Stories: This Year’s Agudah Convention Tells the Tale of Our People

Stories transmit our values and priorities from generation to generation – sh’al avicha v’yageidcha. There is no better place to hear these stories – or to tell them – than this year’s Agudah Convention.

Our Gedolim and Rabbanim will be joined by the attendees of the Convention this Shabbos, Parashas Toldos, November 28th through December 1st, at the beautiful Crowne Plaza in Stamford, Connecticut, to discuss the stories that we take part in every day: the story of Klal Yisroel, and the story of each individual.

“The Convention is open to the public,” says Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Director of the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative, and convention coordinator. “Even people who can’t stay overnight can join us – with no charge – for any session by driving out to Stamford.”

The three keynote sessions – Thursday night, Motzai Shabbos, and Sunday morning – have traditionally been a venue for Rabbanim and community leaders to address some of the issues that are foremost in our minds. This year’s keynote speakers will include, among others, the Novominsker Rebbe, HaRav Yaakov Perlow, Rosh Agudas Yisroel; HaRav Malkiel Kotler, Chaver Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah and Rosh HaYeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha; HaRav Elya Brudny, Chaver Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah and Rosh Yeshiva; Mirrer Yeshiva; HaRav Berel Povarsky, Rosh HaYeshiva, Ponovezh Yeshiva; HaRav Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah; HaRav Sholom Kamentsky, Rosh Yeshiva, Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia.

Among the other speakers at the keynote sessions will be Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive director of Agudas Yisroel; Rabbi Yair Adler, Rav, Bais Medrash Shoavei Mayim; Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Rabbi Avi Schnall, Director, Agudath Israel of America’s New Jersey office; and Rabbi Yechiel Spero, lecturer and author.

Rabbi Labish Becker, Executive Director of Agudas Yisroel encouraged people who couldn’t attend to tune into the livestream. “Whether by going to or by dialing in to Torah Anytime, it’s our intention that as many people who can, should be able to attend – if not in person, then virtually.”

The topics addressed during the Convention will be wide-ranging. They will include such issues as balancing work, life, and family; Kibud Av V’eim for aging parents; every person’s potential for creating change; and lessons from addiction. Harbatzas Torah for Balabatim, the impact of rejection on children, positive relationships, and changing roles of parents and children in our generation will all be discussed, among the many other stories shared.

The Agudah is expecting this year’s convention to be sold out, as it was last year. “Nevertheless,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees Shlomo Werdiger, “there are still a handful of rooms left. We encourage everyone to make their reservation now and not be disappointed.”

There are not many places where one can expect to meet Gedolim while waiting for the elevator, or hear from askonim about their plans for dealing with Klal Yisroel’s challenges. But at the Agudah Convention that will happen, as we share what is perhaps the greatest story of all time: The story of the Jewish people.