Apr 21, 2009
The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest grouping of Orthodox Rabbis in the world, will hold its 50th Annual Convention from May 4th to 7th, in Teaneck NJ. The event will be chaired by Rabbis Steven Pruzansky of Teaneck NJ, and Efrem Goldberg, of Boca Raton, FL.
For the first time, the convention will be held in partnership with Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future. The partnership reflects the long-standing relationship between the RCA and Yeshiva University, two leading institutions in Jewish life. By coming together for this key event, both groups will pool vital resources, allow for significant financial savings to their members during a time of economic challenge, significantly upgrade the quality and benefits of the convention, and create a model for enhanced communal sharing and partnership.
The program itself will highlight many challenges facing the Orthodox rabbinate and Jewish life today.
Two sessions will be open to members of the media, and journalists interested in attending and covering those two sessions are invited to be in touch with the RCA office (at firstname.lastname@example.org) to be credentialed to participate. The two sessions (both of which will be followed by in-depth discussion and Q&A) will be:
1. Tuesday evening May 5th, at 8pm, on the topic "The Future of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate: Centralized Authority, Personal Autonomy, and Varied Models of Rabbinic Leadership." Presenters in this arm-chair conversation (which will be moderated by noted radio personality Nachum Segal) will be Rabbis Kenneth Brander, Barry Gelman, Pesach Lerner, and Steven Pruzansky.
2. Wednesday afternoon May 6th at 2.30pm, on the topic "Enhancing the Ethical Dimension of our Lives and Communities: The Rabbi's Essential Role." Presenters in this arm-chair conversation will include Rabbis Basil Herring, Mordechai Willig, and Daniel Feldman, to be joined by Dr. David Pelcovitz and Alyza Lewin Esq. The discussion will cover many ethical issues and challenges to the Orthodox community that have arisen publicly in recent months, on both the personal and communal levels.
Many other important events, open to members only, will occur during the three day event. These will include plenary sessions, Torah and homiletic presentations, meetings of RCA Conversion Network leaders, allied Military and Health Care Chaplain tracks, skills workshops, election of a new RCA administration, adoption of resolutions, awards to worthy rabbinic personalities, and much more.
In the words of the outgoing President of the RCA, Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, "This event will reflect what has been a recent period of extraordinary growth and expansion of the RCA on numerous fronts. We believe that the convention will reflect these past accomplishments, even as it sets our direction and goals for the future. We are particularly pleased that we are partnering this event with YU's Center for the Jewish Future, thus strengthening our special relationship as we pool our respective resources for the good of our members and the community at large."