An Orthodox Union program, funded in part by a grant from UJA-Federation of New York, will provide in-depth training to three Metropolitan New York area synagogues in outreach to marginally affiliated and unaffiliated individuals and their families. The program results from the OU’s recognition that increasing numbers of individuals are not involved with Jewish communal and synagogue life and from the OU’s kiruv (outreach) efforts in response to that reality, including a kiruv guidebook and power point presentation.
There will be a distinct Orthodox Union presence when the Yavneh Minyan of Brooklyn, an OU member congregation, will honor its spiritual leader (morah d’atra), Rabbi Moshe Sokol, on Sunday, May 18, at 6:00 pm. The event, which will take place at the Young Israel of Avenue K, 2818 Avenue K, will pay tribute to the past 18 years of Rabbi Sokol’s leadership. In addition to his rabbinical duties, Rabbi Sokol is also Dean of Lander College for Men, a division of Touro College.
The complexities of keeping a kosher kitchen will be the topic of discussion when OU Kosher’s halachic advisors (poskim), Rabbi Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Hershel Schachter, explore questions, issues and concerns from viewers on an OU webcast, “Kosher Home, Sweet Home,” to be held Thursday, May 29, at 2:00 p.m. on www.ou.org, and www.ouradio.org.
Students preparing for the rabbinate at Yeshiva University will learn firsthand the intricacies of kosher certification from June 2-19 when the Orthodox Union brings its Harry H. Beren ASK OUTREACH Community Kashrut program to YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) for three weeks of seminars and site visits.
The Orthodox Union announced today that Rabbi Steven Weil, 42, Senior Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, CA, an Orthodox Union member synagogue, has been selected to assume the position of Executive Vice President – the Chief Professional Officer – of the OU, effective July 1, 2009. Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, who has occupied the position since 2002, will transition to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President Emeritus to allow him to spend more time writing, lecturing and representing the OU in many different areas.
“Do you want to go to China?” That is what my colleague at OU Kosher asked me two months before an important ingredients show in which the Orthodox Union participates annually. China, well how could I say no! Having traveled there last summer for vacation, I knew from experience just how long and tiring a trip it was, but I was on an organized tour then and everything was taken care of for us as a group. This would be different. I would be traveling by myself and meeting my colleagues who handle the Southeast Asia region for OU Kosher in Shanghai.
A major new Orthodox Union initiative, OU Press, will make the teachings and commentaries of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik z”l, the Rav, available in beautifully bound and printed editions of Judaism’s classic books. The general editor of the series is Rabbi Menachem Genack, a talmid (student and disciple) of the Rav at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Genack, CEO of the OU Kashrut Division, is co-editor with Rabbi Hershel Schachter of YU of Mesorah, a journal based on the teachings of Rabbi Soloveitchik, and Shiurei HaRav, volumes based on the Rav’s lectures at YU as interpreted through the notes taken by his students.
Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb will be scholar-in-residence as Congregation Kneseth Israel, the White Shul in Far Rockaway, observes Yom Ha’Atzmaut Shabbos, Parshat Emor, May 9-10, corresponding to the Fifth of Iyar, in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel.
Lag B’Omer is traditionally a time for bonfires, but this year, the Young Leadership Cabinet (YLC) of the Orthodox Union is making water the theme of the day. YLC is sponsoring a cruise benefitting Yachad, OU’s program for people with disabilities, Thursday, May 22, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., sailing from Skyport Marina, 23rd Street and East River.
To heighten the emotion and meaning of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Orthodox Union has sent an impressive variety of materials to its member synagogues across North America for use on the OU’s National Israel @ 60 Shabbat, May 9-10, the Fifth of Iyar, on which the Torah portion Emor is read. Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, is celebrated this year on the Third of Iyar, Wednesday evening and Thursday, May 7-8.