I am proud to announce that H2I Youth Group was named METNY USY’s 2013-2014 Chapter of the Year! Recognizing H2I as the best chapter in the METNY Region, which covers the five boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland Counties, this award reaffirms what so many of us already knew—that H2I stands at the forefront of USY in so many areas, like programming, tzedekah, peer leadership, and outreach.
This past year has certainly made us worthy of this honor. Our programming has soared to new heights, including programs like our Social Actions Shul-In that had our teens engage in an immersive, experiential overnight during which they learned about the plight of the homeless; this program was even featured as the cover story of Fresh Meadows Life magazine! We broke down barriers with a joint program with local BBYO teens, showing our USYers that despite belonging to competing youth programs, BBYO and USY teens have a lot more in common than they might think. We impressed representatives from the Israeli government who visited our Tu B’Shvat Seder, and our programs for our younger groups provided an environment where our youth could both socialize and learn.
Our award-winning year would not have been possible without the efforts of so many individuals. First and foremost, I want to thank our USY Chapter Board members, who planned and executed almost all of our USY programs as well as a number of our programs for Nitzanim, Chalutzim, and Kadima. Yasher Koach to Arianne Shapiro (President), Adi Porat (Executive VP), Jordie Wise (Israel Affairs VP), Ilan Kogan (Religion/Educaiton VP), Abby Berkower (Social Actions/Tikun Olam VP), Diana Kofman (Membership/Kadima VP), Julia Duze (Communications VP), and Raya Kazdan (Freshmen Representative). I also owe my sincerest gratitude to our professional staff—Seth Berkowitz, Alexandra Hasson, Andie Amit, and Melissa Goller.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to Nancy and Lou Ann for all of their help this past year, and to Tony and Richie for always making sure our programs were set up perfectly! In addition, special thanks to Rabbi Wise, President Paul Reich, and Youth Committee members Melanie Katz and Maddy Kofman for their support and guidance over the course of the year!
We would like to wish a hearty Mazal Tov to our seniors who are graduating and heading off to bigger and better things—Fran Horowitz, Jackson Kazdan, Sara Glickman, and Kyle Sandor! We look forward to seeing the rest of you when we start up again in September!
Wishing all of you a fun-filled and safe summer,