Welcome to the Month Seaboarder!
~ We ❤️ Trees! ~
KEEP YOUR EYE OUT FOR...
  • Tu Bishvat Love by Grace Hessberg
  • Progress Comes From Volunteering by Rachel Friedman
  • The Jewish Values The Lorax Teaches by Lily Rosenberg
Faves:
  • SA/TO Scoop by Zoe Bayewitz
  • REB Member Update by Mikhail Goldenberg
  • Words with Seaboard
  • Upcoming Events
Tu Bishvat Love
By: Grace Hessberg, Beth El Richmond USY
Class of 2021
HAPPY HAPPY FAKE WINTER/SPRING SEABOARD!! Earlier this month we all got the pleasure to celebrate the amazing holiday Tu Bishvat. This holiday for me always meant overloading on dried apricots and dates. Fruit has been my thing, so this holiday has always been more of an outlet for my obsession with fruit more than anything, but this year that changed. One of my closest friend’s birthdays was on Tu Bishvat this year. She leads Richmond in youth climate strikes. She missed 11 days of school this year due to the passion she has for the world. She even inspires the people around her. 

Instead of a huge dinner for her birthday, we left school early and had a picnic at a park. We spent the afternoon admiring the world around us. We started talking about speaking for the trees, being an advocate for nature’s lungs. It’s so important to do this, to speak up for what's around you. The earth is going through so much right now, and we all wish for a healthy home and future for endless generations but really how many of us are truly supporting that dream? Judaism allows us to make sure we recognize all that our amazing things Earth gives to us. Judaism confirms that at least one day every day, Tu Bisvat, allows us to take the time to take the Lorax into account. To make sure we all recognize cherishing the world around us while we still have it and doing everything in our power to sustain our environment because together we are in complete control of our future on the planet, in this home. 
So happy belated Tu Bishvat Seaboard! Happy belated new year for the trees! I hope you are COMMpletely in love with the amazing, precious world around us!
SA/TO Scoop
By: Zoe Bayewitz, BSOUSY
Class of 2021, Regional Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice President
Oh hey, didn’t see you there. Like most people, I love a good tree. Not only do they provide oxygen, improve air quality, conserve water, preserve soil, and provide habitats for various species, but they play a major role in Judaism. Trees are a symbol for the natural world and life. Like trees, we begin at our root, grow tall, and begin to branch out. The Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, which celebrates the new year for the trees, is associated with sensitivity and gratitude towards the natural world. We climbed on trees as kids, and if you were super lucky, one of your parents might’ve built you a treehouse (my parents were too busy helping me get off the trees I got stuck in). They are fundamental to human existence. I’ll make the rest simple: appreciate the natural world. Help it out; plant a tree, pick up trash, or even just look at a tree and say “You know what, tree? People don’t appreciate you enough. You’re doing great”. Help play your part in keeping our world as beautiful as it can be :) 
Progress Comes From Volunteering
By: Rachel Friedman, OTUSY
Class of 2021, Seaboard Israel Engagement Chair
This past summer I went on the USY Israel trip L’Takayn Olam. Even though I wasn’t that into community service before I went on this trip, I signed up because I wanted a different experience in Israel that wasn’t just touristy. During the trip we volunteered at a number of places, but my favorites were a hydroponic and aquaponics farm, a pomegranate farm, and a kids club for asylum seekers. These were my favorites because I could see the positive outcome of the work we did there. On each of the farms I saw the progress we made and our group’s success was reconfirmed when the farmers told us that we had saved them hours or days worth of work.
The kids at the kids club were all ages, toddlers to teenagers, but it was amazing to see how much fun they can have under bad circumstances and limited resources. The club is located in an old bomb shelter, not the most inviting place for kids, so some members of our group painted a mural, welcoming kids to the club in all different languages. The colorful flowers and decorations made the club a happier place to be and even though it took hours in 100 degree heat, the kids' reactions made it worth it.
Going on LTO also opened up my eyes to problems back home. There were so many parallels between America and Israel that I discovered through the volunteer work I did on LTO. As I said, I wasn’t into volunteering before this trip, but now, seeing the difference I made, I have made an effort to start volunteering back in Virginia.
REB Member Update
By: Mikhail Goldenberg, CBEUSY
Class of 2021, Regional Membership/Kadima Vice President
Hey Seaboard! 

Going into USY can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you don’t know anyone. During my freshman year I didn't know what to expect. I only knew a couple of people (mostly friends made in Kadima), but I was worried about hanging out with the older kids, mainly upperclassmen. As conventions went on, I made so many new friends that constantly brought me joy which really created a safe space for me. This is something really meaningful about seaboard, everyone is very welcoming and easy to talk to. As we progress with the new year, my only wish is to keep this at our core: introducing yourself to others strengthens the region as a community. 

Before I wrap up, I want you all to think back to your first event or convention and reminisce on the feeling you had. Was it scary? Was it exciting? Did you have friends going into it? Were you alone? But most of all, what had you coming back? At the next event or convention you go to, keep an eye out for someone overwhelmed by it all. Be that helping hand to show them all the wonders and memories USY has to offer!

Can’t wait to see you guys at future conventions! -Mikhail G :)
Chapter Spotlight
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The Jewish Values The Lorax Teaches
By: Lily Rosenberg, BEBUSY
Class of 2020
The Lorax by Dr Seuss is a classic book from many of our childhoods. In this book The Lorax kept visiting to get the Onceler to understand all the damage he was doing. Then the environment is severely damaged and all of the trees are gone. One day a boy asks him what happens and the Onceler talks about he misses the trees and wishes he didn't cut them down, so he gives the kid the last truffula seed to grow. This book is describing what this world is now and the story is full of Jewish values. The main value that sticks out is the value of Tikkun Olam otherwise known as repairing the world. The last part of the book is about how the Lorax leaves stones and one is carved with unless. The unless in that case meant that the world would stay like that unless someone came along to help fix it. So let's all go fix the world!
Make your summer #MyUSYSummer!
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!
Words with Seaboard ~ מילים עם סיבורד
Hebrew word of the month: Word
Word: (עצים) (aytzim)
Means: Trees
Word in COMMtext: I am the Lorax and I speak for the עצים.
Upcoming Events
Midwinter Kinnus
Kings Dominion Day