Pinwheel Region - United Synagogue Youth
NORTHERN PACIFIC REGION (PINWHEEL), UNITED SYNAGOGUE YOUTH
We, the Northern Pacific Region of the United Synagogue Youth, in order to strengthen Jewish identity through increasing awareness of local, national and international issues affecting Jews, Israeli issues, Judaic knowledge, promoting Tikkun Olam, fostering lasting friendships, and ensuring the safety and welfare of our members, do hereby establish this constitution for Northern Pacific USY.
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be Northern Pacific Region of United Synagogue Youth of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (commonly known as and herein referred to as “Pinwheel”).
Article II – Aim and Objectives
Section A – The Aim
The aim of Pinwheel is to offer opportunities to Jewish Youth to continue to strengthen their identification with Judaism as a religious framework and with the synagogue as the central agency of Jewish life. In furthering this aim, Pinwheel seeks to develop a program based on the personal development, needs, and interests of the Jewish teenager as they relate to the principles of Conservative Judaism.
Section B - The Objectives
Knowledge of Jewish heritage and principles is essential for Jewish living. Therefore, Pinwheel dedicates itself to Jewish learning by:
- Encouraging its members to attend existing institutions of learning;
- Encouraging its members to become observant and committed Conservative Jews;
- Providing ongoing regional Jewish educational programming.
2. The Observance of Shabbat and Festivals
The observance of Shabbat and Festivals is of basic importance in Judaism. Therefore, Pinwheel is dedicated to maintaining Shabbat and Festivals by:
- Encouraging its members to attend synagogue services on Shabbat and on all Festivals;
- Encouraging its members to join their families for Shabbat and Festival meals and rituals;
(c) Encouraging its chapters to sponsor programs in the spirit of Shabbat and Festivals;
(d) Requiring its chapters to schedule their activities so as not to conflict with the law or spirit surrounding the observance of Shabbat and Festivals.
Prayer is one of the three pillars of Judaism – Torah (study), Avodah (prayer), and G’milut Chasadim (acts of loving-kindness).
Pinwheel believes that its members should experience the feeling of kinship and inspiration arising out of public worship, and the feelings of nearness to God arising out of public devotion. Therefore, Pinwheel:
- Requires of its members proper conduct and etiquette during religious services, so as to reflect the appropriate respect due the prayer;
- Encourages all chapters to hold youth services on a regular basis;
- Requires at all events that religious services are provided at all required times, with a mandatory attendance of all event participants.
Confirming the importance of dietary laws in Jewish life and survival, Pinwheel:
- Requires its chapters and members to observe the dietary laws at all of their functions.
- Urges its members to observe kashrut in their private lives.
5. The Synagogue
The Synagogue is the centre of Jewish life. Therefore, Pinwheel is dedicated to strengthening the synagogue by intensifying the participation of its members in synagogue programming through:
- Encouraging members to attend and participate in regular Shabbat morning services;
- Having members of USY, wherever and whenever feasible, participate in synagogue services;
- Having members of USY regard themselves as youth members of the adult congregation and as such participate in the congregational functions, as well as focusing their own programs around the synagogue.
6. The Jewish Community
No Jewish community is sufficient unto itself. A Jewish youth organization must share concerns, goals, and activities with other Jewish organizations and peoples on behalf of all Jews. To this end, Pinwheel determines to:
- Cooperate with other Jewish Youth Organizations for common purposes;
- Participate in the affairs of the local Jewish community;
- Take responsibility for the less fortunate component of the Jewish community;
- Dedicate itself to strengthening the ties between North American, Israeli, and all other world Jewry.
7. The Centrality of the State of Israel
The State of Israel, the Jewish homeland, should remain at the forefront of the concerns of world Jewry. Because of its connection to Jewish spirituality and the history of our people and its importance to Jewish continuity, promoting awareness and love for Israel shall remain a principal objective for Pinwheel. Therefore, Pinwheel shall:
- Encourage its members to study and become knowledgeable of current events in Israel as well as of Jewish history in order to perpetuate accuracy in opinion and to educate other Jews and non-Jews;
- Encourage its members to express solidarity with the State of Israel and work to secure its survival;
- Dedicate programming at all regional conventions to the study or discussion of the State of Israel;
- Strongly encourage its members to participate in summer programs, college freshman programs, and/or independent trips to Israel so that they may attain a personal connection with the Holy Land.
