About the Orthodox Union

The Orthodox Union (OU) is one of the largest Orthodox Jewish organizations in the United States. Founded in 1898, the OU supports a network of synagogues, youth programs, Jewish and Religious Zionist advocacy programs, programs for the disabled, localized religious study programs, and international units with locations in Israel and formerly in Ukraine. The OU maintains a kosher certification service, whose circled-U hechsher symbol, is found on the labels of many kosher commercial and consumer food products. Check our Impact Report

Our Programs

NCSY is proud to play an important and trusted role in the lives of thousands of Jewish teens each year. Immersive learning and social programs connect teens with their Jewish identity and foster self-confidence.

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Yachad, an international organization, is dedicated to enhancing the life opportunities of Jewish individuals with disabilities.

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OU Kosher combines expertise in halacha with an understanding of modern food production to ensure that kosher food meets the highest quality kashrut supervision.

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OU Kosher

Teach Coalition secures government funding for Jewish day schools and yeshivot.

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Teach Coalition

Since 1979, OU Israel has been making a difference in Israel, touching the lives of children and adults, immigrants and native Israelis, visitors and residents, and soldiers and civilians.

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OU Israel

The OU Women’s Initiative works with Orthodox communities worldwide to identify and address women’s spiritual, educational, and communal needs.

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Women’s Initiative

Torah Initiatives comprises a broad array of innovative and impactful Torah programming.

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Torah Initiatives

The OU Advocacy Center is the nonpartisan public policy arm of the OU that advocates on behalf of the Orthodox community nationwide.

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OU Advocacy Center

Strengthening Parents, Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities

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Community Projects & Partnerships

The OU Pepa and Rabbi Joseph Karasick Department of Synagogue & Community Services provides religious, educational, social, and operational support to synagogues and communities across North America.

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Department of Synagogue Initiatives

Now in its 20th year, the OU-JLIC’s (Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) network of Torah directors provide support for students at 23 campuses in the United States, Canada, and Israel.

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The Center for Communal Research evaluates the OU’s impact on the communities it serves, while producing actionable insights and growth opportunities for the organization’s professional staff.

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Center for Communal Research

Israel Free Spirit Birthright, the OU’s Birthright Israel program, aims to keep the Jewish community vibrant by connecting our young adults, sharing the magic of Israel, and strengthening engagement in Jewish life.

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Israel Free Spirit

Built on mentorship-based growth and early-stage funding, the OU Impact Accelerator identifies and advances promising Jewish nonprofits that will strengthen our communal landscape.

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Impact Accelerator

OU Press publishes popular and scholarly works that reflect the broad spectrum of Orthodox Jewish values in the contemporary Jewish community.

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OU Press

Whether it’s the critically acclaimed Jewish Action magazine or the OU Guide to Passover, OU Publications has something for everyone.

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Jewish Action
Thank you for your generous support of our vital programs.
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Benefactor Circle
The annual Impact Report is a snapshot of where we’ve been. Here are some of the new initiatives that will show you where we’re going.
2023: What’s Next at the OU logo
2023: What’s Next at the OU
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OU Impact Report 2023/5784

OU Lay Leadership – National Officers


Mitchel R. Aeder

Past Presidents

Mark (Moishe) Bane
Julius Berman
Harvey Blitz
Moses I. Feuerstein*
Mandell I. Ganchrow, MD
Harold M. Jacobs*
Rabbi Joseph Karasick*
Dr. Simcha Katz
Professor Sidney Kwestel
Martin Nachimson
Sheldon Rudoff*
Stephen J. Savitsky

Chairman, Board of Directors

Yehuda Neuberger

Vice Chairman, Board of Directors

Barbara Lehmann Siegel

Chairman, Board of Governors

Avi Katz

Vice Chairman, Board of Governors

Emanuel Adler

Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors

Howard Tzvi Friedman

Honorary Vice Chairmen, Board of Directors

Gary Torgow
Morry Weiss

Honorary Chairmen, Board of Governors

Elliott Gibber
Lee C. Samson

Honorary Vice Chairmen, Board of Governors

William Tenenblatt

Senior Vice Presidents

Lauri Barbanel
Etta Brandman Klaristenfeld
Manette Mayberg
Isabelle Novak
Henry Orlinsky
Jerry Wolasky

National Vice Presidents

Nahum Felman
Ezra Friedberg
Chaya Tova Hartman
Dr. Allan Jacob
Esti Kaminetzky
Laizer Kornwasser
Rena Kwestel
Eli Levitin
Chuck Mamiye
Azi Mandel
Mark Silber

Associate Vice Presidents

Deborah Chames Cohen
Shukie Grossman
Josh Kuhl
Elliott Mandelbaum
David Safier
Effie Zisblatt

Honorary Vice Presidents

Dr. Michael Elman
Fred Ehrman
Yitzchak Fund
Charlie Harary
Dr. Mordecai D. Katz
Dr. David Luchins
Avery E. Neumark
Henry I. Rothman
Gerald Schreck
Joseph Stechler
Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike
Michael Wimpfheimer


Morris Smith


Menachem Schnaidman


Zev Blumenfrucht
Bluma Broner
Jeff Cohen
Yechiel Eisenstadt
David Gerstley
Stacey Goldman
Baruch Zev (B.Z.) Halberstam
Yosi Heber
Melanie Kaminetsky
George Karasick
Daniel Lowy
Vivian Luchins
Joel Mael
Eitan Milgram
Cal Nathan
Raphael Nissel
Dr. Josh Penn
Yakov Polatsek
Yitzie Pretter
Dr. Rachel Rabinovitch
Emma Azulay, NCSY National President
Nomi Rotblat
Joshua Rozenberg
Moshe Sassover
Alan Shamah
Dr. Rosalyn Sherman
Ronald Wilheim
Zevy Wolman
Ben Zlotnick

Board of Governors

Leon Achar
Hy Arbesfeld*
Max Berlin
Marvin Bienenfeld
Larry Brown
Stuart Cantor
Dr. Ben Chouake
Daniel Chill
Pace Cooper
Shirley Feuerstein
Eugen Gluck*
Debra Hartman
Stanley Hillelsohn
Lance Hirt
Dr. David Hurwitz
Ira Kelman
Jonah Kupietzky
Albert Laboz
Deborah Laufer
Jeffrey Lefkovits
Morey Levovitz
Nathan Lewin
Mrs. Joseph K. Miller
Rabbi Michael Miller
Irwin Nachimson
David Novak
Terry Novetsky
Steven Orlow
Adam Parkoff
Dr. David Pelcovitz
Dr. Harry Peled
Allen Pfeiffer
Paul Pinkus
Donald Press
Barry Ray
Dr. Howard Rosenthal
Rebecca Samson
Zvi Sand
Jay Schottenstein
Marsha Stranzynski
Gary Weiss
Heshy Wengrow
Joyce Werthheimer
Harvey Wolinetz
David Woolf
* Deceased
*** Regional Representatives