The Orthodox Union fielded a team of 29 scholars at Citi Field Sunday, drawing 2,500 to its third Torah NY event.
OU President Moishe Bane said that "in these days immediately before the High Holidays, I cannot imagine a more profound message to God of our eagerness to connect."
Added OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin: "It is heartwarming to see us transform Citi Field into a real field of dreams, and how Torah learning can raise and inspire our community.”
The event featured 31 classes covering a wide range of Jewish subjects and featured a first-ever airing of a recording of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik teaching one of his famed annual teshuva drashas.
Sivan Rahav Meir, a political reporter for Israel’s Channel 2 who has a wide following for her views on the blessings and dangers of social media, addressed that topic to a packed audience.
"It is no longer good enough to have Amazon, now you need Amazon Prime. We can’t even wait a week for a package to arrive, it has to be that day or at least the next," she said. "What does that say about our culture? This is the crisis of our generation. How do we learn to use social media for the good, but turn it off and away from things that distract us and our children.”
Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, an internationally acclaimed posek, author, educator and lecturer on helping shape the contemporary Jewish world, said that artificial intelligence could benefit halachic observance in the future. While the impact robots might have on Shabbos in the home is a cause for concern, in many ways AI may enhance life for observant Jews, he said.
In addition to lectures, the Semichas Chaver Program & Siyyum attracted 400 people from 23 North American communities. There was also NCSY programming and a parallel interactive program for children ages 5 to 12.
The OU previewed a state-of-the-art app for daily Talmud study called “ALL DAF,” expected to transform the way Daf Yomi is studied with its interactive statistics, graphs, charts, video, maps and biographies. The app is expected to launch with the new seven-year learning cycle that starts in early January 2020.
The blue-ribbon list of scholars who taught sessions throughout the day included Dr. Henry Abramson, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Rabbi Eytan Feiner, Rabbi Dovid Fohrman, Rabbi Joey Haber, Charlie Harary, Rabbi Avraham Kahan, Rabbi Levi Langer, Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky, Rabbi Judah Mischel, Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, Mrs. CB Neugroschl, Rabbi Shaul Robinson, Dr. Smadar Rosensweig, Rabbi Yonason Sacks, Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, Mrs. Dina Schoonmaker, Mrs. Shira Smiles, Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Mrs. Shani Taragin, Rabbi Ya'akov Trump, Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, Rabbi Steven Weil, Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Dr. Ora Wiskind, and Rabbi Dr. Jeffery Woolff.