By Rachel Goldberg, NFTY-SW
After a long afternoon of flights, train rides, and bus rides leading late into the night, NFTY-SW got moving at Fall Kallah. Head songleader Taylor Wachman led a short siyyum in the chilly night air and after, regional advisor Lynne Butner read the Brit Kehillah everyone met their host homes and headed out.
Friday morning NFTY-SW gave the freshmen and new members a warm welcome with a motion to commotion. It was followed by a special mixer led by Membership Vice President Jordan Weissman and Spirit Chair Leader Ellie Singer. Participants split into groups of 4-5 people and became a family. They went on a scavenger hunt and took a special family photo. Then everyone had time to bond with their class. Seniors decorated their long awaited wooden ships, juniors wrote warm & fuzzies, sophomores played scattergories, and freshmen learned friendship circle songs. After, Religious and Cultural Vice President Cody Rosen taught participants about Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Experts on each religion shared their views and explained similarities and differences between the religions. Later NFTYites discussed responsibility and how they are their Brother’s Keeper with a program by Programming Vice President Matthew Wall. Participants enjoyed their free time, dressed for Shabbat, and returned to Temple Mount Sinai for services, dinner, and shira. The Class of 2013 dressed in their best pool party attire and began saying their goodbyes as they sailed their wooden ships. The mood changed when Kutzites from Southwest taught the rest of the region how to wobble and the dance party continued until the night closed with friendship circle.
The advisors and a few special guests began the morning off with a Beit Midrash style torah study. Religious and Cultural Vice President Cody Rosen led services with the help of head songleader Taylor Wachman and after everyone enjoyed a nice lunch. The afternoon started off with a serious program on suicide and how we view ourselves. Programming Vice President Matthew Wall and Social Action Vice President Maddy Ginis showed participants surprising statistics and the importance of reminding ourselves that we are good enough. Participants then gathered in their TYGs for a few activities and then NFTY-SW got moving! There were activities including dodgeball, yoga, kid’s games, zumba, and soccer, and everyone had a blast! The host families picked up their kids, fed them dinner, and got them ready for a fiesta! The region displayed their unique qualities at the annual talent show and then the party began. The music blasted, the piñata broke, and the obstacle course bounced. Everyone had a smile on their face. At the end of the night the seniors kicked their shoes in at friendship circle and it was time to go home and pack.
Finally, the dreadful Sunday morning arrived. Historian Miranda Rosen played a slideshow full of photos from Spring Kallah 2012 and Leadership Training Institute 2012. Membership Vice President Jordan Weissman passed out beads during friendship circle and another amazing NFTY-SW even came to a close. The busses drove away and the flights took off until January 17, 2013 when everyone will meet again for Social Action Weekend.