On Sunday, May 17, 2015, the Union for Traditional Judaism convened a discussion of the state of conversion in Judaism, title “Conversion Crisis: Is the System Broken?” The program was chaired by Dr. Adena Berkowitz, co-founder and scholar in residence at “Kol HaNeshamah : the Center for Jewish Life and Enrichment” and noted author.
Rabbi David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto and President of Union for Traditional Judaism delivered a talk on the subject of "Reviving the Ger Toshav in the Land of Israel."
Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel (The Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue) and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals presented on the topic of "The Conversion Crisis as a Symptom of a Larger Crisis in Halakhic Judaism."
Rebecca Thornhill, founder of the Orthodox Converts Network and Senior Associate for Leadership and Global Initiatives at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University spoke about her experiences as a convert as well as the work of the Orthodox Converts Network.
Rabbi Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Founder and Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Institutions delivered the keynote address on the topic of "Conversion as an Opportunity: the Challenge in Israel and the Challenge in the Diaspora".
The presentations were followed by a question and answer period including all the speakers. Those in attendance were asked to make a donation to UTJ ($10 suggested minimum). We welcome you to view the videos of the program, and ask that you join in supporting our organization by making a donation by clicking the “donate” button on our website. Donors of $100 or more will be recognized on our website as sponsors of the online availability of the program.
The video of the speeches below: