Editor’s Note: Guys, I don’t think you understand how excited I am for y’all to read this. I’ve spent the last three years with the quirky region in the Great Lake states known as Central Region USY. Since then, CRUSY has been my life. In February 2017, I fell in love with this region. CRUSY is my heart and soul, and today I am excited that we get to give you a taste of my favorite region (I may be a little biased) on the next stop on our regional spotlight tour. CRUSY’s Sarah Belin gives us all just a little taste of CRUSY’s infamous ruach in today’s spotlight.
-Jacob Ellenbogen, Achshav Blog Coordinator (and CRUSY Membership/Kadima Vice President)
While the members of CRUSY are spread out among various states, we are closely connected. Everyone from Detroit, Michigan to Lexington, Kentucky to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and everywhere in between, they will all tell you that Central Region resonates with ruach.
CRUSY ruach is something to behold. After Friday night dinner, everyone gets in the Shabbos spirit as we arrange the chairs around a circle of tables with the seniors in the center. Before long, the whole room fills with the vibrant voices of our region. Whether it’s your senior year and you finally make it to the middle and get to bang on the tables, or you’re a freshman who decides to shout out a solo line, everyone can contribute to the joyous energy.
CRUSY has a way of making all aspects of ruach special, and passdowns only make this time more meaningful. There is nothing more special than leading a song in front of the whole region. Passdowns have a history that outlives every USYer who takes part in the traditions, and connect people to the past, present and future of CRUSY.
Ruach may not be something that is unique to CRUSY, but there’s something unique about CRUSY ruach, and a legendary story offers proof:
At Fall Kinnus two years ago, our convention convened in a hotel (editor’s note: this is the only we’ve had in a hotel in at least the past three years). As we all circled up around the tables and readied for ruach, music from a lively wedding celebration started blaring from the next room. While others might be daunted, we weren’t worried about the competition for sound in the slightest, and we continued on with our favorite part of convention. A few minutes later, we even received the ultimate badge of ruach honor–a gentle request to please keep it down.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. For us, that’s defined by the moment the CRUSY president places the wizard hat on their head, signaling to the room that ruach is coming to a close. And hard to believe but true: every ruach session ends with just as much and sometimes even more spirit than it started with!
As should be evident by now, small but special defines the CRUSY experience, and what we lack in size we definitely make up for in sound.
Sarah Belin is a junior from CRUSY. She is a proud member of Lexington USY (LEXUSY), from Ohavay Zion Synagogue in Lexington, Kentucky, where she served as chapter president for three years. She currently serves as CRUSY’s Regional Communications Vice President.