The OU Israel Center, the Orthodox Union’s Jerusalem headquarters, has long been known as an epicenter for high caliber Torah learning, quality tiyulim and exceptional social events for Jerusalem’s Anglo community. In recent years, these outstanding programs have been for many among Jerusalem’s anglo community a bit of an unknown, particularly among young professional olim.
In an effort to expand the reach and impact of the outstanding and renowned programming of the OU Israel Center, Rabbi Sam Shor, the center’s Program Director, has spear-headed the launch of JCHAT-the Jerusalem Community Hub for Anglos and Torah-a new young professionals division of OU Israel which provides Chizuk, Shiurim, social events and rabbinic mentorship and guidance.
The official launch event for JCHAT was a packed house Chanuka celebration held on December 28th. In his remarks to welcome the more than 200 young professionals in attendance, Rabbi Shor said:
” Chanuka is in its essence the yom tov of Hitchadshut– Renewal. It represents a renewed sense of commitment,renewed dedication to Torah, and renewed passion and excitement in our Avodat Hashem. Many Olim come to Israel with incredible excitement, and the desire to enrich their lives by returning to the epicenter of Jewish Life. They come very idealistically, and soon are greeted by the very real challenges of klita- finding a home, finding stable employment, finding community. many Olim get so caught up in that rhythm of the practical side of immigration to Israel, that their enthusiasm and passion for Torah and Jewish life becomes over-shadowed by the struggle to build a home and career. The OU Israel Center decided to launch JCHAT in order to offer support, encouragement, community and inspiration to young professional Olim as they build their lives here in Eretz Yisrael.”
A committee of nearly twenty young anglo Olim has been involved in planning both the successful launch event, as well as many exciting events to come.
In addition to Rabbi Shor’s inspirational words of Torah, the event featured a latke and vodka bar, and the music of Nuriel featuring Yonatan Attias, a member of the JCHAT steering committee. Nuriel’s soulful blend of traditional hebrew songs, and original spiritual compositions in both Hebrew and English, contributed to the overall magic of this incredible event.
Participants were given the opportunity to share their business cards with the JCHAT team in order to facilitate future JCHAT business networking events, and also were given the opportunity to sign up for numerous volunteer opportunities here at the Ou Israel Center.
“The opportunity for Olim to not only feel a sense of community, but to be able to share their talents and contribute to the sacred work of the OU Israel Center, is something that dozens of our participants have expressed interest and excitement in becoming involved with,” said Rabbi Shor.
JCHAT will host its next event on Motzai Shabbat,January 14th featuring the insightful Torah wisdom of acclaimed author Rabbi David Aaron, and soulful songs of world renowned musician Chaim Dovid.
For more information about JCHAT and the OU Israel Center, contact Rikki Liff, Associate Program Manager at the OU Israel Center at 02-560-9100, ext. 127 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org