USY, USCJ’s youth movement, empowers Jewish youth to develop friendships, leadership skills, a sense of belonging to the Jewish People, a deep engagement with and love for Israel, and a commitment to inspired Jewish living through meaningful and fun experiences based on the ideology of Conservative Judaism.
USY was founded in 1951 and has grown from a handful of chapters to an international organization with thousands of high school age members. In 1964, Kadima was formalized as a separate entity for pre-USY age young people. USY was conceived as a means of meeting the social, educational, religious, and recreational needs of Jewish teenagers. USY seeks to involve teenagers in synagogue life and help build the Jewish community of the future. Furthermore, USY is a Zionist organization, trying to build a relationship between Israel and Jewish youth in America. Today, USY continues to work toward these same goals. One measure of USY’s success is that it has produced its own leaders, as many advisors, youth workers, Rabbis, synagogue presidents, etc. are themselves former USYers.
USY begins at the local chapter level where it recruits members and trains leaders. The next level is the regional level. The regions have a variety of activities to bring together members and leaders from the chapters. The third level is the international level. The international USY offices are located in New York City.