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Speakers

Programme

DAY 1 
19:00
Doors open, registration
19:30
Havdala & Welcome words
20:00
Debunking Antisemitism in Finland 
Merci Czimbalmos
The dangers of antisemitism on Finland’s democracy have been recognized internationally. The aim of this workshop is two-folded: to introduce a new research project entitled "Antisemitism Undermining Democracy" that will study antisemitism in Finland by reflecting on several manifestations of the phenomena from an interdisciplinary angle. The other aim of the workshop is to discuss opinions about the definitions of antisemitism and about the participants' experiences with antisemitic incidents (in Finland) and thus, to contribute to identifying the most successful process of research and scope of dissemination of research results as thought of by those, who experience antisemitism in their own everyday lives in Finland. The workshop will be facilitated by the "Debunking Antisemitism" working group (PI Mercedesz Czimbalmos, Dóra Pataricza, Jonah Bogle and Nóra Varga).
 

Modern Day Miracles - Real-life stories of how thousands of Ukrainan refugees were saved
Zushe Abelsky 
A small Chabad family living in the poorest Jewish community in Eastern Europe, Moldova, struggled for many years in their mission to help their fellow Jews physically and spiritually, with little reward to show for their efforts. Over time, with large donations coming at unexpected times from unexpected benefactors and with permission being granted unexpectedly by non-Jewish government officials, Chabad was able to build the foundations of an infrastructure that strengthened the community. This Chabad family came to realize that all those unexpected happenings were really the work of the true Grandmaster: G-d had been busy setting up all the chess pieces so that Chabad would be situated in just the right place at just the right time to help thousands of Ukrainian refugees escape from the Russian invasion to their welcoming neighbors in Moldova. The broader lesson learned for everyone is that if you choose to see it -- G-d is at your side ready to help you and the world.


Social Psychology profile of terrorist leaders in Israeli prisons
Sagit Yehoshua
In this lecture I’ll explore the social-psychological profile of terrorist leaders in Israeli prison, based on personal encounters with terrorist leaders of three main Palestinian terrorist groups: Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad, in prisons around Israel. What are their main social-psychological characteristic, and do the long term prison sentence has any influence on their extreme mind-set.


Mindfulness and Jewish Thought: What is it and how to do it?
Benji Elson
A practical introduction to Jewish Mindfulness Meditation. In this session we will explore the "whats" and "hows" of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation. Together, we will learn about meditation by exploring and deciphering ancient and modern Jewish texts about mindfulness meditation. More than that, we will put those teachings in action by learning how to meditate and practicing it together, in real time.
21:00
Late Night Mixer & Music Performance:
LEBEDIK - YIDDISH SONGWAYS
DAY 2 
10:30
Doors open, registration
11:00
Radicalisation processes in Israel and around the world
Sagit Yehoshua
The rise of ISIS has revealed a significant phenomenon of radicalisation around the world, where a substantial number of people from different cultures, languages and places around the world have been going through a similar proses of radicalisation where they have come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, then join terrorist groups. Who are the people that are going through this proses? Do they have a specific profile and similar characteristics? Or maybe the same background and life experiences? In this lecture I’ll explore the profile of radicalisation and the people that are vulnerable to it, what are the characteristics of this process? Can it be stopped? Can we stop people from going through this proses? And if once they have been radicalised can they be rehabilitated?


Charity, Shmarity - Why not just have the rich people give and leave me alone?
Chaya Abelsky
Charity – Why do it: should someone like me, who isn't rich, bother donating a small amount? Giving charity is a lofty concept, but does it really make sense on an individual level for poor people to give up their hard-earned money? Plus, is there any real reward for doing it? (Hint: the answer to all questions is yes). The concept of giving charity goes way back to the Biblical concept of tithing where G-d instructed people to set aside one tenth of their income to give to charity. This guideline was established for everyone – rich and poor. More than that, though, it gets complicated with many questions surrounding this issue: wouldn’t it be better for the rich to give more and the poor less; is it better to give more money to a few or less money to many; is it better to give locally or abroad; if one-tenth is good, would giving one-fifth be better; should we give preferentially to Jewish causes? Come hear the surprising answers to some of these more sophisticated angles, as well as real-life stories of how G-d rewarded people back many times more than the original dollar amount of their donations.

