Ten Awesome Things You Need To Know About From This Past Year

Posted on May 21, 2013

Israel Raps

More than 55 unaffiliated teens participated in San Diego NCSY’s Israel Raps program as part of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s San Diego Celebrates Israel Festival on April 21st at Nobel Athletic Field in La Jolla. Together they produced over 15 minutes of rap music about Israel. The raps were all directly based on #Torah sources which the teens studied as part of the program. This program was made possible by the generous support of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County.


Check out this short video: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/israel-raps/

Shavuot Learning

Now in its third year, San Diego NCSY’s renowned Shavuot programming allowed more than 65 teens in 3 locations around San Diego to #LearnTorah all night long. A staff of 12 advisors and local staff helped to create a memorable Shavuot experience for the teens. In one community the teens were so excited about learning they wanted to stay up for a second night, and that’s just what they did. Nearly 40 teens stayed up for round two on the second night of Shavuot to #LearnTorah all night all over again!

Shavuot Book

How many Jewish teens around the country can say they have published a book? Probably not many, but a group of San Diego NCSYers can add that feat to their resume. This year for Shavuot, our teens worked together with NCSY staff and advisors to create “Over The Hill: Young Perspectives on Ancient Tradition”, a  40 page book with more than 20 individual Divrei Torah (Torah Essays) written by teens and nearly 10 more from staff and advisors. This book was read by hundreds over Shavuot and is now online in digital format. Teens are already planning Volume 2 for next year!


Check out the full book here: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/over-the-hill-our-shavuot-book-2013/


San Diego NCSY is grateful to have been awarded nearly $20,000 in second year funding as a part of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County’ Innovation Fund. Since being awarded first year funding of over $25,000 last year, San Diego NCSY has expanded its innovative program lineup and was even included in this year’s Slingshot San Diego Journal of Innovative Jewish Projects.

The Jewish Multimedia Xperience

Thanks to the above mentioned funding from the Jewish Federation’s Innovation Fund, more than 400 teens were able to participate in JMX (or the Jewish Multimedia Xperience). JMX uses mixed-media to create amazing visual performances that enhance conversations about Jewish issues for teens.

From the Slingshot San Diego Journal:

…one reviewer expressed that she, “never has seen 400 Jewish teens as intensely focused and listening quietly” as they were during the program. Another reviewer was inspired by San Diego Director, Adam Simon’s charisma noting that “he seems to work round the clock to inspire teens to get personally invested in Judaism.”

Check out this short video: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/trailer/

Philanthropy Shark Tank

Ever wonder if teens can make a difference? 15 Jewish teens know the answer to that question after San Diego NCSY held its first-ever Philanthropy Shark Tank. Teens spent a day discussing Jewish values, meeting local organizations and learning about philanthropy. The day culminated with the teens pitching one organization to their peers and awarding a grant of $1,000 from the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Fund to the organization with the most votes.The winner was Friendship Circle, an organization which provides support for children with special needs.

Chanukah Video

Thousand of YouTubers celebrated Chanukah with San Diego NCSY this year as they watched our teens’ amazing creation, “Am Yisrael Chai” a Chanukah parody of “Drive By” by Train. The song, written by Harry Portman, was performed and produced entirely by local NCSYers and advisors and since its release has garnered thousands of views. People from around the world have sent their messages of support and even their donations in support of the teens’ message.

Check it out for yourself here: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/am-yisrael-chai-chanukah-song-from-san-diego-ncsy/

Susan Davis

As part of San Diego NCSY’s Teen Leadership Initiative, a group of female NCSY leaders met with Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) to discuss being a female Jewish leader in the community, the importance of hard work and education in leadership roles, and strategies for community engagement. San Diego NCSY would like to thank Congresswoman Susan Davis’s office for making this amazing opportunity possible.

THX Shabbaton

What happens when nearly 100 amazing teens get together for a Shabbaton of learning and doing? You change the world, that’s what. On NCSY’s fifth annual THX Shabbaton, teens spent Shabbat learning primary Jewish texts followed by inspiring presentations and conversations with world renowned speaker Mr. Charlie Harary Esq. On Saturday night, they had a blast with a private Laser Tag exhibition and then heard from Jewish recovering addicts about the challenges of addiction. Finally the weekend was capped with a day of Chessed at Mission Bay where teens collected 70 pounds of debris. 1,182 items were removed from the beach and surrounding shoreline, including 167 cigarette butts, 597 plastic items and 86 Styrofoam pieces.

Read all about it from a teen’s perspective here: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/my-thx-experience-by-hannah-defore-laskow/

Silence Your Ego

San Diego NCSYers are really creative. This year for Pesach, they decided to channel that creativity into an online photo project about Humility and Humanity. The project, called “Silence Your Ego” was conceived by a couple of NCSY leaders with an idea – a dream of getting people thinking about humility and what it means to them. They asked people to submit photos of themselves with a sign that answered the simple question, “Why do you #SilenceYourEgo?” With hundreds of submissions, the final project was a tremendous success – people around the world were definitely excited to be thinking.

Check out the project at: http://silenceyourego.tumblr.com/