February 2014

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Young Minds

Winter 2014

Young Jains of America Est. 1991

Young Minds


Winter 2014 Edited by: Sonny Shah

Letter from the Editor Jai Jinendra! The Young Jains of America would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year! As 2014 commences, the convention committee is excited about the upcoming 2014 YJA Convention being held in Washington D.C. this summer! Who’s ready for #yja14?!

have organized retreats for many of the regions. This is the chance to meet new and old friends that may surprise you that they live so close. Don’t miss these upcoming retreats we have planned for you. Find them listed in this issue of Young Minds!

Let me tell you a little about our theme for this issue of Young Minds: Compassion. We are currently in the month of February, known for Valentine’s Day. Besides having love and affection for each other, it is equally important to show compassion to all living beings. Our contributors write about their compassion for different aspects of Jainism and share how one can find the same compassion in everything one does.

As I have mentioned before, we rely on contributions from writers around the world in order to publish Young Minds. If at any point you are interested in writing an article or sending us a picture portraying Jainism in the community, email us at youngminds@yja.org.

Thus far, our amazing Regional Coordinators and Local Representatives

2013-2014 Director of Publications

We look forward to hearing from you and to revealing Jainism through the eyes its followers. Sincerely, Sonny Shah

Have You Registered for the 2014 YJA Convention Yet? YJA 2014 is taking place this summer in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Registration has already opened and you may be eligible to win an iPad Air if you’re one of the first 150! Page 5

Southeast Retreat Reflection Our Southeast Regional Coordinator, Jinen Shah, writes about his first retreat he had organized. Find out more about the activities that were held! Page 10

Young Minds | Winter 2014


In this Issue: 

Eating Compassionately in the 21st Century


Events Recap


2014 YJA Convention Registration


Cruelty Free Fashion: Consider It


South Retreat Preview


My Thanksgiving Break…the Jain Way


My First YJA Experience


Southeast Retreat Reflection


Jainism 101


MidBest: Family, Friendships and Fresh Experiences


Recipe Corner – Vegan Coconut Cream Pie


West Retreat


Compassion Challenge




Letter from the Co-Chairs


Young Minds | Winter 2014


Eating Compassionately in the 21st Century: Is it Possible? by

Jimika Mehta Many people think Jainism is outdated. That it had its place in the past and today it is merely a relic. Many people raise the question, how is it even possible to lead a complete non-violent life in the United States? Growing up when I would explain to my peers what Jainism entailed, why I was a vegetarian, etc. they always had comebacks. For example, “If your house was infested with ants, you wouldn’t kill them?” “Isn’t putting a knife to an apple violence? Then isn’t cutting meat and vegetables the same thing?” These are the kinds of questions young Jains get asked today. Some of them may know how to answer them, and others may just start to think either no one understands non-violence anymore or that Jainism’s way of thinking is something that worked in the past and not today. My view completely changed in college. People were more accepting and suddenly it seemed as if being vegetarian was actually “cool.” What was even cooler than being vegetarian was being vegan. There were more options for vegetarian and vegan food in college, even in the dining halls. However, that quickly became too redundant. It was the same food over and over again, week after week. Freshmen year I had no choice but to stick to whatever my meal plan allowed for me to eat on campus. Getting food from anything that didn’t accept a meal plan just seemed like I was throwing precious meals out the window. Then my sophomore year I finally moved into an apartment with a full kitchen! Even then, I barely made any food on my own. My mom would just send food with me, like every Indian mother does because they think that we will starve if there is no food around. However, even that became too mundane for me. I never know what I would want to eat that entire week, and whatever my mom seemed to pack me would not fill my cravings. I would end up spending unnecessary money every day on meals. Then finally I

realized, instead of doing all this, why don’t I just start making my own food?

to do, but because it’s the healthier thing as well.

