Religion/Education

Hi everyone!
I am Micah Cowan and I am so incredibly honored and thrilled to serve as USY’s 2015 International Religion/Education Vice President.

IMG_1918I was born and raised in Rockville, MD of Seaboard USY. Through my time in USY, I have found a great sense of קהילה (kehillah, community). I want to bring the קהילה that I have found to the rest of USY and use it to help us learn. This year, we will challenge ourselves to learn on the individual and communal levels. We will find fun and simple ways to include Judaism in our everyday lives. We will proudly represent Conservative Judaism. Together we can continue the amazing USY קהילה that has truly formed who I am as a person and as a Jew. I’m looking forward to a great year with all of you!

כל טוב (kol tov, all the best),

Micah  Cowan
2015 USY Religion/Education Vice President

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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* Torah Teasers- Creative Ways to teach the weekly Torah portion. Use this as an alternative to Mincha or as an activity to introduce the Torah reading!
  • *New* By popular demand, it’s The Natv-a-Tish Song Book! Don’t know a lot of these songs? Go on Nativ and come back as staff so that you can teach them! You can also learn some of them by searching for them 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