OU Announces Solidarity Mission to Israel

22 Jul 2014

The Orthodox Union announced today that a solidarity mission to Israel extending from this Thursday evening, July 24, through Tuesday morning, July 29, filled up in less than 24 hours after it was announced. The mission will be led by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU executive vice president, emeritus, and Rabbi Steven Weil, senior managing director, and will be coordinated by Rabbi Avi Berman, executive director of OU Israel, who is based at the Seymour J. Abrams OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.

The OU Department of Community Engagement, which includes Synagogue Services, notified OU members and member synagogues via email and social media, explained Rabbi Judah Isaacs, department director.

Subject to flight availability, those who wish to join the mission are advised to get information and to sign up at www.ou.org. Individuals who will already be in Israel are also welcome to sign up to participate.

In a joint statement, Rabbis Weinreb and Weil declared: “We are working with our staff on the ground who are supporting the victims who have been wounded, traumatized and impacted by Hamas. We will be visiting wounded soldiers, making shiva visits and letting the people of Israel know that the OU is there for them. We will let them know that they are first and foremost in our prayers, thoughts and actions. Above all, we will express the OU’s support for our soldiers who are risking their lives for Klal Yisroel.”

Arriving Friday, the group will spend what the rabbis anticipate will be “a powerful Shabbos” in S’derot, for years a prime target of Hamas rocket attacks. The day will feature guest speakers, including the political, military and religious leadership of S’derot and the southern communities. Starting Motza’ei Shabbat through Monday night, Rabbis Weinreb and Weil said, “We will feel, experience and participate with our brothers and sisters in various locations who have been living a tenuous existence over the last two weeks.”