 
A Torah Vision for Society: Tackling Modern-day Issues with an Ancient Lens
Benji Elson
As Jews, we believe that the Torah is full of deep wisdom that can help us live fuller and better lives. We also intuitively feel that the Torah gives us teachings that can and ought to guide us in all matters of life be they personal, communal, societal, or global. Yet, often it is hard to find those teachings, especially when one things about many of the most pressing issues of today such as urban planning, oppression, climate change, deforestation, and more. Has the Torah provided guideposts to help us figure out how to think and act in the face of such pressing modern issues? Together we will find out.

 
Jiddishinkielisiä levyharvinaisuuksia Harry Orvomaan levykokoelmasta
Simo Muir
Musiikkiarkiston Harry Orvomaa -kokoelma sisältää harvinaisen kokoelman Varsovan Syrena Rekord -yhtiön ennen toista maailmansotaa tuottamia jiddishinkielisiä levyjä. Kokoelma sisältää tallenteita mm. jiddishinkielisistä opereteista ja musiikkinäytelmistä, kansanlauluja, kabareelauluja ja tangoja aikaanan tunnetujen laulajien esittämänä. Kokoelman kerääjä, Scandia Musiikin johtaja Harry Orvomaa (entinen Orscholick) teki levytyksillään 1950- ja 60-luvuilla tunnetuksi jiddishinkielistä populaarimusiikkia Suomessa. Esityksen aikana kuuntelemme otteita Orvomaan kokoelmasta.
12:00
The importance of wearing tsitses: A juicy story from the Talmud
Szonja Ráhel Komoróczy
Why and when does one have to wear tsitses? Can one sell the tsitses to a non-Jew? Is it enough to fulfil one single commandment? We will read various traditional texts to answer these questions. Among them, there will be a juicy story from the Babylonian Talmud about lust, about a yeshiva student who went to see a harlot. We will discuss this story in depth, from the perspective of Jewish law, of rabbinic thinking, of folklore.

Superwomen - Today's religious women are rocking it in every way, and religion is their superpower!
Chaya Abelsky
Feminism has not only existed but has been celebrated since Biblical days, when G-d instructed Abraham to listen to Sarah because she was right… to B’nos Tzlofchad who successfully argued their legal case to Moses about women’s property rights... to Devorah, who was a military leader, judge and prophet... to respected Jewish female scholars, such as Bruriah, who was consulted to answer complex Talmudic questions… to modern-day Ruchie Freier, Chasidic mother of 6 children, who is currently a criminal judge in New York City. Religious leaders recognize that women are the backbone of their family and therefore the foundation upon which all society is built. Women who are educated, not just about the world, but about their heritage with a clear understanding of their belief system, will be the catalysts to propel others to future greatness. With so much divisiveness and a lack of moral clarity that exists nowadays, society needs women to lead us out of the darkness and into the light. 

Human rights as a legacy of the Holocaust: the case of the Ukraine war
Mia Hasenson-Gross
Human rights emerged from the horrors of the Holocaust and were designed by leading Jewish human rights lawyers. As Jewish people, we have a responsibility to continue their legacy and ensure the human rights framework they helped create is protected and enjoyed by everyone. The session will explore this legacy in relation to the Ukraine war - the responsibility to protect and obligation to hold those accountable for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. 

