translated as "[Humans are created] in the Divine Image”) teaches us that every person’s life is sacred and deserving of safety and dignity. Across the country and here in Seattle, many refugees and immigrants are seeking these conditions as they face new threats to their rights. In this session, local leaders Will Berkovitz, CEO of Jewish Family Service, and Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, will shine a light on how recent changes in immigration and refugee policy affect our community. Learn about immigrant detention and deportation, the travel ban, the end of DACA, and Jewish teachings on this topic—and how to take a stand to help our community members and those in need of b'tzelem elohim.

avatar for Jorge Baron

Jorge Baron

Executive Director, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Jorge L. Baron has served as the Executive Director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) since April 2008, having previously worked as a staff attorney with the organization for two years. NWIRP is a nationally-recognized legal services organization dedicated solely to... Read More →
avatar for Will Berkovitz

Will Berkovitz

Rabbi Will Berkovitz is the CEO of Jewish Family Service, where he is responsible for the organization’s vision and strategic direction. His responsibilities include program oversight and mobilization of philanthropic, volunteer and advocacy support to meet the needs of vulnerable... Read More →

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

8:45am PST

Of Many: Multifaith Leadership on American Campuses
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Middle East violence and tension between Jewish and Muslim students on college campuses, this short documentary focuses on the surprising and transformative relationship between an Orthodox rabbi and an imam who serve as university chaplains in New York. We'll learn of communities struck by catastrophe where young religious Jews and Muslims work together and overcome long-standing divides. Timely and humorous, Of Many offers a hopeful narrative in the face of a seemingly irreconcilable conflict. Interfaith activist Chelsea Garbell, featured in the documentary, joins us for a talkback following the film.

avatar for Chelsea Garbell

Chelsea Garbell

Chelsea Garbell is an MPA candidate and Lisa Ellen Goldberg fellow in international policy and management at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. She previously served as a program coordinator for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Religion and Foreign... Read More →

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

8:45am PST

Cartooning a Split Jewish Identity: The Autobiographical Comics of Miriam Libicki
Nonfiction graphic novelist Miriam Libicki will read from her works on identity, politics, and Israel-diaspora relations, and encourage the audience to explore their own stereotype fears by leading them in drawing their own cartoon self-portraits.

avatar for Miriam Libicki

Miriam Libicki

Miriam Libicki is a graphic novelist living in Vancouver, Canada. Her short comics have been published by Alternate History Comics, Rutgers University Press, and the Journal of Jewish Identities, and her Israeli Army memoir jobnik! has been used in over a dozen university courses... Read More →

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

10:15am PST

Ferguson/Fargesn: Racism, Jewishness, and the Movement for Black Lives
In 1902, in a stuffy room on the Lower East Side, countless Jews testified to a local "Indignation Committee" about abuses suffered at the hands of New York City police officers. In our day, for perhaps the first time, many Americans are coming to terms with the abuses suffered by African Americans at the hands of our nation's criminal justice system. Are these experiences similar? Different? What are the implications for white Jews’ particular role in the struggle for racial justice?

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 →

Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am PST
Highlander (North)

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)

11:45am PST

Torah against Patriarchy: Men Confronting Toxic Masculinity in Jewish Culture
The Jewish community is not immune to misogyny or gender violence, made clear by accounts of the conduct of Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, and others, and last year by sexist and racist emails sent out by a Chicago AEPi chapter. The hard work of tikkun olam requires us, especially men, to recognize this oppression against women and hold each other accountable. But how? This session will explore the impact of toxic norms of masculinity in our Jewish spaces, along with texts and video stories about sexist dynamics in American Jewish culture and steps to change. How have Torah, anti-Semitism, assimilation, Zionism, and historical trauma shaped the present? Where can tradition point us to a better world? Primarily directed toward discussion among men, but all welcome

avatar for Jeremy Wood

Jeremy Wood

Jeremy is an attorney in Seattle. Before law school, he taught English and coexistence to youth living in Israel, and served as an Avodah Corps member, where he advocated for the care of youth living with HIV. There he provided sexual health education focused on empowering young people... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm PST
Alumni (South)

11:45am PST

Calling Each Other In
In our liberal, individualized dominant society, giving and receiving feedback can seem daunting. Learn some of what Jewish tradition has elevated in the practice of tochecha—the art and obligation of providing each other with critical feedback. We will look at sacred texts from Jewish tradition as well as some non-Jewish contemporary conversations on the topic before studying a case study in the world of racial justice activism. No prior knowledge is necessary, simply a desire to be more connected to Jewish teachings and a willingness to try to apply these teachings to issues in society today.

avatar for David Basior

David Basior

Rabbi David Basior serves as rabbi and education director at Kadima Reconstructionist Community, a 40-year-old progressive Jewish community meeting in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood. David has worked with and for a variety of Seattle’s Jewish communities—Hillel, Jconnect, and... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm PST
McAleer (South)

