NEW YORK – With a rising number of young men and women from North America choosing to enroll in universities and colleges in Israel, the Orthodox Union’s Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC) has opened its second campus program in Israel – at Bar-Ilan University in Givat Shmuel – in partnership with World Mizrachi. The program will also serve students who reside in Givat Shmuel and attend Tel Aviv University, or IDC Herzliya, where there is already a prospering OU-JLIC program on campus.
Students from yeshiva day school backgrounds face a unique challenge when entering the secular college campus environment and OU-JLIC Torah educators serve as mentors to help these students navigate challenges of independently observing Jewish life, as well as provide social opportunities, Torah learning and Shabbat and holiday meals. The program serves more than 4,000 students on 23 college campuses across the United States, Canada and Israel.
Rav Yehuda and Chagit Peles serve as the OU-JLIC educators at Bar-Ilan. Rav Peles is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Herzog College. Chagit is an alumna of Hebrew University and the Bar-Ilan Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.
“In Israel, OU-JLIC programs serve as an important base for our students studying abroad. Our programs and services on campus help create a community within a community, providing personalized opportunities for growth in Torah study and mitzvah observance,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“There are more and more American and Anglo students choosing to continue their higher education in Israel and our goal in bringing OU-JLIC to Bar-Ilan is to serve them as we do on our campuses here in the United States,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin.
“American yeshiva day school students who choose to attend college in Israel face unique challenges. They are far from home and are navigating a new and unfamiliar environment. We take pride in giving them a warm and personalized environment to help them grow Jewishly and enrich their college experiences,” said OU-JLIC Executive Director Rabbi Ilan Haber.
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs. For more information, visit https://www.ou.org/.