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Home - Congregation Beth Israel

Scotch Plains USY & Kadima

USY (9th-12th grade)

United Synagogue Youth (USY) is designed to engage today's teenagers in a program of informal Jewish Education and social involvement that will help to insure the continuity of the Jewish people.

CBI's chapter of USY provides educational, spiritual, religious and social opportunities and activities for its members and the community.

We also participate in several regional USY programs throughout the year: Kinnusim (weekend retreats), dances, cross-country road trips and more!  USY connects a huge network of teens at synagogues across the New Jersey Hagalil region and beyond!  

Kadima (6th - 8th Grade)

Kadima is a synagogue-based, international youth program for kids in grades 6-8, sponsored by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

At CBI, we have an active Kadima chapter. Middle school students are invited to join our Kadima events, such as: visiting Yestercades; competing in a Cake-Off; or playing their way through Funplex.  Our Kadima programs are planned and run by our USY teen leaders.

For more information email Aviva at or follow us on Instagram at scotch_plains_usy

Kadima and USY FAQ

My child already has so many after school activities, why should my child become involved in Kadima or USY?

Participation in Kadima and USY will broaden your child or teen’s outlook by allowing him/her the opportunity to make Jewish friends, not only in your neighborhood and community, but also all over Northern and Central New Jersey. This experience teaches leadership skills, and will enable your child to grow and develop in a unique way, while giving him/her the opportunity to embrace and more fully understand his/her Jewish heritage. AND IT’S FUN!

What programs does the Hagalil Region offer?

Each year the region holds Shabbat overnights (Shabbatonim), dances, social programs such as fun day, game night, and rollerskating, Great Adventure Day, a Spring Convention and a week of camp at the end of August (Encampment, see below for details).

What is a Shabbaton?

A Shabbaton is a community observance of Shabbat. Kadima or USY members gather at one synagogue in the region on Friday afternoon and have the opportunity to spend a joyous Friday and Saturday together, with icebreakers, study, singing, food and peer-led prayer, which ends with a social program such as a dance or other entertainment.  Often the program continues on Sunday through noon.

How do Shabbaton accommodations work?

Shabbatonim are hosted by congregations in the region. Out of town participants are housed by families who are members of the congregation, often those with their peers of appropriate age. Housing that is within walking distance of the synagogue is available. Kadimaniks and USYers are always housed at least two to a house, and bring sleeping bags so they can be together.

Allergies to pets or food are taken into account through appropriate arrangements.

How are meals provided at a Shabbaton?

Most meals are served at the synagogue, beginning with dinner on Friday night. Breakfast on Shabbat is served at the host’s home, and consists of cold food, e.g. cereal or doughnuts. Lunch and dinner, as well as some snacks, are provided at the synagogue.

How do accommodations work at Spring Convention?

Spring Convention is one of the high points of the year, because it is held at a hotel. Kadimaniks or USYers are placed three or four to a room and share either double or king size beds. All meals are provided for them.

What is Encampment?

Encampment is a one week program for Kadimaniks and USYers that incorporates all the elements of a summer sleep away camp into a shorter time frame. The campers sleep in bunks with indoor plumbing (including showers), and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities including sports, arts and crafts, color war, and social action programs, as well as several educational classes during the week geared to their age and interest. Peer-led religious services are held during the day at a variety of locations and with varying emphases.  Here is an FAQ and sample schedule of Encampment.

How can prayer be used to enhance the experience?

As part of the Conservative Movement, Kadima and USY perpetuate the traditional practice of praying three times a day. The prayer services are specially geared for the age group. Services may take place outdoors or may consist of learning services or other methods of worship. They are encouraged to participate to the extent of their desire and ability in a creative learning situation, with the ability to try new ways to communicate with God, while learning the traditional prayer sequences.

How can my child join Kadima or USY?

Download a copy of the USY/Kadima application and code of conduct here and return it to the CBI office. To join or for more information about Kadima or USY, contact  


Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784