Fridkis, GilaBruchim Ha’baim! Welcome to the USY Religion/Education Page!

My name is Gila Fridkis and I am excited and truly honored to serve as the 2014 International Religion/Education Vice President. I cannot wait to work with you in enhancing the many educational opportunities that USY provides. I am proudly from Seaboard Region, specifically a small town in south-central Maryland and USY has given me an opportunity that is truly priceless- an opportunity to find myself. Whether sitting in services at regional conventions or learning from some of my closest friends on USY on Wheels Bus C 2012, I have been inspired by so many of the leaders before me and I could not be happier to have this opportunity to inspire others as well.

Religion and Education means something different to each USY participant, and it is imperative to acknowledge that and enhance it. There are a lot of opportunities that USY provides not only just a click away from this page, but things I encourage you to discover at your chapters and regions. The Rel/Ed IGB and I will be working a lot this year to ensure that the resources we provide are the best they can be as well as create these opportunities to enhance your religious experience here in USY.

Please, do not hesitate to contact me – I’m available 24/6!


Gila Fridkis
2014 USY International Religion/Education Vice President

I strongly encourage everyone to check out the following resources USY already has to offer.

If you are a Rel/Ed VP, you may find the following resources helpful:

(If you are a Regional Rel/Ed Vice President, please do not go to convention without these two things!! Everything you need to know about running tefillot is in here.) 

  • *New* Hug Me! I led… – these can be printed on Avery 5160 (30 per page) labels and are a fun way to acknowledge someone who has participated in leading Tefillot. 
  • *NEW* Like Torah Bytes? Pinwheel hosts Tefillah Bytes! Check out the description of Pinwheel’s Tefillah Bytes Webinars, created by 2013-14 Regional Rel/ed VP, Michaela Covner!
  • *NEW* That Thing Called Judaism- a Guidebook for handling the challenges we face living Jewishly in a non-Jewish world. Created by Liora Zhrebker, SWUSY Religion/Education/Culture VP 2012-13
  • USY Self-Study Program – Is there a topic you’d like to study on your own? E-mail Amy Dorsch to choose your own “self study” topic. You will receive a one-page document with texts and questions and be able to ask your own questions and comments in response. For a sample (Ethical Kashrut), click here or click on sidebar link or link above.
  • *NEW* Kavanot for candle lighting – Courtesy of Koach, the Conservative Movement on Campus
  • *NEW* Oh, 5773! A Shana Tova song and video created by Sarah Gans, 2012-13Hanfesh Rel/Ed VP.
  • *NEW* Want to check the trope and words for your upcoming Torah reading? Download Pocket Torah, the app for Torah Layning!
  • List of Websites for learning your Torah Reading- compiled by Nomi Small, 2012 Rel/Ed IGB.
  • *New* See a sample Video D’var Torah of Parshat Tetzaveh, courtesy of Micah Fiedler, 2011-12 Hanefesh Rel/ed VP.
  • Tools for Regional Rel/ed VPs such as a service outlines, a suggested app for learning your Torah reading and Guide for Gabba’im, can be found on the “Holiday and Rituals How To” Page on the left side-bar.
  • Do you find yourself lost during Tefillot and wish you had a better handle on some of the traditional tunes? Here’s one quick resource, helpful to both rel/ed VPs and every USYer. Learn how to daven online with SiddurAudio! Siddur Audio provides MP3 files of traditional Nusach. 
  • The Heschel Honor Society page: click on the link to the right recertify your membership or join the club!
  • A number of “creative” Tefillah outlines: if you have any you’d like to add, please send them to Amy Dorsch.
  • A fantastic D’var Torah bank: please submit your own Divrei Torah to Amy Dorsch and she will post them!
  • Guide for Gabba’im – learn the choreography of the Torah Service with this guide written by Jordan Brandt, 2011 Rel/Ed IGB member and 2011-12 Seaboard USY Regional President.
  • Explanations of various Tefillot