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November 27 -29 2015

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Welcome to the 4th Limmud China. We’re delighted that you’ll be a part of this exciting journey. This year’s Limmud China is packed with a diverse programme of talks, workshops, entertainment and discussions yet, we hope, will also give you time to relax and get to know new people. We are happy to be welcoming participants from around Asia and the world. This weekend will trully be a meeting of minds from communities far and wide, from India, to Xi’an to Shanghai. We are grateful for the dedicated support of the JDC and Kehillat Beijing, without both of whom the conference would not be possible.

Leon Fenster

Chair, Limmud China

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Welcome From Our Supporters

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Programme Overview

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Sessions Overview

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The Programme

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The Presenters

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Sessions in Brief

Saturday

6:30 - 9:00

Breakfast for Hotel Guests, Lido Hotel Cafeteria

8:00 - 9:15

Morning Services, Room X

Early Morning Session

9:15 10:15

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: Jews in the Struggle Against Apartheid Wayne Sussman Room 6

Room 8

Morning Session

10:30 11:30

Arvut – the Connected Wisdom: The Practical Tool that Lies Dormant in our Spiritual DNA (and how modern science agrees). Amir Lupovich & Owen Zhou

Ultimate Jewish texts 101 Joel Levy Room 6

Undercover Zionists: The Story of a Group of Russuan Refusniks Osnat Skobliski Room 8

Revealing the Other: Translating Arabic Literature for Jewish Audiences Rahel Halabe Room 7

Midday Session

11:45 12:45

An insider’s view of the unpredictable ups and downs of life in an Israeli orchestra - and how to learn to go with the flow! Susanna Cohen

A Yoga Experience Litong Yu Room 7

Building Jewish Community in China A Panel Discussion Led by Stacy Palestrant Room 8

Room 6

13:30 - 14:30

Lunch, Lido Hotel Cafeteria

13:30 - 14:30

Lunch + Learn: The Mikveh and Me, Stacy Palestrant

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Saturday Continued Afternoon Session

15:30 16:30

The Crisis in Contemporary Jewish Marriage Joel Levy Room 2

Prestige Sells, Thrills, and Kills: A Community Discuss on Adolescent Mental Health Monte and Shari Rosen

Gematria for Dummies Richard Hardiman Room 1

Room 4

17:00 - 17:30

Havdallah / Close of Shabbat

Late Afternoon Session

17:45 18:45

Jews of the Silk Route: The Bukharin Experience Mark Ellison

Russian, Jewish, and Talented: Different Paths in Israel and America Olga Gershenson

Room 4

Room 2

19:00 - 20:30

Dinner

A Comedic Schlep Through Chinese Culture Jesse Appell Room 1

Room 3

Evening Session

20:45 21:45

Jews under Islam: Golden Age or Ghetto? Vivian Wineman Room 4

22:00

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Late Night

Images of the Holy Land Circa 19th Century Richard Hardiman

To Each Season a Song: Israeli History through 5 Songs Wayne Sussman

Room 2

Room 5

Entertainment

Room 3


Sunday

6:30 - 9:00

Breakfast for Hotel Guests

Early Bird Session

8:00 9:00

Taiji: a moving meditation and a martial art Alison Kelly Room 7

Early Morning Session

9:15 10:15

Who Are You? What Are You? A Story of Identity in the Maltese Jewish Diaspora Aline P’nina TAYAR Room 8 A Brief Aquaintence with Chinese Faith Yuval Levy Room 6

Making News in China Ted Plafker

Room 9

Jerusalem Heroes Club: Krav maga, Jew-Jitsu, and the Globalization of Mixed Martial Arts. Mike Khardas Room 7

Late Morning Session

10:30 11:30

Embodied Presence Workshop Elyse Ribbons

Mao’s Jews Roberta Lipson

Room 7

Room 9

Religion and Violence Joel Levy Room 6

Jewish Response to Disaster: Building Hope Out of Rubble in Nepal Eliran Douenias Room 8

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Sunday Continued

Midday Session

11:45 12:45

Importing Innovation: Bringing the Start-Up Nation to China Meirav 梅花 Shacked Room 9

Room 8

Jews under Japanese Occupation in WW2 Shanghai: Persecuted or Protected? Shaindl Keshen

14:00 15:00

Lunch

Lido Hotel Cafeteria

Bollywood Carnival: Indian Dancing Osrah Samuel & Ivan Kasookar Room 3 (Lido Hotel)

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HORA away with China’s only Israeli folk dancing circle! Merav Cohen Room 7

Room 6

13:00 - 14:00

The Jews of Tajikistan: Empire, Collapse, and Community in Central Asia Zachary Barter


Full Weekend Timetable And Session Details Friday from 14:00 Hotel Check-in Room Lido Hotel Lobby Hotel check-in for those who have booked rooms. If you haven’t yet booked, but would like to stay in the hotel, please ask a member of the Limmud China Team (they’re the ones wearing blue Limmud tshirts)

from 15:00 Limmud Registration Lido Hotel Lobby or Main Space Let us know you’ve arrived, pick up your Limmud gear, say hello. We are ready to answer any questions you have. Let us know you’ve arrived, pick up your Limmud gear, say hello. We are ready to answer any questions you have.

