Beth Hillel USY Constitution


We, the members of Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah (hereafter, “BHCBE”) United Synagogue Youth in order to further the commitment of Jewish youths to their historical, cultural and religious background, do hereby ordain and establish this constitution for our organization, BHCBE USY.

Article I

  1. This organization will be known as BHUSY (Beth Hillel United Synagogue Youth).
  2. This organization is chartered with the international organization of United Synagogue Youth (hereafter, “USY”) as BHUSY.
  3. BHUSY (hereafter, “Chapter”) is affiliated with the international organization of USY under the constitution and bylaws thereof, and with the organization of Chicago Region USY (hereafter, “Region”) under the constitution and bylaws thereof.
  4. Neither this constitution nor any amendment hereto, nor any bylaw or other rule of the chapter shall conflict in any way whatsoever with the constitution and bylaws of the international organization of USY, the Region, the national organization of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Midwest Region of Conservative Judaism or BHCBE.

Article II: Membership

Section I: Requirements

Any person who shall meet the following standards shall be considered a member in good standing of the chapter.

  1. The member must be considered Jewish by the Conservative Movement.
  2. The member must be in grades 9-12 and shall not have started full-time studies in an institution of higher education unless approved by the Youth Director and/or Youth Commission.
  3. The member must pay a dues fee at a specified rate, which shall be determined by the Youth Commission of BHCBE or be excused by the Youth Director.
  4. The member must abide by the Code of Conduct as defined in Article II, Section II hereof.

Section II: Code of Conduct

  1. Local, State and Federal laws will be strictly enforced.
  2. A participant of a Chapter program must be Jewish.
  3. Kashrut will be observed, including during transportation to and from USY events, and during "free time".
  4. Possession or use of any weapons, alcohol, tobacco products and/or illegal drugs is not permitted at a USY event. The Chapter reserves the right to search the room and belongings of any attendee if it has reasonable grounds to believe that such a search is necessary to secure the health, safety, and/or welfare of the program and or its participants.
  5. No gambling is allowed.
  6. Each participant is expected to maintain proper decorum and attitude during the entire program. Disruptive behavior (including but not limited to, inappropriate sexual behavior) will not be tolerated. The USYer and their parents will be responsible to pay for any damage caused.
  7. All members must abide by the International USY dress code at all times.
  8. No participant may leave an event early without consent of the Youth Director, or written and signed note by a parent.
  9. Camp/Hotel Hospitality. Males are not permitted in sleeping rooms occupied by females and females are not permitted in sleeping rooms occupied by males.
  10. Each student shall fully cooperate with every staff person, including volunteer staff persons, and shall otherwise adhere to all rules established for the event.
  11. Any additional rules pertinent to a specific event shall be announced by the Youth Director or member of the BHUSY Executive Board and will be considered as one of the written rules.
  12. Any infraction of the above rules will result in disciplinary action by the Youth Director in consultation with the Youth Commission and BHUSY Executive Board.

Article III: Dues

  1. All Chapter members must pay their dues.
  2. All Board Members must have dues paid prior to assuming their position.
  3. The Youth Commission will set the rate of dues.

Article IV: Executive Board

Section I:

  1. The Executive Board of the Chapter shall consist of the President, five Vice Presidents (Executive-Israel Affairs, Religion/Education, Social Action Tikun Olam, Membership/Kadima, Communications), no more than three FreshmaRepresentatives, Past President(s)  and Regional Executive Board member(s), as defined in Article V hereof.
  2. The General Board of the Chapter shall consist of the members of the Executive Board of theCchapter and the committee chairpersons of the Chapter, as defined in Article VI hereof.

Section II: Requirements

  1. Board members must be able to devote an adequate amount of time to their position.
  2. Board members must act as dugma (good example) to the community, synagogue and chapter.
  3. Board members must uphold the three pillars of Judaism; Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving kindness).
  4. Board members must honor our tradition of welcoming new members.
  5. Board members must attend all chapter and regional events unless excused by the Youth Director prior to the event.
  6. Board members must attend all board meetings unless excused by the Youth Director prior to the meeting.
  7. Board members are required to attend a weekday minyan at least twice a month and Shabbat services at least twice a month.  Friday night, Saturday morning, or Saturday afternoon are all acceptable for Shabbat attendance.
  8. Board members are required to join at least one of three regional clubs such as Heschel, HeChalutzim, or 613.
  9. Board members must uphold ALL tasks specific to their positions, defined in Article IV, Sections III-VII.

