6By Hanna Schlager

New York NCSY recently held its annual Jewish Unity Mentoring Program (JUMP) Conference at the Hilton Huntington Hotel in Melville, which kicked off this school year’s JUMP Challenge. The JUMP Conference and Challenge has experienced unprecedented growth since its initial establishment just five years ago. The comprehensive two-day seminar hosted hundreds of Jewish high-school students from across the United States, including 19 JUMP teams representing both yeshiva and public high schools, and offered them a wide array of intensive leadership workshops given by prominent and influential speakers. NCSY is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.

“The students came to the conference ready to learn how to become leaders and were actively engaged in the workshops and discussions, asking thoughtful questions and giving insightful feedback,” said Carol Rhine, director of JUMP and chief operating officer of New York NCSY. “They displayed intense professionalism and truly exemplified the future leaders of our Jewish communities.”

During the conference, the 2013—2014 JUMP Challenge was unveiled–each team was charged with the mission to successfully create and execute four events relating to Israel advocacy, Jewish values, Holocaust remembrance, and bullying, as well as a fundraising event for their school and community. The JUMP Challenge is carefully designed to develop and build critical aspects of leadership that can be applied throughout life and more specifically, while serving the Jewish community.

“The speakers and presentations at the JUMP Leadership Conference prepared me and my teammates for the challenges ahead of us, not only in the JUMP Challenge, but also in life’s challenges,” said Yitz Milworm of Rambam Mesivta in Cedarhurst.

The JUMP Challenge will culminate in March, in a Manhattan boardroom, where the best-performing teams present executive summaries of their accomplishments to a panel of distinguished judges. In the past, JUMP judges have included Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Phil Rosen, Esq., David Friedman, Esq., Charlie Harary, Esq., and Rabbi Steven Weil. The winning JUMP team will receive a trophy to display in their school and an exclusive evening in Manhattan including dinner and a private excursion in the city.

“I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of the kids this year,” noted Allen Fagin, chair of NCSY Youth Commission and guest presenter at the JUMP Leadership Conference. “Their curiosity, their maturity, their inquisitiveness, how articulate and mature they were–I was really proud to be among them. There is a world out there of remarkably impressive kids, the future leaders of our people.”

The participating JUMP schools and teams include Central—YUHSG, HAFTR, HANC, Oceanside High School, Rambam Mesivta, Shalhevet High School for Girls, SKA, Syosset High School, Upper West Side JUMP, and Westchester Hebrew High School.

The main vision of JUMP is to train Jewish high-school students to become leaders and make positive changes in their schools and communities, while broadening their understanding of global issues facing the Jewish people today. Through the JUMP Leadership Conference’s collaborative and educational initiatives, teens learn critical leadership skills, while networking with peers from across the country. Participants develop crucial skills such as problem solving, team building, public speaking, marketing, and fundraising. These acquired skills are put to the test with the launch of the JUMP Challenge.

For more information about JUMP please contact Carol Rhine at rhinec@ncsy.org or call 516-569-6279. v


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