Eight years ago, as director of a United Synagogue Youth chapter on the West Coast, Lisa Fogelson came up against Section Five, Line 2.
A few pages into the Conservative youth group’s constitution, in between the expectation that teen officers attend religious services and refrain from drugs and alcohol, is the line: “It is expected that leaders of the organization will refrain from relationships which can be construed as interdating.” For a long time newly elected USY officers in the chapter had been signing off on the rule, but “word on the street” was that the policy was widely flouted.
A few dozen Jewish teens compelled North American Jewry to collectively groan “Oy gevalt” in a chattering digital chorus this week.
After a passionate debate until am at the annual international United Synagogue Youth convention in Atlanta Monday, in the culmination of a year’s research and study, some 42 USY leaders voted to amend its standards of leadership, adding clauses dealing with bullying and But the subject that has the Jewish world abuzz is the amended language for the clause dealing with interdating.
The vote tally on the new amendment was kept secret, but the teens who supported the change wanted to ensure that the movement does not come across as judgmental of families who should be welcomed into the movement, Levy said.