Year at a Glance
Regional USY Events
Regional USY events are coordinated and run through the NERUSY office. Joyce Juda, the NERUSY Director, oversees all regional events. The NERUSY president and executive board help to coordinate and run all of the regional programs.
Encampment is a wonderful way to meet and get to know USYers from around the region before the year begins. Encampment is a week-long camp program held at the end of August at Camp Ramah of New England in Palmer, MA.
Highlights of the week include a day at Six Flags, Maccabiah (color war), bunk activities, social action events, a camper/staff softball game, a special opening event (such as a concert or roller skating), ice breakers, grade activities, a dance, and many more exciting day and evening programs. The week also includes daily services lead by teens as well as staff-taught educational sessions. All services and study sessions are creative and held in an informal setting.
Shabbat is the highlight of the week, when our teens experience NERUSY ruach (spirit) as they sing and dance until the dining room floor shakes!
Over the past few years, we have been fortunate to have several NOAM teens from Haifa spend Encampment with NERUSY, with the generous help of CJP’s Boston-Haifa Connection. NOAM is USY’s sister organization in Israel. This Israel/NERUSY connection has been phenomenal.
All USYers entering 7th to 12th grade are eligible. USYers stay in bunks by gender and grade with competent staff members. Encampment is chaired by 3 to 4 USYers who are entering college freshmen.
All 7th and 8th graders are paired up with Senior USY buddies to help them acclimate throughout the week. There is also a special Machon program for USYers entering college, as they have their opportunity for final bonding time and to say goodbye to USY.
Encampment provides an outstanding week for new and veteran USYers and is an exciting start to the NERUSY year.
Fall Boat Cruises
NERUSY kicks off the school year with our annual boat cruises around Boston Harbor. There are 3 boats—one for Kadima, one for Junior USY, and one for Senior USY. There is a DJ on each boat who plays music and games that are geared toward the ages on each particular boat, and there are snacks on each boat as well. In addition to cruising the harbor, all of the boats dock on George’s Island for about 45 minutes, where Kadimaniks and USYers can explore the island or participate in optional activities. All Kadimnaniks and USYers must attend with their chapter and chapter staff members.
This valuable weekend is specifically geared toward training all chapter USY board members and regional general board members to become better Jewish leaders and chapter officers. Leadership Retreat is open to Junior USY leaders as well as to Senior USY chapter officers and regional chairs, and it is held at Camp Ramah in New England. Everyone stays in heated bunks, by gender and grade.
Throughout the weekend, the Regional Executive Board runs workshops for their chapter officer counterparts. USYers have the chance to network, exchange ideas, problem solve, and become better leaders. Leadership Retreat also includes a spirited Shabbat, a Saturday night of bowling, a special 12th grade activity, and a regional general board meeting. This weekend in a must for all aspiring USY leaders!
Just before the Thanksgiving turkey appears, USYers have the chance to dance the night away at NERUSY’s Turkey Dances. Every year on the night before Thanksgiving, there are two separate Turkey Dances: one for Junior USY and one for Senior USY. Each is held in synagogues within a few miles of each other. USYers must attend these dances with their chapters and chapter staff members.
This freshmen only event is hosted by a chapter and begins on Friday, before Shabbat, and goes through Saturday, after Shabbat. This is a terrific way for new 9th graders to be introduced to USY and to share a Shabbat together with their grade. Veteran USY 9th graders will love getting together to bond with their USY friends and to meet new USY members.
This is a home hospitality kinnus (conference), where USYers stay with other USYers in family homes within the host community. Everyone gets together to enjoy the programs, meals, services, and sessions that are held throughout Shabbat. Staff supervision is provided for this amazing program for NERUSY’s 9th graders.
International Pre- / Post Convention
Each year we have an International Convention (IC), which is hosted by a different region each year. During the Pre/Post Convention, NERUSY has the chance to do some additional touring of the host area and to spend a Shabbat getting to know our NERUSY delegation.
