Source: USY – United Synagogue Youth
This December 25-29, nearly 1,000 Jewish teenagers, educators, professionals, and alumni from United Synagogue Youth (USY) will gather in Dallas, TX for five days of Hanukkah celebrations, interactive learning, and hands-on social action at USY’s 66th International Convention. A program of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), USY is America’s largest Conservative Jewish youth group. This convention marks several firsts for the organization, from its inaugural Texas location to a new milestone in USY’s partnership with NOAM, its sister youth movement that reaches Masorti teens globally. USY will host young adults from ten countries including Israel, Argentina, Ukraine, Uganda, and beyond at the convention and kick off a year-long pairing of NOAM’s global chapters with USY regions. This new program will help foster lasting relationships between Jewish teens from diverse backgrounds, as well as global learning initiatives and social action projects.
The convention will focus on the theme Chazak, Chazak, v’Nitchazek, which translates to Be Strong, Be Strong, May We Be Strengthened. Through interactive educational programming, community service, and talks from peers and leading professionals the convention will build teens’ capacity as Jewish leaders, individuals, and advocates.
Convention guests include keynote speaker, CEO and President of Hillel, Eric Fingerhut, a USY alumnus and past Central Region USY (CRUSY) president and former star wrestler/professional motivational speaker Rohan Murphy. Educational partners include Hillel, KESHET, and Stand With Us with study sessions focusing on topics such as the Holocaust, modern day Judaism in America, Israeli history, politics, and culture, Judaism on the college campus, inclusion, and the media.
In conjunction with local agencies, the entire convention body will participate in several hands-on social action projects with partners including Goodwill of Dallas, Hope Farm, ACH Child and Family Services, Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Christian Center of Fort Worth, North Texas Food Bank, Catholic Charities of Ft. Worth, Christian Community Action, Mission Arlington, and Mission Metroplex. The teens will also take part in ongoing charitable activities over the course of the convention, collecting donations for local Dallas agencies.