Satellite to Connect Boston University Hillel Celebration with Sites Across North America

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 |

(Boston) — On Tuesday, March 1, Boston University Hillel and the Agudath Israel of New England will host locally a continent-wide celebration connecting Boston via satellite to New York, Toronto, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles as the 7 ½ year reading cycle of the Talmud ends. As many as 120,000 Jews across North America are expected to join together in celebration of the 11th “Siyum HaShas” – the culmination of the study of the entire 2,711 pages of Talmud by the “Daf Yomi” program.

BU’s Morse Auditorium, where more than 600 participants for the March 1 celebration will fill the building unified in prayer and song, is the only site in New England to host the “Siyum HaShas.” The BU site will connect to other cities through a satellite uplink of interactive video featuring speeches on the Talmud followed by people gathering in groups at the sites to study the last page of the Talmud and then the first page, symbolizing the continuation of Talmudic study. There also will be celebrations in over 40 cities across North America, and in cities in South America, Europe, South Africa, China, Australia, and Israel – many of them joined by satellite hookup with the New York and Boston area sites.

The “Daf Yomi” method of Talmud study was introduced in 1923 by a young Polish rabbinical leader, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, at the First International Congress of Agudath Israel in Vienna. The program seeks to bring uniformity to the study of Talmud and to enhance the sense of unity among Jews worldwide. In virtually every city in the world, “Daf Yomi” students study the same “daf,” or page, of Talmud each day. The Talmud consists of Judaism’s interpretations of Torah and guides every aspect of a Jew’s existence, from how to keep Kosher to how to conduct business ethically.

Tickets are $18 for adults and admission is free for all area college students. Students planning on attending need to pick up a ticket at Boston University Hillel House. Tickets are available at Boston University Hillel House, 233 Bay State Road, Boston; Beacon Kosher Market, 1706 Beacon Street, Brookline; or Israel Book Shop, 410 Harvard Street, Brookline. For more information, contact Boston University Hillel at 617-353-7200.

Event: The 11th Siyum HaShas
Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Time: Doors open at 5 p.m.; Siyum HaShas 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Place: Morse Auditorium, Boston University, 602 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston