On Sunday 7th February 2021, the Sephardi Beth Din of The United Kingdom were joined by over 300 Dayanim, Rabbanim and non-rabbinic participants worldwide for its inaugural annual Dayanim Conference. The focus of this ground-breaking conference was monetary disputes in Halacha and the adaption of Secular Law in the Beth Din. The event was chaired by Rabbi Daniel Kada, registrar of the Sephardi Beth Din.

The conference opened with words of blessing from the Rishon LeZion and Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem HaGaon Harav Shelomo Moshe Amar Shlita, and the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel HaRav HaGaon David Lau Shlita. They spoke about the importance of holding such an event and blessed the Dayanim and participants with their warm words.

This was followed by an introduction given by Dayan Avraham David Shlita, Rosh Beth Din who detailed many of the important activities which the Sephardi Beth Din undertake including conversions, divorce proceedings, Jewish identity cases and monetary disputes.

The Keynote speech was given by the renowned halachic authority HaGaon HaRav Asher Weiss Av Beth Din of Darchei Horaah and Rosh Kollel of Minchat Asher of Jerusalem, who cited the long-established history of the Sephardi Beth Din and the integral role of the Dayanim in upholding Torah values and justice within the community. Rav Weiss also spoke of the role of lawyers within a Beth Din and its halachic implications citing many halachic sources and summarising them in an insightful and impactful manner.

The following two speakers Dayan Avraham Dadoun of the Sephardi Beth Din, Rosh Kolel Dayanut in Jerusalem and Lord Wolfson of Tredegar QC, Parliamentary Under-secretary of state of Justice at the Ministry of Justice, spoke of the theory and implementation of the Beth Din in today’s world.

Dayan Ofer Livnat of the Sephardi Beth Din, fellow at the Eretz Hemdah Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and senior lecturer at the Montefiore College in London gave a detailed halachic analysis of contracts focusing on language and intent. The penultimate speech was made by Dayan Yossi David, head of the Sephardi Kashrut Authority who spoke about agents’ fees and the halachic implications of this important aspect.

The senior rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community, Rabbi Joseph Dweck made the final remarks, thanked and praised the Beth Din for their remarkable work and the guest speakers for their contribution to this important endeavour. Following was a blessing for all those who are unwell and a special blessing for the speedy recovery of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu Shlita.

Due to its great success and feedback from around the globe, the Sephardi Beth Din plan to make further similar events addressing other areas of the Beth Din in the coming months.

HaGaon HaRav Shelomo Amar, Rishon LeZion and Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem gave Divre Beracha and said: ‘When the Beth Din is strong, the community is strong’.

‘Thank you very much for staging this very important webinar (although several speakers).

It was very well executed and highly relevant.

Thanks again’.

Attendee: Sasson Bar-Yosef (Prof.)