For the youth of Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, exciting changes are about to happen. Following a six month task force and culminating with a formal agreement Rabbi Meir Wexler, Director of Learning Education and Youth of Kehilath Israel Synagogue and the synagogue officers and board, the synagogue has now established a National Conference of Synagogue Youth chapter at Kehilath Israel.
At the end of August, over 150 NCSY professional staff and volunteers gathered at the Holiday Inn in Edison, NJ for three days of inspiration and substantive training at the annual staff conference of NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union.
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of the Orthodox Union on the West Coast, who is also one of the OU’s kosher certification experts, wanted to fine-tune his skills and so he flew to New York last week to attend the OU’s ASK OU 8 seminar on kosher certification.
Undeterred by the war against Hezbollah, a group of 16 deaf and hearing impaired adults, ranging in age from 30-70 and coming from all over the United States, traveled to Israel under the auspices of the Orthodox Union’s Our Way program, and promptly did their part to assist the war effort.
When life becomes overwhelming for the rabbi’s right hand man — the gabbai, who is in charge of coordinating the synagogue services — the Orthodox Union has a solution. Following a very successful Conference and Seminar for Gabbaim in New York in February, and to fulfill a similar purpose out west, the OU West Coast Region will hold an enriching One-Day Conference and Seminar for Gabbaim and the Entire Community at OU headquarters in Los Angeles.
Gideon Goldstein of Phoenix is spending his summer traveling on Yad B’Yad West Coast, a summer program of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD) that tours Arizona and California. Yad B’Yad is a program of Yachad, a division of NJCD, which addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities, with the goal of their full inclusion in the Jewish community.
The Orthodox Union will make the teshuvah (repentance) process for the upcoming High Holidays easier and more profound with its Chodesh Elul: Reflections on Teshuvah and Beyond education programming on OU radio, www.ouradio.org.
The Orthodox Union’s National Conference of Synagogue Youth, which provides intensive training for its directors and advisors from across North America, will reach out to synagogue youth directors from near and far when it presents its first-time ever National Leadership Training for Youth Directors.
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.