I started small, with very simple meals, but then it just skyrocketed. I started to completely enjoy cooking and experimenting with new foods and ingredients. From there I started to bake. I realized once I started to cook and bake on my own, that my need to eat out went down a lot. I realized myself saying why spend an extreme amount of money on this meal when I can make it better myself? Not only that, I started to eat healthier and cleaner. I started to

Essentially I feel like that’s what old Jain principles need to be translated into for today’s generation. Some may not care how animals are treated or even about their deaths, but one should care about how they take care of themselves. They should know all the chemicals and toxins that may be going into their bodies without them even knowing! Even though there is a lot more to Jainism than just the Jain diet, but there is a logic behind it that many people seem to forget. There is a reason why these teachings have survived so many generations and are still alive today. It is not impossible to lead a Jain diet. The transition may be hard, but there are so many people in the world today who follow this diet and are completely happy. If a foodie like me can be satisfied with Jain food, so can anyone else. So is it possible to eat compassionately in the 21st century? Of course it is.

research more about food and what was actually healthy and what wasn’t. From there, I started to have my friends over for dinner and became an instant foodie with constant Instagram posts about what I was cooking up in the kitchen and eating when I went out to eat. From that I realized that since I can pretty much make anything I would ever want to eat, what’s the point of eating animal products such as eggs, milk, etc and even root vegetables? I knew going vegan/Jain overnight would be impossible for me, so I started small. First thing I gave up was eggs, because that is easily replaceable in any dessert and it tastes exactly the same. From that I slowly am going to lessen my usage of animal byproducts and root vegetables in my cooking and food. Not only because it is the Jain thing

Young Minds | Winter 2014


Young Minds | Winter 2014


Register for the 2014 YJA Convention Today! Leading into the 21 century, the future of Jainism will lie in the hands of the youth. It will be the youth’s mission to preserve Jainism’s rich heritage and ensure its growth for future generations - The First YJA Convention: Chicago, IL 1994

Young Jains: Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Be one of the first 150 people to register and get the chance to win a free iPad Air! The 11th Biennial YJA Convention is upon us and we want YOU to attend. Get ready for a wide array of events consisting of a Jain Academic Bowl, Garba in the Gham, Jain Factor Talent Battle, the Starry Night Gala, and much more!

Thursday, July 3rd - Sunday, July 6th Questions? Please e-mail reghelp@yja.org Website: https://convention.yja.org/

Young Minds | Winter 2014


Cruelty Free Fashion: Consider It by

Pankti Gala The 2013-2014 winter has been a harsh one for those of us in the Northeast, Midwest, and even Atlanta, GA. What are you doing to keep yourself warm? Many of you have pulled out your Ugg boots, leather jackets, and wool socks. But consider this: while you’re staying warm, the animal whose skin you’re wearing is suffering this harsh winter or was killed during of the making of your article of clothing. My mom has always been an advocate of everything cruelty-free, and I grew up never having owned a pair of Uggs or a leather purse. When all the girls in my fifth grade class wore boots, I wore faux fur boots that did not have “Uggs” written on the back. Eventually I got tired of answering to people why I didn’t own a pair of Uggs. I decided to do some research on my own about why my mom wouldn’t let me buy a pair of these fashion boots. They only just shave the skin off of the animals, right? Wrong. I found organizations such as PETA, and movies such as Vegucated that explain the process behind creating leather, silk, fur, etc. I was appalled, disgusted, and mostly just sad. Animals are living beings too. I asked myself: do I want to take away their warmth or even their lives so I can stay warm and look good in the winter months? My answer to this question was no; however, of course I wanted to stay warm and look good at the same time (after all, I am a girl).

