Secaucus NJ – For nearly 60 dayanim and rabbanim from around the world, the message from a number of Gedolei Hatorah was that only “giyur lechumrah” (conversion according to the highest standards of halacha) can help safeguard the “identity and integrity” of the Jewish nation. The occasion was the 4th Annual Dayanim Conference of Eternal Jewish Family International, which was held at the Sheraton Meadowlands (November 8-10). For two days, the dayanim shared experiences in their respective batei din and communities and heard tshuvos (responsa) to a slew of contemporary shailos, including those of such halachic luminaries as Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
The conference dealt with such issues as the effect of giyur on the overall personality of the ger, the responsibilities of batei din towards the entire family unit, procedures and protocols of the giyur process, the complexities of “ger koton,” the appropriateness of teenage conversion, the annulment of geyrus, hatofas dam bris, and evaluating the hashkofos and character of geyrus applicants. Many of the speakers stressed the importance of “giyur lechumra” as a safeguard of the integrity and wholeness of klal Yisroel.
Amongst the speakers were Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky (Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva), Harav Elya Ber Wachtfogel (Rosh Yeshiva, South Fallsburg),Harav Reuven Feinstein (President, EJF Halachic Committee), Harav Yitzchok Sheiner (Rosh Yeshiva, Kaminetz – Israel), Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu (Rosh Bais Din – London), Harav Yitzchok Falk (Rosh Mesivta, Beis Medrash Elyon – Monsey, NY), Harav Dovid Olewski (Rosh Mesivta of Ger – Brooklyn), and Harav Leib Tropper (Chairman, EJF Rabbinic Committee). Other speakers included Harav Eliyahu Levine, (Rosh Kollel Choshen Mishpat, Lakewood, NJ), Harav Tuvia Wettenstein (Belzer Dayan, Monsey, NY), Harav Eliyahu Attias (Rosh Bais Din Harabbani, Petach Tikvah), Harav Nochum Eisenstein (Vaad L’Inyanei Geyrus, Jerusalem), Harav Yosef Veiner (Rav Shaarei Shamayim, Wesley Hills, NY), Harav Yitzchok Schachner (Dayan, Da’as Mishpat), Harav Yerachmiel Fried (Rosh Bais Din, Dallas TX), Harav Binyomin Weiss (Rosh Beis Din, Montreal), Harav Dovid Schochet (Toronto Beis Din), and Harav Meir Hertz (Lakewood, NJ).
Many of the dayanim at the conference are part of a growing network of batei din around the country that are affiliated with EJF. While Dayanim were meeting in a conference center at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, concurrently, a group of nearly 30 women mentors from around the country were gathered in another part of the hotel to participate in round table discussion from prominent dayanim and rabbonim on the sensitive issue of preparing committed conversion candidates.
(EJF Press Release / YWN Desk – NYC)