Programme

The full programme of Helsinki Limud 2022 is now here! 

DAY 1 Friday 13.5.2022

17:00-17:45

Doors open - registration

18:00-18:45

Welcoming words: Ariel Nadbornik

Concert: Duo Ma-s-Ka

"Ma-s-Ka" is a creative and friendly duet of singers - Marika Guralnik and Jekaterina Erlich, who create their own fascinating and unique world of vocal with focus on the rich Jewish heritage, highlighting the Ashkenazi culture and spirituality of Hebrew. Their performance will be accompanied by an instrumental band.

19:00-19:45
 

Room 1: Sherri Mandell

What You Need to Know About Resilience

Many people misunderstand the nature of resilience. The Latin source of the word is to leap back but when you are struck with crisis or trauma or tragedy, you can’t return to who you were. In Hebrew the word designating resilience, chosen, means to be inoculated, impermeable. But resilience is about becoming greater, not harder or tougher. Resilience is about becoming, not overcoming. Unfortunately, I am an expert in this process. Our son Koby was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 2001 when he was 13, and since then I have been shattered-- and I have been rebuilt. In 2002 my husband and I created the Koby Mandell Foundation which runs Camp Koby and programs for bereaved children. We have worked with thousands of bereaved families. I also trained to be a pastoral counselor and worked on the cancer ward of a hospital as well as with patients in persistent vegetative states, and with their families. I have witnessed resilience. Resilience is not a personal quality that a few lucky ones possess. Instead each of us can build resilience. In my lecture, I will discuss the seven spiritual steps of resilience that I present in my book, "The Road to Resilience."
 

Room 2: Sanna Lönnfors  

"Pieces of Israeli sun" - Israelin auringon palasia - book presentation

Israelin auringon palasia (Reuna, 2021), on tositarina, jossa kaksi kertomusta punoutuu yhteen. Kirja kuvaa Israeliin opiskelemaan muuttavan suomalaistytön kokemuksia, ja samanaikaisesti se kertoo Stefanie ja Gustaf Gärtnerin tarinan – juutalaisen pariskunnan, joka yrittää paeta Euroopasta ennen toista maailmansotaa ja sen alkamisen jälkeen. Gärtnerin pariskunnan tarina perustuu heidän 1938–41 kirjoittamiinsa kirjeisiin, joita he lähettivät kolmelle pojalleen, jotka olivat onnistuneet lähtemään Euroopasta. Kirjailija Sanna Lönnfors sai kirjeet ystävältään, Gärtnerien lapsenlapsenlapselta, ja seurasi pariskunnan jalanjälkiä Sudeettialueiden Gablonzista Prahaan, Belgradiin ja lopulta Lodzin ghettoon, missä Gärtnerit menehtyivät vuonna 1942. Tutkimus laajeni Lönnforsin gradutyöksi ja lopulta Israelin auringon palasia -kirjaksi. Luennolla kirjailija kertoo kirjan kirjoittamisesta sekä Gärtnerien tarinasta.
 

Room 3: Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz  

Meet the Karaites: Like Us and Not Like Us

In the course of our history, there have been many groups both within and just outside mainstream Judaism. We'll look at the Karaites, and consider how they have changed the course of Jewish history and influenced the way we think about ourselves and others.

Room 4: Magda Rubenfeld Koralewska
Are Jews Lucky?
★ Memory Futures track
The “Lucky Jew” project began as a satirical response to the popular antisemitic practice of buying and selling stereotypical images of Jews with coins in Poland, to bring economic luck. Learn about the journey of the “Lucky Jew” from an activist performance to the City of Krakow’s change of consciousness and policy around these objects. But are we out of the woods yet?
 

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DAY 2 Sunday 15.5.2022

10.30–11.00

Doors open - registration

11:00-11:50

Room 1:Lindsey Taylor

Unity and Diversity: A Closer Look at the Tower of Babel

We will use midrash, mediaeval commentators, and modern thinkers to explore the meaning of the Tower of Babel story from the Torah. Is it about languages, divine punishment, or perhaps something much more relevant to what is going on in the world today?

Room 2: Daniel Bögre Udell

Lexicons of Peoplehood: A linguistic history of the Jewish people

Jewish diversity is often framed in terms of Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Mizrahim, Beta Israel, and Bene Israel—broad cultural strokes that reduce the depth of our history. However, over twenty centuries, the Jewish people have spoken at least 30 languages, each reflecting unique histories of migration and resilience, as unique expressions of Jewish identity. Join us in a journey across vast geography, as we explore the dynamism of Jewish voices from the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judea to our myriad diasporic cultures today.

