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Rabbi Jacobson’s Suggested Lecture Topics

Rabbi Jacobson is a world renowned speaker whose versatile depth and breadth of knowledge, and his uncanny ability to relate to all different kinds of people, allow him to engage audiences of all ages, all nationalities, and all faiths or no faith.

He has delivered over 1000 lectures to diverse audiences on 6 continents, in over 20 countries and in 40 states, on psycho-spiritual issues and applying Jewish thought to contemporary life. His voice is rooted in the timeless teachings of Torah, yet at the same time is profoundly timely, relevant, unique, and cutting edge.

These lecture topics are a small selection of the topics Rabbi Simon Jacobson has spoken about — he never gives the same lecture twice.

Latest Popular Topics: The Covid Era

What a Year It Has Been… Has the World Changed Forever?
A year like this does not come very often. Disruption on every front. Health. Economic. Political. Leadership. Travel. Leisure. Uncertainty hanging over us like a dark cloud. Tentativeness in the air. What will the next few months bring? What will the future be like? This session will offer a fresh perspective on today’s events, and how our experiences during the past months can guide and empower us in forging a new reality. Discover powerful lessons and tools to face our current challenges.

How Disruptions Lead to a New World Order
Covid, rioting, violence, anger, chaos, political polarization.. Such is the current climate and behavior in the USA. How did we end up with this large divide in a magnificent country? What are we to make of the upheavals of our times? And where do we go from here? The silver lining in any disruption and upheaval, is it presents an opening and  opportunity for growth and positive change. It serves as a wake up call to challenge our leaders and ourselves toward progress. In our current situation, first and foremost we must remember that we are all the children of God and respect each other’s differences while appreciating that we are all part of one union. All people, regardless of background, religion, race or political persuasion must declare that we are all created equal, that E Pluribus Unum. Despite our differences, let us connect and unite like never before. Join Rabbi Jacobson and learn how together we can – and must – use this unprecedented time to create a new world order, to spread goodness, kindness and unity. The future is in our hands. How will we react?

Post-Synagogue Judaism? Worshiping without a House of Worship
The corona-imposed closures have forced people to pray in their homes instead of their synagogues. But it has done much more than that. It has compelled us — perhaps like never before — to ask some big questions and challenge some long-standing “norms” of Judaism. How important is a synagogue and a rabbi to our relationship with G-d? What are their roles in our lives? What is prayer? What happens when we take G-d out of shul and the shul is no longer the center of our religious lives? Are there new opportunities to connect without the mechanics of shul, minyan and traditional rituals? Should divine service and prayer at home become the new normal? How will our newfound discoveries impact the future of Jewish life and our connection to G-d? Will the role of our synagogues change? Will we appreciate Judaism differently? And is this a bad thing?

What Will the New Normal Look Like? Reclaiming Yourself
Everybody is now asking the big question: When will life go back to normal? What will the new norm look like? Will anything change? But the bigger question we should be asking is: What exactly is “normal”? Is “normal” defined by the usual routines and patterns we are accustomed to? How do we really know that the conditions we consider to be “norms” are actually true and real? Perhaps they are just a result of our own subjective perceptions and experiences? “Normal” for some people can even be unhealthy and toxic. Shouldn’t the current disruptions and upheavals serve as an unprecedented opportunity to question and challenge our assumptions about what is truly important, valuable and… normal? Please join Rabbi Jacobson as he, in his inimitable style, challenges our “comfort zones” and our very definition of “normal” and other assumed truths. Discover how revisiting preconceived notions opens up surprisingly new perspectives and deeper truths. The upending of our previously-held givens in these times of crisis allows you to see the bigger picture, and recognize a far more expansive “normal” — and reclaim yourself in the process.

The Jewish Response to Racism
How do we fight racism and oppression? Do we wage war or do we surrender? Do we pray or do we escape? Is there a long-term solution to prejudice and discrimination? The best answer for any dilemma, especially one as serious and long-term as this, is to look back at history and see how hatred and persecution was addressed in the past, who was successful at dealing with it, and what results it yielded. The Jewish people are the best model to turn to in such times. Close to four millennia the Jews suffered every possible form of oppression and abuse — enslavement, forced labor, discrimination, expulsion, extermination. From the Egyptian bondage to the destruction wreaked by the Babylonians and the Romans, from the Crusades to the Inquisition, from the Middle Age massacres to the pogroms to the Holocaust, there is barely a period in which Jews weren’t under attack. How did they survive? How did they thrive? How did they endure and outlast all their persecutors, and become the great nation they are till this very day, influencing the world far beyond their numbers? Join Rabbi Simon Jacobson is this critically important and timely program and discover what 3800 years of time-tested history and wisdom teaches us about growing through oppression, and becoming the greatest possible people we can be.

