Rabbi Steven Weil

There’s an OU for You

January 20, 2011

We’re very proud of our new OU video, assembled by NCSY Director of Marketing Duvi Stahler, which premiered at the convention. Kudos also go to Olivia Wiznitzer (Associate Program Director, Alumni Connections) and Dan Jeselsohn (who manages all manner of multimedia content for the web department) for their contributions to this endeavor. If you watch one video this week, this should be the one.


I’d like to thank outgoing OU president Stephen J. Savitsky. With his dynamic personality and his passion for the Jewish people, especially for the needs of those outside of the New York tri-state area, he has effected great change on the Jewish landscape. I look forward to continuing to work together for many years to come.

Likewise, I’d like to welcome Dr. Simcha Katz as our incoming president. I first heard his well-deserved praises from Rabbi Genack and Rabbi Elefant, who had the pleasure of working with him in OU Kosher over the past few years. Ask anyone in Teaneck and you’ll hear how Dr. Katz has taken local institutions to new heights. In a message to the OU family earlier this week, Dr. Katz wrote:

Our mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of Jewish life. We are a great unifying tent, encompassing hundreds of synagogues across North America, and as such we are the central address for those issues which can best be handled on a national basis.

Thank you to all those who contributed towards making the recent OU National Convention the staggering success that it was. Foremost among the many who contributed are the Convention Co-Directors, Senior Communications Officer David Olivestone and National Director of Community Services and Special Projects Frank Buchweitz, Staff & Logistics Coordinators, Associate Director of Operations Shoshana Hulkower and Associate Director of Alumni Connections Rena Emerson, and a cast of at least 25 other invaluable members of Team OU. I’d especially like to thank Manny Adler for taking the reins as convention chair. Special gratitude must also be extended to OU poseik Rav Hershel Schachter, who joined us for Shabbos, for the presentations he made; to Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America, for participating in our plenary; and to the literally tens of special guests who came and presented in panels, plenaries, break-outs and in other ways.