With a distinguished list of honorees and a new “interactive” presentation as the program, the Orthodox Union will celebrate its 108th Anniversary National Dinner on Sunday, April 2 at 5:00 P.M. at the Grand Hyatt New York.
Once again this year, in a format that originated at the 2005 dinner, all aspects of OU activities will be saluted at one gala event, as opposed to previous years in which separate dinners honored various departments of the OU. This is consistent with OU President Stephen J. Savitsky’s emphasis on coordination between all of the OU’s departments on priorities and programming.
“OU leaders are coming from all over North America to attend this elegant and highly entertaining event,” Mr. Savitsky said. “They will gather to honor the great work of the OU on behalf of the Jewish people, to salute our honorees, and through the evening’s novel programming, to witness first-hand how the OU serves its varied constituencies. Like our upcoming Convention in Israel at Thanksgiving, this is truly a ‘can’t miss event.’”
A key element of the dinner will be paying tribute to individuals, a synagogue, and a world-wide corporation for their support of, or relationship with, the OU. The honorees are as follows:
Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick of New York
Lifetime Leadership Award
Ajinomoto USA, Inc.
National Kashrut Leadership Award
Dvora and Roy Spiewak of Teaneck, NJ
NCSY Leadership Award
Adele and Rabbi Dovid Cohen of Jerusalem and Lawrence, NY
Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
Fred S. Zeidman of Houston
IPA (Institute for Public Affairs) Distinguished Public Service Award
The OU’s Young Leadership Cabinet, Charles Harary, Chairman, will present five of its members with the National Founders Young Leadership Award. They are:
Neima Rachel Chasky of Staten Island, NY
Elisheva Diamond of Lawrence, NY
David Gerstely of Cedarhurst, NY
Shlomo Koyfman of New Haven, CT
Uri Schneider of Kew Gardens, Hills, NY
Tifereth Israel Congregation, Passaic, NJ
National Kehillat Hakodesh Award
Returning as Dinner Chair after last year’s highly successful event is Dr. Shimmy Tennenbaum of Teaneck, NJ. “When people left last year’s dinner, they understood better than ever before how the OU serves our community and how its components work together to provide these services,” declared Dr. Tennenbaum. “This year, thanks to our interactive approach, guests will literally be able to reach out and touch OU programs where they are being held.”
The interactive approach, featuring split screens reminiscent of Nightline and other television news and sports broadcasts, will consist of a program narrated by Mr. Savitsky utilizing live remotes from OU programs and facilities around the United States and in Israel. “Rather than just talking about NCSY, we’ll cut to an NCSY center and show activities there and speak to the teens and staff about their involvement. We’ll duplicate this with other programs where they are being held,” explained Mr. Savitsky. “What’s exciting is that we will have a unique, interactive, multi-media presentation offering dinner guests the experience of seeing the OU at work.”