With the joyous festival of Purim right around the corner, Our Way, a division of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD) serving the deaf and hard of hearing, is presenting its PowerPoint presentation for reading the Megillah (Book of Esther) once again this year. Last year’s program drew over 75 synagogues from United States and Canada. According to Batya Jacob, Program Director of Our Way, “The goal for this year is to have over 100 synagogues participate in this unique Megillah reading.”
Purim will be observed on Saturday night March 3 and Sunday, March 4.
With its “ripped from the headlines” timeliness, three Orthodox rabbis grappled with how to bring Jewish thought and ethical teachings to the modern battlefield. These discussions are now available to a world-wide audience on Orthodox Union Radio, www.ouradio.org and www.ou.org/public_affairs.
Machon Maayan, the new college in Israel for Jewish and Israel studies and leadership for post-high school girls from North America, opened its doors in Bet Shemesh in September with 37 students, the majority of whom are graduates of NCSY, the OU’s famed youth program. The school, which has blossomed since its establishment, is a joint project of the Orthodox Union and the Education Department of the Jewish Agency. Rabbi Dovid Cohen, the mentor and chairman of The Friends of Machon Maayan explained, “This is no small achievement. The young women are receiving the best all-round Jewish education consisting of classic Jewish texts, applied halacha (Jewish law), Jewish history and philosophy, and studies in contemporary Israel.”
In the spirit of the upcoming special days on the Jewish calendar, from Tu B’Shevat which falls on this Saturday, February 3, to Shavuot in May, the Orthodox Union’s Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, will present a series of ten lectures to offer psychological perspectives on the holiday period. In addition to being a renowned rabbi, Rabbi Weinreb also practiced clinical psychology for many years.
“Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: Any fat of oxen, sheep, or goats – you shall not eat…You shall not consume any blood, in any of your dwelling places, whether from fowl or from animals. Any person who consumes any blood – that soul will be cut off from his people.” (Leviticus 7:22-23, 26-27)
The Orthodox Union’s St. Louis Chapter of Midwest NCSY, announced today the newest Junior NCSY Summer Program — Camp Nageela Midwest for boys and girls grades four through eight. Due to the overwhelming success in August 2006 of Camp Gesher, which drew over 100 children for one week of summer fun and Torah learning, Midwest NCSY was approached by Agudath Israel Midwest and offered the opportunity to expand Camp Gesher to two three-week sessions. In addition, the Agudah-NCSY partnership will allow the camp to move to its own facility: a beautiful site in Marshall, IN near Indianapolis.
The Orthodox Union will present a regional Leadership Development Seminar in Atlanta on Sunday, February 11, for synagogue officials from Atlanta and the nearby South. Regional seminars are presented by the OU throughout the year to rabbis, presidents, executive directors and board members from across North America, designed to enrich skills and help community leaders manage their synagogues more effectively.
As a follow-up to the Orthodox Union West Coast Region’s Sixteenth Annual Torah Convention which was held in December, and in which there promises to be a controversial and spirited discussion, the Region will present Ultimate Issues. The session will be a panel discussion to address concerns taken up by Dennis Prager at the concluding session of the Convention, in which he debated Innovation vs. Preservation: The Future of American Jewry, with Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein.
In A Tribute to Simon and Garfunkel Plus, the Orthodox Union Singles Connection, in conjunction with Park East Synagogue Singles, presents an opportunity for singles of all ages to relax and to meet fellow Simon and Garfunkel enthusiasts. It will be held on Saturday night, February 17, at Park East Synagogue, 163 East 67 Street in Manhattan, at 8:45 p.m.
The Orthodox Union Kosher Division today expressed its gratitude to the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ, for renewing and increasing its grant in support of OU Kosher’s kashrut education programs.