NEW YORK CITY–The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, said that its 20th annual Tisha B’Av program on Sunday, July 18, will not only focus on the traditional themes surrounding the destruction of both temples and other historical tragedies, but this year will also mourn the recent worldwide tragedies that have impacted the Jewish community.

Kinot available live online has been a hallmark of the OU’s Torah programming for over two decades and the OU continues to adjust the Tisha B’Av programming to fit a changing world. This year, the event will feature two live kinot sessions, the first of which will broadcast from the Orthodox Union’s Seymour J. Abrams Jerusalem World Center beginning at 9 a.m. Israel Daylight Time. The second will broadcast live at 9 a.m. Eastern from Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, N.J. Both sessions are also open to in-person attendance, free of charge to the public following their current local COVID-19 guidelines for religious gatherings. They can also be viewed live online at www.ou.org/tishabav.

The session broadcasting from Israel will be led by Rabbi Menachem Nissel who will address “Sowing Seeds with Tears.”

The session broadcasting from Teaneck will be led by Rabbi Steven Weil, who will focus on “A Covenant that has Transcended the Millenia,” a reflection on the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history.

OU Executive Vice President Emeritus Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s shiur will be available all day for those in different time zones. Titled “Ever to Remember, Never to Despair,” Weinreb will explore the recent tragedies that have befallen the Jewish community internationally— including the collapse in Meron, rocket attacks in Israel, the Surfside condominium collapse and other calamities. The lecture will connect these disasters to the themes of the kinot and discuss grief and mourning from Torah and psychological perspectives. Weinreb’s shiur will also feature ASL translation facilitated by Yachad, the OU’s leading organization for individuals with disabilities in the Orthodox community.