In a move meant to change the way NCSY – the international youth organization of the Orthodox Union – operates in the Tri-State area, New York and Long Island NCSY will merge to form one New York Region, which now includes Westchester, Long Island, and the five boroughs. The new region, based in Cedarhurst on Long Island, counts over 60,000 teens and will officially begin operating on Tuesday, September 1. It will be headed by Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone (seen in photo), the NCSY director of the former Long Island Region. Rabbi Nachum Zak, who headed New York NCSY, will now become the Regional Director of South Florida.
Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, announced, “With the merging of the New York and Long Island Regions, NCSY will become even more efficient and more effective in reaching more teens. As the former director of Long Island NCSY, Rabbi Lightstone brings a very talented staff along with him to continue the remarkable work NCSY has always done to bring teens closer to Judaism.”
Over the past few years, the Long Island Region has sent many teens from public schools to various yeshivot and seminaries in Israel. The Region is well-known for its Friday Night Lights program, which introduces the beauty of Shabbat to teens who have not yet experienced it. The Region has also started a new program called JUMP, which takes teens to various places on chesed missions, instilling within the teens vital leadership training. Some locations JUMP has already bought teens to are New Orleans, Denver, and even Germany.
In the past three years, Long Island NCSY has grown by over 350 percent. “Clearly, the Region brings considerable manpower and talent to the New York Region,” said Rabbi Burg. “With Rabbi Lightstone heading this new combined team, I am confident that NCSY will emerge stronger and more inspired to turn teenage apathy into inspired Jewish leadership.”