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12 Iyar 5766 - May 10, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Conference of European Rabbis Holds Convention in London

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

More than 300 rabbonim and dayonim are taking part in the 50th anniversary convention of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) in London this week. Letters of support for the three-day convention were sent by Maran HaRav Eliashiv and Maran HaRav Shteinman shlita. This time the biennial conference will focus on medicine and halochoh.

A large delegation of rabbonim from former Soviet countries, led by Moscow Av Beis Din HaRav Pinchos Goldschmidt, also arrived to take part in the event that was scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

The conference was opened by host Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of England and CER co-president, HaRav Sitruk, chief rabbi of France and CER president, and the guest of honor HaRav Yisroel Meir Lau, chief rabbi of Tel Aviv. The opening session was led by Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Halperin.

Immediately afterwards a shiur was given by HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth, author of Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso, on the topic of practical halochoh related to the immune system. The discussion was led by HaRav Chanoch Ehrentreu, a dayan in London. In an adjacent hall HaRav Moshe Mordechai Farbstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chevron, spoke on dinim related to mental retardation with a discussion led by HaRav Goldschmidt. Later a lecture was given by Rabbi Dr. Halperin.

The evening schedule included a special session addressing intermarriage, including current statistics and ways to prevent it. Meanwhile a delegation of rabbonim held meetings with ranking officials in the British government including the prime minister.

Tuesday morning Prof. Avrohom Steinberg, a pediatric neurosurgeon, gave a shiur on the use of fetus stem cells for medical research, followed by Prof. Avrohom Avraham, retired director of the Department of Internal Medicine at Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center, and Dr. Mordechai Halperin.

During a special evening session dedicated to the memory of former Chief Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, the late chief rabbi of Britain and the CER's second president, HaRav Yisroel Meir Lau gave a shiur on donating organs from live donors. Following a question-and-answer session with all of the rabbonim and lectures, a festive dinner led by Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar was held. Guests included European Commission officials and ambassadors from the European Union, Israel, North African countries and other countries, who conveyed their impressions on matters of concern regarding Jewish issues and the Jewish population in their respective countries.


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