First NCSY JUMP Seminar Empowers Yeshiva/Day School Teens with Increased Skills

17 Nov 2010


The First Annual NCSY | Jewish Teen Leaders JUMP Seminar, which took place recently over two days in Tarrytown — just north of New York City — brought together more than 80 Jewish teen leaders from 11 high schools serving Greater New York, Florida, Kansas and Pennsylvania. JUMP is NCSY’s Yeshiva/Day School Leadership Program that strives to empower teens to make a difference in their school, communities, and the Jewish community at large. The conference culminated with the launch of the Second Annual JUMP Challenge.

NCSY is the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union.

Leaders within the Jewish and business communities addressed the students’ questions and shed guidance on various aspects that define leadership. Speakers included Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President of the OU; Yeshiva University President Richard Joel; NCSY International Director Rabbi Steven Burg; Mr. Moishe Bane, Partner at the international law firm Ropes & Gray, and Chairman of the OU Board of Governors; and NCSY Regional Directors Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone of New York and Rabbi Yaakov Glasser of New Jersey. Students also engaged in leadership training workshops, while meeting and networking with fellow JUMP students from the diverse Jewish communities in attendance.

Declared Rabbi Burg, “The most important thing we do is inspire our students to become leaders. There is no better way to do this than actualizing their potential and empowering them with the skills, confidence and support to be strong, passionate Jews. These are lessons that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Participating students came from the following schools:

• Yeshiva of Flatbush

• Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton;

• Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) in Kansas City;

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;
• Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence;
• Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls (SKA) in Hewlett Bay Park;

• Kohelet Foundation Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia;

• Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (SAR);

• Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central).

JUMP began in 2007 by Rabbi Lightstone and the New York Region of NCSY as an opportunity for yeshiva/day school students in the greater New York area to volunteer in communities that lacked strong Jewish resources. Students volunteered in New Orleans to assist in the clean-up following Hurricane Katrina; and travelled to Germany in order to help launch an outreach and leadership initiative in Berlin, where the Jewish population is steadily growing.

JUMP quickly evolved into a weekly club that services yeshiva/day schools. The culmination of the 2010 JUMP program was the First JUMP Challenge. The challenges included the areas of chesed (acts of loving-kindness), outreach, fundraising, and event planning. School teams were paired with a trained JUMP coordinator who assisted the students in developing their JUMP challenge initiatives. This year, Israel advocacy has been added within the program.

During the course of the semester, participants became educators who empowered and helped strengthen their Jewish communities. JUMP members will graduate with skill-sets that enable them to plan future events in their respective communities and abroad.

Winning student teams were presented with checks by Donald Trump at last spring’s First JUMP Challenge Award Ceremony.

According to Rabbi Burg, “These challenges 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 have the group meticulously plan every detail of each event including marketing and budgeting.”

The Second Annual JUMP Challenge will culminate in the spring of 2011.

For more information on the JUMP program, contact Hanna Sorkin at

The OU’s Rabbi Weil empowered teens by discussing challenges they will face as leaders among peers their own ages and the opportunities they will have to build a different tomorrow.

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel speaks with students following his session discussing vital skills needed to be a leader and the importance for youth to become active within their communities.

Rabbi Yaacov Glasser, New Jersey NCSY Regional Director, energized the opening day session by sharing the connection with Torah values and leadership values.

Workshops on team building, problem solving and communication skills challenged the teens to brainstorm ways to implement the four JUMP challenges set ahead for their school team.