 

Room 3: Yechiel Wasserman 

The Talmud: the most monumental creation of the Jewish people

Moses received the Torah at Sinai and passed it to Joshua, which is the written Torah. The Oral Torah developed over two thousand years and includes the Mishnah and Talmud amongst others. The Talmud has been written and edited for over three hundred years between the first and fifth centuries. In the lecture, we will examine the historical and ideological context of the development of the Mishnah and Talmud, followed by the halakhic literature of the middle ages, the Maimonides, and "Shulchan-Aruch" to modern-day Jewish literature.  

Room 4: Tamás Büchler
A Design Thinking Approach to Remember Together
★ Memory Futures track
Join us for an informative, interactive, and hands-on workshop on the challenges concerning how we can remember events important to our collective Jewish memory in a meaningful way that can feel global and local, personal and universal - all at the same time! And while at it, you can learn a new and creative tool to engage your community around difficult conversations.

12:00-12:50

Room 1: Henrik Rosengrén

Memory, music making and the Holocaust ★ Memory Futures track

Music pieces, like the outcome of other cultural expressions, can be seen as memory-related artifacts that construct, deconstruct and perpetuate memory cultures regardless of the author's intentions. There are several compositions in the classical genre that are in some way connected to the memories of Holocaust and World War II or which have been interpreted as representations of the trauma memory of the Nazi genocide. In my lecture I will discuss some classical musical pieces composed during the 1940´s by Hilding Rosenberg, Moses Pergament and Arnold Schönberg, and the reception of these works in a Swedish post-war context that can be linked to the Holocaust as a culture of remembrance.

 

Room 2: Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz 

The Bible in Aramaic: Exploring The Targums

When Jews started speaking Aramaic, they had to start translating the Bible. We’ll explore how these translations developed into a special type of Jewish literature that is still used today, and how their unique style still influences some modern translations. No Aramaic needed – we’ll sample Targum texts in English translation.
 

Room 3: Rolene Marks  

Debunking the Apartheid Analogy

The word Apartheid is very emotive. It is also very unique to South Africa but why is the word Apartheid being used to single out Israel for criticism and isolation? In this session we will look at the definition of Apartheid and if it applies, examine why this particular label is used to denigrate Israel and investigate what is the motive of those who want to label Israel as an Apartheid state. Is the appropriating of the unique South African narrative appropriate or even accurate when describing Israel? Find out more in this session.We will also take a look at the motives behind human rights organization, Amnesty International and determine if their report has any merit.
 

Room 4: Emilia Kartovaara-Haskalah 

Creating the Modern Jewish Novelist

The Haskalah was a Jewish intellectual and literary movement born in late 18th and 19th century Europe. Its aim was to challenge rabbinical dominance over Jewish literature and create a new biblical poetic language. The ideas of the Haskalah were significant to the development of modern Jewish fiction and intellectual life: Avraham Mapu's "Ahavat Zion," for instance, is often credited as being the first Hebrew novel. The Haskalah is commonly referred to as a Jewish Enlightenment. In her novel "Haskalah: The Romantic Movement in Judaism," Olga Litvak disproves this idea. Inspired by Litvak's overview, I wish to dive deeper into the literature of the Haskalah and analyze its Romantic elements. Using "Ahavat Zion" and some other Jewish Romantic novels as examples, I want to establish Haskalah writers' place in the larger Romantic canon and discuss how the movement created a revolution of secular Jewish literature.

12:50-13:50

lunch

14:00-14:50

Room 1: Tyson Herberger

Reimagining How We Count Jews ★ Memory Futures track

This session will explore how Jewish demographics work on several levels by exploring various estimates of how many Jews are in Norway, from 750 to over three thousand. But how are these numbers arrived at, be it in Norway or anywhere? By examining differences in who is counted and how they are counted, we will rethink how many Jews are in Norway, or anywhere. We will explore how having different (and conflicting) estimates of Jewish populations might be useful, as different uses of the estimates might call for different boundaries of who is to be included. By the end of our session, we will end up more confused about who is Jewish, and how many Jews there are; but we will have a greater appreciation for the utility of the diverse estimates of Jewish populations.

Room 2: Henrik Rosengrén

Moses Pergament and the Swedish music life 1920-1950

Moses Pergament was a Finnish-born Swedish-Jewish composer and music critic who came to Sweden 1916 and started a carrier as a music critic in the Swedish conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet 1923. He was also a composer who mixed modern classical music with Jewish and Swedish traditional music. My lecture will be about Pergament´s efforts to be accepted both as a Jewish and Swedish composer and how influential Swedish music personalities opposed these efforts of a double identification. He had to fight different kinds of Anti-Semitic and nationalistic discourses in his work as a music critic and composer. Pergament was one of the first Swedish composers who wrote music related to the Nazi take over in Germany and especially to the Holocaust. His most known composition is The Jewish Song from 1944, which he wrote with explicit reference to the murders of and atrocities against the European Jews.
 

