Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Young Judaea Regional Updates: Winter 2019

By Year Round Programs

Spring is almost here, but its been a terrific winter for Young Judaea around the country.  New kids, new programs and some very interesting experiments.  You can check out what’s coming up HERE and if you need more information, email yjevents@youngjudaea.org

Check it out!

LINYC Young Judaea

LINYC spent the first couple of weeks of November planning our first social action event that took place on November 18th. The event, while small, wound up being a huge success. We worked with Youth City Farms NYC and Repair the World doing some weeding, picking up garbage, organizing and preparing compost, and learning about poverty in the LINYC area. On December 16th we played our own version of Escape Room: Israel edition at the Midway Jewish Center on Long Island. We learned about how Israel became a state and what hardships the Jews had to face in order to see the country develop to statehood. We took a short break from local events to participate in AWB, the MLK overnight and day of service, and National Convention in Atlanta. Upon our return from National we geared up for our Feminism and Zionism event on March 10th at Rachel Lock’s home in NYC. We had a nuanced conversation about the line between anti-semitism and anti-zionism, bringing in controversies surrounding the women’s march and where we see YJ’s “place” in social justice movements. Looking forward to our next event, April 28th for a post-Pesach “Chopped” where we’ll use leftovers from the holiday to make creative food baskets and discuss Jewish liberation. Registration up soon! We’ll also head to Central Park to take part in the NYC AIDS Walk.

~ Zoe Jurmann – LINYC Pirsum, Woodbury, NY

NJ Young Judaea

New Jersey Young Judaea has been working really hard to bring fun meaningful events to the region.  In October we had “The Last Laugh” event where the region had an insightful discussion about whether or not the Holocaust and other tragic events are acceptable topics for humor.  The group was able to have a meaningful discussion and share their own thoughts, opinions and experiences with holocaust humor. New Jersey also held “The Great Chanukah” event where we learned about Hanukkah traditions through a competition between team latkes and team sufganiyot.  The challenges included sufganiyot decorating, a dredial tournament, a candy menorah competition, and a Chanukah skit challenge. It was close, but in the end the Sufganiyot were the victors. We closed the event with a discussion about the differences between Chanukah and Christmas traditions and their purposes.  New Jersey had high numbers at AWB as well as the Northeast MLK overnight and National Convention in Atlanta. Our latest event on February 20th, Dare to Dream, was a huge success. We discussed this year’s Eurovision theme which will be held in Tel Aviv and learned about dream stories from the Torah such as Jacob’s ladder. Chanichim also got to make and take home their very own dream catchers! Registration is out NOW for our next event, a Trashion Show on March 31st, where we’ll discuss environmentalism, our new national initiative. Go sign up!!  We’re also planning for our first ever Rikud-a-thon where we’ll raise money for this year’s initiative, Women’s Health.

~ Manni Burach NJ Pirsum, Livingston NJ

New England Young Judaea

New England yj had a wonderful time at our Hanukkah event on December 9th.  We made treats, played dreidel, and discussed the story of Hanukkah. Our maz has been having weekly calls where we discuss our future plans and what we hope for our region to become. We have been trying to expand our region beyond just our maz members , and we have been putting out flyers to spread the word about who we are and what events we have! All of us on the maz are looking forward to what 2019 brings us!!!

~ Julia Kamen NE Pirsum, Manchester NH

Empire Young Judaea

At Empire’s Friendsgiving event in November we had a great time learning about different traditions and discussing what gratitude means. In January we participated in MLK Day of volunteering with the other northeast regions. Empire had a fantastic time at our #teensforchangeevent on March 3rd. We spoke with local politicians about issues in education, gun control, and antisemitism. Our next event is an overnight on April 27th where we’ll be talking about how Passover is celebrated all around the world. We hope you can make for a fun and festive night!

