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Rabbi Avi Baumol

Seeing the Future: Part I

December 4, 2008, by

A few months ago I went on a trip to visit OU Israel’s latest project in Tel Aviv and I saw a glimpse of the Jewish future in the Land of Israel. And it was bright. I am not exaggerating; I emerged from that day glowing and extremely positive about what is in store for

A Rosh Hashana Prayer from Sderot

September 18, 2008, by

One of the most powerful prayers of the entire high holidays is found not before the sounding of the shofar of Rosh Hashana nor during the ‘al chet’ on Yom Hakippurim, not even in the heartfelt prayer of Unetaneh tokef, rather it is a simple plea hidden during the time the Torah is taken out and

Life is a Highway: Machon Maayan

May 22, 2008, by

A Unique Seminary Expresses the Value of the Holistic Year in the Israel Journey Stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, I had some time to contemplate my existence in this wonderful though sometimes frustrating land. It turned out to be a stalled bus occupying one of the two lanes

Get Up! And Make Yourself Walk the Land of Israel

April 15, 2008, by

I have been living in Israel close to ten years and have read and reread that biblical command spoken to Abraham, but I confess that I have not spent enough time following in the literal footsteps of my namesake. Don’t get me wrong, my job as OU Israel Director of Communications takes me to almost

The Real Herzliya Conference!

April 9, 2008, by

Once a year, heads of state, movers and shakers in the business world, strategic planners and the intellectual elite gather together in Herzliya to discuss the future of the state of Israel. The Herzliya Conference has been perceived in the eyes of the media and perhaps the nation as a whole as an oracle dictating

Planet Sderot

February 21, 2008, by

Planet Sderot: OU Israel Visits the Embattled City Last week, after a particularly harrowing weekend in Sderot, I walked into work and immediately noticed a look on Rabbi Avi Berman, the Director of OU Israel’s face. He said to me, “that’s it, enough! I know we have invested so much in Sderot, we have raised

Courageous Personalities

March 8, 2007, by

Courageous Personalities Leading and Standing Firm When you hear the shachar adom—the warning alarm that a Kassam missile is imminent, what are you supposed to do? Find the concrete structure to hide in. Or find a safe place, or find a room in your house—how long do you have to hide, to seek shelter? Seven

Sderot: A City Under Siege

March 1, 2007, by

Sderot is a ghost town. The streets are empty; the parks are barren; the stores are closed, and for sale signs are on some of the homes. Only ‘some’ of the homes because many residents are resigned to the notion expressed to them by representatives of the government of Israel, that in the near future

My Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah Project

February 7, 2007, by

When I made aliyah I gave up a lot; a highly respected rabbinic position, a large house with all the amenities, a salary which had me considering which way I wanted to save money, rather than considering how I would make the month, and lots of friends. I certainly feel some of the yisurin (pains)

Rededicating a Home, Rededicating Hearts

December 14, 2006, by

Last night I attended the Chanukat Habayit (rededication of a new home) of our OU Israel Bayit Yehudi building in Tiberias. Before Rav Shmuel Eliyahu affixed the first Mezuzah, he shared with the 60 guests a message which goes to the heart of what OU Kiruv in Israel is about. He spoke of the relationship