Archive by Author

NFTY in the early 2000s: Years of Change and Engagement



By Hope Chernak, RJE The early 2000s provided many opportunities for teen voices and NFTY,the Reform Jewish Youth Movement initiatives to be implemented in the Reform movement. I joined the NFTY staff in 1999 and witnessed incredible moments during my eight years with NFTY’s teen leadership The first time I saw firsthand how our teens […]

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Colleagues, friends and family gather to remember Rabbi David J. Forman



By Terry Hendin Some 65 people ranging in age from a few months to 95 years old gathered in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood on Monday, May 19, 2014 at the Kehilat HaDror Community Garden.  The Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood was the home to our colleague, mentor, teacher and friend, the late Rabbi David J. Forman. Rabbi […]

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The Walkman Generation – NFTY in the ‘80s



By Rabbi Roxanne J. Schneider Shapiro More than the Jewish people have kept the Sabbath; the Sabbath has kept the Jewish people. – Ahad Ha’am When I reflect on NFTY in the ‘80s, I would revise Ha’am’s quote to: More than Reform Jewish teenagers have kept NFTY; NFTY has kept Reform Jewish teenagers. I cannot […]

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The Century Ends: NFTY Music of the 90s



by Cantor Rosalie Boxt Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade. I have often wondered what it would have been like to be a songleader with my mentors, my friends, and my “heroes” in the 70s. Yet, as I reflect back on the time when I was a young songleader, during […]

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Mother and Daughter Reflect on Going to Kutz



by Julie Hollander Eichelbaum and Emma Eichelbaum As the URJ Kutz Camp enters its 50th year, campers emerge as members of a vast network of Kutz alumni. For a select few of those campers, the alumni network includes their parents, also products of NFTY’s campus for Reform Jewish teens. Emma Eichelbaum (Kutz ’12-‘14) and her […]

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NFTY in the 90s



by Rabbi Eve Rudin CAFTY, CFTY, CNYFTY, CRaFTY, JFTY, LIFTY, MAFTY, MoVFTY, MSTY, NEFTY, NELFTY, NOFTY, OVFTY, PAFTY, SCFTY, SEFTY, SOFTY, SWFTY, TOFTY, WEFTY, WESTY. Those are the names of the 21 NFTY Regions I grew up with in the 80s. And, yes, we used to have contests to see who could recite them the […]

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Conversations with Engagement Innovators: Alison Kur



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. Have you ever wondered about the stories and people behind major innovations in our field?  The Journal of Youth Engagement is kicking off an occasional series, […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

Move Confirmation to the 12th Grade Now!



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Rabbi Fred Guttman and Rabbi Andy Koren If the road to lifelong Jewish learning begins with religious school, then the widespread practice of ending formal […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

An Intergenerational Shabbat Experience: Experimenting Toward Our Future



As a new clergy team, we have spent the last year listening to laypeople and collaborating on values-based goal-setting as we plan for our future. One area that has emerged as a priority is Shabbat worship.

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NFTY at 75 – Think Big



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg A Jew who participates in the suffering of his nation and its fate, but does not join in its destiny, which is expressed in a life of Torah and mitzvot, destroys the essence of Judaism and injures his own uniqueness. By the same token, a Jew who is observant but does […]

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The Evolution of the NFTY Chordster



By Rabbi Lisa Silverstein Tzur In 1982, a rabbi placed a guitar in my arms, taught me four basic chords, and inspired by Hillel’s famous quote, declared, “With these four chords you can play any Jewish song. The rest is commentary. Go and learn it.” Indeed, in the 1980s, NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement, […]

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Chazak Chazak V’nitchazeik



By Andrew Keene and Debbie Rabinovich Our tradition teaches us to separate Shabbat from the rest of the week and make it holy. We mark this separation and transition into the regular week withHavdalah. On some weeks, we take the opportunity to savor the transition time and prolong the Havdalah experience. In NFTY, the Reform […]

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Annual Meetings: Taking Stock of Where We Are



by Rabbi Laurence Elis Milder, Ph.D. Congregations need times for self-reflection. No congregation should coast, go on auto-pilot, or think of its mission as the doing of business-as-usual. At least once a year, we need to take stock. What have we accomplished? What are the challenges we face? What are the possibilities? Perhaps most important […]

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Camp Jenny: Impacting Lives Year After Year



By Richard Rosenthal Partaking in annual traditions are what highlight family values to me. For example, watching the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade together, using the same afikoman cover year after year, and preparing a special meal for Rosh HaShanah are some special traditions that come to mind. Along that continuum, there is a tradition that […]

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