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United Synagogue Youth

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United Synagogue Youth (USY) is the youth movement of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. USY operates in the United States and Canada. The goal of the movement is to bring Jewish teenagers closer to Judaism and Israel through learning and social interaction.

Summer programs

USY runs a variety of summer tours sponsored by the "USY: Great Escape" program. Israel Adventure is a four-week, Israel-only trip which consists of three weeks touring around Israel and one week spent in paramilitary army training called Gadna.[1]The Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage consists of exploring the history and cultures of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania for two weeks and spending the remaining four weeks touring Israel. The trip's itinerary before 2008 included Hungary instead of Lithuania.[2] The Italy/Israel Pilgrimage consists of one week touring prominent historical locations in Italy and then four weeks touring Israel. [3] The Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar consists of nine days touring prominent Jewish locations, former Jewish communities, and concentration camps in Poland before spending four weeks touring Israel. Past groups have visited Sobibor, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka, Warsaw, Kraków, Lublin, Kielce, and many others.[4]Etgar! Outdoor Adventure: Israel is a five-week program that goes beyond the souvenir stands to discover the Israeli side of Israel, combining volunteer work with challenging nature hikes in the Galilee, Golan Heights, and the Negev.[5]USY on Wheels is a six and half-week bus tour across the United States and Canada, which visits different Jewish communities and tourist attractions across America, including the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Mount Rushmore, and many others. [6] In Mission Mitzvah, participants engage in community service projects and social action. [7]. Summer in the City is a co-ed, four week pre-college program that takes place in New York City. The USYers live in the List College dorm. Participants choose a class to take at Barnard College in the morning with students participating in Barnard's Pre-College Program and the entire group takes a class at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the afternoon. In the evenings and on weekends, the group enjoys New York activities such as a New York Yankees game, a Broadway show and visits to museums. The group spends one weekend at the New Jersey shore. [8]

High school programs

is an eight-week program in which high schoolers (juniors and seniors) live at the Israel Goldstein Youth Village in Jerusalem, studying and exploring Israel. In the campus classroom, participants are introduced chronologically to each historical period. Campus class time is interspersed with time experiencing the "classroom without walls" - the Land of Israel. Participants learn in an ancient cave, a mountain fortress, an army bunker, riding on a camel, or at the beach. It is the sister program of Tichon Ramah Yerushalaim (TRY), which is done by Ramah. TRY is seventeen weeks long and is for sophomores and juniors.[9]

Post high school programs

Nativ is a nine-month program in Israel for recent high school graduates. Paticipants go on trips around Israel, attend leadership seminars and study at either Hebrew University or the Conservative Yeshiva (aligned with the Masorti movement in Israel). Participants also choose between living on a kibbutz (specifically, Kibbutz Sa'ad or Kibbutz Ein Tzurim) or living and volunteering in a developing community.[10]

International leadership

There are six officers on the International Executive Board (IEB). These USYers are responsible for the executive leadership of the organization. They are elected to one year terms at the yearly International Convention. The 2010 Leadership is as follows:[11]

  • President: Josh Block (NERUSY)
  • Israel Affairs Vice President: Louis Sacks (Hagesher)
  • Religion/Education Vice President: Charlene Thrope (NERUSY)
  • Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President: Melissa Sperber (Hagalil)
  • Membership/Kadima1 Vice President: Jake Winn (Hanegev)
  • Communications Vice President: Mor Bass (Tzafon)

¹Kadima (translated literally as "forward") is the middle school age affiliate of USY and USCJ.[12]

Regional and Chapter Executive Boards generally mirror these positions.

The USY office in New York, NY is home to the professional leadership of USY which collaborates with the above USY officers. They have greater responsibilities in summer programs, Nativ and long-term planning. Jules Gutin is currently the International Director of USY.[13]

USY International Convention

International Convention, also referred to as IC, is a yearly gathering of over 900 USYers from across North America in a different city each year. They gather for study sessions, specialty club meetings, Summer Program reunions (see above) and socializing. The new officers of United Synagogue Youth are also elected at this time. The convention takes place in December, and the 2010 convention is in Orlando, Florida with Hanegev as the host region.

Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society

The Heschel Honor Society is a club for USY members of secular and religious academic excellence. The club is named after Abraham Joshua Heschel. Members meet during regional conventions to discuss topics that Heschel wrote about. The Heschel Honor society holds an annual convention in March.


Hechalutzim is a club for USY members interested in Israel affairs and Religious Zionism. Members of Hechalutzim convene for regional weekends and special programs. In addition, a delegate from each region is sent to Israel with the Hechalutzim Israel Seminar.

613 Mitzvah Corps

The 613 Mitzvah Corps is a social action club involved in Jewish and community affairs.


Project Reconnect

The official alumni association for all Conservative Movement Programs including USY is Project Reconnect.

Project Reconnect includes groups for USY Regions, Nativ, Pilgrimage and Wheels Groups.


Name of region Details of name Areas covered Regional President Website
CRUSY Central Region USY Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana,Kentucky, West Virginia Daniel Kaplan
CHUSY Chicagoland USY Northern Illinois, Milwaukee, Madison Daniel Warshawsky
ECRUSY Eastern Canadian Region USY Ontario, Quebec Emma Pascoe
Emtza USY Hebrew: אמצע, "middle" Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri,Nebraska, Western Wisconsin, Manitoba Sidney Usem
EPA USY Eastern Pennsylvania USY Eastern and Northern Pennsylvania from Harrisburg to Scranton Sara Neadle
Far West USY Region stretches furthest west. Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada,Hawaii, Utah Silvi Goldstein
Hagalil USY Hebrew: הגליל, "the Galilee" Northern and Central New Jersey Scott Greenberg
Hanefesh USY Hebrew: הנפש, "the soul" Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Hilary Bokoff
Hanegev USY Hebrew: הנגב, "the Negev" Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Southern North Carolina, South Carolina Isabelle Solomon
METNY USY Metropolitan New York USY Greater New York City and Long Island Sivan Rinat
NERUSY New England Region USY Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire,Vermont, Rhode Island Allie Levine
New Frontier USY Northern [California]], Reno, Nevada Ethan Sherman
Pinwheel USY Pacific Northwest USY Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta Dani Nurick
Hagesher USY Hebrew: הגשר, "the bridge" Delaware Valley, Greater Philadelphia Miriam Smerling
Seaboard USY Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, NortheasternNorth Carolina Shira Goldstein
SWUSY Southwest USY Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mexico Abby Kitmacher
Tzafon USY Hebrew: צפון, "north" Upstate New York, Western Massachusetts, Southwestern Vermont Ethan Glass


See also

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at United Synagogue Youth. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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