PARAMUS, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) announces today a new initiative entitled “One Community”, which will support and help organize Young Israel synagogues and families in Jewish Outreach.
“One Community” initiatives will include national educational programs featuring a world class Speakers Bureau, courses in the Fundamentals of Judaism, inspirational trips to Israel, Community Holiday and Shabbat programming, and much more.
Initial steps will include a national network of Young Israel rabbis and congregational families to open their homes and synagogues to guests for Shabbat hospitality and user-friendly synagogue services, including adding page turners so everyone can follow along with services easily.
Heading this exciting initiative is Rabbi Yakov Couzens, a seasoned outreach professional with over 20 years of successful experience on four continents. Rabbi Couzens has been involved with all aspects of outreach from the ground up, helping start Aish HaTorah branches in Moscow, Russia and in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was Executive Director. After serving as Executive Director at Aish Philadelphia for many years, he was the Director of Special Projects for Aish International.
“One of the most exciting parts of my position with Young Israel is to be able to partner ‘One Community’ with the amazing work already being accomplished with so much dedication and vision by the outreach professional organizations that abound today such as JWRP, Shabbat.com, Discovery Seminars, NJOP, Partners in Torah, Project Inspire and others,” said Rabbi Couzens. “We look forward to partnering with these pivotal organizations to help revitalize American Jewry. I am very grateful for their interest and participation in working together with Young Israel.”
With over 130 branches in the United States, Young Israel already has a strong infrastructure across the country to launch a major campaign that can impact every major Jewish community throughout the U.S. “One Community” is a revolutionary concept in Jewish Outreach that is partnering with many existing successful Jewish organizations on a unified, national scale.
“It is exciting to see Young Israel embracing the responsibility of outreach, not just on a national level, but within their 130 community synagogues throughout North America,” said Lori Palatnik, Founding Director, The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. “Rabbi Couzens is the ideal leader to head this remarkable initiative. We look forward to partnering with them for the good of K’lal Yisroel.”
Farley Weiss, President of the National Council of Young Israel, and the NCYI Board was inspired to launch “One Community” in response to the trend of American Jewry today.
“The recent Pew Study revealed a shocking rate of alienation and distance of the younger generations from their Judaism,” said Weiss. “The original founders of Young Israel helped salvage American Jewry at the turn of the previous century by introducing such concepts as sermons in English instead of Yiddish - a revolutionary idea at the time, but instrumental in connecting our young people back to their heritage. It is our turn to make a difference to American Jewry now and to follow the example Young Israel set for us more than 100 years ago. We are very excited to have Rabbi Couzens lead this important effort.”
“As different and varied as we are, the Jewish People has always been One People,” continued Weiss. “We are One Family. We are ‘One Community.’”
“The ‘One Community’ initiative is a creative and innovative approach to kiruv,” said Rabbi Shmuel Zuckerman, the spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Pelham Parkway, Bronx, NY. “I really like the idea of coordinating the efforts of many groups within the community towards a common goal. This program could energize the entire community towards an end of passion and practice of Yidishkeit. I believe that this has the potential to change families and build communities.”
To support and partner with the new initiative or to find out more information, please contact Rabbi Yakov Couzens at email@example.com.
For the past 102 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and nearly 200 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.