Yoshi Mahony, Junior at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. Vice president of Juniors of the Pittsburgh chapter
“I started NCSY when I was 14 years old when my friend told me about a winter shabbaton. He said it’d be really fun with tons of activities and I was so intrigued because he doesn’t like much things, but when he invited me to this, he gave off a really good impression.
This past summer I went on NCSY Israel In Depthand it was the absolute best summer of my life. I made friends on that program that I’ll be friends with forever and I still talk to them every day and it’s been 4 months. It was incredible being able to tour Israel for 5 weeks straight, and creating bonds that will last a lifetime.
Until I found NCSY I did not appreciate or enjoy Judaism. I would go along with it, or I would rebel against authorities at my school, but I never felt that I truly liked it. When I transferred to a more lenient school I thought that would help, but it wasn’t until I starting doing NCSY that I truly loved and enjoyed being Jewish.