Sunday, April 7, 2024

Tapestry returns this spring with a fresh new look and feel! This year, we’re excited to bring you educators from around the COUNTRY, a host of experiential learning opportunities, enthralling sessions, immersive learning, and a celebration of all things community, education, and Judaism. This isn’t the Tapestry you’ve always known - this event will surprise, inspire, cultivate, and enhance your love of learning. 

Check out our session and speaker line-up below and start building your schedule!


9:00 A.M. …………………………………Check-in and light breakfast

9:45 A.M. …………………………………Community gathering in the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

10:15 A.M. ……………………………….CLASS BLOCK #1 | Select one session to attend

11:45 A.M. ……………………………….CLASS BLOCK #2 | Select one session to attend

1:00 P.M. ………………………………….Lunch break | Lunch will be provided

2:15 P.M. ………………………………….CLASS BLOCK #3 | Select one session to attend

3:30 P.M. ………………………………….Ending celebration with live music, drinks, and dessert!

In between each learning session, esteemed local dancer and fitness trainer Jodi Bartlett will be leading optional brief stretching exercises to keep your body moving throughout the day. 

Price: $36 | JCC Members: $30

Ticket includes full Sunday program: lite breakfast, class sessions, lunch and ending celebration



Exploring the current cultural landscape for Jewish Americans, including but not limited to Jewish people of Color, Jewish people part of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jewish dating + matchmaking, theatre and so much more.

This track will include sessions dedicated to exploring Jewish communities outside of Israel and America, such as Sephardic Jews from Spain, Mizrahi Jews from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, Jews from China, and Jewish customs in other parts of the world and their rich but often erased history.

Sessions that explore how we continue to keep the memories of Holocaust survivors alive and the significance of remembering the Shoah.

Sessions that explore the history of and current situation between Israel and Palestine, Israel’s fight for Democracy and the current administration, and how anti-Zionism and antisemitism have come to affect our college campuses.

Exploring life in Israel from technological advancements to the significant art scene, and how life in Israel has come to influence the rest of the world.

Sessions exploring mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, and the connection to Judaism and Jewish text.

This track will include sessions for Jewish organization professionals, newly converted Jewish people, or people just wanting to learn a little bit more about the Jewish connections all around us.


CLASS BLOCK 1 | 10:15-11:30 AM

1A. Jews in China | Dr. Lilly Cheng

The Jewish people have lived and thrived in China for many centuries. The most recent migration occurred during the Second World War when the vast majority traveled to Shanghai from Europe. This session with Dr. Lilly Cheng will explore the stories of this immigration and their harrowing experiences, to shed light on a Jewish community not often acknowledged.

1B. Water Independence: Israel and California | Dr. Yoram Cohen

The session will focus on the question of water scarcity and water independence in Israel and California. The development of advanced technologies to develop water resources and introduce effective means of water utilization will be discussed. Also, current and potential regional impacts of water technology at the local, regional, and global levels will be discussed.

1C. SOLD OUT SESSION | Exploring the Landscape of Love through the Song of Songs | Rabbi Shefa Gold and Rachmiel O'Regan

"The whole Torah is Holy,” says Rabbi Akiva, “but The Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.” Furthermore, he said, “Had the Torah not been given, we could live our lives by the Song of Songs.” What would it mean to place this erotic, sensual, sexually explicit, and most beautiful poem at the center of our tradition? What would it mean to live our lives by the Song of Songs? How can we use this text as a guide in growing our love for each other and for The Great Mystery that is God? These are the questions that Jewish mystics have wrestled with for thousands of years. In this workshop, we will enter into the landscape of this Sacred Song through the practices of chant, meditation, and the contemplation of our path as Lovers.

This session is co-sponsored by Havurah Shir Ha-Yam

1D. Jewish Creative Writing | Rabbi Brad Greenstein

Together under the guidance of Rabbi Brad Greenstein, participants will sample pieces of Jewish creative writing, discovering the many layers of inspiration both old and new. After diving into and reflecting on the creative works of Jewish tradition, participants will have an opportunity to write their own piece of work that speaks to our collective lives today. No experience is necessary and all are welcome!

