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NFTY-NAR Kallah: Can Dads be NFTYites, Too?!



Earlier this winter, my synagogue played host to NFTY-NAR’s Winter Kallah. Because we’re of the “go big or go home” belief, our cantor arranged for Jewish musician Dan Nichols to be our artist-in-residence the same weekend. Ever a consummate mensch, Dan participated the entire weekend in activities with NFTY, the religious school, and programs for […]

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A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families



by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined.  I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that […]

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NFTY and BBYO: We Can Make Each Other Stronger



As I write this, I’m on a literal and figurative high – literal because I’m writing to you from a flight back to New York from Dallas, where I had the privilege of attending and addressing the BBYO International Convention. Wait a minute, you’re thinking, Why is the president of the Union for Reform Judaism going to a BBYO convention? Isn’t BBYO the rival of NFTY, the Reform youth movement?

I’m here to tell you – and you can quote me on it – that BBYO is not our rival. They are our partner.

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Putting “Inspired Engagement” into Motion



The powerful roll out of the newest implementation steps of the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the recent URJ Biennial in San Diego has generated excellent feedback and momentum. Our Reform movement-wide approach is called Inspired Engagement, a transformative teen and young adult network, which integrates diverse program offerings into one seamless year-round matrix in […]

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My Jewish Journey



By Susan Klau To my family, one of the most important aspects of Reform Judaism is community. My Jewish journey through adolescence was much different than my parents’. My dad, born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico, experienced a limited and informal Jewish education. Puerto Rico’s Temple Youth Groups are associated with NFTY-NAR […]

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A New Era of NFTY



By Andrew Keene An unidentified scholar teaches us, “Blessed is the generation in which the old listen to the young, and doubly blessed is the generation in which the young listen to the old.” For 75 years, NFTY, the North American Federation of Temple Youth, continues to serve as the link between the past, present, and […]

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Just Say Yes: Inclusion is a No-Brainer



Past President Michael Kaplan likes to tell the story about why he joined his current congregation and ultimately became its president. He talks about one High Holy Days when he entered the sanctuary with his wife, their profoundly challenged son Brandon, and Brandon’s guide dog. Settling into the services, sitting in the front row, they […]

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Strengthening the Partnership Toolbox for Meaningful Community Change



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 Yoni Siden On the second night of Passover, and the beginning days of the Christian Holy Week, a bus filled with 38 teens and eight […]

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The Songs of Your Youth and of the Reform Movement’s Youth



by Cantor Bradley Hyman At some point in a person’s life, they lose touch with the most current trends in popular music. To be clear, you will become your parents. You might make an effort to listen to radio stations or watch videos, which attempt to bring you closer in understanding why things are more […]

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Registration’s Open at Our New Jewish Science and Technology Camp!



Registration is now open for URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, a new summer camp offering high-level programming in science and technology. This innovative new camp will open in July 2014 on the campus of The Governor’s Academy near Boston. URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy will attract campers seeking high-level science and technology experiential and fun […]

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Moving Our Community from a “Serve Us” to a “Service” Mentality



by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas I’ve had the privilege to learn from URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on several occasions, the most recent of which was in January 2013 in Chicago. I was there, along with a lay partner, and representatives from a handful of other congregations to form the first cohort of the URJ’s […]

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Celebrate Life. Celebrate Music. Support Ethan.



by Rabbi Mark Covitz One of the greatest successes of this past summer at Goldman Union Camp Institute is, very simply, that the summer was a great success. The challenges presented by the June 29th lightning strike were many, and were daunting. Of course, the most important challenge was securing the physical health and emotional […]

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Teen “Busy-ness”: A Challenge or an Opportunity?



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 Jeffrey and Amy Kagan “Busier than ever:” This is the refrain we, as youth advisors, hear over and over again about the schedules […]

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What the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution Is (and Is Not)



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. [Editor's Note: Rabbi David's congregation, Adath Emanu-El, is participating in the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution Active Learning Network. This article originally appeared in the synagogue's […]

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