19:00 - 19:45 - Lido Hotel Shabbat Services Room 1

19:45 - 21:30 - Lido Hotel Dinner Room 3 Formal welcomes, good food and great company.

21:45 - Lido Hotel Late Night Activities Room 3, 2 Improv comedy, an ‘open mic,’ story telling and night-time singing

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Saturday 6:30 - 9:00 Breakfast for Hotel Guests Lido Hotel Cafeteria

8:00 - 9:15 Morning Services Room 7, Crowne Plaza

9:15 - 10:15 - Crowne Plaza Arvut – the Connected Wisdom: The Practical Tool that Lies Dormant in our Spiritual DNA (and how modern science agrees) Amir Lupovich & Owen Zhou Workshop Room 8 In this unique workshop we experience and teach an ancient, yet practical, method that intentionally creates a space that lifts barriers between people, and opens the possibility for connection, collaboration, problem solving and mutual understanding. This method allows us to tap into the wondrous Arvut – the connected wisdom that exists as the foundation of the Jewish people and can be applied regularly in one’s daily life.

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: Jews in the Struggle Against Apartheid Wayne Sussman Room 6 On June 11, 1963, the police raided Lilliesleaf Farm near Johannesburg. 17 people were arrested including Walter Sisulu. 5 whites were also arrested, they all happened to be Jewish. They would all be tried with Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial. We will look at the disproportionate role of Jews in the struggle against Apartheid, and also look at the communal reaction to those who fought against Apartheid. In this session we will meet the socialists, communists, revolutionaries and liberals who fought against Apartheid.

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10:30 - 11:30 - Crowne Plaza Revealing the Other Side: Translating Arabic Literature for Jewish Audiences Rahel Halabe Room 7 Are Arab writers interested in Israelis reading their works? Are Hebrew readers interested in reading the ‘other side’s’ literature and learning more than what they see on the daily news cycle? An Arabic into Hebrew translator will tell us about books which cannot be published, others published and waiting to be read, and why one should bother continuing to translate at all.

Ultimate Jewish texts 101 Joel Levy Room 6 Follow the strange pathways of the Jewish textual tradition by tracing the passage of a single sentence in the Torah through its different manifestations in the unfolding layers of the tradition. See how the Torah is moulded, pressed, sliced and diced to make it address the critical issues of each generation.

Undercover Zionists- The Story of a Group of Refuseniks in Soviet Russia Osnat Ita Skoblinski Room 8 This is the story of my parents and their group of friends, representing a fascinating slice of refusenik history in the Soviet Union. We’ll discover how they formed undercover Zionist groups, got in trouble with the KGB, were sent to jail and how eventually they made it to Israel in the mid 70’s. In the years that followed, some of the members of this tight-knit group later became renowned Russian writers.

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Saturday

11:45 - 12:45 - Crowne Plaza An insider’s view of the unpredictable ups and downs of life in an Israeli orchestra - and how to learn to go with the flow! Susanna Cohen Room 6 Come and hear about the surprising adventures of life in an Israeli orchestra, the anxieties experienced by many Israeli orchestral musicians and pick up a few tips about how to cope with your own performance anxiety. Susanna Cohen has 20 years’ experience as a professional classical orchestral musician in Israel and Europe and is also a music therapist. She is currently working on her doctorate degree at Bar-Ilan University Israel, investigating ways of helping musicians to overcome performance anxiety and produce optimal performances.

Building Jewish Community in Asia A panel discussion lead by Stacy Palestrant Room 8 So....we have been in China for a while: Kaifeng Jews, Russian Harbin Jews, Shanghai Ghetto Jews. What do we want the Jewish community of China in 2015 to look and feel like? Join me in a lively discussion about how we can continue to build on our Jewish legacy in China and develop China’s Jewish communities. Where are we now and where do we want to go as a community? What communal activities, structures and traditions can we develop? What do we need to do so that we have a flourishing Am Yisrael Chai in Zhongguo?

A Yoga Experience Li Yutong Room 7 The Yoga lesson will focus of Vinyasa yoga practice but integrating Iyengar and Astanga methods into the postures. It will focus on the integration of strength, balance and breath into yoga practice. The lesson is for all ages and levels of experience and will demonstrate the use of props to help students practice correct postures. The lesson with be conducted in Chinese with English interpretation

13:30 - 14:30 - Lido Hotel Lunch Lido Hotel Cafeteria

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Lunch + Learn Lido Hotel Cafeteria (See next page)


Lunch + Learn 13:30 - 14:30

The Mikvah and Me: Immersing in the Mikvah and Exploring the Role of Jewish Rituals Stacy Palestrant Facilitated Discussion Lido Hotel Cafeteria

In this session, we will explore the history and the rationale of the mikvah (the Jewish ritual bath for women). What is the purpose of the mikvah? How does it connect to a woman’s sense of Jewish spirituality? I will share my own story about my decision to use the mikvah and its role in my Jewish journey. We will also broaden the discussion to consider other powerful Jewish rituals - and how we personalize them and derive meaning from them.

