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 barbecue and rock to live musical performances at Yom NCSY.
Finnie Elkouby, 16, of Cedarhurst, raved, “Yom NCSY was the most fun night of my life! Between seeing all my old friends from home and having so much fun with all my new friends it was the best night ever!”
“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.”
Ayala Terebelo, 16, of Brooklyn, New York, agreed. “Yom NCSY was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. Everyone was super-friendly. I felt like even though everyone there had different backgrounds, we all united as one family to come together and celebrate in Israel.”
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.”
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 and singers Simcha Leiner and Ohad!