A Guide to USY Lingo

Advisor: Adults (staff hired by the synagogue) 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/Israeli Awareness Vice President, Religious/Education Vice President, Social Actions/Tikun Olam Vice President, Membership/Programming Vice President, and Communications Vice President.

General Board: Selected by the Executive Board, these individuals assist the Executive 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 Program, or to meet new people from other Regions.

Junior USY: The USY organization for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Kadima: The pre-USY organization for fourth and fifth graders.

Kallah or Kinnus: A home hospitality convention held from Friday afternoon until Sunday.

Kita, Sicha: Literally, kita means class and sicha means discussion. 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.

Kol Kadima: the online Kadima magazine

Listserver: A “ListServer” (also known as just a “ListServ” or “List”) is a system that allows USYers or Kadimaniks to be informed about current events, updates, and anything else that might be important.

Maariv: The evening prayer service.

Mincha: The afternoon service.

Nativ: A year-long gap program, between finishing high school and starting at college. This consists of six months of study at Hebrew University and four months of Kibbutz life.

NERUSY: New England Regional United Synagogue Youth, the region this chapter belongs to. NERUSY is responsible for organizing regional events like Encampment, Spring Fling, Leadership Retreat, the Turkey Dance, and many more.

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 Tzedakah organizations. See Yad B’yad for the Kadima Tzedakah program description.

Seudah Shlishit: the third meal, eaten only on Shabbat in the late afternoon. 

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).

Sloach: meaning slow ruach, typically done at Seudah Shlishit.

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 Israle 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. *See Yad B’yad for a description of the Kadima Tzedakah program.

TRUSY: Temple Reyim United Synagogue Youth

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!

Yad B’yad: The Kadima Tzedakah program that supports activities for USY and Kadimaniks with special needs.