USY teens hold spring convention in Hamilton
HAMILTON, Ont. — The participants at the Eastern Canada Region of United Synagogue Youth (ECRUSY) spring convention earlier this month raised close to $200 for tzedakah.
The youth group affiliated with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism held its four-day convention at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Hamilton, where chapter members from Toronto, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Ottawa, Hamilton and London attended programs for Kadima members (grades 5 to 7) and USY members (grades 8 to 12).
Using the theme “Back to the Future,” the students focused on learning, social action and fun and elected next year’s regional executive board.
Participants explored what it means to be part of the Jewish People, held discussions about Jewish advice they wish they’d had when they were younger, and thought about questions they would ask their future selves if given the chance.
On Friday, the group enjoyed a Great and Amazing Scavenger Hunt around the Hamilton neighbourhood. On Saturday night, convention delegates were treated to a trip to Adventure Village, where they enjoyed miniature golf, batting cages, bumper cars, rock climbing and arcade games.
Convention co-chairs were Haley Szereszewski from Beit Rayim Synagogue in Thornhill, and Joshua Seed from Toronto.
Officers for the 2011-2012 ECRUSY regional executive board were elected. Noa Zaifman of Congregation Or Shalom, London, Ont., was elected president, succeeding Jonah Eisen of Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am Congregation in Toronto.
Others elected were vice-presidents of Israel affairs – Sabrina Craig; religion and education – Ben Levine; social action/tikkun olam – Shira Eisen; membership/kadima – Talia Jacob; and communications – Jake Pascoe, all of Beth David, Toronto.
Among the annual awards handed out were one for the most improved chapter, which went to Hamilton’s Beth Jacob, and chapter of the year, which went to Or Shalom of London. The Sharon Cole Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Michaela Sadinsky of Agudath Israel Congregation in Ottawa for her service and commitment to ECRUSY.
ECRUSY has numerous active chapters throughout eastern Canada and will be organizing social programs, community service and other events throughout the year. The next convention will be at the end of the August for those holding leadership positions within ECRUSY, followed by the ECRUSY fall convention in November and the USY international convention in Boston in December.
For more information on USY, please visit www.ecrusy.org or Facebook fan page ECRUSY: Canadians Do It Best.