8. The Kinship of Humanity
The welfare of all humanity is a concern of all Jews. Therefore, Pinwheel shall:
- Cooperate wherever possible on every level to work towards human welfare;
- Undertake tzedakah (charity) projects.
9. The Chapter
Understanding that at the core of Pinwheel are its chapters, Pinwheel strives to help foster their development by requiring all chapters to:
- Participate in regional and international functions wherever possible by sending representatives;
- Have at least one fundraising program for Tikkun Olam and one Social Action program yearly.
In turn, Pinwheel shall:
- Provide leadership programming for its members at regional events;
- Provide programming and leadership assistance to chapters;
- Assist members in finding financial aid so that they are not prevented from attending regional or international events on the basis of need.
Article III - Membership
Section A - Teens
The membership of Pinwheel Region shall be comprised of Jewish teenagers of unlimited number between grade 9 age to graduation from high school or 19 years, whichever comes first.
Section B - Chapters
- The members shall be organized in chapters, sponsored by synagogues retaining affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Northern Pacific Region. Groups containing less than five members shall become part of the Pinwheel regional membership through direct affiliation with the Pinwheel regional office;
- Each chapter shall have the power to elect its officers, levy dues upon its members, and perform any functions necessary and proper for the general good and welfare of its members;
- A majority of the Regional Board approves the affiliation. Neither the Regional Board nor any chapter shall practice any form of bias or discrimination when admitting new chapters or members;
- All chapter officers and board members must be members in good standing in their respective chapters;
- Any group meeting the above requirements may apply to become affiliated by sending to the central office an application with the appropriate affiliation fee. The group shall then be officially affiliated upon approval by the Executive Board of Pinwheel Region, the Regional Youth Commission, and International USY.
Section C – Rules for Chapters
- Each chapter shall be required to observe the dietary laws, Shabbat, and all other applicable Jewish laws in accordance with Conservative Jewish tradition at all functions.
- Any chapter may be suspended or expelled from Pinwheel Region for conducting violations of this Constitution or any policies of USY and the International Constitution.
Article IV - Dues
- Each chapter shall pay international USY dues according to the International Constitution;
- Each chapter shall pay regional dues as levied by Pinwheel through the regional office;
- The chapters may add additional dues for their members.
Article V – Organization
Section A – Executive Board
- The Executive officers of Pinwheel Region shall be: President; Executive/Programming Vice-President; Israel Affairs Vice-President; Religion/Education Vice-President; Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice-President; Membership/Kadima Vice-President; and Communications Vice-President;
- The Executive Board shall consist of the Executive officers, shall meet no less than three times per year, and shall perform the duties prescribed by this Constitution.
- The terms of all members of the Regional Executive Board shall expire at the Regional Convention with the election and installation of officers for the forthcoming year.
Section B – Eligibility
- Eligibility to run for a regional office requires that the candidate:
- be a member in good standing of the region and their respective chapter for no less than one year preceding the election;
- participate in the planning of chapter and/or regional activities;
- attend regional programs on a regular basis;
- have served on a chapter or regional board for one year preceding elections;
- be a matriculated high school student who has not yet entered grade 12.
- Eligibility to run for the office of Regional President requires that the candidate meet all aforementioned qualifications in addition to serving on the Regional Executive or General Boards for a period of at least six months prior to elections;
- Any exceptions to the above are to be determined by the Regional Executive Board;
- Before elections, all candidates and their parents must sign a contract stating that they have read and understood the following standards for all Executive Board members:
- The officers of United Synagogue Youth shall observe the Sabbath and Jewish Holidays. This includes refraining from all school examinations (including SAT’s, ACT’s, LPI’s, etc.) and public functions (i.e. any public activity) thereon;
- The officers shall participate actively in the affairs of their respective chapters;
- The Officers shall observe the dietary laws where possible in private and at all times in public;
- The Officers shall participate in some mode of Judaic study weekly; they shall attend not less than four religious services monthly, three of which must be on Shabbat;
- The Officers shall refrain from the illegal use of alcohol and drugs;
- The International Youth Commission, USY President, Director, all regional Youth Commissions, Presidents, and Directors shall make every effort to assure that our USY leaders adhere to these basic standards.
