This past December, an estimated 4,500 OU supporters and congregants of OU-member synagogues participated in the 2015 OU West Coast Convention, held in shuls throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The annual community-based convention aims to involve local OU member synagogues and their congregants in meaningful shiurim and lectures impacting the community-at-large. Scholars-in-residence are hosted within the community, and paired with individual shuls. The theme of this year’s convention, in which approximately eleven shuls and four schools participated, was “Leadership in Challenging Times.”
“The world around us and the Jewish people, in particular, are beset with many challenges,” says OU West Coast Director Rabbi Alan Kalinsky. “But perhaps the greatest challenge that we face in our world today is the lack of leadership.”
Highlights of the convention include: keynote address by noted broadcaster and author Michael Medved; shiurim by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, senior posek of OU Kosher and rosh yeshivah at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; and a plenary session moderated by OU Executive Vice President Allen I. Fagin with panelists Michael Medved, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Executive Director for World Jewish Congress Betty Ehrenberg.