July 21, 2024
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Model Beis Din Goes Virtual

Touro’s Lander College for Men invites yeshivas worldwide to join the competition.

(Courtesy of Touro College) The annual Model Beis Din competition hosted by Touro’s Lander College for Men has been a highlight of the year for high school students from Atlanta to Boston. This one-of-a kind tournament offers Orthodox high school students a chance to match wits and wisdom on complex halachic dilemmas. When the pandemic made in-person events impossible, Lander faculty decided it was too valuable to lose. So they redesigned the competition to be virtual. For the first time it is open to student teams everywhere.

This year, student teams will develop halachic principles and protocols for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Each team will create a halachic blueprint and roadmap for this distribution. They will consider what priority, if any, should be given to healthcare personnel, workers in essential industries, people at high risk, the elderly, revered rabbonim, poskim, communal leaders, Kohanim and Levi’im.

“We are delighted to provide this opportunity for students to explore how Torah wisdom applies to a topic that public health experts and medical ethicists are debating in real time,” said Dr. Moshe Sokol, dean of Touro’s Lander College for Men.

Each team of students, along with a supervising rabbi, will write an essay making the case for their distribution plan. Every team will have an opportunity to meet online with HaRav Yonason Sacks shlita, esteemed rosh hayeshiva of Touro’s Lander College for Men–Beis Medrash L’Talmud, to present and defend their case.

“The Model Beis Din empowers students to understand the dynamic nature of halacha — how the Torah can inform and confront contemporary moral and halachic challenges,” said Rabbi Sacks. “My goal is to validate the students’ learning and to inspire them to learn more.”

For more information or to register for the Model Beis Din, please contact Rabbi Aryeh Manheim at [email protected]. Teams of two or more students from all schools, synagogues and youth organizations are welcome to register.

Registration begins on January 1, 2021. The Model Beis Din essays are due on March 7, 2021.

For more information on Touro’s Lander College for Men visit www.lcm.touro.edu.

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