Room 3: Kaj Tico Takolander

From Berlin to Greenfield (Sing-along)

Welcome to explore songs with a Jewish connection in this sing-along session. Together we will perform famous and popular tunes by Jewish artists or composers. There are no special requirements for musical skills nor any entrance examination for participants. Just bring your best mood and a sunny attitude! The session facilitator Tico Takolander is a merry amateur singer and music enthusiast. All lyrics are in English.
 

Room 4: Laila Takolander  

Do we need Jewish knowledge when working at a Jewish Community center?

15:00-15:50

Room 1: Karmela Bélinki

Shylock in Finland

Shylock in Finland deals with the portrayal of the Jew in the literature of Finland 1900-1970. In general, political and ideological fluctuations have had a peripheral impact on the literary portrayal of the Jews. The traces of Shakespeare’s Shylock, the archetypal literary image, can be followed both backwards and forwards, from the New Testament to contemporary fiction. The introvert Finnish culture has interesting implications. There is practically no special Finnish-Jewish literary archetype. The very few examples that Finnish literature offers, both in the positive and the negative sense, have no particular national characteristics or an individual personality, which would deviate from the general picture. They follow foreign models. This lecture encompasses fiction in Finland in both Finnish and Swedish. The translations of names of books and quotations are mine.

 

Room 2: Simo Muir  

Rumkowskin syntipukki? Łódźin geton virkailijan Maks Szczęśliwyn kunniaoikeudenkäynti Helsingissä 1949-1953

Toisen maailmansodan jälkeen Helsinkiin asettunutta Łódźin geton ruokahuollon entistä päällikköä ja geton johtajan Chaim Rumkowskin lähintä kollegaa Maks Szczęśliwyä syytettiin "rikoksista ihmisyyttä vastaan". Pystyäkseen päättämään voiko Szczęśliwyä hyväksyä juutalaisen yhteisön jäseneksi Helsingin juutalainen seurakunta ja Suomen juutalaisten seurakuntien keskusneuvosto järjestivät kunniaoikeudenkäynnin. Tuomioistuin otti yhteyttä juutalaisiin instituutioihin Ruotsissa, Puolassa, Isossa-Britanniassa ja Israelissa saadakseen apua ja neuvoja, ja lopulta tapaus vietiin käsiteltäväksi Israelin päärabbinaattiin. Esitys pohtii, kuinka kansainvälisen holokaustiselviytyjäyhteisön muuttuvat asenteet entisiä juutalaisneuvostojen jäseniä kohtaan muotoilivat Szczęśliwyn tapauksen lopullisen tuloksen.

Room 3: Rolene Marks  

Israel beyond the Conflict - the start-up nation, modern miracles and more

There is more to Israel than the decades long conflict. The global media is saturated with news headlines and stories detailing Israel's conflict with the Palestinians; but there is more to this robust democracy than conflict. Israel is a country that has an extraordinary history, both modern and ancient, and is breaking new ground every day as the innovation nation, leading in many major fields. Over the last two years, history has been made as Israel has made peace with several regional countries and is opening up corridors of communication with others. Israel is also the first to respond to a humanitarian crisis – regardless of diplomatic relations. A tiny powerhouse in a volatile neighbourhood, this small but plucky country is rising to defend itself against threats and challenges – and is opening up more and more to the global community. Why does the media have an almost obsessive focus on the conflict, often at the expense of others around the world? In this session you will be introduced to a different Israel than the country you see in the news and we will examine why, despite astounding achievements and humanitarian outreach, the global media insists on focusing on conflict.
 

Room 4: Daniel Bögre Udell  

How to save your language from extinction ★ Memory Futures track

As many as 3,000 languages could disappear within the next 80 years, erasing half of all cultural, historical, and ecological knowledge. But language extinction is not inevitable: with the right resources, you can reclaim your ancestral language, teach your children, and keep your culture alive. Join us in exploring the exploring the history of language revitalization — from its uniquely Jewish origins to its global role in social justice today.

16:00-16:50

Room 1: Seth Mandell

Is There Another Life After This Life? Does the Soul Live On?
Descriptions of the soul in this world and in the next are replete in Jewish sources but seldom discussed in accessible contemporary language. We'll discuss the architecture of the soul in Jewish thought, the mystical vision of the world to come, and how these concepts can inform and inspire our daily lives.
 

Room 2: Tyson Herberger

Increasing Orthodox Acceptance of Homosexuality ★ Memory Futures track

While not widely known, it is now more than 20 years since the first orthodox rabbi came out as publicly gay while maintaining his identity as an orthodox rabbi. It is also more than 10 years since the first commitment ceremony (or marriage) between two men was conducted by an orthodox rabbi. While many in orthodoxy decried, and indeed continue to decry homosexuality as incompatible with Jewish values, there is simultaneously a growing number of rabbis, including not only open orthodox rabbis, but also rabbis from the center and right, who are increasingly accepting of gay congregants and gay life. This paper will explore some of these developments, the pushback against them, and leave us thinking about what these developments might mean for orthodoxy.

