We are coming together on June 3rd to celebrate the history of our beloved school, pave the way for its future, and honor a very special family that has been there all the way through. We hope you will join us for an evening of ideas, inspiration and joyful distraction as we honor the Akabas family & raise critical support for our scholarship fund. 

The event includes a brief program with all attendees, followed by intimate conversations in break-out rooms with a fabulous array of presenters. Guests will be divided among presentations/workshops based on their preferences shared in advance of the event. 

SPEAKERS LIST - Stay tuned as this list gets finalized and more presenters get added!

Rabbi Tali Adler

Dr. Jeremy Dauber 

Sandra Di Capua

Dr. Jessica Lang 

Rabbi Marc Margolius

Deborah Sacks Mintz

Soferet Julie Seltzer

Avi Steinberg

Pop-up Giving Circle with Amplifier

Rabbi Tali Adler is a faculty member at the Hadar Institute. Tali, a musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat, received her undergraduate degree from Stern College, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, during her time at Yeshivat Maharat, Tali served as the clergy intern at Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim and Harvard Hillel. Tali has studied in a number of Jewish institutions, including Drisha and Midreshet Harova. 

Jeremy Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University, where he also served as director of its Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and teaches in the American Studies program. His previous books include In the Demon's Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern, also Antonio's Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature, and The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, and American Comics: A History (coming this November!) He frequently lectures on topics related to Jewish literature, history, humor, and popular culture at the 92nd St Y and other venues throughout the United States.

Session Title & Description

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Jews and Comics But Weren’t Really Sure Who to Ask”

Sandra Di Capua is a co-founder of Union Square Play, former owner and operator of Kellog's NYC and former maitre d' at Eleven Madison Park. Sandra has had a passion for food and hospitality from as long as she can remember. She got her professional start in the food industry as culinary and editorial assistant to renowned cookbook author, Joan Nathan. From there, she went to work in the dining room at Eleven Madison Park. After 5 years there, she co-founded Co.create NYC, an experiential retail firm whose cornerstone project was Kellogg’s NYC, an cereal café rooted in hospitality. In spring 2018, she and her partners launched Union Square Play, a play space centered around thoughtful play for babies and toddlers with the goal of making the first years of parenthood easier, more fun, and more communal. Parenting+ by Union Square Play, an online platform for parents to connect with each other and with industry experts, was born out of Covid and serves parents around the world through community, education, and play. A graduate of Harvard College, Sandra is a native of Bogota, Colombia, and grew up in Miami, FL. She now lives in Manhattan with her husband, Alex, and their kids, Liana and Ruben.

Dr. Jessica Lang is a Professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY. She is the Newman Director of the Sandra K. Wasserman Jewish Studies Center and is currently serving as Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. She has published widely in Jewish, American, and Holocaust literature and their intersections. Her most recent book publication was a co-edited volume, Off the Derech: Leaving Orthodox Judaism. She and her husband, Joerg Riegel, are the proud parents of three children, two of whom are current Beit Rabban students. 

Session Title & Description

Dr. Jessica Lang in conversation with Shulem Deen, author of the award-winning memoir "All Who Go Do Not Return."

Shulem Deen is a writer, journalist, and author of the award-winning memoir "All Who Go Do Not Return." He is a regular contributor to the Forward, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New Republic, Narratively, Salon, Tablet Magazine, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabbi Marc Margolius is a Senior Programs Director at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, where he directs programming for lay leaders and alumni of its clergy leadership training program, as well as the Tikkun Middot Project, which integrates Jewish mindfulness with middot (character trait) practice. He hosts IJS's weekday mindfulness meditation sessions and teaches an online program, Awareness in Action: Cultivating Character through Mindfulness and Middot. Most importantly, he and Rabbi Ayelet Cohen are the proud parents of Galia (Rimonim, 7th Grade) and Ziv (Nitzanim, 5th Grade).