15:30 - 16:30 - Lido Hotel The Crisis in Contemporary Jewish Marriage Joel Levy Room 2

The classical Jewish wedding ceremony has changed little since its inception around 2000 years ago, but the world of sexual relationships is in the midst of a radical overhaul. Has the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony run out of steam? Can wedding ceremonies crafted so long ago still meet contemporary needs? How can traditional Judaism meet the challenge of gay weddings and full gender equality?

Prestige Sells, Thrills, and Kills: A Community Discuss on Adolescent Mental Health Monte and Shari Rosen Facilitated Discussion Room 4 Teenagers face unprecedented pressures from social media, applying to prestigious colleges, and competing in the expat communities where we live. Stories abound about cutting, depression, eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, suicide, and acting out. Often we don’t understand the underlying reasons why some teenagers struggle more than others. The Rosens will share their personal story of addressing adolescent mental health and share their perspectives from ten years of running an educational services company. We hope to make this session an interactive dialogue about what you are seeing in your communities and sharing resources for helping adolescents.

Gematria for Dummies Richard Hardiman Room 1

The talk introduces the principles of Gematria. It will be followed by a Gematrical investigation into Genesis chapters 1 & 2: the Act of Creation in the first and second stories of creation and how this is reflected not only in the name of G-d but also the names of Abraham and Sara. Further examples of Gematria will be used to analyze the story of Jacob’s Ladder and how the change of Jacob’s name to Israel countered Esau’s bid to kill him, and much much more.

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Saturday

17:00 - 17:30 Havdallah Together Lido Hotel Main Space

17:45 - 18:45 - Lido Hotel A comedic Schlep through Chinese Culture Jesse Appell Room 1

With a mix of stand-up and comedy videos, Jesse will share his experiences in China, advice on how best to live in Beijing, and views on Chinese-US relations. It should be the funniest thing at Limmud that didn’t happen by accident.

Jews of the Silk Route: The Bukaran experience Mark Ellison Room 4 They say that Jews first came to Central Asia in the Second Temple period as merchants began to follow the Silk Road. By the 12th century, there were already 30,000 Jews in Samarkand, and a small number of Jews is still present today in Uzbekistan: Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent. After a quick look at the geographical and historical context, we will see how the community reinvented itself every hundred years, while oscillating between isolation and integration with the global Jewish world. What lessons can today’s Jewish communities in Asia draw from this amazing story?

Russian, Jewish, and Talented: Different Paths in Israel and America Olga Gershenson Room 2 This session will introduce participants to the history of Russian-Jewish immigration to the US and Israel, including the cultural impact of the recent wave. The conversation will focus on Russian Jewish literature in America and Russian Jewish film in Israel, comparing and contrasting different genres and paths.

19:00 - 20:30 - Lido Hotel Dinner Room 3

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20:45 - 21:45 - Lido Hotel In the Footsteps of Abraham: Images of the Holy Land Circa 19th Century Richard Hardiman Room 2 In the Footsteps of Abraham presents a unique opportunity to experience the Holy Land as it was at the turn of the 19th century, before the region underwent the radical changes of modernization. These vivid images evoke the Holy Land of centuries ago as Moses might have seen it. The photos were taken before the advent of color photography and are extracted from the collection of Ari Speelman, who commissioned the hand-coloring of 1200 photos on glass plates, sometimes involving painting with a single human hair. He travelled throughout the Holy Land both collecting and taking photographs. His remarkable collection was bequeathed to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam;

Jews under Islam: Golden Age or Ghetto? Vivian Wineman Room 4 Jews have lived under Islam since the beginnings of that faith. Jewish historians have compared their situation favourably with that of Jews under Christianity where Jews suffered continual persecution as a rebuke to Christians. Muslims have now turned that argument against Jews as part of their attack on Zionism referring to a golden age of tolerance in pre-modern times. But what is the truth behind the propaganda? Come hear and participate in a lively discussion.

To Each Season a Song: Israeli History Through Five Songs Wayne Sussman Workshop Room 5 We will look at 5 songs, songs which define that particular era, that particular generation in Israel. The songs were written in 1956, 1967, 1973, 1979 and 1995. By engaging with the texts, we will also grapple with what society was experiencing at that time, and what their hopes and fears were. This session will be adapted from Florence Melton Adult Mini-School curriculum texts.

22:00 - Lido Hotel Late Night Entertainment Room 3

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Sunday 8:00 - 9:00 - Crowne Plaza Taiji: a moving meditation and a martial art Alison Kelly Room 7 Any level of experience and fitness level is welcome. Taiji is for everyone!

9:15 - 10:15 - Crowne Plaza Who Are You? What Are You? Aline P’nina TAYAR Room 8 Aline’s life has been dogged by these two questions, as has the Maltese Jewish diaspora. The island of Malta has been variously ruled by the Spanish Crown, the Kingdom of Sicily, the infamous Knights of Malta, Napoleon and Arabic empires. The Maltese Jewish community, arguably the world’s smallest, has been expelled, admitted, made officials, and taken hostage en-masse. Against this backdrop, Aline’s family, like so many, left for calmer shores. But coming from a Maltese family speaking Italian, Livornese and French, with North African and Sephardic origins, but associating with none of these identities it seemed to Aline that she could only ever define herself by what she was not rather than by what she was.

