The CJF consistently runs many conferences for rabbis and rebetzins. Every two years a new cohort of rabbis from around the world get together and meet to receive professional development resources from mentors such as Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter who offer support to rabbis in the field. Annually, these graduates get together in Boca Raton, FL. This year, the CJF wanted to find a way to reach a region and a community that may sometimes be overlooked because of their geographic location, and as such, they decided to go out to the Midwest and give back to the communities there. They put their usual rabbinic conferences on hold and held a one-time Yom Iyun focused on strengthening the Midwest rabbinic community.

Yeshiva University, in partnership with the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel of Chicago, the Ida Crown Jewish Academy and the Chicago Rabbinical Council hosted this year’s conference. Rabbi Schacter gave a lecture to the entire community, and the next day featured yom iyun (day of learning) with over thirty rabbis attending from all over the region; not only were rabbis from the Chicago area present, but also rabbis from all over the Midwest region, including Kansas city, Milwaukee, Detroit, Saint Louis and others, came in order to participate.

The day featured high-level, in-depth sessions with ideas that the rabbis could learn and develop into their own classes for their synagogues or communities. In addition, this was a great opportunity for networking and offered communal support and camaraderie for the rabbis present.

The night before the conference, the CJF sponsored a dinner for CJF staff to meet with the kollel rabbis and their wives to discuss the rabbis career trajectories and some of the challenges that come up in rabbinic life. In addition, they also hosted a diner meeting with the Chicago board to talk about strategic governance related issues.

The conference could not have happened without the work of Rabbi Schwartzberg, Rabbi Styner, Rabbi Schacter, and Rabbi Glasser.


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