OU to Formally Dedicate Israel’s Beit Reuven Outreach Center on April 29

19 Apr 2007


With the help of the Rudman Family and the Orthodox Union, learning about our Jewish heritage has become much easier in the Israeli city of Ramat Hasharon. Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Idelle Rudman, the Orthodox Union’s highly successful outreach program in Ramat Hasharon for non-observant Israelis will be formally dedicated as Beit Reuven, in memory of her late husband, Rabbi Dr. Reuben Moshe Rudman a’h’, on April 29.

Beit Reuven has been established through a major gift from Mrs. Rudman and will continue to be supported by the Rudman family.

Beit Reuven attracts hundreds of people a week. It is a project of the OU’s Kehillot Yisrael, Lev Yehudi (the Community of Israel, the Heart of a Jew) outreach program, whose mission is “teaching Israeli Jews how to be Jewish Israelis.”

A warm center for education and outreach in the city of Ramat Hasharon, Beit Reuven offers the secular community a tangible taste of what it means to be Jewish, resonating with echoes that touch the neshamah (soul).

Programs include Shabbat meals and services, marriage counseling, classes on raising children, and Bible study, among others.

The OU has many homes, like Beit Reuven, in large and small towns, available for dedication opportunities. They can be found in Jerusalem, Herziliya, Tiberias, Ariel, and Beit Yehoshua, among others.

“Too many Israeli Jews grow up ignorant of the richness and beauty of Judaism. They may be Israeli but they hardly regard themselves as Jewish,” declared Stephen J. Savitsky, OU President.

“Mrs. Rudman’s philanthropic vision serves as an example to concerned Jews about how their tzedakah can be used to support OU outreach initiatives in Israel to teach our brothers and sisters what it means to be Jewish. The growth of our efforts can be expanded throughout Israel and the facilities that are already operating can be strengthened by receiving a formal dedication,” he said.

Mrs. Rudman was particularly impressed by the OU’s outreach efforts in Israel. “This specific project touched me because both of our families have long histories in association with Palestine as it was, and Israel as it became, and we saw the deterioration of Jewish identity within what is now Israel. It pained us both to see that the dissociation from Jewish identity was taking the Israeli nation further and further away from its roots and causing a painful rift between the different groups of its population,” she declared.

“Jewish identity is strongly embedded in both my husband and myself; I felt this is something necessary to rebuild a Jewish character in the population,” she said.

According to Rabbi Avi Berman, Director General of the OU’s Seymour J. Abrams Jerusalem World Center, “The gap between the religious and secular Jews in Israel has reached a critical stage. At Beit Reuven, our educators are able to spread Torah with passion and show its beauty to families who lost their connection to Torah in the past one hundred years.”

“I hope that all of the Torah learning and all the outreach programming that happens here will be for the aliyah (for the soul) of Rabbi Rudman,” Rabbi Berman said.

Rabbi Rudman a’h’, was ordained at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, as was his father, and he came from a long line of Lithuanian rabbis. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Polytechnic University, and spent his professional life as a Professor of Chemistry at Adelphi University.

For more information about similar dedication opportunities contact Andrew Goldsmith, Director of Financial Resource Development, at 212-613-8132 or goldsmitha@ou.org.