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Welcome to OU Relief Missions, where hearts are touched, lives are transformed, and the world becomes a better place, one act of kindness at a time.
About OU Relief Missions
Introducing OU Relief Missions (OURM): The Evolution of Impact from NCSY to a Global Community of Change-Makers!
Our journey of transformation has led us from NCSY Relief Missions to the powerful reimagining of OU Relief Missions (OURM). This evolution signifies not only a change in name but a profound shift towards expanding our reach and influence in the world of compassionate action.
At the heart of OURM lies the cherished Teen Relief Missions, and now we welcome both young and mature volunteers from diverse backgrounds in our Adult 18+ Missions. Together, we embark on a unique and empowering adventure that fosters the desire to contribute to something greater than ourselves.
These relief missions are not just about lending a helping hand; they’re about cultivating a new perspective and connecting with the profound Jewish value of tikkun olam – the sacred act of repairing the world. As participants step beyond their comfort zones, they find themselves on the front lines, offering aid in the aftermath of natural disasters and crises.
These missions are life-altering experiences, honing leadership skills in ways no classroom can replicate. The journey begins with rigorous pre-trip training, equipping teens and adults alike to provide not only physical support but also emotional and spiritual comfort to those affected by disasters. The transformation is profound, igniting a lasting passion and self-assuredness that propels participants to take leadership roles in their own communities and beyond.
In a bold move, we’ve introduced Adult-18+ missions in 2023, broadening our horizons and enriching our offerings. These missions open doors to impactful acts of chessed – acts of loving-kindness – on an even larger scale. Collaborating hand in hand with communities hit by natural disasters and grappling with socio-economic challenges, we embody the core Jewish values that define us, showing the world who the Jewish people are, a Kiddush Hashem.
Welcome to the world of OU Relief Missions – a global community committed to spreading hope, healing, and transformation. From teens to adults, we unite under the banner of compassion and change. Join us as we make the world a better place, one mission at a time. Together, we are the embodiment of chessed and tikkun olam. Welcome to the journey of a lifetime!
NCSY’s first relief mission dates back to 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. Since then, OU has run more than one hundred missions, with more than 1,500 students volunteering in disaster-stricken areas in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas. In 2017, OU teens were on the first flight to Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Today, OU ’s Ready Teams –– teens who have been trained and prepared to deploy on short notice –– are often the go-to resource for many relief organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Repair The World.
Fueled by the principles of chessed (acts of loving-kindness) and tikkun olam be malchut Shaki (repairing the world in the name of the kingdom of God), our mission is to instill these Jewish values to the Jewish community, extend aid to communities grappling with natural disasters, socio-economic challenges, and social inequities. Through the transformative impacts of relief missions, we not only address these pressing issues but also confront anti-Semitism head-on, fostering positive change and unity.
Our vision is to embed the values of chessed and tikkun olam into Jewish identity worldwide. OU Relief Missions will be central to Jewish day school curricula, nurturing the next generation of leaders. We’re expanding from forty to fifty teen missions, including adults 18+, strengthening our impact and combating antisemitism through service, unity, and shared values.
- Strengthening their Jewish identity and connection to Jewish values through an immersive, hands-on experience of tikkun olam as well as follow-up activities.
- Developing leadership skills and instilling a genuine passion for volunteering in their own communities and around the world.
- Increasing awareness and compassion for those less fortunate while deepening their appreciation for their own lives.
- Promoting a positive global understanding of Judaism through chessed (acts of loving kindness) and community service.