Kirkko ja juutalaisuus
Suomen Kirkko ja juutalaisuus –työryhmä
Kirkko ja juutalaisuus työryhmän on varsinkin viime vuosina keskittynyt kouluttamaan kirkon työntekijöitä ja uskonnon opettajia juutalaisuudesta ja juutalaisuuden ja kristinuskon suhteista toisiinsa mukaanlukien myös niin varhaisen kuin nykyisenkin antisemitismin ja sen erilaiset muodot.
12:50
Lunch break
13:30
Helsingin jiddish-kabareen monet kasvot
Simo Muir
Sata vuotta sitten helsinkiläinen Jac Weinstein (1883–1976) perusti jiddishinkielisen teatteriseuran, jota varten hän kirjoitti revyitä ja musiikkinäytelmiä. Weinsteinin laulujen tekstit kuvaavat Helsingin juutalaisten elämää vaiheita niin myötä- kuin vastoinkäymisissäkin itseironisesti, juutalaisella huumorilla höystettynä. Laulut kertovat niin Kampin Narinkkatorin vanhojen vaatteiden myyjistä, Heikinkadun muotiliikkeistä, juutalaisen jalkapallojoukkueen pelionnesta, kimurantista rabbin valinnasta kuin kauppiasklubin hilpeistä juhlista. Esitys taustoittaa näitä lauluja sekä valottaa Weinsteinin ja hänen näytelmäseuransa kiehtovaa historiaa.

The Uyghur Genocide and our responsibility to act today
Mia Hasenson-Gross
In December 2021, the independent Uyghur Tribunal – after reviewing the largest body of evidence on these atrocities in the world – determined that the Chinese government’s policies amount to torture, crimes against humanity and genocide, in its persecution of close to three million Muslim Uyghurs in China because of their culture and their religion. As speaker by experience, Jewish people have both the authority and with it a responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Uyghurs and take action to end their persecution.

Jewish Papercuts in a Nutshell- Workshop
Ivana Koutníková & Agnieszka Baraszko
This workshop is led by Agnieszka Baraszko and Ivana Koutníková.
Learn about traditional Jewish papercuts, a popular art form that took its inspiration mostly from the Tanakh and Talmud. The workshop consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. In the theoretical part, we will shortly dive into the nature and purpose of this art form; we will look at the papercuts and its symbols from a historical and cultural perspective.
The second part will be a practical one, all participants will have the opportunity to get hands on with this marvelous forgotten piece of Jewish folklore and create their very own papercuts!


Judaism and the environment - can Judaism offer a fruitful environmental gospel?
Noa Israeli
Since the middle of the 20th century, the scientific world became aware of the environmental damage caused by mankind. Today, there is a scientific consensus regarding the existence of an environmental crisis. In order to solve the environmental crisis, resources are allocated for monitoring climatic changes, scientific solutions are developed, laws are formulated, as well as norms and regulations. All of which are supposed to make people understand that there is a need for a significant change in people's views and behavior regarding the environment. In the Jewish tradition we can find many ideas and texts that can contribute to this goal and formulate an inspiring Jewish message to enrich the environmental discourse and help promote inspiring pro-environmental ideas. However, the State of Israel, which is the only Jewish state, still falls behind the rest of the Western world in environmental matters. In this lecture we will read various sources relating to environmental ideas and ask whether there is a possibility for a real environmental Jewish gospel.
14:30
Judaism in Popular Culture
Ivana Koutníková
Popular Culture is all around us and influences our lives in many different ways, so do Judaism and Jewish Culture. During the interactive lecture, we will investigate where and how the two areas meet and how they influence each other.
 

Between Behemot and Unicorn: Jewish fantastic beasts and symbolism
Agnieszka Baraszko
From the smallest Shamir to the greatest Behemot, Jewish text is full of creatures of all shapes and sizes. This marvelous menagerie has served as an artistic inspiration to many and has emanated in various art forms. Let’s have a closer look at Behemot gazing at you from the ceiling of Gwozdziec synagogue, or Leviathan hidden at the bottom of the Negel Waser cup. Where do they come from? And what do they symbolize? Do they serve as a reminder, or maybe a warning? Let us embark on an adventure to the land of fantastic beasts, and find out more!

