Ever wondered what your child is referring to when she/he talks about Kallah or Ruach? When someone calls and tells you they are your Youth advisor, what exactly is his/her job?
USY and Kadima have our own unique lingo that can often seem like a jumble of acronyms and insider information. This list, adapted from Hagalil (New Jersey) region, is a vocabulary list to help you understand the ins and outs of USY lingo.
Advisor: Adults (college students or members of the congregation or community) who work with USY or Kadima chapters and supervise chapter and regional events.
Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society: An honor society for USYers who commit to standards of Judaic study, prayer and Gmilut Chassadim (community service).
Benching: (See Birkat Hamazon) The act of saying the prayers recited after meals.
Birkat Hamazon: The prayer said after meals (See Benching)
Chapter: Each synagogue that sponsors USY or Kadima is known as a chapter. Each region is made up of a group of chapters in a given geographic area.
Chofesh: The Hebrew word for free time. At a convention, Chofesh is a time to have fun with friends, catch up on old times, or just sleep!
Curfew: Some sort of time constraint that is supposed to be derived for our benefit, but not always viewed as such.
Dugma: Hebrew word used to mean “good example.”
Encampment: A week long camp program (for both USY and Kadima in most regions), held during the last week in August. A wonderful end to the summer!
Executive Board: A group of six USYers who were elected by the people for the people. It consists of President, Executive/Israel Awareness Vice President, Religion/Education Vice President, Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President, Membership/Kadima Vice President, and Communications Vice President.
General Board: Selected by the Executive Board, these individuals assist the Executivew Board in running the Region in certain areas.
Hechalutzim: A USY club for those interested in learning and teaching about Israel and Zionism.
International Convention: An annual gathering during the winter break of USYers from all over America and Canada. It is a time to see your friends from USY Israel Pilgrimage, USY on Wheels, Ramah Israel Seminar, or to meet new people from other Regions.
Kadima: The pre-USY organization for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.
Kallah or Kinnus (or Shabbaton): A home hospitality convention held from Friday afternoon until Sunday.
Sicha: Literally, sicha means conversation. In USY and Kadima, all three are incorporated in the study groups. At every convention there is a study theme, which is discussed during the study sessions throughout Shabbat. These learning sessions are meant to be fun AND educational.
Maariv: The evening prayer service.
Mincha: The afternoon service.
Nativ: A year long program designed for college freshman. This consists of six months of study at Hebrew University and four months of Kibbutz life.
Noam: the Youth organization of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel (USY/Kadima in Israel).
Israel Pilgrimage: USY’s Overseas summer program: Israel Adventure, Poland/Israel seminar, Eastern/European Israel seminar and Spain/Israel seminar (depending on the year, the programs offered could change).
Region: Geographic area with many different chapters. Your local synagogue is your chapter. Each region consists of many chapters in a certain geographic area.
Ruach: Singing, dancing, and SPIRIT on Shabbat!
SA/TO (Social Action/Tikun Olam): Community Service and fundraising efforts for USY Tzedakahorganizations. See Yad B’yad for the Kadima Tzedakah program description.
Shacharit: The morning prayer service.
Shmira: Watchers/guards at conventions to make sure that no one gets hurt or breaks the rules after curfew (See Curfew).
613 Mitzvah Corp: For just $6.13 (Which goes to T.O … See Tikun Olam) you can join the International Mitzvot club where you will receive special mailings.
Social Action: Acts of loving kindness, actions on behalf of a cause or a community.
Summer Programs/Great Summer Escape: USY summer experiences across North America, Europe and Israel. Summer experiences unlike any other! *Also see USY Israel Pilgrimage, USY on Wheels and USY on Wheels East.
Tikun Olam: The USY tzedakah fund for “repairing the world”; money raised to be allocated to the Conservative movement, charities chosen by the region and scholarships for USY summer programs. All fundraising efforts are done by USYers alone.
USY on Wheels: A six-and-a-half week tour of the United States, with stops in Canada and Mexico. An amazing experience!
USY on Wheels East: For incoming 9th graders, this program is an East Coast tour by bus, stopping at all your favorite places such as Washington D.C, the Kennedy Space Center, Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame, Virginia Beach and more!