The Eastern Canada region of United Synagogue Youth (USY), the middle and high school affiliate of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism, held its spring convention recently at the Mansfield Outdoor Centre in Mansfield, Ont.
Almost 70 members and volunteer staff from ECRUSY chapters across the region attended programs for Kadima (grades 5-7) and USY (grades 8-12) over three days.
The convention themes were “Clue” for the USYers and “The Avengers” for the Kadimaniks, and the program included learning, social action, Israel engagement, ruach (songs and cheering), and the election of next year’s USY regional executive board.
Delegates explored attitudes toward people with disabilities from both a Jewish perspective and in Canadian society today.
Convention delegates participated in a scavenger hunt and bonfire, and because social action and tikkun olam, are an important part of every USY event, USYers and Kadimaniks raised more than $800 for tzedakah.
Convention delegates elected officers to the 2013-2014 ECRUSY regional executive board, including Jake Pascoe of Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am as president, succeeding Noa Zaifman of Or Shalom, London.
Other positions elected were Israel affairs vice-president Sabrina Craig of Beth David; religion/education vice-president Gabi Herman of Beth David; social action/tikkun olam vice-president Shira Eisen of Beth David; membership/Kadima vice-president Josh Shapiro of Beth Jacob in Hamilton, and communications vice-president Sam Toby of Beth Tikvah, Toronto.
The Eitz Chaim Award for most improved chapter went to OHUSY of Beth Jacob in Hamilton, while chapter of the year went to LOUSY of Or Shalom in London.
A new award this year for best ‘come back’ chapter went to BRUSY of Beit Rayim Synagogue in Toronto.
The Sharon Cole memorial scholarship was awarded to Ben Levine of Beth David for his service to ECRUSY to help him on his way to Nativ, USY’s gap year program in Israel. Convention co-chairs were Brittany Kafka from Beth David and Kenny Epstein from Or Shalom in London.
ECRUSY has many active chapters throughout Eastern Canada and will be organizing social, social action, and Israel awareness events throughout the year. The next convention will take place at the beginning of October for all those in leadership positions within ECRUSY and for those in grades 8 and 9.
For more information on USY visit www.ecrusy.org or Facebook fan page “ECRUSY: Canadians Do It Best.”