STANLEY WEINSTEIN OF MIAMI BEACH NAMED CHAIR OF OU’S SEIF JEWISH LEARNING INITIATIVE ON CAMPUS PROGRAM
Orthodox Union President Dr. Simcha Katz today announced the appointment of Stanley Weinstein of Miami Beach to be Chair of the Commission on the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, the OU’s program that places a young rabbi and his wife as Torah Educators on 15 secular college campuses across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the program is to enhance and empower Orthodox Jewish life on these secular campuses.
In their responsibilities as role models and guides, the couple provides religious study on a group and individual basis, warm Sabbath and holiday observances, and interaction in the students’ social life for Orthodox students coming from yeshivot, many of whom find themselves attending school in a non-Jewish environment for the first time,. They also reach out and interact with students who participated in the OU’s international youth program, NCSY, in public high schools.
Mr. Weinstein succeeds Allen Fagin of New York, who served as Chair for the past six years.
JLIC, which is operated in conjunction with Hillel, and uses its facilities, is currently found at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brandeis, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, NYU, Brooklyn College, Rutgers, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, UCLA, and York University/University of Toronto in Canada.
Mr. Weinstein himself is an alumnus of the University of Illinois in the late 1960’s, where he was president of the kosher kitchen, which served more than sixty students daily. “As a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Stanley has the personal background to understand and empathize with the contemporary Orthodox Jewish student on the secular campus,” declared Rabbi Menachem Schrader, the Jerusalem-based founder of JLIC.
In his announcement of the appointment of Mr. Weinstein, Dr. Katz declared, “I am delighted that Stanley Weinstein has accepted my request to serve as Chair of JLIC. We will build on the accomplishments of a healthy, dynamic 15-campus JLIC which was guided with wisdom and care by Allen Fagin. It is always easier to build on a healthy, solid foundation. I thank Allen for his devoted service in shepherding JLIC over the last six years and leaving the Jewish community with a program which has become a cornerstone of our efforts in keeping our young people engaged traditionally.”
Mr. Weinstein, a businessman and native of Great Neck, NY, has occupied a variety of high-level OU positions over the years, currently Senior Vice President; he chaired the first OU National Convention in Israel, in 2004, as well as its Nominating and Resolutions Committees.
He declared, “The purpose of JLIC is to strengthen the young adults’ feelings and attitudes as Orthodox Jews on secular college campuses, and afterwards to encourage them to grow as Orthodox Jewish leaders involved with the community (Jewish and secular), not only as an example to others but in an Orthodox manner of being a “ mentsch.”
According to Rabbi Ilan Haber, National Director of the campus initiative, "JLIC, after a little more than a decade since its inception, has reached a plateau and is in a critical stage in its development. In order to prepare the ground for further expansion and impact we are beginning to create advisory boards of parents and alumni for each campus program, and also would like to develop a broader, vibrant national board that advocates for and supports the work of JLIC. The role of the chairmanship of the program will be critical to the success of these endeavors.
"The Orthodox Union, through the work of JLIC, invests millions of dollars into the support of Jewish college students attending secular universities. I do not know if the Orthodox or broader Jewish community quite understands the extent of the generosity and foresight of the OU in this regard. While I do not see the OU’s support diminishing, it is clear that they would like it to be better leveraged through indigenous local support from those that gain the most from the work of JLIC."
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