May 19, 2011
The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest grouping of Orthodox rabbis in the world, has just completed a most successful annual convention - the 52nd in its 75 year history - held in Englewood NJ.
In confronting a number of critical issues that face the Jewish community, the convention throughout reflected a sense of rabbinic unity, shared purpose, and respectful dialogue - a remarkable accomplishment given the broad involvement of rabbis from across the Orthodox spectrum in Jewish life who identify with the RCA. The convention dealt with vital issues including: increased opportunities for engagement with Jews of other denominations and unaffiliated Jews, creative solutions to the challenges confronting the day school community, the continuing expansion and communal acceptance of the RCA's GPS conversion courts, bilateral relations with Israel's Chief Rabbinate, deepened cooperation with Israel's Tzohar rabbis, and a variety of sessions and workshops dealing with social media and digital challenges to family relationships, addictions and divorce rates in the Orthodox community, stresses encountered by rabbinic families, child sexual abuse, homosexuality, synagogue security in an age of terrorism, creating American-style Orthodox communities in Israel and increased involvement in world affairs.
Throughout the convention, both in formal and informal discussion, there were extended discussions of these and other major challenges facing the Torah community in the foreseeable future. An audio recording of a public panel discussion on "Modern Orthodoxy Facing the 21st Century", featuring the leadership of the RCA, Yeshiva University, and the Orthodox Union, is available.
A highlight of the proceedings was the election, without opposition, of a new administration, under the presidential leadership of Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of Englewood, NJ, in addition to nine other officers from throughout the US and Israel, as well as 18 new Executive Committee members, fully representative of the ideological, geographical, and age spectra of the RCA. Rabbi Goldin, a distinguished communal leader, educator, and author, takes the reigns of an organization that in recent years has stood at the forefront of Orthodox life, representing the mainstream rabbinic community as a member-service organization that also embodies and projects traditional halachic values and practices throughout the community and society in an era of unprecedented communal and societal change. As Rabbi Goldin put it in his acceptance remarks, "Building upon its proud, accomplished history, the RCA today stands ready to make new, major contributions to all facets of the Jewish community. With the help of God and the combined creative vision of our broad membership, I am certain that we will rise to the challenge."
With its growing membership and increasing diversity, the RCA is poised for a period of growth and dynamic leadership at the head of the Orthodox community, fully mindful of the challenges confronting Jewish life, here and abroad.
For further information please contact:
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin