This appeared in Connections Magazine

U.D. Balloony – Balloon Twister


It is amazing that Beit Shemesh produces all kinds of talent, but U.D’s must be one of the more unusual. U.D. (AKA, Jay Akselrud) is a balloon twister, which means he is one of those people that produces extraordinary shapes out of simple, long balloons. U.D. first discovered his talent ten years ago when he was working as a computer trainer. The guy working next to him was a “twister” and offered to teach him all the skills. Since then, U.D. has performed in sporting events, the Women’s World Cup, charity events, weddings, upsherins and innumerable hospitals. He trains young balloon twisters who also visit hospitals and orphanages. U.D. visited Gush Katif families after the evacuation, to entertain and bring smiles to the kids’ faces. U.D. keeps his day job, which often takes him back to his native US, but when in Israel, he uses his skills as a supplementary profession. He does not twist often for money, but brings along his kids to perform for chesed and “rack up” the mitzvot. U.D. would like to keep performing and show more people how easy and fun it is to make others happy.


This appeared in Hamodia Newspaper on December 14th, 2005


Balloon Twisting and Chessed Chug Twists at Hadassah


On Thursday, December 9th, the Balloon twisting and Chessed Chug with its 20 members, ages 7 to 12,  hailing from Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh, made its second visit to the hospital and third chessed trip overall.

Headed by Oleh Chadash, Yudie Akselrud, “Yudie Ballooney” of, the chug aims to bring youngsters to perform cheesed and bring smiles to those who need it. Teaching balloon sculptures to children and then going on Chessed trips in Israel .

“I want to show kids, including my own, that with some air and a little latex, you can bring smiles and really make someone’s day”

Akselrud, who has been a balloon twister in the US for over 8 years, has performed at a wide range of events. From Birthday parties to the Women’s World cup. From Hospitals in the US to senior centers in Beit Shemesh.”

“Its great seeing the faces of accomplishment on their faces as they learn and perfect new sculptures and really brighten up the faces of either sick children or the seniors that we twist for”.

The chug has grown from 3 members in Ramat Beit Shemesh to over 20 members in 4 chuggim in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Beit shemesh – and is looking to expand to include other areas in this Mitzva.

If anyone is interested in joining or organizing a chug in your area, please contact Yudie Akselrud at

Yudie Ballooney is also available for parties, Bar / Bat Mitzvahs and other simchas.

Bears 1st Annual Box Office Debut is a Hit!!

Bears 1st Annual Box Office Debut is a Hit!!

Kevin McKearney
NEWARK, NJ, March 20- The Newark Bears First Annual Box Office Debut was held today at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium and it was a smashing success. Fans of all ages came out for the first day of single game ticket sales for the 2004 season.

The 1st Annual Box Office Debut was created to kick off single game tickets sales and to open up the Bears ticket office for the ’04 season. The Box Office hours of operation will be Monday through Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. Fans got to enjoy the Bears speed pitch, to test there fastball out or the obstacle course inflatable for the younger baseball fans. There were also raffles with lots of prizes for the fans, "Jay Jay the DJ" provided the kids with some creative balloons and the weather cooperated as we had a beautiful sunny day here in Newark. “I had an absolute blast today and I won some great Bears stuff,” said Bears fan, Lucinda from Newark.

"It was great to see so many of our fans come out for the Bears 1st Annual Box Office Debut," said Bears General Manager Dean Rivera. "We are really excited about this season and today was a great success. We are looking forward to a great 2004 and the fans are in for a real treat."

The Bears kick off their 2004 season on May 6th here at the “Den” against the Long Island Ducks at 7:05 pm. 2004 Bears season tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices for Bears home games at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium will remain $9.00 and $7.00 this season. For Bears season ticket, group ticket and individual game ticket information, fans should call the Bears offices (973) 483-6900 or come to the Box office. The complete 2004 Bears schedule (including promotional nights) can be viewed by clicking over to the schedule page. Bears Baseball…Leading off the Renaissance.

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