1E. How Can We Recognize the Awe and Wonder in the Everyday? | Hanan Harchol

Opportunities to experience awe exist everywhere. Awe enriches our lives, creating openings for meaning, love, joy, wisdom, and connection to a mystery larger than ourselves. Too often, however, we don’t pay attention, and we miss these life-enriching opportunities. The animation examines the importance of awe and suggests ways to help us bring awareness to everyday wonders. This session will feature a short, 6-minute video by animator Hanan Harchol, creator of Jewish Food For Thought, followed by a lively interactive discussion, including some text study. 

This session is co-sponsored by Judith and William Friedel

1F. Considerations of an Afterlife | Rabbi Sheldon W. Moss, D.D., Ph.D.

We consciously and unconsciously experience the anticipation and awareness of our mortality, Usually, we try to keep our anxiety about death under strict denial. We first need to soothe our death anxiety and then travel beyond our fears into curiosity. Neanderthals placed food, and stone implements with the dead in the belief that some part of the person would survive death. Early Homo sapiens buried the dead with care in preparation for what comes next. Why this persistent human hunch, that we do live on, in some form, after our bodies die?

1G. Jewish On Campus: Exploring the Jewish Student Experience on College Campuses Today | Karen Parry

Join us in understanding and exploring the challenges and opportunities Jewish students face on our college campuses now in a post-October 7th world. In this session, we will unpack the antisemitism students face within academia and their student experience. We will also discuss Jewish student leadership, moments of joy, and what college students need right now. 

1H. The World of Israeli Graphic Novels – Contemporary Israeli Literature | Dekel Shay Schory

In this session Dr. Shay Schory will take you on a journey through Israeli graphic novels and how this burgeoning art and literary form represents life in Israel today and is taking the Promised Land by storm.

1I. SOLD OUT SESSION | The History of Israel through Art- Gutman, Rubin and The History of Tel Aviv | Guri Stark

This session will discuss two Israeli artists who were the pioneers of a new, distinctive Eretz Israel art style in the days before the foundation of Israel: Nachum Gutman and Reuven Rubin, who developed a unique style that was influenced by their personal experience of building a new life in Israel. In this session, you will review and discuss their modern and naive style that portrayed Israel's landscapes (Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Zefat, Galillee) and inhabitants (Yemenite & Hassidic, Jews & Arabs) sensitively while exploring the story of the foundation of Tel Aviv.

1J. David Labkovski Project | Student Led Docent Tour
Step into the Gotthelf Gallery to explore and engage with the profound artistic expressions of Lithuanian artist, David Labkovski, whose paintings depict life before, during and after the Holocaust. Uniquely, trained high school student docents will interactively share insights, stories, and interpretations, offering a window into his life and legacy. This art workshop takes participants back in time to the vibrant Jewish community of Vilna, to the Holocaust, to the aftermath of the war and the loss of a way of life, and to eventual renewal in Israel, all infused with group discussions, art interpretation activities, and reflective poetry. Engage and learn with a new generation working to keep the lessons of the Holocaust alive.


CLASS BLOCK 2 | 11:45 AM-1:00 PM

2A. SOLD OUT SESSION | Israel and the Middle East after October 7th: Threats, Challenges and Hopes | Yoav Alon

Israel and Arab-Israeli relations expert Dr. Alon will share his views on the current situation unfolding in the Middle East since the terror attacks of October 7th, shedding light on where matters currently stand and what the potential hope is for the future between the communities.

2B. Cradles of the Reich | Jennifer Coburn

Author Jennifer Coburn discusses Cradles of the Reich, her historical novel about three very different German women who meet at a Nazi Lebensborn baby breeding home at the start of World War ll. Jennifer will talk about her Jewish roots, the research, and the novel the Associated Press says, "Every historical fiction novel should strive to be this compelling, well-researched, and just flat-out good."