How to Plan for an Unknown Future
Why does the unknown unnerve and frighten us? Is it possible that we have become so accustomed and attached — even addicted — to our knowable and predictable comfort zones, that now, when they are disrupted, we cannot easily embrace the unknown? Has our prosperity and high standard of living distracted and caused us to forget the awe of the unknown? Is our need for control a result of deeper insecurities — relying on impermanent things for safety? Do you know how to let go and celebrate your vulnerability? In this session Rabbi Simon Jacobson will take on an extraordinary journey into the deeper mysteries of life, and learn how to embrace the mystique and grandeur of the unknown. Discover how we gain true control when we let go of control. How the unknowable works hand-in-hand with the knowable, as the unconscious works hand-in-hand with the conscious — weaving together an exquisite and exhilarating picture of true reality.

Are You Judgmental?
Why is it so easy for a person to judge another? Who gave us that right? And what compels us to do so? Is it possible that judging others is a defense mechanism; a way of elevating ourselves and feeling superior? Is being judgmental ever appropriate? In this session Rabbi Jacobson addresses a topic deeply relevant to our times of personal and cultural upheaval. Discover how to look at yourself with a new set of eyes, and what questions to ask that help you identify the roots of judgmentalism, and distinguish between genuine respect for higher standards and rejection of negative behavior, while not resorting and stooping to judgment. And above all, learn how judgmentalism is a product of shallow and superficial attitudes, and at the end of the day, coming in touch with your core essence builds your self-esteem, which in turn helps you recognize the core essence of others, allowing you to see them in a positive light.

Coal To Diamond: How Do You React Under Pressure?
Crisis and pressure brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. Many lose their composure and confidence when squeezed. They get overwhelmed and can even crumble under pressure. And there are those that maintain their balance and calm; some even rise to the occasion in stressful situations. Is this difference wired or acquired? is the way we deal with challenging situations based on our natural innate resources, is it due to parental and other formative influences, or can we be taught new ways how to cope with pressure? Please join Rabbi Jacobson as he presents methodologies that each of us can employ to access inner resources within ourselves to face even the most daunting circumstances. Discover how pressure can actually draw out your greatest potential, your deepest powers and strength. Remember, only extreme pressure turns carbon into diamond; only when you press an olive does it produce oil; and like a teabag, you don’t know how strong you are until you find yourself in hot water…

Stronger in the Broken Places: 3 Ways to Build Resilience
Build resilience and rebound from a place of being broken with these three steps by Rabbi Simon Jacobson.

Other Topics

The 21st Century Jew
Things are changing at breakneck speed. In 2019, our world is unrecognizable from the world we inhabited even as recently as a decade ago. Technology in particular has changed the way we talk, travel, work, love and live. These changes have improved our lives in countless ways, but they also pose distinct challenges and problems. Instead of bringing people together they are pulling people apart. Instead of making our lives simpler, they are making our lives immeasurably more complex.How do we navigate these changes? How do we harness them for positive transformation? How do we build families, live meaningful lives and contribute to our communities? And – as Jews have done throughout history – how do we continue driving progress within society at large? Rabbi Simon Jacobson lays out a unique Jewish roadmap for being our best selves and building our best world.

Marriage: The Secret.
We live in times of crisis for intimacy and relationships. Marriage rates in the west are plummeting, and for those that do take the plunge, almost half end up getting divorced. Is there a formula for a healthy and successful marriage? Discover what more than 3,300 years of Jewish wisdom says about the art of love and the soul of marriage, igniting the passionate spark of intimacy, resolving conflicts at home, and finding and maintaining fulfilling relationships. Rabbi Simon Jacobson delivers a marriage masterclass.

DNA of Your Soul: The Original 4000-Year-Old 7 Step Program
In this intimate, introspective and interactive session Rabbi Jacobson will dissect the core emotional energies that make you tick. Take a journey back to your childhood — retracing the steps to the original point when these faculties were at there purest and most innocent. Followed by the experiences that distorted your perceptions and feelings, concluding with tools to release and reclaim the beautiful child trapped in your adult body.

Contemporary Issues

♦ Post Trump Era: A Torah Perspective
♦ How to Deal with Apathy Towards Judaism
♦ Do You Have a Personal Mission Statement? Learning How to Develop Your Calling in Life
♦ Can We Bridge Faith and Modernity?
♦ Love, Intimacy and the Meaning of Life: A Frank Discussion on Spiritual Relevance to Our Lives Today
♦ Are Religion and Spirituality Compatible?
♦ The God You Don’t Believe In: A Candid Conversation on Faith, God, Miracles and Good and Evil
♦ Is God Relevant Today?
♦ The Kabbalah of Physics: Where Science Meets Spirit

