JUMP FOR JUDAISM: NCSY HOSTS THIRD ANNUAL JUMP SEMINAR
Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, NY (2010-2011 JUMP champions) brainstorming ideas at the National JUMP Leadership Seminar.
NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, recently held its second annual National JUMP Leadership Seminar at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Connecticut. JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentoring Program) is comprised of two aspects: the day Seminar, and the overall Challenge programming. The participating JUMP schools have until the spring of 2012 to complete their challenges, after which they will be judged on their creativity, teamwork and the success and quality of their programs.
The comprehensive two-day seminar, held in late October, brought together nearly 100 yeshiva/day school students from high schools in the Greater New York area, Kansas, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It also launched the third annual JUMP Challenge, during which yeshiva/day school students compete to create and implement four community-wide projects under the categories of chesed (acts of loving-kindness); Torah education; fundraising; and Israel advocacy.
Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, New York NCSY Regional Director and JUMP founder, stated, “Through these educational and collaborative projects, JUMP strives to empower the future leaders of tomorrow, today. The Seminar provides teens with the appropriate tools, while the JUMP Challenge teaches them creativity, implementation, and most importantly, follow through."
JUMP offers yeshiva/day school students the opportunity to become leaders who will make positive changes in their schools and communities while broadening their understanding of global issues facing the Jewish people. Through leadership-training workshops, team building exercises and lectures concerning the importance of chesed, kiruv, fundraising and Israel advocacy within the Jewish community, the Seminar outlined a variety of ways in which the students can become effective activists for the Jewish people.
At the Seminar, students heard from influential members of the Jewish community who play significant roles in various prominent organizations and institutions. Speakers included Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University; Charlie Harary, founder of Milvado, and Rabbi Lightstone.
The Seminar, coordinated by New York NCSY Director of Operations Carol Rhine, was jam packed with workshops and activities from the moment the participants arrived on Sunday morning until the time they departed on Monday afternoon. Students were given the opportunity to understand what it takes to be a leader and given practical, hands-on experiences in preparation to becoming a successful leader. Sessions included “The Elevator Pitch;” “The Science of a Program;” “The Art of Public Speaking;” and “Am I a Leader?”
Nissim Levin, NCSY Coordinator of Greater Washington, leading a brainstorming group at JUMP.
Cameron Burns from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy of Overland Park, KS, noted, "It was awesome meeting students from all over the country. We all got to brainstorm different ideas together."
Rebecca Grossman from HANC of Uniondale, NY, reflected, “I learned a lot at the JUMP Seminar and I really enjoyed the workshops. They were fun and interesting and will definitely help prepare us for the JUMP challenges."
According to Rabbi Lightstone, “The competition will exercise students’ public speaking and presentation skills, their ability to plan and organize a large-scale event utilizing the skills and talents of the entire group and motivate the group to meticulously plan every detail of each event including marketing and budgeting.”
He continued, “This year’s JUMP Challenge is the product of three years of evolution. JUMP began in 2007 as an opportunity for yeshiva /day school students to volunteer in communities that lacked strong Jewish resources. For example, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed many communities throughout New Orleans, JUMP students volunteered to rebuild homes and bring supplies to those in need.
In addition, select JUMP students traveled to Germany, to help launch an outreach and leadership initiative in a local girls seminary in Berlin. After succeeding as a volunteer program, JUMP continued to evolve into a weekly club that began to service yeshiva day schools in the greater New York area. Today, JUMP enables yeshiva/ day school students from around the country to become strong Jewish leaders that truly make a lasting impact on their communities.”
Participating students came from the following schools:
• Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton (students were unable to attend seminar in-person due to a snowstorm, but were able to participate via Skype);
• Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) of Overland Park;
Long Island (Including the Five Towns):
• Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys (DRS) in Woodmere;
• Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns (HAFTR) in Lawrence;
• Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) in Uniondale;
• Midreshet Shalhevet of North Woodmere;
• Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence;
• Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA) in Hewlett Bay Park;
• Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (MJBHA) of Rockville;
• Kohelet Foundation Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia;
• Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (SAR);
• Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central).
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