On December 20th, the following note was sent out to International Convention participants:
Dear IC 2021 Participants,
Thank you again for registering to share a week of laughs, learning, friendship and community with us at USY International Convention 2021 in Washington D.C. While we were so looking forward to building our IC family next week, we are writing with sadness that due to the rapid increase in transmission of the Omicron variant amongst vaccinated individuals, we will not be able to safely hold International Convention in person this year. When we set out to plan IC 2021 under the guidance of our medical committee, we knew there was much uncertainty, and our goal was to utilize the most effective public health measures possible to bring our convention back in person this year. Our priority will always be the health and safety of our USYers, and while it is painful, sad, and incredibly difficult, we feel confident that at this time our decision to cancel this year’s convention will help us keep that promise.
As with so many events the last two years, we will miss seeing you in person. We will miss the excitement of opening ceremonies, the pride of our regions and traditions, and will miss celebrating USY’s 70th birthday together. We have every hope and confidence that we will be able to join together in the future to do all of this and so much more. We also know that sitting in the disappointment and uncertainty of when that may come to fruition continues to be incredibly difficult for you all and teens throughout the world. We share those feelings with you, and please know that in person or virtually, USY is here to offer you support and community.
The theme for this year’s convention – Olam Chesed Yibaneh – Build with Love was chosen by our USYers with great intention. After two years of waiting for International Convention, our biggest event of the year, to return in person – the time was finally coming. And with that return to an in person IC came the opportunity to build our community to reflect our values of chesed, tikun olam, and kehillah. By approaching this convention as an opportunity to build with love, those involved in the planning process carefully created educational materials, programs, and moments that we hoped would impact our teens both inside and outside of USY, and inspire them to spread this message of building with love back to their home communities. While we will not experience this theme in person together, we hope that our collective mission and aspiration to build with love is one that you will keep in mind as you move forward as a leader both in and out of USY. We look forward to determining how we can continue to build with love together as a greater USY community both when we are in person and apart.
We will truly miss an in person IC and we hope to see you at a future USY event. Please know that we are here for you if you want to talk.
The USY International Convention Team