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January 26, 1996 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

U.S. Blades

PHIL JACOBS EDITOR

Seventy youth-group
members have pizza,
friendship and a
bungee jump
or two in
West Bloomfield.

PHOTOS BY DANIEL LIPPITT

Jonathan
Boschan, 14, of
Shaarey Zedek
"flies" on the
bungee
trampoline at
U.S. Blades.

here was no deep religious
thought nor mind-boggling tal-
mudic questions asked on Sun-
day night at U.S. Blades in West
Bloomfield. The problems of Jew-
ish youth, assimilation, interdat-
ing, recreational drugs and ADDS
were a million miles away ... by
design.
There were instead 70 United
Synagogue Youth — 8th- through
12th-graders — who came to-
gether just to be together on roller
blades, behind video games or, for
a few, bungee jumping. And as
several USY advisers knew com-
ing into the event, simple fun of-
ten is the glue that makes
continuity stick.
The students represented six
area Conservative synagogues:
Beth Abraham Hillel Moses,
Shaarey Zedek, Adat Shalom,
B'nai Moshe, Beth Achim and
Beth Shalom.
"This is a chance to bring the
kids together to show them that
we are about being Jewish, but
we're also about having fun," said
Sharon Levine, USY's Midwest
field worker. Greater Detroit's
USY is part of a Midwest region
that includes Michigan, Indiana,

Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia
and eastern Pennsylvania.
Many of the students will be
participating in the April 21 re-
gional convention set for Dear-
born's Hyatt Regency. Other
upcoming programs include lead-
ership training in Indianapolis as
well as different summer pro-
grams to Israel.
Aaron Averbuch, 17, of West
Bloomfield and the USY assistant
adviser at Beth Abraham, saw
the skating party as a way to ex-
pand Jewish unity.
Jewish unity, he said, doesn't
always have to be based on seri-
ous subjects. Sometimes it's im-
portant to build unity through a
good time.
Joshua Goldsmith, the youth
director at Shaarey Zedek,
agreed.
"The synagogue should be an
important part of one's life," he
said. "But it's important some-
times to get out of the synagogue
and let the kids socialize if we're
to reach them."
Nate Berman, 20, the youth
adviser of Beth Achim, said in-
creasing membership for the or-
ganization is always a goal.

Top: Matt Shapiro,
18, of Shaarey
Zedek plays video
games.

Left: Having a blast
with USY: Stephanie
Schiff and Melanie
Jonas, both 13,
from Shaarey
Zedek, and Jacki
Roft, 13, of Beth
Shalom.

"I wish the events could always
be full of energy as well as enter-
taining," he said. "It's good for the
kids, and it's good for the shul
when we can build ourselves up
by having fun."

"This was a lot of fun," said
Matt Shapiro, 18, of Shaarey
Zedek. "The games are cool; the
people are cool. It's what USY is
all about." 0

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