After being involved in NCSY since fifth grade, it is no surprise that Judah Joseph has been named NCSY’s 2011-2012 International Teen President. Approachable, hardworking, enthusiastic, and enough of a Type-A personality to get things done, Judah is certainly the man for the job.
Rabbi Jonah Lerner, Regional Director of Atlantic Seaboard NCSY, noted, “I’ve personally watched Judah grow up and have always been impressed by his contagious positive energy. Judah has been a tremendous asset to the Atlantic Seaboard region and we’re excited to see his talents channeled in for the betterment of NCSY and the Jewish people. We’re in for a great year with Judah on board.”
According to Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, “Watching Judah grow from a young junior NCSYer to International Teen President has been incredible. He is a tremendous role model and leader to everyone around him, always ready to take on the next project. His dedication to Judaism and to his peers is one we should all emulate and will surely be seen through his work over the course of the upcoming year.”
Born and raised in Cherry Hill, NJ, Judah, who is 17 years old, attended Politz (Yeshiva) Day School for elementary school and Cherry Hill High School East for high school. Although there is a large Jewish presence in his high school, only a handful of students wore yarmulkes. Initially, it was difficult for Judah to walk around wearing his yarmulke but over the years, Judah learned to wear it with pride and embrace the idea of being the ‘go to’ person people turn to for questions. Judah was always the one organizing his chapter’s weekly Latte and Learning event and putting up flyers for his school’s Jewish culture club.
Judah’s parents, Joyce and Jeffrey Joseph, are thrilled about Judah’s new role. As they explained, “We are excited for Judah to have this leadership role with NCSY this year. We know his enthusiasm and talent will contribute to NCSY’s success in its mission to inspire Jewish teens. We are grateful to NCSY for developing and recognizing his leadership potential and offering him this amazing experience which will allow him to put his creative energy towards such a noble goal.”
In addition to serving as International Teen President and Co-President of Atlantic Seaboard NCSY’s Regional Board, Judah writes for the Huffington Post; serves as a lifeguard and teaches swimming; volunteers at a local radio station; participates in his school’s stage crew club; and is part of Write On for Israel, a two-year program that trains a select group of high school students to become advocates for Israel through journalism.
In 2010, Judah had the privilege of going on NCSY’s Summer Program in Israel, The Jerusalem Journey (TJJ) Ambassadors. “TJJ Ambassadors was the best summer of my life. We were one bus, but had kids from all over the United States and Canada who were all passionate about the same thing: Israel. The experience, the people, the advisors, it was just unreal,” said Judah.
This coming year, Judah hopes to continue all the existing NCSY programming, in addition to some new ideas. One of his ideas is to institute regional-wide charity projects. Each region will determine a cause to raise money for and together, all the chapters in the region will work to reach their goal. This allows the region to come together for an event other than the Regional Convention.
“This is going to be an awesome year. I’m honored to have been asked to do this and I’m looking forward to working with everyone,” said Judah.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.