OU Staff

Lights, Camera, Take Action! Yachad Launches Video Contest

May 1, 2014, by

Just what does inclusion mean to you? That was the question posed by the Yachad Youth Leadership Council (YYLC) last month in their “Lights, Camera, Take Action!” video contest. As part of the competition, Yachad members and the Jewish community at large were invited to submit a short video describing what the term meant to

Quinoa is More Kosher than the Labor Practices that Produce It

April 18, 2014, by

When Rabbi Shoshan Ghoori of the Orthodox Union first traveled to La Rinconada, Peru, the world’s highest city, the air was so thin that he needed an oxygen tank just to stay conscious. But the lack of air did not deter him from his peculiar mission: deciding whether quinoa should be kosher for Passover. Over

Busy Law Students Don’t Pass Over Seder

April 11, 2014, by

Forget mock trial. How about a mock seder? This March, Jewish students and alumni at St. Thomas University School of Law enjoyed a mock seder courtesy of Southern NCSY. More than 30 Jewish students, alumni and guests gathered for a three-hour seder in the weeks before Passover, despite being in the midst of finals. With

Seattle NCSY JUMPS to New Heights

April 2, 2014, by

Seattle NCSY is launching a line of t-shirts, called Insecuri-T’s; gathered hundreds of dollars worth of canned goods, raised more than $2,000 for an NCSYer’s rehabilitation following an accident; and inadvertently saved a Mom-and-Pop movie theater in Seattle. All this, as part of Seattle NCSY’s first year of participation in the Jewish Unity Mentoring Program

Need Purim? Google it.

March 21, 2014, by

The Times of Israel blog has a heartwarming post about how Google helped a dedicated community bring Purim to an ill child. Alon Meltzer writes that his shul, The Hebrew Institute of White Plains, an OU shul in Westchester, had wanted to do something special for Amy, a child battling cancer. While Amy couldn’t attend

NCSY Brings Hope to the Homeless in San Diego

March 17, 2014, by

A joint Shabbaton between San Diego NCSY and Phoenix NCSY ended recently with a special Sunday afternoon activity: NCSYers packed more than 400 lunches for the homeless in conjunction with Project Rescue Party, an organization dedicated to aiding the indigent in San Diego. Adam Simon, San Diego NCSY director, said he chose to work with

Met Through NCSY: The Riesels’ Story

March 13, 2014, by

Finding one’s spouse can be a daunting process, but for the Riesels it was nothing short of miraculous. They had G-d guiding them with NCSY unwittingly acting as their matchmaker. Because Heshy Riesel grew in up in a Hasidic household and Rochelle Cohen grew up in a non-observant home, there weren’t many chances for them to meet. If  anything, they were

A Dream Comes True on an Israeli Ship

March 5, 2014, by

  The Israeli Defense Forces Blog has a story about how the IDF helped make a boy’s dream come true. Roey, a cancer patient at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, always glimpsed navy vessels sailing on the Mediterranean Sea outside his hospital window. His wish was to command one of those massive ships and when

Brooklyn Shochet is Cut Above the Rest

February 27, 2014, by

Tablet magazine has a fascinating write-up of Rabbi Moshe Yurman, a Brooklyn shochet who is one of the only three ritual knife-makers in America (and they’ve got a witty, if obvious title for it). The knife a shochet uses, called a chalif, is required to be homemade and exceedingly sharp. And given how long a shochet spends with his

What Does Ultra Mean to You?

February 26, 2014, by

What’s so “ultra” about striving to observe Torah law, and make it part of one’s life, as Orthodox Jews do? Rabbi Avi Shafran asks this question in Don’t Call Us ‘Ultra-Orthodox’, an Op-Ed published on The Jewish Daily Forward website. Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, believes the term “ultra” (Latin for “beyond”), when used