OU President Stephen J. Savitsky and Others to Visit Westchester in Jewish Community Weekend 4/23-24

26 Mar 2010


Westchester is known for a great many things, including its beautiful suburban landscape, the scenic Hudson River, and notably, its large Jewish community. The Orthodox Union agrees, and OU President Stephen J. Savitsky will make Westchester a part of his grand Community Tour when he visits there on the OU community weekend of Shabbat of April 23, 24, Parshiyot Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. Mr. Savitsky, along with an OU delegation, will speak at various synagogues in New Rochelle, Mount Kisco, Scarsdale and White Plains.

New Rochelle:

Mr. Savitsky will bring an OU delegation with him to the Young Israel of New Rochelle, 1149 North Avenue, including Emanuel J. Adler, OU Senior Vice President and Chair, Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue Services; and Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, Regional Director, New York NCSY, which includes Westchester.

On Friday night, Mr. Savitsky will speak on “The Torah’s Viewpoint of Me, Myself, and I,” after Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat at 7:00 p.m.

On Shabbat morning, at 8:30 a.m., Mr. Adler will give a drasha (in-depth lecture on the Torah), after the early minyan meets for Shacharit (morning prayers). Mr. Savitsky will give a drasha after the Shacharit minyan at 9:00 a.m. on “The OU, Reaching Out to the World.”

At 6:00 p.m., there will be a teen discussion, “How/What/Where/Why – If Our Teens Know More Than Ever Before, Why Do They Seem Less Interested Than Ever Before?” led by Rabbi Lightstone. The speech will be followed by Mincha at 7:05 p.m., and Seudah Shlishit (the third Shabbat meal), which will feature a panel discussion on “Orthodoxy at the Crossroads. Will We Meet the Challenges that Confront Us?” with Mr. Savitsky, Mr. Adler, Rabbi Lightstone, and Rabbi Reuven Fink, of the Young Israel of New Rochelle.

Also in New Rochelle, at Anshei Shalom Synagogue, 50 North Avenue, the scholar-in-residence will be Rabbi Saul Zucker, OU Director of the Department of Day School and Educational Services. He will give the drasha after Shacharit at 9:00 a.m., on the topic “Kiruv, Beyond the Glitz; What’s Effective, What’s Real.”

Mount Kisco:

Rabbi Cary Friedman, Associate Director, OU Department of Day Schools and Educational Services, will be the scholar-in-residence at the Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation, 15 Stewart Place.

After Shacharit on Shabbat morning at 9:00 a.m., Rabbi Friedman will give a drasha on “Wisdom from the Batcave: Torah Lessons from Batman,” and will lead a discussion following Kiddush, “A Rabbi’s Journey to Quantico: Bringing Spirituality to the FBI.” He will speak after Mincha at 7:00 p.m., on “Enhancing Relationships, Achieving Intimacy.”

Rabbi Friedman, who received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University, is both a consultant to the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and the law enforcement community in general, and an expert on a major figure in fictional law enforcement – Batman. Among other writings, Rabbi Friedman is the author of Wisdom from the Batcave, reflections on the Torah from Batman, which he developed while the campus chaplain at Duke University.


In Scarsdale, the scholars-in-residents will be Rabbi Dovid Jenkins, OU Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator, and Rabbi Ilan Haber, National Director, Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC), who will both speak at the Young Israel of Scarsdale, 1313 Weaver Street.

Following Shacharit at 9:00 a.m., Rabbi Jenkins will speak about “Gatorade, Tootsie Rolls, and Oreos: An Inside Look at Modern-Day Issues in Kashrut.” At 10:30 a.m., Rabbi Haber will lead a teen forum on “Jewish Life Opportunities on Non-Jewish College Campuses Around the Country.”

Following Mincha at 6:45 p.m., there will be a Seuda Shlishit panel discussion, “The Ethical Standards of Contemporary Kashrut” and “What Every Jewish Parent Needs to Know About College-Life in the 21st Century.”

White Plains:

In White Plains, the scholar-in-residence will be Rabbi Ben Greenberg, Co-Director, Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Harvard University; Orthodox Rabbinic Advisor at Harvard Hillel. He will speak at the Hebrew Institute of White Plains, 20 Greenridge Avenue.

Following Shacharit at 9:00 a.m., Rabbi Greenberg will speak about “Challenges and Opportunities of Being Orthodox on Campus.” Following the morning services, he will address “The Boundaries of Pluralism on the College Campus.”

For more information on all of the programs, contact Yehuda Friedman at 212-613-8225 or synagogue@ou.org.