Do the histories that precede us impact our lives? Do we carry that history, and if so, in what way? This workshop/lecture looks at the inheritance of trauma and memory, what it means for the surviving generations of war and violence, and what it means to move forward against oppression. This talk addresses trauma from the medical, scientific, therapeutic and spiritual perspectives - think of this as trauma 101 - how to understand it, how to remedy it, and how to prevent its repetition.
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ELI Talks works with organizations and individuals to cultivate, to raise up, and to transmit inspired Jewish ideas. Through ELI’s digital media and conversations on and offline, ELI curates a canon of new Jewish thought. *This work is not directed only to the Jewish community, and can be adapted to work in all settings.
MERISSA NATHAN GERSON is a trained rape prevention worker and sex educator. She ran the Committee on Sexual Assault and the Committee Organized for Rape Education at Washington University in St. Louis from 2001-2004. Her 2018 campaign, “Ken Means Yes,” works to bring clergy and their congregations to the helm of sexual assault prevention and consent education. Talks are tailored to the individual, community or religious group interested in this work.
THE CHALLENGE: Consent, what it means to get a real concrete yes when it comes to touch, is not yet part of the dominant modern American educational lexicon. More often than not we learned our cues from state-sanctioned sex education and mass media culture.
THE SOLUTION: Harping on ancient texts we draw a mark, and a model, for what is acceptable. This call lays the foundations for a future culture of consent - teaching ancient nuances of what a real yes looks like, and how to recognize it.
THE PLAN: This year at Yom Kippur we are calling synagogues across the country and the world to include the Talmudic conversation around consent. In setting this mark, based in Talmudic law, we open a broad conversation that will set a new standard for what is acceptable, what is safe, and what is loving.
On safely experimenting with sexual healing for survivors of sexual assault.