 

Room 3: Laila Takolander  

One community- several denominations

Room 4: Movie

 Immánuel Löw, who understood the language of plants

 Directed by: László Böröcz, Katalin Virág. 40 mins, English subtitles

17:00-17:50

Room 1: Sherri Mandell  

The Jewish secrets of happiness

There are nine words in the Hebrew language to describe happiness. We’re a people that is very serious, and has had a hard history including great suffering, yet we are very happy. In fact, Israel ranked 11th in the World Happiness Report, in front of Great Britain and America. What’s our secret? The sages tell us: Who is rich? He or she who is happy with his or her lot. But how do we find happiness with our lot? This workshop will describe Judaism’s wisdom on finding happiness. We’ll learn the story of Rebbe Gam Zu who teaches--this too is for the good. We’ll talk about avoiding lashon ha ra, speaking badly about ourselves and others-- and focus on the ability to see the good. We’ll examine the first morning blessing—modeh ani-- where we thank God for returning our souls from sleep. We’ll also look at the famous maxim by Hillel—“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” We’ll discuss the spiritual source of happiness according to Rebbe Nachman: the luz, a remnant in the person that is indestructible and redeeming, available for providing happiness, no matter how dark a person’s life seems. In fact, the Talmud says that when we get to heaven, God will ask us if we enjoyed his world (Kiddushin, 48B). It’s crucial to find happiness in this world.
 

Room 2: Rolene Marks  

The ABC's of BDS

What is BDS? We know it is an acronym for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions but how did this movement start? What is the motive behind BDS who have focused solely on Israel? What is their "endgame" and do policies of Boycotts, Sanctions and Divestment have any effect on Israel? Are the motives of the BDS movement rooted in social justice as they claim or is there a more nefarious motive and how does this impact on the Palestinians? In this sessions we will look more in-depth at BDS and discuss whether or not this movement has been a success.
 

Room 3: Timo R. Stewart  

Liitonarkun metsästys Jerusalemissa

Vuonna 1911 salaperäiset kaivaukset Jerusalemissa päättyvät suureen mellakkaan ja kansainväliseen mediakohuun. Kaiken tomun ja myllerryksen keskellä seisoo suomalainen runoilija ja maanmittari Valter Juvelius (1865–1922). Kuka Juvelius oikein on, ja miten hän on tilanteeseen päätynyt? Juvelius oli brittiläisine retkikuntineen paikalla etsimässä kuuluisaa liitonarkkia. Siinä kerrottiin olevan kaksi kivitaulua, jotka sisälsivät Jumalan Moosekselle antaman lain ja käskyt. Juvelius uskoi löytäneensä salakirjoituksen, joka paljasti Jerusalemin temppelin aarteiden kätköpaikan. Juveliuksen huima tarina avaa myös, millä tavoin tieteen rajat on aiemmin hahmotettu ja miten käsitykset mahdollisen ja mahdottoman rajoista ovat historian saatossa muuttuneet. Jerusalemiin ja Temppelivuoren alueeseen liittyvät jännitteet sen sijaan ovat yhä hyvin samankaltaisia kuin 1900-luvun alussa.

Room 4: Yoad Mick
From Moses to Einstein to you - Discover the Unimaginable Powers of Imagination

Throughout the Bible as well as history, Jews and imagination went hand in hand - and it was a key factor in finding the light in challenging situations, helping them survive, invent creative solutions and constantly iterate and innovate. In this original concept talk, part of the IMAGYM workshops, we’ll explore how to reconnect with your inherent imagination, open your mind on how to apply it to better your life, and give you tools to train your mind to reimagine any situation - imagine if you could do that eh?

18:00-18:50

Lobby: Mark Kovnatskiy

"Di Naye yidishe melodyes" / “rusishe krigshif, shif zikh in dr'erd” ★ Memory Futures track

We invite you to a concert of "Di Naye yidishe melodyes" (new Yiddish melodies) consisting of Mark's original compositions.
The concert will also be a promotional event for a new album “rusishe krigshif, shif zikh in dr’erd – Jewish Voices Condemn russia’s War Against Ukraine”. It is a selection of 29 compositions by Jewish artists (including Mark himself) from around the world who are appalled by russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and its citizens. This event will be an opportunity to listen to Mark play and also speak about the project and about the response of Jewish artists to the war.
"As human beings we are shocked and outraged, we raise our voices to say „Rusishe krigshif, shif zikh in dr'erd!“ As musicians we realize that music can help in many different ways, and this time we use it to raise funds for the “Hospitallers”, a volunteer organisation of Ukrainian paramedics." Says curator of the project Yuriy Gurzhy.
You are welcome to donate, every contribution matters, every donation counts.