OU West Coast Torah Convention, December 23-26, Focuses on Jewish Values for Next Generation

29 Nov 2010


The Orthodox Union West Coast Region will direct this year’s 20th Annual West Coast Torah Convention to the subject of Jewish values with the theme, “Keeping Our Values for the Next Generation.” It will be held from Thursday, December 23 to Sunday, December 26. Each day, the conference will address values as they relate to daily life: “Values in the Family;” “Values in the Shul;” “Defining our Values;” and “Values in the Community.”

The convention 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, “One of the biggest challenges facing a parent and a grandparent today is the uncertainty whether our children will continue to follow in the Ways of Judaism – in the Derech Hashem. With this concern facing so many people in our community, we felt compelled to address this very theme at this year’s Torah Convention. Thus, the sense of who we are as Jews, what our responsibilities are and how we can transmit the mesorah (tradition) to future generations is the essence of this year’s four-day gathering. We have organized a very illustrious and diverse faculty who will discuss the themes of values in our schools, in our homes, in our shuls and in our community in a very impressive fashion.”

On Thursday, the keynote plenary will focus upon “Keeping Our Kids and Grandkids on the Derech” at 7:45 p.m. at Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills, 9030 West Olympic Boulevard. Leading the plenary discussion will be Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Steven Burg, and Debbie Fox. Rabbi Steven Weil will introduce the plenary, with Rabbi Adir Posy, OU West Coast Assistant Director of Synagogue Services, to serve as the panel moderator.

OU President Stephen J. Savitsky will speak Friday night as part of a panel on “Defining our Values – the Effect of Polarization in the Jewish Community,” at Congregation Mogen David, 9717 West Pico Boulevard, in additional to speaking at Adas Torah, 1135 South Beverly Drive, on Shabbat morning. Saturday night he will discuss “The State of the Union” at a special melave malka (Saturday night festivities) for convention sponsors and trustees. He will also be part of the Sunday morning closing session at the Young Israel of Century City on “The Future of Orthodoxy,” together with Rabbi Shaul Robinson and Julie Greenbaum Fax.

Rabbi Weil will also speak at a local home Friday night and at the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, 444 N. Rexford Drive, on Shabbat morning.

This year’s distinguished faculty, which will speak at numerous shuls throughout the community, includes:

From the OU:

• Stephen J. Savitsky-President;

• Rabbi Steven Weil-Executive Vice President;

• Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Rosh Kollel-RIETS, Yeshiva University; OU Halachic Consultant;

• Rabbi Steven Burg-International Director of NCSY;

Invited Faculty:

• Rabbi Michael Broyde-Professor of Law, Emory Law School, Atlanta; Dayan, Beit Din of America;

• Rabbi Yisroel Ciner-Beth Jacob Congregation, Irvine;

• Rabbi Dovid Cohen-Young Israel of the West Side, New York; Mashgiach Ruchani, Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University;

• Julie Gruenbaum Fax-Senior Writer, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles;

• Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman-Director of Rabbinic Research at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future;

• Debbie Fox, LCSW-Director of Aleinu Marriage Services, a comprehensive social services organization geared toward the needs of the Orthodox community;

• Rabbi Daniel Friedman-Congregation Beth Israel, Edmonton;

• Steven Friedman-Family Law attorney;

• David B. Gardner, Esq-International attorney, Law Offices of David B. Gardner

• Ernest Katz, Ph.D.- Director of Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Psychology, Keck School of Medicine and the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, University of Southern California;

• Rabbi Daniel Korobkin-Rosh Kehillah, Yavneh, in Los Angeles;

• Esther Macner, Esq-Family Law specialist with the Agunah Task Force, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance;

• Rabbi Noach Orlowek-Mashgiach, Yeshivas Torah Ore, Jerusalem;

• Rebbetzin Dr. Hindi Posy- OB/GYN, High Risk Obstetrics Fellow at University of Southern California Medical Center;

• Rabbi Shaul Robinson-Lincoln Square Synagogue, New York;

• David Suissa-Founder of OLAM Magazine;

• Rhoda Weisman-Executive Director, Professional Leaders Project.

For attorneys, Esther Macner and Steven Friedman will present, with David B. Gardener to moderate, two public sessions on Sunday morning at the Young Israel of Century City, 9317 W. Pico Boulevard, from 9-11 a.m. discussing, “Everything You Need to Know About Halachic Pre-Nups but Were Afraid to Ask,” and “The Imprimatur of the State on Halachic Agreements and Beit Dins: Current Problems and Trends of Enforceability.” This legal conference affords an opportunity to earn two CLE credits.

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.

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