The Orthodox Union, through the Board of its Institute for Public Affairs, met last week with John Faso, the Republican candidate for Governor of New York, as part of a regularly scheduled policy-making meeting of the Board. Mr. Faso spoke and took questions for approximately half an hour on issues of importance to the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as on more general concerns.
That synagogue presidents don’t have an easy job is an understatement. To be effective, they must put much time and effort into what is a volunteer position. Yes, they have honor within their congregations and often sit on the bima, but the position can be a double-edged sword, especially if the shul is grappling with controversial issues – such as the tenure of a rabbi or falling revenues and membership. Unlike rabbis, who have their rabbinical organization support groups, presidents have no formalized body to turn to for advice – or at least they didn’t until now. Thanks to the Orthodox Union, help is on the way.
SIMCHAT TORAH FOR SINGLES ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE WITH THE OU The Orthodox Union Singles Connection is back for another year of exciting events. Once again, the season will kick off on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, as singles will have the opportunity to meet, mingle and dine during the annual Simchat Torah […]
The Queens-based New York Region of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) kicked off the school year last Saturday night with its immensely popular “Comedy Cruise” program. A large gathering of 140 Jewish teens from the Five Boroughs and Westchester were treated to a dinner cruise around the island of Manhattan, and a private performance by the improv group Comedy Sportz. Upon the completion of the cruise, a special Selichos service of penitential prayers preceding the High Holy Days was held for both staff and teens.
Since classes began last week, the Orthodox Jewish student body of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has had something more to look forward to than the excitement of a new academic year and intellectual activity. Joining them are Rabbi David and Ariella Ruderman, a young rabbi and wife team from Israel, who are at the school as part of the Orthodox Union’s Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program, to support and tend to the spiritual needs of the students.
The war against Hezbollah has come and hopefully gone, but the Orthodox Union’s vigorous response, which began on Day 1, did not end when the rockets stopped falling on the North of Israel. When the OU 2006 Biennial National Convention convenes in Jerusalem Thanksgiving Weekend, the hundreds of people attending from North America will travel as a group to the North and as part of a revised Convention program — in addition to viewing the destruction and meeting with civilians and IDF soldiers — will visit the Bayit, the community centers staffed by the OU in five cities to provide continuing social services for victims of the war.
The Seymour J. Abrams OU Jerusalem World Center, in partnership with the Education Department of the Jewish Agency, has announced the opening of Machon Maayan: The Women’s College for Jewish and Israel Studies and Leadership, a new one-year program of the OU Israel Center, for overseas high-school graduates in Israel. Designed for young women from a variety of religious backgrounds, this innovative program has attracted 39 girls from all over the United States and Canada, for its first class, according to Israel Center President, Yitzchak Fund.
When the Orthodox Union Kosher Division’s ASKOU training program ended in late August, and when the students returned to their communities around the world, a landmark had been reached. With the completion of the program, the eighth in a series held in alternate summers, the OU passed the 500 mark in terms of those who have been trained to be experts in the complex field of kosher certification.
After a highly successful year of leading the Long Island (NY) Region of the Orthodox Union’s National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), Rabbi Stephen Berger has returned to the West Coast, where he is originally from, to become the Director of the NCSY Northwest Region based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, who already has a successful career as a businessman as well as a rabbi, is now prepared for more success guiding Jewish youth. In mid-August Rabbi Lightstone assumed his new position as the Director of Long Island NCSY.