OU Admits Eight Synagogues Nationwide, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, to Status as Member Congregations

20 Mar 2008


The Orthodox Union announced today that eight geographically and demographically diverse congregations coast-to-coast, both Ashkenazi and Sephardic, have been accepted as member synagogues and will immediately start enjoying the benefits of affiliation with the OU.

The eight join hundreds of other OU synagogues throughout the United States and Canada.

The announcement followed approval of the synagogues at the March meeting of the OU’s Board of Directors, which acted on the recommendation of the organization’s Executive Committee.

The synagogues are:

Adas Torah, Los Angeles, CA

Beth Torah Synagogue, Laguna Hills, CA

Jewish Rockville Outreach Congregation, Kensington, MD

Kehilas Ishei Yisrael, Flushing, NY

Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation, Mount Kisco, NY

Shevet Achim, Mercer Island, WA

Tiferet Israel, Austin, TX

Young Israel of the West Side, New York, NY

Although new synagogues join the OU on a regular basis, this is the first time in recent memory that as many as eight have been admitted to membership at one time, “the sign of a new trend,” according to Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU Executive Vice President. “The work of the OU’s Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue Services, under the chairmanship of Stanley Weinstein of Miami Beach and the direction of Rabbi Bini Maryles, in identifying potential member synagogues and explaining to them the advantages of membership, has been instrumental in this development,” Rabbi Weinreb said.

These advantages, as noted in a letter from Rabbi Maryles to the new synagogues, include the wide variety of programs and services the OU provides to its members.

“As we state in our new organizational motto, the Orthodox Union is focused on ‘Enhancing Jewish Life.’ From this moment forward consider our staff as yours, ready and able to assist you and your leadership as you strive for greater observance and spiritual heights,” Rabbi Maryles wrote. “The many departments of the OU, including the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), OU Kosher, NCSY, Yachad/Our Way (for those with disabilities), OU Israel, and of course, the Departments of Synagogue and Community Services, stand ready to work with you to assess and act on your needs as individuals, as a synagogue and as a community. We want your community to grow and to prosper, to be strong individually and at the same time feel warmly welcome and part of the greater kehillah (commuity).”

In a joint statement, Mr. Weinstein, the Synagogue Services Chair, and Emanuel J. Adler of Teaneck, NJ, Chair of the Community Services Commission, stated: “The significant expansion of our footprint, including a number of Sephardic congregations, is a tribute to the quality services provided to our synagogues and communities on an inclusive ‘big tent’ basis. The entire OU staff should be congratulated for their efforts in providing, publicizing and otherwise making possible these services that make shuls across the country and across a spectrum of Orthodox practice want to be part of our vital organization.”