USY is piloting a new opportunity for connection, leadership, and education exclusively for young Jews of Color, Indigenous Jews, Sephardi Jews, and Mizrahi Jews across the country. Together, these groups will develop leadership skills, hear from JOCISM speakers who are making a difference in diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities, and unpack their intersectional identities using Jewish themes and values. Most importantly, they will develop bonds with other JOCISM youth from near and far.
The application is now open! Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis with a preference for applications received by August 31st. If you have any questions, please contact Rafi Forbush at [email protected].
What is the JOCISM cohort?
The JOCISM cohort will be a subset of our youth groups as we are actively working to create a better experience for JOC youth and their families within the USY community.
Who are these groups for?
These groups are for Jews of Color (Black, Asian, Latinx, etc), Indigenous Jews, Sephardi Jews, and Mizrahi Jews who will be entering 6-12th grade this Fall.
What is the cost?
There is no additional cost to participate in this program. The only costs associated would be in relation to participating in USY regional or international conventions.
How often does the group meet?
There will be two cohort groups, with twenty members in each. One will be for 9-12th graders, and one for 6-8th graders. The high school group will meet monthly, and the middle school group will meet every other month via zoom.
Who is leading this group?
Rafael Forbush is the youth director of Beth Jacob Congregation in Minnesota and Founder of the Multiracial Jewish Association of Minnesota. Rafi, a Jew of Color, was raised in the Conservative movement and has extensive experience working with Jewish youth. Through his public speaking, Rafi focuses on the intersectionality of his being Jewish and a Person of Color. If you have any questions about USY’s JOCISM Cohorts, please email Rafi at [email protected].
What will a participant gain from participating in this program?
Participants will develop leadership skills, hear from JOCISM speakers who are making a difference in diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities, and unpack their intersectional identities using Jewish themes and values to enable them to take on leadership roles in USY and beyond. Most importantly, they will develop bonds with other JOCISM youth near and far.
What are the goals of this program?
The JOCISM cohort aims to build community and facilitate a meaningful and fun USY experience rooted in the ideology of the Conservative Movement. It also strives to advance USY’s commitment to inclusivity and creating a safe and caring community in which Jewish teens can thrive.
This initiative is founded with support from the JTS Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice.