Posts Tagged: Youth Engagement

Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah



By Alexa Maltby It isn’t every day that you have a life-changing experience, so to say I had a life-changing summer is a blessing. Urban Mitzvah Corps could easily be described as a six-week Jewish social action summer program. But life changing experiences aren’t that easy to describe. For the past two summers I took […]

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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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SING OUT! The Beginnings of NFTY Music: A Look at the First Songs We Sang



By Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin I found myself (quite literally) at Reform Jewish summer camp. More than anything, it was the music that drew me into experiencing Jewish life with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might. How did music in youth grouping touch something Jewish so deep inside me? The […]

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NFTY at Women of the Wall



By Sarah Rosemont This past November, I traveled to Israel as part of a NFTY delegation team in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Women of the Wall. Today, more than two months later, I still don’t know how to describe the trip in a way that will do it justice. How can I […]

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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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NFTY’s Early Years: A Snapshot of the 1940s



By Andrew Keene Generational Leadership (Hanhagah L’dorot) is the notion that a leader cannot be successful without a true appreciation and understanding of its organization’s past leadership as well as its future generations of leaders; or as the North American Federation of Temple Youth’s (NFTY) homepage states, having “a panoramic view of leadership, learning from […]

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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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Worship Without Music?!



By Jerry Kaye Can you imagine a worship service these days without a cantor, a song leader, or even a band? There is nowhere in the liberal Jewish community where music isn’t an integral and heartening part of worship. Today, Jewish music is readily available on CDs and MP3s, and even on YouTube, which hosts […]

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NFTY Takes on Malaria



By Olivia Kessler Did you know malaria is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrying the Plasmodium parasite and kills 600,000 people every year? Did you know malaria exists in 109 countries around the world, making half of the world’s population susceptible to the disease? Did you know that every 60 seconds a child […]

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“Fostering Wholehearted Loyalty to the Synagogue & Jewish Ideals”: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of NFTY



By Dr. Gary P. Zola In the opening verses of this week’s sedra, we come upon a detail in our narrative that is frequently overlooked.  Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought Moses’ two sons (Gershom and Eliezer) and his wife (Zipporah) to meet him in the wilderness.  At first, this incident seems unremarkable.  It makes sense that […]

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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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URJ Launches Details of “Inspired Engagement” for Jewish Youth



The URJ unveiled a new strategy for engaging youth at its Biennial Convention in San Diego this past week. “Inspired engagement” – what the URJ is branding as its distinct way of engaging youth – emerged after an eight-month strategic planning process that included voices of more than 700 stakeholders from across the Jewish community […]

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