2C. San Diego Theatre Panel | Jenny CaseDavid Ellenstein, Phil Johnson, Carlos Mendoza, Becca MyersFelicia Shaw, moderated by Joey Landwehr

This panel, moderated by Joey Landwehr Artistic Director of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, will feature several of San Diego’s leading theatre creators, performers, and artists. With representatives from The Old Globe, Diversionary Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, The Roustabouts Theatre Company, San Diego Regional Arts & Culture Coalition, and Moxie Theatre this panel will explore San Diego’s strong theatrical presence, the diversity of the San Diego stages, and the future of Jewish stories in the theatre space. 

2D. How Do We Rebuild After a Personal Loss? | Hanan Harchol

While loss is a part of life, it can feel so overwhelming, and the pain can be so great, that the thought of rebuilding can feel daunting or even impossible. How can one possibly rebuild, when the loved one is no longer there? While life can never be the same as it was before, loss can have a transformative power, providing an opportunity to rebuild a "new" life that is informed by both the experiences of life before the loss, as well as by the loss itself. This session will feature a short, 5-minute video by animator Hanan Harchol, creator of Jewish Food For Thought, followed by a lively interactive discussion, including some text study.

This session is co-sponsored by Judith and William Friedel

2E. Does America really want to "welcome the stranger," the Jewish perspective on Immigration | Michael Hopkins

The number of displaced people around the world has grown to over 110 million. The growing impact of climate change exacerbates the effects of violence, conflict, and economic instability on already vulnerable populations. This is a critical moment for all of us to reaffirm and redouble our support for refugees and asylum seekers. However, in America, there is an election around the corner, and this has become a hot potato issue. We will use our time together to explore what our sacred teachings suggest, the important work that is happening in San Diego and the current politics of immigration. 

2F. The Broken Well: A Personal Perspective on October 7th | Dan Rabinowitz

Dan Rabinowitz, Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies, has long seen Beeri, a prosperous kibbutz near Gaza, as his second home. On October 7th, Beeri had 97 of its members, residents and guests murdered. Many more were kidnapped across the border into Gaza. Mixing childhood memories, family photos, research encounters and recent exposure to a grieving community which refuses to give up hope, this talk captures the extraordinary story of a remarkable community.)

2G. In Our Image: Explorations at the Intersection of Generative AI and Ancient Jewish Thought | Rabbi George Wielechowski

Ancient Jewish thinkers knew ChatGPT was coming. Learn with us as we explore ancient Jewish ideas around the relationship between creator and creation, how disembodied intelligences have played a major role in our wisdom literature, what our tradition has to say about the ethics and responsibility of creating AIs, and what roles and authority they should have, and finally some Jewish ideas that may help us navigate this brave and strange new era of co-evolution.

2H. Holiness and Happiness in Harmony: New Songs for Wholehearted Praying | Susan L. Lipson with Beth Faber Jacobs
Susan L. Lipson, Composer and Cantorial Soloist, accompanied by Beth Faber Jacobs, Musician, and Cantorial Soloist, will share and teach some of Lipson’s original spiritual songs, written in both English and Hebrew, based on traditional Shabbat prayers found in the Mishkan T’filah siddur, and on poignant Torah passages. Many of the featured songs are from Lipson’s album, Songs for Divine Conversations, available wherever you listen to music online, and featured in the JLicense Jewish music catalog for public usage. Lipson will explain the inspirations and subtle meanings within each contemporary composition, parsing particular lyrics to call attention to words often overlooked in automatic singing during our Shabbat services. Through this singing-and-learning session, Susan and Beth will aim to heighten awareness of the poetic aspects of certain traditional prayers and enrich their meaning by reframing them. 

