New Virtual Platform Facilitated Unprecedented International Participation

For the first time in its 14-year history, the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Community Home Relocation Fair was held virtually in mid-February, enabling attendees worldwide to take part. Even more remarkable, however, was that participants joined from 35 US states and 18 countries, including Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Nigeria, and Venezuela.

“It was so exciting to see registrations pouring in from so many areas of the world,” says Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, OU’s senior director of Community Projects & Partnerships, who oversees the event. “Past on-site fairs were held in New York City and attracted people from the New York Metropolitan area. Going virtual made the fair accessible to so many who want to relocate. The fair accommodated people’s need for information and resources.”

The event helps Orthodox Jewish communities to grow, says Steinig; and for those considering relocation, the fair highlights affordable geographic alternatives that offer the amenities of an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle and an enhanced quality of life.

More than 2,500 attendees and exhibitors converged online on Tuesday, February 13, to learn about and showcase 60-plus Orthodox Jewish communities in 22 states and in Israel. This year’s fair was the largest to date and featured 17 new communities.

One of the event’s major sponsors was Nefesh B’Nefesh, which offered various sessions and showcased the region of Gush Etzion for the first time, including the communities of Neve Daniel, Elazar, Alon Shvut, Bat Ayin, Tekoah, Nokdim, and Ma’ale Amos.

The fair spanned ten hours, and visitors could log in and out as they pleased. Attendees entered an eye-catching virtual venue with moving escalators, a lobby with street signs linking to an expo hall, and a virtual auditorium where 11 sessions were held.

In addition to enabling international participation, the fair’s virtual platform freed attendees and exhibitors from wearing masks, social distancing, and having to arrange and pay for childcare. It also offered discretion for those wishing to discuss private issues, such as a child’s special needs or recent unemployment.

For those who missed the fair, or had difficulty navigating the virtual platform, there’s good news: All sessions will be available on demand on the website, which also houses updated pages for each community that exhibited at the event. Community representatives will also be reaching out to those who expressed interest prior to the event.

The OU Community Guide is also still available in both hard copy and PDF formats. To date, several hundred people have ordered the 64-page color booklet, which profiles all of the 2022 communities and the sponsors that participated. At $15 a copy (, the guide is an invaluable resource for anyone considering relocation.

“The OU is proud to play a major role in facilitating relocation and community growth,” says Steinig. “We’re happy to connect people who are looking to move and communities seeking to grow. The success of our communities is our success as well.”

For more information about the communities that exhibited at the fair and to order the 2022 Orthodox Jewish Community Guide, please visit