OU’s Jewish Action Magazine Features 9/11 Memorial in New Fall Issue

August 24, 2011

JEWISH ACTION, QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF THE ORTHODOX UNION, FEATURES POWERFUL FIRST-PERSON ACCOUNTS OF 9/11 IN NEW FALL ISSUE

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The attacks of September 11, 2001 impacted the entire world, but those who were near the scene of the tragedy when it occurred had special memories burned into their consciousness. The Orthodox Union, which had recently settled in its new offices at 11 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, was close enough for its staff to see the second plane hit.

Although perhaps every newspaper and magazine will have special 9/11 coverage, the Fall 2011 issue of Jewish Action, the OU’s family magazine, will have an impact beyond that of most publications, given that proximity. The issue, with its cover story of “9/11: The Tenth Yahrtzeit,” features powerful reminiscences and commentaries.

This 9/11 memorial issues features:

• Personal reminiscences from:

o Family members of Abe Zelmanowitz, a program analyst for Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, who worked at One World Trade Center and died together with his quadriplegic friend while waiting for help to reach them;

o Two Orthodox Union employees who were there on 9/11, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld and Raizy Rosenfeld;

o A first responder, Mechel Handler, administrator of the Hatzalah volunteer ambulance service, who was on the scene soon after the first plane hit;

• A first-person account by Devorah Schreck, a volunteer who performed shemirah, a religious act honoring the dead, for the Jewish body parts kept in the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in the aftermath of 9/11;

• Reflections of prominent Jewish leaders, thinkers, rabbis and teachers on how we have changed and grown from this most devastating atrocity.

“The pain of 9/11 a decade ago has lessened somewhat, but the memory of that unforgettable and unforgivable day remains as strong today as it was then,” commented Gerald M. Schreck, Chairman of the OU Communications Commission, which oversees the magazine. “Our collective and individual memories of 9/11 are vividly presented in the Fall issue of Jewish Action.”

A yahrtzeit in Judaism (from the Yiddish word for year) is the anniversary of a death, which requires special observances on the part of close survivors. September 11, 2011 is a yahrtzeit in which the world makes up the close survivors; that is what this issue of Jewish Action is all about.

Jewish Action editor Nechama Carmel explains: “We have tried in this memorial issue, not just to remember the precious lives lost, and the overwhelming sense of horror and fear but also to explore what we, as Jews and as Americans, have learned in the past decade since 9/11.”

This issue has been sent to Orthodox Union members and to OU congregations and offices across North America and Israel. It is available for purchase at Judaica stores or through the Orthodox Union for $5.50 by emailing {encode=”mailto:ja@ou.org” title=”ja@ou.org”} or calling 212-613-8146. The 9/11 memorial issue can be read online at www.ou.org/jewish_action.

ARTICLES REPRINTED FROM JEWISH ACTION MUST MENTION THE FOLLOWING: REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM JEWISH ACTION, THE MAGAZINE OF THE ORTHODOX UNION (FALL 2011).

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