THE NCSY NEWSLETTER
NCSY and JSU teens spoke out publicly against DAM, a Palestinian hip-hop group
Educational programs have been run since September
Portland NCSYers reach out to the community by volunteering at Race for the Cure.
Race For The Cure “I don’t feel we do enough for the Jewish community,” said one junior at an NCSY board member meeting in August 2010.
to do busy work. I want them to be cheerleaders!” insisted Meira.
Since then, each year, 10-15 NCSYers wake up at the crack of dawn, put on their brightest pink clothing “Really?” asked another. “I feel like we don’t do and head off to downtown Portland to cheer on enough for the community at large. Lets get involved globally. Let’s volunteer at Race for the Cure.” participants as they walk in the fight against breast cancer. Despite their exhaustion, knowing the treAs the teens continued discussing this new idea, mendous chesed (kindness) they are participating Meira Spivak, NCSY and JSU Oregon Director, was in keeps them awake throughout the morning. already emailing the Race for the Cure staff to see where the teens could help out. “I don’t want them
Eve Stern and Les Gutfreund Meet Eve and Les – pillars of the Jewish community who have been instrumental in starting various community organizations and initiatives. Even amidst their busy personal and professional lives, they always leave time for community events and volunteering. Their commitment to doing for others, immeasurable sensitivity and pure intentions makes them stand out from the crowd. Recently, Meira Spivak spoke to them about why they chose to support NCSY and JSU.
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JSU presidents and leaders planned content and structure for upcoming JSU clubs
of Jewish Drivers Ed teens would recommend the program to their peers
ds, Dear Frien
me to learn king the ti ta e ’r ou y s going I’m happy en program te g n ti ci ool ex gh the sch about the gon. Thou re O t ou h re su on throug ths in, I’m a few mon about r ea h to year is only d as I am te ci ex s a ! you’ll be plishments or thy accom p py a h a our notew ily your fam d n a ou y Wishing vak - Meira Spi Chanukah!
... Donor Spotlight continued “We first learned about NCSY and JSU when our sons were in high school. We were impressed with how appealing the groups were to the students and how many teens attended. When I was in Beaverton High School,” said Eve, “there was a program called Young Life, a Christian youth group. The teens in the group had their own sweatshirts and their own parties. To be totally honest, it was very alienating. I felt very uncomfortable and even jealous. Now I look around and see everything NCSY and JSU have to offer for teens. Jewish teens can finally feel proud while being in high school. Suddenly, it’s cool to be Jewish. That’s amazing! I wish every Jewish teen could feel that. I wish I had NCSY and JSU when I was in high school.”
TEEN TWINS: LIEBA & ILAN SWARTZ BROWNSTEIN How Far Would You Walk To Synagogue (Shul)? For teens growing up in the tri-state area, walking to synagogue is typically a no-brainer. “Huh? I live in NY and there are three shuls on my block” is the typical response a New York teen would give when asked how far he or she would walk to synagogue on a regular basis. Well for Portland twins, Lieba and Ilan Swartz Brownstein, the answer is “about nine miles.” Check out what they have to say: How did this happen? Did you always walk to synagogue?
I know exactly why I am walking . I am walking to an atmosphere that I can’t find otherwise, to a place where I will feel motivated to keep on growing... How do you make it through the walk when it’s so challenging? What goes through your mind?
Ilan: I do the walk around once or twice a month. But during holidays, I’ll walk even more.
Ilan: I often use the time to think about how I want to accomplish my goals. I think about Yeshiva University and Israel. I think about how I can be a better person. But that’s only when I have a lot on my mind. Many times I get bored and restless. I sometimes wonder, “Why am I doing this? Why am I getting soaked, putting holes in my shoes and walking nine miles? Why is it so important? Is it worth it?” When I think these thoughts though, I don’t slow down. I speed up. I become more motivated. I know exactly why I am walking. I am walking to an atmosphere that I can’t find otherwise, to a place where I will feel motivated to keep on growing and won’t feel weighed down by my restrictions.
