OU Staff

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

Megillas Lester: The First Purim Movie

February 20, 2014, by

Poor Lester. He may go down as the boy who ruined Purim. Megillas Lester, an animated feature by KolRom Multimedia (the company behind the animated clips at the Siyum HaShas at MetLife Stadium), is the story of Lester, an ordinary yeshiva student, who somehow finds himself back in the time of the Persian empire. He

Keep Smiling: One NCSYer’s Tragedy Reverberates Around the World

February 20, 2014, by

When tragedy struck Orly Ohayon, a member of Southern NCSY’s Jacksonville Chapter (JAX), teens around the world reacted. Her story resonated because of its horrible particulars: as Orly and her mother crossed the street to shul on Yom Kippur evening for the Kol Nidrei service, a car careened into them. Esther, Orly’s mother, was declared

Zach Braff Stars in New Ad for Yeshiva University

February 13, 2014, by

The popular actor, famous for his role as Dr. John Dorian in the television show “Scrubs,” is part of Yeshiva University’s “Nowhere But Here” campaign. The video, part ad, part Purim Shpiel, has Braff talking about where he went for a great Jewish and secular education. (Braff, who describes himself as having a strong “Conservative/Orthodox upbringing,” actually went

“Letters to President Clinton” Book Launch Event: Pictures and Video

February 13, 2014, by

At a recent community event hosted by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik at Shearith Israel in New York City, Senator Lieberman, Rabbi Genack, Rabbi Soloveichik and renowned Lincoln scholar, Harold Holzer, talked a range of topics from President Lincoln’s Jewish Doctor to  Rabbi Genack’s relationship with President Clinton. The new book, Letters to President Clinton, can be purchased at www.OUpress.org.

For a Black Chasid, Hate on Both Sides

February 6, 2014, by

What’s it like, being a black chasid? For Ben Faulding, it means racism on both sides of the block. “There is racism in every community and the Jewish community is no different,” said Faulding. “I hate to say that the Jewish community is racist but it is something that happens.” He gets comments from the