Although it is hard to believe, yet another year of H2I Youth Group has come to a close! With our Social Actions Shul-In for our USYers that focused on discrimination, and our various Mitzvah Stations projects for all of our groups, we put a focus on social actions and giving back to our community, and we had fun with programs like Laser Tag, Cupcake Wars, and trips to Mini-Golf and Jib Lanes!
H2I also had a busy year hosting special programming this year. From Sababa Spring Kinnus and H2I LTI at Hollis Hills, to Sababa Divisional Elections and various Chapter Shabbatons at Hillcrest, to Sababa Leadership Training Day at ICCJ, we are very thankful to all of you for opening your synagogue (and for some, homes) to our USYers. These programs would not have been as successful without the warm welcome we received from all of you.
Our incredible year would not have been possible without the efforts of so many individuals. First and foremost, I want to thank our USY Chapter Board members, who planned and executed almost all of our USY programs as well as a number of our programs for Nitzanim, Chalutzim, and Kadima. Yasher Koach to Diana Kofman (President), Danielle Kraes (Executive VP), Julia Duze (Israel Affairs VP), Raya Kazdan (Religion/Education VP), Abby Berkower (Social Actions/Tikun Olam VP), Brianna Manginelli (Membership/Kadima VP), Aimee Teplitskiy (Communications VP), and Eliana Schulman (Freshmen Representative). I also owe my sincerest gratitude to our professional staff—Seth Berkowitz, Alexandra Hasson, and Andie Amit, for all of their work to make H2I the best it can be!
Two particular individuals deserve special recognition for all they have done for H2I over the past number of years. First off, Alexandra Hasson, who has been one of our Youth Advisors for the past four years, has decided to take a step back in the coming year, and though she’ll be with us for special events like Purim Carnival, she will no longer be serving as a weekly advisor. I owe my sincerest gratitude to Alex for all of her hard work, innovative thinking, and dedication to H2I. Her presence will certainly be missed. Mark Spielvogel, who has served as the Divisional Director for Sababa USY (the NYC division of METNY USY) for the past seven years, is also retiring from his position at the end of this programming year. Mark was a constant presence at our special programs and in our synagogues for Sababa events, and his guidance and dedication will certainly be missed.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to Nancy and Lou Ann for all of their help this past year, and to Tony and Richie for always making sure our programs were set up perfectly! In addition, special thanks to Rabbi Wise for his support and guidance over the course of the year!
We would like to wish a hearty Mazal Tov to the H2I members elected to Sababa Divisional Board for the 2016-2017 year, on which they will plan programs for teens across New York City. Mazal Tov to Zachary Zabib, Alex Zabib, Aimee Teplitskiy, and Jordana Chazan.
Finally, Mazal Tov our seniors who are graduating and heading off to bigger and better things—Sarah Benmen, Abby Berkower, Jullian Burger, Julia Duze, Diana Kofman, Amber Raiken, Serena Vanchiro, and Jordie Wise!
We look forward to seeing the rest of you when we start up again in September!
Wishing all of you a fun-filled and safe summer,