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Congregation B'nai Israel of St.Petersburg

Session Descriptions | About the Speakers | Register Here


Come early and join our minyan beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Registration and continental breakfast:  9:00 am – 9:30 a.m.


Session 1

9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

(Select One)


  • Domes, Slings and Arrows:  The Inside View of U. S. – Israeli Defense Relations, Eric Lynn, National Security Expert.

    • Mr. Lynn will discuss Iron Dome, defense, and U. S. – Israeli relations as well as the importance of education to Jewish solidarity with Israel.

  • Accidental First Lady: A Front Row View of Political Life, Kerry Kriseman, Author and former first lady of St. Petersburg.

    • Ms. Kriseman will share lessons learned, suggestions for survival, and how to craft a rewarding life in the public eye, as told from one who never envisioned this life.



Session 2

10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

(Select One)


  • Best of Israeli Innovation, Eric Pastman, Retired from the Information Technology industry and avid follower of Israeli technology.

    • Mr. Pastman will share some of the more interesting innovations that Israel has developed over the past two years.

  • Zuni Maud: Green Duck of the Lower East Side, Joan O. Epstein, Prof. of Music, Eckerd College.

    • Zuni Maud (1891-1956), cartoonist, satiric journalist, and co-director of a famous Yiddish puppet theater, also ran a progressive Catskills Yiddish arts enclave where he introduced his autobiographical tango song “Di Grine Katshke” (The Green Duck).   Maud’s story inspired Joan Epstein to expand and dramatize “Di Grine Katshke” in her own Duck Songs and research Yiddish tango’s surprising history.  Maud’s work and its impact will be explored through images, music, and narrative accounts.

  • The Ocean Circulation and Earth Habitability, Dr. Robert Weisberg, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida.

    • The ocean circulation determines how the Earth’s climate and much of its life are organized.  Dr. Weisberg will explain how this works.

Break: 11:15 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.


Session 3

11:35 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

(Select One)


  • Memory Loss, What’s Normal? What’s Not? Why Did I Walk into This Room?, Dr. David LeVine, MD. 

    • Where is the line between mild cognitive impairment related to aging and true dementia due to disease, and what can be done to prevent both?

  • Writing 101:  A Short Glimpse into Structure and Substance in Writing a Novel, Lynda Lippman-Lockhart.

    • Novel writing 101 looks at the very bones of assembling the basics needed for a sellable novel. We will look at setting, plot, character, style and a whole lot more. Bring your imagination and a spiral bound notebook for on the job training.

  • Parents in Prison: The Varsity Blues College Cheating Scandal, Professor Ellen Podgor.

    • In 2019, approximately 33 parents were charged by prosecutors for paying to have their children admitted into top universities. Known as the Varsity Blues Scandal, the operation snagged celebrities such as Felicity Huffman, best known for her role in "Desperate Housewives" and Lori Loughlin, actress in "Full House," its reboot "Fuller House" and "When Calls the Heart." Huffman served 14 days in jail while Loughlin spent 2 months in prison. This discussion will be about whether this conduct should be a crime, who should prosecute, and what really happened in the Varsity Blues Scandal.

Fri, March 24 2023 2 Nisan 5783