March 2018     

Welcome to the March Seaboarder!
~The USY Journey~

Keep An Eye Out For...
The Long Haul      
By Noam Gumerman     
Current Kadima Experiences      
By Josh Shapo and Sarah Moldover     
Hindsight 20/18       
By Renana Harris-Blumenthal   
Ask a Staff 
Seaboard SA/TO Scoop   
Torah Aura 
  USY Mid-Winter Kinnus 2017
USY & Kadima Basketball League
Grades 6-12
Sundays in January-March 2018 
Frost Middle School, Rockville, MD

USY Mid-Winter Kinnus (Registration now open!)
Grades 9-12                                    
March 10-11, 2018 
Congregation Beth Emeth, Herndon, VA
SAVE THE DATE: Registration Opening Soon!

USY Mid-Winter Kinnus 2017
USY and Kadima Kings Dominion Day
Grades 6-12
April 22, 2018
Kings Dominion Amusement Park
USY Spring Convention 
Grades 8-12
May 25-29, 2018                                                 
Camp Louise in Cascade, MD

USY Encampment & Kamp Kadima 2018
Grades 6-12
August 20-26, 2018
Capital Camps, Waynesboro, PA

The Long Haul    
By Noam Gumerman, Seaboard Class of 2019
What happens at the beginning of a convention? How does it feel to have a half hour drive home after convention? These are some of the tough questions that North Carolina USYers ask their friends from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Why? Because we don't know. Engaging in regional USY events when you're several hours away from nearly everyone else isn't easy. It's a huge reason my chapter only had one person going to regional conventions two years ago. It can be intimidating to hop on a bus and drive five, six, seven, sometimes even eight hours to see people you've never met. However, the rest of the Seaboard USY community has been so welcoming and kind. From my first regional event just about a year ago, to standing up in front of a crowd, to having people I met at my first regional event come down to visit, and to my NC friends promising each other we will attend every regional event our senior year, it's been an incredible year. While the distance made it difficult to get involved at first, now that we've started, our numbers are growing quickly. The first trip up can be hard, so don't be afraid to say hi to someone who looks a little lost and make their first USY experience a great one.

For more than 55 years USY Summer Experience has provided life-changing summer travel opportunities.

Our trip destinations include North America, Israel, Europe, and beyond, opening participants eyes to new places, experiences, and different cultures all over the globe.

Now it's your turn, see where it takes you!

Current Kadima Experiences
By Josh Shapo, 7th Grade

          My Kadima experience has been incredible! I savor every moment, from spending time with old friends at Kallah to meeting new ones at Kadima Saturday Night Live. Each event surprises me with its ideas that no one else would have thought of. I have never regretted attending a Kadima event, and when I am there, I am never bored. Everything is action-packed, fun, entertaining, and so much more. From snow-tubing to eating s'mores around a bonfire with friends, Kadima events are the best, coolest, most awesome experiences ever!
Hindsight 20/18
By Renana Harris-Blumenthal, Past Regional Communications VP 
USY always seemed like the place I was "meant to be." My parents met in USY while they were both regional directors in their respective regions, and my brother was also very involved. I wanted to experience the bond and excitement of this fantastic youth group just like the rest of my family. I began my involvement in Kadima as a small, shy seventh grader. As I went to more events, I slowly began to branch out and meet others. Little did I realize that these people would become my best friends. I formed strong relationships with staff as I reached eighth grade and started to learn USY "lingo". During my freshman and sophomore years, I served on Regional General Board and my Chapter Board. Those positions helped me discover my passion for communication and inspired me to run for Regional Executive Board at my sophomore Spring. My year on REB provided me with the opportunity to build my leadership and collaborative skills while also branching out even more socially. Every time I look back to six years ago and picture a small, shy Renana going to Kadima events, I am so grateful that those experiences transformed me into the person I am today.
Kings Dominion Day 2015                                  Spring Convention 2017        
Ask a Staff!
    By Hannah Weisman
We asked Hannah if her USY/Kadima experience would be different if she had the chance to redo it.  
I dove headfirst into USY at my freshman Fall Convention. As I participated in every aspect of the event, I became inspired. While watching the REB take us through our weekend, I decided I wanted that experience too.
Fast forward: I was elected Religion/Education VP and was stoked to have the opportunity to give back and inspire the next round of future Jewish leaders.
After three magical conventions, a leadership experience like no other, unquantifiable personal and professional growth, four AP classes, and both hands in orthopedic braces, I made the difficult decision to extinguish my Rel/Ed flame at my junior Spring.
And then, I disappeared.
I spent the next year overloading myself at school and applying to colleges, while reflecting on my REB experience and challenging my Jewish identity.
I returned my senior Spring to finish my USY journey. I analyzed everything - reflecting on my personal experience, looking for meaning, and shaping my Jewish identity. I looked back over my years in Kadima and USY, thankful for the path I walked.
Last year, I was asked to staff Spring Convention, and I'm so glad I did.  After two years of reflection, my mind flooded with the impact and the meaning of my USY experience. My journey was unique and it contributed to the Jew and the person that I am today. I wouldn't change that for the world.   

