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NFTY-PAR: My Introduction to ARZA

During NFTY-PAR’s social action oriented event, WINSTY, I learned something new that will now impact my Reform Jewish experience forever. Rabbi Jack Paskoff, the Rabbi at our host synagogue, introduced me to ARZA (ahr-tzah), the Association of Reform Zionists of America—who they are, what they do, and why it is important that we act now to support them. I had never known of this organization, and now I am not only aware of it, but I believe it is my duty to advocate for ARZA, because I believe in Reform Judaism and I believe in Israel being the homeland of all the Jewish people.

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NFTY-PAR: Making a Difference with a Small Donation

Being a part of the NFTY-PAR community has affected me in many different ways. I have made life-long friendships, learned many Jewish values, including helping others that are less fortunate. However, the most important part to me is the social action component. Over the weekend of January 16th-18th, WINSTY was held at my temple, Congregation Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, PA. Over the weekend PARticipants from all across Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware, helped improve my community while having a fun time with friends. It was inspiring for me to see my fellow PARites learn and grow from projects they participated in throughout the Lancaster community.

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NFTY-MV: “Do Not Stand Idly By”

At Winter Chavurah, Regional Board worked with Jonah Freelander, the Assistant Director of Mitzvah Corps, to run a program based on the teaching “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” (Lev. 19:16). The purpose of the program was to allow participants to individually participate in many different station-based experiences derived from the modern social action movement, such as with transgender issues or #blacklivesmatter.

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NFTY-SO: Keep Moving

Look around. For every step forward, a privilege is recognized, and for every step back we acknowledge a challenge that not everyone faces that makes our road to success bumpy. The activity we just did represents the privileges that members of NFTY Southern enjoy as a region and as you can see, we are in a very blessed spot when it comes to these everyday opportunities.

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NFTY-NAR: We Made Services for the Community at NFTY-NAR’s Fall Kallah

And I left them with a message, for that service, for that Kallah, and for their life: despite your tears and your sympathy, do not let these stories let you lose hope. This community around you will enable you to make a difference. If you have a vision for what you want to change in the world, use a community. With the love, passion, and courage of a blessed group like NFTY-NAR, you can have a profound impact.

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Lindsey

L’Taken: Justice for All

Everyday I go to school and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Every time I say it the last 3 words stick out to me the most. Those three words are “justice for all”. How is it justice for all when people with disabilities still lag behind in the National Average for having a complete education? Are they lacking in their educations because they actually cannot learn or because they are placed in schools where the teachers are not willing to teach the students the way they need to be taught. How is it justice when 29.2% of the disabled people live in poverty because of their lack of education? How is it justice when the people with disabilities are discriminated against for how they look and work to the point where they are often ignored as potential employees?

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