Yesterday USY held elections for the 2018 International Board.
We are pleased to announce USY’s new officers:
From left to right: Sawyer Goldsmith, Ilan Cohen, Bayle Goldman, Aaron Schwartz, Emily Rosenberg, Zachary Zabib, Margo Gold, USCJ International President, Rabbi Steven Wernick, USCJ CEO
Mazel tov to our new officers, their families, and kehillas. We’d also like to thank and recognize the outgoing board for their commitment and hard work over the past year:
From left to right: Noah Lee, Zach Bienstock, Jared Rogers, Josh Eiger, Isaac Bensignor, Zachary Monteleon
After a short break for lunch, the teens reconvened to hear the second in our series of USY Talks, this time from Tzafon’s Hadar Pepperstone.
She spoke to the convention about how to positively claim labels and be more compassionate towards others; “The key in this journey to fully recognize and embrace myself has been to understand that any of the words that I or others use to describe me are only as powerful and mean what I allow them to,” she said.
“If it is something that other people have defined me as, I am under no obligation to fill that role…if I feel like it’s not accurate. However, if it is true, I can claim it and do so proudly, while still defining it for myself, in a way that feels true and empowering for me.”
Hadar’s motivating talk was followed by convention keynote speakers, Rabbi Michael Siegel, Senior Rabbi at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago, and Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Church Chicago.
Rabbi Siegel and Pastor Harris spoke to the teens about the power of building relationships. Rabbi Siegel and Pastor Harris have build a bridge between the African American and Jewish communities of Chicago through social action work and mutual support.
“Hineni [here I am] is a word that we know, but it a word we have to act on,” said Rabbi Siegel, “The resources to make a difference are all in your hands right now.”
“Being connected is when you put your hand in it. Being concerned is when you put your head in. Being compassionate is when you put your heart in it,” added Pastor Harris.
Feeling inspired, the convention body left for breakout educational sessions followed by an address from outgoing USY President Noah Lee and the presentation of the 2017 USY Awards.
Mazel tov to our winners and see the full list below:
Following the awards ceremony, the teens cut loose, dancing the evening away with friends old and new and playing a friendly game of laser tag in the hotel.
Check back for more to come USY International Convention tomorrow!