Baltimore, MD - Nov. 20, 2015 - This past weekend Agudath Israel of America held its 93rd Annual National Convention. Hundreds of community minded men and women from across the country and overseas joined together with leading Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshiva to give and receive chizuk on the challenges of the day and to focus on the many important issues facing the greater American Torah community.
The 2015 Agudah Convention was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stamford, CT and was centered around the theme of “Leadership: For Yourself; Your Family; Your Community”. Numerous other topics were the focus at sessions throughout the long weekend, beginning on Thursday evening, and then on Friday, over Shabbos, Motzai Shabbos, and ending Sunday afternoon. Sessions focused on a wide array of topics included on parenting, relationships, politics, shidduchim, and parnassa, to name just a few.
Continuing the successful model of the last few years, the 2015 convention programming placed strong emphasis on drawing in younger community activists. Groups of young couples from Waterbury, CT, and the Syrian-Sephardic community in Brooklyn, joined in this year for their first experience at an Agudah Convention.
For the second consecutive year, a bus load of Baltimore young leaders traveled to Stamford for the Thursday evening sessions and programming in conjunction with the Agudah’s Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative, under the direction of Rabbi Shai Markowitz.
The Baltimore delegation traveled through the afternoon and arrived at the hotel in Stamford where they were greeted by Agudath Israel’s chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Shlomo Werdiger and Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, the Agudah’s mid-Atlantic regional director. After davening Ma’ariv the group was treated to a special dinner for the young leadership group, where they were addressed by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, the organization’s executive vice president, and other members of the board and leadership.
After dinner, the first of three sessions (pre-keynote concurrent, keynote, and post-keynote concurrent) began, offering the attendees a wide variety of topics – many of which revolved around the “Leadership” theme. Many members of the delegation stuck with the young leadership sessions, while some others hopped around to some of the other sessions, so as not to miss out on the inspiring and thought provoking presentations that went on in each room.
As it did last year, the leadership delegation trip gave many of the participants their first taste of an Agudah Convention and a renewed sense of appreciation for the incredible work carried by Agudath Israel, on the local, state, and federal government levels.
After a second year of this wonderful trip Rabbi Sadwin looks forward to providing other trips and opportunities for the members of the community.
“The members of our community are an inspired group of guys who are constantly looking to grow and achieve in all areas of their lives”, said Rabbi Sadwin. “The Agudah Convention provides the forum for so many vital aspects of life to be addressed and for us to receive guidance. Through all of this we can all ignite the leader within ourselves and allow it to make an impact on our own lives, those of our family, and those of our community.”