The Seaboarder March 2016
Need a place to volunteer for Good Deeds Day?
Join us at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore! 
Questions? Contact Maddie Dahl at 
Register for King's Dominion Day!!!
Join over 250 USYers and Kadimaniks for an amazing day of thrills and fun at Kings Dominion on April 17! 
We can't wait to see you at Spring Convention!
Don't miss out on all of the fun! 

Shalom, Seaboard! I want to take a minute to thank all of the chapter board members who are working so hard to create amazing programming, welcome new members, and promote attendance at regional events. Thank you for your commitments to Seaboard USY.

On that note though, we are not done! You may be approaching the end of your term. Your school work may be overwhelming as we prepare for AP testing season. You may feel "done".

Yet there is so much work still to be done, so keep making your chapters great. Remember why you ran for board. Remember what you promised. Remember your goals. Take these last few months to accomplish what you wanted to do. If you want to talk or have questions, I'm always here. Just send me an email.

- Hannah Smith
Regional President
What's with the BIOM Rabbit?!?!?!

The BIOM (Beth Israel Owings Mills) "Ruach Rabbit" has had a very special meaning to everyone in the chapter since at least the early 1970's. Many people in the Seaboard Region and International USY are very familiar with the Ruach Rabbits, but not many people know where the mascot came from, not even the BIOM Rabbits themselves.
Beth Israel Congregation used to live in Randallstown, MD. The USY chapter was Ruach USY, which then became BIOM USY when we changed locations in 1996. The Ruach USYers were very into sports and had many events competing with other local chapters in various sports activities. The USYers wanted a mascot and took it upon themselves to put it to a vote. The options were the Rhinos, the Bunnies, the Roosters, or the Moles. The boys favored the Moles and the Rhinos, the girls favored the Bunnies, and the girls won. The boys, however, refused to have a "Bunny" as a mascot because it wasn't manly enough. They came to an agreement to be the Rabbits. Ruach USY was officially the Ruach Rabbits.

The only difference between BIOM USY and Ruach USY is the location. In the yearbooks there are many pictures of the USYers with huge stuffed rabbits in the background, all of their flyers had rabbits on them, the story of the mascot is in every yearbook, and the chapter song is in a few. BIOM USY is always seen with at least one rabbit by their side, rabbits on all of their shirts, and all over the youth lounge. For generations we have all loved our rabbits and would not be Ruach USY or BIOM USY without them.

- Sarah Eckard, BIOM Chapter President
Four Paws: Working to Restore the Zoo in Gaza

Currently, Four Paws, an international non-profit that collaborates with Israelis and Palestinians is in Gaza caring for the declining population of the territory's six zoos. Four Paws work within Gaza began during the aftermath of the Gaza War in 2014, Operation Protective Edge. Israel and Hamas's conflict in 2014 killed 80 animals and left only 20 surviving in the Al-Bisan zoo in Beit Lahia alone. The manager of this zoo begged Four Paws to help them and the surrounding zoos out. The organization and their work is completely funded by online donations. The organization is a firm believer that "animals can build bridges between countries" and is the only organization that has a permit to enter Gaza to help the animals there.

Laziz, the last surviving Tiger in Gaza was said to be living off of only frozen chickens, on good days. He lives at the Khan Yunis zoo in southern Gaza. Laziz is one of many animals living like this at this zoo which Dr. Amir Khalil, Egyptian-born veterinarian and director of project management at Four Paws "consider[s] one of the worst zoos in the world" which he frequently compares to a prison. Four Paws recruited local volunterrs to help 100+ animals from three different Gaza zoos by providing food and medical help to these animals in need. These animals are said to be facing death from the cold weather, food deprivation, poor captivity, cages and lack of quality care.

Every summer, USY sends Pilgrimage participants to volunteer at a zoo in Haifa, The Haifa Educational Zoo on the program L'Takayn Olam. Every summer, USYers learn the impact that wars in Israel has on zoos within all of Israel, not just Gaza.

- Jordan Kalfon
  Israel Affairs Vice President

Changemaker: Zack Sieff
Changing the world one Seaboarder at a time

On February 22, Zack planned and lead his chapter, Har Shalom USY, in an incredible "Book Club Lounge Night."  There, they collected and donated over 250 books to Friends of the Library in Montgomery County, MD.  I had the wonderful privilege to sit and talk with him.
Maddie  Dahl, Social Action/Tikun Olam VP

Q) In general what happened at the Book Club Lounge Night?
Zack: On Monday night, we met at Har Shalom, gathered boxes and bags, and then proceeded to walk from house to house, in the nearby neighborhood, collecting both new and gently used books. After about an hour of collecting, we returned to Har Shalom and sorted the piles and piles of books into 4 categories: children's, young adult's, adult's, and resources/magazines. About a week before the event, we arranged to have a note left in everyone's mailbox so that they knew we were coming.

Q) Why did you decide on collecting books as opposed to food, toys, or other goods?
Zack: I came up with the idea for collecting books a couple of months ago. I really enjoy reading [and] am so fortunate to have infinite access to any kind of book I could ever want to read.  But some people don't have the chance to read as often as they want. They don't have the opportunity to "escape" into books like a lot of us do. I thought it would be cool and fun to collect books and donate them.

Q) Was coordinating and planning this event challenging?
Zack: The planning actually wasn't that difficult. I brought up the idea at our board meeting and everyone loved it.  We discussed times and possible dates and set a schedule for how the evening would go.  We then began to advertise!

Q) What organization are you donating the books to?
Zack: We're donating to Friends of the Library in Montgomery County, MD. I really love their mission: "Strengthen, promote, and challenge our public library system, as it responds to the changing needs of our diverse communities." When choosing the organization, I felt this one would bring the most meaning. It hits home.

Q) What do you think those who participated in the event learned?
Zack: The lounge night definitely not only taught me, but really impacted everyone in a positive way.  The books we collected are for a really good cause and are going to bring joy to so many people. It feels good when you know you're helping someone else.

Keep up the good work, Zack! Do you or someone you know have a change-making project you want to share? Email Maddie Dahl at!

- Maddie Dahl, Social Action/Tikun Olam VP
Want to see your chapter featured in the Seaboarder?

We want to hear from you! If you have feedback, a USY story you want to share, or pictures from a chapter event, email Hannah Smith at!