USY Mission Statement
USY’s mission is to empower Jewish youth to develop friendships, leadership skills, a sense of belonging to the Jewish People, a deep engagement with and love for Israel, and a commitment to inspired Jewish living through meaningful and fun experiences based on the ideology of Conservative Judaism.
USY, the youth group of the Conservative movement, stands for United Synagogue Youth. There are 17 regions around the United States and Canada which comprise International USY. Beth El USY is a member of Emtza Region. Emtza (which means middle in Hebrew) serves Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, part of Wisconsin, part of Montana, North and South Dakota, and Winnipeg.
Membership in USY automatically entitles you to participate in programs on all levels: Chapter, Regional, and International. Beth El USY is sponsored by Beth El Synagogue, an affiliate of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. USY begins at the chapter level, which is where we recruit members, train leaders, and service our congregation. The second level of USY involvement is the regional level. Emtza Region has a variety of annual activities that bring together members and leaders from around the Midwest. The third level of USY involvement is International programming. USY offers International Convention, USY Israel Pilgrimage, USY on Wheels, USY High, and much more!
USY was founded in 1948 right here at Beth El. Beth El USY, otherwise known as Beth El Rishon was the very first USY chapter! USY has grown from a handful of chapters to an International organization with nearly 20,000 high school age members. In 1964, KADIMA was formalized as a separate entity for 7th and 8th graders. USY was conceived as a means of meeting the social, educational, religious and recreational needs of our young people. USY seeks to involve our youth in synagogue life and help build the Jewish community of the future. USY is a Zionist organization trying to build a relationship between Israel and our members here in North America. Today, USY is still working towards these same goals.
The Kadima Program, for 6th-8th graders, at Beth El Synagogue is a great taste of what the USY program has to offer when you reach High School. It is a great way for your children to stay active in the Jewish Community long after their B’nei Mitzvot.
We have once a month programs (mostly on Sundays). There is also Kadima Kinnus, the Regional Retreat for 6th-8th graders, in the fall.