The Agudah’s annual convention has long been the key venue for members of the Jewish community to convene together with Torah leaders and community askanim to discuss and address the critical issues facing the klal today. A direct descendent of the First Knessia Gedolah in 1923, 95 years later the Agudah Convention’s content may have changed, but its mission has remained the same: To gather under the banner of our Gedolei Yisroel to advance the interests of the Jewish community.
This year’s convention theme, “Moving Forward,” echoes that – the challenges facing Klal Yisroel are new, issues which our grandparents could not have imagined. Still, the Agudah – and all of us – need to move forward while staying consistent to our unique values and focusing on our collective and personal goals. More than one thoudsand people are expected at the convention, being held Thursday, November 22nd to Sunday, November 25th, at the Crowne Plaza Stamford, Connecticut. Thousands more will participate in the exciting and informative sessions via live broadcast.
The convention’s Thursday night keynote session will be addressed by HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, HaRav Yeruchem Olshin, and Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, speaking on the theme of “Moving Forward.” Motzei Shabbos’s keynote session will be graced by words from the Novominsker Rebbe, HaRav Yaakov Perlow, Rosh Agudas Yisroel, and HaRav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, a special guest at this year’s convention. The Shabbos drashos and shalosh seudos will include Rabbi Elya Brudny, Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Rabbi Yosef Frankel, Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Shimon Alster, Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rabbi Yosef Eichenstein, Rabbi Yosef Elefant, Rabbi Eytan Feiner, Rabbi Yaakov Feitman and Rabbi Yisroel Mantel. There will also be a fascinating program for women including presentations from Rebbetzin Rivkah Eichenstein, Mrs. Chanie Juravel, Mrs. Aviva Feiner, Mrs. Leba Schwebel, and Mrs. Zahava Farbman.
Throughout the convention many concurrent sessions will highlight Rabbanim, and community leaders speaking about many vital topics. Some notable sessions include, “The Everchanging Nexus of Halacha in Technology,” “Navigating the World of a Teenager: Parental Perimeters,” “Living Bnei Torah Lives in the Working World,” “Kiruv: What Happens Next?” and “Are we losing our minds (and our kids) to our machines?” among many other inspiring and provocative sessions.
Daf Yomi learners will note that that the convention coincides with the end of Mesechta Menachos: Sunday morning’s program will include a grand siyum concurrent with breakfast.
“Moving forward is something that Klal Yisroel has been doing for thousands of years,” said Rabbi Labish Becker, Executive Director of Agudath Israel of America. “Gathering at this year’s Agudah convention to recognize today’s challenges and to address them is the ultimate way we can move forward.”
The Agudah is expecting this year’s convention to be sold out, as it was last year. “Nevertheless,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Shlomo Werdiger, “There are still a few weeks and a handful of rooms left. We encourage everyone to make their reservation now and not be disappointed.”
“Moving Forward is not just a concept or an idea,” says convention chairman Shimon Lefkowitz. “It’s a call to action. For Agudah to move forward we need every person to move forward with us.” Co-chairman Yisroel Borenstein added, “Klal Yisroel’s needs can only be taken care of with your help. Come join us at the convention and see how you can make a difference.”