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first draft of USY letter

Here's my first second third draft of the USY letter. Please please PLEASE tear it up, fix the grammar, the syntax, the verbage. If something sounds funny or stupid please don't hesitate to point it out.


Shomrei Torah has some very exciting news for our high school students! I am pleased to announce that we will once again have an active chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY).

USY inspires Jewish youth to explore, celebrate and practice ethical values, Zionism and community responsibility based on the ideology of the Conservative Movement.

I grew up at Shomrei Torah and participated in USY as a teenager, serving as president of our chapter my senior year of high school. We participated in national conferences, had discussions on everything from the situation in Israel to intermarriage, performed many mitzvot through Social Action/Tikun Olam, and participated in local activities with NFTY, the reform movement’s youth group. These are experiences that have helped shape me as a Jew and as a person. I am honored to be the Shomrei Torah USY Advisor, and I hope to inspire the next generation to embrace their Jewish heritage. And of course, to have fun!

Shomrei Torah’s USY chapter is open to any member who is in high school, or who has already turned fourteen. Meetings will be held monthly, every first Sunday from 1-3 p.m., immediately following Sunday School. We will also have many activities throughout the year: lock-ins, holiday parties, conventions, and more! Anyone interested in joining USY should attend an introductory meeting at 1 pm on Sunday, September 17th.

At this meeting, I hope to see parents as well as high schoolers; I will be handing out a schedule of meetings and activities, and collecting $50 dues. These dues cover registration as a USY organization regionally and internationally, publications that may be sent to us about attending conferences, a subscription to Achshav! Magazine, and will also cover lunch costs for the entire school year (lunch will be served at every meeting).

I hope to see you September 17th!

Melissa Abrams
Shomrei Torah USY Advisor


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
"has been kicked off" doesn't sound right.

"with their high school age children" is clunky.

But I'm sorry I can't figure out how to make it sound better :-/
Aug. 31st, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
In general the letter looks good, but some of the phrasing seems over-complicated, and the overall tone could be softer, less formal and demanding.

First paragraph: "has been kicked off" sounds a little ominous. "started" might work better.

Third paragraph: I've usually seen tikkun olam spelled with two k's, but I don't know if there's an official spelling.

Fourth paragraph: "Lunch will be served at these meetings" could probably be replaced by "with lunch" somewhere earlier in the sentence.

Fifth paragraph: "..I would appreciate the attendance of parents with their high school age children, as I will hand out a schedule of meetings and activities, as well as collect regional ($7), national ($12), and chapter ($31) dues." could be replaced with something like

"We hope to see parents as well as high schoolers; we'll be handing out a schedule of meetings and activities, and collecting $50 dues.
Aug. 31st, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
Okay. Look at it now.
Aug. 31st, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Looks good, I like it.
Aug. 31st, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
I think it's very good! You cover everything that they might be thinking about and you sell it well. I kind of want to join.

small things:

- I believe it's NFTY without an i.

- "today's youth" sort of makes it sound like you're seventy. What about "the next generation" instead?

-how it's currently phrased, "culminated with" refers back to your senior year. But I don't think you mean your senior year culminated with being president. I think what you mean is your high school USY experience culminated with being president your senior year.

What about, "I grew up at Shomrei Torah and participated in USY as a teenager, serving as president of our chapter my senior year of high school."

Also I would say "holiday" parties instead of Chanukah parties unless you are planning on having more than one Chanukah party in a year. or make it singular.

Does every student get a subscription to Achshav! or just one for the whole group? $50 dues for all of that sounds like a good deal!

Finally, is that the royal "we" at the end or is someone else helping out?
Aug. 31st, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
I got a subscription to Achshav, at our parents house. It just started coming to our house after I paid my regional dues. I assumed they were connected. I think senior year was the only time I got it. The synagogue already gets it anyway, so I'm not false advertising, even if they don't send extra copies.

I changed all the "we" to "I" since I realized it's all about me. I guess I missed one.

We probably will have more than one Chanukah party, one with NFTY and one with just us. But you're right. I'll make it singular.
Aug. 31st, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
looks great!
Aug. 31st, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
thanks. I'm really excited about the activities this year.

the calendar isn't completely finalized because mom has yet to send me the sunday school schedule -- and I'm not going to have a meeting on a day that there's no class. I stayed away from holidays, but there could still be something that she knows about that I don't.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Much like pineapples, I am hardcore.

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