The Seaboarder
October  2016
November 18-20, 2016 at the Capital Retreat Center

December 25-29, 2016

This month has been very interesting for Eretz Yisrael. Here are the top four news updates being talked about this month in Israel:

UNESCO, a United Nations agency, passed a resolution disregarding Judaism's historic connection to the Temple Mount and therefore the Western Wall. After an intense outrage in Jewish communities across the world, Israel promptly cut relations with UNESCO.

On October 9th, a Palestinian shooting took place near police headquarters in Jerusalem, killing one civilian and one police officer.

An Israeli research team at the Weizmann Institute of Science concluded that a solution to jet lag is slightly lowering oxygen levels on a plane.

Several African countries are thinking about expanding diplomatic and economic relations to Israel. This could be helpful to Israel's economy and reputation across the world!
     Hey Seaboard!!! Who's excited for the new and improved (drumroll please...) Kadima Konnections!?! Kadima Konnections is a program designed to integrate Kadimaniks into the USY community. This year, Kadima Konnections is working specifically to create meaningful relationships between USYers and Kadimaniks on a chapter level. Rather than the previously attempted pen-pal system, we are holding a region-wide competition to encourage Kadima Konnections programing. Chapters will create at least one joint USY and Kadima event with aspects of team building and partner activities. The winner of the region-wide competition will be presented with a prestigious award at Spring Convention! Help your chapter win this award by attending your Kadima Konnections events, talking to your chapter board if you have event ideas, and posting on social media with #KadimaKonnections. Also, be sure to hashtag your chapter name! The three main areas being evaluated for this award are: attendance, creativity, and use of social media publicity. The goal of these Kadima Konnection programs at a chapter level is to create a strong bridge between USY and Kadima starting at the root of our youth group, the chapters. If you need help or have questions, please email Seaboard USY's Executive Membership/Kadima Vice President, Hannah Wandersman at .
Hey Seaboard! The closer we approach conventions, the more and more excited we are to reunite with all of the amazing friends, activities and memories we created! 
Now,  we're asking all of Seaboard to share their tips and advice on what to expect from their first kallah or convention. Make it funny, make it serious- but... most important make sure that it is helpful and useful to incoming USYers and Kadimaniks!

     This month's issue of The Seaboarder is a special chapter perspective edition! Chapter President Talia Fleischer from Ohr Kodesh (Chapter of the Year) and Chapter Board members Michael Morbeto and Jonathan Katz from Shaare Shalom are all sharing their unique perspectives on how USY has impacted their lives and their chapters. There is also more information about the new and improved Kadima Konnections program and how you can help your chapter win a special award at Spring Convention.  Last but not least, there is the monthly Israel Update and Parents' Corner sections. Happy reading!
By  Talia Fleischer, Ohr Kodesh USY Chapter President

     To be honest, I didn't hear about chapter board applications until the day before they were due. Before applying for a position on chapter board, I had only been to a few events towards the end of eighth grade. I really enjoyed them, but I had no idea there even was a board working behind-the-scenes to plan the events and activities, let alone how much work it put in. So I signed up with my friend Anna for what I thought would be the easiest position available: Freshman Representative. It proved to be a huge time commitment and a lot of hard work, but it was a blast and totally worth it. I knew that I wanted to get even more involved in the following year. After a lot of thinking, I decided to apply for Chapter President, and I'm so happy that I did.
     Everything that we've accomplished is directly linked to Adina Schwartz and Uri Farber, USYers from my chapter who graduated this past year. Adina made an entire board come out of thin air and is the reason that after just a couple years of existence we won chapter of the year. However, last year was a pretty big jump for our newly-developing chapter. We had more people on board, more consistent events that teens would look forward to, and better communication through flyers and announcements in our synagogue.
     This year, my goal is to 'play up our strong regulars' like Friday Night Lights, and work to create new and creative events. We are already working on a system to make our communication even better, which is going great so far. My personal goal as chapter president is to make our chapter extremely welcoming, because that is my favorite part of USY. I also want to make it more inclusive to public school and day school teens. I want them to experience this amazing chapter! And remember, we're more than ok... we're OKUSY!
By Michael Morbeto & Jonathan Katz, Shaare Shalom USY

     The two of us have been involved in our synagogue for as long as we can remember. When we first heard about Kadima and USY, it looked like just another fun Jewish program we could participate in with our friends. In reality, it ended up providing us with amazing leadership opportunities such as being on our chapter board. We currently serve as the Religion/Education VP and then Israeli Affairs VP for our chapter board.
     The first year our chapter was eligible to have a board just so happened to be the first year we joined USY. No one from our synagogue knew much about Chapter or Regional leadership except for our friend, Lilly Shankman. With her encouragement, we ran for our positions on chapter board. None of us expected it to be such a big part of our lives, but we are overjoyed with what USY has done for us.
We have achieved so much success over the course of the previous year, even with the challenges we faced as a new chapter. Throughout the year, our chapter began to pick up steam because we wanted it to reach its greatest potential. Our consistent meetings, friendship, and intense passion for USY formed the wonderful board we have today, which contributes to our fantastic chapter.
     Our main goal this year is to continue the success we achieved last year. We are working towards performing our specific positions to the best of our abilities in order to add diversity to our events.  We hope our initiatives as well as the immense amount of time, effort, and patience put in by our fellow board members and USY Advisor will allow our chapter to thrive even more by the end of the year and in many years to come.

In future issues of The Seaboarder, this will be a section where we highlight in depth the amazing work of one chapter. However, SO MANY of our chapters have had such fantastic kick-offs that we wanted to recognize as many of them as possible...
  • Adas Israel USY (Washington, DC) brought in 5777 with a meaningful teen-led USY Tashlich in Rock Creek Park.
  • Beth El USY (Bethesda, MD) connected with Kadima for a fun night of laser tag.
  • Beth El USY (Durham, NC) welcomed their teens back to another year with Havdallah, a bonfire, and s'mores.
  • Beth Emeth USY (Herndon, VA) went head-to-head with Sha'are Shalom USY (Leesburg, VA) in a CHOPPED cooking competition.
  • Beth Israel USY (Owings Mills, MD) bounced around in a Bubble Kick-Off Party.
  • Beth Meyer USY (Raleigh, NC) gave back to their community by collecting TONS of donated canned food at the NC State Fair.
We can't wait to see what all of our amazing chapters continue to do throughout the year!!!
     My favorite aspect of USY is the one-of-a-kind community. Everyone I have met in Seaboard is super accepting and easygoing. The first USY convention I attended was IC Baltimore (USY's International Convention). I had met very few people from Jewish youth groups before this convention, so I had no idea what to expect. When pre-convention began, my chapter (BIOM) was hosting the HaNegev Region. By hosting other Jewish teens, I was able to interact and quickly become friends with so many amazing people, and I felt myself already becoming a part of this incredible community. Throughout the convention, I noticed that there wasn't a single person from any region who didn't want to meet someone new. I can easily say that going to this convention taught me what being Jewish in USY is really about.
     Whether it's Ruach, Slow-ach, a late night, or just hanging out during Chofesh, I always have an unbelievable time with the most exceptional people I've ever I met. Being able to see my closest friends and taking part in exciting activities are just two of the many reasons why I come back to Seaboard events.
     Thanks for reading this month's edition of 
The Seaboarder! Hopefully you are more up to date on what is happening in Israel, are pumped for the new and improved Kadima Konnections program, and most importantly enjoyed hearing from fellow USYers about their successful chapters. Don't forget that the deadline to register for USY Fall Convention on November 18-20 is November 2 so register today with the link above!