Section III: President


  1. Must be a member of BHCBE to ensure good relations between the synagogue and the youth department.
  2. To serve as the Chapter’s principal liaison to the region.
  3. To preside over and create agenda for the meetings of the Chapter Executive Board.
  4. To oversee the functions of all officers including but not limited to: members of the Executive Board, members of the General Board, committee chairpersons, program chairs, and to be an ex officio member of all chapter committees.
  5. Serves as a dugma, an example, to other USYers, and must conduct him/herself accordingly.
  6. To be responsible, along with the Youth Director, for ensuring that all rules of the Chapter, the Region and the International organization of USY are enforced within the chapter.
  7. To report the state of the Chapter to the members of the Chapter each year at the meeting during which officers at a regular election are installed.
  8. Actively involved in new member recruitment.
  9. To report the state of the Chapter at monthly BHCBE General Board meetings.

Section IV: Executive Vice President/Israel Affairs


  1. To execute all functions of the office of President in the event that the President is unable to do so.
  2. To be the chief assistant to the President in administration, planning, enforcement of the rules of USY, and all other aspects of the Chapter.
  3. To preside over and create agenda for the meetings of the General Board.
  4. To collect General Board officer/committee reports prior to General Board meetings.
  5. Serve as liaison between the Chapter General Board and Chapter Executive Board.
  6. Oversees the officers and activities of the General Board.
  7. To initiate programs dealing with Israeli history, culture, current events, etc.
  8. Incorporate Israel into Chapter events, including Israel updates, items in the BHCBE Bulletin, and Chapter programs specific to Israel.
  9. To publicize USY Summer Israel programs.

Section V: Religion/Education Vice President


  1. To coordinate and run all USY Services.
  2. Responsible for all ritual needs of the Chapter.
  3. To lead or assign Havdallah during Saturday night programs.
  4. To lead or assign minyan on days when there is an event or meeting.
  5. To oversee committees relating to religious programming and educational material.
  6. To coordinate annual USY Shabbat with the Youth Director.
  7. To initiate programs that correspond with Jewish Holidays.
  8. To promote and advertize “BHUSY at Services” each month.

Section VI: Membership/Kadima Vice President


  1. To create programs and materials to increase and retain members.
  2. To create membership goal for upcoming year.
  3. To see that all potential USYers receive a phone call from a USYer inviting them to activities and programs.
  4. To see that all potential BHUSY USYers receive a welcome letter during the summer.
  5. To welcome new members and developing mechanisms for the successful integration into the Chapter.
  6. To make sure all paid members are included on the phone chain.
  7. To be a liaison between BHUSY Kadima and USY chapters.
  8. To attend chapter Kadima activities as much as possible.
  9. To preside over and create agenda for Kadima Board meetings.
  10. To plan joint activities with USY and Kadima.

Section VII: Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President


  1. To initiate and organize programs that help the Chapter raise money for various charities and the regional charity.
  2. To initiate and organize social action programs that reach out to the community.
  3. To initiate and organize a social action activity or to raise money for Tikun Olam at every program.
  4. To initiate and organize programs that will raise money for the Chapter’s scholarship fund.
  5. To create a Tikun Olam goal for the upcoming year.
  6. To coordinate and oversee committees relating to social action programs
  7. To plan and work with chosen SA/TO co-chairs and oversee the development and execution of creative fundraisers for Tikun Olam, in addition to the following established fundraisers:
    1. Car Wash
    2. Honey Sale
    3. Sukkah building
    4. Babysitting
  8. To organize and oversee the Chapters participation in BHCBE Mitzvah Day.

Section VIII: Communications Vice President


  1. To develop and oversee the phone chain.
  2. To take minutes at all Executive Board and General Board meetings.
  3. To send out an email of the minutes, the same night of the board meeting, to all board members, Youth Director and advisor.
  4. To compile the annual chapterbook.
  5. To oversee committees relating to the chapterbook, regalia and Web site.
  6. To keep the Youth Department bulletin in the synagogue up to date.
  7. To send all Facebook communications for all upcoming Chapter and Regional programs.
  8. To maintain chapter Web site.

