Yeshiva University Commemorates 20th Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik with Day of Learning

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) will commemorate the 20th yahrtzeit [anniversary of death] of “the Rav,” Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l, Torah luminary and YU Rosh Yeshiva with a full-day learning program for all audiences on Sunday, April 14 on YU’s Wilf Campus, 500 West 185th Street, New York City. The program will run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and will include lectures, discussions and presentations on the Rav’s life and legacy.

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YU will commemorate the Rav’s 20th yahrtzeit with a day of learning on April 14.

“Over the course of almost half a century, Rabbi Soloveitchik served as a mentor and role model for tens of thousands of Jews around the word and ordained close to 2,000 rabbis. Through his landmark public lectures and writings he became, and remains, well-known for his unparalleled Talmudic scholarship and religious leadership,” said Marvin Bienenfeld, a member of the RIETS Board of Trustees and the chair of the event.

“The Rav is also widely recognized as the architect of Torah Umadda, the synthesis of Torah scholarship with secular wisdom, which serves as the motto and guiding ideology of Yeshiva University. There is no better way to honor his memory and his legacy than with a day of in-depth Torah learning.”

In what promises to be a fascinating presentation, “Multiple Faces of the Rav” will bring together Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter, Dr. Atarah Twersky (Former Chair of School Committee at Maimonides School), and several students of the Rav, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, RIETS Rosh Yeshiva; Dr. David Shatz, YU professor of philosophy; and Rabbi Kenneth Brander, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF, to examine the many and varied roles played by the Rav during his lifetime.

The keynote lecture, “Mesorah & Modernity: The Role of the Rav,” will be delivered by RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mayer Twersky, a grandson of the Rav.

Following lunch, the programming will take on a more interactive format with breakout sessions led by members of the YU and RIETS faculty. In the first time slot, Rabbi Schachter and RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Menachem Genack will lead a discussion on the Rav’s unique Derech Halimud [approach to learning]; Dr. Shatz and Dr. David Berger, dean and Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, will tackle Rabbi Soloveitchik’s thoughts and rulings on interfaith relations; and Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and senior scholar at the CJF, will explore the importance of the Rav’s teachings in modern society.

In the second time slot, Rabbi Shalom Carmy, YU assistant professor of Jewish philosophy and Bible, and Rabbi Michael Taubes, head of school at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, will delve into the Rav’s philosophy on prayer; and Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, rabbi emeritus at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, and Rabbi Julius Berman, RIETS Board of Trustees chairman emeritus, will take an in-depth look at the Rav’s policies on relating to and engaging with other denominations in the Jewish community.

Throughout the day, participants can tour a special exhibition titled Celebrating the Rav: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, which will include rare photographs of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s early years through his tenure at Yeshiva University.

The multi-faceted learning program is made possible in part through the generous support of Rabbi Max N. Schreier and family. For a full list of sponsors and to register for the event, please visit: www.yu.edu/the-rav.