OU’s ‘Torah Tidbits’ turns 20

Event celebrating 20 yrs, 1,000th addition attended by 1000 members of public, as well as Deputy J'lem Mayor Hadari.

Torah Tidbits 311 (photo credit: Amihai Zippor)
Torah Tidbits 311
(photo credit: Amihai Zippor)
The Orthodox Union celebrated the 20th year and the 1,000th edition of its weekly Shabbat pamphlet, Torah Tidbits, during a gathering at the Jerusalem Theater on Sunday night.
The event was attended by almost one thousand members of the public, as well as Deputy Jerusalem Mayor David Hadari, Jerusalem-region director for religious culture of the Ministry of Education Rabbi Eliyahu Aviad, and Rabbi Avi Berman, director of the OU in Israel.
The celebrations were also staged to mark Jerusalem Day and were organized in conjunction with the municipality and the Ginot Ha’ir Community Council.
It was the OU’s ninth annual Jerusalem Day celebration, and Berman took the opportunity to highlight the social welfare initiatives the organization runs, including an educational course for soldiers, and a program for urban youth at risk.
Torah Tidbits is a weekly Shabbat booklet produced in English by the OU in Israel, which contains a wealth of commentaries and explanations of the Torah portion, or parsha, as well as communal notices, updates and information.
“Torah Tidbits brings a sense of community to English- speaking immigrants wherever they are in the country, whether it’s heavily Anglo areas like parts of Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem, or places with smaller but growing communities like Zichron Ya’acov in the North, or other towns and cities up and down Israel,” Berman told The Jerusalem Post earlier on Sunday.
“People who want to feel part of the Anglo community gravitate towards Torah Tidbits, because it helps them find out who just had a baby, who needs a refuah shlema [prayer for healing], who just had a simcha [happy event] and other communal happenings and events. It basically brings people together,” he continued.
Berman also lauded the accessibility of the OU’s most recognized publication in Israel, referring to it as a Shabbat booklet that’s “relevant for everyone in the Anglo community.”
As its name indicates, Torah Tidbits provides insightful vignettes from Torah commentaries on the parsha through succinct summaries of each section of the week’s portion, along with longer columns expounding on aspects of the parsha, Jewish law and other topics.
It has a circulation of approximately 10,000 and is distributed in towns and cities across the country, in synagogues, hotels, and supermarkets located in neighborhoods with significant numbers of Anglo- Saxon immigrants.
The celebrations on Sunday night started with addresses from Berman and Hadari about the OU, before the main event, “Carlebach is Alive,” a musical performance about the life of the much loved musician Shlomo Carlebach.