3:00 PM - Opening Festival Speakers (Phillips Hall) Gitta Ryle, Holocaust Survivor A Testimony of the Holocaust and How the World Responded
5:30 PM - Egalitarian Service (Phillips Hall) Rabbi Micah Hyman
6:00 PM - Mega-Shabbat - UU (Chumash Auditorium) Shabbat Dinner & Program with Chabad of Cal Poly/SLO Mega Shabbat is the signature Jewish event of the year at Cal Poly, bringing together the entire Jewish community. Join some 500 Mustangs, parents, locals & Alumni for a delightful Shabbat evening. Hors d’oeveres and Cocktail Hour Guest Speaker, Kiddush, Dinner and Dessert
SATURDAY MAY 18 (University Union - free parking at PAC lot. Check in at registration for conference room locations. All meals and keynotes in the Chumash) 8:30 AM Breakfast
Hiking and Torah Learning - Rabbi Micah Hyman Meet up location: UU side doors across from Spanos
Daycare Available (please indicate on registration)
11:30 AM General Session Keynote Speaker Hussein Aboubakr Mansour From Egyptian Refugee to Hebrew Language Professor Presented by Stand With Us
12: 30 PM Lunch Traditional Shabbat Lunch
Learning Block I, 1:30 - 3:00 PM A) Aaron Hahn Tapper and Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper: Who are my people? A co-facilitated session to explore participants' thoughts and feelings about shifting relationships and connections between Jewish groups and others, especially in light of of the changing political climate of the last two years. B) Intro to Kabbalah - Rabbi Chaim Hilel C) Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: A Girl’s Quest for Knowledge Turns into a Search For Justice - A Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Teri Kanefield D) Resilience in the Jewish Tradition - Rabbi Rachel Isaacs
Learning Block II, 3:15 - 4:30 PM A) Blessed is the Fruit of the Vine - Rabbi Micah Hyman and Stephen Lloyd-Moffett B) Talmud After Dark - Maggie Anton C) What should e know about the Hebrew Alphabet - Rabbi Dov Gottesfeld E) Easy Jewish Spiritual Practices to Increase Joy, Resilience, Contentment and Meaning In Your Life - Rabbi Rick Litvak
Seudat Shlishit Cocktail Hour and Dinner, 5:00PM - 8:00PM Offsite: TEMPLE NER SHALOM 875 Laureate Ln, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Join us for an evening Havdalah program beginning with cocktails and dinner. Rabbi Rachel Isaacs will lead and speak about small town Jewish life. Cocktail Hour Doors Open 5PM, Buffet Dinner, Speaker, Havdalah How to Make Small-Town Jewish Life Thrive: A Case Study - Rabbi Rachel Isaacs
SUNDAY MAY 19 (University Union - free parking at PAC lot. Check in at registration for conference room locations. All meals and keynotes in the Chumash) 8:00 AM Pre-Breakfast Yoga* with Om Shalom Zack Lodmer (*On lawn outside the Mott Auditorium, across the street from the UU) Bring your own mat. All levels welcome)
8:30 AM Breakfast
Learning Block III, 9:30 - 10:45 AM A) Rashi's Daughters, Way Ahead of Their Time - Maggie Anton B) Jewish Tools for Especially Stressful Moments - Len Felder, PhD C) SLO Jewish History: Visionaries, Leaders, and Community Builders - John Ashbaugh, Dan Krieger, Ph.D. & Abby Lassen, Moderator
Learning Block IV, 11 AM - 12:15 PM A) Jewish Magic from Talmudic Times: What it is and How it is still with us Today - Maggie Anton B) Spiritual Aspects of Intimate Relationships - Len Felder, PhD C) Making Jewish Life Meaningful for Your Family with Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper D) Offsite: Lab Tour of PolyGAIT, Center for Global Automatic Identification Technologies, and Rise of the StartUp Nation - Dr Tali Freed
12: 30 PM General Session Keynote Speaker and Lunch Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, Ph.D. Funny, You Don't Look Jewish! Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Jewish 'Other' Within
2:00 PM Festival Closing Please join us for a twenty minute Israeli folk dancing session led by Dr. Tali Freed, Joy Tuman and Gail Schwartz!
Friday Keynote: A Testimony of the Holocaust and How the World Responded Come hear Gitta Ryle share her experiences of being a frightened little Jewish girl during the Holocaust and constantly being uprooted and put into hiding in France. She also explains how she was able to rise above the hatred and anger that grew in her from her survival. “I've learned forgiveness,” Ryle has said. “If I held onto [the anger], the perpetrators win.” In addition to Ryle sharing her story, Judge Bruce Einhorn will speak on his career bringing many Nazis to trial and working to see justice prevail.
