Parker Weber USY Interview

In Parker Weber’s own words: “USY is meaningful to me because I love playing a role in growing the teens to be phenomenal leaders. This year, I was able to watch the CHUSY Regional Executive Board, a majority of whom had not held leadership positions before, navigate the challenges and responsibilities of being on board and grow as leaders. I truly believe that due to their experiences on the USY board this year, these teens will be more resilient, competent, confident, and ready not only to take on the challenges, but be the leaders tackling the challenges in the future.” 

Parker Weber was recently recognized for the LEAD (Leader, Educator, Advisor, Dugma) Award by Springboard Chicago, an award that he was nominated for by the teens that he works with. In honor of this award, we’d like to highlight Parker and the work he is doing with USY. He is the Director of Engagement for CHUSY while also being the BJUSY (Congregation Beth Judea) Youth Advisor. He’s been working for USY for more than two years. He started as the Youth Advisor for Beth Judea USY (BJUSY) in spring 2021 and later was promoted to be the Director of Engagement for the whole CHUSY region. 

He has always called Chicago his home. He grew up in Buffalo Grove, where he attended Chicagoland Jewish High School, now known as Rochelle Jewish High School, and currently resides in Humboldt Park. Surprisingly, he was never involved with USY as a teen. But that did not stop him from getting involved after college. He was drawn to USY when he was asked by a peer to be a youth advisor at Beth Judea, and now with the direction of Marc Sender, Director of Engagement for USY and Youth Director at Beth Judea, has one of the most well-attended and robust programming calendars.

We asked the secret to his success. He said he gets a great deal of support from his fellow USY staff that live in Chicago. He said he always received great participation on Lounge nights with his high schoolers. Now he is focusing more on the engagement of his 6-8th graders. He sees about 20 USYers attending his Lounge nights each week at BJUSY. 

His advice to other Chapter Advisors is threefold: 

  1. Listen to what the USYers want. They will tell you what they are interested in. This also builds leadership within the region. 
  2. Build relationships with the youth professionals or clergy at the synagogue.
  3. Build relationships with the USYers

These are the building blocks that have worked very well for Parker. We hope other Youth Advisors and Directors of Engagement can follow his example and continue to engage USYers for decades to come.