Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Bible Faculty at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, and Dr. Andrea L. Weiss, Bible Faculty at HUC-JIR/New York, gave a joint paper on "The Politics and Practices of Commentary Writing" at the recent Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting (Atlanta, November 18-21, 2010). The paper was presented by Dr. Weiss.
Cantor Tamar Heather Havilio of HUC-JIR/Jerusalem presented her project called "The Praying Body: The Pedagogy of the Prayer leader and Pray-er (Re)Considered" at an International conference entitled Richard Schechner and Performance Studies: an International Conference of Scholars and Artists honoring Richard Schechner on his 76th birthday. The conference took place December 19th through the 23rd at Haifa University in Israel. The work takes performance theories and the texts of Heschel, Buber, and their quest to find presence with the performance of the ritual prayer leader. It looks at how praying has become more about entertainment and less about efficacy and how this effects the selling of prayer and the prayer leader. Tamar utilizes the work of Richard Schechner in three ways: to re-teach how to pray like Hannah (inner prayer gaze) within community, the body "in" the sabbath, or the sabbath from within, in his slow-motion body workshop and emotional intelligence from the enteric nervous system or "the brain in the belly" with his study of the rasa boxes (rasaboxes.org).