(JTA – More than 2,000 people came to Citi Field in New York on Sunday — not to root on the Mets, but to revel in Jewish learning.
Some 38 internationally renowned scholars led classes on traditional and contemporary Jewish topics at the Orthodox Union’s second annual Torah New York.
The event, which the O.U. says is the largest of its kind in North America, offered 45 classes along with special programs for high school and college students. Among the topics were Jewish politics, addictions, end-of-life issues and #MeToo.
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the O.U., said the problem in American society with addiction to opioids and other substances also exists in the Orthodox Jewish community.
“Five years ago we had a problem with OTD (‘Off The Derech’), today it’s OD (overdose),” said Weinreb, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, using the term meaning going off the path of Orthodoxy.
In speaking about addiction in the Jewish community, Weinreb offered advice and perspectives from the Torah and the Sages on how to deal with the challenge.
Sivan Rahav Meir, a prominent political reporter for Israel’s Channel 2 News who has been outspoken about becoming Orthodox as a teenager, addressed a session on “Emunah (Faith) in the Age of New Media.”