USY teens converge for 50th anniversary

The convention offered a wide array of activities and opportunities to get more deeply involved in USY and the larger Jewish community, from social action projects to a college fair. In addition, the Jewish musical group Safam performed.

For Juda, one of the highlights of the convention was a carnival, hosted and run by convention participants for various Greater Boston youth organizations. "Over 400 kids came," she said. "It was an incredible experience, both for the kids who came in and also for our kids."

USY President Josh Taff said, "USYers come to the convention because it's a tremendous opportunity to see old friends and make new ones from all over North America. It's a great place to exchange ideas about successful USY programs."

Hila Hadani Ward, the convention director, noted the convention also inspires participants to take what they have learned and experienced back to their home regions, to further strengthen USY and the Jewish community overall.

"When USYers go back to their regions and chapters, they give a real boost to the level of programming and involvement in USY," Ward said. "Part of our objective is to teach the Jewish values of gimilut hasadim, performing acts of loving-kindness for others, and tikkun olam, literally, repairing the world. It is also nice to make a positive impact on the surrounding community while teaching our youth the importance of helping others, regardless of faith or race."

— Boston Jewish Advocate