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The Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society

Named for Rabbi, Abraham Joshua Heschel, the honor society recognizes USYers committed to the study of Torah, prayer, and performance of G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness). It was established in 1979 to encourage teens to learn more about Judaism and the observance of mitzvot (good deeds).



What are the benefits of membership?

Members have opportunities to participate in special programming focused on Jewish education and practice including:

  • Study sessions and receptions at regional and International conventions
  • A special induction ceremony at USY’s annual International Convention

Why should I join?

  • Show you are a committed and active member of your Jewish community
  • Help further your Jewish education
  • Connect you to other teens who are passionate about Judaism

What are the requirements?

The Heschel Society requires USYers to demonstrate active involvement in each of the following three areas:

  • The Study of Torah
    • You must take part in at least two hours of supervised Jewish study per week
  • Avodah (Prayer)
    • You must participate in congregational prayer at least four times a month, three of which should be on Shabbat
  • G’milut Chasadim
    • At least once a month, you must engage in a community service project such as visiting the sick, tutoring, assisting in Hebrew Schools, etc.

About Rabbi Heschel

One of the most influential rabbis of modern times, Rabbi Heschel (1907-1972) was a teacher, philosopher, and activist for social justice.

A professor of Jewish ethics and mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he was an outspoken advocate for human rights, one of the first major Jewish figures to join the Civil Rights movement, a protester against the Vietnam War and an activist for aiding Soviet Jewry.


Photo courtesy of The Jewish Week

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