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Who knew that the OU has been around for 120 years? That’s 120 years in North America, and already 41 years in Israel.

Rabbi Avi Berman, Director of OU Israel, spoke with Arutz Sheva during this Charidy Week of Solidarity:

“We’re active on two main fronts – helping all the English speakers who make aliyah [immigrated to Israel -ed.] – whether they made aliyah 30 years ago or in the last few years … the OU is there for them."

The OU aims to step in to provide whatever English-speaking immigrants need in order to successfully integrate into life in Israel; after decades of working with immigrants of all ages, they are uniquely placed to identify needs and cater to them.

One of their main focuses is on teens, who often have an especially hard time adapting to a very different culture and mindset. "We want them to recognize their potential, to accept who they are," Rabbi Berman says. "Our goal is to make sure that they feel connected to the State of Israel, to the Land of Israel, to the people of Israel – to make them feel empowered to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

He emphasizes his gratitude for the years of faithful support provided by the Jews of north America, support that people are currently struggling to continue providing, given the unique challenges they are now facing. "Especially now, when they’re going through so much … we need the regular Israeli population, the English speakers who are living here in Israel, to step up to the plate and really concretize a sense of mutual responsibility," he says.

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