Understanding Judaism and Social Justice

October 17, 2010


Thanks to all for making this a wonderful event. A report will be posted soon.


Rabbi Lavey Derby, Idra Meditation Center
Topic: Biblical Israel and the Evolution of the Jewish Religion
Rabbi Lavey Derby served as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Kol Shofar from 1993 until 2010, where he was instrumental in building the synagogue community on the principles of Torah study, spiritual quest and practice, and social action. Currently he is working on establishing a center for Jewish spiritual practice and learning called The Idra. He has lectured extensively across the country and has taught widely on subjects ranging from rabbinic and Jewish thought to Hasidism and contemporary Jewish spirituality. He has actively served the Jewish communities in New York and Los Angeles. He is past President of the Northern California Board of Rabbis, and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Yisrael Rice, Chabad of Marin
Topic: Kabbala: Changing Ourselves, Changing Our World
Rabbi Yisrael Rice is the Director of Chabad of Marin and the Center for Jewish Enrichment. He is a popular teacher of Jewish thought and experience and the editor of the Jewish Lantern. His understanding of Talmud and Kabbalah with his sense of humor makes him an approachable and inspiring teacher. Rabbi Rice lives in San Rafael with his family.

Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Topic: Portnoy�s Mother�s Complaint: Pop Stereotypes of Jewish Women May Be a Danger to Your Health!
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman is the Western Regional Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation serving twenty-two congregations from the Rockies to the Pacific. She is the Rabbinic co-chair of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and on the executive committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Rabbi Litman was the spiritual leader of gay outreach congregations Kol Simcha and Sha’ar Zahav, is an authority on moral education for diverse families, and has consulted with Jewish institutions, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the National Council of Churches on the subject.

Achi Ben-Shalom, Musician and Choral Director
Topic: Music of the Jewish People (closing session)
Achi Ben-Shalom has studied music in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is known in the community as a specialist in Jewish and Israeli music. He performs as a song leader and as a soloist with his band Adama, conducts the East Bay Jewish Folk Chorus, the West Bay Nigunim Chorus, and works as a Program and Marketing Director at Congregation Ner Tamid, San Francisco.

BUILDING BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING is an educational program of the International Association of Sufism and Dominican University of California, Humanities Department, in cooperation with Marin faith communities. Partial funding from Marin Community Foundation.

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