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One of the highlights of this year’s USY International Convention will surely be our Yom Tikun Olam (Day to Repair the World). This day was our opportunity to see the City of New Orleans and understand what its residents still need in a post-Katrina world.

USYers and staff fanned out throughout the city and had the opportunity to clean gardens and cemeteries, build houses, prepare food, canvass the community and more. Each project was designed to lend a hand and help repair New Orleans and her people. Projects not only provided an opportunity to offer help, but to learn valuable lessons about the resilience and kindness of others. Click here to view a photo gallery from the program; be sure to check out our special entry of USYer photo submissions, documenting their experience. We then transitioned into a more upbeat mood as we strolled along Bourbon Street, USY-style! We brought some the sights, smells, and sounds to our hotel as Jambalaya and Gumbo were set out on the dinner buffet, vendors sold their wares, and a jazz band provided the perfect background medley.

USY International Convention, Daily Highlights: Monday, Dec. 23
USY International Convention, Daily Highlights: Monday, Dec. 23

The evening belonged to our USY leaders, past, present and future.Hollywood Exec and USY alum Andy Fickman was rousing in his acceptance of of the USY Alumni Award. His advice to today’s USYers: take advantage of every moment and pay it forward at every opportunity. USY International President Michael Sacks then delivered a moving President’s Address, recognizing the value of each USYer and what they bring to our organization. The evening closed with the culmination of Operation 18000, a challenge to engage in 18,000 hours of community service. During the past 12 months, USYers logged 32,686 hours in a variety of projects around the globe! Click here to go to the Live Stream page for a recap of this moving presentation and click here to view a photo gallery from the program. We continue to see wonderful news and feature stories about #icnola:

See the sites we visited and be inspired by USYs Changemakers in today’s Daily Video Update. Full coverage of the evening plenary session is available on our Live Stream page. Tuesday’s line up is just as electric. NY1 Reporter Jessica Abo will speak about her philanthropy; USYers will have a chance to explore New Orleans and learn about the Jewish community here, and we’ll get crazy with ruach during Maccabi Gras. Don’t miss Jessica’s presentation, which will be broadcast on our Live Stream page beginning at 10 a.m. Central Time.

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