NCSY Prays For Recovery of Injured Florida Girl

18 Sep 2013


Intense prayers are being said and good deeds are being performed for an NCSYer who was critically injured in a car accident on Yom Kippur night.

Orly Ohayon, a beloved and popular member of the NCSY Jacksonville chapter in Florida, was walking with her mother to Kol Nidrei services on Friday evening when a car hit them. Esther, Orly’s mother, was pronounced dead on the spot, but Orly survived and is in critical condition after undergoing several surgeries.

Southern NCSY began a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of Orly’s surgery and her rehabilitation. The accident orphaned Orly whose father passed away several years ago.

“She is the reason why we do what we do,” explained Rabbi Ben Gonsher, director of Institutional Advancement for Southern NCSY. (NCSY is the international youth program of the Orthodox Union.) “She’s excited about life and passionate about learning and mitzvot. She has a contagious enthusiasm for life and she inspires her friends and everyone around her.”

You can donate to Orly at So far more than $4,000 has been raised to cover her treatment. All the money raised will go directly to Orly.
Writing in The Times of Israel, Michal Kupchik, Orly’s advisor on NCSY Summer’s Michlelet program, called her “a profound girl.”

“I can’t remember ever seeing her without a smile on her face,” she wrote. “She is a ray of positivity… to all those who come in contact with her.”
Southern NCSY also launched a Facebook group to coordinate fundraising and tefillah (prayer) efforts. Dubbed “Nothing Can Stop You (NCSY) — a Refuah Shelaima for Orly Bat Esther,” the group has more than 1,000 members and keeps track of events like a kumsitz attended by 150 NCSY alumni by the Kotel in Israel; several events held in Jacksonville to help teens cope with the tragedy; and a nation-wide learning initiative in her honor.

“In Judaism, we believe that our prayers and actions can serve in merit of a fellow member of our community,” said Rabbi Micah Greenland, interim international director of NCSY. “We hope that in honor of Orly’s passion for Judaism, happiness, and care for others that you join us in learning and praying in merit of her refuah shleimah, a full and speedy recovery.”
Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY, spent the morning with Orly in the hospital. “Being with her was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “When I asked her what message we should take back to her friends and supporters, she said ‘Tell them to keep smiling.’”