What In The World Is A Mem/Prog? What’s A Parli?

Editors’ Note: This year, Achshav has focused on helping you get to know all of USY a little better. Today, we approach this idea from a slightly different angle. While many regions have the same 6 or 7 board positions, each region’s REB is a little different. Two positions that stand out are the Membership and Programming Vice President in Hagalil, and the Parliamentarian in Far West. So we reached out to the Mem/Prog, Yoni Livstone, and the Parli, Leah Millman, and got them to answer all of your burning questions about their positions.

Who are we? Good question – we are glad you asked. We are Leah Millman from Far West and Yoni Livstone from Hagalil (“he’s from Hagalil” *clap*). Together, we make up two of the lesser known positions in USY: Parliamentarian and Membership and Programming Vice President. What do these positions mean? You asked and we answered, so here it goes!

What is your position’s 6-word story?
Mem/Prog: Make smiles, lasting friendships, have fun.
Parli: Positive, connector, cheerleader, passionate, ruach-filled

Please elaborate.
Mem/Prog: The job of a Mem/Prog is to put the “US” into USY. We recruit and retain members, and ensure that everyone is having a great time at conventions. We tend to be very energetic, enthusiastic, and love to have fun. Most of all, we love to meet new people.
Parli: As Parliamentarian (Parli), I work to create a positive environment at all USY events and connect members of USY to new friends, Judaism and more! I am passionate about USY and strive to make it the best it can be and help cheer on my board members, ensuring they also feel the love. I also bring ruach into every aspect of USY whether it’s through prayer, Israel programming or anything else!

What is your position most similar to? How is it different?
Mem/Prog: Mem/Progs can most easily be compared to Mem/Kads (Membership/Kadima Vice Presidents). We both handle membership and despite not having “Kadima” in my position’s name, I am responsible to help grow and sustain Kadima with the Kadima Chairperson who serves on my general board. However, Mem/Progs are also responsible for overseeing programming. We coordinate icebreakers and other social programs, and any  various other aspects of convention programming.
Parli: Parli is special because it is similar to all positions, yet completely different. In the end, all positions have the same goal: make USY a place where teens can feel comfortable, connect to Judaism, and have fun! In that case, Parli is no different. My main responsibilities are running elections and taking notes at meetings. However, in order to truly embrace the Parli position, one must find their own passion, whether that’s being a USY cheerleader or assuming the role of making USYers feel special! You make this position your own, which also makes it so incredibly special.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your position?
Mem/Prog: The biggest challenge of being a Mem/Prog is getting people excited to come to a USY event. This isn’t a new phenomenon created by my position. Any Mem/Kad on the continent would agree. But nevertheless, it persists. Sometimes it is hard to balance outreach at the same time as coordinating icebreakers, social programs, and any other projects. But it is a labor of love and I wouldn’t ever give it up.
Parli: The biggest challenge I face with my position is understanding where I fit in on my board and in USY. I have very few mandatory tasks; however, in order to truly fulfill my role on Cabinet (Regional Executive Board) I must find my own special thing. Oftentimes I worry that I’m not doing enough, or that I’m not making a difference. However, I do my best to push away these negative thoughts and understand that I’m doing what works for me. That is one of the most important parts about being a Parliamentarian!

Why did you run for your position?
Mem/Prog: I decided to run for my position to make a positive difference in something I love. I have been a Hagaliler since the 6th grade, and have attended almost every convention. The Mem/Prog position is a great opportunity to meet new people and socialize with them during conventions. This is something that I did prior to my election, so it is a perfect match for me. I am privileged to work with a HagaLIT Regional Executive Board and I am so glad to be working with such amazing people in such an amazing region.
Parli: Out of all the positions in Far West’s Cabinet, Parli is the only one not decided by an election. I submitted an application prior to our Regional Convention, the final event of the year. After the Regional Executive Board is elected, they choose someone from the pool of applications to complete their board. I was a chapter Mem/Kad from 7th – 11th grade on my chapter board. Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing position and I loved it. However, the thought of having a position in which I create my own goals, have the power to connect USYers, and spread happiness to those around me grabbed my attention! I knew that I wanted to help make USY a home for hundreds of kids and that this was the best way for me to do it!

Our positions may be non-traditional, but we both play essential roles in sustaining our respective regions. How is your region different? How can our roles influence yours? Let us know when we see you at International Convention!!!!

Yoni Livstone
Hagalil Membership and Programming Vice President

Leah Millman
Far West Parliamentarian

Yoni Livstone is a junior from Hagalil USY. He is a proud member of East Windsor USY in New Jersey. He is currently serving as regional Membership and Programming Vice President. Leah Millman is a senior from Far West USY. She is a proud member of Temple Beth Shalom USY of East Valley in Chandler, Arizona. She is currently serving as regional Parliamentarian.