Are there any synagogues near your house?
What message would you want others to take home?
Ilan: Not really. For the high holidays, my family’s synagogue, P’nei Or, rents out a church several blocks away from my home for services. When that happens, it’s nice because I can walk there easily.
Lieba: We thought that because of our situation, living on the East Side, we would never make it to shul without driving or sleeping over on the West Side. We thought that we had no choice but to drive every week. We just accepted it. But, you never have only one choice; you should never do what doesn’t feel right. When things get hard, just push past them.
Lieba: I didn’t grow up keeping Shabbos. I live on the East Side of town so it was a given that I would drive to synagogue since it is located all the way on the West Side. In February, my brother and I attended an East Side NCSY Shabbat dinner but we wanted to make it over to the West Side by Shabbat morning without driving. So, we decided to walk. We knew it was crazy. We got up at 5:30am on Saturday morning and started walking. We got to shul at 9am, just in time for services. Do you walk every weekend?
Eve and Les both agree that high school is the time when many young people struggle with establishing their identities. “They need to feel part of a group. They need to feel accepted for who they are. We are so glad that NCSY provides a forum for students to gather for social opportunities and spiritual enrichment. It’s a place for all Jewish teens, regardless of their backgrounds and/ or levels of observance.” Though Les and Eve appreciate the many programs NCSY and JSU offer, they are most impressed with Jewish Drivers Ed, a division of JSU’s Hebrew High PDX. Jewish Drivers Ed affords teens the opportunity to take Drivers Ed with other Jews while enjoying “The Jewish View,” a discussionbased class on topics related to health, body and safety for forty-five minutes before the Drivers Ed course begins. “It’s just so clever, offering a program that teens have to take anyway.” Most recently though, Eve was impressed yet again when seven NCSY and JSU leaders met with the superintendent and Portland Public School’s board members to share their displeasure over a recent Palestinian hip hop group that had been brought to Lincoln High School. “We felt so proud of the masterful way in which they conducted themselves. It made me feel very hopeful about our community’s future leaders.” “We support NCSY and JSU because they provide opportunities for Jewish high school students to get to know each other and learn more about Judaism’s beliefs and practices in ways that appeal to them. If we want to provide these opportunities for Jewish teens then we need to think beyond ourselves and support these invaluable programs.”
We felt so proud of the masterful way in which they conducted themselves. It made me feel very hopeful about our community’s future leaders.
Bringing to Light the Local News You Need to Know
NCSY’s first 3 on 3 basketball tournament attracts 40 teens On Oct 23, Rabbi Dov Chastain, Portland NCSY director, arranged a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in collaboration with other Jewish youth groups throughout town. The winning team consisted of Joseph Spector, Josh Spector and Noah Rosenberg.
Success of Jewish Drivers Ed measured by student’s feedback With the first term of Jewish Drivers Ed off to a terrific start, the students are thrilled to be a part of the class. 98% of students said they are happy taking this program with other Jews and would like to hear about future learning opportunities.
Portland sees record high with 31 teens attending NCSY’S Seattle Shabbaton Shabbaton highlights included the Jewish Jerry Maguire, the “Sandbox” (indoor beach volleyball) and a smashing Havdallah and breakfast extravaganza. “Though teens have always enjoyed the annual weekend in November, I don’t remember ever having such a high attendance rate,” said Meira Spivak. “Rabbi Dov is doing a great job!”
Grant High JSU club showing off their new Thanksgiving picture frames after discussing the importance of hakarat hatov, appreciating the good.
Portland welcomes freshman and sophomores
Eugene JSU and NCSY see record attendance and start new clubs
With an exclusive white water rafting adventure and overnight camping trip, Portland NCSY hosted this first-ever welcoming event to ensure that incoming freshman and sophomores feel included and comfortable with NCSY.
