In a meaningful lead-up to Tish’ah B’Av, Emet Outreach hosted a thought-provoking lecture series for students in their Women’s Division. Designed to offer practical tips and shed light on interpersonal connections, the Nine Days series reflected the theme, “It’s All About Relationships.”

Ms. Adina Fendel, Women’s Director, explained the inspiration behind the topic choice. “After the tragedy in Meron in April, I heard an insight from my friend and acclaimed speaker, Ms. Chevi Garfinkel. She said that since the tragedy happened when there literally wasn’t enough ‘space,’ an important takeaway could be for each individual to try to make a little more space in his or heart for other people. This really made an impression on me. We decided to create a relevant program and a positive outlet after all the pain and suffering of the past few months. The lecture series was crafted to encourage building relationships with one another and fulfilling the mitzvah of ahavas Yisrael.”

From Sunday to Thursday evening, attendees were welcomed with a light dinner and then an engrossing lecture. The roster of well-known speakers brought their unique perspectives to the topic. Rabbi Mordechai Kraft, Emet Co-Founder and Educational Director, kicked off the series with a compelling discussion on “Preparing for Geulah: By Repairing Our Hearts.” Rabbi Benzion Klatzko, founder of and Educational Director for Olami Worldwide, enthralled the audience with “We are All Connected: Rebuilding Through Love.” Rabbi Reuven Ibragimov, COO of Chazak NYC, delivered a unifying message with “Together As One: Walking Hand in Hand.” An overflowing crowd greeted Dr. Tamar Perlman, clinical psychologist, on Wednesday night. She conveyed the vital message of “Love Yourself: The First Step to Loving Others.” Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, LMSW, Emet’s Co-Founder and Director, capped off the week with a finale that focused on the rallying cry, “We’re in This Together.”

Each evening also featured shared insights from Emet students, and many attended multiple lectures.

“This relationship-oriented lecture series represents our core values at Emet,” said Rabbi Rutenberg. “We’re all about respecting and connecting with one another through learning Torah and as a supportive community. We hope to continue to offer more meaningful programming that unites our community and klal Yisrael.”


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