Session Title & Description

"Reading the Torah of Our Lives: Our Jewish Journey as Spiritual Autobiography"

We can understand even our moment to moment lived experience as a multidimensional narrative we can read through exegetical lenses, just as we read and study Torah.  In this session we will identify and share a key life experience in which, like Moshe at the bush, we sensed a connection to something larger than ourselves, and "turned aside" to investigate its meaning.

Deborah Sacks Mintz is an educator, practitioner, and facilitator of Jewish communal music. Through leadership workshops, song-circles, and communal tefila, Deborah supports communities and individuals who seek to deepen their practice of empowered song and connective prayer.  As a performer and composer, Deborah brings her passion for relationship-based community-building to her artistic partnerships; in addition to collaborating on nearly two dozen albums with a diverse array of voices in the Jewish soundscape, Deborah released her debut album of original spiritual music, The Narrow and the Expanse, in 2020. 

A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Deborah is pursuing rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and holds degrees in music and religious anthropology from the University of Michigan. She currently serves B'nai Jeshurun NYC as a rabbinic fellow, as well as on faculty at Hadar’s Rising Song Institute . Learn more about Deborah's work at www.deborahsacksmintz.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soferet Julie Seltzer is a Torah scribe and educator living in the Hudson Valley, NY. Julie recently completed her fourth Torah scroll for Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY, and is writing a memoir about her spiritual journey. She is excited to be part of a growing network of women scribes.

Session Title & Description

"The Making of a Torah Scroll"

How are Torahs made? Julie will introduce the process and materials for making Torah scrolls and other sacred writings, sharing some of the best-kept secrets of the trade. Participants will learn about ink, parchment, writing instruments, letter formation, and sacred intention, and will be guided in how to write Hebrew letters in ashurit, Torah script.

Materials Needed for this Session:

Note: You can work with either a calligraphy marker, or if you’d like to get an even better sense of the real thing, you can work with a feather (or calligraphy nib) and liquid ink.

Avi Steinberg is a beloved Kindergarten teacher at Beit Rabban Day School as well as a gifted illustrator and cartoonist, regularly appearing in the New Yorker magazine among other publications. Avi joined Beit Rabban in 2007 as a shadow and then a teacher in the Kevutzot. Avi, a graduate of Yeshiva University with a B.A. in English Literature, also holds a Master of Education Degree from Bank Street College. Avi also has a certificate from Ivriyon, an intensive ulpan for day school teachers at the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

Session Title & Description

In this session, I will take you through my week as a cartoonist, from doodling and brainstorming, to landing on an idea, to coming up with a caption and cartoon. Even if you’ve never drawn a stick figure before, you can do this! You are creative! We’ll jump right in with some drawing to loosen things up. Then, we’ll tap into our hopes, worries, and wonderings as I teach you how to story-map ideas. 

I’ll share with you some insights, tips, tricks, and suggestions for drawing a cartoon. We’ll learn that eyebrows can say it all as we sketch faces! I’ll share examples of some of my cartoons and show you the wide range of styles you can explore. We’ll even talk about finding your voice. (Warning: it takes work.)

Wondering why you haven’t won that New Yorker caption contest yet? I can tell you what I know about that too. Curious about how it all works as a cartoonist at The New Yorker? I’ll share my story with you. 

We’ll wrap up with a questions and answer session. I might do a drawing request too, and you can join me as I try to come up with a cartoon, or a semblance of one, on the spot! 

But really, it’s all about you. At its core, cartooning is about connecting to your own emotional world. Drawing is therapeutic. You may even surprise yourself with what you come up with. The best part is, we’ll all be in it together.

Join a pop-up giving circle! Participants will engage in a discussion of Jewish values and priorities to determine where to donate the group's pooled funds. The process will be led by Amplifier, an organization which starts and supports giving circles inspired by Jewish values. All will determine a gift in advance, anywhere from $36-$180, as a part of the program.