Hundreds of teens from across North America came together to celebrate at USY’s International Convention in Chicago, IL, beginning this past Sunday, December 24. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

This December 24-28, nearly 1,000 Jewish teenagers, educators, staff, and alumni gathered in Chicago at USY’s 67th International Convention.

Teens from upstate New York pose for a photo during the Opening Session of USY International Convention in Chicago, IL. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

The largest gathering of Conservative and Masorti Jewish teens, the convention welcomed young adults from across the globe to experience engage in interactive learning, gain leadership skills, build a strong Jewish future and give back to the local Chicago community.

Teens from the Metropolitan area wear big smiles during the Opening Session of USY’s 67th International Convention. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

USY partnered with several organizations to educate and equip teens to be a voice for change including StandWithUs, AIPAC, Repair the World, HIAS, the iCenter, Jewish Child & Family Services, Anshe Emet Synagogue, and the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

Teens from the CHUSY, Chicago, and EMTZA, Midwest, regions of USY pose for a photo in their regional shirts. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

Reflecting on the current political and cultural landscape, teens will examine the concept of freedom through interactive educational workshops focusing on hot topics at home and abroad including religious freedom in Israel, freedom of expression, human rights, current refugee crises, and how sociopolitical factors affect choice.

Teens prepare a meal for homeless men at the Breakthrough Men’s Shelter in Chicago during USY International Convention. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

Toronto teens pose with senior citizens while they volunteer in the Chicago-area during USY International Convention’s Day of Service, December 25. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

Translating learning into action, teens participated in hands-on social action projects, volunteering at more than 30 local organizations around the Chicagoland area on Christmas Day including FCHN Soup Kitchen, The Ark, Lincoln Park Community Shelter, the Anixter Center, and H.O.M.E.

Teens leave coats for Chicago’s homeless population as they volunteer with Tree Hugs on USY International Convention’s Day of Service. Photo credit: Seth Golob.


Ohio teens cut up vegetable to prepare a meal for senior citizens on Christmas Day at H.O.M.E. Chicago. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

The teens will also take part in ongoing charitable activities over the course of the convention, collecting donations for local Chicago agencies including Tree Hugs, Cradles to Crayons, and Open Books.

Teens participate in creative Shacharit services, doing yoga to connect to prayer in new and innovative ways. Photo credit: North Shore Photography.

The convention is sponsored by Vivian and Jeff Saper, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Keshet, Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation, ZBT, AEPhi, Butler Motor, the Jewish Youth Directors Association, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El Highland Park, IL, NOAM Olami, AEPI, Hillel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

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