I’d really like to reiterate that faux fur boots are just as warm, just as comfortable, and just as attractive as Ugg boots. My next target: Doc Martens and Sperry. Doc Martens and Sperry, believe it or not, have a vegan line. I know that by now you are thinking that either this vegan line is too expensive or too cheap. Vegan Docs and Sperries cost just about the same as the regular ones and look exactly the same. Only difference: they are cruelty-free fashion. Although Docs aren’t really my style, they are very popular with men and even many women. Next time you’re out shopping for Doc Martens or Sperry, consider their vegan line. The last item: wool. Now, wool is controversial. It is shaved off the sheep and doesn’t kill the sheep. However, the sheep still suffers in harsh winters with little to no fur on it. Personally, I am guilty of owning a very high number of wool sweaters and cardigans. If you live somewhere that is usually above 40 or 50 degrees year-round, avoid wool as much as you can. Alternatives to wool are polyester and acrylic. If you aren’t a spender and want to stick to the retail stores you already shop at, cruelty-free fashion is still easy to accomplish. Every article of clothing, as required by the United States

government, tells you what materials the article of clothing is made out of. My goal is not for you to join PETA and violently protest against the injustices towards animals. We live in a country in which the constitution and judicial review define every controversy, and animal cruelty is not considered at all to be up for judicial review. But as a Jain, you must consider lowering the injustices towards these living beings in your own daily life. Remember, cruelty-free fashion is just like being vegetarian; there are more options out there than you think and they are very easily accessible as well. Next time you’re out shopping, think about this article, think about the animals suffering and dying, and think about what you want to do about it.

For a full list of cruelty-free fashion options, visit: http://www.getvegucated.com/latests-challenges/fall-into-cruelty-free-fashion/ & http://www.peta.org/living/fashion/cruelty-free-clothing-guide/cruelty-free-clothing-guide-vegan-companies/

Young Minds | Winter 2014


“The South Retreat is just around the corner and I am beyond excited to reunite with my friends along with meeting new ones. Making memories with my YJA family is something I look forward to every year!” - Trishla Parakh (Baton Rouge)

“You don’t understand how appreciative YJA Dallas is of YJA. After the retreat last year, everyone finally bonded. Then after the convention, we were inseparable. I love YJA.” - Avni Nandu (Dallas)

“Everything is bigger in Texas, including fun! This was my first time going to a retreat and I was delighted to find that everyone was so friendly and open.” - Naumit Bhandari (San Antonio)  March 14-16  32 attendees  New Braunfels,TX Come and enjoy the 2014 South Retreat!!! Contact: south@yja.org for more details.

Young Minds | Winter 2014


My Thanksgiving Break…the Jain Way by Siddharth


Friday, November 22nd, 2:30 pm: The bell rang on the loudspeaker, echoing through the empty halls of the school. Classroom doors opened and the seemingly quiet building suddenly erupted with the sounds of laughter and conversation with an obvious atmosphere of excitement. It was just like any other school day--besides the fact that we had nine days of vacation ahead of us. As I walked out to the parking lot, I thought about the week ahead of me. I looked forward to the opportunity to relax and recuperate from the stresses of senior year, catch up with procrastinated college applications, and hang out with friends and family. Aside from gaining these conventional benefits of vacation from school, the most exciting thing ahead of me was the Jain Fellowship of Houston (JFH) youth lockin. The youth coordinator, other officers, and I spent weeks preparing games, activities, and a schedule for the event as we awaited it in excited anticipation. When the date finally arrived and the sun began to set, we were ready, waiting to kick off the lock-in on the cold, November night. As each car pulled into the parking lot, the youth members got out and waved good-byes to their parents. The whole night, we played games of mafia, charades, and even some particularly interesting rounds of truth or dare. Losing track of time amidst the laughter and games, the hours flew by and it was breakfast time before we knew it. Yet the most memorable part of the lock-in was yet to begin. After satisfying our hungry stomachs and rinsing our mouths, we were joined by YJA Director of Events, Bonita Parikh, and a few other YJA board members and local representatives. As a group, we all sat down in a circle and began a navkar mantra jap. The clock ticked away and the ambience became calm with each person’s voice synchronizing with the others into a harmonious chord of soothing vibrations. As we repeated the

navkar mantra over and over again, the unification of our voices made the peaceful meditation more and more compelling as it helped me realize the

aura hung momentarily before vanishing. We had dropped back into reality, exiting the subconscious, deeper regions of our minds.

larger purpose of our objective.

