The Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim conducted a press conference at their monthly Rosh Chodesh (Sivan) Convocation and Conference held on May 15, 2018. Approximately 35 Rabbis convened at Congregation Beis Medrash Divrei Yisroel, located in the Flatbush Section of Brooklyn, where Igud Dayan, Rabbi Yesochor Berish Welz serves as Rabbi.
The following rabbis addressed the Conference, Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, Presidium Chairman RAA/IGUD; Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Presidium Member RAA/IGUD and Torah Editor of the Jewish Press; Rabbi Gil Student, Director of RAA/IGUD Halacha Commission; Rabbi Aharon Ziegler, Rosh Kollel Agudath Achim; Rabbi Mark Meyer Appel, Chairman of the RAA/IGUD C.A.P.S. Project; Rabbi Chaim Komendant, Menahel of the IGUD/RAA Beth Din; Rabbi Yesochor Berish Welz, Igud Dayan and Rabbi of Congregation Beis Medrash Divrei Yisroel; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, Executive Vice-President RAA/IGUD.
Rabbi Aharon Ziegler presented a Dvar Torah on the importance of the holiness of Eretz Yisrael and pointed out how many of the street names in Israel are holy because they are named after Torah sages, such as Ramban Avenue and Rambam Street.
Rabbi Chaim Komendant, Menahel of the RAA/IGUD Beth Din, spoke of the importance of Jews turning to a Beth Din when the time arises. Rabbi Komendant noted how unique and fair the RAA/IGUD Beth Din is and stated that the forms and rules and regulations of the Beth Din are available at the Beth Din’s website, BDIgud.org.
Rabbi Gil Student described the new monthly project of the Halacha Commission, which is the posing of a halachic inquiry to the 950-member rabbis of the RAA/IGUD seeking their halachic opinions. The goal is to record these opinions in a halachic journal.
Rabbi Welz presented a wonderful Dvar Halacha on “Essentials of Judgeship-Dayan Qualifications”.
Besides the learned Torah presented at the Conference, the RAA/IGUD addressed several current problems that the Jewish Community in the United States and in Israel are facing.
The first issue tackled at the press conference was the situation with NYU hospitals that have discontinued the Volunteer Visitation program. The RAA/IGUD urged the administration of NYU to restore access and to allow once again the Satmar Bikur Cholim volunteers to visit with patients in their hospital rooms. Leading the charge was Rabbi Mark Meyer Appel, Chairman of the C.A.P.S division of the RAA/IGUD. C.A.P.S., which stands for Community, Advocacy, Policy and Services, was founded in memory of Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’L, who served as the Executive Director of the RAA/IGUD until his passing two years ago.
Rabbi Appel made it clear that he will not rest until this travesty is rectified and the wonderful Satmar Bikur Cholim volunteers receive the access they need to serve patients at NYU hospitals. In furtherance of advocating for Bikur Cholim, a unanimous resolution was passed by the RAA/IGUD to take all appropriate necessary measures to assist Bikur Cholim and so they can discharge their holy duty as they have been doing for nearly 60 years.
Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik were joined by top NYPD brass concerning recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York City. Captain Tim Hollywood, Executive Officer of the Hate Crimes Task Force, and Lt. Robert Delaney, from the Hate Crimes Task Force, conveyed regards from NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill to the RAA/IGUD Rabbis in attendance. Both Captain Hollywood and Lt. Delaney made it abundantly clear that the NYPD maintains zero tolerance for anti-Semitic attacks, such as those that occurred this past month. They further asked the rabbis to relay to the Jewish community that the NYPD is taking every step available to protect the Jewish community and to apprehend the perpetrators of these anti-Semitic attacks.
Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht addressed the RAA/IGUD’s concern about those in the media who criticize Israel’s defensive actions against terrorists who attacked the Israeli border in Gaza. Rabbi Hecht advised that the RAA/IGUD would be forthcoming with a press statement, which they did the next morning.
Edited by: JV Staff