A Familiar Place

SWUSYite, Joy Meyers shares her experience with USY.

USY. My home away from home. I started USY my freshman year and I’m sort of sad I didn’t join sooner because it’s slowly coming to an end. Everyone always tries to tell you to join and you will love it, it gets kind of repetitive. I’m here to tell you about my USY experience.

I will be the first to tell you, I really didn’t want to join. I was sort of forced into it by my friends, Bayle Goldman, and Lauren Suchoff. My first convention was Fall Kallah 2016. My first memories include ruach being very culty, a little girl, Kira, jumping around, and the way everyone instantly accepted me. I remember how scared I was to go to my first convention because I don’t really do well with new people, in other words, I’m shy, I still had fun. The day I got home I asked my mom to sign me up for the next convention.

My second convention was Spring Kallah 2017. When my mom dropped me off in front of the Synagogue, about 6 people ran outside to give me a hug even though I had just met them once before. Since we had host homes I got the chance to meet more people than I had at Fall because I was with different people. We went to the ice rink in the Galleria Mall and played hockey. We had lots of laughs when everyone slipped and fell even though it hurt.

I didn’t get to go to Regionals in 2017 since I was having my Bat Mitzvah, but everyone was very supportive. I was scared people would feel as if I wasn’t a good jew for being 15 and not yet being a Bat Mitzvah, but everyone wished me luck and congratulated me. Everyone was trying to find a way to get me to go to Regionals but since it was in San Antonio and I live in Houston, I didn’t have a chance.

USY has given me the experience to meet so many other Jewish teens my age across Texas and even Oklahoma, and a chance to travel to places I have never been. This summer I am going to Oklahoma for Regionals and I will be Co-Chair for the first time.  USY has given me so many opportunities for my future. I get the chance to plan out a convention and lead programs, giving leadership and planning skills.