By Aviva Symons and Ian Zeitlin, NFTY-PAR’s Co-Secretaries of New Members for 2013-2014
NFTY-PAR’s Hag/Mac 2013 was an amazing event with a total of 143 teens including 56 new members. It truly was a fantastic event!! As the Co-Secretaries of New Members it is our job to pair the new members “Littles” with “Bigs” and to ensure that they have an amazing first event.
The Big/Little program is put in place to match new members with experienced NFTY-PARites who call NFTY-PAR their second home. This makes it easier for the new members because they immediately have a friend in NFTY. It is the Big’s job, before the event and during the event, to make sure their Little knows that at any time they can come up to him or her to help make friends, ask a question, or simply to hang out .
As the Co-Secretaries of New Members, we pair up “Littles” and “Bigs” by contacting someone from their youth group or other ways to figure out what the new member’s personalities are like and their interests. All of the new members at Hag/Mac were so much fun! We really spent time trying to meet everyone and welcome them into our incredible community. To the new members: you are all amazing and we would love to see each and everyone of you at the next event. Not everyone loves their first event, but we strongly encourage you to try it again and come back because sometimes it takes two or three events to understand NFTY and fall in love with NFTY.
Ian’s First NFTY-PAR Experience:
To say I did not enjoy my first NFTY event is an understatement. I searched for how long it would take to walk home; which at the time was a disappointing 25 hours. When I got home I started an anti-NFTY group with other members of my synagogue. Eventually I came back a year later thanks to Jon “Skippy” Neff and couldn’t have had a better time.
I don’t know what changed between the two events. Maybe I matured. Maybe nothing changed. I now know that it is always worth a second try because you just don’t know what you’re missing and how amazing this community is for us.
Aviva’s First NFTY-PAR Experience:
From the beginning, I felt at home in NFTY-PAR. Once getting through those awkward moments at my first few events and stepping out of my comfort zone the first few times, I realized that NFTY-PAR will not only change me, but I can change NFTY-PAR.
As we look forward, we can’t wait to see you all at SLK (Summer Leadership Kallah) 2013 from August 20-23 at URJ Camp Harlam! Thank You for making our first event as your Co-Secretaries of New Members so wonderful!Overall, my journey through NFTY-PAR has been nothing but exceptional in every way. I am so excited to witness a new generation of PARites embrace NFTY-PAR and begin to call this amazing organization their home too.