RCMA Profile: Joel Weinberger (Religious Conference Manager Magazine)

Matze, traditional kosher jewish Passover food...Image via WikipediaBy Bob Andelman
Oct 1, 2008
Religious Conference Manager

When it Comes to minority members of RCMA, it’s hard to imagine a smaller group than the Orthodox Jewish contingent.

Until this year, there was pretty much just one — Joel Weinberger, coordinator of services for Yeshiva of Los Angeles and Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles.

“There aren’t a lot of Jewish religious meetings going on,” Weinberger says. “There are Jewish ethnic and political meetings. Those organizations tend to have their own meeting and travel planners in-house. I don’t think there are too many Orthodox Jewish meeting planners focusing on the Jewish religious market.”

As with Christ-based religions, Judaism comes in many flavors, ranging from Orthodox and Conservative to Reform.

“I’ve met Messianic Jewish meeting planners at RCMA, but I haven’t met Orthodox or Conservative Jews there,” according to Weinberger. “A lot of the Christian denominations are doing up to 40 small meetings and one large biennial event. I haven’t seen that in the Orthodox organizations. There isn’t much substantially going on year-round unless it is campus-based.”

Weinberger, 43, is a married father of six (three boys, three girls). He earned a bachelor of arts degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management from the University of Maryland and is active in three areas relating to meeting planning and food:

  • His primary focus is on the Yeshiva University and its Orthodox Jewish feeder schools in the Los Angeles area. Most of the programs he does are focused on kids events, school meetings, and retreats.

  • He supervises a program at California Institute of Technology that teaches kosher certification for kosher, Shiite, and Sunni foods.

  • He does work for Star K Kosher, handling its overseas clients in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Taiwan.

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Copyright 2008 Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman