USY News

Purim at the Regional Office

The Mystery gang (AKA the Far West Teen Engagement Staff: L to R, Yaara, Darren, Katie and Shana) decided to set an example by winning USCJ’s costume contest!

We hope you all had a joyful Purim!thicker-line2

Far West Delegation Heads to AIPAC Policy Conference 2018

This year, Far West USY sent a delegation of 17 USYers to the AIPAC Policy Conference that took place on March 4-6.

During the conference, we had the opportunity to hear from Americans and Israeli politicians, Israeli knesset representatives, United States Congress representatives and many more speakers about different political perspectives and their connection to Israel. We learned about Israeli innovations in different sessions and exhibitions. We learned about Israeli culture from speakers such as the creators of “Fauda,” an Israeli television series about a team of

Israeli undercover agents trying to capture a fictional Hamas terrorist (you can watch it on Netflix), a speaker who shared his personal experience with “Ezer Mizion,” the world’s largest Jewish Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and specialized programs for children with special needs, cancer patients, the elderly, terror victims and many more.

The delegation participated in a college fair. The fair was an opportunity to interact with AIPAC-trained students and campus professionals from colleges and universities across the country and learn about the specific Israel campus environments. These three days were a unique experience and as many of the USYers said, an experience they will never forget. Thanks to the Milstein Foundation and AIPAC for making the Far West USYers participation in the Policy Conference possible.

Here’s what some of our USYers had to say about the experience:

“It is amazing to be with so many Jews in one place.”

“The sheer force of 18,000-plus people left me speechless and the power that AIPAC has that makes sure Israel ‘stays safe and secure’ is crucial to Israel, a home to me and millions of others.”

“The AIPAC Policy Conference provided me with an outlet to diversify and deepen my knowledge of the state of Israel and all the challenges she faces in her everyday life.”

“I was so honored to get the opportunity to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“I was so honored to be able to attend AIPAC. It truly made a positive, lasting impression on me. It helped me shape my own opinions on Israel and all of the interesting issues that go along with that beautiful country.”

“The provocation and facilitation of important conversations is the true benefit of the AIPAC Policy Conference.”

“The keynote speakers were inspiring and never ceased to amaze me with their ideas, opinions and perspectives.”


Zikaron BaSalon 2018

This Yom HaShoah, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Join USY for Zikaron BaSalon,
A Special Holocaust Remembrance Event

Started by young people in Israel, Zikaron BaSalon (Memories in the Living Room) brings survivors into your home to tell their stories and connect you to the events of the Holocaust in an intimate, meaningful way.

If you would like to learn more about Zikaron BaSalon, take a look at the following links:

The Jewish Press

Time Magazine

Jerusalem Post

Toronto Weekly


Article by Marina Cemaj, a former Far West USYer

Zikaron BaSalon website

Interested in organizing an in-person Zikaron BaSalon event for your community? Contact Yaara Koren, Far West USY Shlicha, and register here to get more information and help in finding speakers and to receive the host kit.

thicker-line2Far West USY 10-Day Teffilin Challenge!

Our Regional Religion Education VP Noa Kligfeld, with the support of her RGB team, decided to create this challenge for USYers to explore their relationships with Judaism and God and infuse their mornings with meditation and mindfulness.

Watch this video about it:

Teffilin Challenge Video

Don’t have time to watch? Read the details here:

What’s the 10-Day Teffilin Challenge?
It’s a Buzzfeed-inspired initiative—kicked off on February 18th at the Beth El kinnus—that is designed to get as many USYers as possible to give teffilin a try!

How does it work? We will connect each participant with a pair of teffilin and explain how to wrap. Participants will also sign up for a remind 101. Each morning, they will get a text with a reminder to wrap, the text of the blessings, a new reason to wrap teffilin (pulling from the Torah and Talmud as well as contemporary sources!) and a 3-minute meditation.

How will it fit into my life? Any way you want! Participants can pray Shacharit at their own homes, go to their synagogue’s morning minyan or just do the meditations we send out.

thicker-line2USYers March for Their Lives

We are inspired by the reaction, resiliency and leadership of teens around the country in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. This includes our USYers, who marched in D.C. on March 24 to demand change. Read more here about how you can support these efforts.


Father and Daughter Go on Same USY Trip 40 Years Apart

Jordyn Kaplan and her father, Richard both experienced life-changing trips to Israel with USY 40 years apart. The experience has brought them even closer. Read Jordan’s story here.thicker-line2New Addition to Nativ Israel Experience Week: India

Nativ recently added a three-week trip to India as one of its Israel Experience Week options during the gap year program. Nativer Reegan Moskowitz offers a first-hand account of this astonishing and formative journey.

Click here to learn more.

thicker-line2Teen Travel for Middle Schoolers with USY on Wheels, West

Cruise down the sunny Pacific Coast Highway, stopping along the way to relax on the beaches of California, hike the natural beauty of the Southwest’s national parks and journey from the dizzying heights of Colorado to the flat salt plains of Utah! Come experience the laid-back, feel-good vibes of the West Coast on this new trip, exclusively for current 7th and 8th graders!


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