May 20, 2019

San Diego and Palo Alto Among 100 Communities Celebrating Ohr Torah Stone Anniversary

Ohr Torah Stone Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander addressing an emissary group in Cancun. Photo courtesy of Ohr Torah Stone

More than 100 Jewish communities in 20 countries will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ohr Torah Stone’s Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel programs over Shabbat, May 17-18.

Based In Israel, Ohr Torah Stone is a modern Orthodox movement founded in 1983 by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, and these trained Shabbat emissaries from various communities will discuss Israel-Diaspora affairs.

Countries participating in the event are the United States, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, China, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Australia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brazil and Austria.

In California, the San Diego and Palo Alto Jewish communities will also take part in the event. 

President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander said that the Beren-Amiel and Straus-Amiel programs were created to bring Israel and Diaspora communities together by training rabbis to strengthen Jewish identity and existence in communities around the world.

“This Shabbat we celebrate the integral role that these programs have played in bringing the Israel-Diaspora relationship closer on a grassroots level,” Brander said in a statement. “We’re very proud of our emissaries and the critical role they have played in building and helping to sustain communities in the Diaspora. We have graduated more than one thousand emissaries in the last two decades. While the emissaries offer a tremendous service to the communities where they serve, they also receive so much. They come back to Israel enthused about engaging the Jewish community along with new skills and perspectives on teaching, educating and serving communities that they put into use here in Israel. It is why upon return to Israel 90-percent of our shlichim serve in positions of Jewish communal service.”