As the year hits the mid-way point, the Regional Executive Board holds kinnusim for their chapter counterparts and for regional chairs. This is a great way for our USY leaders to get together again to evaluate their year so far and to focus on the remainder of the USY year. Each Executive Board Member holds their ruach-filled Shabbat in a family’s home within the region. Sometimes there is more than one kinnus in the same home or community. Either USY staff or parents supervise each kinnus.
Each kinnus includes leadership workshops, experiential bonding activities, networking opportunities, and problem-solving sessions. In addition, everyone enjoys a meaningful Shabbat and, of course, lots of USY ruach!
Tikun Olam Semi-Formal Dance
It’s time to get dressed up and raise money for USY’s charity fund: Tikun Olam (T.O.)! No dates are required for this night of dancing and fun. The T.O. Semi-Formal takes place in one of our chapter’s synagogues and is for 9 through 12th graders. During the night, a Tikun Olam raffle is held to help raise much needed Tikun Olam funds for charities world-wide. There is a DJ and hors d’oeuvres to help celebrate this night of USY elegance! USYers must attend with their chapter and chapter staff members.
After the Tikun Olam Semi Formal ends, all 12th graders are invited to a special overnight event just for them. Fun activities and some sleep are in store for the night. Staff is provided for the Senior Overnight, which ends with shacharit (the morning service) and breakfast on Sunday morning.
This convention is for 12th graders only! Senior Weekend is a great way to wind down a USY career. This staff-supervised weekend is held at a resort on Cape Cod, where USYers stay in rooms of 4 to 5 other same-gender teens. Together, the seniors enjoy a wonderful Shabbat and a variety of programs specifically geared toward making this a very special and unique USY experience.
NERUSY’S T.O. Day At The Red Sox
Since 1988, NERUSY has been able to obtain a number of tickets to watch the Red Sox in action! Tickets are sold by chapter, and all proceeds are donated to USY’s charity fund, Tikun Olam.
This annual event is one of the highlights of the year. As the USY year comes to an end, this convention gives our teens the chance to get together one last time to share in a meaningful and action-packed NERUSY weekend. Highlights of Spring Convention include:
- Opening session with a parade of chapter banners
- Inspirational Israel programs
- Zimriah (song festival)
- Ruach-filled Shabbat
- Saturday night dance
- Stirring guest speakers
- Ice breakers
- Interesting study themes
- Social action activities
- Special Havdalah
- End-of-the-year slide show
- Election of NERUSY officers
- Final banquet and awards presentation
Spring Convention is held in a hotel, and it has ample staff supervision on every floor and same-gender USYers staying in rooms of 4. All 7 to 12th graders are eligible to attend, and there are special programs for our junior USYers.
Be sure to end your USY year with this outstanding convention!
Dance the night away under the stars! This final dance of the year is held in a synagogue for our seniors, and weather permitting it is held outdoors. USYers must attend with their chapter and chapter staff.
Weekly Lounge Nights
Every Wednesday night you can get together with your USY friends at the NERUSY office. The lounge runs most Wednesdays from October through June from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. All USYers are welcome to come schmooze and have fun. Special lounges throughout the year may include Chanukah Lounge, Israel Lounge, Ice Cream Lounge, etc.
Each year there may be new and different events, such as:
- Special programs for club members (A.J. Heschel Honor Society; HeChalutzim; 613 Mitzvot Club members)
- Night at the Celtics
- Day with the NE Revolution
- Grade-specific programs
Every year there are special programs for our Kadimaniks. After the Fall Boat Cruise, Kadimaniks have enjoyed events such as:
- Afternoon at an indoor water park
- Maccabiah day (color war day)
- Museum of Science overnight
- Rock climbing overnight
- Matza Ball dance
- Day with the Harlem Globetrotters
All USY programs observe the laws of kashrut and Shabbat, according to the standards of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.