HOW AND WHERE DO OUR CONVENTIONS TAKE PLACE?
A Kinnus/Shabbaton is an overnight convention where USYers (9th-12th graders) or Kadimaniks (6th-8th graders) come together to spend Shabbat together in a synagogue or hotel.
The most amazing part of a Kinnus/Shabbaton is that all of the programs are written, planned, and executed by teen leaders. They are the stars of the show and the teen leadership spends hours planning interactive programs for their peers.
These events are the perfect break from reality and school. It’s a time to meet new people and have fun without having to worry about responsibilities and homework. It’s a time to connect with Judaism and realize how unique, amazing, and lively the Jewish community can be. These events make Judaism fun and relatable for teens.
During our weekend programs, teens hang out and celebrate Shabbat together as a community in a way that they may not in their everyday lives. Throughout Shabbat teens participate in fun ice breaker/mixers to get to know each other and develop relationships. We also facilitate sichot (or discussion breakout sessions), which engage the teens with an aspect of Judaism and makes the teens think of the toughest issues and how they would go about solving them. The topics spur interesting debates and teens often continue the discussions even after the session ends. There are also social action activities ranging from making care packages for the homeless to learning about how to create an inclusive community and even learning how to advocate and stand up for issues they are passionate about. We also have programs focused on Israel and the lifestyles in various cities throughout Israel. These events are filled with Ruach (singing), Chugim (electives), a fun and engaging Saturday night program and plenty of time to meet new friends!
Our events are either home hospitality style or hotel based. This means, that when we are being hosted by a synagogue for Shabbat you will be staying with other teens at a congregants’ home. The community opens its doors to allow USYers to immerse themselves in Shabbat. Our host homes are welcoming and it’s lovely seeing the teens interact with the families, asking about how they celebrate Shabbat, and more.
The only way to really appreciate what we do is to give it a shot and attend an event. METNY USY has impacted thousands of teens throughout the years and they credit USY for their leadership skills, confidence, love of Judaism and so much more.
Come join the METNY family at our next event. Our doors are always open. Hope to see you there!