The USY international convention in Atlanta sparked national controversy by changing the policy on interfaith dating by USY officers.
The interdating policy was one of the convention’s three approved amendments to the USY constitution regarding the behavior of USY officers. The other two go hand in hand: Officers should adhere to USY’s zero-tolerance policy on bullying by creating a welcoming environment, and officers should refrain from lashan hara (gossip) while treating others with kavod (respect).
East Cobb resident Hailee Grey, the newly elected USY international president, was part of the USY task force that discussed the amendments for a year before December’s voting.
The original wording of the interdating policy stated that officers should refrain from dating non-Jews. The revised policy states that USY officers should model healthy Jewish dating choices and encourages officers to date within the Jewish community.
“We felt that beforehand, in the old constitution, that it was very exclusive in telling the leaders what they can and cannot do. The leaders of USY felt like we, as the Conservative movement, show inclusiveness, and we wanted to have our amendments reflect that,” Grey said. “So we changed the amendments in a more positive and inclusive way which I really think is honorable. The meaning wasn’t necessarily altered, but we made it in a more positive tone.”