Uniting the World through Emunah: Junity’s Annual Unity Conference
Junity, an organization dedicated to promoting unity, held its second annual Unity Conference on February 7th in Beverly Hills and February 8th in Tarzana. The theme of the events was Find Happiness and Reach Your Full Potential through Faith. Over 2000 people, of all faiths and walks of life, attended the conference, coming together “to change the world forever through unity and faith in our One G-d,” according to the motto of the event.
The featured speaker at the Unity Conference was Rabbi Shalom Arush, a best-selling Israeli author whose books have changed the lives of Jews and non-Jews alike. Rabbi Arush spoke in Hebrew, with live translation into English and Spanish.
“It was very inspiring to see Jews and non-Jews together,” says Joshua Cohen, who attended the Tarzana event. “We can’t teach non-Jews Torah, but we can teach them emunah, and that’s what [this event] was about. The message was strong and universal.” Daniel Breslow, another Tarzana attendee, adds, “The message is simple and easy to understand for everyone – not just the Jewish people, or just religious Jews, or just non-religious Jews, but everyone. We all come from the same Creator. Nobody can be offended by such a simple, beautiful message.”
Joshua had read Rabbi Arush’s books before the conference. “They completely changed my life 180 degrees,” he says, explaining that he gained a clearer perspective on relationships in general and on marriage in particular. He enjoyed the opportunity to hear Rabbi Arush in person.
Daniel was also very impressed with Rabbi Arush. “I’ve been fortunate to travel and meet a lot of people,” he says, “but I’d never seen such light in a person in my life… Ultimately, the credit goes to Hashem. [Rabbi Arush] is not trying to bring attention to himself. Everything goes to the Creator.”
Daniel appreciated Rabbi Arush’s teaching about “trusting Hashem, knowing that everything He does is for ultimate best, even if it doesn’t look like it.” He also learned about patience and gratitude. “I am a work in progress,” he says, “but at least I know it now.”
Rina Bethea came to the Unity Conference from Baltimore, Maryland. She led a group of about fifteen women, from Maryland, New York, and Texas, who volunteered at the conference. Rina had read Rabbi Arush’s books before the conference and found them impactful. She learned about the Unity Conference through Facebook and responded to Junity’s request for volunteers. As a convert to Judaism, Rina feels the responsibility of being a light onto the nations, and she was excited to participate in an event that brought both Jews and non-Jews together.
On a personal level, Rina says, “I could use a boost of emunah.” She went through a divorce last year and felt very sad that her children would be growing up in a divorced home. Rina found Rabbi Arush’s message inspiring and comforting, especially the point that “there is a G-d Who is orchestrating every single thing,” she explains. “[My divorce] is still from Hashem. My kids being from a divorced home is somehow for the best.”
Rabbi Arush’s teachings are helping Rina reach acceptance. She quotes another teaching that speaks to her. “Hashem wants to give us abundance, but if there is no vessel to hold it we can’t receive it. Gratitude is the vessel that allows us to receive.” Like many other participants, Rina returned home “on fire,” and is hoping to keep growing.
Conference attendees are grateful to Ariel Perets, founder of Junity, who organized and largely sponsored the events, offering free admission to everyone. “His self-sacrifice to make this happen is truly inspirational,” says Joshua.
“He put this together with his heart and his resources,” adds Rina. Many people saw positive changes in their lives as a result of attending Junity’s events.