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.
The Orthodox Union today announced a schedule of three missions to Israel, beginning this summer following Tisha B’Av and extending until the end of January 2008, to provide an insider’s perspective into all that has transpired in Israel over the past year and to inform visitors about the wide variety of activities of OU Israel throughout the country.
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.
A six-person Orthodox Union delegation which arrived in Sderot this afternoon to show solidarity with traumatized residents, experienced first-hand the terror of the Kassam rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza, when they were forced to run from a car they were entering into a store and to take cover under a table when a warning siren sounded and two rockets hit nearby.