A judge, two rabbis, and an attorney will tackle two of the hottest topics of the presidential campaign — immigration and gun control — when Chabad of Western Monmouth County presents a two-part program on Wednesdays, Sept. 14 and 21, at Freehold Jewish Center.
Organized as two separate sessions — immigration on the 14th and gun control on the 21st — the program is aimed at legal professionals, including, but not limited to, members of the Cardozo Society, an affinity group under the aegis of cosponsor, the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ. Completion of both sessions will earn participants three CLE credits.
Paterson-based attorney Edward Shulman and Rabbi Boruch Chazanow, director of the Manalapan-based Chabad, will focus on immigration at the first session.
Shulman, former chair of the NJ chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the NJ Bar Immigration Law Section, said he plans to lead off with an overview of the current immigration process, but that his audience should also expect remarks about Republican candidate Donald Trump’s immigration-themed speech on Aug. 31.
In a phone interview, Shulman told NJJN he also plans to discuss green cards and criminal ramifications.
Chazanow said he will make sure his presentation speaks to the name of the program — Election 2016: What Does Judaism Say? — by presenting a Jewish perspective on how to approach not just immigration, but virtually all difficult subjects. In his view, answers may be found in the Torah, which he described as “a book of purpose that is able to guide us going forward.”
On Sept. 21, Nicole Sonnenblick, municipal court judge for Freehold and other Monmouth County jurisdictions, and Rabbi Levi Wolosow, director of adult education for the WMC Chabad, will address the issue of gun control.
“Clearly, reducing gun violence in America is a national priority,” said Sonnenblick via e-mail. What is a matter for debate, however, is whether gun control is an effective means of reducing gun violence or is a dangerous infringement on citizens’ rights and safety, she added.
“My role as a presenter is to spark conversation, guide debate, and provide insight as it relates to interpreting the Second Amendment and the judiciary’s role in interpreting the Constitution,” said Sonnenblick.
“In part, the discussion will be framed in the context of Jewish history and Hitler’s regime,” she said. “Last year I led a discussion on terrorism and government-sanctioned ransom. It was very successful due to the enthusiasm and intelligent participation of the audience. I have no doubt this year’s discussion will be just as lively and informative.”
Wolosow emphasized that the Chabad classes will be nonpartisan. “We want people to always consider both sides,” he said.
Echoing Chazanow, he said the principles and cases found in the Torah and Talmud are as valid today as they have always been. “Past law is the basis for current law. It is important that we, as Jews, approach controversial areas like this one not in a spirit of conflict, but in a spirit of learning.”