What Better Place Than Jerusalem?

This January 25 – February 1, the Orthodox Union will celebrate a century of service and community at a special Centennial Convention in Israel.  Will you be there?

Back in 1898, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America was born out of the desperate need for Orthodox Jews to encourage each other and take stock of their unified strength.  Cut off from the tight-knit kehillot they had left behind in Europe, Jewish immigrants found themselves floundering alone in a sea of materialism and secularism.  It was clear that an organization which could provide structure and communication between congregations was crucial to the survival of Orthodoxy in America.

No one then would have dreamed that 100 years later, the Orthodox Union would celebrate not only that survival, but the expansion and enrichment of Orthodoxy on these shores and abroad due to its own multifaceted efforts.  Who then would have foreseen that this celebration would not only be a joyous event in America, but would also take place in the sovereign Jewish State of Israel!

Yet these miracles did happen — and the Orthodox Union has been a partner in them since its inception.  Today, the OU calls upon every Orthodox individual and family — whether a member of the OU or not — to come to its unique anniversary party, to join in the celebration of Orthodoxy taking a leadership role in today’s world.  Our unity will assure that the miracles will continue:  miracles like teens committing themselves to a Torah lifestyle in remote cities of the U.S., thanks to NCSY;  children and adults learning aleph-beit in Kharkov, Ukraine; thousands of non-affiliated adults discussing spirituality and Jewish thought with their Pardes Project books in hand; kashrut certification on tens of thousands of products, making it possible to keep kosher anywhere in the world; an Internet site that links Jews of all stripes around the globe to each other and to Orthodox sources of Jewish information and inspiration.  The list goes on and on — we have so much to celebrate.

What will happen in Jerusalem at the gala OU Centennial Convention?  A full week of Torah-filled days, packed with trips and experiences that will uplift the entire family.  Because the OU has earned a solid reputation as the voice of Orthodox American Jewry, you will have the opportunity to meet the chief rabbis of Israel and leaders from the uppermost ranks of government; you will enjoy VIP tours to special sites usually off-limits to tourists and get first-hand information about the latest OU initiatives in Israel, including NCSY-in-Israel.  Through the cooperation of The Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education, there will be an exciting educational tour daily for children and teens at no additional charge.

Hotel accommodations at the Jerusalem Renaissance Hotel are luxurious, the menu outstanding.  The exceptionally reasonable price of $1550 (+$50 registration, $100 maximum per family) includes hotel accommodations, airfare, group transportation, transfers, admissions, Shabbat meals, Melava Malka, sightseeing and guides.  As an added bonus, children who are studying in Israel may stay free of charge (bed & breakfast) in their parents’ or grandparents’ room.  There is no extra air charge for early arrivals or late departures.  And right now, an early-bird discount of $100 per adult is in effect until September 30th.

What a wonderful way to express your solidarity with the goals of the Orthodox Union, while treating yourself to an unforgettable experience!  For additional information, contact Frank Buchweitz at the Orthodox Union at 212-613-8188, or your OU synagogue office.

This article was featured in the Fall 1997 issue of Jewish Action.
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