Limmud Philly 2012: You don’t want to miss it!

Limmud Philly 2012, Friday April 27 through Sunday, April 29! PhillyLimmud is a widely acclaimed festival of Jewish learning and culture where 70 amazing presentations are scheduled this year.

Be sure to stop by the Philadelphia Jewish Voice table in the Hall of Community Organizations to express your Jewish media needs and views to members of our editorial team, and to receive a free Philadelphia Jewish Voice bumper sticker. You will also have the opportunity to buy autographed copies of Rabbi Milgram’s new book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning, and just-released decks to Mitzvah Cards, in support of LimmudPhilly and the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Rabbi Goldie Milgram, our Judaism Editor, will be teaching, among more than 70 amazing presentations scheduled:
Mark your calendars for

  • A cooking demonstration by a James Beard Award-winning chef who will talk about Jewish food around the world
  • A talk on the future of democracy in Israel by a past Deputy Speaker of the Knesset
  • A presentation on the Arab Spring by a media maven and co-author with Dennis Ross of a book on America and the Middle East

More after the jump.

  • A play about the history and absurdity of prejudice and the power of diversity performed by two very funny guys, one Jewish and one black
  • A discussion about the role of Jews in the 2012 presidential election led by the former editor of the Forward and the Jewish Exponent
  • A tap dance lesson set to Jewish themes taught by an artist who trained with Savion Glover and performed with Matisyahu
  • A screening of testimonies from the survivors of Rwanda presented by an Emmy Award-winning producer who trained under Ken Burns
  • An opportunity to hear and sing the new Jewish “soul” music with a local cantor who lived in both Austin, Texas, and Israel

It will all begin on Friday evening with Shabbat dinner and services. Havdalah begins at 8:30 Saturday evening, followed by a concert with the always delightful Maccabeats. There will  be multiple non-stop, simultaneous sessions, so you will have to make some tough choices.

Visit the LimmudPhilly website for further information and to register.

We look forward to learning with you!  

Women Cantors’ Network Conference in Philadelphia, June 12th – 15th

Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park will host the 29th Annual Women Cantors’ Network Conference from June 12th to 15th.  Approximately 90 cantors and cantorial soloists from California to Maine will gather to sing, learn, and share their stories and issues.  

The Women Cantors’ Network (WCN) was formed in 1982 as a supportive and nurturing environment for women cantors to share music, knowledge, and experiences in the field.  In 1981, WCN founder Debbie Katchko became the second woman in a traditional Jewish conservative pulpit.  At the time, there was little opportunity to discuss issues unique to females in a male profession.   Questions like “What about maternity leave?” “How do you manage with your growing family?” “What is the role of your spouse?”, and even the seemingly mundane, but professionally crucial… “What do you wear on the pulpit?” were yet to be answered.   Katchko found twelve women serving congregations who were interested in networking, and the group has held annual conferences ever since.  From that original twelve, the WCN has grown to over 300 women and men from the United States, Canada, Israel, the UK, France, and Germany.

More after the jump.
Since that time, of course, women cantors have been recognized and accepted into all liberal cantorial schools and organizations. The growth of the WCN membership over the years included their regular publication of a newsletter, writing of a constitution, commissioning of new Jewish music, and the creation of a very active online listserv and Facebook page.

This year’s conference theme is “Loving God, Torah, and Ourselves”.  It has many highlights, including speaker Dr. Dan Gottlieb (What Opens and Closes a Loving Heart?), the music of Rebecca Schwartz, Cantorial Soloist at Kol Ami, a workshop with Mitch Chanin (Dialogue About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict), Hazzan Charles Davidson (Tradition vs. Modernity in synagogue music), composer Joe Myerov’s music,  Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman (Songs of Love in Many Voices), and performers Peter and Allen Allard (Love is Music, Music is Love).  On Tuesday afternoon, 6/14, the group will visit the National Museum of American Jewish History and perform the 2011 commissioned piece of music for all those touring the museum.