• Saturday Morning Services (Creative) - Rabbi Janice Mehring Join Rabbi Janice and Central Coast guitarist Adam Levine for a musical Shabbat morning. Our service will consist of song, chant and meditative moments along with a brief Torah study.
•Saturday Morning Shabbat Flow Yoga - Om Shalom Zack Lodmer Greet Shabbat morning with breath, music, community, and movement. No seats, no books, no stress. Dress in comfortable yoga clothes, bring your mat, a bottle of water, and a friend, and move through Shabbat morning in your unique, embodied prayer. Suitable for all levels.
• Hiking and Torah Learning - Rabbi Micah Hyman (Meet up at UU side doors across from Spanos) Song of Ascents: I lift my eyes to the mountains What do our Pslams/prayers say about hiking and the blessing of trailblazing? How can I bring the would of sanctuary/spirit into my outdoor life? Join us in an exploration of ancient texts in our blessed surroundings of Los Osos Valley. For all learning styles and all levels of hikers. No experience necessary. Bring good shoes.
Saturday Keynote: From Egyptian Refugee to Hebrew Professor Hussein Aboubakr Mansour was born in Cairo to an Arab Muslim family. Growing up, he was obsessed by popular stories about Jews and Israelis as demons and was convinced by the pervasive antisemitic rhetoric of his schools, mosque, and media. After embarking on a journey of self-education, teaching himself Hebrew via the internet, he started to question his world view. Mansour will speak of his harrowing time being surveilled, harassed, jailed and tortured by authorities as he studied Hebrew and protested in Tahir Square. Mansour was fortunate to receive political asylum, and in his journey overcome antisemitsm to the point of now serving as an Assistant Professor of Hebrew. His journey poignantly reminds us of our shared common humanity, and how we can rise above hatred.
Learning Block I, 1:30 - 3:00 PM
A) Aaron Hahn Tapper and Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper Who are my people? When members of Jewish communities think about my people, who do they mean? Who is included and who is excluded? Do American Jews have more in common with other Americans than they do with Israeli Jews? Do progressive California Jews have more in common with non-Jews who share their political leanings than ultra-Orthodox Jews? This co-facilitated session will explore participants' thoughts and feelings about shifting relationships and connections between Jewish groups and others, especially in light of of the changing political climate of the last two years.
B) Intro to Kabbalah - Rabbi Chaim Hilel Learn about Jewish mysticism and the teachings centered around the text of the Zohar. This session will include a brief history and overview of what Kabbalah is all about and you will learn about the 10 Sefirot, the divine attributes of the soul.
C) Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: A Girl’s Quest for Knowledge Turns into a Search For Justice - A Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Teri Kanefield
D) Resilience in the Jewish Tradition - Rabbi Rachel Isaacs How do we continue on our journeys in the face of sadness, tragedy, despair, or just boredom? Contemporary scholars and inspirational speakers now speak of the power of grit, but is that contemporary concept the same as traditional approaches resilience? We will look to sources and rituals from our tradition that describe techniques for weathering life's challenges, tragedies, and disappointments. We will also discuss the limits and complexities of a discourse focused on resilience and/or grit in a world of structural inequality. This session will include song, traditional study, and group discussion.
Learning Block II, 3:15 - 4:30 PM
A) Blessed is the Fruit of the Vine - Rabbi Micah Hyman & Stephen Llyod-Moffet What if KRUSH radio had a rabbi? Well, this weekend we will combine Jewish learning with our love for the grape. What does the Torah teach about wine? How does terroir impact sanctity? What makes a wine "kosher"? How do we use wine on our lives to elevate experience? Join us on a flight of Jewish experience. While the Bush was not Consumed, wine will most certainly be!
B) Talmud After Dark - Maggie Anton Our Talmudic sages debated a great many subjects in detail. So it is no surprise that they discussed every aspect of sexual relations—how, when, where, with whom. Impressed at how our tradition is more progressive, and more bawdy, than one might think, Maggie Anton decided to share the best of what she’d learned in Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Said about You-Know-What.
C) What Should We Know About the Hebrew Alphabet - Rabbi Dov Gottsefeld How the Hebrew Alphabet and vowels system laid the foundation for most of the reading and writing that is utilized by many languages in the world today.