The navkar jap was conducted in remembrance and mourning for the immense magnitude of violence that was going to be committed that week. It was our way of praying for the more than 45 million turkeys that would lose their innocent lives for Thanksgiving. While our small navkar jap did not have any tangible impacts, our purposeful intention gave it meaning. Although we had no control over the destinies of the turkeys, we repented and hoped for their souls’ goodwill.

I’ve recited the navkar mantra every day of my life to the point that it has become a thing of habit. Very rarely do I take the time to separate my mind from the rush of thoughts and focus on the meaning and enunciation of each syllable. Rather, my mind switches to auto-pilot and I speed through the mantra, thinking more about what I’ll do afterwards than the prayer itself. While we’ve been taught in Pathshala to focus and meditate as we say our navkar mantras, the task is much more easily said than done. Our minds are formed without any restrictions or barriers, so controlling the free flow of thought is an exponentially difficult task. However, the situation was completely different during our navkar mantra jap. My mind seemed to naturally fall into focus and every time a distraction appeared into my thoughts, I became aware of the voices of those around me and felt motivated by those around me to re-focus myself. It was amazing that we were intrinsically keeping each other’s focus in check just by being in each other’s presence, ensuring that the navkar jap was conducted purposefully. Finally, when the last “padmam havai mangalam” was said, our eyes opened and the serene

When I sat down later that day to watch the NY Giants vs Dallas Cowboys game, I stopped for a minute to think about the navkar jap and couldn’t help but feel proud of its outcome. Our navkar jap, while small, was a trigger, a push, a nudge towards the spread of our nonviolent ideology. It planted the seed of repentance in all of us by raising our awareness towards the issue. Although the traditional “turkey-day” will not leave the American culture, the everyday efforts that we, as a minority group of American Jains, make towards living non-violent Jain lives in the 21st century will have a profound impact eventually. Michammi Dukhdam!

Young Minds | Winter 2014


My First YJA Experience by

Dhara Bhalani

When I walked into the group shelter at Tugaloo State Park, I had no idea what the next two days would be like. The only people that I knew were a few friends from my local Jain Samaj, which made me feel like I wasn’t going to fit in with the other people. I’m very lucky to say that I was incredibly wrong about my assumptions. Being divided into teams seemed like something that was going to isolate me, but instead it encouraged me to work with complete strangers, giving me the opportunity to become friends with people I had never met before.

challenges, games, sessions, and meals, I met a wide range of people simply sharing a region and religion.

Each religious session was surprisingly interesting and taught me many things about Jainism, and was presented in such a way that made the information relevant to today’s world. The food was surprisingly good, and showed me that even Jain food could exceed expectations. The activities were exciting and the competition made it even more enthralling. All of the other games that

The well-planned activities were not only fun, but brought me so much closer to a large group of people. I’m very lucky to have created such a strong bond with these people that I talk to on a normal basis, even months after the retreat. I walked in knowing very few people and left with an entire new family, the ‘Tugaloo Vaniyas’, showing me how truly incredible it is to be part of a larger Jain community.

we played were fun and brought the entire group closer. Every bit of the retreat made the entire experience incredibly memorable. The 2013 Southeast Retreat was without a doubt one of the best experiences that I have had. Over the course of team

Navkār Mantra Ṇamō arihantāṇaṁ I bow to the arihants, destroyers of their inner enemies. Ṇamō siddhāṇaṁ I bow to the siddhas, the liberated souls. Ṇamō āyariyāṇaṁ I bow to the acharyas, the religious leaders. Ṇamō uvajjhāyāṇaṁ I bow to the upadhyays, the religious teachers. Ṇamō lōē savva sāhūṇaṁ I bow to all the sadhus and sadhvis, those who have renounced the worldly life and follow a path of simplicity. Ēsōpan̄ chaṇamōkkārō, savvapāvappaṇāsaṇō Maṅgalā ṇaṁ ca savvēsiṁ, paḍamama havaī maṅgalaṁ This five-fold bow (mantra) destroys all sins and obstacles, and of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one.

