USY International and Summer Experiences

School Year Programs

International Convention
There is nothing like the USY International Convention! That is because International Convention brings together more than 1,000 USYers from all across North America for five nonstop days of programs and fun. Whether you are looking for social action, Ruach sessions, or summer program reunions, there is something for everyone at USY International Convention. To learn more check out the International Convention website.
This year the convention will be taking place in Baltimore, MD from December 27-31. #ICBmore15
HeChalutzim Seminar
The HeChalutzim Seminar is a 10-day intensive trip in Israel. Each region sends one participant, who then goes back to the region as an Israel advocate, raising awareness of Israel, and encouraging others to go. To learn more check out the HeChalutzim Seminar website.
USY High
When you go to Israel on USY High, not only will you be with USYers from all over North America, but also you will get to know the Jewish homeland in an exciting and unique way. Israel’s 4,000 years of history will come alive as you learn in the classroom and experience it first hand on hikes and tours.  

Summer Programs

International USY offers two different summer programs. Within these two programs, many other types of programs exist. To learn more about these programs read below.
USY on Wheels
USY on Wheels in a multiple weeklong trip in which you travel across the United States in a tour bus with other USYers. You can go on multiple tracks or programs. Go to the USY on Wheels page to learn more.
Pilgrimage is a four to six week long program in Israel. Depending on which track you go on you may also go to Poland, Germany, or other European countries. Check out the Pilgrimage page to learn more, and watch this Promo Video created by Regional Recapper Adam Fasky that features Far West USYers who went on this amazing trip!

Yearlong Programs

Nativ is a challenging academic year program dedicated to creating and inspiring the Conservative Jewish leaders of tomorrow. Nativ, which means “path” in Hebrew, provides a unique opportunity to explore new directions on the journey to becoming a Jewish adult. From September to May, Nativ participants are immersed in the rich and diverse society of Israel, exploring the land and enjoying a fulfilling Conservative Jewish lifestyle. To learn more check out the Nativ website.  

USY Clubs

Abraham Joshua Heschel Honors Society
This program is designed for the USYer who wishes to demonstrate active involvement in each of the following three areas:
  • Torah – Society members must take part in at least two hours of supervised Jewish study per week, or enroll in the USY Home Study Program.
  • Avodah (Prayer) – Society members must participate in congregational prayer at least four times a month—three of which should be on Shabbat.
  • G’milut Chasadim (Acts of Loving Kindness) – At least once a month, society members must engage in a community service project such as visiting the sick, tutoring, assisting in a Hebrew School, or participating in other Tzedakah/SATO projects.
All members must have a sponsor, who can be either a youth Director, Advisor, Rabbi, teacher, or others associated with the synagogue youth program. The purpose of the Heschel Honor Society is to promote these three values that are so central to Jewish life. Many USYers are eligible to become members, and membership itself is free. all one needs to do is fill out the application, send it in, and fulfill the obligations of a member. Members receive AJHHS publications in the mail. They are eligible to participate in special sichot, may attend the annual Regional Heschel Shabbaton, and are invited to participate in the late night study session at the International Convention. Induction to the AJHHS takes place annually at International Convention. To get more information on the club and how to join visit the Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society website.
613 Mitzvot Club
What is the 613 Mitzvah Corps you may ask? Well, the 613 Mitzvah Corps is the main SA/TO Club within USY. When thinking about world issues, it can be difficult figuring out where to begin to take action. There can be so much information available that it is overwhelming. That is where 613 Mitzvah Corps steps in; the goal of the club is to provide members with the tools to take action. The 613 Mitzvah Corps is an advocacy club for USYers who are interested in getting involved and making a difference. The new focus of the 613 Mitzvah Corps is structured around the mitzvah of not standing idly by. The 613 Mitzvot Club is symbolic of the 613 Mitzvot contained in the Torah. The purpose of this club is to raise Tikkun Olam Tzedakah for USY. It simply allows members to perform the mitzvah of giving Tzedakah. To join, all a member has to do is pay $6.13 (annual membership) or $61.30 for a life membership. USYers are send mailing and information on SATO programming through newsletters and other publications. To get more information on the club and how to join visit the 613 Mitzvot Club website.
In USY, Chalutzim is the Israel Advocacy specialty club, created so that we too can create the best possible Israel, through Israel programming, advocacy workshops, and fun activities. Chalutzim is the best opportunity for anyone who loves our land, and wants to support her, through knowledge and action. Chalutzim literally means “the pioneers.” This special interest group focuses on Israel. Many USYers have had the experience of visiting Israel on Pilgrimage or on other Israel youth tours. This experience is one that most of them would never trade. Chalutzim is designed to enrich, maintain, and encourage a USYer’s connections with Israel. Membership is $10.00 per year. Members receive a Chalutzim Newsletter, published by the International Chalutzim board. To get more information on the club and how to join visit the Chalutzim website.  

Tikkun Olam

Tikkun Olam, meaning repairing the world, is the official Tzedakah program of USY. The phrase can be found in the second paragraph of the Aleinu: “to repair (perfect) the world to reflect the kingdom of God.” Throughout the years USY has raised millions of dollars for Tikkun Olam. Tikkun Olam funds are allocated as follows:
  1. 30% returns to the Region to be distributed as financial aid for USY Israel Pilgrimage;
  2. 30% is allocated to Conservative Movement Programs in Israel, as well as operating expenses of the program and educational materials about Tzedakah;
  3. The remaining 40% is allocated as authorized by the USYers.
Chapters may allocate part or all of their 40% at their discretion. funds not allocated by the chapters are dispersed through a Tikkun Olam committee at the fall International Board weekend. In 1956, “Two-O-Nine” was the Tzedakah project of USY. The goal was to have every member contribute $2.09, in order to reach a specified goal. The program later developed into “Building Spiritual Bridges.” The name change signified a new attitude towards strengthening ties with Israel. finally, in 1971, USY adopted its Tzedakah program, now called Tikkun Olam. USY’s efforts to help all segments of the Jewish community are reflected in this Tzedakah program. Tikkun Olam is not just a fun raising program, but an educational program as well. USYers learn to appreciate that Tikkun Olam – through social action and Tzedakah – are integral to Judaism. Many USYers come to realize the poverty of our fellow Jews, through their own wealth. This is not necessarily monetary wealth, but the wealth of good health, a family that loves one another, and not having to live ashamed of their religion or heritage. These types of wealth are often taken for granted because a dollar amount cannot be affixed to them. However, through exposure to these areas of life, USYers come to respect and understand their heritage, feel a love for their family, and feel a desire to help those who are less fortunate than they are. Since 1987, Far West Region annually awards one USYer who has shown superior dedication to G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) the “G’milut Chasadim” award. Learn more about the Tikkun Olam Program.