This past Shabbos, the Eliezer Institute held its Impassioned Emunah Weekend at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, CT. A groundbreaking event, the weekend served a critical platform to discuss the challenges facing the Jewish community, from the growing off-the-derech phenomenon to the shidduch crisis to the ever-increasing creep of technology and its broader impact on the community. Led by Rabbi Shaya Cohen, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Zichron Aryeh and founder of Priority-1, the weekend was attended by hundreds of people looking for strategies to grow and bring an impassioned emunah into their lives and the lives of their families.
“Our communities are growing by leaps and bounds, and we have become ‘the establishment'” Rabbi Cohen said during his opening remarks. “But with that status, it is all too easy to become complacent. Everything may look great, but we are experiencing a drift – teenagers and even adults who have been trained in the finest Yeshivos find themselves apathetic and devoid of any feelings towards Yiddishkeit. The only way to combat this trend is by instilling an impassioned Emunah in our children and bringing a constant and critical emphasis on our relationship to Hashem into our day to day lives.”
It is difficult to pinpoint the highlights of the event, but some of them include:
On Friday Night there was an open panel, following a kumzitz by Yedidim choir. The floor was opened for participants to ask their hashkafic questions to Rabbi Shaya Cohen, Rabbi Aryeh Z. Ginzberg and Rabbi Eytan Kobre. Lasting deep into the night, the lively question and answer session covered a host of topics and precipitated a number of heated debates.
On Shabbos Day, Rabbi Cohen held an interactive parenting forum where he shared his comprehensive and Torah based approach to parenting and answered a wide variety of Chinuch questions.
Rabbi Kobre also spoke passionately about the dangers of radical nihilism and the importance of finding meaning in life.
Rabbi Noach Light retold the story of his son’s bone marrow transplant and the power of small actions to transform one’s life.
Rabbi Ginzberg discussed the tragedy of over 13,000 single girls over the age of 30 unable to find their zivug, followed by his innovative solution based on the advice of Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Z”l.
Aside from the inspirational speeches, participants enjoyed the phenomenal and seemingly endless supply of fine cuisine prepared by the team of chefs at Prime Events by Mindel Chaya. Additionally, guests enjoyed a lively melava malka concert with the renowned singer, Eli Levin.
“The food was amazing and the presentations were remarkable!” Said one of the event’s guests. “Rabbi Cohen was captivating and I am certain the chizuk I received will keep me going for a long time.”