E) Easy Jewish Spiritual Practices to Increase Joy, Resilience, Contentment and Meaning In Your Life - Rabbi Rick Litvak Judaism has a treasury of rich and wise spiritual resources for deepening and enriching life. Many are contained in simple, easily accessible Jewish spiritual practices. Plentiful research in the field of Positive Psychology has validated the wisdom of these traditions and their power to increase joy, meaning, resilience and contentment. We will explore a few of them and learn how to practice them. We'll also learn about the fascinating Positive Psychology research that confirms their benefits.
Seudat Shlishit Saturday Evening Speaker How to Make Small-Town Jewish Life Thrive: A Case Study - Rabbi Rachel Isaacs How can Jewish institutions thrive in rural areas with small populations and limited resources? Rabbi Rachel Isaacs will talk about the strategies and methods developed by the Center for Small Town Jewish Life to sustain small-town synagogues in Maine, and bring vitality to small-college Hillels. Through multi-generational, cross-denominational collaboration, the Center combines and leverages state-wide resources to make our communities more successful.
Pre-Breakfast Yoga - Om Shalom Zack Lodmer Start your Sunday with intentionality. We'll combine breathwork, gratitude practice, stretching, and gratitude for the soul's return to body in this all-levels yoga flow.
Learning Block III, 9:30 - 10:45 AM
A) Rashi's Daughters, Way Ahead of Their Time - Maggie Anton Anton discusses the research behind her Rashi’s Daughters trilogy of historical novels. Amazing as it may seem, women in that medieval Jewish community wore tzitzit, blew the shofar, performed ritual circumcisions and had aliyot to the Torah. They also popularized the ritual of lighting Shabbat candles and saying a blessing, as we do today.
B) Jewish Tools for Especially Stressful Moments - Len Felder, PhD Bestselling author and psychologist Len Felder, PhD will discuss a few highly-effective Jewish remedies and methods for resolving brain fog, anxious feelings, frustration, and that sense of being overloaded with not enough time to breathe or unwind. Whether you are Jewishly knowledgeable or just curious or new to Jewish spiritual methods, these remarkable tools from Jewish teachings will surprise you and can be very helpful for you or your stressed loved ones.
C) SLO Jewish History: Visionaries, Leaders, and Community Builders - John Ashbaugh, Dan Krieger, Ph.D. & Abby Lassen, Moderator From the late 1850’s through the 20th Century, Jewish residents have played an influential role in the development of the city of San Luis Obispo. Learn about the dynamic impact of Mayor Louis Sinsheimer (the City’s first “Green’ elected official), and the vision of the merchant families of Moise Cerf, A. Blockman and the Goldtree Brothers for a gateway to the sea and the modernization of San Luis Obispo. How did their skills, initiative, Jewish faith, and strong family bonds shape their progressive vision for the city? Find about the changes and challenges to the Jewish community from the 1850's to the present.
Learning Block IV, 11 AM - 12:15 PM
A) Jewish Magic from Talmudic Times: What it is and How it is still with us Today - Maggie Anton Anton discusses the research behind her novels, Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice and its sequel, Enchantress, which take place in 4th century Babylonia as the Talmud is created. She will focus on ancient Jewish magic, including archaeological evidence and spells from the Talmud itself, some of which have formed the basis for prayers and blessings found in today's prayer books.
B) Spiritual Aspects of Intimate Relationships - Len Felder, PhD Whether you are single, coupled, or seeking to repair a relationship gone cold, this workshop will explore some Jewish spiritual wisdom and some creative Jewish approaches to making each moment with a loved one more intimate, more authentic, more reciprocal, and more compassionate. Who knew that ancient and modern Jewish wisdom could have so many useful techniques for enhancing your private life? This workshop is welcoming and inclusive for participants who are optimistic or pessimistic about love, who are LGBTQ or heterosexual, or who are familiar or new to Jewish spirituality.
C) Making Jewish Life Meaningful for Your Family with Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper D) Offsite: Rise of the StartUp Nation and Lab Tour of PolyGAIT, Center for Global Automatic Identification Technologies - Dr. Tali Freed
Sunday Keynote: Funny, You Don't Look Jewish! Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Jewish 'Other' Within - Aaron Tapper, PhD Jewish identity is probably not what you think it is, and likely never was. Although Jews and non-Jew frequently speak about "the Jews" as if they are a single, cohesive, interconnected group, this community has never been uniform or homogenous. In fact, there has never been a Jewish people, only peoples; never one Judaism, only Judaisms. In the twenty-first-century, how can Jews do a better job of being more inclusive, not just of Ashkenazi, heteronormative, Israel-centric and American-centric Jews, but of the historically multidimensional Jewish communities that have existed since their very inception?
Festival Close - Israeli Folk Dancing Join us for a 20 minute session as we close out the weekend to Israeli folk dancing!