By: Sandy Eller
Often, the best education happens outside the classroom.
Understanding that professionals frequently face halachic and ethical dilemmas in the workplace, Agudas Yisrael of America’s Torah Projects Commission held the first in a series of virtual conferences for our communities attorneys and law students. Titled Titen Emes, the conference had well over 120 practicing attorneys signing up for the February 15th event, with eligible participants earning CLE credits for each of the program’s three segments.
The first session dealt with the intricacies of batei din, with Rabbi Ari Marburger of Lakewood’s Khal Anshei Faraday clarifying the difference in operations between a beis din and the secular courts. Rabbi Zev Cohen,Rav of Adas Yeshurun and Rosh Kollel of the Choshen Mishpat Kollel in Chicago, discussed the beis din processes and their practical applications in contemporary legal issues. A Q&A session presented by Rabbi Shraga Kallus of Khal Imrei Fi in Ramat Shlomo and Rosh Kollel of Machon Hora’ah L’Rabbonim addressed workplace conundrums such as end of year parties and the permissibility of rounding up billable hours. The final component of the program was a keynote session with Dayan Aharon Dovid Dunner of London’s Hisachdus Hakehillos emphasizing the importance of making emes as an essential component of legal practice.
“It was 30 years ago, at a meeting of Agudah Rabbonim,when the concept of halachah conferences for professionals was first raised,” noted Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudah’s executive director. “It was clear that as community members were leaving their yeshivas, kollelim, Bais Yaakovs and seminaries and going to work, it was imperative to make them aware that they needed to have Torah in their workplace, not just at home.”
In addition to providing participants with chizuk and hadrachah, this conference series for attorneys will serve as an invaluable means of helping the Agudah better serve its constituents. Over the years, community lawyers have helped Agudath Israel of America draft amicus curiae briefs on matters of communal interest and provided pro bono or reduced rate representation to individuals and organizations. Agudas Yisroel is confident that many of the lawyers who participated in this conference will become an integral part of its legal network and offer vital assistance to Klal Yisroel.