02 March 2006

Sunday Night at the Spitzer Forum

(I'm surprised it took me until Thursday night to type about Sunday night - I had hoped that I would have only put it off until Monday morning, but I guess it didn't happen.)
After the first posting about the conference, I was able to get to my room. I then hung around for a bit, davened minhah, and then went to an evening program.
This evening program was entitled "The Politics of Sex", which was a discussion between Mona Charen and Nadine Strossen, and was moderated by Tom Divine. It lasted from 5 until 6:15, though inasmuch as it sounded like it should have been an interesting discussion, it didn't start out that way and I must have napped for 20-25 minutes through it, but was able to stay awake for the last 30-40 minutes. Plus, it got a little more interesting, but it was interesting to hear as the sentiment that spoke most to the crowd was more of a liberal one, some things of which didn't jive with being an Orthodox Jew - oh well, most of the attendees at the JCPA and Hillel Spitzer Forum were not such.
After that, there was an Orthodox מעריב service (evening prayer), and then it was time for dinner. Dinner was a tasty one, with Avraham Infeld, Hillel's director, speaking to the gathered about responsibility and its dual etymology in Hebrew. Responsibility in Hebrew is אחריות, which he said could come from אחר (other) and from אחרי (after me). He spoke about these two meanings and then spoke on the social action initiatives of Hillel International. Although I've heard him speak before (the first time was when I attended the GA in 2002 to between 50 and 80 students, and the other time was when he came to the Indiana Hillel and spoke to a much smaller crowd of a dozen and a half to two dozen students one Friday night), this was to a audience of 200 [mainly] students, and found him to be rather good and polished.
After him came Karen Austrian, a young woman who started up Binti Pamoja, a group for teenage girls in a Nairobi slum, that seeks to educate girls about reproductive and sexual stuff, as well as a variety of other things.
After that, while I had the option of attending the late night programming of Andy Borowitz, I opted to head to bed instead. And I'm glad I did - I was tired.
Tags: , , , ,


In the Lee of the Wind said...

Cool! (and btw a blog entry is finally up)
And it is important to discuss the Poltics of sex, wheterh you agree or disagree, if only becuase they do exist, and how we handle it is part of understanding of who we are.

Drew Kaplan said...

Although you are right that it is important to discuss it, their panel discussion was more talking about laws and governmental policy on sex (e.g. abortion, sexuality, government in the bedroom, "gay marriages", etc.) as opposed to sexual politics, which might have discussed how people use sex or sexuality, and/or how sex/sexuality affects our everyday lives (although my distinction isn't quite articulate, a further distinction would be that they discussed politics, whereas I was hoping for something more for a general psychosocial understanding of sexual interactions in everyday life).