More than 370 New York teens participating in summer programs operated by the Orthodox Union in Israel came together last week with 2,500 teens, staff and guests from 29 states, Canada, Israel, Argentina and the United Kingdom for a festival in Park Ra’anana.
“The energy and enthusiasm of these young people was contagious, sharing in a love of Torah and Israel,” said OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin of Woodmere.
The Yom NCSY event marked the end of a 72-hour teen-led initiative to fund scholarships for next year’s summer programs, as well as dedicate a United Hatzalah ambucycle that will respond to emergency medical calls throughout the country.
NCSY is OU’s international youth movement.
“Even though everyone had different backgrounds, we all united as one family to come together and celebrate in Israel,” said Ayala Terebelo, 16, of Brooklyn. “It was the best night ever,” added Finnie Elkouby, 16, of Cedarhurst.
“The OU takes enormous pride in NCSY’s summer programs,” said OU President Moishe Bane, a resident of Lawrence. “The incredible array of styles and approaches reflects the OU approach to Judaism — that religious, Jewish growth must be made accessible and engaging for every Jew, regardless of educational, religious or cultural background.”
NCSY’s summer programs in attendance at the event included 4G Euro, BILT, GIVE, Euro ICE, Israel ID, JOLT Israel, Kollel, Michlelet, Next Step, Hatzalah Rescue, Resurf, TJJ Ambassadors, TJJ, TJJ Ambassadors Poland. Additionally, U.S. based programs Camp Maor, GIVE EAST, GIVE WEST, RTC and NCSY Sports were able to take part through NCSY’s livestream. Over 200 participants of Yad B’Yad, the summer Israel-travel trip run by the OU’s Yachad division, also took part in the event.