1st Look: United Synagogue Youth’s 66th Annual International Convention
This week, nearly 1,000 Jewish teenagers, educators, professionals, and alumni from United Synagogue Youth (USY) are gathering 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.
“USYers will leave feeling empowered to create positive change … and build a stronger future for themselves [and] their communities,” said teen co-chairs Noa Rose and Harrison Steier. “We will grow together and learn to overcome modern challenges in a Jewish context.”