Personal Issues

♦ Why Does G-d Let Good People Suffer? Age-Old Wisdom for an Age-Old Question
♦ How to Achieve Self Actualization and Personal Growth
♦ The Great Enemy Within: Apathy
♦ Love, Intimacy and the Meaning of Life: A Frank Discussion on Jewish Relevance to Our Lives Today
♦ Pain and Suffering: How Can a Good G-d Cause Pain? Turning Pain into Growth
♦ Fear and Faith in Times of Crisis
♦ Living Spiritually: How to Balance, Work, Home, Material Life and Judaism
♦ Making Positive Changes: How the Wisdom of the Sages Can Empower Your 21st-Century Life
♦ How to Say What you Really Mean: Words from the Heart Enter the Heart
♦ How to Forgive When You Can’t Forget (or, How to Forget when you can’t Forgive)
♦ Who Are You: Id or Yid?

Social Issues

♦ Will Women and Men Ever See Eye to Eye? Ancient Wisdom for Modern-Day Solutions
♦ Who is the Ultimate Matchmaker – G-d or Man? Is marriage predestined or dependent on your efforts?
♦ The Art of Love: Marriage & Relationships In the Kabbalah
♦ The Jewish Revolutionary View on Education
♦ Is your self worth defined by your net-worth?

The Middle East

♦ Abraham, Ishmael, Esau, Jacob, Egypt: Tracing the Roots of Current Events Finding Security in an Uncertain World
♦ The Root of the War: A Universe not at Peace with G-d
♦ What are the Biblical and mystical texts that foretell today’s events?
♦ The Akeidah vs. the Alkeidah
♦ Does Religion Produce Monsters?
♦ The Future of Israel and Zionism
♦ Crisis in Israel – What Can We Do?
♦ The New Anti-Semitism and What To Do About It
♦ The Jewish Approach to Today’s War

Judaism

♦ Was Moses Orthodox, Conservative or Reform? The Secret to Jewish Unity and How We Can Eradicate Divisiveness
♦ “I find Judaism to be repressive.” Is There Room in Judaism for Self Expression?
♦ Exile and Exodus: Lessons from the Bible about Current Events
♦ What we learn today from the Egyptian Bondage and Redemption
♦ Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Judaism But Were Afraid to Ask: Sexuality, Cremation, Abortion and Other Controversial Issues of Our Time
♦ Who Gave the Rabbis All Their Power?
♦ Is the entire spectrum of Jewish life based on the whim of a few rabbis 1500 years ago? Why should we listen to them now?
♦ Dancing with G-d: The Ecstasy of Jewish Mysticism
♦ The Women’s Pivotal Role in the Future of the Jewish Nation: What the Rebbe Said May Surprise You
♦ The Great Divide…? The Mechitzah: The Separation of Men and Women in the Synagogue and Religious Life
♦ The Future of the Jewish People: How Do We Guarantee Jewish Continuity?
♦ Separating Fact from Fiction in Jewish Thought

For Chabad Audiences

♦ The story behind the book, Toward a Meaningful Life: The Wisdom of the Rebbe, and the tremendous response from readers
♦ The Rebbe: An Immortal Legacy
♦ Why the Rebbe is Relevant to Your Life Today
♦ The First 21st Century Leader: How the Rebbe Can Help You Live A Meaningful Life
♦ The Rebbe’s Revolutionary Vision for Our Lives Today
♦ The Rebbe and His Message: A New Paradigm For Our Times Built on over 3300 Years of Torah
♦ Judaism for the 21st Century: A Blueprint for Global Transformation
♦ The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Visionary Approach to Issues Facing the Jewish 
People
♦ What would schools and yeshiva ran by the Baal Shem Tov look like?

Fundamental Topics

Dancing with God: The Ecstasy of Jewish Mysticism; The Energy of Kabbalah and Chassidus 

Kabbalah is shrouded in mystery and controversy. This session will take us on a journey into the soul of Jewish spirituality, training us in the inner workings of our personal and cosmic psyches. Learn to access joy even when life is cruel, and uncover hidden strengths embedded in our souls. Discover how to use the divine gifts of song and love as tools to reconnect to the Source, turning your life into a perpetual dance.

Is Your Self-Worth Defined By Your Net-Worth? Future Economics – A New Model 
From Aristotle to Calvin, Max Weber to Adam Smith and Karl Marx, philosophers and political scientists throughout history have tried to understand the meaning of money, its effects on a society, and how to build a co-existing community within the context of self-interest and financial competition. This session will analyze these conflicting systems and offer a third, revolutionary, economic model – based on Torah thought – which synthesizes the best of all approaches.

The Fourth Revolution: An Historical Overview Of Spirituality
With history as a backdrop, from the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution and the present computer and information revolution, this session will identify the fourth and final frontier: the spiritual revolution. Recognizing this new era will help us discover forward-thinking measures that will not only stem the tide of resignation but introduce new vitality into our lives and institutions, carrying us through this new millennium and effecting global change.