Young Minds | Winter 2014

Jainism 101 by Priyal Gandhi


Southeast Retreat Reflection by

What is Karuna Bhavana? You may have heard of the 12 bhavanas, or contemplations, in Jain scripture. In addition to the 12 reflections, there are four auxiliary bhavanas, or things to think about. One of these four bhavanas is known as Karuna Bhavana. This contemplation encourages us to reflect upon compassion for all living beings. There are two main ways one can practice Karuna Bhavana- through material compassion and through spiritual compassion. We often think of material help when we think of compassion. If someone is sick or poor, we do what we can to provide them with medicine, food, clothing, shelter, money, etc. to alleviate their temporary suffering. But there are also ways to practice spiritual compassion. If someone is spiritually suffering because they exhibit strong passions such as anger, ego, deceit, or greed, we can help them find sight of the true spiritual path again. This form of compassion takes much more effort- it requires being the bigger person despite whatever thoughts, words, and actions the other person may exhibit towards us. Volunteering is an excellent way to exhibit compassion, but it must be with the right intentions and right means. Interested in finding out more about volunteering, social justice, and the Jain way to help the community? Check out our latest webinar recording on “Leaving a Jain Footprint” here!

Jinen Shah

During the weekend of November 810, 2013, over 30 Southeast YJAers gathered at Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia, GA for the 4th Annual Southeast Region Retreat. This funfilled weekend consisted of delicious Jain food, educational sessions, and the first-ever Jain Olympics. After the attendees got to know each other through dinner and icebreakers, hosted by Juhi Shah and Sunny Shah, they were divided into teams and competed in the Vegan Dessert Cook-off, which was the first event of the Jain Olympics.

The next day, the group was gathered at sunrise for a morning hike at the beautiful state park, followed by a morning stretch to prepare them for the eventful day. Poojan Mehta and I hosted the first educational session called “Jainism and the Environment”. The attendees learned that taking care of environment is not only good for our planet, but a great way to live harmoniously with all other beings.

After eating hoagies for lunch, Shardule Shah hosted the second educational session entitled “History of Jainism” which was followed by a Q&A forum. The Jain Olympics kicked back up with Volleyball Tournament and the Jain Scavenger Hunt. After the pasta dinner, the Jain Olympics continued on with its last event, Jain Jeopardy, which tested the attendees’ knowledge of Jainism.

The group spend a lot of time telling scary stories, playing Mafia, and getting to know one another.

The next day was filled with sadness as everyone parted ways to go home; however, everyone promised to come back to the next Southeast Retreat. After this amazing weekend, everyone left not only as friends, but as the Tugaloo Family.

Young Minds | Winter 2014


MidBest: Family, Friendships and Fresh Experiences by

#yjalove @YJATweets

Kinari Shah

The beauty of an organization like YJA is the incredible sense of family and support that comes from all of our events. From talking to incoming college freshman about navigating their final college decisions, to being able to get indispensable career advice from professionals, who were in the same boat as me a few years ago. This year has marked the first year of my involvement with anything YJA related, and I’ve loved every minute of it. From organizing events for all of the Jains on Michigan’s campus to get together, to just hanging out with my fellow LRs, I’m incredibly thankful to have become a part of the family.

After a wonderful session on Saturday morning at the mandir, I finally understand the meaning of chaityavandan. I had such an amazing time being able to put together and present a session on art and architecture, and the entire retreat and process helped me come out of my shell and learn so much more about myself and my strengths. There is one more very important thing that I learned this weekend and everybody deserves to know: I am a much better driver than Shikhar Shah.

This past weekend at the Midwest retreat further cemented my appreciation for all things YJA, and I can’t even begin to express how wonderful it was. From blasting Bollywood music on the drive to the venue, to board games and not getting any of my studying done Friday night, to watching Sunny Kaka rock bhangra aerobics on Saturday morning, the weekend was packed with fun moments and educational moments.