Section C – General Board
- Upon installation, the Executive Board assumes full responsibility of their roles including meeting to appoint committee chairs;
- The Regional General Board shall consist of the elected officers, plus the chapter presidents, plus any committee chairs having been appointed by the elected Regional Executive Officers;
- The Executive Board may appoint as many chairs as deemed necessary;
- The entire General Board must meet at least once per year. The date is to be decided by the Executive Board.
- The term for regional chairs will be from the time of appointment by the newly elected Regional Executive Board until the following Regional Convention, or until the committee is disbanded by the President with the approval of the Regional Executive Board.
Section D – Meetings
- Meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President at their initiative or by petition by one half of its members to the President;
- International officers and the immediate past President of Pinwheel Region may have the right to attend and to debate at Executive Board meetings, but not to cast votes.
Article VI – Duties and Powers of Officers
Section A – Individual Duties
The Regional officers of United Synagogue Youth shall consist of a President, an Executive/Programming Vice-President, an Israel Affairs Vice-President, a Religion/Education Vice-President, a Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice-President, a Membership/Kadima Vice-president and a Communications Vice-President. The duties of each officer are as follows:
(a) Shall preside over all meetings of the Regional Executive Board and the Regional General Board and over all plenary sessions of Regional conventions and retreats;
(b) Shall, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, be responsible for the enforcement of the procedures outlines in this Constitution;
(c) Shall be responsible for the day-to-day running of Pinwheel Region and act as a go-between to the Chapters as well as the other Regions;
(d) Shall have the power to call meetings of the Regional Executive Board and of the Regional General Board;
(e) Shall be vested with the executive power of Pinwheel Region and shall be its accredited representative;
(f) Shall serve as Pinwheel’s representative to the International Board of United Synagogue Youth;
(g) Shall, when called upon by the Regional Youth Commission, report on the state of USY in Pinwheel Region;
(h) Shall work to advise and support the entire Regional Executive Board to complete their initiatives and focus on their goals;
(i) Run the Regional elections, act as Parliamentarian, and provide for the general welfare of the Region;
(j) Shall oversee Regional General Board Committees as needed.
2. Executive/Programing Vice-President
(a) Shall have the powers, duties, and rights of the President during the President’s absence. Assist the President in carrying out Presidential duties;
(b) Shall oversee the convention chairs of all USY regional events on social programming and other miscellaneous convention tasks that do not fall under the Israel Affairs Vice-President, Religion/Education Vice-President, Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice-President, Membership/Kadima Vice-President, or Communications Vice-President;
(c) Shall oversee all grade representatives and all grade programming during regional events;
(d) Incorporating leaders without titles into conventions through different methods;
(e) Shall act as a liaison between the convention chairs and members of the Regional Executive Board;
(f) Shall work with the Regional Teen Engagement Director to draft schedules for all events;
(g) Shall work with chapter boards to enhance Chapter Programming;
(h) Shall oversee Regional General Board Committees as needed.
3. Israel Affairs Vice-President
- Shall work to promote Israel education and awareness on chapter and regional levels;
- Shall work to increase regional membership and activism in HeChalutzim;
- Shall oversee any committee whose activities are deemed by the Regional Executive Board to be concerned with the area of Israel Affairs.
4. Religion/Education Vice-President
- Shall be responsible for the implementation of all aspects of religion and religious education;
- Shall work to increase membership and activism in the Abraham Joshua Heschel Honor Society at chapter and regional levels;
- Shall distribute programming ideas and educational tools to increase the level of Judaic knowledge throughout the Region;
- Shall coordinate all religious services at all Regional events;
- Shall oversee any committees whose activities are deemed by the Regional Executive Board to be concerned with Religion and Education.
5. Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice-President
- Shall be responsible for the implementation of all aspects of Social Action on the chapter and regional levels and shall serve as the overseeing officer of the Tikkun Olam program;
- Shall be responsible for the collection of all Tikkun Olam money, and shall see that all Tikkun Olam money collected throughout the Region is recorded and sent to the International office on a regular basis;
- Shall provide resources to counterparts for the implementation of Social Action and Tikkun Olam Programs in the chapters;
- Shall work to increase membership and activism in the 613 Mitzvah Club;
- Shall oversee all committees whose activities are deemed by the Regional Executive Board to be concerned with Social Action or Tikkun Olam.
6. Membership/Kadima Vice-President
- Shall be responsible for the implementation of all aspects of USY and Kadima membership expansion and retention throughout the Region;
- Shall provide creative membership expansion and retention ideas, and Kadima-related programs to the chapters;
- Shall be responsible for coordinating any Kadima weekends with the assistance of the appointed chairs;
- Shall see that all USY and Kadima chapters collect dues and register members through the International office on a regular basis;
- Shall oversee all committees whose activities are deemed by the Regional Executive Board to be concerned with USY and Kadima membership expansion or retention.
7. Communications Vice-President
- Shall be responsible for recording and publishing the proceedings of the Executive and General Boards and any delegate assemblies of Pinwheel Region;
- Shall issue news releases to local papers and/or USY publications;
- Shall be responsible for compiling lists of all Regional, General, and Chapter Boards, as well as all advisors throughout the Region;
- Shall be responsible for keeping communication lines open and social media accounts active throughout the Region;
- Shall be responsible for overseeing the publication of the Regional Yearbook with the assistance of the appointed chairs;
- Shall be responsible for the publication of the Pinwheel Pony at conventions and as they deem it necessary with the assistance of the appointed chairs;
- Shall oversee all committees whose activities are deemed by the Regional Executive to be concerned with the areas of communications.
Section B – Executive Duties
Each officer shall be responsible for:
- Aiding each chapter in programming of their specialty;
- Maintaining communication with all chapter counterparts;
- Remaining in contact with International counterparts and Central Staff;
- Upholding all standards determined and agreed to prior to election;
- In addition, the power to interpret and amend this Constitution, the contents thereof, and all bylaws, rules, regulations and orders of this organization shall rest with the Executive Board.
Section C – Impeachment
- Any Regional Officer may be suspended for gross neglect of duty or misconduct by a 2/3 vote of the Regional Executive Board and with the consent of the Regional Director. The period of suspension is to be determined by the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board may issue a written warning to any Executive Officer for gross neglect of duty or misconduct by a majority vote. A warning may be issued for violating any of the following:
- Repeated absence from General and/or Executive Board meetings;
- Repeated absence from Regional Programs;
- Lack of effort in performing prescribed duties of job;
- Not attending the prescribed number of services or completing the prescribed amount of study;
- Breaking the laws of kashrut or Shabbat as stated in the Constitution;
- Breaking any Federal, State, or Provincial law through the use of drugs and/or alcohol, or being caught with any contraband at a USY event;
- Violating the rules and regulations of any USY event;
- These charges must be submitted to the President unless this individual is the subject of the charges in which case the charges should be submitted to the Executive/Programming Vice-President;
- The General Board has the power to issue a written warning as described above by a 2/3 vote;
- Any Executive Officer who, after receiving a written warning, continues their violation may be suspended or expelled by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Board (not including the officer in question), in addition to the consent of the Regional President and the Regional Director. Said officer has thirty days to respond to the charges;
- For violations of warnings (f) and (g) above, a written warning may not be required for the removal of an officer;
- All Executive Board members, upon taking position, shall sign a contract stating that they have read, understood, and will follow these rules. This contract shall be collected and enforced by the Regional Director in cooperation with the entire Executive Board.
Section D – Vacancies
- In the event that there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the remaining Regional Officers, excluding the president, shall nominate and elect one current Regional Officer to serve the remainder of the President’s term;
- In the event there is a vacancy in any other position of the Executive Board, the President shall appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy with the approval of the Executive Board, excluding the person affected. The person selected to fill the vacancy shall serve the remainder of the current term.
