Michael Alexander Onufer and Sara Naomi Cohen, both 26, were married on Sunday, September 18, 2011, at the State Room in Boston, Massachusetts with Rabbis Gary Oren and Barry Starr officiating. Sara and Michael met during their junior year abroad from college at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Michael graduated from Laguna Hills High School in 2003. A member of Temple Eilat, he was active in the United Synagogue Youth Movement (USY) and was elected membership vice president for USY’s far west region. Michael was also a counselor for the Congregation B’nai Israel Summer Camp and for Camp Ramah in Ojai, California.
Michael, who obtained his bachelor’s degree in global economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2007 and his Juris Doctor from the The George Washington University Law School in 2011, is a litigation associate in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. He is the son of Robert Onufer and Layne Onufer, now of Huntington Beach.
Sara, a senior business development coordinator in New York City for Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP, obtained her bachelor’s degree in politics and religious studies at New York University. She is the daughter of David Cohen and Jane Taubenfeld Cohen.
Tzohar’s Yom Kippur Program
Reaches 50,000 Participants
Even as Israel faces criticism that society is becoming increasingly polarized between the religious and secular populations, tens of thousands of secular Israelis will join in prayer services all around the country as part of the Tzohar Praying Together on Yom Kippur initiative.
More than two thirds of Israelis observe the sanctity of the High Holy Days. Many secular Israelis stay home, because they do not belong to a synagogue or have a place to pray. As part of its mission to bridge the gap between religious and secular, Tzohar will organize nearly 200 free explanatory Yom Kippur services in kibbutizim, moshavim and cultural centers across the country.
“Our goal is to help secular Israelis feel less alienated when it comes to religious practice and show them that there are many ways to embrace religion and become spiritually involved with one’s Judaism,” said Rabbi David Stav, the chairman of Tzohar. “We know that despite being classified as secular, this segment of Israeli society often has a burning desire to demonstrate its love for Jewish tradition.”
In its 12th year, the Praying Together program is bigger than ever, reaching more communities and participants than ever before. Participants are provided with a special prayerbook and detailed handout explaining the rituals, meaning of the prayers and process that takes place during the reverent day to ensure it is a meaningful and encompassing experience for all.
“There are many Israelis like me who do not label themselves religious, but are proud Jews,” says Yoav of Moshav Eshtaol. “This welcoming program has been a unifying Jewish experience for me, and I look forward to participating again this year.”
TZOHAR (www.tzohar.org.il) is an organization comprising more than 1,000 religious Zionist volunteer rabbis and educators working towards promoting and enhancing the Jewish identity of the State of Israel. A