Yom Limmud

Saturday, February 4 - 9:15am-3:30pm
Our annual congregational day of learning for all ages is a favorite on the LBT Calendar. You can choose from a variety of learning sessions to attend or Religious School Day of Camp for our students. Whatever you choose, you won't want to miss out on this special day!

Welcome to Yom Limmud!

We are thrilled to return to our campus for an exciting day full of learning, inspiration, community, creativity, and fun. Whether this is your first Yom Limmud or your 13th, this is not a day to miss!
The morning will include various sessions to choose from whether you want to learn more about the war and history of Ukraine, improve your communication skills, explore Jerusalem’s archeology, hear about the LA Performing Arts Scene, try on your improv skills, and more!  We will join together in the afternoon for a session on Antisemitism and anti-Zionism in America today and conclude the day with a rousing game of Name That Tune.

In classic Yom Limmud style, you will leave LBT well nourished, not only with learning, but with food! There’s breakfast…there’s lunch…there are snacks…and of course, cookies!
We will also offer a Religious School day of Camp on our campus for our 2-12-year-olds throughout Yom Limmud for our students to engage in their own learning and fun.

We look forward to learning with you!
Rabbi Lisa Berney, Yom Limmud Co-Chairs, Scott Greenberg and Danielle Cohen, Education Intern Tim Gaylord,
and the 2023 Yom Limmud Committee

Register for Yom Limmud

PLEASE REGISTER NO LATER THAN MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2023 so that we are able to plan appropriately for the day! Please contact Betsy Krut at education@leobaecktemple.org or 310.476.2861 ext. 200 with any questions.

Schedule of the Day


Block 1 - 10:15am-11:15am

Stop Blocking, Start Connecting: Key Skills of Successful Communicators
Lee Broekman

In this time of transition from Social Distance to Social Presence, we could all use a refresh of our interpersonal communication skills. Where do you block? Where do you get blocked? Despite positive intentions, barriers to successful interactions with personal and professional relations are commonplace. This program will provide participants with engaging sessions to: (1) Learn how to identify the “blockers” and, (2) Replace them with key connection tools to improve interpersonal communication. Attendees will walk away from the session with actionable tools to prevent/preempt misunderstandings and improve relationships.

Lee Broekman, professor, coach and trainer, provides communication, leadership and management guidance to professionals and teams. An expert in persuasion, presentation and interpersonal communication, Lee trains decision makers in top organizations to communicate, collaborate and innovate effectively. A communication professor for 20 years, Lee has taught courses at USC’s Annenberg and Marshall Schools, teaches presentation skills at UCLA School of Law, and is on the executive leadership faculty of the Four Seasons Hotel. Lee is the author of Stop Blocking, Start Connecting: 8 Key Skills of Successful Communicators.
Everything You Need to Know About the War Against Ukraine
Jared McBride

A session meant to provide with you with everything you wanted to know about the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, both since the massive escalation this past February 2022 and the beginning of hostilities in 2014. We will begin with a short overview of  the larger conflict and war, followed by a long question and answer session.  

Jared McBride (Ph.D., UCLA, 2014) is a historian who specializes in the regions of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe in the 20th century and whose research interests include nationalist movements, mass violence, the Holocaust, interethnic conflict, and war crimes prosecution. He has published widely in leading journals in his field. McBride held post-doc positions at the USC Shoah Foundation; Columbia University; Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute; and the United States Holocaust Memorial  Museum. McBride is currently completing a book manuscript on local perpetrators and interethnic violence in Nazi-occupied western Ukraine. At present, he is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the History Department at UCLA."   
NOT Canceled: Learning to Recognize and Respond to Cultural Missteps
Joy Schwartz

The fear of “getting it wrong” is on all of our minds. Learn how to address instances of cultural insensitivity with empathy, curiosity, and confidence through practical case examples. Apply what you learn to help others feel seen, included, supported and ultimately that they belong.

