By Amy Weinstock, NFTY-MAR Communications Vice President
Hey NFTY-MAR, Amy Weinstock checking in! I am your Communications Vice President (CVP) for the upcoming year! Despite the sadness that has come from not seeing all of your beautiful faces recently, my NFTY withdrawal is gradually getting better as JELLO draws nearer and nearer! I know that I speak for the entire board when I say we are ECSTATIC to see all of you at Capital Camps September 20-22nd for JELLO (Jewish Education Learning and Leadership Opportunity).
Nearly two weeks ago I, along with 7 other MAR regional board members, met up with the members of the other 18 regional boards in Warwick, New York at the URJ Kutz Camp for Mechina! Mechina is very similar to JELLO in that we learn how to be great board members through leadership activities, network time, and programs. We even have Plenary, but it is called Asefah!
Asefah was an experience unlike I had anything experienced in NFTY-MAR. At Asefah, each board sits in a U-shape facing the North American Board in the middle. Totally different from the rows we use for plenary! Everyone dresses up in business attire, and instead of following Roberts Rules of Order, like we do in MAR, we follow NFTY’s own Parliamentary Procedure! The coolest part of Asefah, though, was that we voted to make real changes. This week the NFTY General Board voted to reaffirm our commitment to supporting same-sex marriage (as NFTY President Andrew Keene put it, “We renewed our vows.”). We also voted to amend the NFTY Constitution twice! We voted first to change the requirements for changing the Brit and then the general board unanimously voted to add another position on the North American Board! Our very own alum, Aaron Heft, is the last person who will ever hold the position of MCVP (Membership & Communications Vice President). Starting in February, the General Board will elect a Membership Vice President and Communications Vice President!
I’m really excited about the change! Having another position will definitely help the CVPs be even better and with the addition of more ways to communicate each day it will definitely help NFTY to better communicate with its members in the future. But I think the coolest part is the fact that teens made this change to our own organization. We really had the power to change NFTY in the ways we believe will make it most successful. The NFTY staff members did not make the decision, the URJ Board didn’t make the decision,the general board did. I am so proud to have been a part of the voting body that made this happen. It only makes me more excited to see what kind of awesome changes will come up in the future.
It also got me thinking. What changes would I like to see in the future of NFTY-MAR? What will NFTY-MAR look like in 5 years, 10 years, or even 50 years? Pretty different I bet. But part of that is because tons of dedicated MARites will be in the same position we are today. They will see a problem within the region and they will change it to make it better. Do you see a problem you want to fix? Do you have a solution? You too have the power to make these changes during upcoming plenary sessions!
I hope everyone has a great summer and I can’t wait to see everyone’s shining faces at JELLO!