With Tehila Derfler back in full force, JSU has been stronger than ever. The club at South High School has seen a huge increase in attendance from last year. Even more exciting is that two JSU clubs now exist in Eugene, one in South and one in Sheldon.
Weekly Events Mondays, 7-8 pm East Side Latte and Learning Starbucks on Broadway and Sandy
Thursdays, 7-8 pm West Side Latte and Learning Multnomah Starbucks
Thursdays after Latte & Learning, 8:15-9pm
Pizza and Parsha
NCSY Shabbat of Learning (advanced)
Junior NCSY Chiller
Back in its second year, this weekend of learning is open to high school students ready to face the challenges of advanced Torah study. Back and forth dialogue, heated debate and passionate discussions are sure to occur during this inspirational weekend.
JSU Dodgeball Tournament
Come join us as the Jewish youth groups unite for the talk of the town event. Last year’s tournament was a ‘glow in the dark’ sensation. Do you think we can top it?
Finally, an event for adults! Please join us for our annual fundraiser event masked in an evening of trivia, desserts and wine. Teams of 8 compete to win top prizes. Help us meet our goal of raising $20,000. Register with your friends online.
Rabbi Dov’s house (2358 SW Vermont St.) Open to grades 10-12.
Join your Jewish friends and pack in for a free Friday night dinner adventure. Don’t forget to join us Saturday night for a surprise evening of fun, food and friends.
Junior NCSY EPICNESS!
Join Jr. NCSY for an MLK afternoon filled with Maccabia type fun led by our very own NCSY board members Anna Steckel and Joseph Spector. Jr. NCSY is open to middle school students.
JSU, with the help of the Jewish Federation, has been taking teen leaders to D.C. to receive Israel advocacy training. This year’s group lobbied with Congressman Kurt Schrader’s staffer Ethan Pittleman and asked for continued financial support to Israel as well increased sanctions on Iran. Ethan reaffirmed the Congressman’s support and shared with the group how invaluable Congressman Schrader’s recent trip to Israel was.
JSU leaders attend the AIPAC high school summit
Shabbat Shebang and Saturday Night Surprise
Don’t miss an afternoon with your friends and chill like you’ve never chilled before. This Junior NCSY legendary event will shock even your most creative middle schoolers. Details to come.
Purim... Party Hard
Join NCSY for great laughs, surprise entertainment and hysterical costume contest.
Portland Shabbaton at the Sheraton
Portland’s first ever Shabbaton! Now Portland teens can experience an NCSY style Shabbaton without travelling to another city! Join teens from across the west coast for exciting events, great food and your favorite advisors.
Pre-Passover Car Wash
Adults, bring your cars; teens, get ready to roll up your sleeves! NCSYers will clean your cars, inside and out, to help you get ready for Passover.
Want more info on these events? Call 503-757-3037
6903 SW 15th Ave Portland OR 97219
Regional Leadership Meira Spivak Oregon NCSY and JSU Director 503 757 3037 email@example.com
Rabbi Dov Chastain Portland NCSY Director 503 927 3863 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tehila Derfler Eugene NCSY and JSU Director 541 852 1463 email@example.com
BEST R E M M U S EVER.
BILT ICE let Michle JOLT GIVE TJJ ports Camp S TJJA Kollel
NOW! R E T IS REG .COM R E M M U NCSYS
Rabbi Steven Burg International Director, NCSY
Mr. Keevy Fried Assoc. International Director, NCSY
Mr. Joseph Stechler Youth Commission Chairman, OU
Rabbi Dr. Simcha Katz President, OU
OREGON NCSY and JSU 6903 SW 15th Ave Portland OR 97219 503-757-3037 portlandncsy.com www.ncsy.org www.jsu.org www.ncsysummer.org
Portland NCSY and JSU present:
The 4th annual mulBmedia trivia night and dessert recepBon Saturday, January 28 at 8pm l MJCC 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland 97219
NCSY is the international youth movement of the OU.
www.PortlandNCSY.com to REGISTER