Leadership is an important Jewish value. The Talmudic sage Hillel taught in Ethics of the Fathers, “In a place where there are no leaders, strive to be a leader.” (2:5) Reflecting on that theme, the Orthodox Union West Coast Convention, “Leadership in Challenging Times,” will take place Thursday, December 3 through Sunday, December 6 in Los Angeles. Radio personality and author Michael Medved will deliver the keynote address.
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of OU West Coast Region, said, “The world around us and the Jewish people in particular are beset with many challenges. But perhaps the greatest challenge that we face in our world today is the lack of leadership. Accordingly, we have decided that this year’s convention will address that very theme, ‘Leadership in Challenging Times.’ We are privileged that our good friend Michael Medved has agreed to join us once again after an absence of nearly a decade to serve as our keynote speaker. He will address this topic from several vantage points: General Leadership, Leadership as it relates to the 2016 elections, and finally, Jewish Leadership in Challenging Times.”
He continued, “I am certain that we will gain tremendous strength and insight from Michael’s participation. We are equally proud to host a varied faculty, many of whom are directly connected to the great work of the Orthodox Union, who will fan out across the Los Angeles area to continue the communal conversation on this important topic.”
The roster of speakers feature:
- Allen I. Fagin, Executive Vice President (Chief Professional Officer) of the Orthodox Union
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Posek (Halachic Decisor) at OU Kosher and Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
- Rabbi Dovid Cohen, New York Regional Representative of the Orthodox Union
- Nathan Diament, Executive Director of OU Advocacy
- Betty Ehrenberg, Executive Director for World Jewish Congress – US and North America
- Rabbi Ilan Haber, National Director, OU Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus
- Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger, Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Rabbi at Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, NJ
- Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Rabbi of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, NJ
- Rabbi Steven Weil, Senior Managing Director of the Orthodox Union
- Rebbetzin Yael Weil, Teacher at Maayanot High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ
Thursday evening December 3 Mr. Medved, the noted broadcaster and author, will deliver the convention’s keynote address, “Leadership in Challenging Times,” at Beth Jacob Beverly Hills, 9030 Olympic Boulevard. Pre-registration for the gala dinner is required; the address is free and open to the community.
Friday morning December 4 there will be a rabbinic enrichment shiur for community and OU synagogue rabbis delivered by Rabbi Hershel Schachter. Convention faculty will also visit local schools in the Los Angeles area. Rabbi Schachter will visit Mesivta Birchas Yitzchak, yeshiva high school for boys; Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger will visit YULA Boys School; Rebbetzin Yael Weil will visit YULA Girls School; and Rabbi Steven Weil will visit the Shalhevet High School. After Shabbat begins, Rabbi Schachter will lead a tisch at the LINK Kollel.
Shabbat morning December 5 scholars-in-residence will speak at the following synagogues:
- Adas Torah: Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger
- Adat Yeshurun: Rabbi Steven Weil
- Beth Jacob-Beverly Hills: Betty Ehrenberg
- B’nai David-Judea Congregation: Rabbi Ilan Haber
- LINK: Rabbi Dovid Cohen
- Mogen David: Rabbi Hershel Schachter
- Shaarey Zedek: Allen Fagin
- Westwood Kehilla: Rabbi Nachi Klein
- Westwood Village Synagogue: Nathan Diament
- Young Israel of Century City: Michael Medved
- Young Israel of North Beverly Hills: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky
Motza’ei Shabbat there will be a special Sponsor’s Melave Malka on “Political Leadership for Today and Tomorrow – Election 2016,” presented by Michael Medved and Nathan Diament. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) will be the evening’s guest of honor. The event is free for convention sponsors.
Sunday morning December 6 there will be community sessions at the Young Israel of Century City, 9317 West Pico Boulevard. Rabbi Alan Kalinsky and Dr. Ivor Geft will speak at the Dr. Beth Sharon Samuels a”h Annual Memorial Beit Midrash, followed by the closing plenary sessions on “Jewish Leadership in Today’s World.” The session will feature panelists Michael Medved, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Betty Ehrenberg, and will be moderated by Allen Fagin, the OU executive vice president.
For more information call the OU West Coast Region Office at 310-229-9000 x200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.