By Jacob Georginow, NFTY Religious & Cultural Vice President
As the captain of our US Airways flight asked us to take our seats for the last half hour of our flight, I started to realize that I was actually going to be touching down in Israel soon. It would mean that I would finally be a part of the community that gets to stand when asked “Who in this room has been to Israel?” Sitting between Evan Traylor, NFTY President, and Beth Rodin Director of Education and Special Projects was a very special moment for me, as I was going to the Holy Land to represent NFTY at the Netzer Veida, the worldwide Progressive Jewish youth conference in Jerusalem.
Before we touched down I was thinking about what my first words on Israeli soil would be— I didn’t know what people say at these things! I literally sat contemplating this for five whole minutes – and as we touched down I was still silent. I guess that’s what was so special about coming here: it left me speechless.
The first day we met up with some of NFTY’s Shnat Netzer representatives, Jake Levine, Rachel Blackburn-Parish, and Rachel Horne. We had a fun time sharing stories about NFTY’s accomplishments this year and how their experience on Shnat has been this past few months. Their insight into Shnat has given us an inside look at how some of Netzer works. For example, I learned more about how strongly Netzer is attached to the ideology they live by. While NFTY has hundreds of regional events throughout the year, some of the other Snifim only have two week camps where they come together to study their ideology and build leadership skills.
I am excited for the next 9 days and I can’t wait to see what the Veida has in store for us. Keep watching the NFTY Blog for more updates! Also follow @NFTYRCVP and @NFTYPresident on Twitter and Like our pages on Facebook! (NFTY President / NFTY RCVP)
Tonight we are hosting a NFTY reunion on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. Be sure to follow us and watch for pictures of past NFTYites from your regions. Shabbat Shalom!