The Orthodox Union and the Beth Din of America will present a weekend-long examination of the work of the Beth Din of America, to be held October 12-14, Shabbat Parshat Bereshit, in a variety of synagogues in the Teaneck/Bergenfield area. The Beth Din of America is a unit of the Rabbinical Council of America.
Following general sessions for the participating synagogues and their congregations to be held on Friday night and during the day on Shabbat, the program will conclude with a continuing legal education seminar for lawyers and rabbis, Issues in Contemporary Beth Din Practice. Application for New York accreditation of the program for two CLE credits (transitional and non-transitional) is currently pending.
Sessions will be held in Bergenfield at Congregations Beth Abraham, Ohr HaTorah and Beis Medash of Bergenfield; and in Teaneck at Congregations Rinat Israel, Bnai Yeshurun and Keter Torah.
“The Orthodox Union provides significant support to the Beth Din of America and we believe that it is critical for our community to use the Beth Din when necessary,” said OU President Simcha Katz.
OU Senior Vice President Allen I. Fagin, who is active with the Beth Din of America, emphasized that the sessions will be geared to both general audiences and the specialized group attending the Sunday program. “The Beth Din is not only for lawyers and rabbis,” he said. “It is the conflict resolution mechanism of choice for our community, and it is important that the broadest segment of our community be familiar with the resources and operations of an expert Beth Din of impeccable integrity. The Beth Din is proud to be co-sponsoring this event with the OU, which is a major supporter of its activities.”
Speakers will consist of legal experts from the Orthodox community. They include:
• Ilana Blass, Esq., a graduate of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, she is Administrative Attorney at the Beth Din of America, and serves as the primary manager of the commercial and matrimonial Din Torah (arbitration) caseload of the Beth Din.
• Rabbi Dani Rapp, a graduate of the Columbia University School of law, he is Associate Dean of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University and a frequent dayan (arbitrator) at the Beth Din of America.
• Rabbi Yona Reiss, a graduate of Yale Law School, he is the Max and Marion Grill Dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University and Chaver Beth Din at the Beth Din of America.
• Rabbi Shlomo Weissman, a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law, he is Menahel (Director) of the Beth Din of America.
The proceedings will begin at an Oneg Shabbat on Friday Night at Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, with a panel discussion “How Are Cases Decided at the Beth Din of America?” featuring Rabbis Rapp, Reiss and Weissman, joined by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Teaneck’s Bnai Yeshurun Congregation.
Shabbat morning, Rabbi Weissman will speak on “Lessons from the Tsukiji Fish Market: How Batei Din Can Enrich Our Communities,” at Rinat Yisrael; Rabbi Rapp will discuss “The Resolution of the 9/11 Agunah Cases by the Beth Din of America,” at Ohr HaTorah; and at Beth Abraham, Rabbi Reiss will provide “A Comparative Study of Jewish Civil Law and Arbitration Practice.”
Shabbat afternoon sessions will feature Rabbi Rapp speaking on “Kabbalat Hamitzvot as a Component of Gerut,” at Bnai Yeshurun following 5:50 p.m. Mincha; Rabbi Weissman speaking at Keter Torah on “The Case of the Missing Screws: Insurance and Beth Din Litigation,” following 5:50 p.m. Mincha; and at 5:10, Rabbi Reiss will discuss “Dealing with Child Molestation Cases,” at the Beis Medrash of Bergenfield.
The Sunday sessions, Issues in Contemporary Beth Din Practice, to be held at the Beis Medrash of Bergenfield, will include: “The Din Torah Process,” with Rabbi Weissman at 9:15 a.m.; “The Prohibition of Litigating in Secular Court,” with Rabbi Rapp at 9:35 a.m.; “The Role of Secular Law in the Din Torah Process,” with Rabbi Reiss at 10:10 a.m.; and a Q&A session, “Practical Issues in Beth Din Litigation,” with Rabbi Weissman and Ilana Blass, Esq.
All sessions are open to men and women.
Synagogue addresses are as follows: Beth Abraham: 396 New Bridge Road, Bergenfield; Rinat Yisrael, 389 West Englewood Avenue, Teaneck; Ohr HaTorah, 36 Rector Court, Bergenfield; Bnai Yeshurun, 641 West Englewood Avenue, Teaneck; Keter Torah, 600 Roemer Avenue, Teaneck; and the Beis Medrash of Bergenfield, 371 South Prospect Avenue.
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