WHAT IS USY?
USY is USCJ’s youth group of Conservative Jewish teens across North America. For more than 60 years, USY has taught young Jews the values and skills they need to become exceptional leaders in their religious and secular communities. USY empowers youth to develop friendships, leadership skills, a sense of belonging to the Jewish People, and a commitment to inspired Jewish living through meaningful and fun experiences rooted in Conservative Judaism’s approach to learning, spiritual expression, and social responsibility. Through year round programming and domestic and international travel opportunities, USY inspires in teens a deep sense of pride and love for their Jewish identity. To learn more about International USY, visit www.usy.org.
USY empowers Jewish youth to develop friendships, leadership skills, a sense of belonging to the Jewish People, a deep engagement with and love for Israel, and a commitment to inspired Jewish living through meaningful and fun experiences based on the ideology of Conservative Judaism.
We envision a world in which Jewish teens are inspired by an authentic and dynamic Judaism to become leaders in their kehillot (Jewish communities inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) and make a position impact on the world today, and in the future.
1. We are dedicated to creating a safe, caring community in which teens can thrive and grow. We allow teens to succeed by making space for personal/spiritual growth and supporting their Jewish journeys, engaging them in a maximalist way through multiple and flexible entry points.
2. We are inclusive and find unity in diversity. A range of viewpoints and backgrounds—religious, gendered, sexual, racial, ethnic, socio-political—strengthen us all. We celebrate our differences and believe they enrich our community.
3. We teach and model Jewish leadership. Passionate madrichim (life coaches who mentor, encourage, and engage) can profoundly impact youth. We strive to empower those who will serve as role models and inspire others to make Jewish decisions throughout their lives.
4. We strive to create joyous, impactful Jewish experiences. Through engaging and immersive programming, we create a vibrant community filled with energy and ruach (spirit) that allows teens to rejoice and find meaning in their Jewish identities.
5. We are committed to the Jewish People and Israel. Our connections to the Jewish people in North America, Israel, and around the world strengthen us intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As such it is our imperative to nurture a deep engagement with and love for the Jewish State.
6. We are responsible for bettering our world. As partners in the covenant with God, it’s our responsibility to perform acts of tikun olam (healing the world). We answer this calling by empowering teens to volunteer, giving tzedakah (charity), and advocate.