The Jewish Link: Thursday 5/28/2015 By: Tova Domnitch
The Orthodox Union’s Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU JLIC) will run a community engagement weekend June 12-13 in Teaneck at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, Congregation Rinat Yisrael, and Congregation Keter Torah. The goal of the weekend is to educate the community, and specifically high school students and their parents, about Orthodox life at secular universities.
OU JLIC National Director Rabbi Ilan Haber will present topics about Jewish life on college campuses along with three OU-JLIC educator couples—Rabbi Yaakov and Racheli Taubes, from University of Pennsylvania, Rabbi Noam and Shiffy Friedman, from Columbia University/Barnard College, and Rabbi Adam and Sara Frieberg, from Rutgers University.
“As a third generation Teaneck native and the son of a local rabbi, it is very special for me to be able to attend this weekend,” said Rabbi Taubes. “It is also very exciting to be teaching in some of the same shuls where I grew up learning.” Rabbi Taubes is son of Rabbi Michael Taubes of Teaneck’s Congregation Zichron Mordechai.
Rabbi Taubes will deliver a D’var Torah at Rinat Yisrael’s Teen Minyan on Shabbat day, June 13.
Rabbi Frieberg will host a hot Kiddush and Chabura for Keter Torah’s Teen Minyan on the same day.
In addition, Rabbis Friedman and Haber will present a discussion entitled, “The Orthodox Student and the Secular College Campus: Opportunities and Challenges,” at Bnai Yeshurun on Shabbat day at 6:55 p.m.
Finally, Rabbi Haber, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Taubes, and Rabbi and Rebbetzin Frieberg will present a panel discussion followed by a question and answer session entitled “ The Orthodox Jew and the Secular University Campus” at Seudat Shlishit at Bnai Yeshurun at 8:15 p.m.
Now, in its 15th year, the OU-JLIC provides Orthodox Rabbinic Couples for over 20 campuses across North America.
Rabbi Menachem Schrader, founding director of OU JLIC, said, “JLIC was founded to provide Torah leadership to the thousands of Jewish youth on secular campuses. It was founded with the belief that Torah education and guidance should not end with high school or the year in Israel, but should be continued into the life period of higher education. It was founded with the reality that this is where our youth are, and if we want to be there for them, that is where we must be.”
OU JLIC educator couples help students navigate the college environment and provide avenues for religious development for the Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews on campus. Educator couples offer weekly shiurim and set up chevrutot with college students as well as invite students to their homes, which are located close to campus, for onegs and meals on Shabbat and chagim. The OU JLIC works in partnership with Hillel as OU JLIC staff members are also Hillel staff members.
“The Educators of the OU JLIC enable young thinking Jews to explore who they are and how Judaism confronts their challenges as well as giving young men and women the opportunity to develop as community leaders,” said Rabbi Steven Weil, Senior Managing Director at the Orthodox.
“They serve as anchors to the students for both spiritual and practical matters and are (almost) always available,” said Dr. Shimmy Tennenbaum, OU JLIC Chairman.