January 4, 2017—Last week, six outstanding teens were elected as the 2017 International Executive Board for United Synagogue Youth (USY), the North American youth group of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). Chosen by hundreds of their peers at USY’s 66th International Convention in Dallas, TX, the six will help impart meaningful Jewish experiences and values to thousands of North American teens over the coming year.
The board includes the President, who represents USY at several Jewish events around the world; an Israel Affairs VP, who helps foster a love of and leads advocacy efforts for Israel; a Religious Education VP, who crafts engaging educational programming; a Social Action Tikun Olam VP, who directs thousands of USYers’ social action and tzedekah (charity) efforts; a Membership/Kadima VP, who helps grow membership of teens ages 13-18; and a Communications VP who spreads the organization’s message both internally and externally.
The 2017 USY International Executive Board is:
In order to run for international board, candidates must submit a letter of intention as well as a petition signed by at least 100 members representing five or more USY chapters or 20% of the teens in their respective region. All of the teens elected to this year’s board have previously severed in numerous leadership positions both regionally and in their home synagogues. Additionally they are all actively involved in Conservative Jewish life, having attended AIPAC conferences, Ramah camps, and winning different awards for excellence in their communities.
“USY has shaped who I am, as a person, as a Jew [and] a leader,” said 2017 International President Noah Lee. “I hope to be a role model for everyone and help provide experiences that will make people realize [USY’s] profound impact on creating friendship, community, deeper experiences, and [facilitating] real discussions about Judaism.”
“Each of the individuals that ran this year showed great passion and impressive leadership potential. We are excited to work with a board that is dedicated to inclusion and engaging their peers in a thriving, dynamic Jewish future,” said Rabbi David Levy, Sr. Director, Teen Learning for USCJ.
For more than 50 years USY has helped shape young leaders on the international, regional, and local level who go on to become leaders in both the Conservative movement and their larger communities. Former International Presidents include Hailee Grey, a current student at List College, a joint program of JTS & Columbia University, Rabbi Adam Kligfeld, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and David Stern, Hollywood screenwriter & producer.
United Synagogue Youth (USY) is Conservative Judaism’s premiere youth group, run by its parent organization, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. With more than 350 local chapters, USY boasts a membership of thousands of teens throughout the United States and Canada. For more than 60 years, USY has taught the young Jews the values and skills they need to become exceptional leaders in their religious and secular communities. USY’s focus on leadership, social action, and relationship building has produced successful alumni with a deep sense of pride in and love for their Jewish identity. Through year round programming and domestic and international travel opportunities, USY provides meaningful, immersive Jewish experiences, helping teens integrate Jewish rituals and values into their everyday lives.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is a community of North American kehillot (congregations) committed to a dynamic Judaism that is learned and passionate, authentic and pluralistic, joyful and accessible. USCJ creates the spiritual, intellectual, and managerial network that empowers our kehillot to fulfill their sacred mission and connects them with a common sense of community, shared mission and purpose. To learn more, visit www.uscj.org.