IC 2013 Photo Galleries

#icnola Opening Session

Posted on December 22, 2013

#icnola is jazzing up New Orleans! USY President Michael Sacks opened the convention at the Opening Session that featured a live Jazz band and colorful Mardi Gras-style float entertaining more than 850 USYers, staff, and guests, representating all 17 regions of USY. The ruach was inspiring and electrifying! The 2013 International Executive Board and the 2012 International Convention Co-Chairs, Gaby Roth and Jake Wassermann, greeted everyone, as did United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism President Richard Skolnik, who also presented four $500 USY Summer Program scholarships to very lucky delegates. The session closed with a presentation by Rabbi David Levy, USCJ’s Director of Teen Learning, focusing on Tikun Olam – Repairing and Rebuilding our World, the study theme of the convention.

If you missed the fun, you can check out a video of the Opening Session at www.usy.org/iclivestream (and don’t forget to check back later in the week for additional Live Stream opportunities).

#icnola USY’s Got Talent

Posted on December 22, 2013

USYers from across North America summoned their courage and showed their skills in front of an audience of their peers and three eagle-eye judges: USY International President Michael Sacks, USCJ CEO Rabbi Steven Wernick, and Hollywood Exec and USY alum Andy Fickman. The cheers from the audience grew with each performance. A few videos are available on our Facebook Fan Page; video of the entire program is available on the USY International Convention Live Stream page

#icnola Yom Tikun Olam

Posted on December 23, 2013

The term Tikun Olam is more than a theme for this year’s USY International Convention. It is a way of life we hope each USYer will embody in their own way. Each year, the USY International Convention participates in social action component – this year we stepped out of the hotel, braved some cool and damp weather conditions, rolled up our sleeves and got to work in the community where it was needed most. Cleaning gardens and cemeteries, building houses, preparing food, canvassing the community and more — USYers did it all, reinforcing a sense of pride and learning about this unique, diverse, multicultural city. USYers also had an opportunity to visit the Lower 9th Ward, the area hardest hit following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

As part of Yom Tikun Olam, members of the journalism, film, and photography krewes were at each site to document the activities and process. Here are some of those submissions from USYers and staff at the various sites.

#icnola President’s Address and Changemakers

Posted on December 23, 2013

To culminate the day of service to the community, USY recognized “changemakers,” members who are making an impact on the world. The fact is, EVERYONE is a changemaker and we are all worthy of recognition. Of note, the program marked the end of Operation 18,000, the challenge put down for USY members across North America to engage in at least 18,000 hours of community service. And we did — 32, 686 hours to be exact! Mazal Tov! 2013 USY International President Michael Sacks then addressed the delegation for the final time.

#icnola Bourbon Street

Posted on December 23, 2013

This evening, USY brought the sound, sights, and flavors of Bourbon Street to the Hilton Riverside New Orleans. Vendors sold colorful bracelets, jewelry, and other souvenirs. Regions also sold various regalia items and the IC Swag Shop was open for business.

#icnola Heschel Honor Society

Posted on December 24, 2013

Members of USY’s Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society were recognized for their commitment to Jewish study and community service. The program was highlighted by a world-class presentation by NY1 Reporter, social entepreneur, and USY alumn Jessica Abo, who shared insight on making a difference and surpassing life’s obstacles with class.

#icnola Maccabi Gras

Posted on December 24, 2013

Green Gumbo and Purple Jambalaya may sound like odd team names but they are perfect monikers for New Orleans-based teams during Maccabi Gras! USYers enjoyed a fun, energetic evening of healthy competition and ruach while competing in sports and games and cheering each other on to victory. The fight was very close, and Green Gumbo pulled out the victory! Mazal Tov to all the participants on a wonderful evening full of sportsmanship.

#icnola Creative T’fillot

Posted on December 24, 2013

Our day began with creative service options (t’fillot). Whether you fancy art, music, games, exercise, or meditation, there was an option for each USYer to connect with our Jewish prayers and heritage in a meaningful way – and hopefully in a way they hadn’t before.

#icnola Summer Program Reunions

Posted on December 24, 2013

USYers who went on USY summer programs reunited to look through photos and relive some old memories! Wheelniks, Pilgrims, and Ramah Camp and Seminar participants all proudly wore their group shirts and helped encourage more USYers to take part in USY Summer Programs in 2014.

#icnola Candidates’ Forum

Posted on December 24, 2013

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. Dr. Cindi Hasit, chair of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Teen Learning Committee, offered greetings at the beginning of the session.

#icnola IC Shaharit Live

Posted on December 25, 2013

IC Shaharit Live has become a staple each year and a highlight for many at International Convention. Delegates spend dedicated time – including their own free time – to learn chords and practice in unison. Their dedication to their craft comes through in the energy and excitement in the room as Shaharit becomes more than a prayer service, it becomes a time of joy and passion for the USYers.

#icnola Elections

Posted on December 25, 2013

As part of the 2013 USY International Convention, delegates elected the 2014 USY International Executive Board:

President: Aaron Pluemer (New Frontier)
Israel Affairs Vice President: Ariel Weinstein (EMTZA)
Religion/Education Vice President: Gila Fridkis (Seaboard)
Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President: Joe Goldberg (EMTZA)
Membership/Kadima Vice President: Abraham Bayer (Hanefesh)
Communications Vice President: Brandon Ginsberg (Hanegev)