Follow YJA on Twitter @YJAtweets Are you a fan of the Twittersphere? Follow us and stay on top of all the news and updates you need to know about YJA! Tweet us your ideas, suggestions, questions, or just send us some #yjalove. We asked: “What do you love about Jainism?” Here’s what some of our followers answered: Ketan @ketanbparekh: “What I love most about #Jainism is Non Violence (esp to animals), Being Pure Vegetarian.”

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THE 2014 YJA CONVENTION? “So, this is actually my first time going to Convention and am I super duper excited!!!! Not only am I looking forward to meeting my friends from the retreats but also new people and to create new relationships and connections! I also am looking forward to gaining knowledge about Jainism and how to apply it since I've never had the opportunity to go to paathshala! I just CANNOT wait to go through this experience with everybody this summer!” - Juhi Shah

Jayni @xojayni93: “I love that #Jainism encourages introspection and self-improvement with modesty.” Vishal @vishalabwala: “Best thing about Jainism is that it's more than just a faith: it's a way of life that adapts to our very modern lifestyles.”

Young Minds | Winter 2014


RECIPE CORNER Vegan Coconut Cream Pie by Anjali Lalani Ingredients:


For the Oatmeal Cookie Crust:  3/4 cup quick oats (or gluten free oats)  3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can replace with flour, wheat flour, or sorghum flour for gluten free version)  1/2 tsp. baking soda  1/2 tsp. salt  1/2 tsp. vanilla  3/8 cup packed brown sugar  3/8 cup apple sauce For the Coconut Cream Filling:  1 1/2 pounds extra firm silken tofu (for this recipe, the best tofu is Mori Nu brand that comes vacuum packed and at room temperature)  2/3 cup maple syrup  3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk  1/3 cup canola oil  3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder  1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract  1/4 tsp. sea salt  1/2 + 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut For the Berry Sauce (optional):  2 cups berries/fruit of your choice  sugar (optional)

To Make Crust: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. In a blender or food processor, process the oats until they are finely ground 3. Combine oats with the remaining ingredients and form into a moist dough 4. Place the dough in the middle of a ten inch pan and using your hands, spread and flatten the dough over the bottom and up the sides as evenly as possible To Make Filling: 5. Pour all the ingredients but the 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste mixture and add sugar to taste. 6. Pour mixture into the crust and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the pie and bake for 15 minutes longer or until the filling has all but set in the center, moving only slightly when shaken. 7. Refrigerate for at least four hours. To Make Berry Sauce: 8. Blend berries in a blender until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Strain Sauce for seeds. 9. Serve chilled and drizzled with berry sauce.

Note: For an alternate gluten-free crust, food process some almonds, walnuts, brown sugar, and a little unsalted butter. Press into a pie pan and bake for 5-10 minutes.

For more Vegetarian, Vegan and GlutenFree Recipes from Anjali visit: http://vegetariangastronomy.com/

Region Websites Mid-Atlantic: http://www.yja.org/regions/midatlantic Mid-West: http://www.yja.org/regions/midwest Northeast: http://www.yja.org/regions/northeast South: http://www.yja.org/regions/south Southeast: http://www.yja.org/regions/southeast West: http://www.yja.org/regions/west

Young Minds | Winter 2014


CONTRIBUTORS We would like to thank the following article writers and contributors to this quarter’s issue of Young Minds:

Anjali Lalani, Dhara Bhalani, Jimika Mehta, Jinen Shah, Juhi Shah, Kinari Shah, Pankti Gala, Priyal Gandhi & Siddharth Kurwa --With special thanks to: Apurvi Mehta For editing each article; and Bonita Parikh for selecting all photographs used.

--Interested in contributing to the next issue of Young Minds? Visit our website for more information: http://yja.org/young-minds/

Young Minds | Winter 2014


Compassion Challenge The first 30 Day Compassion Challenge has already begun and ended, but there are many more to follow! We will find new ways to express our respect and empathy for all living beings. We wanted to offer a way to practice, connect, and share our experiences of compassion and kindness. Register today! By doing so, you will join an online community of like-minded people around the world as you contemplate ways to express compassion in your life. We will send you daily e-mails with inspiration and ideas, and you will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can share experiences, read others' stories, and support each other along the way.

