Youth programming in our community supports and enhances the social, educational, and spiritual growth of our congregation’s young people. Temple Israel of Natick is a chapter of the New England region of USY (NERUSY), which is part of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s youth program (United Synagogue Youth, or USY). Programming goes from grade 3 through graduation from high school: Kadima serves youth in grades 3-5; Junior USY is 6th-8th grade; and Senior USY encourages high school students to become the young Jewish leaders of the next generation. USY offers the opportunity to interact and befriend Jewish peers/participants on regional and national levels.
Throughout the school year, USY provides a variety of programs, including dances, sporting events, outdoor activities, social action projects, Shabbatons, and conventions. Our very own members lead Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Shillman House (an independent living facility in Framingham) as well as read Torah at Temple Israel, and raise funds for USY charities.
Our Senior USY teens are a constant positive presence in congregational life. The high school students organize and run the Purim Carnival, plan and implement the annual Yom Hazikaron service, and assist at services for the younger children. The involvement does not go unnoticed. In 2016, Natick USY was given a huge honor as we were named the “Chapter of the Year” in the New England USY region. Temple Israel’s young people have many opportunities to contribute their knowledge and enthusiasm to a wide variety of Temple and community-wide activities.
For further information, please contact Michelle Nelson, USY Advisor and Coordinator by email. Michelle grew up in the Temple Israel of Natick community and is also teaches Kindergarten in our Hebrew School.