2I.  SOLD OUT SESSION | People of the Land: The Jewish Claim to Israel | Rabbi Rafi Andrusier
The 1967 conflict resulted from the argument that Israel's existence was illegitimate, having been founded on stolen Arab territory. What is Israel's response to this argument? What is her right to exist as a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East? And what is the justification for associating Judaism- an ethereal religion of beliefs and ideas-with a specific territory?


CLASS BLOCK 3 | 2:15-3:30 PM

3A. SOLD OUT SESSION | Zionism, Anti-Israel, Antisemitism and Our University Campuses | Dr. Yoram Cohen

The session will focus on describing and analyzing the ongoing situation on our university campuses, dissecting current and historical events, faculty involvement and actions, and the need to support and protect our students from the rising wave of anti-Zionism, and antisemitism. The importance of information dissemination that is based on facts, and efforts by faculty and students to combat the spread of disinformation will be discussed. Moreover, efforts by different groups to work with university administrators to ensure that our universities are safe sanctuaries of learning will also be addressed. 

3B.Unconventional and Beautiful Jewish Life | Hanz Enyeart and Jordan Daniels

What does Jewish life look like when your access point wasn’t conventional? How do you create your own meaningful Jewish experience when you hold different identities? Join two intersectional Jewish community leaders, Jordan Daniels and Hanz Enyeart, in this interactive session as they share about their explorations of their Jewish identities, and work with the group to build new traditions and expressions.

3C. SOLD OUT SESSION | Last Train to Auschwitz: The French National Railways and the Journey to Accountability | Sarah Federman

When we think of war, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity, we often think of governments, rebel groups, victims, and military groups. Too often we forget the role corporations play in making those atrocities happen. This session with Sarah Federman follows the story of the French National Railways, SNCF, which had overlapping roles of victim, hero, and perpetrator during World War II. In the 1990s-2016, the company went through a long process of integrating and responding to its role in the Holocaust, both in the United States and France. 

3D.The Hebron Massacre of 1929 and October 7th—What has Changed? | Dan Geva

Documentarian Dr. Dan Geva, director of the film, “What I Saw in Hebron”, will talk about the film that traces the traumatic events that occurred in Hebron in 1929, when in the space of two days, rioting Arab mobs murdered 84 Jews, neighbors with whom they had previously lived in harmony. This gripping documentary allows a rare glimpse into a little-known moment in Israel's history and brings up the question—what should we have learned?

3E. The Enlightenment and the Jews | Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

The Enlightenment has a reputation for being an era of inaugurating new ways of thinking and fighting prejudices. However, Enlightenment thinkers sometimes were still influenced by traditional Christian anti-Semitism. This session, combining lecture, readings, and discussion, will focus on the attitude of French thinkers such as Voltaire (1694 – 1778) toward Jews, as well as on responses to these thinkers by Jewish intellectuals.

3F. Why would I ever want to forgive a person who hurt me? | Hanan Harchol

Why would you want to forgive someone who has wronged you? Is there any benefit to forgiving? Is there a personal cost to not forgiving? This session will feature a short, 8-minute video by animator Hanan Harchol, creator of Jewish Food For Thought, followed by a lively interactive discussion, including some text study.

This session is co-sponsored by Judith and William Friedel

3G. Bonding Through Humor | Rabbi Sheldon W. Moss, D.D., Ph.D.

Bonding humor is a highly contextual form of in-group humor filled with private signs and signals. It is a relationship skill used by successful relationships to cope with the chaos of imperfection. They bandy warm and witty comments back and forth, prompted by the puzzling, ludicrous, ridiculous, incongruous, unfair, absurd, and arousing aspects of living across the continuum of life's experiences from heartbreak to joy.

Bonding humor skills allow us to remain proactive and close during chaotic moments. Humor thoughtfully constructed to be graciously received leads to gazing into each other’s eyes, listening, responding, validating, comforting, supporting, and collaborating. 

3H. Painting Workshop | Judith Shufro

In this immersive learning experience, world-renowned local artist Judith Shufro will share with you her most expert painting techniques, all the while sharing stories from her 40+ years as an accomplished painter around the globe.