The National Jewish Retreat concluded Sunday after five days of learning and inspiration.
The sold out crowd of 600 enjoyed close to 200 lectures and seminars led by Rabbi Manis Friedman who stimulated deep thinking, Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Schochet who demonstrated the philosophical profundity of Yiddishkeit and Rabbi Moshe Bryski who inspired laughter and tears in his packed classrooms.
Rabbis Yona Reiss and Shlomo Yaffe helped provide a glimpse at the breadth of Jewish Law; Professors Jonathan Sarna and Larry Schiffman gave insightful historical perspectives.
Additional workshops by Rabbi Yossi Jacobson, Mrs. Shimona Tzukernik, Rabbi Asher and Sara Esther Crispe, Mrs. Rivka Slonim, Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, Rabbi Chaim Block, Rabbi Yisroel Deren, Rabbi Yossi Rosenbloom, Rabbi Ronnie Fine, Rabbi Nissan Mangel, Rabbi Yudi Shemtov, Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, Rabbi Avraham Sternberg, Rabbi Zalman Wolowick, Rabbi Sholom Deitsch, Dr. Stephen Serbin, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, Rabbi Levi Kaplan, Rabbi Yosef Deren, Rabbi Dov Drizin, Bruce Backman, Mrs. Rivkah Kotlarsky, Mrs. Molly Resnick, Mrs. Aviva Deren, Mrs. Chaya Teldon, Mrs. Chavi Epstein and Mrs. Chana Epstein were given on a cornucopia of topics, providing a deep lineup of options in every time slot.
Special features included a two hour seminar with Reb Yoel Kahn entitled ‘An Interview with the World’s Foremost Expert on Chassidic Philosophy Today,’ and addresses by and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Mr. George Rohr and Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell.
Presentations on the holocaust feature film, Defiance, Comedy Hour by Marc Wiener, a discussion on Chassidic Art by Michoel Muchnik and a cooking class by chef Jack Silverstein rounded out the program.
Tributes were made to basketball player Tamir Goodman (The Jewish Jordan) and former principal Shimon Waronker.
Chassidic singer Avraham Fried’s concert and inspiring words brought the cheering crowd to their feet in dance.