Rabbi Mark Rose has been appointed executive director of NCSY Ottawa and its flagship program, Torah High, a Jewish supplementary program which offers high school credits for Jewish studies courses to students attending public high schools.
NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, also offers Jewish culture clubs which bring Jewish experiences directly to public high schools with Jewish student populations in the city.
Rabbi Rose is from Calgary and moved to Ottawa late last month with wife Deborah and their six children ranging in age from a new-born to 16.
Rabbi Rose said the call to become executive director of NCSY Ottawa came “out of the blue.”
Spending a Shabbat in Ottawa, Rabbi Rose said he found the Jewish community here offers many opportunities for Jewish life, education and connections.
“At the end of the day, I love doing keruv, connecting people to Judaism, to the land of Israel. I think we must give people tools to understand the history of our people, of the State of Israel,” he said.
Although NCSY is an Orthodox youth organization, Rabbi Rose said, “NCSY is friendly and accommodating to everyone. It’s not ‘all or nothing.’ I’m a big believer that even if you do one thing only, like light candles on Shabbat or have dinner with the family, it’s significant and meaningful.”
NCSY offers programs that are “socially engaging and fun – but with Jewish content,” including weekend get-togethers with NCSY chapters in nearby locations and trips to Israel.
“I’m very excited for the coming year, to work with the Torah High principal and the team of teachers,” he said.
“I want to create many more activities and make NCSY more present in schools, for example, through Jewish culture clubs, where students can meet and get to know other Jewish students, and learn some more about Judaism and Israel,” he said.
“I want to benefit the community as a whole through partnerships with other local organizations,” Rabbi Rose added.
Rabbi Rose also practices several martial arts and has taught at and managed martial arts schools.
“Practicing martial arts,” he said, “strengthens the ability to focus and encourages commitment.”
Rabbi Rose is also a musician. “I use music a lot in my teaching in the ceremonies I conduct,” he said.