Editor’s Note: Hey USY! Welcome back to our next article in the “הקהילה שלי: My Community” series! Today, we are taking a trip to the true north as ECRUSY’s Rory Sucharov-Gluck tells us how a mariachi band helped her fall in love with USY.
I’ve always known that USY is a strong community. Even before I became very involved, I felt that there was a reason why everyone was so connected. It has been difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what forms this sense of kehillah (community). Is it the welcoming people? The meaningful programming? Or the connection to Judaism? Whatever it may be, there is one moment in particular that made me feel like USY really was my community.
In December, I attended my very first international event: IC SoCal 2019. A big highlight of that week was sightseeing, when I visited The Grove – the outdoor shopping centre and farmer’s market in Los Angeles. While at The Grove, I mostly walked around with friends, buying snacks and souvenirs. As we made our way through the busy, narrow walkways of the Farmer’s Market, I spotted a mariachi band. I watched as a group of juniors ran over to them, and asked if they knew any Hanukkah songs. The band members nodded their heads and after a swift “3,2,1”, they broke out into “Dreidel, Dreidel”. After they finished, all the observing USYers cheered and begged them to play another song. They then continued with a rendition of “Hava Nagila”. As I looked around and saw other USYers dancing and singing, I felt such a strong sense of community. It didn’t matter that strangers were watching us (and maybe judging us just a bit too), or that I was botching the lyrics to Hava Nagila, because in that moment we were united. I felt connected to all the USYers around me, most of whom I had never spoken to. Small moments like these remind you of what USY is. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you are, because when you are part of USY, everyone becomes tethered together by moments, good and bad. These moments help us embrace ourselves, and celebrate who we are. That’s what makes USY so special, it creates profound experiences out of nowhere, and makes the smallest moments the most powerful ones.
Rory Sucharov-Gluck is a Sophomore and proud member of JACCUSY in ECRUSY. She currently serves as the President of JACCUSY, and the ECRUSY Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice President