When AIPAC holds its annual Policy Conference in Washington DC, next week, March 3-5, a can’t miss event for community leaders who support Israel and want to make their voices heard in the Nation’s Capital, it will be preceded by a Shabbaton, March 1-2, in which the Orthodox Union will play a leading role for hundreds of people from all over the United States and beyond who will be observing Shabbat at the Conference. Last year, 350 people participated in the AIPAC Shabbaton.
This year, not only will dozens of OU shuls once again be represented at the Washington Convention Center, but OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil will reprise his role as Scholar-in-Residence, an honor he has assumed at synagogues and conferences on a regular basis.
“We look forward to Rabbi Weil participating in the Policy Conference as Scholar-in-Residence for the Pre-Conference Shabbaton,” said Mark Waldman, AIPAC national director of synagogue initiative. “His scholarly sermons and classes will provide the participants with the necessary intellectual and spiritual stimulation in advance of their work to help strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Rabbi Weil commented, “As part of the OU/AIPAC initiative started just three years ago, we hope to have more than 2,000 participants at the Policy Conference from OU shuls, which are partnering with AIPAC, the OU and the pro-Israel community in order to create a strong American-Israel relationship.”
Shabbat may be the day of rest, but Rabbi Weil will be busy, as he is whenever he is Scholar-in-Residence. He will give a short shiur (lesson) Friday at 5:30 p.m. candle lighting time on “The Song of the Sabbath,” followed after dinner on “The Two Greatest Challenges Facing the Jewish Community in the 21st Century.”
On Shabbat day, Rabbi Weil will give the drasha (sermon) at the morning service on “The Golden Calf Is Alive and Well in the 21st Century”; speak on “The Message of the Laver” at the kiddush luncheon; give an afternoon shiur on “The World’s First BDS Movement,” and another presentation at the 5:30 Seudah Shlishit, the Third Meal of the Sabbath, on “Before There Was a Scoop Jackson and Mark Kirk.”
Rabbi Weil declared, “The presentations will help prepare participants for their lobbying assignments and address the challenges facing America, Israel and the free world. Last year we had over 350 participants at the Shabbaton and we look forward to another wonderful weekend.”
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