Bench Instead of Binge-Watch This Summer by President Rachel Shapiro

It’s Not Too Late!

Hey you!  Yeah, you!!  What are you doing this summer?  I know that binge watching Netflix on the couch or going to the beach for a week can be fun… But what if you had the opportunity to have a life-changing summer experience?  What if you had the chance to explore North America, Europe, or Israel, grow personally and Jewishly, become more involved in USY, and make friendships that will last a lifetime.? 

The good news is that you do!  It’s not too late to sign up for a USY summer program.  There are so many amazing options to choose from!  From exploring the whole country on USY on Wheels Classic, to an Alaskan cruise with USY on Wheels Pacific Northwest, to traveling to the Dominican Republic on Dream USY, and even getting to explore Europe and Israel on Eastern Europe Israel Pilgrimage, the possibilities are endless!

But it’s not simply about the places that you will visit that will make your summer so amazing.  Ask anyone who has been on a summer program with USY, and they can tell you about all of the many incredible things they gained from it.  I can tell you that I grew so much over the course of my time on Israel Pilgrimage in 2014.  I learned how to be more independent, since I was halfway across the world from my family for a whole month.  I learned new services and prayers, such as Shacharit and Birkat Hamazon.  I learned so much about Jewish and Israeli culture and history, and how it affects my own everyday life.  Most importantly, I learned how to create a community with the people around me, one that lasts even to this day, almost two years later.

If you are at all considering attending a USY summer program, I urge you to sign up!  I promise you that you will have a life-changing summer that you will remember for the rest of your life.  If you have questions about any of the programs available to you, how to find the money to be able to go, or anything else, please visit, or talk to Maury, Nathan, or me, and we will be happy to help you in any way we can!!

Don’t Fear- Go To Israel by Nathan Bishop

Hello SWUSY, Nathan here, your 2015-2016 Programming/Israel Affairs Vice President. I want to take a moment and tell y’all a little bit about what has been going on in Israel over the past four and a half months, 30 Israelis have been murdered and 301 wounded by terrorists. There have been 83 stabbing attacks, 22 vehicle ramming attacks, and 15 shootings against Israeli civilians. This is a fact stated in The Jerusalem Post. However, I am not publishing this article to spew hatred and instill fear into all of you. In fact, that is the last thing I want to do, because when we, the Jewish people begin to feel fear, the terrorists are winning.

I am writing this article to tell you how ecstatic I am to be spending next year in Israel on Nativ: College Leadership Program in Israel where I will be spending a semester studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the second semester in the small Negev city of Yerucham participating in community service.

I am not afraid. I believe that when my home, the land that the Jewish people have won and lost from generation to generation is under attack, the last thing I should be doing is avoiding it. This would mean the terrorists have won. I believe that although Israel is in one of its worst situations yet in its history, I still need to be there. My pride and joy for Israel are why I told my mom and dad in the 10th grade that I am going on Nativ. I also told them, “If I say I don’t want to go anymore, tell me I am wrong.” Nativ is where I am meant to be.

Now I am not telling you to spend a full year in Israel like me. That’s ridiculous. I’m telling you to take whatever chance you can get to go to Israel, whether it is on USY Pilgrimage or with your camp or another Israel program. Please USY, stand up like the amazing Jewish teens that I know you all are and do not let terror conquer the Jewish people.


Nathan Bishop