Brooke Samuelson, 16, of Columbus, was among more than 2,500 Jewish teens, staff and guests from 29 states, Canada, Israel, Argentina and the United Kingdom participating in summer programs operated by the Orthodox Union. The programs converged for Yom NCSY on Park Ra’anana in Israel, where attendees ate American barbecue foods and heard live music. Yom NCSY aims to provide a non-judgmental, connected environment in Israel for Jewish students, according to a news release.
“I loved Yom NCSY. Here’s why that was the most special: We were united from all different backgrounds together so we could just enjoy and celebrate Judaism as a normal thing,” Brooke said.
NCSY is an international youth movement of the OU dedicated to connecting, inspiring and empowering Jewish teens and encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and tradition, according to the release.