April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

OU Communal Growth Initiative Acknowledges Major Gift From Steve and Genie Savitsky

(Courtesy of OU) The Orthodox Union is anticipating 2024 as a year of communal development and sustainability because of a generous gift from former OU President Steve Savitsky and his wife, Genie, reaffirming their commitment to the Jewish community.

“Within larger Orthodox communities, there is significant local peer partnership and support,” said OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “Smaller communities tend to be more isolated, making ongoing support from national organizations so important. The Savitsky family’s generosity will enable the OU to assist our emerging communities.”

During his seven-year tenure beginning in 2004, Steve Savitzky often spoke on behalf of the OU and traveled for Shabbatot with Genie Savitzky to diverse Jewish communities across North America. These visits led him to create the OU’s Community Home Relocation Fair in 2008 to showcase the vibrancy of Orthodox Jewish amenities in smaller communities to singles and families considering relocation. The event has become a significant event that inspires hundreds of people to move to communities with the amenities needed for a religious lifestyle while benefiting greatly from a more affordable cost of living. Making aliyah has been a popular option for many Fair participants, and in the current atmosphere, there is no doubt that it will be an integral part of the Fair.

“The Savitsky Home Relocation Fair will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2024, and is an exciting virtual event that people can access from the comfort of their homes. Over 60 North American communities will be on display. The Orthodox Union encourages aliyah, and many of our relocators will appreciate the resources that are provided by Nefesh B’Nefesh and Israeli CAPITIL realty,” noted Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, senior director, CPP, and fair coordinator.

Funds from the new Savitsky Communal Growth Initiative will enable enhancements for the Fair, Community Guide, reimagined Communities website (https://communities.ou.org) and other programming throughout the year. A new biennial award will recognize one community for its commitment to sustaining Jewish life outside major city centers, and funds will also be used to boost the department’s marketing and program staff.

“The Savitskys are the perfect partners to work with on this critical initiative,” said CPP National Director Rabbi Simon Taylor. “Their understanding and commitment to building Jewish communities is unparalleled, and thanks to their incredible generosity, we look forward to taking our Communal Growth Initiative to the next level.”

For Steve, the gift represents an extension of his and Genie’s abiding commitment to chesed and the Jewish community. “Chesed to me is what we’re here to do,” he said. “Taking advantage of opportunities to do chesed makes you feel good and adds meaning to your life. Every day, we can get up and change the world.”

 

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