NEW YORK – The Orthodox Union’s Project Community 2020 (PC20), an initiative focused on giving teens and young adults an enjoyable and enriching summer while helping their communities during the Coronavirus pandemic, has partnered with the Mayberg Foundation’s MyZuzah to launch two programs for teens, hoping to increase the number of Jewish homes in their towns with mezuzot on their door posts. As part of the partnership, PC20 MyZuzah fellowship programs have launched in South Florida and in the District of Columbia, and others are being launched in additional communities across the country.

MyZuzah utilizes what the organization has termed “fair-trade” Mezuzot, which they define as being purchased from scribes at a set cost insuring that each Mezuzah is written in a kosher fashion and on the appropriate parchment.

PC20 MyZuzah Fellows will work as a team to research, design and execute a plan to place 100 new front-door mezuzot in their communities. They will work together to create and implement marketing plans, promotional strategies, messaging, presentation and other skills, and then will engage with their local community to identify those in need of mezuzot for their front-doors. The teens will help recipients to properly mount the mezuzah on their front door. Training, promotional materials, mezuzot with fair-trade scrolls in weatherproof cases, and relevant expenses are being provided by MyZuzah.

“This partnership is a wonderful example of how the mitzvah of mezuzah connects, protects and unites Jews of all ages and backgrounds. There is no better time than now to empower our teens to do something impactful for the Jewish community that also will benefit their own skill development and Jewish identity. The beauty of teens collaborating with MyZuzah is that it provides an opportunity for them to absorb the richness of this Jewish identity marker as much as the Jewish homes to which they bring fulfillment of this mitzvah,” said Manette Mayberg, Trustee of the Mayberg Foundation and Founder of MyZuzah.

“We are really excited to work with NCSY and Yachad teens around the country this summer to tap both their energy and contacts in their communities,” said Alex Shapero, MyZuzah Program Director. “Not only will the teens be able to further our goal of putting up kosher, fair-trade mezuzahs on the front door of Jewish homes worldwide, but they will also will have the opportunity to develop lifelong professional skills, as well as strengthen their sense of connection to the Jewish community.”

“When creating PC20, our central goal was to mobilize our teens to help the community in creative and innovative ways that would engage our young people. MyZuzah does just that,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “There is no sign more central to Jewish identity in the home than a mezuzah. It is universally affixed to the doorposts of Jews of all walks of life, so our teens will have the opportunity to use their skills and talents to help those in need of a mezuzah and to showcase the sanctity of ritual.”

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Orthodox Union
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs. For more information, visit https://www.ou.org/.
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