By Emily Meyer, NFTY-NW Regional Advisor
As the new Regional Advisor for NFTY-NW, I have been amazed by the passion and commitment of the region’s teens. If I could summarize NFTY-NW’s Fall Kallah in one word it would be ruach, the Hebrew word for spirit or breath. Every moment was filled with excited energy. Through thoughtful and creative programs written by the NFTY-NW regional board, we got to explore the concept of ruach in spirit, breath, soul, and air. We delved into Genesis, thinking about the order of creation as described in the Bible and how space is defined in the text, which led into a conversation on the idea of heaven in Judaism. We investigated the Jewish concept of the soul and what it might mean to be created in the image of God. We looked at the spaces between us and our peers in interpersonal relationships in conjunction with NFTY’s national Social Action theme, NFTY tackles human divides.
The ruach was not limited to our educational programs. NFTY-NW showed their energetic spirits in song sessions led by peer song leaders, in creative services where we danced the hokey-pokey and wondered what it really is all about, and in a NFTY cheer that shook the building! A highlight of the weekend was the annual talent show. It was amazing to hear original songs written and performed by the teens – what an honor to be among their first audiences! We saw inspiring ruach in the goal to raise over $500 towards NFTY-NW scholarships. With the incentive of a haircut for Jacob Glickman, our NFTY-NW president, (don’t worry, his parents knew about it ahead of time) we exceeded our goal, raising over $700!
If any of this surprises you, you must not know the Northwest region. This is the region with the mascot named Ruach (a cute blue raindrop). This is the region that proudly boasts the most wins in NFTY’s “Wear your Camp and Israel T-Shirt” competition for it’s display of Kalsman gear. This is a region with ruach in everything it does and everything it is. It is an honor to be able to work with this region to help share it’s spirit and make weekends like Fall Kallah so special!