(April 30, 2018 / JNS) In an event organized by the Orthodox Union, a record 2,000 people attended a day of learning at Citi Field, the New York Mets’ stadium.
The event featured 45 classes—with special programs for high school and college students—led by 38 internationally renowned scholars, including Rabbi Hershel Schacter, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Abraham Steinberg, Rabbi Elazar Muskin, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, Rabbi Eli Mansour, Sivan Rahav Meir, Rabbi Judah Mischel and Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman.
Former U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut also delivered a session, together with Rabbi Menachem Genack.
The event was the largest of its kind in North America and focused on classes in five main categories: Tanach, Hashkafa, halachah (Jewish law), Israel (in honor of its 70th birthday) and the wisdom of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of his passing in April 1993 at the age of 90). Topics included traditional and contemporary issues such as the #MeToo movement, the opioid crisis in America and discussions on politics.
Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane, who hopes to replicate this program in other cities around the country, told JNS: “Torah New York was an overwhelming success, with participation increasing by 50 percent since last year’s program. Our goal was to provide community members with an unprecedented opportunity to learn Torah with dynamic rabbis and lecturers. Today was about giving them those sources and to quench their thirst for learning.”
Likewise, Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the OU, voiced his hope that the event “brought people together with one common goal—delving into Torah study as a community.”
He told JNS: “Our definition for success at ‘Torah New York’ is for participants, including those who joined us virtually through the live broadcasts, to leave inspired and motivated to seek out more opportunities to learn year round.”