Julius Berman Reappointed Chairman of OU Press Commission

22 Feb 2011


Orthodox Union President Dr. Simcha Katz announced today that Julius Berman has been reappointed Chairman of the OU Press | Jewish Educational Publications Commission. One of the foremost leaders in American Jewish life, and a past president and now Honorary President of the Orthodox Union, Mr. Berman brings to the position his deep connection not only to the OU but to Yeshiva University, where he was a student of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, “The Rav,” and where he is now Chairman of the Board of the YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Mr. Berman is Special Counsel to the law firm of Kaye Scholer LLP.

Among OU Press’ foremost goals is to propagate the teachings of the Rav, as well as to publish the works of younger scholars who did not study under the Rav, but whose conception of Judaism is deeply influenced by him.

Dr. Katz declared, “We are indeed fortunate to have Julius Berman continue in his role as Chairman. He pioneered the founding of the OU Press, driven by a decades-long passion to make the wisdom of his revered teacher, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, available to generations of readers.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack, another disciple of the Rav and General Editor of OU Press, stated, “Julius Berman was a close confidant of Rav Soloveitchik and has made it his life’s work to promote the Rav’s scholarship, which is one of the great missions of OU Press, along with being a platform for young scholars and prominent authors. Among these authors are Rabbi Norman Lamm, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Senator Joseph Lieberman. Julius has played an important role in every OU Press book, most notably the soon-to-be published Siddur, with a commentary based on the teachings of the Rav.”

According to Mr. Berman, “In the space of a few short years, we have successfully established OU Press as a major publisher of important works of Orthodox thought and practice, and I am gratified to continue my involvement. As we look to the future, we eagerly anticipate OU Press’ publication of the Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur with Rav Soloveitchik’s commentary. This will be a landmark event in Jewish publishing, and the Siddur is certain to become a classic. In addition, we are looking forward to bringing out works on Torah learning, Tanakh, liturgy, Jewish history, Jewish thought, and Jewish communal life.

“Under the dynamic leadership of General Editor Rabbi Menachem Genack, together with Executive Editor Rabbi Simon Posner and Managing Editor Rabbi Gil Student, OU Press has already made a significant impact on the Jewish community, and I am confident that it will play an increasingly vital role as it publishes works of the highest quality.”

Rabbi Posner emphasized that “Julius Berman’s agreement to continue as Chairman of the OU Press Commission is welcome news. His leadership, sage counsel, and strong sense of principle have been critical to OU Press’ achievements. We are fortunate to have his continued involvement as Chairman.”

Rabbi Student sees Mr. Berman as “a force of nature whose tireless communal work has affected thousands of lives. He is a man of rare vision and passionate action. OU Press is fortunate to benefit from his leadership and guidance.”

Among the recent publications of OU Press are Festivals of Faith: Reflections on the Jewish Holidays, by Rabbi Norman Lamm, edited by Dr. David Shatz; Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot: The Tisha B’Av Kinot, with a Commentary by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, edited by Rabbi Simon Posner, with a translation of the kinot by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, which was the winner of the 2010 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Modern Jewish Thought and Experience; Darosh Darash Yosef: Discourses of Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik on the Weekly Parashah, by Rabbi Avishai David; and The Mind of the Mourner: Individual and Community in Jewish Mourning, by Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky.

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