The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) or Young Israel (in Hebrew: Yisrael Hatza'ir, ישראל הצעיר), is a synagogue-based Orthodox Judaism organization in the United States with a network of affiliated "Young Israel" synagogues. Young Israel was founded in 1912, in its earliest form, by a group of 15 young Jews on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Their goal was to make Orthodox Judaism more relevant to young Americanized Jews, at a time when a significant Jewish education was rare, and most Orthodox institutions were Yiddish-speaking, and oriented to an older, European Jewish demographic

Today, Young Israel continues to promote Orthodox involvement of modern American Jews, while also advocating for the issues most relevant to its members, including support for Israel and Religious Zionism

History

Early in the 20th century, American Jews were striving primarily for social and economic advancement, often leaving their religious observances behind. Because most jobs required working on Saturdays, observance of the Jewish Shabos was rare, as were many other traditions.At the same time, the reform movement had been expanding rapidly for about 40 years, and with its relaxed religious codes, secularly-educated leadership, and English orientation, attracted an increasing number of young people away from the folds of Orthodoxy.

A group of young Orthodox Jews decided to do what they could to make Orthodox Judaism more relevant to their peers, and combat the wave of assimilation by Jews into Reform and secular American society. It developed informally with two programs, one for education and one for worship.

 

 

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