Making News in China Ted Plafker Room 9 One of the things China has in common with Israel is that it is always in the news, and often on the front page. A long-time Beijing-based foreign correspondent speaks frankly about how the China-news “sausage” gets made. What is China’s news-gathering environment like? What constraints and what risks do foreign journalists face? How does this affect their objectivity and the work they produce? And how has this changed in the past 26 years?

9:15-10:15 Continued...

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A Brief Acquaintance with Chinese Faith and Religion Yuval Levy Room 6 For thousands of years the Chinese people developed a verity of religions and philosophic believes that have made a huge impact on the Asian as well as the Western world. Although these beliefs are still relevant for many Chinese people today, the West still frequently sees China as “a country with no god nor religion”. In this session will ask ourselves what is a “religion” and will take an overview of the 3 major religions in China (Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism) as well as some esoteric religions of Chinese minorities and ask what place they are taking in the life of Chinese people today.

Jerusalem Heroes Club: Krav maga, Jew-Jitsu, and the Globalization of Mixed Martial Arts. Mike Khardas Room 7

Krav Maga encourages students to avoid confrontation. You will learn to defend against a variety of attacks and train counter techniques to defend yourself. Techniques presented will allow attendees to practice Krav Maga and Mixed martial Arts movements in the quickest and most effective ways possible. Training will also cover situational awareness to develop an understanding of one’s surroundings, learning to understand the psychology of a confrontation, and identifying potential threats before an attack occurs. The session will also discuss ways to deal with physical and verbal methods to avoid violence whenever possible. This session is for people with both beginner and advanced knowledge in martial arts.

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10:30 - 11:30 - Crowne Plaza

Sunday

Embodied Presence Workshop Elyse Ribbons Room 7 Communication requires more than words, and utilizing your body and your heart to better connect will increase the impact of your message. Whether pitching a startup, speaking at a conference, working out a disagreement with a loved one, or performing on stage, being comfortable in your self brings out a whole new level of expression. This workshop is a mix of theatre technique, public speaking workshop, yoga and all out party, so wear comfy clothes and bring a hearty supply of laughter.

Religion and Violence Joel Levy Room 6 In many places around the world, including the Middle-East, tensions between practitioners of different religious traditions are at fever pitch. Is there something about religion itself that is evoking this discord or is religion being manipulated by other forces at play? We will use early rabbinic texts to explore the roots of human violence and ask whether violence is religious at its core.

Mao’s Jews Roberta Lipson Room 9

Of foreigners that came to China to support the fledgling communist party before the revolution - and stayed - a disproportionate number were Jewish. They came from North America, England, Austria and New Zealand. This session will explore their motivation, contribution and changing relationship with their adopted home. Why were these Jews attracted to China? How did they impact the revolution which still shapes the country today?

Jewish Response to Disaster: Building Hope Out of Rubble in Nepal Eliran Douenias Room 8

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Disaster management has a lot to do with entrepreneurship: You have to be Innovative, adaptive and to believe in your cause; On 25 April 2015 I was stationed in Berlin, when I heard of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that ravaged Nepal, leaving more than 8,800 dead, and many more wounded, homeless and destitute. A few days after the earthquake, I contacted the JDC headquarters and volunteered to go to Nepal. I didn’t know what to expect. Join this session if you are curious to know about JDC’s efforts in turning the devastating disaster into an opportunity for development for the people of Nepal.


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Sunday

11:45 - 12:45 - Crowne Plaza Importing Innovation: Bringing Israel’s Start-Up Nation to China Meirav Shacked Room 9 For two thousand years, “without a country, prayer kept the hope alive and tied the Jewish people to the land of their ancestors. But Prayer is not a pragmatic plan, the reality has turned out to be much more difficult. We returned to a small country with little water and hostile surroundings...” Former President Shimon Peres’ introduction to the book Start Up Nation Israel is well known as the “start-up nation,” particularly in China. What makes Israel an innovative country? This session will try to answer this question by seeing the entrepreneur as a new kind of artist who creates ‘something from nothing.’ We will explore the new wave of Chinese investment in Israel, the business relationship between the two countries and differences between the two peoples. Along the way we’ll learn about the work of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce and some business opportunities in China.

Jews under Japanese occupation in WW2 Shanghai: Persecuted or Protected? Shaindl Keshen Room 6 This session will address the complex relationship between the Jewish refugees and the Japanese occupiers in Shanghai prior to and during World War II. It was this relationship that paradoxically enabled the Jews to survive the anti-Semitism that was prevalent throughout Europe and other parts of the world. This theory, supported by a compilation of research, would not be part of your usual tour of the Jewish Ghetto of Shanghai! There will also be an examination of the interaction between the occupied Chinese and the Jewish community.

11:45-12:45 Continued...

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The Jews of Tajikistan: Empire, Collapse, and Community in Central Asia Zachary Barter Room 8 Wedged between Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, the impoverished and isolated post-Soviet nation of Tajikistan is home to a fascinating and little-known Jewish community that survives to the present day -- though perhaps not for much longer. Part history, part travelogue, this session will trace the expansion and decline of Tajikistan’s Jewish community over time, highlighting the question: Is community a product of intention and dedication, or merely the by-product of broader historical and social forces?

