This summer, Jessica Burd and Becky Sharon, both 16 and entering their senior year at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, had the time of their lives participating along with 41 other teens from across the country in the National Conference of Synagogue Youth’s Euro Trip, a month-long journey to the Jewish sites of Spain and Italy, before proceeding on to Israel. (NCSY is the youth arm of the Orthodox Union. Euro Trip is one of the many summer programs offered by NCSY, both in North America and abroad, to Orthodox and non-Orthodox teens. )
Following in the footsteps of some 500 of their predecessors, young men from all over the world have gathered together for three weeks at Orthodox Union headquarters in New York, concluding August 25. They are here on a mission — they want to be the world’s best in kosher supervision. Given the OU’s goal to develop the next generation of expert kosher certifiers, the organization has established two outstanding programs — a three-week session and a one-week session — known together as ASK OU8, which these students are attending.
Those who love their Starbucks coffee, which is under the kosher supervision of the Orthodox Union, are certain to be delighted by the mid-summer announcement of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. — the fourth largest spirits company in the world and a unit of Fortune Brands — that Starbucks Coffee Liqueur and Starbucks Cream Liqueur products now also display the famed OU symbol.
Note to Media: The following letter was sent to the Orthodox Union by Terry Augenbraun of Fairfield, an OU Vice President, after he received it from his son-in-law, Benji Hain, who is now in Israel with his wife, Fara. Benji reports on the results of how funds raised by Ahavat Achim Congregation, an OU synagogue in Fairfield, have been used to ease the plight of people in Israel whose lives have been disrupted by the war. The help was greatly needed. As Benji wrote, “Some of the families that we’ve taken in are coming straight from the bomb shelters in the North, while others have been wandering around from place to place for weeks.”
This is an update of the diary of Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union.
Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb arrived in Israel Monday, leading a mission of OU leaders who came to observe the many activities of the Seymour J. Abrams OU Jerusalem World Center in assisting the population during a time of war. Most notable among these programs has been the dispatch of 700 volunteers, at great personal risk, to the North to bring comfort to those spending their lives in bomb shelters. These activities include games and toys to occupy the children in the shelters and are made possible, in great part, through money raised by the OU’s Israel Emergency Fund.
Three days after Rabbi Avi Berman arrived in Jerusalem from Vancouver, Canada, to become the Director of the OU’s Seymour J. Abrams OU Jerusalem World Center (the Israel Center), Hezbollah attacked Israel and war broke out.
The message was worthy of a world-wide audience, and that is exactly what it received. As Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb delivered his annual Tisha b’Av tear-stained commentary on the Kinot, the elegies of the day, an audience of thousands tuned in on the OU website, www.ou.org, all over North America, in Israel, and in a dazzling variety of countries, thousands of miles from the synagogue which played host to the event, Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, NJ.
Filling a longstanding need in the deaf and hard of hearing Jewish community, Our Way, a program of the Orthodox Union, has made available the manual Signs of Blessings for Food to enable the hearing impaired to express blessings orally and in sign language.
The following letter was written by Shella Friedman, a Kansas City, KS high school student, to Todd Cohn, Kansas City’s National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) chapter advisor. NCSY is the Orthodox Union’s national youth program. Shella attends Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and is spending her summer in Israel on Michlelet, an NCSY summer program.