02/06/2015 15 Sivan 5775
A full-day seminar for rabbis, on the topic of community and family issues, took place in London, with the participation of rabbis from many European countries. The seminar, which was held in the beis medrash of Rabbi Doron Ahiel in the Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green, was an initiative of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. Through the training and educational discussions offered in this program, the rabbis gained tools for dealing with many complex and pertinent issues in their communities. Many thanks to Rabbi Asaf Portal and Rabbi Doron Ahiel, both spiritual leaders of major congregations in London, for their enormous contribution to the program’s success.
The decision to plan this seminar, and the topics to be addressed, were based on many requests that the RCE has received from rabbis of communities throughout Europe who needed guidance in matters relating to Jewish life and practical halachah.
Harav Yonatan Tawil, Rav of the local Sephardic congregation, delivered the opening divrei Torah, and he was followed by Harav Yisrael Lichtenstein, Rav and Av Beis Din of the Federation of London and member of the RCE’s presidium, who described innovations in the world of kashruth. Harav Moshe Schlesinger, who heads the Pri Chaim organization, spoke about medical and halachic matters as they pertain to Jewish family life.
How can we strengthen our connection with our community members? What can we do to accomplish more in our congregations? Harav Yitzchak Reuven Rubin, Rav and director of Mosdos Ohr Shlomo in Manchester, discussed this important topic. This was followed by an address by Harav Doron Ahiel, Rav of Netzach Yisrael.
Harav Levi Yitzchak Sudak, a Chabad shaliach in London, spoke at length about Jewish chinuch in the Diaspora, and Harav Avraham David, Dayan and Rav of the Sephardic kehillah in London and member of the RCE’s rabbinical council, explained the practical intricacies of hilchos eiruvin. Then Harav Moshe Schlesinger spoke once again, presenting important new information about genetic issues.
Harav Yitzchak Reuven Rubin wrapped up the lectures with a presentation of strategies to prevent and to deal with the widespread problem of at-risk teens.
At the end of the sessions, the participants had a chance to ask the speakers questions on the topics discussed. The first participant to speak up, one of the rabbis of London, spoke on behalf of all the London rabbis, thanking the leadership of the RCE, its director Harav Menachem Margolin and deputy director Harav Aryeh Goldberg, for the fascinating and well-organized seminar.
RCE deputy director Harav Aryeh Goldberg gave closing remarks. He reported that many community rabbis in attendance had informed him that they had gained a great deal from the seminar, and they requested another such seminar. Therefore, it was decided that in the near future another full-day seminar would take place in France. Rav Goldberg thanked Harav Avraham Abba Turetzky of the RCE, who invested many hours of hard work to ensure that this seminar would be a success.