Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Young Judaea Regional Updates: Fall 2018
By Sharon Schoenfeld
Young Judaea started the year with a bang with over 200 teens taking part in programs around the country. Events took place in Los Angeles, DMV (DC/Maryland, Virginia), South Florida, LI NYC, Empire, New Jersey and Pittsburgh. Brand new communities started in Boston and Atlanta! The Midwest region began their planning for their winter convention and soon our Chicago teens will start down their path to YJ! Scroll down to read about some of the exciting things happening around the country.
Atlanta Young Judaea
We are so excited to announce the return of YJ Atlanta! After going to Tel Yehudah in Barryville, New York and learning all about the year round YJ programs, three teens: Micayla Pollak, Skyler Clark, and Sadie Levy decided to bring back YJ Atlanta! Of course, this work could not be done alone, so a planning meeting was held in order to find others interested in helping to lead YJ Atlanta. At our planning meeting, we discussed the Pillars of YJ, future events, goals we have for our Atlanta chapter, and formed an official planning committee! The director of Camp Judaea, Walter Synalovski, and the Director of Communications and Alumni Engagement, Elana Pollack, even came out to our planning event to help! Currently, our planning committee consists of Alex Rothenberg, Charlotte Barrios, Ilana Funk, Leon Cohen, and Shira Funk. All of these amazing individuals are all working hard to get YJ Atlanta started!
Our very first YJ Atlanta kickoff event is coming up! On October 28, we are going to Morgan Falls Overlook Park from 2:30 to 4:00. All 9-12 graders are invited to come and spend some time with your Judaean friends in Atlanta! We also encourage you to bring any and all friends that you think might enjoy some fall sweets or be interested in YJ! We will have some fall-themed treats and other fun activities for all who join us! This event will be so much fun, and we are so excited to see you there!
Facebook: YJ Atlanta
New Jersey Young Judaea
New Jersey Young Judaea has been super busy in these fall months. We kicked off the year with our Sukkot by the Sea event in Asbury Park. New Jersey Judaeans learned about water conservation and Sukkot down by the beach and boardwalk. Even with a little bit of rain we participants were still able to do tashlich in the ocean and have a blast on the boardwalk.
This month New Jersey had another event in Livingston the night of Saturday the 20th called the Last Laugh. At the event we discussed the controversy surrounding Holocaust centered humor. The mazkirut worked very hard to make this an interesting and meaningful event! New Jersey Judaeans are also looking forward to National Convention with the announcement of the location being in Atlanta. Overall the region has had an amazing start to the year and can’t wait to see what is to come!
~ Manni Burach
LINYC Young Judaea
LINYC Young Judaea kicked off their year with a really fun sukkot-themed event in Riverside Park in NYC. At the kickoff, we got to know each other and our sukkot traditions, all while learning about the four species of sukkot. It was a blast hanging out with our friends and even doing tashlich in the Hudson River!
Our next event is one you won’t want to miss: A viewing of a film that focuses on Young Judaea’s kibbutz in Israel: Kibbutz Ketura. This showing is open to the public and we will gather together to watch and then discuss it on November 4th at the JCC in Manhattan. We have been invited to take part in a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin with all of the other youth movements in NY. Additionally, we are planning a social action event in mid-November.
LINYC is getting really excited for Young Judaea’s Alternative Winter Break in Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to partnering with the people of Puerto Rico whose communities were devastated by Hurricane Maria last year. We are also thrilled about going to Atlanta, Georgia in February for National Convention!
LINYC Young Judaea is off to a great start and we hope to see you at our future events!!
~ Allegra Wertheim, LINYC Mazkira 2018-2019
Empire Young Judaea
Empire Young Judaea has been busy beginning our year! We started off with our kick off event at Apple picking and talking about immigration. We talked about how different people and their backgrounds would be able to make it to America or not.
We then had an event on October 21st where we discussed songs that empower women as well as objectify them. We talked about whether or not we would listen to an artist that objectifies women or believes something that we disagree with. We also talked about artists that boycott Israel and whether or not we would listen to them. In the end, we decided we would still listen to these artists but we might not necessarily support them by going to a concert or buying their music. We believed that having a different viewpoint from us didn’t mean their music was bad. It’s important to appreciate all viewpoints. It may even be more interesting to listen to a song that portrays others points of views so u can learn something about the alternating viewpoint. We hope you can join us for our next event on November 17th for Friendsgiving!
~ Julia Cooper, Empire Pirsum 2018-2019
Midwest Young Judaea
Midwest Young Judaea includes teens coming from Pittsburgh all the way to California! As a region-wide event, we have Midwest Bogrim Winter Convention just around the corner from November 29th – December 2nd. Our Midwest Mazkirut is working hard to plan an amazing convention for teens from 8th – 12th grade.
A lot has been happening with Pittsburgh Young Judaea. They opened the year with some fun in the park, had a Sukkah Hop and they just wrapped up their annual Family House volunteer event where they cooked dinner and served it to the residents of Family House which serves people who need a place to stay while their family members are getting medical treatment. Pittsburgh YJ is holding a CYJ Midwest open house for future campers and their parents to get a sense of what camp is all about. The teen leaders will be running activities for the children while the parents hear from the camp director, Robin Anderson. Later in the month, Pittsburgh Young Judaea will have a special volunteer day for teens.
We are so excited that the group of Chicago Judaeans will be coming together this fall to begin their year with the help of former CYJ staffer Adina Lipschultz.
As you can see the Midwest region is hard at work giving back to their communities and friends because after all, MIDWEST IS THE BEST!!
~ Sarah Tessler Midwest Pirsum 2018-2019
New England Young Judaea
New England YJ is off to great start with our new maz! Our first event was at Honey Pot apple orchards on September 30th, which went super well. Everyone went apple picking, went on a hay ride, and ended with a peulah about Jewish identity. Everyone really got to know each other better and we were able to have a few first-time yj members join in . Right now we’re working on future events to have within the next two months and we’re looking forward to what’s to come for us this year as we make our comeback!!
~ Julia Kamen, New England Pirsum 2018-2019
DMV Young Judaea
DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) Young Judaea is so excited to jump back into programming with their amazing Shlicha (Israeli emissary) Gonni Kern. We kicked off with an opening BBQ but this year, the teens plan to play a larger role in running programs for children and work on their hadracha (leadership skills).
Los Angeles Young Judaea
Los Angeles Young Judaea welcomed some new Tel Yehudah teens this past summer and the group set off this year under the guidance of Shlicha (Israeli emissary) Orel Damti. This year, the hospitality of the Valley JCC gives us a place to be and we started with a terrific program about Israel. Our next activity will be volunteering at an assisted living center in Agora Hills.
South Florida Young Judaea
YJ South Florida is kicked off the year on September 16th at Off The Wall. It was so amazing to see everyone reconnect and have fun together. I know this event foreshadows (in a good way) the fun activities we have planned for the rest of the year. Master Chef Israel was our follow-up program with a focus on Israeli food. It was so fun to see everyone and connect with Israel through food! Coming up, we have Amazing Race Israel on November 4th.