1:15pm PST

Jewish Values in Action: Responding to Rohingya Persecution in Burma
Since August, the Rohingya people, an ethnic minority in Burma (Myanmar), have suffered brutally, as soldiers burn their villages to the ground and indiscriminately massacre their men, women, and children. More than 620,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee by foot and boats to refugee camps in Bangladesh, joining 300,000 refugees already there. What should the Jewish response be? Hear from Alon Shalev, American Jewish World Service Executive Director of San Francisco & Western Region, on the latest from the area, their work to support the Rohingya, and how Jewish values guide AJWS initiatives there and in 19 other developing countries.

avatar for Alon Shalev

Alon Shalev

Social Justice Advocate
Alon Shalev is the executive director of American Jewish World Service-San Francisco and the Western Region (AJWS), where he works to broaden and deepen AJWS’s presence, manages major gifts fundraising campaigns and mobilizes supporters to promote human rights and end poverty in... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm PST
Highlander (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

Accountable Communities or What to Do When the #MeToo Meteor Hits
The #MeToo national phenomenon raises questions about Jewish community accountability. These observations from a thousand years ago resonate today: Rabbi Elazar said, "I would be surprised if there is anyone in this generation who is able to accept reproach." Rabbi Akiva answered, "I would be surprised if there is anyone in this generation who knows how to give reproach." Supporting survivors and holding accountable those doing harm doesn’t have to fracture communities. Explore a no-nonsense accountability framework that holds on to Jewish imperatives of community and connection, the dignity and safety of survivors, and the humanity of people who abuse power.

avatar for Connie Burk

Connie Burk

NW Network
Since 1997, Connie Burk has directed the NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse in Seattle, establishing the National LGBTQ Institute on IPV. She focuses particular attention on strengthening alliances among marginalized communities while centering liberation... Read More →

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

4:15pm PST

Following in Heschel’s Footsteps: White Jews Working for Racial Justice
It’s a beloved snapshot: Dr. King and other civil rights leaders march, arms linked, from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, accompanied by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. With racism in America increasingly revealed in new forms, Jews proudly recall this symbol of Jewish solidarity in the fight for civil rights—though many of us have never had to seriously grapple with racism beyond the sometimes intersecting context of anti-Semitism. What do today’s realities of racial violence and inequity require of us, as Jewish people, with our diverse histories and narratives of navigating oppression? Explore how we can work to understand and undo racism in ourselves and in our institutions, with Jewishness in heart and mind.

avatar for Talya Gillman

Talya Gillman

Talya Gillman (she/her) yearns for a world in which all people experience dignity, freedom, and a sense of interconnectedness. She develops service-learning programs and curricula, planting seeds for the kinds of qualities and skills that, when cultivated, enable us to be effective... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 4:15pm - 5:30pm PST
Highlander (North)

5:45pm PST

Songs of Freedom: A Concert and Celebratory Singalong
Let’s conclude Limmud Seattle on a high note (!). Come together to sing in celebration of freedom, justice, and unity with wonderful musicians and singers Anthony Russell, Josh Horowitz, Chava Mirel, TBD, our klezmer jam players, and Carl Sayres (also our concert producer).

avatar for Josh Horowitz

Josh Horowitz

Josh Horowitz is the director of the Budowitz klezmer ensemble and co-founder of the Veretski Pass klezmer trio. Performing on tsimbl (Yiddish dulcimer), 19th-century button accordion, and piano, he has recorded with numerous artists, including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Itzhak... Read More →
avatar for Jay Krulewitch

Jay Krulewitch

As a longtime Jewish musician, and as a historian and sociologist, Jay Krulewitch studied Jewish music for many years, along with playing it with his main Jewish group, the Klez Katz. He has enjoyed presenting interactive, participatory lectures on the history of Jewish music. It... Read More →
avatar for Chava Mirel

Chava Mirel

Chava Mirel is an internationally touring singer, guitarist, composer, recording artist, spiritual leader and activist. Performing in Folk, World Music, Jazz and other genres, she imbues her music with the universal themes of hope, caring, connection, inclusion, and womens and environmental... Read More →
avatar for Harvey Niebulski

Harvey Niebulski

Yiddish is Harvey's first language—sein mame loshen; it's extraordinarily colorful and remains his favorite. He grew up among Eastern European immigrants in the Bronx and enjoys speaking Yiddish whenever possible. Harvey plays klezmer music and sings and teaches Yiddish songs in... Read More →
avatar for Mai Li Pittard

Mai Li Pittard

Mai Li is 7 years new to the Yiddishist and Klezmer world since the start of their genre-busting neo vaudevillian cabaret punk-klezmer band, The Debaucherauntes. Winner of the 2017 KrechtsFactor Yiddish song competition and KlezKanada & Yiddish New York scholarships with a portfolio... 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 →
avatar for Carl Sayres

Carl Sayres

Carl Sayres is a composer of new Jewish liturgical music and is passionate about traditional Eastern European nusach and davening. Carl loves sharing this passion with individuals, groups, and congregations. He strives to involve congregations in innovative davening experiences such... Read More →

Sunday January 14, 2018 5:45pm - 6:15pm PST
Auditorium (North)