Candidates’ Forum

USY International Convention includes the annual election of officers to lead the organization. Each candidate has an opportunity answer questions posed by current International Executive Board members to highlight their perspective as related to the office they seek. Rabbi Steven Wernick, Executive Vice President and CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, offered greetings at the beginning of the session.

Opening Session

International Convention 2011 officially kicked off today with Opening Ceremonies. More than 750 USYers and over 200 staff, representating all 17 regions of USY overpowered everyone with their ruach! The 2011 International Executive Board and the 2011 Co-Chairs, Ellie Carr and Shira Goldstein, then welcomed everyone, as did Richard Skolnik, president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. USY Director Jules Gutin also introduced the study theme of the convention, which will focus on Derech Eretz — Jewish Ethics and Values.

Thursday, August 11th

Today Bus C’s fantastic summer came to a close. The group woke up and did Shacharit together for the last time before saying their tear-filled goodbyes. Bus C then began to head home as some wheelniks headed to the airport or were picked up by parents. The summer was truly an experience of a lifetime and the friendships that were made will last a lifetime. Thank you for reading. We hope to see the wheelniks at USY International Convention in Philadelphia!

Wednesday, August 10th

After a later wake up this morning Bus C davened and ate breakfast and then headed into Philadelphia. Their first stop of the day was at the SHARE Food Bank where they donated what was left of their snacks and food from the summer. Afterwards the wheelniks visited the “Rocky Steps” and raced their way to the top just like the Sylvester Stallone did in the movie. Afterwards, the group had tour of the US mint and saw how coins are made. Next the group headed over to see the liberty bell and had free time in the Independence Hall area. Later on Bus C visited the shops on South Street and then headed to their hotel to prepare for the banquet. In the evening the wheelniks came together for their “end of the summer banquet” where they gave out paper plate awards, got their group t- shirts and picture, and spent time sharing stories and memories from the summer. Later on the wheelniks changed into some more comfortable clothes and watched the group slideshow and hung out together late into the night.

Tuesday, August 9th

Today Bus C spent the morning in the nation’s capitol. In D.C. the group began the day at the Newseum, a fun and interactive museum about the news industry. Afterwards, Bus C visited the monuments and saw the Lincoln, WWII and Korean War Memorials and the Washington Monument. Later, the group boarded the bus for Philadelphia. When they arrived at their hotel, they checked in, unpacked, had their final round of sichot and then broke the fast with a delicious lasagna dinner.

Tuesday, August 9th

Today Bus A left Cleveland for Philadelphia. Before leaving, Bus A stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inside they saw relics from Rock and Roll’s greats including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. On their ride, the wheelniks watched a documentary about Michael Levin, a Camp Ramah and Nativ Alumn who joined the IDF and was killed during the 2006 war in Lebanon. When they arrived, the wheelniks had free time and then broke their fast with a delicious lasagna dinner.

Monday, August 8th

On Monday, Bus C spent the day in DC. In D.C. the group began the day by visiting the National Mall. Later the group explored the Smithsonian museums including the famous Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Natural History Museum. Afterwards, Bus C visited the National Holocaust Museum and took in the powerful exhibits inside. The group then worked on their signing boards and wrote messages to one another for the end of the summer. In the evening they had a kosher Chinese food dinner before beginning the fast of Tisha B’av. Next, they gathered to commemorate the fast day. First, the wheelniks sat in a circle and discussed the significance of this Jewish holiday. Later, each of the wheelniks chanted a passage from the book of Aicha that they had learned over the last week.

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