update deskU.S. News

OU distributes reflective belts for walking home from synagogue at night

Drs. Larry and Evelyn Kraut sponsored the program, which has given out 40,000 belts, after the former was hit by a car and required spinal surgery.

A reflective belt to protect congregants wearing dark clothing while walking home at night from synagogue. Courtesy: Orthodox Union.
A reflective belt to protect congregants wearing dark clothing while walking home at night from synagogue. Courtesy: Orthodox Union.

This High Holiday season, the Orthodox Union wants everyone to have a particularly reflective Days of Awe. Literally.

Since 2019, the OU has provided more than 40,000 high-visibility, safety belts—at no cost—to about 400 North American synagogues. Drs. Larry and Evelyn Kraut are underwriting the program out of a sense of gratitude for the former’s recovery.

On a Friday night in 2018, the Fair Lawn, N.J. physician was walking home from synagogue when, upon crossing the street with the right of way, an SUV driver struck him. He required spinal surgery. After his recovery, he and his wife decided to do something about the problem of Jews walking home from Shabbat and holiday services at night in dark clothing.

“We urge everyone to wear them when walking at night—definitely during the High Holidays, but especially when it’s dark earliest, during the winter months,” stated Judi Steinig, senior director of community projects and partnerships department at the OU. (The High Holidays both occur in September this year.)

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