Thanks to OU and Partners, A Cancer Survivor is Headed to Israel, All Expenses Paid

17 Jul 2007

When 67-year-old Ken Ulfeng of Elkhorn in southern Wisconsin received a phone call from the Orthodox Union last week telling him that he had won the OU’s free trip to Israel contest, he considered it to be “the most wonderful news” of his life. Mr. Ulfeng had been planning a trip to Israel when he found out he had cancer. Now, thanks to the Orthodox Union and his successful recovery from surgery, he is at long last on his way to the country of his dreams.

As a member of one of only three Jewish families living in Elkhorn, Ken Ulfeng’s ties to the Jewish community are limited. His main access to Judaism has been through the Orthodox Union’s OU Radio,, which he listens to half the day. That is how he found out about the contest that the OU, in partnership with three Israel-based organizations, was holding to offer free trips to Israel every six weeks over the course of the year.

In addition to a free round-trip airfare to Israel provided by Israir, Mr. Ulfeng will also enjoy an all expenses paid stay at the luxurious, OU kosher certified Renaissance Jerusalem Hotel, courtesy of the hotel management, as well as a tour of historical sites, courtesy of the aliyah assistance organization, Nefesh B’Nefesh.

According to Barry Mase, OU Media Sales Director, “The OU is constantly trying to make it easier to live an observant Jewish life. Our partnerships with like-minded organizations help enhance Jewish living, while at the same time helping companies to reach the OU audience.”

This OU audience includes Ken Ulfeng, and it was about time for him to experience good fortune. “I am a cancer survivor and I would already have been to Israel if it wasn’t for the cancer,” declared Mr. Ulfeng when Ricky Magder, Director of the OU Department of Internet Media and Broadcast, told him that he won the contest. In addition to recuperating from surgery, he is studying Hebrew in preparation for his trip.

“This is the most wonderful news of my life,” declared Mr. Ulfeng. When he picked up the phone, Ken recognized Ricky Magder’s voice from the radio. “I have OU Radio on my computer constantly,” he told him, “Most of my Judaism comes from the OU website.”
The next OU contest is now in progress. To enter, and for more information on all future contests, log on to

For information on how organizations can partner with the OU, contact Mr. Mase at 212-613-8176 or

This is a link to the phone call informing Mr. Ulfeng that he won the free trip to Israel. We invite you to listen to it.