This year's Agudath Israel of America-sponsored Yom Iyun
will focus on a topic particularly timely in the
contemporary world: the Jewish home.
For the past eleven years, the organization's Torah Projects
division has organized a pre-Yomim Noraim series of
gatherings across America for introspection on a special
theme. Past years have featured topics like shemiras
halashon, godol hasholom. This year's topic is the Jewish
The Jewish home is a place that should embody an almost
mystical quality, where family members live in harmony as
they strive together for ever-greater heights of
ruchniyus, where the kedusha of Shabbos and Yom
Tov are palpable, where limud haTorah is a high
In the words of Rabbi Avrohom Nisan Perl, director of Agudath
Israel Torah Projects Commission and coordinator of the Yom
Iyun event, "Thousands of Jews across North America will be
gathering in their communities during yemei Selichos
to gain a new appreciation of, and commitment to,
sanctifying our homes as oases amid the tumult of the larger
"Jewish homes are inherently places of intense kedusha,"
adds Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudath Israel's associate
executive director. "They are not, however, unfortunately,
always thought of as such, and that is an issue that should
command our attention."
This year's flagship Yom Iyun event, which will be held at
Ahiezer Congregation (at the corner of Ocean Parkway and
Avenue S in Brooklyn) on Sunday, September 24 at 8:00 p.m.,
and will feature Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe
and Rosh Agudath Israel of America; and Rabbi Yehoshua
Fishman, executive vice president of Torah Umesorah. They
will provide their thoughts and insights on the topic and
suggest how we can ensure that our homes are true successors
to the radiant Jewish homes of generations past.
The inaugural Yom Iyun event this year was already held on
September 4 at Agudath Israel Zichron Chaim Zvi of Madison,
at a Labor Day Yarchei Kallah organized in conjunction with
Hakhel. Those present were inspired by the words of Rabbi
Paysach Krohn and Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, who riveted the
crowd with poignant insights and practical ideas about how to
intensify kedushas habayis. (Audio tapes of this
year's inaugural event are available from Agudath Israel).
Over 130 cities across the United States and Canada will host
their own Yom Iyun events, featuring local rabbonim and
visiting guest lectures or audio-visual screenings of the New
York-area events. Thousands across the continent -- from
Seattle to Montreal, from San Diego to Miami Beach -- are
expected to participate in this year's Yom Iyun program.
"These upcoming days are a time when Jewish hearts are open
wide and people are seeking ways to improve themselves," says
Rabbi Perl. "The Yom Iyun is a golden and holy opportunity to
bring much-needed attention to a truly timely and important
issue. And doing so in a way that unifies Jews over distances
of thousands of miles through their common focus on a special
theme adds a special element of `veyei'osu culom agudah
echos' to the project."