By Dan Epstein, member of NFTY-NE and MITYOR
Every part of NFTY is so amazing. I haven’t even been in NFTY-NE for a full year yet, and I already love it more than anything in the world. From the friends, to the programs, to the services; everything is so great. But there is one time during any event that I love more than others: the Friendship Circle.
The Friendship Circle is a very special time at the end of all events. Everyone begins realizing that the event is sadly almost over, and have one last hurrah. We all sit in a circle and hold hands, put our arms around each other, or lie in each other’s laps. Then the song leaders begin playing and singing songs with us that completely define us as a group. Songs like Firework, Wonderwall, and I’ll Be There For You are just the beginning.
I didn’t really get it until my last event, MANTY’s Winter Wonderland, but these few songs of togetherness are just so powerful. Looking around the circle and seeing all my friends singing in unison, swaying back and forth with each other, made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself. In this circle I saw freshmen singing with seniors, kids who at home are jocks singing with kids who are seen as nerds, and partiers singing with the shy kids. Our unity as Jewish teens brought us together in song to show how truly magnificent NFTY is. I would sometimes lose myself in the song, but then pull myself back and look behind me to see my friend Molly, a senior on NFTY-NE board, and wonder how this happened. I was a freshman from tiny Cheshire, CT, and yet I was surrounded by amazing people from all over the northeast who were all like me.
The Friendship Circle is a truly special event of togetherness, love, and happiness.