~ Julia Cooper Empire Pirsum, Poughkeepsie NY

Atlanta Young Judaea

Since Atlanta kicked off the year at our planning meeting we’ve grown our community and began working with a new advisor, Davida Halev, a CJ alum studying at Emory University. We had the best time at our Chanukah bonfire. The Atlanta va’ad each brought a guest; we taught them songs we sing during shira shketa at camp and made lots of s’mores. In February we had a feast at our shabbat dinner at the Levy home. Special thanks to Alane and Sadie for cooking and hosting! Many of us attended National Convention at Camp Twin Lakes outside Atlanta. It was a joy to “host” convention in the city we love and exciting to see old friends and meet new ones. Thanks again to Alane for being our nurse/photographer for the weekend and to Lauren Berman for making challot for convention even though Matan is off on Year Course! Follow us on our social media accounts to stay updated on all things ATL YJ!

South Florida Young Judaea

After our great kickoff, we then got hungry and held our Master Chef Israel program where we learned about Israel through food with Itamar and the teen leaders. We were so happy to get together for our first annual Rikud Night!  We danced like it was camp!  We are looking forward to Purim and then we’ll have our annual overnight, planned by our teen leaders and BIKURIM the next day.


Pittsburgh Young Judaea

The late fall and winter in Pittsburgh was very different this year as our group participated in many of the programs and activities for families and teens after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

For Chanukah, we gathered for fun and games run by the bogrim.  In January, we got together for our annual Ice Skating outing, which was cold, but fun.  And in March, we were so excited to come together with kids from Ohio for our annual Shabbaton. Our theme was Jewish Heroes and you can see by the pictures HERE, that everyone had a great time.  Thanks to the Pittsburgh JCC for their generous grant and Beth El Congregation for hosting.

The Sunday after the Shabbaton, both our basketball teams kicked (ha) off their seasons.  Last year, our High School team was undefeated.  This year, we expect great things from both the Young Judaea High School and the new Middle School teams!

The spring will bring us Jserve, our final picnic and our annual trip to see the Pirates!

Midwest Convention Update

Thank you to all those that came out to Midwest Winter Convention 2018! Inspiration and Motivation, the theme of the convention, was an overwhelming success as the teens learned about the difference between peer pressure and peer leadership, and positive vs. negative motivation.

The convention body learned about what it was like to be in the IDF and heard personal stories from Orel, our LA shlicha, about her experiences in the Israeli navy.We also wrote letters to the different congregations that met at the Tree of Life synagogue and to the first responders. Max Aizenstein, Mira Morris, and Eitan Weinkle, Maz members from Pittsburgh, shared their personal feelings about the shooting and informed the teens about what it meant to them to be proud of their Judaism.

As we welcomed Shabbat into our convention, the teens were split up into their respective schavot (age groups), where they played games and bonded with each other. After a reflective and engaging Shabbat, we joined together for a Shira Shketa and Rikud session followed by a ‘Pajama Jam’ for SNF (Saturday Night Fun). The teens wore their craziest pj’s as they made ice cream snowmen, competed in a dance battle, challenged their friends in a pillow fight, and took pictures to remember the fun night they had. We ended the evening with a relaxing sing-along concert from Maz members Mira Morris and Eitan Weinkle.

Throughout the whole weekend, we asked all the participants to bring all the lose change they could find for the penny war to raise money for the California wildfires. We raised over $300 to contribute to the cause!

The Midwest Mazkirut were overjoyed to hear the positive feedback from our participants and can’t wait to see you at Spring Convention March 21st-24th! Go register now!

~ Sarah Tessler – Midwest Pirsum, Scottsdale, AZ

recommended posts

Year Round Programs Igniting the Spark: A Year in Review from the Director of Teen Education

By Erica Cohen, Director of Teen Education As I reflect on this past year, I can...

Alumni #BringThemHomeNow

Through small acts of solidarity, we, as Jewish camps, have the power to effect ...

Year Course My Year Course Experience: Gabe Hirsch

By Gabe Hirsch, Year Course 23-24 Participant Year Course provided me with the u...