A distinguished group of Dayanim from Eretz Yisroel and Europe will participate in a two-day conference on November 2-4 at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia. The third Dayanim Conference is sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family International and the Lillian Jean Kaplan Jewish Pride Through Education Project of Horizons, an internationally recognized kiruv and Torah education center based in Monsey, headed by Harav Leib Tropper, Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Yaakov.
The overseas guests will include Dayan Avrohom Sherman, Chief Dayan of Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Court, Dayan Raphoel Eliyahu Aisherig (Chief Rabbinate, Israel), Dayan Chanoch Ehrentrau, Chairman of the Conference of European Rabbis and Dayan Menachem Gelley (UK). Some 40 dayanim and Roshei Yeshiva will participate in the conference which will air some of the important emerging halachic issues that constantly come to the fore on universally accepted conversion standards in intermarriage. All but some of the dayanim at the conference are part of a growing network of independent batei din in North America that have adopted the geirus standards of leading poskim, as is being promulgated by EJF International.
The conference will be opened by Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel. Also addressing the conference will be Harav Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta of Staten Island and Chairman of the Halachic Committee of EJF, Harav Dovid Olewski, Rosh Yeshiva of the Gerer Mesivta (Brooklyn) Harav Betzalel Tuvia Wettenstein (Belzer Dayan of Monsey)and Rabbi Eliyahu Levin (Lakewood).
The topics to be aired will include halachic and practical applications of many contemporary issues, such as children of mixed marriages, including enrollment in yeshivas and Jewish day schools; adopted non-Jewish children who reach Bar/Bas Mitzvah; working with Jewish spouses who were either frum from birth or baalei tshuvah; administering a bais din that is involved in geirus; and what constitutes geirus lechumrah and geirus al pi sofek.
Harav Tropper, chairman of the Rabbinic Committee of EJF, said that this important conference will allow the rabbonim and dayanim the opportunity to hear divrei halacha from prominent dayanim in the field as well as to exchange experiences of the various botei din. The conference discussions will be based on the principles of geirus as dictated by such leading Torah luminaries as Harav Sholem Yosef Elyashiv and the piskei halacha of the late venerable sage Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, as is conveyed by his son Harav Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Staten Island, who serves as the chairman of the halachic committee of EJF.
The presence of the dayanim from Europe is particularly noteworthy in light of the recent partnership between the Conference of European Rabbis, headed by Dayan Eherentrau and the Eternal Jewish Family International, headed by Harav Tropper, to step up efforts in Europe to head off problematic conversions in intermarriage. While EJF does not set up Botei Din, it works closely with a network of Botei Din in Israel and Europe. In the US, the Botei Din function in such cities as Baltimore, Monsey, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montreal, Miami, Lakewood, Dallas, Toronto, Houston, and Vancouver
Concurrent with the Dayanim Conference will be a pilot one-day seminar for women mentors who work with women candidates for geirus in intermarriage. Many of the mentors who will be participating from all over the country are also involved in kiruv work in general while others are specifically focused on the education of conversion candidates once a decision is made to pursue a universally accepted conversion. The seminar, coordinated by Mrs. Leah Roberts of EJF, will delve into many important issues that the mentors confront on a daily basis.
(Lubicom Press Release)