OU Announces Its Israel Missions to Begin This Summer Following Tisha B’Av & Extending Until January
The Orthodox Union today announced a schedule of three missions to Israel, beginning this summer following Tisha B'Av and extending until the end of January 2008, to provide an insider's perspective into all that has transpired in Israel over the past year and to inform visitors about the wide variety of activities of OU Israel throughout the country.
Information on OU Israel Missions is featured on the OU's website, www.ou.org/israelmissions.
“Our missions are open to everyone -- individuals, groups and synagogues -- with the flexibility to travel and to lodge with us or to join up with us in Israel,” explained OU President, Stephen J. Savitsky. “Our missions are unique in the touring and programming opportunities offered, with the full and unparalleled resources of OU Israel being made available to everyone.
According to Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General of OU Israel, "The OU constituency lives and breathes the well-being of Israel and its people. They travel to Israel frequently and support the country in every way possible. OU missions go a step further by taking visitors to places they couldn't go to otherwise. In addition to meeting leaders in Israeli society, they will meet Israelis in every walk of life, who are beneficiaries of OU programs in Israel."
Stanley Hillelsohn, Chair of the OU Israel Commission, concurred, "We will take people to places no one has taken them before, where the OU has been extensively involved. They will meet Gush Katif evacuees, and Ethiopian olim, as well as visit OU Makom Balev programs and Beit Reuven, an outreach center for families."
Mr. Hillelsohn added that the OU will conduct a board meeting in Sderot during the November mission, to show solidarity with the residents. Mission participants are invited to go to Sderot, if they choose, on all three missions.
Mr. Hillelsohn noted that military facilities are open to the OU missions and that at the OU Convention last November participants visited a top secret naval base.
The missions to Israel are as follows:
• You and the OU -- Partners in Action, July 30 to August 2, offers participants the opportunity to join the OU for trips, chessed opportunities, and a kashrut culinary experience at an OU Kosher plant, as well as to witness the enormous impact of the OU in social action and kiruv programs all around the country.
• Thanksgiving Mission and Yeshiva Fair, November 19 to November 25, in which participants will enjoy unbeatable programming, learn from popular Torah educators, meet high-ranking Knesset officials, and tour restricted military locations, with the option to attend a private yeshiva fair with their graduating senior.
• Yarchei Kallah and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mission, January 20 to January 27, 2008 is a family-friendly trip for everyone to participate in, with tours of Israel, two-day Yarchei Kallah learning opportunities, and a week of family bonding. Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebrations at the Kotel can be arranged.
"Our missions offer something to everyone. My own children participated in the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program from which they were able to form relationships with Israeli youngsters in the Makom Balev center. They still keep in touch with their Israeli friends," Mr. Hillelsohn said.
"We are certain that families, children and individuals will come back feeling inspired, uplifted, and more connected then ever before to Israel and to the OU," he said.
For more information and to register contact 212-613-8124 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ou.org/israelmissions.