On Sunday, Nov. 7, more than 350 communities around the world will take part in the Global Day of Jewish Learning. Due to low pre-registration numbers, Greater Los Angeles will not be among them.
“We had a great program planned, and to do a quality program we needed more people, and we just didn’t have them,” said Rabbi Mark S. Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, which was one of the event’s local co-sponsors. LimmudLA, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Shalom Institute were also co-sponsors of the Los Angeles event, which was to have taken place at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu.
In addition to affirming Jewish learning as a central part of Jewish life and culture, the Global Day of Jewish Learning is intended to celebrate Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz’s completion of his translation of and commentary on the Talmud, a project Steinsaltz started nearly five decades ago. The Aleph Society, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting Steinsaltz’s work and to making Jewish texts accessible to Jews around the world, is spearheading Sunday’s event along with about 40 major Jewish organizations.
The Global Day of Jewish Learning was announced at last year’s General Assembly and has been advertised on a number of different Jewish news sites. Saying that the decision to cancel the event was made “with great regret,” Diamond was nevertheless certain that calling it off was the right way to go. “Sometimes you plan a great program and you don’t get the people necessary,” he said. “I’d rather admit that and move on rather than try to run a program for too few people.”