We are proud to stand with our  USY  friends from across the country and participate in the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C. and locations across North America.

Our local community will be opening it's doors USYers from across the country for a meaningful Shabbaton experience. We will gather the night before at locations throughout the D.C./Maryland area for a meaningful Kabbalat Shabbat experience, including
 forming prayer communities,  Shabbat dinner, and text study relevant to gun safety.

The following day we will travel to the rally together (either on foot or via pre-paid metro card), reuniting afterwards to process what we experienced, before davening Ma'ariv and Havdallah.
  • Seaboard USYers local to the DC metro area are invited to join us for Friday night and Saturday programming, sleeping in their own homes on Friday night. 
  • Seaboard USYers outside the DC metro area should sign up for the full Shabbaton experience to ensure housing.
Current Kadima Experiences
By Sarah Moldover

          I mainly joined Kadima because my older brother would always tell me about the events, and they all sounded so fun! I was very excited to join when I reached sixth grade and encouraged my friends from my synagogue to come to events with me. I continue to attend events because I enjoy hanging out with other Jews my age and participating in activities with them. Next year, I will be joining USY along with my Jewish friends. We are all super excited to become USYers!   
Seaboard SA/TO Scoop   
By Gabrielle Zwi, Regional Social Action/Tikun Olam VP   
          On February 21st, many students (including Seaboard USYers) from schools in Maryland, DC, and Virginia marched to the U.S. Capitol to demand action in response to the recent school shooting in Florida. Stephanie Lichtenstein from OKUSY said, "The march was an incredible experience for me. Seeing over a thousand high schoolers across the country taking a stand for gun control gave me a huge feeling of solidarity..."

          Rabbi Steve Wernick, CEO of USCJ (USY's parent organization) recently posted about the upcoming March for Our Lives, writing that USY is finding ways to stand up for our values in a secular context while celebrating and integrating Shabbat: "USYers...are rising up and demanding change to assure their safety.  They are declaring with one voice that it is not acceptable to be worried about being shot at school. And our USY leadership wants to join their peers in marching on March 24th to make that point crystal clear to our government leaders." Adas Israel will host up to 150 out-of-town USYers for Shabbat. Rabbi Wernick concluded by saying, "I believe that if Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel were with us today to consult, he would respond as he did so many decades ago, sometimes you have to 'pray with your feet.'"
Chapter Spotlight
  Check Out What's Happening in Chapters Across Seaboard!
  Last month, Har Shalom davened and dined in the dark! 
Let's see what Chapter Co-President, Hannah Freeman has to say about the event!

    " At our eve nt, we all sat around a table in a very dark room. The goal of our event was to portray what it might be like for someone who is visually impair ed to have a meal. We  had to hone in on our other senses to take the food we wanted and to eat. We had some funny conversations about our weeke nds over dinner! Davening in the dark was r eally cool because it allowed everyone to focus on their prayers, or if someone didn't know one as well, to not feel embarrassed because no  one could see. When we turned on the lights at the end of our event, the table was a bit of a mess but overall we had a really great time it was definitely a good experience to have."  

Sha'are Shalom recently went go-karting! 
Let's take a closer look with Chapter President, Adina Kugler. 
" CSSUSY spent hours at the Dulles Autobahn where we raced in go-karts to see who would emerge as the champion. The event was focused on being a social gathering and it brought in many chapter members and CBE representatives as well."

To submit your chapter's event for the chance for it to be featured in the next edition of the Seaboarder, contact Julia at for the form!! 
  Torah Aura- 
Little Known Facts About the Parshaot!
  By Joey Wolf, Ohr Kodesh USY's Religion/Education VP, Study with a Buddy Chair
          A lot happens in this month's Torah portions. First, in Parashat Yitro, Moses' father-in-law leaves Midian to join the Israelite camp. Yitro advises Moses to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist him in administering justice to the people. Later, in the same parashat, G-d gives Moses the Ten Commandments.

          Next, in Parashat Mishpatim, G-d gives the Israelites a series of laws. These laws cover a lot of material, including rules for governing the court system as well as the penalties for murder, kidnapping, assault, and theft.

          The following parshiyot focus less on governing and more on specific ritual practices. In Parashat Terumah, G-d provides the blueprint for building the Mishkan. G-d describes the altar, the Ner Tamid (everlasting flame), and instructions regarding the duties and the vestments of the Kohanim (priests) in Parashat Tetzaveh.
"The warmest aspect of USY is by far the late-night cuddle sessions while having deep conversations about life and Judaism and Troy and Gabriella's break up in High School Musical 2 #commtest"
- Zoe Bayewitz (9th Grade) 
"The aspect of USY that makes me feel warm inside is stepping off the bus at convention and being bombarded with hugs from all my best friends #commtest
Thanks so much for submitting your responses! Here's this month's #commtest question: What has been your favorite USY program/activity?
Post your response in the Seaboard USY Facebook Group with the hashtag comm test for the chance to have your post featured in the next edition of the Seaboarder !

If you have any suggestions for future editions, please email the Seaboard Communications VP, Julia Feldman, at :)