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Today is Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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On February 20, 2012, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), together with the Young Israel Council of Rabbis and the SHALOM Workshop, presented its Annual Rabbinic Conference at the Young Israel of Hillcrest in Flushing, New York.
The conference, which was entitled "Serving HaShem B'Simcha" was for rabbis, rebbetzins, chaplains, and non-pulpit rabbanim. Nearly 100 participants enjoyed a full complement of informative lectures and dynamic shiurim.
Historically, the National Council of Young Israel and the Young Israel Council of Rabbis have been organizing annual rabbinic conferences for their branch members and associate rabbanim for many years. Assorted topics affecting various aspects of Orthodoxy, such as infertility, conversions, shidduchim, synagogue finances, and mental health issues have brought world class presenters to speak to rabbanim and rebbetzins to seek solutions, share ideas and inspire one another.
According to NCYI Director of Rabbinic Services Rabbi Binyamin Hammer, this year's conference featured an array of shiurim that provided participants with insight and information intended to further enhance their ability to serve their congregants and communities in the most meaningful way possible.
"Our symposiums have historically asked the difficult questions and provided chizuk, support and eizot tovot to our Rabbanim and Rebbetzins who are committed to Torah leadership," said Rabbi Hammer. "This year's conference focused on the positive aspects of our career and our commitment to the Jewish family and its future."
The conference began with a shiur entitled "Living B'Simcha" which was followed by a question and answer period. The shiur, which was a refreshing, inspirational and uplifting focus on our Torah marriages, was presented by Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University and the Mara d'Atra of the Young Israel of Riverdale, and Rachel Pill, LCSW, a therapist in private practice. Rabbi Willig, a dynamic lecturer and renowned Torah scholar, was introduced by Rabbi Bini Maryles, Associate Executive Director and Senior Director of Branch Services for the National Council of Young Israel.
The afternoon session featured a practical and enjoyable workshop that gave Rabbis and Rebbetzins the understanding and tools for enhancing the marital dynamics of their congregants, as well as their own marriage. The program, which was entitled "Making Good Marriages Great!" was presented by Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, the Executive Director of the Shalom Task Force, and Mrs. Esther Friedman, MSW, the Director of the SHALOM Workshop.
"I am especially pleased that we had two-dozen rabbinic couples in attendance at our Annual Rabbinic Conference," said NCYI Director of Programming Rebbetzin Judi Steinig. "When it comes to Jewish communal leadership, it is often the rabbi and rebbetzin that serve as the spiritual backbones of their respective communities. It was therefore wonderful to see so many teams of rabbis and rebbetzins participate in our program and benefit from the insightful shiurim and enlightening workshops that were offered."
Rabbi Hammer noted that everyone who attended the Annual Rabbinic Conference benefitted from the unique opportunity to learn and revisit vital tools from noted therapists and Rabbanim.
"The presentations were very on target," said Rabbi Mordechai Rhine of the Young Israel of Cherry Hill, NJ, who attended the Annual Rabbinic Conference.  "They were informative with many practical examples, and presented in a way that we could easily implement the skills and strategies in our communities."
"In today's climate of 'busyness', The Shalom Workshop is a must for anyone who wants to enhance their marriage," continued Rabbi Rhine.  "The seminar promotes quality personal time and solid communication skills in a most practical way. Thank you to the National Council of Young Israel for bringing this important resource to our attention."
"My Rebbetzin and I had an energizing and uplifting day at the Young Israel's annual rabbinical conference," said Rabbi David Kaplan of Congregation Schomre Israel in Poughkeepsie, NY. "We were swept away by the inspired amalgam of Torah and practical insights. A big Yasher Koach to everyone at the National Council of Young Israel!"
"As first responders, we are all too familiar with the language of intervention - abuse, dysfunction, and depression," said Rabbi Hammer. "The list is unfortunately quite long, and the burden on rabbis and rebbetzins weighs heavy on them and their families."
"Yet Chazal teach us, 'Ivdu Et HaShem B’Simcha' - that we must serve HaShem with happiness," continued Rabbi Hammer. "The question is, do we? Have the challenges of our profession impacted on our ability to serve our communities correctly? Are the commitments to our kehilot more important than our commitments to our wives and families? As leaders in our respective communities, we have to endeavor to achieve a balance between our spiritual duties in the synagogue and our familial duties at home."
Audio recordings of the shiur given by Rabbi Willig and Rachel Pill at the Annual Rabbinic Conference are available for purchase by contacting the National Council of Young Israel at 212-929-1525.
For more information about the various programs and services offered by the National Council's Department of Rabbinic Services, call 212-929-1525 or visit


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To Purchase Recordings of previous conferences,
please follow the appropriate link below


What Rabbonim Need To Know
February, 2010


Religiously, Medically, Emotionally, Economically and Spiritually
February 16, 2009


February, 2008


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