First-of-Its-Kind Dina D’Malchusa Legal Seminar for Businesses


agudah-legal-seminar-smallExpanding its broad efforts to educate the Orthodox community about the intricacies of the law of the land, Agudath Israel of America will be hosting a Dina D’Malchusa legal seminar for businesses, to take place at Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin, 2913 Avenue L in Brooklyn, Sunday morning, April 18, from 10:15 AM to 12:45 PM.

The seminar is intended for anyone involved in the administration, ownership or control of a for-profit enterprise of any kind. It will be geared for the professional as well as the layman and will be valuable for those who have long been in business as well as for those just starting out.The seminar will focus on myriad issues that regularly arise in a business context. A committee of local business leaders has reviewed the agenda to ensure that the most relevant issues will be adequately covered.

“This will be a hands-on seminar designed to be useful to the sophisticated Manhattan businessperson and the two-man shop alike,” says Yehuda Kupfer, Esq., the Agudath Israel lawyer who organized the seminar.

“The attorneys on the panel will seek to clarify the rules surrounding the kinds of issues business people face on a daily basis,” he continues. “This is one seminar no business owner or administrator can afford to miss.”

A well-known Brooklyn legal professional, after reviewing the agenda, remarked that he expected to learn new things himself from the seminar, which he characterized as something “long overdue.”

The seminar will be addressed by Sylvan J. Schaffer, Esq., a labor/employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis LLP in Manhattan; and Stanley P. Kupfer, Esq., a Brooklyn lawyer who counsels clients regarding business and compliance issues. Topics will be addressed from the perspective of both New York State and Federal law.

Topics will include: business start-up considerations; state and local licensing requirements; choosing entity names; the differences between a Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Corporation and S Corporation; adequate capitalization of a business; observing corporate formalities; the need for and means of obtaining an EIN; business bookkeeping; accepting payments in cash; the handling of deposits and disbursements; common legal pitfalls and issues of personal liability.

The seminar will also address New York Unemployment Insurance requirements, Workers’ Compensation requirements, disability requirements, employee compensation options (e.g. W-2 vs. 1099), operating a safe working environment and employee privacy laws.

Also to be covered are labor and employment law, including laws pertinent to seeking, interviewing and hiring employees; the differences between at-will employment and employee contracts; maintaining employee personnel files and employee handbooks; discrimination, harassment and retaliation; minimum wage and overtime issues; sick and personal days; different benefit plans for different employees; employee reviews, discipline and termination.

Over past months, Agudath Israel has presented a number of conferences and seminars to yeshivos, gemachs and shuls on an assortment of legal topics. Drawing hundreds of attendees, those seminars have included: gemach workshops in Borough Park and Lakewood; a community-wide legal seminar in Los Angeles; a tax conference for yeshiva administrators and their accountants in Flatbush; and a seminar dealing with legal issues pertinent to shuls at Agudath Israel’s most recent national convention.

The need for a seminar like the upcoming one soon became obvious.

“After presenting seminars for various institutions and representatives,” says Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president, “we were contacted by many members of the community requesting a similar seminar for the typical business person. Well, this is it.

“We are confident,” he continues, “that the information shared at this seminar will save many much time, expense and heartache in the future.”

Those interested in attending the seminar can pre-register by calling 212-797-9000 Ext. 335, or via email by contacting: There is a discounted registration fee of $40 for those who register by April 15. Separate seating for men and women will be available, but seating is limited. Light refreshments will be served and useful handout materials will be provided to those attending the seminar. Three CLE / CPE credits will be available for attorneys and accountants in attendance.

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  1. This is a great initiative.

    However, it must be recognised that those who haven’t followed the law o the land are doing so KNOWINGLY.

    The key issue at hand is changing the ingrained attitude of:
    “I am a Heilige Yid, I can do as I please, so long as I assume it is all L’Shem Shomayim – a significant amount of monies will go to Tzedoka”

  2. Superb initiative. Credit is due to the agudah leadership for stepping up and saying and doing what needs to be done.