USY’s International Convention, commonly referred to as IC, is the largest gathering of Conservative Jewish teens. Held annually the last full week in December, the convention moves to a different North American city each year and convenes hundreds of Jewish teens for five days of celebration, friendship, Jewish learning, and giving back to the local community.
How long is IC?
The official IC programming lasts five days; however, many regions plan pre- and post-convention events. Check with your Regional Youth Director for more information about specific IC pricing, travel, and activity packages.
Who can attend IC?
All USYers, grades 9-12, are invited to attend IC, whether they are active regionally or on the chapter level, have participated in a USY Summer Experience, or are new to USY. There is no prerequisite experience needed to attend.
How can I stay up-to-date on the latest IC news?
Visit usy.org/ic to get the latest information including registration and programming details. You can also follow USY on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and track the hashtags #ICChiTown and #IC17 on Twitter and Instagram. If you have additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does IC cost?
As each region creates a unique experience with pre- and post-convention events and travel options, pricing varies. Please contact your Regional Youth Director to discuss pricing.
Are scholarships available and how do I (does my child) apply?
Limited scholarships are available for IC. Please contact your Regional Youth Director for more information on scholarship opportunities in your community.
What is the registration and cancellation policy?
Deposits are fully refundable until mid-September. Cancellation policies vary by region. Please contact your Regional Youth Director for more information.
When and how do I (does my child) register for IC?
Registration for IC opens early summer. Please see below for 2017 specific information:
Registration for USY’s 67th International Convention in Chicago, IL opens May 15 (date subject to change).
All registrants who sign up beginning May 15 will receive a $50 early bird discount with a $400 deposit. Registering with a deposit guarantees teens a spot with their regional delegation. Applications don’t need to be completed at this time, but must be finished with the remaining balance paid before the registration deadline (TBA).
The full application form will become available at a date soon to be announced. All registrants must complete this to attend the convention. It includes information about travel and medical needs, consent forms and a code of conduct agreement. Registrants can also personalize their convention experience by adding on a regional package, rooming requests, and customized programming options (USYers can pick their creative tefillah group, educational track, free time activity, and meals).
Are there payment plans for IC?
Yes, USY offers payment plans for IC. The earlier participants sign up, the longer the payout options offered.
What is the recommended dress for IC?
Attire is casual. Teens can wear jeans and t-shirts; however, as some activities will be outdoors, we suggest bringing layers and weather-appropriate outerwear. Flip flops are not allowed on the convention floor and sturdy, closed toe shoes will be needed for community service projects.
Participants are strongly encouraged to wear regional and international USY regalia throughout the convention. If you participated in a USY Summer Experience or Ramah Program this past summer, please bring your group t-shirt for program reunions.
Teens are not permitted to wear clothing that is revealing, including short skirts/shorts, tight garments, tank tops, bare-midriff styles, halter tops or see-through tops, and may be asked to change clothes if necessary. No visible underwear is permitted for either males and females. Clothing that has profane or inappropriate language, pictures, or symbols is not permitted.
What should I (my child) pack?
Where will teens stay?
The convention body stays in a comfortable hotel in the downtown area of the host city. Rooms contain two double beds for three to four USYers.
How does rooming work at IC?
Teens are roomed by region with three to four USYers of the same gender. There are separate floors in the hotel for males and females. At no time will males be permitted on female floors or in female rooms, nor females on male floors or in male rooms. If a USYer would like to room with a friend, they should enter the teen’s name on the IC registration form when prompted. As long as rooming requests fall within the guidelines outlined above, USYers will be roomed with at least one of their choices.
Will the teens leave the hotel?
Teens will have scheduled time to leave the hotel for activities including community service projects and sightseeing. All offsite activities will be supervised.
Other than those scheduled times teens will not be allowed to leave the hotel.
What are meals like? What if I (my child) has dietary restrictions?
All meals served during IC are kosher. Vegetarian options are available for every meal. If a teen has dietary restrictions or allergies, please inform USY prior to the convention by entering this information in the online registration form when prompted. We are happy to work with all teens’ food needs and ask to be informed prior to the event so we can best accommodate them.
Will I (my child) need spending money? How much?
All meals will be provided, however teens may want to bring additional funds for (kosher) snacks. Spending money can also be used for purchasing souvenirs and sightseeing during free time, donating to USY’s Tikun Olam Fund, and/or purchasing USY and regional regalia (t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.).
Though it is not required, teens are encouraged to bring a reasonable amount of spending money to IC; we recommend about $100.
If I (my teen) gets sick, what do I (we) do?
Registered nurses are available on staff 24/7 and there are scheduled sick calls every morning and evening. Regional staff will also be provided with basic health supplies, including feminine products, Band-Aids, cough drops, and first aid kits.
If additional medical attention or a prescription is needed, participants will be taken to a local clinic or hospital emergency room accompanied by a staff member (per the consent form that each teen and parent sign). If a participant is taken to the doctor for any reason, their parents will be called. We will attempt to call parents before their child is seen by a doctor, but please realize that this is not always possible. However, at no time, unless in a dire emergency, will there be any major treatment without prior parental knowledge and approval. If a prescription is needed, the staff will purchase and bill the participant at a later date. If participants have a credit card with them, they can pay for a prescription on site. In addition, if special rest or conditions are necessary, we will do our best to accommodate. Please be sure to provide us with all the appropriate information with regard to teen’s health insurance.
What is USY’s supervision and discipline policy?
USY has a minimum supervision ratio of one staff member (19 years of age or over) for every nine USYers. All of the professional IC staff have had background checks and prior experience working with teens. Staff will be assigned by (and with the approval of) the regional USY office on the basis of standards set by the International Youth Commission. In addition, hundreds of adults from our host district, who have also undergone background checks, will be present throughout the convention to help provide a safe experience for all.
Each region’s Regional Youth Director has been designated as a Youth Protection Officer (YPO). Teens will be provided with the contact information for their YPO to be used to report any concerns related to health, safety or security.
What is USY’s policy on…
Disruptive conduct is to be avoided. Damage to person and property reflects on the group and the entire organization. Please respect the hotel property. Should damage occur, the person or persons responsible will be held accountable.
illegal substances and stealing?
No narcotics or alcoholic beverages are to be brought to any USY event. Anyone possessing or using any drugs or alcohol, including prescription medications not prescribed for their own use, or anyone who has been found stealing, will be immediately sent home at their parents’ expense and their rabbi notified. In addition, the individual will be prohibited from participating in any International USY programs and activities for a period of one year following the offense. The USYer’s region reserves the right to impose additional sanctions in connection with this or any other improper behavior as it sees fit. IC code is very strict and there are no second chances.
Smoking is strictly prohibited at all times during IC both in the hotel and outside of the hotel. This policy includes e-cigarettes.
USY has a zero-tolerance policy regarding bullying at all local, regional, and international programs, including IC. This includes any form of hazing, harassment or sexual misconduct. We also ask that teens use care and common courtesy when posting on social media sites. Posts will be subject to the zero-tolerance policy, as stated above.
Upon registering for IC, all teens and parents sign a Code of Conduct agreement. This indicates full understanding of USY’s behavioral expectations. If a teen chooses to act outside of the Code of Conduct, the incident will be addressed by appropriate staff members. Should it be determined that the teen needs to be dismissed, travel arrangements home will be made immediately, at the family’s expense and without a refund.
Still have QUESTIONS? Contact your Regional Youth Director or email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to address any outstanding concerns. See you at #ICChiTown!