Article VII – Regional Teen Engagement Director
- The Regional Director shall assist in coordinating all Regional business and shall act as an advisor to the Regional Officers;
- When dealing with an issue that falls under the duties or powers of a Regional Officer as described above, the Regional Director shall consult with said officer.
- All complaints against the President shall go to the Regional Youth Director
Article VIII – Regional Programs
Section A – Leadership Training Institute
- The Leadership Training Institute shall be held annually at the end of each summer or beginning of fall,
- It is to be a leadership oriented convention, with limited enrollment, emphasizing on the new year, the chapter, and the individual;
(c) Invitations shall be extended to members of all chapters boards, those serving on Regional General Board, and Regional Executive Officers.
(d) Programming shall be primarily written by the Regional Executive Board with support and approval of the Executive/Programming Vice President and Regional President.
Section B – Fall Kinnus
- The Regional Fall Kinnus shall occur in the fall each year;
- This shall be co-chaired by USYers as appointed by the Executive Board
- It is to be open to all USYers
Section C – Winter Kadima Kinnus
(a) Winter Kadima Kinnus shall occur in the winter each year;
(b) Winter Kadima Kinnus shall be co-chaired by USYers as appointed by the Executive Board and overseen by the Membership/Kadima Vice-President;
(c) It is to be open to all Kadima members;
Section D- Spring Kinnus
(a) The Regional Spring Kinnus shall occur in the spring some years;
(b) This shall be co-chaired by USYers as appointed by the Executive Board;
(c) It is to be open to all USYers.
Section E – Regional Convention
- The Regional Convention shall occur in the spring of each year;
- The location of Regional Convention shall be determined by the Executive Board of the preceding year in consultation with the Regional Director and the Advisor the chapter in consideration;
- Two co-chairs, chosen by the Executive Board during the previous summer, shall plan and execute Regional Convention. The Regional President and Executive/Programming Vice President shall oversee its planning;
- All paid USYers shall be permitted to attend;
- At this time, elections are to be held as detailed below in this Constitution, and the new board is to be installed and assume responsibilities thereafter.
Section E – Additional Events
- Additional Conventions/Events may be added to the calendar on the initiative of the Executive Board.
Section F – Budget
- The Regional President, Overseeing Officer, and Convention Chairs shall have the opportunity to see and discuss the proposed budget before it has been finalized by the Regional Director.
Article IX - Elections
Section A – Time
- Each Year, elections are to be held at Regional Convention. All officers shall be elected annually at that time, and shall hold office until their successors are duly elected and installed. Installation shall take place at Regional Convention;
Section B – Proceedings
- All candidates must meet the qualifications stated previously in Article V, Section B of this Constitution;
- To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of votes cast, abstentions excluded;
- Every candidate must be nominated by another USYer in good standing. The nomination speech may not exceed thirty seconds and ends as soon as the candidate’s name is said;
- Candidates shall provide the Regional President with their qualification sheet at least three weeks prior to Regional Convention. The President will then distribute copies of the qualifications to voters during the Regional Convention;
- Candidate’s speeches will be limited in length to five minutes for Presidential candidates and three minutes for all other offices. The order of speakers will be determined by alphabetical order according to the last name of the candidate for each position;
- After all of the candidates for an office have given their speeches, USYers will vote for the office. No USYer who has not heard all of the speeches for an office will be permitted to vote for that office;
- All voting shall be done by closed ballot. However, if a candidate is unopposed, they may be elected by a vote of acclamation at the instruction of the Regional President;
- If no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot, the name of the candidate having received the least number of votes shall be eliminated on all successive ballots until one candidate is elected;
- In the event that no one candidate has been elected after the fourth ballot, the remaining of the newly elected Executive Board shall elect one of the remaining candidates to the office;
- In the event that an office has no candidate, the remainder of the newly elected Executive Board shall elect an eligible USYer to the office within thirty days following the Regional Convention;
- The order of election shall be: President, Executive/Programming Vice-President, Israel Affairs Vice-President, Religion/Education Vice-President, Social Action/Tikkun Olam Vice-President, Membership/Kadima Vice-President, Communications Vice-President;
- Presidential candidates shall be permitted to be a candidate for no more than two different offices at the election. All vice-presidential candidates shall be permitted to be a candidate for only one office;
- In the ballot counting room at the Regional Convention, there shall be one scrutineer for each candidate to oversee the counting of the ballots.
