Impact in Numbers
  •  97 virtual advisory meetings took place with OU-JLIC Directors and Hillels, Student Groups or other groups/organizations

  • 584 texting and whatsapp check-ins with students

  • 341 students were delivered food by OU-JLIC Directors

  • 25 virtual Chaburot and Shiurim were given last week by OU-JLIC Directors and 20 in-person learning programs.

  • 575 students and their family members took part in OU-JLIC programming this past week related preparing for the Yamim Noraim

  • 20 virtual non-learning events and programs and 26 in-person non learnings programs took place over the last week

  • More than 1800 people received divrei Torah from OU-JLIC Directors this week

  •  216 Halachic questions were answered by OU-JLIC educators and of these questions 30 were related to COVID-19

  • 341 students received food deliveries from OU-JLIC this week


WELCOME BACK- Rabbi Noam and Shiffy Friedman (Barnard/Columbia) delivered welcome baskets to over 60 students in 20 apartments off-campus in Morningside Heights and on the Upper West Side. Students are living on their own in ways most of them have not before. The baskets included washing cups, havdala sets (grape juice, candles, besamim, matches) and candles for lighting. Some homemade individually-wrapped cookies didn’t hurt either! One student wrote – “I’m the only yid in my apt. Having something to make this place feel like home like a real washing cup would be amazing.”

HUNGRY IN NYC- Rabbi Joe Wolfson and Corinne Shmuel supplied meals to students in quarantine.

HERZLIYA QUARANTINE KITS -Yehudit Fleischaker and Liat Silver, students at IDC-Herzliya are leading the new Hospitality Committee (facilitated by Rabbi Josh and Margot Botwinick).  The students gave out Quarantine kits which include homemade challah rolls, havdalah sets, Shabbat candles and a Shabbat meal delivered to them. They are also coordinating Covid friendly meals so that students have a place to go each Shabbat.

SHABBAT-TO-GO-  In the midst of a University lockdown, the Rabbi Shlomo Schachter and Ahava Zarembski-Schachter distributed Shabbat-to-go packages to students. Before the lockdown, many students joined them for an open house Shabbat lunch in their backyard.   Students get their to go lunches and the Schachter-Zarembski’s provide chulent, songs divrei Torah and a place to be with the community safely.


  • SAVING SHEVA BRACHOT- A senior at Binghamton University and a recent alumnus got married and moved back to Binghamton during the week of their wedding.  They had no one to host Sheva Brachot for them. Rabbi Isaac and Tal Attia hosted Sheva Brachot for the newlyweds and invited 18 freshmen to enhance the simcha. These freshmen (who did not know the chattan or kallah) sang and ran a “newlywed game”.

  • CONVERSION CONFUSION – A Ba’al Teshuva at Queens College who was raised Reform recently discovered that his grandmother on his maternal side converted through the Reform movement.  Rabbi Brukirer is helping him navigate this time and connected him with a local Beis Din for his future conversion.

  •  A LISTENING EAR – A distressed student reached out to Rabbi Bryan and Sondra Borenstein (OU-JLIC CSUN) regarding major stressors in his life and referenced suicidal thoughts.  After the Borensteins spent two hours talking everything out with the student, he calmed down and said, “if not for you, I may not be alive.” In the days that have followed, the Borensteins have checked up on him and checked in with him, and he is doing much better.


  • YAMIM NORAIM  AT YALE-  Rabbi Alex Ozar and Lauren Steinberg have been fighting endlessly, on every level and in every conceivable way, to ensure that their students can daven and celebrate Shabbos and Yom Tov together safely. Thank G-d, they have secured provisional permission for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and otherwise semi-regular davening in their backyard. The Ozar-Steinbergs have begun coordinating with local students and community members to match the need for shofar blowing with supply, and are similarly executing a program to help strategically place sukkot around the New Haven area. They are organizing the delivery of individually-packaged Rosh Hashanah dinners for the Jewish student body as well as facilitating care packages.


  • MEET-UP IN LA -West Coast campuses are running small scale, COVID appropriate, social programs for LA based collegiate who are living at home and taking classes online at universities throughout the country. At the urging of one concerned parent, many of the major Shuls, such as Beth Jacob and Young Israel of Century City, publicized these opportunities to their congregants. The purpose of these programs are to provide a support network for these students as they pursue their studies remotely.  At a recent event one student said that it was her first time getting dressed in three days and the first time she put on makeup and went out since March.  A different participant had so much Hakarat Hatov he offered to sponsor the next event.

  • TURN THE RADIO UP-  Avia Greenberg (Brandeis) started a new Chabura about meaningful songs. This Chabura is for people who don’t find themselves in the topics that are usually taught.

  • WELCOME BACK ICE CREAM- Rabbi Daniel and Sarah Kasdan brought an ice cream truck to their driveway for two hours on Sunday.  Students came in shifts of ten or less to keep with university guidelines.

  • SOCIALLY DISTANCED BBQ- The Leicht’s (UMass OU-JLIC) hosted an impromptu Social Distanced BBQ in Amherst on Sunday, September 6th. Students came from all over including a freshman who drove all the way from Livingston, NJ with her family (who went golfing while she attended the BBQ), a freshman who drove from West Hartford, CT, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors from Sharon, MA, and a few students living in Amherst this fall. When asking one of the freshman what they could do to support her this fall, she replied, “This! This is the first time I met new friends.” The Leichts noted that they often think of their OU-JLIC work in terms of Jewish education and program directing. This student’s comment was an important reminder how, especially now, they commit to serving the community as place for students to meet, see and speak to each other, an Ohel Moed, a Tent of Meeting.


  • If I haven’t received test results yet [for a COVID-19 test] can I come to Minyan?

  • Rabbi, I just found out I’m not Jewish. What may I cook? May I interact with the wine, for my Orthodox roommates?

  • Can someone who can hear a minyan but not see anyone from the minyan be part of that minyan?

  • My mother is coming to visit. She heats up her face masks in her non kosher microwave. Can I let her heat it up here in my kosher one?”

  • Are you allowed to give a Jew work they might do on shabbat? If I go to my seamstress and give her clothes, but i know there is a chance she’ll work on it on Shabbat, am I still allowed to give it to her?”