This annual report tells a small part of the story of the vast and expanding work of the Orthodox Union. That story has developed in stages, built on the efforts, vision, and values of generations of heroic builders of Orthodoxy in North America. It is a story of integrity, commitment, and passion.
INTEGRITY: The Orthodox Union’s most recognized calling card is the OU Kosher symbol. OU Kosher aspires to unimpeachable integrity in kosher supervision by maintaining professionalism, consistency, and accountability, and by deploying cutting-edge technologies and systems that continue to set the standard for the kosher marketplace. Critically, the professional culture of OU Kosher is informed by the recognition that we represent Orthodox Jewry, Torah, and halachic commitment to all with whom we interact, compelling us to ensure that our every interaction generates a kiddush Hashem. That value of integrity defines our organizational culture such that every department strives to perform with that same professionalism, consistency, and אומרים מעט ועושים הרבה ,accountability, and to produce rather than promise.
COMMITMENT: As OU Kosher was established to support halachic observance, the Orthodox Union’s leadership understood that every dollar of revenue that it generated should be invested in further elevating the religious experience of the community. That commitment became another core element of the organizational culture, where lay and professional leadership see their role as a sacred trust, requiring them to serve as proper stewards of communal resources by responsibly and creatively deploying them to support and strengthen the community. That mindset spawned the Orthodox Union’s many departments and projects, as leadership identified essential communal initiatives and services and developed strategies to effectively provide them.
PASSION: Integrity and commitment were not enough for the organization’s lay leadership and staff—passion was needed too. As they began to address a variety of communal needs, they realized that they were just scratching the surface and that they could not afford to limit their activities and reach to what the organization’s revenue flow would cover. Complacency became antithetical to the organization culture, that was driven instead by the recognition already established by the Torah (Devarim 4:29) that the challenges of Jewish life in galut will only be resolved כי תדרשנו בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך, when we dedicate ourselves passionately, heart and soul, to seeking a stronger and deeper connection to God. OU Kosher revenue became seed money, the basis upon which to pilot initiatives that would prove their value and then attract investment from the remarkable community of donors that have allowed and supported our growth.
Integrity, commitment, and passion. That is the OU that all of us feel privileged and uplifted to be a part of. Thank you for your partnership in getting us all this far. We need you and value you. And we are just getting started.
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer
OU Women’s Initiative