Positive Judaism Summit 2020


“The Jewish Way to Personal Wellbeing
and Communal Thriving 21st Century”

UC Berkeley, CA

Academics, clergy, educators, executives, mental health professionals, youth engagement + camp professionals, volunteer leaders, researchers, students, and anyone seeking to have a positive impact on their communities, organizations, and schools are invited!


Deena Aranoff is Faculty Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She teaches rabbinic literature, medieval patterns of  Jewish thought, and the broader question of continuity and change in Jewish history. Her recent publications engage with the subject of childcare, maternity and the making of Jewish culture. Deena will be a member of the panel discussion and will be presenting, “Positive Parenting: Childrearing and The Making of Jewish Culture.”*


Darren Levine is author of Positive Judaism: For a Lifetime of Well-being and Happiness. He is the founding rabbi of Tamid NYC, an independent synagogue in Lower Manhattan and is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the International Positive Psychology Association. Darren will be lecturing on the Fundamentals of Positive Judaism and offering ideas of how Positive Judaism can influence our community in the 21st Century.


Jason Marsh is the executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, which identifies the skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. He is also the founding editor in chief of Greater Good and the GGSC’s director of programs. He is also a co-editor of two anthologies of Greater Good articles: The Compassionate Instinct (WW Norton, 2010) and Are We Born Racist? (Beacon Press, 2010). Jason will be part of the Positive Judaism Panel discussion.


Chesney Polis is the creator of “Chesney and Friends,” a program for young children and young families that uses Jewish holidays and traditions to teach character strengths and personal values. Chesney will be teaching a master class for Youth and Young Family Jewish Educators titled, “Teaching Jewish Positive values through holidays and storytelling.”*



Tiffany Shlain the author of 24/6 and a documentary filmmaker. She lectures globally on filmmaking, the Internet’s influence on society, and delivered the keynote address for UC Berkeley’s commencement in May 2010 (included on NPR’s list of “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever.”) Tiffany will be giving this years Summit Keynote, titled “24/6,” and hosting the panel discussion. 



David Waksberg is the CEO of Jewish LearningWorks of the Bay Area. In mid-1990s Waksberg was a member of Bay Area Council’s Board of Directors and served as Director of Development and Communication of the United Council of Soviet Jewry. David will be leading a workshop on: “Elevating Jewish Education in the 21st Century:   From Boundary-Making to Boundary-Breaking”*



Venue: Berkeley Hillel. 2776 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA

Hotel: Berkeley City Club. Call for $199 Special Conference Rate. 510-848-7800

Airports: SFO and OAKLAND serve the Berkeley Area.


Many Jewish leaders and educators are looking for fresh ideas and new pathways to inspire their communities. Communal professionals know first hand that life in the 21st century requires a new methodology to reach the hearts and minds of Gen X, Y, and Z. Lay leaders are mindful that negative messages and guilt are not effective ways to motivate people in an era of choice. If any of these challenges resonate with you, come learn with our esteemed group of presenters and meet like-minded leaders. Everyone is welcome.





9:00 Coffee and Registration
9:30  Fundamentals of Positive Judaism: Rabbi Darren Levine
10:00 Keynote: “24/6” The Science and Happiness of Shabbat: Tiffany Schlain
10:30 Positive Judaism Panel: “Leading Voices In Conversation:” Deena Aranoff, Jason Marsh, and David Waksberg
11:15 Networking: Coffee, tea, nosh
11:45 Summit Workshops with Faculty*
12:40 Buffet Lunch
1:30  From Positive Judaism to Positive Religion – a Universal Vision for Humanity: Rabbi Darren Levine
2:00 Farewell


$45 per person, includes organic vegetarian lunch buffet with kosher options.



MARCH 18, 2021

MARCH 17, 2022

Please email Chesney Polis if you would like to be involved or have questions: [email protected]