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RIETS Hosts Campus Rabbis Conference

OU-JLIC Educators Convene at YU for Day of Inspiration and Learning

Yeshiva University-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) welcomed back graduates who are serving as OU-JLIC (Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) educators to the Wilf Campus for a daylong conference on December 21. OU-JLIC representatives gathered with RIETS faculty and staff to share their experiences, examine issues facing Jewish students on secular campuses, and explore opportunities for the program going forward.

20171221-JLIC-Meeting_Binghamton_320Rabbi Menachem Penner, The Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS, and Rabbi Gideon Black, OU-JLIC’s director of professional recruitment and leadership development and a RIETS alumnus, opened the conference over breakfast. Attendees were joined by Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University. Dr. Berman spoke of the parallel missions of YU and the JLIC program, to bring Jewish values into the world and to support those values in a secular environment. He expressed YU’s pride in JLIC, not just because many OU-JLIC educators are YU alumni, “but because you stand for our movement.”

The program featured presentations from Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch, former RIETS faculty member, on marriage and relationships, and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Jeremy Wieder on “Communicating Torah Values.” RIETS Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Elchanan Adler, Rabbi Ezra Schwartz, Rabbi Baruch Simon and Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky also joined attendees for a roundtable discussion.

20171221-JLIC-Meeting_attendees_320“RIETS is very proud of its talmidim [students] who are the spreading Torah  on secular campuses,” said Rabbi Penner. “We remain steadfast in our support of their efforts.”

Rabbis from several college campuses, including Yale, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Columbia/Barnard, Queens College, Brooklyn College and a representative for Montreal-area colleges took part in the daylong program.

The OU-JLIC works to advance the Torah education and commitment of Orthodox students at 23 secular universities, helping students observe key aspects of Jewish life away from home. OU-JLIC’s educators offer regular study sessions, organize guest speakers and events, and build relationships with students.