How do you make Israel and Torah relevant to US Jewish kids?

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29 Jul 2019

Arutz Sheva caught up with Allen Fagin, executive vice president and chief professional officer of the Orthodox Union (OU), on his whirlwind ten-day trip in Israel to visit the Jewish teenagers and young adults participating in the many OU summer programs in Israel.

What are the main goals for all your summer programs for Jewish teens and young adults in Israel?

“The main goals across all our programs are to increase identification with the state of Israel, to increase Jewish identity and to increase Torah learning,” Fagin responds. “Each person, each program in their own way appeals to a different kind of audience. Our job is to have a program for every community in the US and Canada which appeals to them – to their level of observance – and that gets them connected to Israel while they’re here.”

What is the spectrum of Jewish communities which the OU serves?

“Our programs are designed for the totality of the Jewish people. We have Torah learning programs for young men and women who have learned in Jewish day schools and yeshivot and we have a dozen programs for public school kids who are unaffiliated – with virtually no background in Judaism.”


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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.