The Orthodox Union West Coast Region will direct this year’s 19th Annual West Coast Torah Convention to the subject of Jewish ethics with the theme, “Recalibrating Our Moral and Ethical Compass: You Shall Do What is Good and Right in the Eyes of God,” from Thursday, December 24 to Sunday, December 27.
The convention, chaired by Akiva and Rachel Greenfield of Los Angeles is designed to provide a forum for hundreds of men and women from California and beyond to learn from scholars-in-residence and well-known speakers about the most pressing issues of the time.
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, OU West Coast Director, declared, “When we complete one convention we are already thinking about topics and themes for the next year's event. What we saw in a swirling of current events that impacted on both Orthodox and non-observant Jews is a total lack of ethics. Jews and the business environment in general have become lax in following basic ethics and morals.”
“Our committee concurred that something is very wrong and we need to address this issue and thus the topic was selected. Jews have to remind themselves that they have to set an example for the nations of the world,” he explained.
On Thursday, the keynote, addressing the Convention’s theme, will be delivered in the memory of Rabbi Dr. Levi Meier, z”l, by Rabbi Yosie Levine at Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills. “We chose Rabbi Levine, a spiritual leader of the Jewish Center in New York, to give the keynote address because he is a nephew of Rabbi Dr. Meier, who was a man of high ethical standards,” Rabbi Kalinsky said.
This year’s faculty includes,
•Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa;
•Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, Executive Editor, Intermountain Jewish News, Denver;
•Rabbi Yosie Levine, New York;
•Dr. David Luchins, Chairman, Political Science, Touro College; OU National Vice President, New York;
•Rabbi Adir Posy, Assistant Rabbi, Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills;
•Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Bnai Yeshurun Congregation, Teaneck, NJ;
•Rabbi Shaul Robinson, Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York;
•Rabbi Jonathan Rosenberg, Shaarey Zedek Congregation, Valley Village;
•Stephen J. Savitsky, OU National President;
•Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh Kollel-RIETS, Yeshiva University; OU Halachic Consultant;
•Rabbi Steven Weil, OU Executive Vice President;
•Rebbetzin Yael Weil;
•Rabbi Jason Weiner, Chaplain, Cedars Sinai Medical Center;
•Mrs. Geraldine Wiener, Torah Teacher, OU-Women’s Torah Network, Los Angeles.
In a new aspect of convention programming, two public sessions will be held at OU West Coast headquarters, 9821 West Pico Boulevard, on Friday morning. Rabbi Hershel Schachter will present Halacha L’Maaseh to local rabbis, and Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, who is also an attorney, will lead the legal conference that affords an opportunity to earn 2 CLE credits.
OU President Stephen J. Savitsky will speak at Beth Jacob on Shabbat morning and at the Saturday night Melave Malka for sponsors, and on Sunday together with Rabbis Steven Weil and Schachter - addressing: "Realigning the Moral Compass: How Do We Repair What has Been Broken?"
Rabbi Weil will also speak at Adas Torah on Shabbat morning and at B'nai David-Judea on Shabbat afternoon. Rebbetzin Weil will give a shiur in a Beit Midrash style on Sunday morning.
For information on the full convention schedule and location of sessions contact OU West Coast Region at 310-229-9000 ext. 200, or e-mail Westcoast@ou.org.