What is a convention?

Three times a year, hundreds of USYers from different chapters from all over Northern/Central New Jersey get together to spend an incredible weekend (Friday afternoon-Sunday afternoon) together. Fall Convention in November and Midwinter Convention in February are home hospitality weekends. These conventions are based at a different synogague each time, where all of the activities throughout the weekend take place. USYers are then hosted by a member of that congregation for the two nights. Spring Convention in April is based at a hotel in Somerset, where all of the activities for the weekend take place. An important aspect of USY conventions is the communal observance of Shabbat. There are ruach filled services led by USYers that are very special, meaningful, and different. Throughout the weekend there are ice breakers, interesting discussion groups, food, singing, a dance, and other fun activities. A convention is an awesome opportunity to meet other Jewish teens from throughout New Jersey!

What is Encampment? 

Encampment is a week long convention during the last week of the summer at the B'nai Brith Perlman Camp in Starlight, Pennsylvania. It is an incredible way to wrap up the summer and start off the new school year. USYers stay in cabins with 10-15 other teenagers in their grade. Throughout the week there are many aweseme events such as bunk bonding, Maccabiah (color war), a talent show, unique davening opportunities, incredible ruach sessions, and an amazing dance to end off the awesome week with all of your new friends.

What is USY on Wheels?

USY on Wheels is a unique program in which you get to explore the United States by bus. On this trip you will make memories and connections with friends that you will keep in touch with for the rest of your life, while visiting many  major U.S. attractions and cities. There are four different Wheels options:

"Classic" USY on Wheels -Spend six and a half weeks traveling th U.S. from coast to coast, visiting incredible places along the way such as the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Yellowstone, and many, many more. This program is open to all incoming 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who are USY members.

USY on Wheels East -This is a four week program in which incoming 9th graders explore the Eastern Coast of the United States and Canada. Highlights include Toronto, New England, Disney World, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and more!

USY on Wheels Mission: Mitzvah - Mission Mitzvah is a 40-day program that visits many of the same tourist attractions as "Classic" Wheels, but with a greater emphasis on doing community service projects in the areas the bus visits. Help improve people's lives in communities all over America while visiting amazing cities with your closest friends!

USY on Wheels, Pacific Northwest -This is a three week adventure where you visit exciting places such as Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, British Columbia, Anchorage, and Crater Lake.

What is USY Israel Pilgrimage? 

USY Pilgrimage is the trip of a lifetime where you get to travel to Israel and experience the greatness of our homeland. Learn about the history and culture of Israel while visiting all of the classic tourist sites such as Masada, the Dead Sea, and the Kotel with 40-45 other USYers from all over the United States and Canada. There are many different USY Pilgrimage options:

Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage - Travel to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland before the Israel experience.

Israel Pilgrimage/Poland Seminar - Spend a week experiencing the history and culture of Poland, including visits to many concentration camps, before spending four weeks enjoying Israel.

Italy/Israel Pilgrimage - Start off with a week visiting Italian cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome before spending four weeks enjoying Israel.

USY Israel Adventure - An incredibly exciting and stimulating four weeks in Israel.

L'Takayn Olam - A four week trip to Israel that includes both sightseeing and social action projects on a daily basis. Spend time volunteering in Haifa, Jerusalem, and the Golan.

What is SA/TO? Why should I donate money to SA/TO? 

SA/TO stands for "Social Action/Tikun Olam." SA/TO is the Tzedakah charity fund of USY. The Tikun Olam money is split up as follows: 30% goes to scholarships for USY programs to those who cannot afford to attend USY, 30% help those in need through various organizations as well as supporting Israel based Youth Programming, while the last 40% is allocated to different organizations/charities that the regions/chapters decide on. As the West Orange chapter, we help raise as much money for Tikun Olam as we possibly can. Last year we raised over $1,400 for SA/TO!! We hope to raise even more this year, but we can only do that with your help! All of the money you donate goes to a great cause, so help us out by bringing extra money to events to donte :)

Why should I join USY?

USY has so much to offer. On the chapter level, there are parties, social events, and special programs and trips. You can meet new people your age and make the best friends of your high school years. USY is the perfect opportunity to make Jewish friends in your neighborhood, as well as throughout New Jersey and even all of the United States. It is a way to embrace Jewish culture and heritage in a unique and FUN way! There are also many incredible leadership opportunities that will help shape you into the best person you can be. It's a one-of-a-kind organization!


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