By Kate Marchand, NFTY-SW member from Temple Beth Shalom. Santa Fe, New Mexico
It was Friday night and we had all gone to services, had dinner, and danced around the room as Taylor Wachman, the head song leader, played his guitar. It seemed as if our eagerness for Fall Kallah was weeks ago, and now we hoped that Sunday would never come. Our region hadn’t even been together for 24 hours, but boy was that one busy day. It had been packed full with mixers, learning about other religions, an incredible program about the study theme “Am I My Brother’s Keeper, which was written by Matt Wall, the regional Programming Vice President, and spending time with our host families.
But now it was the time everyone had been waiting for. The freshman, sophomores, and juniors got into a huge circle while the seniors slipped out of the room. A pool was placed in the middle and the seniors quietly came back, but into their own circle. Each stood up, showed their senior ship, briefly talked about their journey in NFTY, and then set their ships free into the pool. Oh and some cried.
To many people this might seem pointless, a waste of time, or even boring, but to me it means more. The senior ships aren’t just a block of wood, but a piece of what NFTY has brought to each individual. These ships represent how precious NFTY truly is to the seniors, how their time is coming to an end, and how they have to start to reflect on their journey that they walked through NFTY. Seeing all the seniors during senior ships and hearing about their time with NFTY-SW really made me think. I knew it before, but with this it renewed it…. NFTY is not something to take for granted, but something to cherish and take in every second possible. It is something unique and very special, and without NFTY we wouldn’t be the same people.
Fall Kallah was a weekend like no other. Besides the things we did on Friday and the senior ships, we also did a very important program on suicide prevention that was written by Maddy Ginis, the regional Social Action Vice President, and Matt Wall, the regional Programming Vice President. This program shined the light on the reality of suicide, but also led us to how to prevent it.
That event has made a lasting impact me, and I am already preparing and counting down the days to SAW (Social Action Weekend)