Section C – Regarding Elections
- In the event that 400 days pass without a new election, the General Board shall meet in special session to elect a new Executive Board;
- A candidate may not use any Chapter or Regional funds for a political campaign at any time, and no political campaigning is permitted during the Convention.
Section D – Candidate Applications
- Each person who desires to be a candidate for a position on the Regional Executive Board must follow the following procedure:
- They must procure a candidate application, which will be distributed by the Regional President to each Chapter President and chapter advisor;
- On said form, they must fill in the required data which shall be:
- The position desired; candidate may request one position only;
- Their qualifications for said office;
- The signatures of approval of a parent/guardian, chapter president, chapter advisor/director, and rabbi.
- Proof of meeting with the current Regional position holder to discuss responsibilities and intent.
c. The candidate application must be sent to the Regional President three weeks prior to the date of elections.
Article X – Constitution
Section A – International Supremacy
- The International USY constitution shall be the supreme law of this organization. No laws, resolutions or regulations shall be passed by regional or local organizations of United Synagogue Youth, which shall be in conflict with laws, resolutions, or regulations of the international constitution. The International Board shall decide which laws are in violation of this section. The regional constitution and chapter constitutions must be automatically revised to reflect amendments of the International Constitution.
Section B – Regional Supremacy
- All business carried on by Pinwheel Region or any of its constituent chapters must be in accord with this Constitution. All chapter constitutions must be automatically revised to reflect amendments of the Regional Constitution.
Section C – Disputes
- All disputes as to the interpretation of the Constitution shall be brought to the Regional President and Director in consultation with the Executive Board.
Article XI – Amendments
Section A – Consideration
- An amendment or resolution must be submitted to the Regional President at least four weeks prior to the session in which it will be considered. It may be presented by any member in good standing of Pinwheel Region. The proposed amendment must be distributed to the voting body at least ten days before the session.
Section B – Voting
- An amendment is passed either by a ¾ vote of the Executive Board or a 2/3 vote by the General Board.
Section C – Effectiveness
- Unless otherwise stated, all amendments become effective immediately upon ratification and all previous Constitutions shall become null and void with the presentation of the newly amended Constitution.
Compiled and arranged in April, 2002 by Isaac Elias, Pinwheel Regional President 2001-2002
Amended (Article IX, Section B, Part L) in December, 2002 by Jay Abolofia, Pinwheel Regional President 2002-2003
Amended (Article VI, Section D, Part A) in November, 2003 by Tamara Nachmani, Pinwheel Regional President 2003-2004
Amended (Article I; Article V, Section A; Article VIII) in January, 2013 by Jessica Schwartz, Pinwheel Regional President 2012-2013
Amended (Article V, Section A, Part A) (Article VI, Section A, Number 1 [Point H-J] Number 2 [Points A-H], Numbers 3-7 [previously numbers 2-6]) (Article VI, Section C, Part C) (Article IX, Section B, Part K) in June, 2018 by Abby Glass, Pinwheel Regional President 2018-2019
Amended in order to clarify in April, 2019 by Abby Glass, Pinwheel Regional President 2018-2019
- (Article II, Section B, Part 7 [Point C])
- Removed (Article V, Section B, Part D [Point C])
- Removed (Article VI, Section A, Number 3 [Point A])
- (Article VI, Section A, Number 7 [Point D, F])
- Title Change - Article VII
- Title Change - Article VIII
- (Article VIII, Part A [Points A-C])
- (Article VIII, Part B [Point B])
- Title Change - Article VIII, Section C
- (Article VIII, Section C [Point D])
- (Article VIII, Section A [Point A-B])
- Removed (Article VIII, Section E)
- (Article VIII, Section E [previously Section F] [Point C])
- (Article IX, Section D, Part B [Point IV])