10,000 Jews to celebrate Torah study



Mortimer B. Zuckerman, publisher and editor of US News and World Report and the New York Daily News; U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.; Dr. Bruce Feinberg, medical director of women’s health associates at Harvard Medical School; and David J. Lieberman, international lecturer and author of a New York Times bestseller, will each be studying a Jewish text as part of Jewish Unity Live’s 10,000 Jews in the Know program, as will more than 300 local Jews and approximately 10,000 Jews throughout the United States.

Jewish Unity Live is an association of Jewish North American outreach organizations that was created to unify Jewish people through Torah study. It came up with 10,000 Jews in the Know, whose mission is to engage 10,000 Jews throughout North America in the study and completion of a Torah text by March of 2006.

“What I suggest to many people who say to me ‘I can’t learn’ is for them to study the Book of Esther before Purim with their family,” said Rabbi Sroy Levitansky of the St. Louis Kollel, which is participating in the program. “I have gotten so many people signed up to read it with their family on Friday night, so instead of just one person coming to a class we have expanded that to an entire family being involved and studying together. It is the greatest thing for everything we are searching for regarding getting Jews involved.”

Nine cities throughout the U.S., including a St. Louis chapter spearheaded by the Kollel, in March will celebrate the completion of an array of Torah texts by members of their communities.

“When we learn together and when we study Torah we are more connected to Judaism and the Jews around us,” Levitansky said, “and we think this is an extremely powerful tool to reach out to people.”

Levitansky says that idea represents what the Kollel is all about.

“That is really the definition of the Kollel, and all of our classes are really about one thing: Learn more about Judaism and learn more about who you are as a Jew and you will grow Jewishly through that experience,” he said.

The St. Louis celebration honoring the participants in the Jewish Unity Siyum will take place on Wednesday, March 29, at Sheraton Westport Chalet and will feature keynote speaker Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, a descendant of the Sephardic leader, the Ben Ish Chai, and son of the famous British actor Robert Rietti, as well as author of more than 25 lecture albums on Jewish topics.

The celebration, which will be business attire, begins at 6:45 p.m. with a siyum at 7:15 p.m. and dessert reception at 8:45 p.m.

Levitansky noted that this year’s program is a steppingstone for next year, for which the St. Louis Kollel would like to get 1,000 people to participate.

For more information contact the St. Louis Kollel at 314-726-6047.

Keren Douek is a staff writer and can be reached at [email protected].