Hundreds Attend Shalom Bayis Lecture Series at Adas Torah
Enthusiastic crowds crammed into two recent shalom bayis events at Adas Torah. Approximately 200 women attended a lecture by Jackie Bitton on April 23rd. On the 24th, 150 men attended given by Rabbi Reuven Epstein.
The events were spearheaded by Dr. David Stoll, a strong believer in the importance of marriage education. “It’s something that is greatly needed in the community,” he says. “This was confirmed by my conversations with local rabbonim, therapists in the community, and everyday people.
“We all know that every day we have to work on our avodas Hashem. We should never be satisfied with the level we are on. So too, every day we need to work on our marriages, and we should never be satisfied with the level we’re on. If our marriage is 5 or 6 stars out of 10, even 7 stars, why not aspire to 10? …Every day, we live a life connecting to Hashem, and every day we live a life connecting with our spouses.”
Dr. Stoll looked around for stellar speakers on the topic and brought two to L.A. for the lecture series. Rebbetzin Jackie Bitton, who speaks frequently for Ohr Naava, offered an advice-filled lecture punctuated with both tearful moments and laugh-out-loud ones. According to Julie Iskowitz, who attended the event, “[Mrs.] Bitton encouraged each woman to create ‘a happy and positive home,’ to ‘squash the tension before it gets ugly,’ and she instructed each woman to ‘make what is important to one’s husband important to her.’”
The following evening, Rabbi Epstein, who is an accountant by profession, provided real-life examples of how men can show their wives love, back away from confrontation, and see things from her point of view. He followed that with a lively question and answer period.
Evey Liebow attended the women’s event and said, “I like that [Mrs. Bitton] had an outline of topics which was super clear and organized, and that she reviewed everything at the end. And she was well-spoken, with funny anecdotes that were engaging.”
Jamie Kleinman agreed that Mrs. Bitton’s humor made the evening particularly enjoyable. She added, “What was really nice about it was that they had a women’s and a men’s class connected, on back-to-back evenings…shalom bayis can be much better with both parties educated.”
Her husband, Tomer, attended the following evening’s program with Rabbi Epstein. “There aren’t many shalom bayis programs for men, and I liked having the opportunity to attend.”
Dr. Stoll hopes this is the just beginning of this shalom bayis project. “We’ll see what the feedback is from the event, then we’ll plan new programs based on what people say they want and need. We are very encouraged by the great showing we had.” Anyone who would like to assist with future events can contact Dr. Stoll by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.