HORA away with China’s only Israeli folk dancing circle! Merav Cohen Room 7 Israeli dancing and their music portray the cultural mosaic that is Israel. Its a unique cultural experience and SUPER FUN! So wear comfortable shoes (no heels ladies) and JOIN US for this activity of joyful togetherness. Merav will tell you a bit about the dances, their origin and the Israeli dancing scene, and will lead you in the circle to learn a few basic traditional dances. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NEEDED!

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch Lido Hotel Cafeteria

14:00 - 15:00 Bollywood Carnival: Indian Dancing Osrah Samuel & Ivan Kasookar Room 3 (Lido Hotel) Dance to the beats of a Bollywood Song while team teaches you the moves that are critical to every single Bollywood tune.

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Presenters Jesse Appell www.laughbeijing.com Twitter: @WhatXiSaid Wechat: 15611467619 www.facebook.com/LaughBeijing Jesse Appell is a former Fulbright Scholar whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a disciple of master Xiangsheng performer Ding Guangquan, and regularly perform Xiangsheng, bilingual improv comedy, and stand-up live and on TV all around China. Jesse creates comedic online videos intended for the Chinese audience; one of these, Laowai Style, gathered 2 million hits across several media platforms. Jesse’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have been seen and heard on TEDx, PBS, NPR, BBC, PRI and The Economist, as well as Chinese media such as CCTV, BTV, and CRI. He was listed as one of the “People of the Year” for 2012 by the Global Times. In 2012, Jesse founded www.laughbeijing.com, with the focus of using comedy to bridge cultural gaps. Amongst his efforts to bring Jewish comedy to China include a video on Youku, entitled, “My cousin is from Wenzhou” about being a Jew in China. The video got 80,000 views and started a flame war on the Chinese internet about whether the Wenzhounese deserved to be called “The Jews of the East.”

Zachary Barter Zachary Barter is a foreign affairs professional in Beijing. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Zach has also spent time living, working, and studying in Shanghai, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Sweden.

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Susanna Cohen playyourbest.net Susanna Cohen studied Natural Sciences and Psychology at Cambridge University, UK and post-graduate Advanced Music Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She worked as a professional bassoonist in the UK for ten years, playing with most of the major UK symphony and chamber orchestras and in 1996 moved to Israel and became the Principal Bassoonist of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. After playing in the Israel Chamber Orchestra for ten years she qualified as a music therapist at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She is currently working on her doctoral degree at Bar-Ilan University Israel, investigating ways of helping musicians to overcome performance anxiety and produce optimal performances. She has worked as a music therapist for the Israel Education Ministry and has a thriving private practice.

Merav Cohen Facebook: Beijing Israeli Folk Dancing Wechat: cmerav Merav is a corporate lawyer by profession, having practiced in one of Israel’s top firms doing infrastructure and energy contracting. Her travel throughout China in 2005 marked the commencement of her China affair. With her heart set on coming back, she finally did 2 years ago, to study Chinese and peruse work in the field of Environmental Policy. She started Israeli folk dancing at 19 and loves how one can instantly feel at home dancing it anywhere in the world. Missing it in Beijing, she started China mainland’s only Israeli folk dancing circle convening weekly before Friday services.

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Eliran Douenias http://jdcentwine.org/ralph Eliran Douenias is an Israeli Social Entrepreneur. He served as an officer in the IDF for 7 years, led Young Ambassadors delegations to the UN Headquarters, co-founded Olam, an Israeli social enterprise organization, and was selected to participate in a unique program created by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office for young leaders in the public sector. In 2014, Eliran received his Master’s Degree in Law at Bar-Ilan University and was appointed as Vice Chairman of Youth Division for The Israel Communication & Press Association. Eliran is the 2015 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow and has served as JDC representative in Nepal for the last five months.

Mark Ellison Financial consultant currently residing in Hong Kong. Committee member of the Jewish Historical Society of Hong Kong.

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Olga Gershenson http://people.umass.edu/olga/ Olga Gershenson is Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also on the Film Studies faculty. Professor Gershenson earned her BA in Russia, her MA in Israel, and her PhD in the US. Her academic path is as diverse. A multi-disciplinary scholar, her interests lie at the intersection of culture, history, and film. Her first book, Gesher: Russian Theater in Israel (2005), pioneered the study of Russian immigrant cultural production. Her latest book, The Phantom Holocaust (2013), reveals unknown Holocaust films from the Soviet Union. According to the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies, it “will serve as a foundation for all further research and reflection on the topic.” Along with film, Professor Gershenson does innovative research on spaces, both sacred and otherwise. In her most recent work, she looks at Jewish museums in post-communist Europe, examining the relationship between space, politics, history, and culture. Profiled in Haaretz as the rare academic who “prefers engaging the masses in culture,” she curates film series, consults for festivals, and has a lively lecture schedule at universities, conferences, and museums around the world.

Rahel Halabe www.hebrew-with-halabe.com Rahel Halabe was born and educated in Israel, lives in Canada and teaches both Biblical and Modern Hebrew. This year she teaches Hebrew at Peking University. Her textbook: Hinneh - Biblical Hebrew the Practical Way was published by the Hebrew University Magnes Press. Nine of her translations of titles from across the Arabic world have been published, including Lebanese, Palestinian, Egyptian and Sudanese literature.

