Touro College and NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, celebrated 35 years of close cooperation last month, as students and faculty from Touro’s undergraduate Lander Colleges of Arts and Sciences played a significant role in 11 NCSY Regional Conventions held throughout North America. At many of these events graduating NCSYers were awarded scholarships to the Lander Colleges, continuing an annual tradition that began in 1973. These initiatives are in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars Touro contributes each year to the NCSY regions to support Shabbatons, events and educational programs.
Israel’s elected leaders in recent weeks have sent out mixed messages regarding their negotiating position on Jerusalem’s status as the undivided and eternal capital of Israel, said Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
Under the concept that all Jews are responsible for one another, the Orthodox Union’s Project Areivim sends volunteers with special knowledge and skills from their home communities to nearby and distant synagogue communities around the country. Areivim, or those who look out for one another, offer their talents, be it delivering speeches, one-on-one learning, or prayer service leadership.
With chapters and regions across United States and Canada, NCSY — the international youth program of the Orthodox Union — has become a household name on the North American continent. Its mark has been left not only on the map but in the hearts of countless thousands of teens who have been inspired by NCSY to discover the beauty of their heritage. With an awareness that it’s not only North American teens who are subject to assimilation, but their counterparts in South America as well, NCSY has expanded, first to Chile, where it has operated for the past four years, and now to Argentina, where the new NCSY chapter will be officially dedicated.
When New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005, Congregation Beth Israel of New Orleans, an Orthodox Union synagogue, captured worldwide attention when a photo of Torah scrolls being carried from the synagogue’s wreckage by a dedicated volunteer rescue worker was transmitted across the world. Jewish life has begun to revive in New Orleans and into this reemerging community last year appeared Rabbi Uri Topolosky, hired to take over as spiritual leader of a synagogue that still did not have a building to call its own.
Responding to the nationwide subprime crisis and the wave of home foreclosures across the country, the Orthodox Union Job Board will present a webcast intended for a national audience, The American Dream’s Rude Awakening – Mortgage Debacle and Foreclosures, which will take place Tuesday, June 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The session, broadcast live, can be accessed from anywhere in North America (or the world) by visiting www.ou.org/jobs, although a small audience will be in attendance on a first-come first-serve basis.
High school graduation means an end to an important phase in a student’s life, including in many cases involvement in the teen programs of NCSY, the youth division of the Orthodox Union. With the goal of making sure that NCSY experiences are not forgotten, the Orthodox Union’s newly created Department of Alumni Connections has undertaken to help these students connect with Jewish life on their campus or in the surrounding area. This program has become particularly important because of the overwhelming success of NCSY’s outreach to public high schools, from which the majority of Jewish students choose to go to secular rather than Jewish colleges and universities.