October was a great month at H2I! We started our month on Thursday, October 1 with Sukkah Dinners for each of our group at Hillcrest JC, taking advantage of a weeknight in light of the many Sundays we lost because of Jewish and secular holidays at the start of our year. Our month continued on Sunday, October 11, when our USYers joined high schoolers from across the NY Metropolitan area for a Kickoff Boat Ride around Manhattan—reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones as well. The next weekend marked our first regular Sunday meetings of the month, with our younger groups taking part in “Escape the Room,” where they worked together to solve puzzles and put all the clues together in order to be the first team to escape, while our USYers worked to solve a murder mystery. Later in the month, our younger groups also participated in an Israeli Sports Night, in which they learned more about Israel through some fun athletic events.
On October 24-25, we hosted my favorite program of the year, our USY Social Actions Shul-In. After focusing on homelessness and disabilities in previous years, this year, we focused on the topic of discrimination. Our Chapter Board members designed excellent programs to help their peers understand the different forms of discrimination faced today—from race to gender, religion to sexual orientation, and age to height. After an evening packed with programming, our teens went home Sunday morning with a better understanding of the unfair treatment faced by many in our society today, and of the steps they can take to help reduce discrimination across the world.
November looks to be just as exciting. On November 1, our younger groups will be taking part in a “Make Your Own Shabbat” program, in which they’ll create their own havdalah candles, Kiddush cups, and other items they’ll need to celebrate Shabbat at home, while our USYers have a Krav Maga and Yoga Night after taking part in METNY’s Day of Service and volunteering across the NY area. On November 8, our younger groups will look at Jewish themes through Disney and other animated television shows and movies, while our USYers will have their own Make Your Own Shabbat program. We’re working on planning an awesome trip for all of our groups on November 15, and our month concludes on November 22 with the return of our Mitzvah Stations program, at which all of our groups will take part in a variety of mitzvah projects that will give back to others as the holiday season approaches.
If you haven’t registered yet for H2I, it’s never too late. Just stop by one of our programs and we’ll get you all signed up! Unless noted otherwise above, Grades 2-5 meet from 5-6:15 PM, Grades 6-8 from 6:15-7:30 PM, and Grades 9-12 from 7:30-9 PM. All of our November meetings are at Hillcrest Jewish Center.