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Richard Hardiman zigatt (Wechat) Richard is of Israeli/British nationality and a long term member of Kehillat Beijing, living in different parts of China since 1986. He now lives in Jerusalem and commutes to China on a regular basis. Professionally Richard specializes in China’s environment, environmental policy and water and is a consultant for the Chinese Ministry of Environment. As a man of multiple interests, he has been practicing and teaching yoga for the past 40 years based upon the Iyengar method. He also possesses a very large collection Chinese Shadow Puppets from the Qing and Ming Dynasty and is currently translating scripts from village level Shadow Puppet plays in order to understand socio-political customs from a rural perspective. Finally he has a fascination for Gematria which began some 17 years ago (17 means ‘good’) and which provides a different and deeper perspective on biblical texts. He sees Gematria as a systematic, concise tool using digits to understand biblical images and stories just as a computer binary system can be used to form texts, images and sound. Richard uses Gematria as a tool to provide new insights to stories such as: the Act of Creation; Noah’s Ark; the Sacrifice of Isaac; Jacob’s Ladder, and so forth. Richard is also co-author of the book In the footsteps of Abraham - Images of the Holy Land Circa 19th Century which is a collection hand-painted lantern slides of Israel taken at end 19th century.

Ivan Kasookar Ivan S Kasookar graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. He currently works at Larsen and Toubro, a heavy engineering giant in South Asia. Every alternate Sunday, he volunteers as a teacher and organizes picnics for groups of children growing up in the slums surrounding Mumbai.

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Alison Kelly Alison Kelly thought about studying taijiquan when she lived in Beijing as a foreign student in the 1980s. But she never could get up early enough. She has now been studying traditional Yang-Style taijiquan for 12 years under Master Cui Zhongsan, a 5th generation lineage holder. Alison both teaches and competes.

Shaindl Keshen Shaindl Keshen is a 17-year-old student in her final year of high school in Beijing. For the first half of her life she was raised in a remote town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, and moved to Beijing to spend time with the Chinese half of her family. Through her active involvement in Kehillat Beijing, she has developed a keen interest in the interrelationships between the culture and dynamics of the Jews and Chinese.

Mike Khardis Mike Khardas is a two time Canadian BJJ grappling champion and represented team Israel in the ADCC World grappling championships in 2009 and 2015. He is also the founder of the Jerusalem Heroes Club, a non profit organization based out of Toronto providing free self defence, mixed martial arts, and Krav Maga training for at-risk youth.

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Joel Levy Rabbi Joel Levy is currently serving as the Rosh Yeshiva (head) of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem where he has taught for over ten years. Joel is a Cambridge graduate in Natural Sciences. He was the director of NOAM, the UK Masorti Youth Movement, and program chair of Limmud Conference in the UK, before making aliya. After 10 years studying at various different institutions in and around Jerusalem he received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi David Hartman z”l in 2000. For a decade he ran Rav Siach, a program bringing together rabbinical students from across the religious spectrum to learn how to talk with each other. He is the rabbi of Kol Nefesh, the UK’s first fully egalitarian Masorti synagogue. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Susanna who is a classical musician and doctoral candidate in music psychology, two periodically delightful offspring and a large, badly behaved dog.

Yuval Levy China-and-back.com Yuval Levy, 28, was born in the last hour of the “Year of the Tiger”, raised in the Galilei Mountains in the North of Israel. After travelling and exploring East Asia for a year and a half, he moved to Mainland China to study Chinese language and culture. He lived for two years in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province and moved in Dali Old City (Yunnan) in 2014 and start to operate his own tour company. In his free time Yuval studies and explore the different minorities in Yunnan province as well as the diverse Chinese religions philosophies. He practices Tai-Chi, studies China’s history and culture and enjoys exploring remote places. Yuval speaks, reads and writes English, Hebrew and Mandarin Chinese. With his deep understanding of the local culture, he specializes in leading cultural tours and trekking throughout Yunnan and Sichuan.

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Roberta Lipson Roberta Lipson is CEO of United Family Healthcare. She has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry in China. Since she co-founded Chindex in 1981, the company has expanded from its business of capital medical equipment distribution to healthcare delivery. She is the creative force behind the United Family Healthcare brand, and its hospitals and clinics in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Wuxi and Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. United Family is the first foreign invested and managed private healthcare group in China. An active leader in the business community in Beijing, Ms. Lipson is a director of the U.S. China Business Council, as well as 4 successive terms on the board of the Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce – China (AmCham) and is Chair of the China Healthcare Partnership and Co-Chair of the Amcham-China Healthcare Forum. She also chairs the Board of the United Foundation for China’s Health and is a cofounder of Kehilat Beijing. Ms. Lipson holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Amir Lupovich Amir is an Israeli who has been working and living in China since 2007, pursuing a professional career and business. He now lives in Shanghai with his Chinese wife and son. As an individual Amir has various interests related to social change, and is active in a range of social organizations, observing the changes and challenges of today’s world, as seen from China, while experiencing the typical challenges of professional life in China and Asia. Together with my friend Owen Zhou, we have presented in previous Limmud China events. Last year we held a film session and workshop based on the acclaimed movie Crossroads. At the 2013 Limmud China, we presented an introduction to the Wisdom and Science of Kabbalah.

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Stacy Palestrant stacypalestrant@yahoo.com Stacy Palestrant has lived in Beijing for eight years. She is an active member of the Jewish community - participating in events at both Chabad and Kehillat Beijing. She is married to Tomer Rothschild and they have three children: Shiraz (9), Meital (6), and Erez (3). Observing Jewish holidays and customs is important to Stacy and her family. Living in Beijing can make this challenging but Stacy believes in forging a strong Jewish identity and sense of community for her family. Stacy and Tomer are entrepreneurs and are cofounders of an education consulting company.

Ted Plafker Twitter: @TedPlafker Since 1989, Ted Plafker has lived and worked full time in Beijing as a foreign correspondent, covering all aspects of the China story for numerous publications, including the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Science Magazine, The San Francisco Examiner, The International Herald Tribune, and others. He has been writing for The Economist since 1994 and is currently one of the magazine’s two accredited China correspondents. His first book, Doing Business in China: How to Profit in the World’s Fastest Growing Market, draws on the author’s many years of living in and writing about China It offers concise and practical guidance to China’s unique business environment. It covers China’s complex legal and economic landscape, business ethics, business culture, consumer culture, information environment, expatriate life in China, and more. Its simple aim is to help readers understand what is going on in China today, and how they and their firms can operate there effectively. Born and raised in New Jersey, Plafker graduated with a degree in Russian studies from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He now lives and works in Beijing.

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Aline P’nina TAYAR www.alinetayar.com Born in Malta into one of the smallest Jewish communities in the world, raised in Israel and Australia, and now resident in Bath, U.K., Aline P’nina Tayar is the author of an acclaimed memoir, How Shall We Sing?: A Mediterranean Journey Through a Jewish Family (Pan Macmillan/Picador). A film adaptation of her novel Island of Dreams (Ondina Press), set in Malta against the backdrop of the present-day migrant crisis in the Mediterranean is currently in pre-production. The book was awarded runner-up for the Harry Bowling Prize 2012 and short-listed for the Outbound Best Novel Prize 2011

Elyse Ribbons http://www.geiligiving.com https://twitter.com/iheartbeijing wechat: 13911872007 A blonde from Detroit (but a Tarheel at heart!) Elyse has spent the last thirteen years based in Beijing and traveling extensively through work all over China. Known by her Chinese name Liu Suying (柳素英) she’s a woman of many masks. Between corporate work (most recently as the COO and Board Member of China’s largest private construction company, China Pacific Construction Group) and media work (via columns, nationally syndicated radio show, regular news media appearances and films). All of this while feeding her passion for theater and the arts with Cheeky Monkey Theater, and earning her MFA in Peking Opera. While out-drinking local officials at baijiu banquets in 3rd tier cities is not a skill set one regularly would put on a resume, it has certainly helped provide her with an insight into Chinese business. Her previous work for the US Embassy in Beijing taught her the importance of communication, and as the Webmistress she witnessed the evolution of the Chinese internet. After participating in the Stanford Ignite program, Ribbons was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and now works on a startup, as CEO of GeiLi Giving, which combines her passion for philanthropy and Chinese media skills.

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Monte and Shari Rosen www.chinaelg.com Monte and Shari Rosen are the founders of The Essential Learning Group, which has been providing educational services in Shanghai for ten years. The Rosens have two children, Sophie, age 17, and Henry, age 13. They have lived in China since 2003.

Osrah Samuels Osrah J Samuel has a post graduate degree in accounts and a diploma in early childhood care and education. She is currently working as a teacher in Orchids International school. She has been an active part of Jewish community. Every Sunday she conducts Gan Katan in the local Synagogue for kids between the ages of five and twelve. She is passionate about dancing and has learnt Bharatnatyam (Classical Indian dance) for 9 years.

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Meirav Shacked www.ischam.org Wechat: meiravs Linkedin: Meirav 梅花 Shacked As Ischam’s GM, Meirav co-founded the IBCC (Israel Business and Cultural Center) at the heart of Beijing’s trendy 798 art district. IBCC serves to build and strengthen business and cultural ties between China and Israel. Besides management experience, she has background in marketing and advertising from her work at Publicis Israel, where she served in customer accounts management potions. More recently she joined a Beijing based, non-profit organization, called “Thirst” where she managed the online marketing campaigns to raise Chinese Youth’s awareness to the world’s water crisis (“Thirst” was founded by the World Economic Forum - Young Global Leaders). In her free time she blogs about her life as an expat girl in China as part of an expat community blog that she co-founded (www.xpatgirls.com).

