USY convention brings learning, volunteering and new friendships
USY’s International Convention in Dallas was, without a doubt, the experience of a lifetime. It encapsulated all the things that make USY great: learning, volunteering, building friendships and connecting with people you otherwise never would have met.
So, when Noah Lee, USY’s newly elected international president, closed the 66th International Convention (IC), the 700 teens in the room displayed what appeared to be 700 different emotions. Some chanted boos, some were already sobbing and others were looking for the first of at least a few dozen friends they needed to say goodbye to. The camaraderie that so easily developed poured out of everyone in a single instant. Not one person wanted to leave that convention. Not one.
I was one of those who wanted so badly to stay. Sure, I was running on 12 hours of sleep over five days, but that by no means out-measured the need to be with my best friends for just a few more minutes. No matter what level, whether it be chapter, region or international, the natural USY environment is one filled with love, trust and an undying passion for Judaism.
Many things made this year’s IC particularly special. I proudly represented the Detroit Jewish community with eight other area teens, and we all displayed our love for our hometown and our chapter (Motor City USY) with “MCUSY vs Everybody” shirts.
I read Torah on Monday at IC. I got to sit front-row and hear inspirational speaker Rohan Murphy tell his story of being a legless wrestling champion. And I had a chance to perform in a talent show with three of my friends.
Above all, what made this year’s IC so special for me was that I attended as a regional president. In that role, I had a few more responsibilities than just participating — roles that put me in front of the entire convention a few times and others that allowed me to present myself in front of a smaller audience.
I introduced the region by writing a short parody to “Rockin’ Robin;” I sat on the dais with my fellow regional presidents during dinner; and I also had an opportunity to teach a leadership activity titled “Strength Through Mentorship.”
IC Dallas was an unforgettable experience. It was five days filled with ruach (spirit), Wild-West traditions and countless memories made with Jewish teens from near and far. There is no place like USY, and I could not be more proud to be part of such an outstanding organization.
Jeremy Rosenberg –
Jeremy Rosenberg of West Bloomfield is Central Region USY regional president