Rabbi Steven Weil

OU Press Publication Wins Award/ OU Birthright Israel

January 13, 2011

OU Press publishes many noteworthy books. Some of the more familiar publications include collections of The Rav, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks‘ Covenant and Conversation,Rabbi Shmuel Goldin‘s Unlocking the Torah Text, and many others. We are especially proud of the many fine liturgical works published with Koren.

OU Press’ Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot, edited by Rabbi Simon Posner, executive editor of OU Press, has won the 2010 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. The complete Tisha B’Av service, with a kinot commentary adapted from the Rav’s teachings and a new translation into English by our own Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, was received with much acclaim by the public. Many users wrote to let us know how the book transformed their Tisha B’Av experience. The Jewish Book Council has declared the book “the best written, most comprehensive, and engaging book” in its category for 2010. Congratulations to the entire OU Press team!


OU Birthright Israel

You are no doubt familiar with Taglit Birthright Israel, the transformative experience that sends young Jews – ages 18-26 – to Israel for the first time, absolutely free of charge. It’s a life-changing endeavor that exposes so many of our young adults to their heritage and their homeland for the first time. The OU is proud to be an active provider of Birthright tours.

OU Birthright is in the middle of their winter season and they will have almost 500 participants by the time the last trip finishes at the end of January. Over 100 of the students will celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, not having done so at the usual age. Another 50 will select their own Hebrew name, never having been given one. 50 more will choose to extend their trips in order to learn more about Judaism in a formal Jewish studies institution. Many others will join a kibbutz or the army. All of them will have had the experience of a lifetime thanks to Taglit Birthright Israel and the OU.

Highlights of the OU’s Birthright program include such classic sites as the Kotel and Masada. Participants will also enjoy such unique opportunities as a lecture by a top professor in Bar Ilan’s International MBA program, learning about Israeli art by painting with students of the Bezalel Art School, a visit to Better World to learn about electric cars, and concerts from Chaim Dovid, Yom Tov Glaser and Shimshon Nadel.

Kudos to Rabbi David Felsenthal (“Rabbi Dave”), Director of OU Alumni Connections, andhis staff for facilitating these impressive accomplishments!