Sunday, May 13, 2012

Limmud FSU 2012

This weekend we went to Limmud FSU which was held at Princeton Marriott at Forrestal.
My initial reason for going, I'm a cheap Jew and this event was kosher, Friday to Sunday, $140 per person, kids under 10 free and there was a children's program.  Now, while apparently not all Marriotts are created equal and this one had no free internet and a lousy phone reception, there was all you can eat Benny's meat and all you can eat sushi and it don't get better than that.  Though the hotel had this cute rustic feel to it.

Some of the lectures I liked, some I didn't and the half assed scheduling was definitely a problem.  Mincha was not on the schedule at all, Saturday Shacharit was 1 hour, wtf, on the schedule and Sunday was also 1 hour.  And with eating, praying and lecture being at the same time, I missed a few I really wanted to go to.  Another damn annoying "feature" was eating in 2 groups, hour each, and getting put, with kids, into second group.

Academy Awards Acting Workshop with Hanoch Gutfreund, which I unfortunately mostly missed because of the Saturday Shacharit and breakfast was actually about meditation and self hypnosis and was very interesting.

Judaism and Homosexuality: Myths and Facts with Jay Michaelson, I almost fell asleep at.  I kept waiting for the guy to get to the Judaism part but he kept saying nothing relevant for 40 minutes and seemed to be more knowledgeable in the New Testament than Judaism.  And of course used the typical Gay/Liberal agenda of talking only about key points which may support his claim and ignoring everything else.  Also had to steal from Shmuley Boteach.

Image of Russian and Russian emigrants in USA with Anna Sergeeva & Lilia Zakirova was seriously a joke.  I felt kinda bad for the girls actually as they were up the creek without a paddle, had no idea what they were doing and why and their whole mission seems to be ridiculous and pointless.  How to present Russia in a better light to American businessmen.  Well, you can't because you can't actually vote out Putin and unlike China, Russia is not stable and not very interested in American money.  And they kept trying to imply that America's view of Russia impacts badly on Americans' view of Russian immigrants.

Jewish Eating Habits/Traditions, are they Healthy with Yakov Aidlin.  Very animated and funny speaker who presented many interesting points about people's eating habits and obesity.  Had a lot of fun listening to this guy.

Kosher Sex with Shmuley Boteach.  I don't think anything needs to be said about this lecture.  Room was packed like no other lecture and the guy is ROFLMAO every 5 minutes hilarious.

Limmud Gala, featuring Mira Stroika and Iryna Rosenfeld.  Well, Iryna's music is not really my type and Mira's only liked one of the songs.  Organizers thanked sponsors, talked about Einstein and showed previous of 2 movies.  One, looked funny and something I might be interested in watching, depending on the ending.  The other's about holocaust and I don't watch tragic movies.  The Gala was following by wine tasting and free wine is free wine.

Sunday I tried to make it to the Martial Arts with Alexandr Rosenfeld, which I missed on Saturday because of the shacharit plus breakfast.  I managed to only come for the last half hour and was then called in the middle by the mother of one of Shlomo's classmates about a playdate.  Did I mention Princeton Marriott has awful reception?  In the half hour or less for which I was present, I, ironically, saw application of Upper Block and Outside Middle Block from Tora Dojo used against knife attacks to disarm the opponent.

The last lecture I managed to get to was Head-on! Sculpture Workshop with Grigory Gurevich.  Loved it, loved it, loved it!  My head, picture included, may have looked like some kind of alien and the workshop should really have been 2 hours instead of a rushed 1 hour, but it was fun.  Now I have this 2lb, lopsided clay head which can be used to bludgeon somebody to death.

Leah went to a couple of history lectures which she loved.

Did I enjoy Limmud FSU 2012? Absolutely!  Though I hope next time they schedule things better and actually get the presenter's input on how much time and how much space are needed.

And to the Rabbi who woke up early Sunday morning, davened, took all of the siddurim and ran off leaving us without a minyan or siddurim for the scheduled 8am shacharit, you suck.