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For the week ending 13 February 2016 / 4 Adar I 5776

Osher Joseph

by Rabbi Shlomo Simon
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

Age 24
Maroubra, Australia
University of New South Wales, BSc. Food Science

Center Program

The next time you bite into a kosher hot dog think about Osher Joseph. Not that he has anything to do with it, but, if he had, it would probably be a lot healthier. That’s what food scientists do – they check processed food for impurities and additives and work to make it better for the consumer.

Osher was educated in Jewish schools in Sydney from kindergarten through high school, and then continued his education at one of the top universities in Australia — New South Wales.

His background is a bit unusual, even for an “Aussie” at Ohr Somayach. His paternal grandfather, an Iraqi Jew from the Baghdadi community in India, married a non-Jewish woman, and after Osher’s father was born they moved to Australia. His mother, originally from Malaysia, also moved to Australia as a young girl. The two met in University in Australia and married. They both converted to Judaism and started their bayit ne’eman, their Jewish home.

Osher studied at Mount Sinai School for his primary education and then at Moriah College for high school, but the spark of Torah lay dormant until he came to the Mechina Program at Ohr Somayach for three months during his gap of time between high school and university in 2010. He came back again during a vacation break from university for another three-month stay. In 2014, after completing his university degree, he enrolled in the Center Program, where that spark was ignited and where he is studying today. “I love learning. I love the environment in the Yeshiva. I have wonderful friends and wonderful rabbis,” says Osher.

Osher eventually plans to get married and find work in his field, but learning will always be the most important part of his schedule. In this he has the good example of his father, who works as a financial analyst for a bank in Sydney, but is kovei’a itim (sets fixed times) for Torah study every day.

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