My USY life began in 1970 at Temple Beth Emunah, when I became the Kadima advisor. Over the next number of years I was Junior USY advisor, Senior USY advisor and Youth Director, sometimes both advisor and YD simultaneously. I also taught in the religious school at Beth Emunah from 1969 till 2005. In 1995 I received the Keter Torah award from the Bureau of Jewish Education. In 1998 I also received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Brockton High for being an Inspirational Teacher, nominated by Nathan Weiner who was then a senior at Brockton High and president of Brockton USY.
Somewhere along the way I became the regional Kadima director. When Joyce Juda started working for NERUSY, I started staffing most regional events and then officially became assistant to the directors, working with both Aaron Kischel and Joyce. Senior weekend was a favorite of mine because Jimmy, my husband, took over most of my kitchen duties and decided for Sunday breakfast we would make omelets (to order) for everyone in attendance.
Over the years, I got to know and watch so very many USY kids, including my own children, participate in programs, learn from our study sessions, lead services, and make lasting friendships. I also got to work with my own children as they grew up and became advisors and teachers in USY.
As time consuming as all that was, it was (mostly) wonderful. All the traveling for conventions, arranging hotels, shopping for snacks/food, and even cooking for some of our regional conventions. Meeting and working with people all over the country, two especially stand out in my mind, the woman in California who worked at Jelly Belly who helped set up a surprise birthday party and shlepped to come meet me personally because she said I reminded her of her mother, and the chef at Disney who helped me create a kosher breakfast for 54 kids and staff who would be at Disney either pre- or post-convention in Florida, and we did it all by phone (and the phone call from Joyce and the kids when they got to breakfast and were amazed).
I even got to bring three of my grandchildren with me to Encampment or what they called, and still do call, Bubbie Camp, and they still talk about Yom Foam. Most of all I got to meet some of the most amazing kids who touched my life and have become amazing adults who are giving back and making this a better world.