To support Jewish deaf teens and their families when they celebrate a Bar Mitzvah, the Orthodox Union’s Our Way/National Jewish Council for Disabilities, a program that facilitates inclusion of the deaf and hard of hearing in a full spectrum of Jewish life, announced today the publication of Signs of Bar Mitzvah, a handbook for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, celebrating Bar Mitzvah orally and in sign language.
It played to large and enthusiastic audiences in the east and now, by popular demand, it is coming west. From Sunday, August 5-Tuesday, August 7, the Orthodox Union will present a Three-Day Los Angeles Halachic Adventure. The Adventure will kick off with of a public session on “The Mesorah (Tradition) of Kosher Birds and Animals,” followed by a “show and taste” session that evening at an elegant Beverly Hills Restaurant.
Following its widespread success in presenting a PowerPoint presentation for reading the Megillah (Book of Esther) on Purim for the past four years, Our Way, a division of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD) serving the deaf and hard of hearing, will for the first time make available a PowerPoint presentation of Megillat Eichah (Lamentations) on Tisha B’Av.
It would be funny if it weren’t so sad: The residents of Sderot in Israel, the city bombarded on a daily basis by Kassam rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza, no longer need alarm clocks. “The Kassams wake us up,” declared Stav Cohen, a 21-year-old resident of the beleagured community.
When they arrived at Orthodox Union headquarters in New York they were unemployed; when they left they had a job. Or, in other cases, they had a job when they arrived, and had a better job when they left.
With the goal of disseminating Torah, the Orthodox Union and ArtScroll Mesorah Publications have combined forces to establish a new program, Daily Dose of Torah, which can now be heard on OU Radio, www.ouradio.org. The program is based on the ArtScroll Mesorah Daily Dose of Torah, a 14-volume book set which offers a daily study guide, suggested to need 18-minutes a day, on the Torah portion of the week. Each chapter highlights a verse in the weekly portion, the Mishnah, Talmudic discussions, mussar (moral lessons), Jewish law, and prayer.
The Orthodox Union and its Mesorah Commission, devoted as they are to the life and teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik z”l, the Rav, last week celebrated the publication of the latest two volumes in its Shiurei HaRav series with a well-attended reception at OU headquarters in New York.
Students from the Denver Academy of Torah (DAT) visited Orthodox Union headquarters in New York last week as part of their school trip, for a special presentation on Kosher law. The presentation was a part of OU Kosher’s new initiative, the Harry H. Beren Visit program, which makes it possible for students to visit the OU to learn the finer points of kosher law and observance.
The Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division today announced the winners of the First Annual OU Kosher Essay Contest for grades 4-12. The winners are Chevie Pahmer and Hadassah Goldman of Clifton, New Jersey; Sarah Sanfield and Abby Sanfield of Torrance, California in Los Angeles County; Chaya Meth of Baltimore, Maryland; and Zachary Weiner of New York City. The winners will have their essays published online at www.oukosher.org and will receive a $50 gift certificate to Eichlers.com, a Judaica website.
In response to the continued Hamas bombardment of Sderot with Kassam rockets, the Orthodox Union has established two fund-raising campaigns to expand the OU’s humanitarian programs on behalf of the traumatized residents of the city. They are the OU Sderot Emergency Fund, and OU Sderot Shabbat.
OU programs in Sderot in response to the Kassams have been underway for several months; the fundraising efforts are intended to expand their reach as quickly as possible. The OU has had a programmatic presence in Sderot for six years.