Nissim Black performs at Bar Ilan
Nissim Black performs at Bar IlanWorld Mizrachi

In an event attended by over 500 gap year students, international and new immigrant university students, lone soldiers, and National Service volunteers, a new partnership was announced between World Mizrachi, the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Leadership Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC), and Bar Ilan University.

The program will specifically provide funding to expand social and educational programming on the Bar Ilan campus and expand the professional staff working with the hundreds of students who come study at the university from around the world each year. The program is designed to help strengthen the Religious Zionist community on the Bar Ilan campus and in the surrounding Givat Shmuel neighborhood.

The event, which featured the international hasidic rap sensation Nissim Black, introduced the new assistant program directors, Uri and Abby Lorkis, who will join Rabbi Tzvi and Tali Wohlgelernter, who have been working with the Bar Ilan community since last year.

Rabbi Doron Perez, Executive Chairman of the Mizrachi World Movement, addressed the audience saying, “This historic union between Mizrachi, the OU-JLIC, and Bar Ilan University represents a truly transformative development by ensuring that students who come here from anywhere in the world will be afforded a welcoming and warm Religious Zionist community in this center of academic leadership which has been so closely associated with the ideals of Religious Zionism ever since the University’s founding.”

“Mizrachi OU-JLIC is excited to be partnering with Bar Ilan University to enhance our ability to provide support for olim (new immigrants) on campus,” said Tali and Rabbi Tzvi Wohlgelernter, directors of Mizrachi OU-JLIC at Bar Ilan. “We are especially proud of the English Beit Midrash and Midrasha that opened this year. The Nissim Black concert, which was attended by hundreds of gap year students from across the country, was a celebration of this partnership.”

Speaking on behalf of the OU-JLIC, International Director Rabbi Ilan Haber said, “We are seeing a significant movement among young North Americans to stay in Israel to live and study post their gap year. The partnership between OU-JLIC, Mizrachi, and Bar Ilan University provides a framework and vibrant community for those students to grow in Torah and mitzvot (G-d's commandments) and be supported. It was a real zechut (merit) to celebrate the official launch of this partnership in such a joyous fashion.”

The initiative is the latest in World Mizrachi’s ongoing work as the main provider of Religious Zionist educational and social support for students who come from all over the world to study and learn in Israel as part of their gap year and university experiences. Through a variety of programs and partnerships with coordinating agencies like MASA, World Mizrachi is involved with facilitating the academic experiences and community for over 5,000 gap year and recent oleh (immigrant) students in Israel for this school year.

Rabbi Doron Perez at the Bar Ilan event
Rabbi Doron Perez at the Bar Ilan eventWorld Mizrachi