The Orthodox Union facilitated an energized discussion of “Torah in the City” on Sunday, drawing close to 1,500 men and women from throughout the tri-state area to Citi Field in Flushing Meadows.
The full day program of halacha, hashkafa, tanach and Israel, was orgazined by OU’s incoming president Moishe Bane. The OU has announced plans to expanding its Torah education programming to serve the broader community through similar future events.
The diversity of Jews present at Sunday’s event was extraordinary, the OU said.
“Torah in the City” featured more than 30 speakers, both men and women, including scholars, educators, activists and others at the forefront of contemporary Jewish life. Speakers included Rabbi Shalom Rosner, Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Charlie Harary, Raizi Chechik, Rabbi Yonasan Sacks, Rabbi David Fohrman, Nechama Price, Rabbi Hayyim Angel, Rabbi Steven Weil, and Shira Smiles, among many others.
“With this event we begin to expand the OU’s outreach to Jews from all walks of life on the importance of Torah study as a means to become closer to G-d,” said Bane, a prominent New York attorney at Ropes & Gray, and a longtime OU lay-leader. “It is a significant step in charting a path to further Torah study in engaging and meaningful ways.”
Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul-General of Israel in New York, recited a prayer for peace in Israel during a communal prayer session.
“I came today to learn Torah,” he said. “As a New York Jewish resident, I came to be uplifted and inspired. It’s very strengthening to see that in New York City, with so many events and things to do, Jews come and learn Torah together.”
“We look forward to having more of these events, focusing on pure Torah learning, on an annual basis as well as smaller local events,” said Allen Fagin, CEO of the OU. “We see this as the core of what we are as an institution.”
Torah in the City lectures will be uploaded to the OU Torah.org website over the next weeks.