”We, the expelled”: Historical Experiences among the Forced Polish Jewish Migration that came to Sweden 1967-1972
Martin Englund
During the period 1967-1972 almost 3,000 refugees came from Poland to Sweden due to an antisemitic campaign initiated by the ruling Communist Party after the Six-day war in the Middle East 1967 and the student protests of March 1968. These migrants belonged to the last major emigration of the previously so numerous Polish Jewry. We, the Expelled is both a collection of life stories at The Nordic Museum in Stockholm and a PhD project in history initiated and performed by Martin Englund. He will describe the main themes in these life stories such as the development of Jewish identities and the relation to Polish antisemitism. Another reoccurring theme is clashes with the established Swedish Jewry. Above all does the historical experience of the Holocaust appear as a focal point of historical orientation.

Torah and Cutting Edge Therapeutic Modalities: What do the Jewish Sources have to say about them?
Benji Elson
Wellness and Mental Health are buzz words of today. Everyone is looking for the newest most effective modality that will change the way we feel, think, and behave. But this desire to live the best life possible is not a new concept. In fact, the Torah, rabbi's and Jewish teachings have been talking about these ideas for over 2000. In this session, we shall explore some of the most cutting edge new therapies of the past 50 years and show how the Jewish tradition was already teachings these approaches for hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years.
15:30
Jewish Conversion - The Big Controversy - Q&A
Samuel Beniard
16:30
The changing profile of terrorism in Israel and around the world
Sagit Yehoshua
The last 20 years we have seen a dramatic change in the profile of terrorism in Israel and around the world, the ideology which is the main foundation of every terrorist organisation or individual motivation, is being diffused and is losing its solid ground, where today it is mostly used by perpetrators as an excuse for an action, while their motivation is mainly self grievances and deprivations. Israel is one of the only places around the world where the national ideology is still viable though the social changes around the world have influenced its significance and allowed self grievances to take place in the core motivation of terrorists today. That put the Israeli security forces in the face of a new and very challenging threat that they have never dealt with before.

What is antisemitism and what is racism?
Martin Englund
Antisemitism is a kind of racism. For the racist thinking of National Socialism it was the profound basis. Still, research about antisemitism and research about racism is very much being performed in separated spheres. Antisemitism is a kind of racism, yet older than the category it belongs to if we adopt a definition of racism as something specific modern and not the general and eternal prejudices that occur between groups of people. A What is then antisemitism and what is racism? What is the relation between the two? Shall we approach them as separate problems or as an interconnected whole? Martin Englund will introduce this session and then moderate a discussion with all participants.

Testimonial of the Condemned - forgotten survivors´ testimonies
Ivana Koutníková
Already in autumn 1945, book called De dödsdömda vittna (The Testimonial of the Condemned, Die Todgeweihten Zeuge) was created by Gunhild and Einar Tegen and published in Swedish by Wahlström & Widstrand publisher house in Stockholm. The book was built from 600 collected testimonies from survivors of Nazi concentration and extermination camps, mostly women, coming from Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Hungary and Romania that found their refuge in Sweden after WWII. In the lecture, we will explore process of creation of the book, methodology and collected testimonies with focus on testimonies from Czechoslovakia.

Holiness, worship, and politics: Trends in the perception of the sacred space in contemporary Judaism
Noa Israeli
Jewish attitude towards holy places and sacred spaces has changed, updated and reformulated over the years and throughout generations due to historical constraints and theological trends. Indeed, the special status of the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem in the diaspora was preserved in literature, rituals and prayers, but creative solutions to their absence were found and formulated to establish a vivid religion without a temple or similar tangible ritual site. After the establishment of the state of Israel various cultural and political decisions were made concerning the holy places and sacred sites, which expressed current trends in the mindset of contemporary Judaism in the state of Israel. This lecture will overview these trends and changes. As part of the discussion, we will also refer to the unique place of women in shaping these trends.
17:30
Soup for Supper & Shmoozing
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