Inside the OU

Second Annual YouthCon Convention—A Smashing Success!

NCSY’s Second Annual YouthCon Convention, held this past August at the Stamford Hilton in Connecticut, was a smashing success with nearly 500 attendees. YouthCon continues to lead the world of informal Jewish education by bringing together hundreds of informal Jewish educators to network and learn from one another. This year’s convention included participants from over 165 organizations and presenters from over sixty organizations.

“The best thing about YouthCon is that there is no agenda other than sharing ideas on how to engage Jewish youth,” explained Rabbi Jonathan Gross of Beth Israel Synagogue in Omaha, Nebraska.

This year’s convention featured sessions on digital media, organizational management, spirituality, social sphere and synagogue youth as well as an afternoon plenary and an all-day “Service Center” where educators could meet one-on-one with experts in various fields. Parts of the day were set aside for networking and brainstorming with other like-minded educators.

YouthCon is a day filled with learning, creativity and collaboration. Stay tuned for details on YouthCon 2013 on our Web site We look forward to greeting you there!

At YouthCon, participants chose between five distinct tracks: digital media, organizational management, spirituality, social sphere and synagogue youth.  

Participants at brainstorming sessions sharing their experiences and ideas.

Hart Levine, Founder of Heart to Heart (left), and Marc Fein, Regional Director of Upstate New York NCSY, along with other young experiential educators, lead a panel discussion on Jewish identity formation


















The YouthCon Service Center enabled educators to meet one-on-one with experts in various fields in order to strengthen their understanding in various areas, such as resume building.

Rabbi Dov Emerson, Assistant Principal of DRS Yeshiva High School in Woodmere, New York, teaches Jewish youth professionals how to leverage technology in the classroom.

Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University; Ruth Messinger,
CEO of American Jewish World Service and Shimon Waronker, Headmaster of the New American Academy, describe their journeys to become leaders in Jewish education during the afternoon plenary—a highlight of the day. Moderating the discussion is Rabbi Steven Burg, international director of NCSY. From left: Rabbi Burg;President Joel; Ms. Messinger and Mr. Waronker.



This article was featured in the Winter 2012 issue of Jewish Action.