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NFTY: Inclusion Through Prayer

The following is an open letter to NFTY’s general board, as well as those interested in learning more about inclusion through services.

Shalom NFTY!

This past weekend 137 Mechina participants were involved in Saturday morning services that incorporated a heightened sense of inclusion and modeled inclusive practices throughout.

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Posted in NFTY North America, Uncategorized, NFTY SAVP, NFTY RCVP0 Comments


NFTY: The Balance of Chukat

The following is a D’var Torah given by NFTY President Debbie Rabinovich on the first day of the summer session at the URJ Kutz Camp. This week’s parsha, Chukat, is filled with contradictions. We just stood at Sinai, completely healthy and whole, and received the Torah, which brings us life. Suddenly we are confronted by the deaths of Miriam and Aaron. Directly between these two extremes, life and death, God or the writers of the Torah decide to throw in some good old ritual law, a b’nei mitzvah student or NFTY President’s favorite treat. The ritual described is the burning […]

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Posted in NFTY President, Torah, NFTY Board, Campaign for Youth Engagement, NFTY North America0 Comments

Not Four Years but Forever

Not Four Years but Forever

School’s out for summer… or at least Hebrew school is! My son Lathan, while waiting to graduate secular high school at the end of June, officially completed 13 years (including kindergarten) of Hebrew school, which he lovingly refers to as “Jew school.” In those 13 years, Lathan has seen countless changes in our synagogue’s staffing and structure, including the merger of our congregation with another. He also served as a madrich for the third grade class, helped paint a mural in the school wing, and had amazing Hebrew High School experiences, including a trip to Germany to learn about survival, history, and the Holocaust.

It was the Hebrew High School curriculum that allowed my out-of-the-box thinker son to thrive. While still structured, the curriculum allowed for open discussions, where no topic was taboo. He challenged his classmates, teachers, and the clergy – sometimes just because it was fun to do. He brought his classroom discussions home, challenging my wife, daughter, and me, and into his secular high school, challenging his teachers and classmates there.

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Posted in Campaign for Youth Engagement, NFTY North America, youth, TYG0 Comments

Andrew’s blog photo1

NFTY President Updates NFTY, URJ Board on Big Year

There has never been a more exciting time to be a NFTYite. And there has never been a more exciting time to be connected to NFTY.

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Posted in NFTY Board, Campaign for Youth Engagement, NFTY President, NFTY North America1 Comment

Respect and Learning Central to Understanding Challenges in Israel

As we discuss our perspectives on this difficult topic, it is important that we remember the Talmudic lesson of Eruvin 13b. In response to a debate between the school of Hillel and that of Shamai, two great Rabbinic leaders, we are reminded that “elu v’elu divrei elohim chayim — These and these are the words of the Living God.”

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Posted in The Jewish World, NFTY North America, Israel Thing0 Comments

NFTY-CAR: Danielle Wright Talks Torah

The following is a selection from a D’var Torah given by Danielle Wright at NFTY-CAR Kolbo, May 3rd, 2014.

As I completed my thought process, I reflected on my NFTY experience.I remember one particular topic. B’tzelem Elohim. In the image of G-D. (It also happens to be my favorite Dan Nichols song!) None the less, after pondering my original reaction to the Torah portion, I began to wonder about how I am looked at by G-D. Because I perceived this Torah portion to be a little ADHD, does that therefore make me ADHD? I also had an initial reaction to this portion being egocentric. Does this make me an egocentric person?I then wondered that if G-D is Holy and One, are WE, then, Holy and One?

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Posted in NFTY North America, NFTY-CAR, Uncategorized0 Comments

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