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Osnat Ita Skoblinski Osnat is a Journalist and a Content Specialist. She has written for the Israeli press for the past eight years, including features for all major newspapers and a personal column. Her subjects vary from political and social issues to cultural affairs. In her column, she addressed issues such as human rights, women’s rights, Jewish-Russian identity and the fate of the occupied territories and social protests. As of September 2012 she has been employed at the Israeli human rights non-profit B’Tselem where she assumes a challenging and satisfying position as a Communications and New Media Coordinator. Her responsibilities consist in producing interactive projects, pitching feature articles for the Israeli and international media, writing op-eds, as well as fundraising through email campaigns. Last year Ms. Skoblinski relocated to Canada to work on an interactive documentary film about a Palestinian village, a co-production of the Israeli NGO B’Tselem and a Montreal based studio Folklore. Ms.Skoblinski studied Philosophy and gender at Tel-Aviv university.

Wayne Sussman @waynesussman Wayne was the last ever child to have his Bar Mitzvah in the North West province of South Africa. He is the Co-Chair of Limmud South Africa. He is also on the faculty of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. He uses his long daily journeys in the car to listen to good audiobooks, think about road aggregate, politics, South Africa and the future of the Jewish people.

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Vivian Wineman Educated at Yavneh Rabbinical College and Cambridge University, he is Past President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council. Currently he is Co-Chair of the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom, Chair of the Council of the European Jewish Congress and a Trustee of the Council of Christians and Jews. He is also past Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and Director of the Conference for Jewish material Claims against Germany. He was joint chair of British Friends of Peace Now and a chair of the New Israel Fund. He has appeared many times on radio and TV on Jewish and other topics, lectured at the Spiro institute and presented at Limmud UK. Currently studying Jewish history at University College London he is a Commercial lawyer by training and has published articles and a book on aspects of commercial law. A keen supporter and former patron of Norwood, a charity for children with disabilities, he has participated in twelve international cycling challenges in five continents on their behalf. He is married with three children and lives in London with a flat in Israel.

Li Yutong LI Yutong is renowned as one of the top yoga teachers in China. She brings some 15 years’ experience in yoga to her classes. She combines her yoga practice with a pranayama breathing practice and has profound knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine, anatomy, massage techniques such Tuina and uses her expertise to treat patients with specific physical problems. She often travel to India to study both yoga, Indian/Tibetan philosophy and breathing techniques

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Owen Zhou Owen Zhou has been a pioneer in the Chinese furniture and design industry for two decades: a successful business owner and an interior and custom furniture designer and maker. Owen lives in China and has experienced firsthand the significant changes that China is going through, both as a nation and in his personal life. Owen has various interests related to social change, observing the changes and challenges of today’s world, and the role that Jewish people play. Together with Amir Lupovich, Owen has presented in previous Limmud China events. Last year they held a film session and workshop based on the acclaimed movie Crossroads, produced by a friend of Owen’s. At the 2013 Limmud China, Owen held a session introducing the Wisdom and Science of Kabbalah.

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2015

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Friday 19:00 - 19:45

Shabbat Services

Lido Hotel

19:45 - 21:30

Dinner

Lido Hotel

21:45 - 23:30

Evening Activities

Lido Hotel

Saturday 6:30 - 9:00

9:15 - 10:15

Early Morning Session

Crowne Plaza

10:30 - 11:30

Late Morning Session

Crowne Plaza

11:45 - 12:45

Midday Session

Crowne Plaza

13:30 - 14:30

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Breakfast for Hotel Guests Lido Hotel

Lunch

15:30 - 16:30

Lunch + Learn

Lido Hotel

Midday Session

Lido Hotel


Havdallah

17:00 - 17:30

17:45 - 18:45

Midday Session

Dinner

19:00 - 20:30

Lido Hotel Lido Hotel Lido Hotel

20:45 - 21:45

Evening Session

Lido Hotel

22:00 - 23:30

Evening Entertainment

Lido Hotel

Sunday 7:00 - 8:45

Breakfast for Hotel Guests Lido Hotel

8:00 - 9:00

Early Bird Tai Chi

Crowne Plaza Crowne Plaza

9:15 - 10:15

Early Morning Session

10:30 - 11:30

Late morning Session

Crowne Plaza

11:45 - 12:45

Midday Session

Crowne Plaza

13:00 - 14:00

14:00 - 15:00

Lunch Close of Conference

Lido Hotel Lido Hotel 39


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Dear Friends It is with great pleasure that I am writing to congratulate you on Limmud China 2015. I am sure the event will build on the success of past years. We look forward to hearing all about it. 2015 represents the 35th year of Limmud’s existence and its growth around the world has been astounding. Limmud’s unique model of volunteer-led, cross-communal, multi-generational and transformational Jewish experiences is now truly global. There are now 80 Limmud groups in 40 countries round the world, and in 2014 there were 62 Limmud events run by 3,000 volunteers with 28,500 participants. These events are all inspired and supported by Limmud International and you can find out more at www.limmudinternational. org. Limmud is now truly a global community and we encourage you to attend Limmud events in other parts of the world if you are able to. Limmud seeks to take every individual who attends our events one step further on their Jewish journey. Each individual will have a different Jewish journey yet I have no doubt that given the excellent and diverse programme that has been developed, Limmud China will achieve this goal. I would like to extend my congratulations to the wonderful team who have put so much effort into creating this event and Limmud community and I wish you every success.

David Bilchitz Chair, Limmud International, November 2015

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Limmud China 2015 Handbook  
Limmud China 2015 Handbook  
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