OU Thanksgiving Mission to Israel, Nov 19-25, Participants to Show Solidarity with Sderot Residents

18 Sep 2007


To offer an insider’s perspective into the land of Israel and the role of the OU there, particularly when Israelis are suffering, the Orthodox Union announced today that its second mission of the year, the OU Thanksgiving Mission — Monday, November 19 to Sunday, November 25 — will feature a visit to Sderot. The dual purpose is to bring comfort and consolation to the people of Sderot while demonstrating to mission participants the OU’s programs on behalf of the city’s beleaguered population, faced frequently with barrages of Kassam rockets.

Another important aspect of the mission will be an opportunity for parents to attend a private yeshiva fair with their graduating high school seniors. Both boys and girls yeshivot will be represented on Tuesday, November 20, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Thanksgiving Mission will also feature opportunities to learn from renowned Torah educators, meet high-ranking Knesset officials, and tour restricted military locations.

This mission follows the successful You and the OU — Partners in Action trip in late July. Information on OU Israel Missions is featured at www.ou.org/israelmissions.

“We are looking forward to another OU group visit to Israel,” declared Stanley Hillelsohn, Chair of the OU Israel Commission. “The trip to Sderot will be an opportunity for participants to assure the residents of the city that they are not forgotten; that they are always in our prayers; and that the OU is doing and will continue doing all it can to strengthen and encourage them as Kassam rockets are fired at them.”

“The OU plays a vital role in the lives of Israeli citizens in Sderot and all over the country,” said Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General of OU Israel.

“We are going to touch on different facets of people’s emotions, just as we did during our summer mission. The participants went from laughing to crying, feeling spiritually reinvigorated to feeling an overwhelming desire to help, all within a short span of hours. We deliver such an authentic Israel experience that it can’t help but touch people’s souls,” he said.

According to Stephen J. Savitsky, OU President, “To bring special attention to Sderot, the OU will hold a Board of Directors meeting there during the mission.”

Additional highlights of the trip will include visits to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Efrat; to Nitzan, a community of people evacuated from Gush Katif; to Northern communities in the direct line of fire in last summer’s second Lebanese war; and to OU certified companies such as the Osem baked goods and the Strauss dairy factories. Participants will be inspired and uplifted by a spiritual and mystical Shabbat in Tsfat.

The third mission, Yarchei Kallah and Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mission 2008 is scheduled from Monday, January 20 to Sunday, January 27, 2008, during the yeshiva break.

For more information and to register contact 212-613-8124 or allysong@ou.org or visit www.ou.org/israelmissions.