OU National Convention in Jerusalem, November 23-30

18 Nov 2008

The Orthodox Union returns as well during a time of economic upheaval. In the United States, the OU, as part of its priority of responding to unemployment in the Jewish community, has established the Job Board, which through its Job Fairs, a website, and a variety of programs to train job seekers, has been responsible for filling more than 1,000 jobs nationwide in the year –and-a-half of the Job Board’s existence.

Both of these factors – an undivided Jerusalem and the work of the Job Board – will play a major role in the Convention and its programming.

The following events are suggested for coverage:
• Orthodox Union Job Fair in Israel: Following its success in presenting Job Fairs in the United States, the OU will present a two-part Fair at the Convention:
Monday, November 24, OU Job Fair and Community Expo
5:00-7:00 p.m., Ramada Hotel Jerusalem (formerly the Renaissance, site of the previous two OU Conventions in Israel)

Directed towards Americans and other native speakers of English considering aliyah or those who have already made aliyah but who are looking for a community in which to settle permanently, the OU will present a Community Expo with the support of Israel’s Absorption Ministry. Already 125 people have registered to attend, with another 100 walk-ins expected. As of this date, 16 communities seeking to attract English-speaking olim will make presentations, emphasizing not only that they are fine places in which to live, but that they offer jobs as well.

These communities include, among others, Ariel; Enosh; Haifa; Jerusalem and various communities inside Jerusalem; Kiryat Shmuel; Maaleh Adumim and Mitzpe Nevo in Maaleh Adumim; Modi’in and Buchman in Modi’in; Nof Zion; Gush Etzion; Nofei Hashemesh and Shaenfield in Bet Shemesh; and Ramat Bet Shemesh.

Present will be real estate agents, developers and builders who can guide olim in helping them identify communities where they can purchase or rent a home and experience a happy life in Israel. The compatibility of these communities for English-speaking olim will be emphasized.
Tuesday, November 25, OU Job Fair
5:00-9:00 p.m., Ramada Hotel Jerusalem

Jobs, jobs, jobs – most of them unpublished — will be the emphasis as the OU matches English-speaking job seekers with employers offering positions requiring English. Both the Ministry of Absorption and the Ministry of Labor will be present to add their imprimatur to the Job Fair.

And the word has gotten out: 700 people have registered while 400 have been turned away for lack of space; 60 Israeli firms will be present, including the Alexander Muss High School; Archeological Seminars; Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel; Berlitz; Israeli Immigrants Board; Jerusalem Municipal Employment Center for Olim; Job Center Aliyah; Koby Mandell Federation; Kodak; KPMG-Somekh-Chikin; Medintec; Power-Legal; Remax; Ruder Finn; Shorashim; Tnuat Aliyah; Vernet Technologies; Wall Street Institute; and the huge Teva Pharmaceuticals concern.

According to Michael Rosner, Director of the Job Board, “The Job Fair is taking on a life of its own.” He emphasizes the Fair is not only for the religious community, but for everyone. He also notes that the Job Fair will kick off Sunday night with a seminar in resume writing, Israeli-style, which will draw more than 150 people, and which has now been closed out.

These events will provide the press with a golden opportunity to see how the Orthodox Union, which has as one of its priorities the encouragement of aliyah, utilizes its resources and programming to make aliyah a reality for as many people as possible.

• Thursday, November 27, Jerusalem: Keep it One, Keep it Ours
2:30 p.m. Site of the proposed U.S. Embassy to Israel, Tzameret Allenby, near the intersection of Derech Hevron and Hanock Albeck Street in Talpiot.

Representing hundreds of thousands of deeply caring, committed American Jews, the Orthodox Union Convention will proceed as a group to Talpiot to respectfully urge President-Elect Barak Obama to once and for all accept and speedily implement the duly approved will of Congress to relocate the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. The OU hopes to return to this site for the opening of the Embassy, perhaps together with President Obama, during his first term in office.

At the same time, Convention participants will view a much enlarged version of a petition, representing official Orthodox Union policy to which every one of the hundreds of OU congregations across North America has signed on, calling on the government of Israel “to undertake all efforts that are necessary to secure and maintain the status of Yerushalayim and to oppose and reject any proposal or plan to relinquish any part of Yerushalayim to any foreign authority.”

Speakers will include OU President Stephen J. Savitsky; Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere on Long Island, NY, and former President of the Rabbinical Council of America; and Gidon Sa’ar, Chairman of the Likud Party. After the petition is read, the delegation will ask Mr. Sa’ar and his Knesset colleagues “to join us in proclaiming here and now, today and forever, unequivocally and steadfastly: Jerusalem is off the negotiating table!” according to Mr. Savitsky.

It should be noted that this program will be entirely respectful and completely non-confrontational regarding both President-Elect Obama and the government of Israel.

For further information, contact Stephen Steiner, OU Director of Public Relations, at steiners@ou.org, 212-613-8318, until Friday of this week. Beginning Sunday, November 23, he may be reached in Israel at 011 972 52 312 5705. He will also respond to his emails.