To learn more please go to http://www.jaina.org/compassionchallenge and register today!

JAINA Kindly Requests Your Support to Help the Jain Community in India Sign the petition to assist Jains in India gain minority status. Here are the benefits of Minority Status in India: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Finance Scholarships for Students Admission Reimbursement of Fees Institutional benefits

Essentially by having Jains in India gain minority support, they have access to a number of government programs which allows for more scholarships for Jain youth, federal loans for education, and many other financial benefits to Jain centered NGO's.

Young Minds | Winter 2014


Help Support YJA Please Make a Contribution to YJA Today to Pass Jain Principles & Practices onto the Next Generation of Youth! Jai Jinendra! The Executive Board for Young Jains of America (YJA) plans to be very active in bringing Jain principles to youth across the country. We would like to take this opportunity to briefly discuss our current projects and how they will make a difference to the YJA community:     

Monthly Webinars – Educate and raise awareness about Jain principles and ideals and address youth problems, difficulties, and concerns. Website Maintenance – Continue to develop a professional website for Jain youth and create a forum to share Jain principles and values. Regional Retreats – Weekend retreats held in each region to instill a sense of religious and cultural pride among Jain youth. Community Volunteering – Organize volunteering events, such as Relay for Life and assistance at soup kitchens to allow youth to participate in charitable community activities. National Dinners – Encourage the development of friendships with Jain youth in their local cities, while conversing about real-life topics relating to Jainism over a delicious meal.

With the support of donors like you, YJA has grown to be the largest Jain youth organization in the world. For the YJA Executive Board, it is an honor to be a part of a group that motivates and inspires countless lives. Please consider supporting our efforts with a personal contribution to YJA today. A contribution of any amount will provide tremendous support to instill a sense of among youth about their Jain heritage. The ultimate goal of the YJA Executive Board is to prepare today's Jain youth to become tomorrow's Jain leaders. Not only do we appreciate your donations, but the fundraising team would like to hear from you! Please e-mail fundraising@yja.org with your comments or suggestions for improvement by YJA. If you have any questions regarding Young Minds, please e-mail youngminds@yja.org. We thank you for your wonderful contribution! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Young Jains of America Contribution Form *You can make a contribution by credit or debit card at https://jaina.site-ym.com/donations/donate.asp?id=3410* Full Name: ___________________________________________________________ Company Name (Optional): ___________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________ City: ____________ ST: ____ Zip: ___________ Daytime Phone: (______) ______________

Evening Phone: (______) _____________________

Email Address: ________________________________________________ Please make your check payable to Young Jains of America and mail it to: Young Jains of America c/o Neeketa Sheth 10360 NW 60th Place Parkland, Florida 33076

Young Minds | Winter 2014


Jai Jinendra! Thank you for reading this quarter’s issue of Young Minds! In line with the theme “Compassion”, we would like to extend our gratitude to our current Executive Board, our Convention Board, our Board of Trustees, and the JAINA Executive Committee, for their unconditional support, encouragement and efforts to make this year as successful as it has been. From record turnouts at the MidWest and Poconos retreats, to passionate excitement about the launch of registration for the 2014 YJA Convention, this is, without a doubt, a team effort and we couldn’t have done without you all. Compassion is not just an emotion but a part of living. Showing compassion can mean many different things to many different people but the main reason to show compassion is let others know they always have someone who will be there for them, to guide them and to support them. We are looking forward to a very successful next few months – and we hope to see you all at the 2014 YJA Convention. We have a team of 36 Convention Board members, as well as a large number of sub-committee members working around the clock to make sure that this years’ convention is truly the best one yet. We will see you all in July! With #yjalove, -Sejal Dhruva & Parag Parekh Your 2013-2014 Co-Chairs

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