April 23, 2024
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Rabbi Lord Sacks to Speak at Melave Malka

Teaneck—On March 22, families, friends, teachers, and supporters will join together at a special melave malka at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck to honor the 50 new Bergen County graduates of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Many local shuls are honoring the musmachim by making a group contribution to RIETS and will be listed in a commemorative journal of the event.

Speaking at the melave malka will be Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, who is now the Kressel and Ephrat Family Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He is also serving as a visiting professor at New York University. Sacks’ topic for the evening is “Lessons for Today’s Leadership.”

Sacks has written and lectured extensively on the topic of leadership, and in fact chose the topic of leadership as his theme for this year.

“What matters is not that leaders never get it wrong—that is inevitable, given the nature of leadership—but that they are always exposed to prophetic critique and that they constantly study Torah to remind themselves of transcendent standards and ultimate aims,” he has written.

One of Sacks’ most recent commentaries on leadership discussed the nature of identity as a core quality of leadership. In this case, Sacks appears to not be talking about leaders who might make decisions based on popular sentiment, but about authentic leaders—those who are called upon to do so by their communities. These individuals, Sacks said, can only lead when they believe in themselves and their own core identity. “There comes a time for each of us when we must make an ultimate decision as to who we are. It is a moment of existential truth,” he wrote.

Sacks, who left his post as chief rabbi of the UK after 22 years, is widely regarded as one of the most prominent Jewish thinkers in the world. At a gala in Sacks’ honor as he was leaving his post in 2013, former British prime minister Tony Blair described Sacks as “an intellectual giant… He is somebody who…has made an extraordinary, outstanding contribution, not just to British and international Jewry, but to British and international public life.”

Sacks will speak promptly at 9 p.m. and a dessert reception is set to follow. Couvert is $36 with additional sponsorships available. For more information, visit http://www.yu.edu/chag/teaneck.

This year, Bergen County’s 47 musmachim are part of the group of 225 musmachim from the classes of 2011-2014 who join the more than 3,000 young men who have passed through RIETS and gone on to become distinguished Orthodox rabbis, scholars, educators, and leaders around the world.

By Elizabeth Kratz

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