Four members of Milken’s Moot Beit Din team set out for Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 29 for the annual Ravsak Moot Beit Din shabbaton and competition. Competing against 21 schools from the United States and Canada, Milken placed second.
“Hearing the judges validate their work was very satisfying to me. I was really proud of the students,” Rabbi Neal Scheindlin, Jewish studies teacher and Moot Beit Din advisor, said.
Moot Beit Din is similar to a mock trial, though the case is based on Halacha, Jewish law, as apposed to American law. This year’s case was about the right of public workers, specifically teachers, to form unions.
Ravsak gave each team the same Halachic literate in order to formulate an argument. After studying the material, each team crafted a written case and a ten-minute oral presentation. The teams were judged based on their use of the rabbinic texts, the logic of their argument, the quality of the written case, and their oral presentation.
As important as the competition was, it was only a part of a larger shabbaton. Students began a community service project on Friday, cleaning the grounds of an old historical building. After a relaxing Saturday, the competition itself took place on Sunday.
“It’s the appropriate thing to do when you get a group of Jewish students together, to try to help others and do some kind of mitzvoth,” said Scheindlin.
Moot Beit Din members are already looking forward to next year’s shabbaton.
“I’m really excited for the competition,” Marisa Holt ’13 said.