NCSY, Yachad Present “OU Community Weekend” in Chicago, 3/25-26

15 Mar 2011


Chicago Chapters of NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership and Yachad | Jewish Disabilities Integration will welcome Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil and the organization’s largest high-level delegation. The delegation includes NCSY International Director Rabbi Steven Burg and NCSY regional directors, for “OU Community Weekend” March 25-26, Parshat Shemini (Parshat Parah). Serving as scholars-in-residence and speakers, the purpose of the visit is to strengthen the already strong ties between the local Orthodox community and the OU.

“The goal of ‘Community Weekends’ is to focus on thriving areas of Orthodox life and to go there to address a variety of topics and to meet community leaders,” declared Rabbi Weil. “Depending on where they go and the interests of the community, the delegation will discuss topics such as Torah study, kashrut (kosher), Israel, government relations and so on. We will explain the variety of programs the OU offers to its synagogues and ask what programs they would like us to develop. We have chosen communities where our relations are already close and seek to strengthen the bonds that already exist between us.”

NCSY, the international youth movement of the OU, will host two Friday night onegs for teens at 9:30 p.m. Joining Rabbi Burg in West Rogers Park will be Rabbi Micha Greenland, NCSY Director for the Chicago-based Midwest Region. NCSYers in Skokie will share from Rabbi Naftali and Tali Rothstein, Jewish Learning Initative on Campus (JLIC) Torah Educators at the University of Illinois.

Declared Rabbi Greenland, the weekend coordinator, “I am very excited about the opportunity to engage so many Chicago community members at one time through the upcoming OU community weekend. Between the programs and speakers for adults, the NCSY onegs for teens, and the Yachad programs, we expect to touch more than 1,000 people in eleven different shuls. I anticipate that by the conclusion of the weekend, Jews all over Chicago will have a much more profound appreciation for the work of the OU, NCSY, and Yachad, and the leadership of the OU will have a heightened awareness of the issues that matter to the Chicago Jewish community.”

Rabbi Weil will be scholar-in-residence at Congregation Or Torah, 3800 Dempster Street in Skokie. He will give a Shabbat morning drasha on “Men are from Mars Women are from Venus: The Jewish Version,” in addition to speaking during a Shabbat luncheon on “Arami Oved Avi” and during seudat shlishit on “A Colossal Turn of Events.”

Joining Rabbi Weil include:

• Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, Emeritus: who will speak at a Friday night oneg at 9:30 p.m. in Peterson Park. Additionally, he will give a Shabbat morning drasha at Bais Medrash of Lincolnwood/Bais Chaim Dovid, 3460 W. Devon Avenue in Lincolnwood; he will speak during seudat shlishit at Adas B’nei Yisrael, 6200 N. Kimball Avenue; and he will give a special presentation for Yachad on motzai Shabbat;

• Mr. Stephen Savitsky, Chairman of the Board and immediate Past President: who will speak during a Friday night oneg at Sha’arei Tzedek Mishkan Yair, 2832 West Touhy Avenue; give a Shabbat morning drasha at the Young Israel of West Rogers Park, 2706 West Touhy Avenue; and will speak during seudat shlishit at Adas Yeshurun, 3050 West Touhy Avenue;

• Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General of the OU in Israel: who will serve as scholar-in-residence at Kehilat Chovevei Tzion, 4000 Church Street;

• Howie Beigelman, Deputy Director of Public Policy for the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) | Jewish Political Affairs: who will serve as scholar-in-residence at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, 540 West Melrose. He will speak at the Friday oneg on “What’s a Nice Jewish Boy Doing as a Lobbyist?” During the Shabbat luncheon he will discuss “Sibling Rivalry: Catholic Jewish Relations in 2011” and in the afternoon, he will present “Political Scandal in the Bible and Modern Lessons for Us;”

The NCSY leaders will also be involved in Shabbat activities to share their expertise and insights:

• Rabbi Burg will give a morning drasha at Beis Hamedrash Mikor Hachaim, 2821 West Touhy Avenue; he will also speak on Shabbat afternoon at Sha’arei Tzedek Mishkan Yair; and during seudat shlishit at Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park, 2800 W. North Shore Avenue;

• Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, NCSY Director of the New York Region, will be serving as scholar-in-residence at Kehilath Jacob Beth Samuel (KJBS), 3701 W Devon Avenue. He will give a Shabbat morning drasha on “How Hurricane Katrina Altered the Outreach Landscape on the East” and a Shabbat afternoon shiur on “From Ivy College to Trump Towers: Enabling Teens Today to Use Torah and Judaism as Primary Sources;”

• Rabbi Greenland will speak during seudat shlishit at Sha’arei Tzedek Mishkan Yair.

The delegation will be accompanied by OU Synagogue Services | Congregation Support Network team Laya Pelzner, Associate Director; Penny Pazornick, Project Coordinator; Yehuda Friedman, Project Coordinator; and Rabbi Efrem Popel, Yachad Chicago Chapter Coordinator.

Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), the OU’s flagship program promoting Inclusion within the greater Jewish community for those with learning, developmental and physical disabilities, will also be hosting a Shabbaton for members, including a first-ever Shabbaton for Junior Yachad. Friday night and Shabbat day davening and meals will be held at Adas Yeshurun. Mincha and seudat shlishit will be at Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park.

For further information, contact or call 212.613.8155.

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