Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future will be hosting a full-day learning program for all audiences to commemorate the 20th yahrzeit of “the Rav,” Torah luminary and YU Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt’l, on Sunday, April 14 at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights.
The program will run from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and will include lectures, discussions, and presentations on the Rav’s life and legacy.
“Over the course of almost half a century, Rabbi Soloveitchik served as a mentor and role model for tens of thousands of Jews around the word and ordained close to 2,000 rabbis. Through his landmark public lectures and writings, he became—and remains—well known for his unparalleled Talmudic scholarship and religious leadership,” said Marvin Bienenfeld, a member of the RIETS board of trustees and the chair of the event.
“He is also widely recognized as the architect of Torah Umadda, the synthesis of Torah scholarship with secular wisdom, which serves as the motto and guiding ideology of Yeshiva University. There is no better way to honor his memory and his legacy than with a day of in-depth Torah learning.”
In what promises to be a fascinating presentation, “Multiple Faces of the Rav” will bring together Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter, Dr. Atarah Twersky (former chair of school committee at Maimonides School), and several students of the Rav, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter (rosh yeshiva, RIETS), Dr. David Shatz (Stern College for Women), and Rabbi Kenneth Brander (David Mitzner Dean of YU’s Center for the Jewish Future) to examine the many and varied roles played by the Rav during his lifetime.
The keynote lecture, “Mesorah & Modernity: The Role of the Rav,” will be delivered by Rabbi Mayer Twersky (Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS), a grandson of the Rav.
Following lunch, the programming will take on a more interactive format with breakout sessions led by members of the YU and RIETS faculty. During the first time slot, Rabbi Hershel Schachter (Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS) and Rabbi Menachem Genack (Rosh Yeshiva, RIETS) will lead a discussion on the Rav’s unique derech halimud (approach to learning); Dr. David Shatz (Stern College for Women) and Dr. David Berger (Dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies) will tackle Rabbi Soloveitchik’s thoughts and rulings on interfaith relations; and Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter (University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future) will explore the importance of the Rav’s teachings in modern society.
In the second time slot, Rabbi Shalom Carmy (Yeshiva College) and Rabbi Michael Taubes (Rosh Yeshiva and head of school, Yeshiva University High School for Boys) will delve into the Rav’s philosophy on prayer; and Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld (Rabbi Emeritus, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills) and Rabbi Julius Berman (Chairman Emeritus, RIETS board of trustees) will take an in-depth look at the Rav’s policies on relating to and engaging with other denominations in the Jewish community.
Throughout the day, participants can tour a special exhibit titled “Celebrating the Rav: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,” which will include rare photographs of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s early years through his tenure at Yeshiva University.
The multifaceted learning program was made possible in part through the generous support of Rabbi Max N. Schreier and family. For a full list of sponsors and to register for the event, please visit www.yu.edu/the-rav. v