Joy Schwartz, MBA and Masters of Professional Counseling, is a Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) business partner for Universal Filmed Entertainment (aka, Universal Pictures) where she is a trusted partner to senior leaders and executives.  She leverages 15+ years’ experience leading, developing, and implementing high-impact solutions to help organizations, leaders, and teams achieve their goals through pragmatic, results-driven approaches. She is also a consultant, executive coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas, and a fluent Spanish-speaker.
Behind the Curtain of the LA Performing Arts Scene: A Conversation between Renae Williams Niles and Scott Greenberg
"Ever wonder what goes on behind the music? Come hear from the person who helps run the show! In a conversation with LBT's own Scott Greenberg, Renae Williams Niles will share stories and insights into the fascinating, mysterious, and sometimes crazy LA performing
arts world. What are the practices, the policies, (and the politics)? What happens backstage and in the offices of Disney Hall, The Music Center, and the Hollywood Bowl? If you’re curious about what it really takes to keep LA entertained and inspired, this session is not to be

With over 30 years experience in the LA arts and non-profit sector, Renae Williams Niles is the Chief Content and Engagement Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previously she’s served as the VP of Programming for the Music Center and as the first COO/Associate Dean of Administration/Diversity Liaison for the USC Kaufman School of Dance where she remains on the board of councilors. Renae is also board chair of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals and a board member of American Dance Movement. Renae is known for moderating conversations with renowned artists including award-winning choreographers, the film La La Land’s creative team, the legendary Yo-Yo Ma and Bridgerton composer Kris Bowers. In 2017 she received the Western Arts Alliance Service to the Field Award, and in 2021, she was recognized as an Unsung Hero by the State of California Legislative Black Caucus.
Tot Shabbat (Starts at 10am)
Addie Lupert and 
Rabbi Berney
Enjoy Shabbat as we gather with Rabbi Berney, Addie, and each other for songs, stories, and more as we celebrate the holiday of the trees Tu B’Shevat. This service is geared for families with children 6 and younger. 

Block 2 - 11:30am-12:30pm

Understanding Critical Race Theory through the Lens of Tikkun Olam
Marissa Lopez

Critical race theory has been much in the news recently. For the most part, however, those pundits are talking about Ethnic Studies, which has very little to do with the legal ideas at the core of critical race theory. So, what exactly IS critical race theory and how can it help us repair the world?

Marissa López is Associate Graduate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Admissions as well as Professor of English and Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA, researching Chicanx literature from the 19th century to the present with an emphasis on 19th century Mexican California. She has written two books: Chicano Nations (NYU 2011) is about nationalism and Chicanx literature from the early-1800s to post-9/11; Racial Immanence (NYU 2019) explores uses of the body and affect in Chicanx cultural production.  She recently completed a year-long residency at the Los Angeles Public Library as a Scholars & Society fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies where she worked to collaboratively develop a mobile app, “Picturing Mexican America,” that uses geodata to display images of Mexican California relevant to a user’s location.  
What Lies Beneath - Jerusalem's Archaeological Stories Revealed
Heidi Fessler
Heidi Fessler, PhD, will take us on a geographical exploration of the Judean Hill Country and Jerusalem. We will consider the different types of obstacles humans had to overcome for a successful civilization, such as how they protected their water source and how they created a temple platform to accommodate thousands of people. From an archaeological lens, we will also learn how ancient cities were built and developed over millennia of occupation and, finally, take a ‘tour of what lies underneath' by exploring several tunnels, including the Western Wall tunnels, the Siloam tunnel, and the ancient Roman cardo.

Dr. Fessler is an archaeologist and historian of ancient Israel. She received her PhD from UCLA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and her MA in Hebrew Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She has participated in multiple archaeological digs in Israel, most notably excavating an ancient Egyptian fortress in Jaffa along the Mediterranean coast. Her interests include historical geography of the Holy Land, ancient warfare, and the Bible in its historical context.   In addition to her research as a professor at LMU, Los Angeles, Heidi teaches courses which include Biblical Hebrew, Ancient Warfare, a course that traces the development of warfare and its impact in the Ancient Near East; and Archeology and the Bible
Restorative Yoga
Norm Gee

Class will focus on proper breathing, stretching, exercises to strengthen arms, legs, core,
improve balance and hopefully release tension/stress. Participants must be able to transfer
from lying down to standing positions on their own.

Norm Gee has been a member at LBT since 2001 and has served two three-year terms on the LBT Board of Trustees. He taught Elementary grades in Inglewood, CA for 26 years and served as Assistant Principal for 4 years. He began teaching yoga 9 years ago through LBT’s
Community of Elders program. He holds a Yoga Teacher Certification from the American Sports and Fitness Association. Norm’s motto for a sound body, mind and spirit is simple:
“Just take a deep breath and then do more of the same.”

Yes, and... Improv is for Everyone!
Jeremy Broekman

Come join Upright Citizens Brigade student Jeremy Broekman as he shares the basics of improvisational theater in this fun workshop showing LBTers the tools, exercises and tricks of the trade. We will empower those famous for delivering bad 'dad' jokes to transform into aspiring comedians ... or at the very least give anyone present a chance to laugh and be laughed at, I mean with :) In addition to laughter, Improv is also a great way to practice communication skills like listening, connecting, and quick thinking. Join us as we uncover how Improv exercises, skits and scene work can improv(e) our every-day life.

Jeremy Broekman has 20+ years experience as a creative director/publicist via his advertising/PR agency, BROEKMAN communications. He recently transitioned into comedy and acting with recent performances at Upright Citizens Brigade. Jeremy began his career at Universal Studios managing over 50 feature film campaigns. You can track Jeremy's progress at www.JeremyBroekman.com
Calling Ourselves to Prophecy: A Conversation with Rabbi Lisa Berney & Rabbi Jocee Hudson
Miriam and Moses introduce us to different models of leadership and prophecy. In this session Rabbis Berney and Hudson will dive into the weekly Torah portion, Beshalach, as they explore lessons in leadership, and invite each of us to consider how we are called to show up and step up – in our families, in our workplaces, and in our communities.

Jocee Hudson is a Rabbi, Spiritual Director, and Teacher. In July 2021, she joined LA Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that awakens people to their own power, as their Clergy and Formation Lead. Rabbi Hudson attended Brandeis University. She received rabbinic ordination and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the seminary where she now serves as a visiting professor in Rabbinic Practice. For 12 years prior to joining LA Voice, Jocee was a rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood. Jocee and her partner Rook live in Los Feliz and are the proud parents of Sela, Max, and Solomon, ages 8, 6, and 6, who fill their lives with so much love.

Rabbi Lisa Berney is LBT’s Associate Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning.  Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Rabbi Berney received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Jewish and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterward, she attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, where she earned her rabbinic ordination, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, and a graduate certificate in Jewish Nonprofit Management.  In her free time, Rabbi Berney enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband, Rabbi Joshua Knobel, and spending time with her daughters Shifra and Shiloh. 

Community-Wide Session - 1:30pm-2:30pm

Antisemitism and anti-Zionism in America Today: A Conversation with Dov Waxman and Rabbi Ken Chasen
Dov Waxman + Rabbi Chasen

Antisemitism has been a major concern for Jews in the United States in recent years and especially over the past few months. How worried should we be? Is antisemitism increasing in the United States and, if so, why? Are college campuses becoming hotbeds of antisemitism, as many reports in the Jewish media suggest? Is anti-Zionism inherently antisemitic, and when does criticism of Israel cross the line into antisemitism? Rabbi Chasen will discuss these urgent and important questions with UCLA professor Dov Waxman, who is currently writing a book about antisemitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Dov Waxman is the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Israel Studies and the director of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and his B.A. from Oxford University. He is the author of four books: The Pursuit of Peace and The Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation (2006), Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within (2011), Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel (2016), and most recently, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2019). His writing has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Atlantic.

Rabbi Ken Chasen became the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in 2003. Prior to joining Leo Baeck Temple, he served as the Associate Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in
Scarsdale, New York, where his tenure was marked by significant innovation in the areas of religious worship and lifelong Jewish education. Upon commencing rabbinical school in 1993, Rabbi Chasen was awarded the highly selective Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Rabbi Chasen holds a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where he received rabbinic ordination in 1998. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout his studies, culminating with the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for attaining the highest overall academic standing in his ordination class.

Closing Session - 2:45pm-3:15pm

Name That Tune: Jewish Music through the Ages!
Rabbi Scott Goldberg and Cantor Sara Hass
We invite you to join Rabbi Goldberg and Cantor Hass for a rousing game of Name That Tune: Jewish Music through the Ages! Test your knowledge of Jewish liturgical music and music written by Jewish composers over the past century. Maybe do a bit of internet searching to brush up on your 40s and 50s musicals? Perhaps brush up on your knowledge by viewing services from years past at www.leobaecktemple.org/watch? This game will provide opportunities to sing, learn, and laugh as we conclude Yom Limmud as one LBT community.