Youth - USY
Youth - USY
Orangetown Jewish Center's youth community has earned many accolades and awards over the past 10 years. We are most pleased, however, to have been named the 2012 USY International Chapter of the Year. This is an amazing accomplishment and we are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the entire community to the aspiring youth at the OJC.
The core of Youth activities is built on our participation in the national youth programs of the Conservative movement – Ruach, Kadima, and USY. Read about each of these unique programs below to find out more about what the OJC has to offer to our youth.
Ruach is a synagogue program for children in grades four and five. This program meets monthly for social, educational and community service activities and serves as a gateway for children to become active in Kadima and eventually USY. The Hebrew word “Ruach” means spirit and it is this group that helps to uplift the children as they light the way for the youngest members of our congregation.
Kadima is a youth program designed for pre-teens in middle school, from sixth through eighth grade. Each year, Kadima hosts a variety of events, both on a small and large scale. The Kadimaniks have the opportunity to socialize, learn, perform tikkun olam and just plain have fun with one another. At the OJC, the 8th graders join with the USYers for an outstanding program called Na’aseh, which means “Just Do It.” This program meets three times a month and is an informal educational vehicle for the teens to socialize and make a difference in the world.
The Hebrew word "Kadima," which means "forward," signifies the preparation Kadima provides for the youth to move forward and transition to USY. The largest Kadima event is the annual Regional Kadima Shabbaton which is a fun and exciting weekend all about friendship and Judaism hosted by the Metropolitan New York Region of USY. Additionally, during the second half of Kadimaniks' eight grade year, they are offered the unique opportunity to attend Regional USY conventions through specialized Kadima programs intended to slowly acclimate eighth graders to the culture of USY.
United Synagogue Youth, or USY, is a branch of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism which caters to teens in high school grades nine through twelve. The OJC chapter is an active member of the Koach division, which includes synagogues in Orange, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam Counties. The Koach division is one of four divisions located in the Metropolitan New York Region.
In 2012, OJC's USY Chapter received the distinct honor of International USY Chapter of the Year for the first time in OJC's history for our outstanding commitment to the organization. Over the past few years, OJC USY has had the honor of sending the most teens on USY summer programs from any single chapter internationally. We have also received various awards for our weekly teen program, Na'aseh. This program is designed for teens in grades eight through twelve and includes a wide variety of topics regarding shaping one's Jewish Identity and contributing to each teens Jewish Education in fun, social, and interactive ways.
OJC USY builds future leaders of the Jewish community and creates long-lasting memories and friendships. OJC USY members have the opportunity to help plan and participate in various USY programs, whether it be within the Chapter, Division, Region, or even on an International level. Joining OJC's USY Chapter is truly worth while; it is an experience that will surely impact your teen Jewishly for life.