Section IX: Past President


  1. Any past President of the Chapter who is still a member of the Chapter shall be a full member of the Executive Board and shall serve as an advisor to the President and in any other capacity that the President shall request.

Section X: Freshman Representative


  1. To be a liaison between the freshmen and the rest of the Chapter.
  2. To be in charge of calling freshmen on the phone chain.
  3. To be in charge of encouraging freshmen to join the Chapter.
  4. To be in charge of encouraging freshmen to attend all Chapter and Regional programs.

Section XI

  1. Any officer who does not meet the standards of their office may, after a hearing and majority vote by the Executive Board, be given a month’s probation to meet standards. If, after a month, the office has not met standards, the Executive Board may, by a 2/3 majority vote, renew the probation for another month or remove the officer from office. Persons on probation shall not attend Regional conventions. (NOTE: If the president is the person who may be put on probation or removed from office, the first Vice President shall preside over hearings and votes on the matter).

Section XII

  1. The Executive Board of the Chapter shall meet in closed session with the Youth Director:
    1. Within two weeks of its installations, to appoint committee chairpersons.
    2. To determine whether an officer, committee chairperson or member shall be put on probation because of severe violations of USY rules.
    3. To determine whether an officer shall be removed from office or put on probation for not meeting the standards of their office.
    4. When the Youth Director or President or four officers request such a meeting.

Article V: Voting

Section I: General Rules of Voting

  1. Voting may differ between meetings and elections.  However there are some rules that are used in both:
    1. Votes are won by the majority, being more than half the votes cast.
    2. All topics to be voted on must be motioned and seconded.
    3. Abstentions of voting delegates are not counted as votes cast.
    4. If a voting delegate leaves during the discussion of a matter to vote on, or the speech of a running candidate, that delegate cannot vote on that subject.

Section II: Voting During Meetings

  1. Two thirds of the Executive Board must be present to vote on anything.
  2. The President holds their vote on all matters.  If the Executive Board vote reaches a tie, the President’s vote is the deciding vote.

Article VI: Elections

Section I: Executive Board Application & Letter of Intent

  1. Each candidate interested in running for office must complete an application.
  2. Each candidate interested in running for office must complete a letter of intent. In it they must state what position they are running for. In the event that a candidate is not elected, they are allowed to drop down to any position that is lower than their first intended. If they choose to drop down, a separate letter must be handed in for that position.
  3. A candidate will not be allowed to run for a contested position unless letters of intent are received on time.
  4. The length of the letter should not exceed one page (single spaced, size 12 font).
  5. Application and Letter of Intent must physically be turned in to the Youth Director.
  6. Each candidate will have a personal meeting with the Youth Director in the weeks leading up to the election.

Section II: Eligibility

  1. All persons that are members in good standing are eligible to run for board.
  2. Incoming freshmen are eligible to run only for Freshman Representative. 
  3. All persons must meet the following specific requirements for the office the member is running for.
    1. President
      1. Must have prior chapter board experience other than Freshman Representative.
      2. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      3. Must have attended at least two Regional events from previous year.
      4. Must be able to read Hebrew.
      5. Must be able to fulfill the responsibilities of all other Executive Board offices in the event an office becomes vacant. 
    2. Executive Vice President – Israel Affairs
      1. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must have attended at least two Regional events from previous year
      3. Must be in 10th – 12th grade.
      4. Must be able to read Hebrew.
    3. Religious Education Vice President
      1. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must have attended at least two Regional events from previous year.
      3. Must be in 10th – 12th grade.
      4. Must be able to read Hebrew.
      5. Must be able to lead Shacharit, Mincha, Maariv and Havdallah or is in the process of learning.
    4. Membership/Kadima Vice President
      1. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must have attended at least two Regional events from previous year.
      3. Must be in 10th-12th grade.
    5. Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President
      1. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must have attended at least one Regional event from previous year.
      3. Must be in 10th-12th grade.
    6. Communications Vice President
      1. Must have attended 75% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must have attended at least one Regional event from previous year.
      3. Must be in 10th-12th grade.
    7. Freshman Representative
      1. Must have attended 50% of Chapter events from previous year.
      2. Must be a freshman.

