ECRUSY welcomes our newest regional staff member, Lily Chapnik! In addition to working with Beth Tzedec as their Teen Engagement Coordinator, she joins ECRUSY as our Regional USY Liaison. Lily will utilize her BA in Jewish Studies and Music from McGill to bring a wonderful sense of ruach to our region. In addition to her education, Lily has grown up in NFTY, the Reform movement’s youth group, and brings with her a great background in Jewish teen engagement.
Here is a personal note from her:
Heya ECRUSY! I’m so excited to be joining you this year as your Liaison for all things USY and fabulous! Your ruach, kindness and creativity has already inspired me in the past month, and this is going to be a great year of growth, learning and friendship for all of us. I can’t wait to meet every single one of you!
This week’s parasha just happens to be the same one I leyned at my bat mitzvah – Ki Tavo. It’s very appropriate that it always seems to fall just as school starts, as the parasha is all about new beginnings. It describes how when you enter the land of Israel, you have to bring the first fruits of your harvest as a thanksgiving. The parasha says that you have to say before G-d: “arami oved avi”, or ‘a wandering Aramean was my father,’ which shows that you acknowledge your roots as a new arrival to the Land of Israel.
Just like our ancestors offering the first fruits, we are all experiencing new beginnings this week. Some of us are starting a new school, a new grade, a new instrument, a new extra-curricular. New changes can be scary. . (I definitely understand, having just started this new job – my first real job out of school! Ah!)We don’t know what will happen – if we’ll like our peers, or our teachers, or the activity. However, when we feel disconnected or frightened, we should just remember that we’re not alone – people all the way back in Torah times felt the same way. We should also always remember to make USY and Kadimah a safe space to start a new beginning, just like the Temple was in ancient times. May this year be a time of beautiful new beginnings for all of us!
You can connect with Lily on Instagram at @btteens, and @btteens on Snapchat. ECRUSY is also starting some new things this year, beginning with our social media. You can now connect with us on snapchat @ecrusy, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.