The classes offered at the event ranged from traditional High Holiday preparations to modern topics, such as the potential effects of new technology like artificial intelligence on Jewish practices.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Every year for the last three years, the Orthodox Union (OU) has held a Torah New York event. This year, on September 22, 29 scholars led classes on 31 subjects for about 2,500 participants.The classes offered at the event ranged from traditional High Holiday preparations to cutting-edge topics, such as repentance in the social media era and the potential effects of technology like artificial intelligence (AI) on Jewish practice.The OU, the nation’s oldest and largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization for Orthodox Jewry in America, also offerred a preview of a state-of-the-art app for daily Talmud study called “ALL DAF,” the app is expected to transform the way Daf Yomi (a daily study program of Talmud over a seven-year cycle) is studied in the future with its interactive statistics, graphs, charts, video, maps and biographies. It is expected to launch with the new seven-year learning cycle that starts in early January 2020.“The comprehensiveness of Torah New York, the range of classes and the breath of scholarship that reaches young children, teenagers and adults makes this such an important event for the Jewish community,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “It is so heartwarming to see us transform Citi Field into a real field of dreams, and how Torah learning can raise and inspire our community.”In addition to the lectures, there was NCSY programming for Orthodox Jewish youth, which included an interactive program for younger children and preteens.Sivan Rahav Meir, a political correspondent on Israel's Channel 2, discussed "the dangers of wealth, privilege and unbridled access to social media." She criticized the modern world's need for speed, calling it "the crisis of our generation." The popular Israeli journalist, herself religious, asked, "How do we learn to use social media for the good, but turn it off and away from things that distract us and our children?” Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon spoke about AI's potential to benefit observant Jews in the future and the effect robots could have on Shabbat observance.AdvertisementThe blue-ribbon list of scholars who taught sessions include internationally known Torah scholars such as luminary Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and also: Dr. Henry Abramson, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Rabbi Dovid Fohrman, Rabbi Joey Haber, Charlie Harary, Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, Mrs. C.B. Neugroschl, Dr. Smadar Rosensweig, Mrs. Dina Schoonmaker, Mrs. Shira Smiles, Mrs. Shani Taragin, Rabbi Ya'akov Trump, Rabbi Steven Weil, Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Dr. Ora Wiskind, and Rabbi Dr. Jeffery Woolf.“It is so exciting to observe the eagerness of our community to connect to Torah study and to a deeper understanding of their relationship to God,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. “In these days immediately before the High Holidays, I cannot imagine a more profound message to God of our eagerness to connect.”
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