The Soul of Sexuality: Can I Find Eternal Love?
We live in times of a crisis in intimacy and relationships. Discover what 4,000 years of Jewish wisdom says about the art of love and the soul of marriage; igniting the passionate spark of intimacy, resolving conflicts at home, and finding and maintaining fulfilling relationships. Learn how to access the cosmic power of sexuality and how to ride the rollercoaster of married life. For singles and couples alike.

Can We Bridge Faith and Modernity? A Frank Discussion on Jewish Relevance to Our Lives Today 
With a steep decline in Jewish affiliation and a 50% intermarriage rate, everyone is searching for the solution to guarantee Jewish continuity. A deep disparity exists between Jewish tradition and personal relevance. 60% of Buddhists in America are Jewish, and the observant Jewish life seems to be dogmatic, insulated and not all-inclusive. This session will address the single most important challenge of our times: Can Judaism be personally relevant, spiritually passionate and fashionable for our times?

Who Are You: Id Or Yid? A New Psychological Model
What is the driving force within each of us – selfishness or selflessness? Freud and Darwin are the primary authorities on the nature of modern man: ‘Survival of the fittest’ is the cardinal rule of all life, with superimposed rules to allow for coexistence. This session will reveal the surprising true father of modern psychology. Discover an alternative, upbeat view of the human psyche. Your expectations of yourself and others will never be the same.

Toward a Meaningful Life: Universal Jewish Life-Skills 
Discover methods and practical applications to integrate modern life with higher meaning; to fuse ritual with spiritual. Learn techniques that will help you discover your own personal mission statement, which in turn infuses each aspect of your life with higher consciousness – from personal growth to loving relationships; from home and family to work and wealth; from life’s shadows to the role of God in our lives; from technology to psychology.

Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: Spirituality Confronts Reality
Description: This session will explore some of the themes that have evolved over the last two days, as well as ask whether religion and spirituality can really be reconciled? Can religious or spiritual beliefs and practices really improve health, well-being and longevity? We will consider the wider application of meditative practices within society, and question the commercialization of spirituality.

Was Moses Orthodox, Conservative or Reform? The Secret to Jewish Unity and How We Can Eradicate Divisiveness
What defines Jewish identity? Differing opinions have brought on condescension and divisiveness that rips apart communities, families and cultures. Unity, Ahavat Yisroel, is the cornerstone of Judaism; peace, shalom, is our greatest blessing. Indeed, the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hate. This session will cover the erosive roots of divisiveness and offer fresh ways how we can reintroduce a spirit of love – knowing that we are all parts of one spiritual organism.

The Kabbalah of Today’s Global Conflicts: The Battles between Islam, Christianity and Judaism
Tracing the Biblical, historical and mystical roots of what some have coined the “clash of civilizations,” this session will address the fascinating parallels of our current confrontations to the millennia old tensions between Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Going all the way back to the struggles in the homes of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, you will discover new ways to relate with our ancient ancestors. And how each of us can affect world events through our own actions.

Middle East Turmoil: What Does it All Mean? A Historical/Spiritual Perspective
What are we to make of the recent upheavals in the Middle East and how are they going to play out across the rest of the world? Should we be concerned? How will it impact Israel? What does the future hold? The media is weighing in on the immediate and short-term consequences of this turmoil. But there is a bigger picture – a broader perspective. When you think about it, these latest uprisings should not surprise us: After all, this region has been fraught with battles since the beginning of time! But what lies behind all these upheavals, and where are they leading?

You may be surprised to discover that these events — in a broad sense — have been foretold in Biblical texts. Please join Rabbi Jacobson tonight in a dramatic discussion exploring the roots of the current turmoil, and the unique birds’ eye perspective the Torah offers us on the meaning of these events and what we should do about them.

Freedom, Individuality and the Common Good: How to Balance Individual Expression and Self-Interest with the Cooperation Needed for Coexistence and Complementation
 The first millennium was marked by a focus on the collective, with little attention paid to the individual. In the second millennium – coined by some as the “me millennium” – individuality came racing to the fore with a vengeance. But the question today is: How to we reconcile individual needs and the collective good. This struggle is amplified in today’s age of prosperity and technology. This session will explore the different approaches to the role played by government and laws that regulate the private and public sectors, and shed light a new way that Judaism offers us to bridge the individual and the community.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Judaism But Were Afraid to Ask: Sexuality, Cremation, Abortion and Other Controversial Issues of Our Time

Who Gave the Rabbis All Their Power? Is the entire spectrum of Jewish life based on the whim of a few rabbis 1500 years ago? Why should we listen to them now?

 

Want Rabbi Jacobson to lecture in your hometown? Get in touch!