NCSY goes virtual: As coronavirus countermeasures go into effect, NCSY is joining the move to virtual programming. Visit westcoast.ncsy.org/virtual-programming/ to explore classes and ruach building online.
BY NISHAMA PARIS
I was crawling inside of a brilliant yellow bounce house with a dire mission at hand: save my fellow Jews! It had been about 10 minutes into the start of a carnival at NCSY’s Fall Summit Shabbaton, and somehow two girls had already managed to eat four pretzels, run five laps and half deflate our bounce castle. The air hummed with that NCSY excitement as friends new and old embraced. I let out a joyful laugh and leapt into the sinking structure. Someone had to rescue those goofy girls!
“Hello? Hello?” I scavenged the rubber’s deflating crevices for any sign of life, and suddenly, a tan hand shot out from beyond the mass of falling pillars.
“Here! Oh, thank G-d,” the voice responded, “We’re over here!” Shimmying up the inflatable slide my mouth dropped as I saw the mess of tangled hair and limbs that lay below.
There were two girls whose smiles were as outspread as eagles wings and whose eyes twinkled as bright as the sun.
We all burst into laughter and helped one another break out of that crumbling world.
Mission: success, but little did I know that the real mission had only just begun.
You see, this was one moment of friendship, one moment of joyful play, one weekend that soon became filled with memories of endless love, but the experience has launched me into a high school career of walking as a joyful Jew.
What is NCSY? A wash of memories. An NCSY experience is not comparable. For me, each trip begins with the buzz of friendships new and old igniting into life. I feel like I am a firework sizzling and taking flight besides my fellow Jews of brilliant light. I look to my left and to my right. There may be an ice rink flowing with laughter, pizzas steaming with warmth, Hebrew music washing through our lips and souls and ears, but that NCSY buzz is always there.
From the Torah discussions served with a cup of fro-yo each Thursday night (Latte and Learn), to the magical weekend getaways filled with rollercoasters, trampolines, relay races or more – all accompanied by our ever burning Shabbos light (Shabbatons), to the eye opening and mind expanding summers in the holy land of Israel (NCSY Summer), the joys of my life are intensified by NCSY’s Jewish flame of life. The endless resources that NCSY has provided has helped me soar higher as a Jew. I thank NCSY, my parents, and G-d with abundant joy and gratitude.
TEENS AND TWEENS COMPETE TO BE PURIM TOP CHEF
On March 8, 30 local Jewish teens and tweens got together to compete in NCSY’s annual Top Chef cooking competition. This year’s theme was Purim! Teams submitted recipes in advance and spent many hours preparing food, before coming together at the MJCC for the dinner presentations. The ballroom was decorated and full of Purim spirit. Parents and guests had a wonderful time tasting their children’s food and voting on their favourite dishes. Caribbean Blue was the winning team of the popular vote.
Additionally, three local Jewish chefs selected the Ruby Red team as the winner of the chefs’ choice award. The chefs were Lisa Schroeder of Mothers Bistro, Natalie Gullish of Mediterranean Exploration Company and Alex Hess, a native Oregonian and recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. The chefs also described some of the tasty food and why they liked it throughout the event.
Nominations for the Harry Glickman Scholar Athlete Award are due by March 20. Any Jewish scholar athlete who has lived in Oregon for the past three years and is a junior or senior in high school is eligible. Applicants will be judged on academic and athletic achievements as well as their commitment to community service. Winners will receive a $500 scholarship for college.
Apply at oregonjcc.org/hsathlete
March 20 is the deadline for the annual Sala Kryszek Art & Writing Competition for middle and high school students.
See details, prompt and rules, at ojmche.org/educate/education/sala-kryszek-art-writing