The Orthodox Union’s Biennial National Convention


     What does it take to keep 1,000 people happy and attentive over a long Thanksgiving weekend?  Plenty of creativity, drive, a touch of inspiration and the sweat of OU lay leadership and staff members devoted to making the convention a success.  Judging from the enthusiastic responses of participants, this year’s convention delivered just the right combination of stimulating symposia, ruach and recreation.  Look through the lens of photographer, Ed Bernstein, and see for yourself!

Highlights of the OU Convention at a Glance

Theme:  Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael

Special Guests Speakers from Israel

The Honorable Eliyahu Ben Elissar

Israeli Ambassador to the United States

Rishon L’Tzion Eliyahu Bakshi Doron

Sephardic Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Simcha Hakohen Kook

Chief Rabbi, Rehovot

Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Rabbi, Young Israel of the Old City, Jerusalem

Dr. Yaakov Neeman

Senior Partner, Herzog, Fox & Neeman

Outstanding sessions on current Orthodox concerns ranged from the nuclear family, our schools, our shuls, political impact, Eretz Yisrael, inreach and outreach.

Packed lecture rooms greeted virtually all of our 50 speakers.  Some of the featured guest speakers were:

Rabbi Meir Goldvicht, Dr. William Helmreich, Malcolm Hoenlein, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander, The Honorable Joseph Lieberman, The Honorable Nita Lowey, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Dr. Marvin Schick, The Honorable Christopher Shays, The Honorable Sheldon Silver, Rabbi Dr. Moshe D. Tendler, Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, and Rabbi Mordechai Willig.

Shabbat programming featured nine concurrent shiurim on a wide variety of thought-provoking and inspiring topics…

The gala Banquet on Motzei Shabbat was preceded by a wine-tasting reception featuring Carmel wines and was followed by a concert and ruach provided by Michael Elias and the Neshoma Orchestra…

Our conventioneers enjoyed browsing, shopping and delightful gifts.  Many thanks to participating exhibitors, advertisers and sponsors:  Achim Hadad, Ahava Skin Care Products, Bank Mizrachi, Sam Philipe, Kibbutz Lavi, Tower of David Museum, Eldan Rent-a-Car, Ketubah Ketubah, Fried Artist Studio, Ben Dor Fine Art, Artist Shuki Friedman, Shoah Foundation, Tower Air, ESY Computer Services, Inc., Carmel Wine, Manischewitz Wine, Kedem Wine.

This article was featured in the Spring 1997 issue of Jewish Action.
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