In the grand tradition of Jewish parody bands like Shlock Rock and Variations, NCSY now presents its own Jewish spin on popular music songs. The release of The Jewish Version, featuring newcomer Ben Klein and distributed by the company Adere, takes latest hits from the secular music world and translates them to the Jewish world, substituting the lyrics with predominant Jewish themes and phrases.
In a colorful new format and as usual crammed full of information to facilitate Passover preparation and observance, the OU Guide to Passover 5768/2008 is now available. An annual special issue of OU’s Jewish Action magazine, the Guide has been redesigned and filled with color features as well as advertising.
In recognition that this year Passover begins on Saturday night, the Guide includes a section which explains what to do when Passover falls immediately following Shabbat, as it does this year, on April 19.
Every year, Jews around the world anticipate hearing the pivotal four questions at their seder tables: this year they’ll be asking themselves a fifth one: Why is this Passover different from most others?
Passover typically inspires a great many things – cleaning frenzies, traditional rituals such as biur (burning) and bedikat (checking for) chametz, and purchasing boxes of matzah and large quantities of food. One more thing Passover frequently inspires is a host of questions on topics including how the Passover dietary laws differ from the rest of the year, the proper times for burning chametz and starting the sedarim, and other important Passover related facts. In 2006, the Orthodox Union launched a website, www.oupassover.org, that puts to rest any of the uncertainties these issues and many others arouse.
The website, which was recently updated for 2008, is a one-stop shop for all Passover-related queries. Subjects range from recipe substitutions and cleaning tips, to kosherizing household items for Passover and the proper amounts of the traditional food and wine that must be consumed at the seder.
Four public high school students from across the country will enjoy a transformative summer experience in Israel this year as participants in NCSY’s summer program, The Jerusalem Journey (TJJ), assisted by a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ.
While most teens use lunch or free periods at school to catch up on homework, hang out with friends, or run some errands, thousands of Jewish teens in public schools all over North America are using that time to learn about Judaism, thanks to their participation in Jewish Student Union (JSU) clubs.
Founded in 2002 by Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, today JSU has grown into an independent national organization that works in partnership with NCSY in the facilitation of Jewish student clubs in high schools across North America. By fostering a social atmosphere, presenting engaging and entertaining educational programs, and lowering the barriers to participation, JSU and NCSY have succeeded in reaching unaffiliated and under-affiliated Jewish teens.
The Orthodox Union announced today that eight geographically and demographically diverse congregations coast-to-coast, both Ashkenazi and Sephardic, have been accepted as member synagogues and will immediately start enjoying the benefits of affiliation with the OU.
The Orthodox Union’s youth program, NCSY, announced today that seven of its alumni from across the country are currently enrolled at Yeshiva University’s Mechinah (Bridge) and Basic Jewish Studies Programs as beneficiaries of the YU-NCSY Scholarship Nomination Program. Yeshiva University is awarding scholarships to NCSY/Jewish Student Union (JSU) participants from limited Jewish education backgrounds, who have demonstrated a desire to continue their Jewish education after high school.
When visitors to the web think of Jewish holidays, they think of the Orthodox Union. The OU is the number one information source on Google in the Jewish holidays category, generating more than 10,000 hits per month from Google alone on www.ou.org.