Orthodox Union Hosts Delegates from Europe’s Largest Orthodox Synagogue Movement for First-of-its-Kind Meeting

16 Mar 2023

OU Introduces London-based United Synagogue to Religious and Educational Institutions across New York, New Jersey

Left to right: National Director of the OU’s Community Projects and Partnerships Rabbi Simon Taylor; OU EVP and COO Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph; United Synagogue President Michael Goldstein; OU President Mitchel Aeder; OU EVP Rabbi Moshe Hauer; United Synagogue COO David Collins; United Synagogue Trustee Saul Taylor; and United Synagogue CEO Jo Grose

OU President Mitchel Aeder welcomes the United Synagogue delegation to the OU’s headquarters in downtown Manhattan

The Orthodox Union (OU) recently hosted a delegation of 13 executives and lay leaders from the largest synagogue movement in Europe, which supports 60 Orthodox Jewish communities – the United Synagogue, based in London.  

The OU met with representatives from the United Synagogue including newly appointed leaders CEO Jo Grose and COO David Collins, who started their positions in February.

This visit marked the first time officials from the OU and the United Synagogue met in person to build relationships, collaborate and brainstorm solutions to community issues. 

OU President Mitchel Aeder delivered opening remarks welcoming the delegation to the OU’s new headquarters in downtown Manhattan. OU executives gave the representatives a tour of the OU’s new office and noted the organization’s extensive work on behalf of Jewish communities across North America.

The OU also hosted several roundtable discussions that focused on topics such as the importance of developing Torah values; cultivating women in leadership;  and growing the pipeline of Jewish leaders.

Rabbi Emeritus of Kehilath Jeshurun Rabbi Haskel Lookstein addresses the United Synagogue delegation at The Ramaz School in Manhattan

They then traveled to Manhattan’s Upper East Side to meet with rabbis and community leaders at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue and The Ramaz School, where Rabbi Emeritus of Kehilath Jeshurun Rabbi Haskel Lookstein addressed the delegation. They then visited Brooklyn for a tour of the Yeshivah of Flatbush and a dinner with lay leaders in the home of philanthropists Ralph and Judy Herzka. 

The next day, they met with lay leaders in the home of philanthropists Avi and Becky Katz in Teaneck, N.J.; toured Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, N.J.; and visited the OU’s satellite office in New Jersey, where the delegation met with Teach NJ, a division of the OU’s Teach Coalition; and Yachad, the OU’s division dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish individuals with disabilities and their families.

“It was a pleasure to introduce Grose and Collins, as well as the entire delegation, to the important work that the OU is doing, as well as show them Orthodox synagogues and schools in the area,” OU’s Community Projects and Partnerships National Director Rabbi Simon Taylor said. “The visit was a watershed moment for them that has the potential to change the future of the United Synagogue.”

“It only makes sense that two of the biggest institutions should collaborate to make sure we’re thinking of all possible creative solutions,” said the United Synagogue’s

Left to right: Philanthropist Avi Katz and OU Managing Director Maury Litwack at lunch discussion with the United Synagogue delegation and OU lay leaders at Katz’s home

new CEO Jo Grose. “We really appreciate the warm welcome we received from the OU and thank them for facilitating important conversations about collaboration and global challenges in Jewish engagement. We look forward to hosting OU leaders in London soon, please G-d!”

United Synagogue delegates included President Michael Goldstein; CEO Jo Grose; COO David Collins; Director of Communications Richard Verber; Director of Fundraising Strategy David Goldberg; and trustees Jacqui Zinkin, Claire Lemer, Andrew Eder, Fleurise Lewis, Saul Taylor, Karen Harris, Andrew Harris and Sarah Sultman.