UnConference 2014


Sunday, November 23, 2014

UJA-Federation of New York, 130 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

Audio and video recordings of UnConference sessions are online! Click here for access. 


Over the past year, Orthodox women have engaged with ritual in confident and innovative ways, including reclaiming mikvah, wearing tefillin, training to become mashgichot in Israel, tying tzitzit, and reciting Kaddish in public. JOFA’s UnConference will shine a spotlight on these ritual innovations. Sessions will explore the role of authenticity in innovation, the process of creating new rituals, strategies for adapting traditionally male rituals so they are appropriate for women, and the ways in which communal leaders implement changes in their communities without alienating members. This event will include lectures, interactive workshops, text-based shiurim, unstructured conversations and networking opportunities. 

This event is presented in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York.

There will be ASL interpretation at this event.

Schedule at a Glance (subject to change)


Women's Tefillah for Rosh Chodesh Shacharit 


Registration and Light Breakfast


UnPlenary: Personal Stories and Innovation 101


Conversion, Rabbinic Authority, and Power Imbalance in Orthodoxy




Afternoon Session #1: Choose from multiple lectures and workshops


Afternoon Session #2: Choose from multiple lectures and workshops


Open Mic Session: Rituals from the Audience

4:00 PM-4:30 PM: 



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for the JOFA UnConference?
Click here to complete the online registration form for the JOFA UnConference. 

What is an UnConference? 
We've decided to call this event an UnConference for two reasons:

  1. The JOFA Conferences you may be familiar with are gatherings of a massive scale. Around 1000 people gathered together for a smorgasbord of sessions. The UnConference is going to be a much more intimate event with a little over 200 people - most of the sessions will take place with everyone in the same room. This is not your usual JOFA Conference - hence, the "un." 
  2. We didn't invent the term unconference. It has been used by other groups in recent years to connote a gathering that is less structured, more participatory and participant-led, than your usual conference. While we won't be going to the extremes of not having a schedule, we will be incorporating more interaction and discussion throughout the day. It will not be a purely frontal experience, and will allow the attendees more opportunities to engage with the content, the presenters, and one another. 

We are very excited about this new format, and are hard at work to make it a huge success. But you'll need to be there to really find out what makes the UnConference so unique. Get your tickets now at http://jofa2014.bpt.me

What are the registration options? What is included in each option?

  • General admission is $65.00. A limited number of student tickets are available for $45.00. 
  • Sponsorships of $180 and above include 1 general admissions ticket and will be recognized at the UnConference. 
  • For sponsorships over $180 please register through JOFA's online donation form and indicate "UnConference sponsorship" in the Gift Designation line. 
  • All registrations include admission, breakfast, and lunch.

Is my registration fee refundable?
No. Unfortunately, registration fees are non-refundable. 

Where is the JOFA UnConference taking place?
The JOFA UnConference will take place at UJA-Federation of New York, 130 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, NY 10022. 

How do I get to UJA-Federation of New York?
The nearest subways are: 4,5,6 at 59th Street, or N,Q,R at Lexington Avenue-59th Street. Use hopstop.com for more detailed directions via public transportation. Click here for information from the UJA about parking garages

What prayer options are available? 

  • For Shacharit, a women's tefillah will be available on-site.
  • For Mincha, a traditional minyan will be available on site.
  • A Traditional Shacharit minyan will NOT be avaliable on site. If you are looking for a traditional Shacharit minyan nearby, we recommend Lincoln Square Synagogue's Shacharit at 7:00 am at 180 Amsterdam Ave. Please confirm the time and location with Lincoln Square by calling (212) 874-6100 or visiting www.lss.org. 

Are men welcome at the JOFA UnConference?
Yes! The event is co-ed, and men are invited and encouraged to attend. 

What about kids?
The UnConference content is suitable for mature high school students. Anyone younger than that will not find the content very suitable. Unfortunately we will not be able to offer childcare on premises due to space limitations. 

How do I register for specific sessions?
All sessions are first come, first serve. You can't register in advance for workshops or for specific sessions.

Will any of the sessions be recorded?
Yes, we will be recording the majority of the sessions. All of the recordings will be availble after the event.