Three Exceptional Programs Starting this Weekend and OU’s New Mishna Yomit on OU Torah

The past few weeks, I’ve been reminding everyone about The Orthodox Union National Convention, coming up January 14-16, 2011 at The Hilton at Woodcliff Lake, NJ. This week, I’d like to focus on three other exceptional programs that are coming up fast: The JLICRetreat (Dec. 23-26), the West Coast Torah Convention (alsoDec. 23-26), and the NCSYYarchei Kallah (Dec. 28-Jan. 2).

Also, starting this week in the OU’s new Mishna Yomit on OU Torah. Spearheaded by OU Torah Content editor Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, the program will begin with Terumos, taught by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb. (Rabbi Abramowitz will be teaching Brachos concurrently.) The program starts today, December 23.

Noteworthy Upcoming Events

West Coast Torah Convention

From December 23-26, The Orthodox Union’s West Coast division will be running their twentieth annual Torah Convention; this year’s theme is “Keeping Our Values for the Next Generation.” The program will feature a line-up of over 20 scholars-in-residence and educators; OU President Stephen Savitsky and I will be in attendance.

The convention will serve as a broad communal conversation regarding the nature of the values with which we must our lives. There will be a “Shabbat symposium” discussing the key values in our families, our shuls and our communities.

There’s far too much on the program to tell you all about it. One noteworthy panel includes YU rosh yeshiva and OU Kosher posek Rav Hershel Schachter, NCSY International Director Rabbi Steven Burg, and Mrs. Debbie Fox, LCSW, Director of Aleinu, the Orthodox Jewish Family Services in LA, on the topic of “Keeping our Kids on the Derech.”

OU West Coast Director Rabbi Alan Kalinsky and Assistant Director Rabbi Adir Posy are assembling an exciting and noteworthy event. You can read more about it here.

NCSY Yarchei Kallah

NCSY’s annual Yarchei Kallah will be held December 28-January 2 at the Stamford Hilton in Connecticut. Yarchei Kallah is one of the most invigorating events on the NCSY calendar, as hundreds of public school students from across North America converge on a single site to spend their winter break immersed in Torah. Daily programming includes a variety of learning modules: shiurim with rebbeim, chaburos (learning groups), chugim (topical presentations) and shiurim klali with special guest speakers.

What’s new this year is that Yarchei Kallah will be leaving its hotel base to spend Shabbos in Teaneck. The NCSYers will engage and be engaged by the community. This way, the NCSYers can experience Shabbos in an real-life observant environment, while the hosts and congregants will be able to interact with such amazing teens as these, who choose Yarchei Kallah over skiing or other vacation options.

The Yarchei Kallah program is being run by Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, NCSY’s Associate Director of Education, and Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, Regional Director of New Jersey NCSY.

JLIC Retreat

December 23-26 will see the Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus Retreat at the Pearlstone Retreat in Baltimore. This retreat brings together educators from the various JLIC campuses for chizuk, training, dealing with halachic issues on campus, and more. A large portion of the conference is dedicated to Open Space Technology, but other program highlights include “common halachic questions” and an “Aseh Lecha Rav” session with OU Executive Vice President Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb and JLIC Founding Director Rabbi Menachem Schrader.

The JLIC Retreat is being run by JLIC National Director Rabbi Ilan Haber and JLIC Associate Director Rabbi Josh Ross.