LOS ANGELES – A record 11 synagogues and 4 Jewish day schools brought together more than 3,500 area Jews for the Orthodox Union’s (OU) annual Torah Los Angeles weekend. The event, hosted by the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, started Thursday evening and concluded Sunday.
The weekend opened with a keynote address from Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue, who spoke on the topic of “Being Orthodox is Not Just a Hobby: A Vision for Passionate Jewish Living.” On Friday, shiurim took place at YULA Boys, YULA Girls, Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok and Shalhevet. Over Shabbos, shiurim took place at LINK Kollel and Shul, Adas Torah, Beth Jacob Beverly Hills, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Shaarey Zedek Congregation, Westside Shul, Westwood Kehilla, Yeshiva Yavneh, Young Israel of Century City, Young Israel of North Beverly Hills and the Young Israel of Northridge. There were three Friday night onegs taking place in Adas Torah, as well as in homes in Hancock Park and Valley Village.
On Sunday morning, the event continued for a day of Torah study at YULA Boys High School where sessions focused on topics such as:
- The Right of Jewish Defense in an Era of Rising Anti-Semitism
- Mental Illness & Bikkur Cholim: Unique Concerns, Strategies and Chesed Opportunities
- Spark Your Soul: How to Inspire Our Teens and Adults
- Are We Asleep at the Wheel? Living a Mindful and Meaningful Jewish Life
- Dina, Shechem and Jewish Pride
- Lasting Effects… What A Difference A Word Can Make
There were sessions appropriate for individuals of all backgrounds, from beginner to scholar and every level in between.
The blue-ribbon list of scholars who taught sessions throughout the weekend included: Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Rav Herschel Schachter, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Rabbi Steven and Rebbetzin Yael Weil, Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski, Rabbi Derek Gormin, Mrs. Geri Wiener, Rabbi Dr. Zev Wiener, Rabbi Jason Weiner, Rabbi Avraham and Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman, Rabbi Yechiel Shaffer, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, Rabbi Arye Sufrin, Rabbi Raziel Cohen, Rabbi Jonathan and Rebbetzin Dr. Yael Muskat, Lou Shapiro Esq., and Sarah M. Nissel Esq.
“The Torah Los Angeles program was a wonderful success and we are grateful to all those who participated. In the span of just several months, the OU is proud to have hosted three communal-wide learning events; in Jerusalem, and on both coasts in the U.S.,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“Torah Los Angeles is part of a broader platform to bring noted scholars into communities for a day, or in the case of Los Angeles a weekend, to provide classes on a range of traditional and contemporary topics for Jews of all backgrounds and ages,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “The franchise began with Torah New York, and we brought it to Los Angeles and this year to Yerushalayim. And we hope to continue to expand this programming to other Jewish communities.”
“We’re very excited to have partnered with so many synagogues, schools and community leaders to help make our vision into a reality by having a weekend where the whole community comes together for Torah study,” said Orthodox Union West Coast Director Rabbi Alan Kalinsky.
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs. For more information, visit https://www.ou.org/.