Section III: Procedure for Elections

  1. The officers shall be elected in the following order: President, Executive Vice President – Israel Affairs, Religious Education Vice President, Membership/Kadima Vice President, Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President, Communications Vice President, Freshman Representative.
  2. Only members in good standing are eligible to vote.
  3. Incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors are eligible to vote.
  4. The President shall preside over the elections. If the President is running for an office, the highest officer not running for an office shall preside over the election for that office.
  5. The presiding officer shall read the name of the office for which balloting is to be occur, and read the section of Article IV of the constitution which enumerates the duties of that office.
  6. The presiding officer shall ask any person who has been defeated during the election of a higher office if s/he wishes to drop down to run for the office in question.
  7. All persons running for office in question, including the persons who are candidates by paragraph 7 of this section shall be called, in the alphabetical order of their last names, to give a speech. The speeches of candidates for the office of President shall not exceed five minutes in length, and the speeches of candidates for the other offices shall not exceed three minutes in length. It is the responsibility of the presiding officer to see that speeches do not exceed the specified time lengths.
  8. Each member shall turn in a ballot. Each ballot shall contain the names of all persons running for the office in question, and shall have one name circled as the choice of the voter to be officer-elect. Ballots not marked with the names of all candidates or those with more than one name circled shall not be counted.
  9. A candidate must receive at least 50% plus one of the votes to become officer-elect.
  10. If no candidate is named on a majority of the ballots, the names of the two candidates with the greatest number of votes shall be announced. Members shall then mark a second ballot with those two names thereon, and will circle one choice for officer-elect. This procedure will be repeated until a candidate receives a majority of the votes.
  11. Ballots are counted by the Youth Director.
  12. Any candidate who runs unopposed for an office may be acclaimed victor without secret ballot, according to standard rules of parliamentary procedure.
  13. Any question of the rules of the elections not specifically covered in this Article shall be resolved according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article VII: General Board

Section I:

  1. The Executive Board will select applicants for the General Board.
  2. The positions that make up the General Board may change year by year. 
  3. The Executive Board will decide what types of positions they will need for the upcoming year. The board can use any and as many positions as they deem necessary, however the following positions must be on the General Board every year:
    1. Tefila Rep(s)
    2. Logistics Rep(s)
    3. Sports Rep
    4. Israel Awareness Rep
    5. Regional Convention Rep
    6. International Convention (including Pre or Post Convention) Rep(s)
    7. Social Action/Tikun Olam Rep
    8. Chicagoland Jewish High School (CJHS) Outreach Rep
    9. Purim Carnial Rep(s)
    10. Programming Rep
    11. 8th grade Rep
    12. Membership Rep
  4. Candidates must apply for available positions on the General Board.
  5. All General Board responsibilities will be on-going throughout the year.
  6. All General Board members must attend all Chapter programs unless excused by the Youth Director prior to the meeting.
  7. All General Board members must attend all General Board meetings unless excused by the Youth Director prior to the meeting.
  8. If the Executive Board feels a General Board Member’s behavior is misrepresenting the Chapter they may vote to relieve that person of their General Board responsibilities.

Article VIII: Vacancies

  1. A vacancy in the office of President caused by the resignation or removal of the President from office shall be filled by the first Vice-President, who shall become President.
  2. A vacancy in any other office due to the resignation or removal of the officer from office, or due to the succession of the first Vice-President, shall be filled by a special election within one month of vacancy, according to the rules of Article VI, Section IV.
  3. Vacant committee chairs shall be filled by the Executive Board within one month of the vacancy.

Article IX: Ratification and Amending

  1. This constitution shall take effect immediately on its ratification by a 3/5 majority of all Executive Board members present and voting.
  2. This constitution may be amended, if such amendment(s) are ratified by a 2/3 majority vote of the executive board, and if such amendment(s) do not violate Article I, paragraph 4, hereof. Such amendments shall take place immediately, unless the executive board shall designate otherwise.
  3. A chapter plenary session shall have the power by 2/3 majority, to adopt a constitutional amendment(s) or to repeal any amendment(s), which the executive board might have adopted. Such plenary sessions shall occur annually at the election meeting, or at the petition of 2/5 of the members in good standing of the chapter.
  4. Bylaws may be added to this constitution by a 2/3 majority vote of the executive board of the chapter, or of the plenary session of the chapter. Any bylaws presented for adoption at the time of the presentation of this constitution shall be deemed adopted upon the adoption of this constitution.