More than 2,500 Jewish teens, staff and guests from 29 states, Canada, Israel, Argentina and the United Kingdom participating in summer programs operated by the Orthodox Union (OU) converged on Park Ra’anana to nibble on American barbeque and rock to live musical performances at Yom NCSY.
“Yom NCSY represents the very essence of what NCSY Summer is all about. At the event it doesn’t matter what your religious background is, it’s about a united non-judgmental, encouraging environment celebrating our shared connections in the home of the Jewish people,” said NCSY Summer Director David Cutler. “The palpable energy, cheering, singing and dancing has made this the highlight of the summer.”
In addition to the festivities, the 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 which will respond to emergency medical calls throughout the country.
“The energy and enthusiasm of these young people was contagious. It was wonderful to see them all come together – from all parts of the world and from many different religious backgrounds – to celebrate their summer together, sharing in a love of Torah and Israel,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “These NCSYers bringing such passion to their summers only highlight the goals of our programs—to inspire leadership, and the love and responsibility towards Israel and the Jewish people.”
“The Orthodox Union takes enormous pride in NCSY’s summer programs,” said Moishe Bane, President of the Orthodox Union. “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. God has blessed the OU with NCSY staff that has the passion, commitment and brilliance to advance that aspiration.”
“Yom NCSY was an phenomenal experience that I will never forget. The amount of fun and laughter that I shared with all of my friends was unforgettable. It was astounding to see so many people around my age brought together by the Jewish community. Not to mention the music was amazing! I wish I could go to Yom NCSY every night and it breaks my heart that I have to leave this incredible place with such incredible people.”-Eliza Bankier, 16, Chicago.
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. Entertainment was provided by New York-based DJZJ, singers Simcha Leiner and Ohad!