There are few publications, particularly in the Jewish world, that can claim to have sold over a million-and-a-half copies as The NCSY Bencher has done. The Bencher, which has guided joyous singing at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and many Shabbatonim for nearly 25 years, is now being revised. The goal of the revision is to add new songs and new versions of old songs to the widely distributed compilation. NCSY Alumni, the organization of thousands of NCSY graduates, is sponsoring the revisions and welcoming the input of anyone who has internet access and an interest in a wide variety of Jewish melodies.
For parents seeking to strengthen their child-rearing skills, the Orthodox Union’s Department of Community Services, in conjunction with the Yeshivat Akiva PTA, Young Israel of Oak Park and Young Israel of Southfield, will present a program of Positive Parenting Program on Saturday night, February 3.
Why change a good thing? To make it even better. In response to the tremendous success of last year’s debut NCSY Alumni retreat, there will be a second and aptly renamed A.I.R or Adult Inspiration Retreat, taking place the weekend of February 16-18 in New Jersey, but drawing an audience from around the United States and Canada. The A.I.R is an NCSY-style Shabbaton for adults, in which NCSY Alumni, the OU Young Leadership Cabinet (YLC), and new friends will join for an uplifting and unforgettable Shabbat.
The Orthodox Union’s Yachad/the National Jewish Council for Disabilities will hold its first ever Midwest Regional Family Shabbaton in Chicago, with participants invited from all over the Midwest. It will be held at the Northbrook Radisson, Friday, March 9 to Sunday, March 11.
Last night the Maryland Non-Public Schools Legislative Coalition, of which the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs is a founding member, held 17 Legislative Forums across Maryland to advocate to their local elected officials on restoring cut textbook funding, expanding the teacher training tax credit, and enacting the BOAST Maryland Education Tax Credit that would infuse $25 million in new money to our schools.
For the Jewish deaf and their families, Orthodox Union’s Our Way, a program for the deaf and hearing impaired, presents a one-of-a-kind Sabbath experience, January 26-27, in Potomac, Maryland. It will be held at Beth Shalom Congregation and Talmud Torah, 11825 Seven Locks Rd.
Ho hum! It’s happened again. For the second time in 10 months, the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) program is part of college life at the NCAA champion of a major sport, just as it was last spring following the “March Madness” basketball tournament. Of course, the University of Florida’s athletic prowess has something to do with it.
Who better to inform the experts at OU Kosher about the latest developments in the constantly evolving world of food production than other experts at OU Kosher? The OU Kashrut Division has instituted a series of monthly in-house presentations in which colleagues bring senior staff and rabbis in the field up to date on specialties other than their own.
It all began during a NCSY brainstorming session about a year-and-a-half ago when the youth program team pulled their heads together to come up with an innovative way to reach unaffiliated Jewish teenagers. The panacea devised at OU headquarters was Friday Night Lights, which to many conveys Texas high school football, from the popular book, movie and current TV show of the same name, but to Jewish teenagers from Long Island to Los Angeles, it is an unforgettable Sabbath experience.
In recognition that much of its core constituency is part of what has come to be known as The Sandwich Generation — people who on a daily basis are faced with balancing the demands of aging parents with the demands of children and grandchildren — the Orthodox Union has undertaken a worldwide program to offer advice to members of this often beleaguered and ever-growing group.