Taglit-birthright israel, which is well known for its free educational trips for young Jewish adults who have never been to Israel, will present a very special trip for 27 young men and women with disabilities (ages 18 to 26) from January 9 to January 20, in conjunction with the Orthodox Union’s Yachad program for the developmentally disabled. Because of its expertise and great success, Yachad was the first group authorized to participate with people with disabilities in birthright Israel, and since then has paved the way for others. There have already been several Taglit-birthright israel/Yachad trips.
Orthodox Union President Stephen J. Savitsky will visit Ohav Emeth Congregation and Ahavas Achim Congregation in Highland Park and Congregation Ohr Torah in Edison the weekend of January 4, to attend Shabbat services at the synagogues and to meet with their leadership and congregations.
In recognition that when serious illness strikes an Orthodox family, a whole range of difficult decisions – religious, medical, legal and financial — have to be made in accordance with Jewish law, the Orthodox Union, the Metropolitan Jewish Health System and The Jewish Healing and Hospice Alliance, an initiative of UJA-Federation of New York will present a free communal symposium, When Serious Illness Strikes and Decisions Have to Be Made: Who Decides – the Patient, the Physician, the Rabbi, the Family? A Practical Guide for Orthodox Families.
In a partnership between the Orthodox Union and Touro College, the OU’s upcoming family mission to Israel — Sunday January 20-Sunday, January 27, 2008 – will include a component in which parents and their high school seniors can visit yeshivot and seminaries in Israel through convenient arrangements made by Touro.
Having previously decided to hold its 2008 Biennial National Convention in New York rather than Jerusalem, where it presented its 2004 and 2006 meetings to large and enthusiastic gatherings, the Orthodox Union today reversed course and announced that the Thanksgiving Convention will be held in the Israeli capital.
The Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) of NCSY, the international youth program of the Orthodox Union, will induct four new members and present two prestigious awards, when it holds its Twelfth Annual Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 6 at 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center, 2 Meadowlands Plaza, East Rutherford, NJ.
With the ultimate tour guide — OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb — participating and sharing several special presentations during tours and over Shabbat, the Orthodox Union will present its “family friendly” OU January Mission 2008 to Israel, Sunday January 20 to Sunday January 27, to provide the combination of touring, study and Shabbat that only OU missions can accomplish. Bar and Bat Mitzvah age youngsters are specifically invited to the mission, which will take place during “yeshiva week,” when many Jewish schools are on their winter break.
With a worldwide audience tuning in on www.ou.org and www.ouradio.org, the Orthodox Union’s Nach Yomi program moves on to its second month and third Book, I Samuel, with enthusiasm from listeners building and two more years of in-depth learning ahead of it.
For public school teens who want to learn more about Judaism, winter vacation is not just a time to sleep late and eat Chinese food. Almost 200 public high school teens from as far west as Detroit will travel to Stamford, CT, December 25-30 for a national Yarchei Kallah, 5 days of level-appropriate learning, sponsored by NCSY, the OU’s national youth program. The Stamford Sheraton Hotel will host the Yarchei Kallah, which is an intensive seminar for teens who want to experience immersion in a Torah-observant-lifestyle.