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Small Teen, Big Voice

Small Teen, Big Voice

As reform Jews, we pride ourselves on inclusion, or to borrow the words of Rabbi Rick Jacobs: Audacious Hospitality. As our secular communities start to progress toward embracing the LGBT community, so does the URJ. It was an honor and a privilege to be present as the resolution of the URJ affirming the full quality and acceptance of transgender and non-gender conforming individuals was unanimously passed. When the resolution was read, there was a portion of it that specifically mentioned inclusion in NFTY.

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High Hopes for the High Holidays

By Shir Attias,  NFTY-SW Religious and Cultural Vice-President I remember the high holidays as a kid very well: huge dinner tables laden with soups, meats, and deserts; long winded services telling us to ask for forgiveness and look forward to a new year. I remember the long sermons prompting introspection, and I remember twiddling my thumbs unable, as a child, to fathom the concepts of new beginnings.  As a kid, all Rosh Hashanah meant was eating delicious honey cakes, and all Yom Kippur meant was eating delicious honey cakes while taunting my parents. But as my friends and I outgrew […]

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Becoming the Leader of Me

Becoming the Leader of Me

The NFTY-SW Leadership Training Institute took teen leaders from workshop to workshop, program to program, but one in particular stood out to me. Lynne Butner, our NFTY-SW Regional Director, wrote a program on the Science of Character where she utilized the Let it Ripple video by Tiffany Shlain on character building.

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LTI 2015 havdallah

This Is Where I Belong

NFTY-Southwest has never been a quiet region. We sing loud and we cheer even louder. There was no better place for us to show that spirit than at this year’s Leadership Training Institute (LTI) at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, AZ. Wildcat country.

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NFTY-SW Junior Youth Social Action Weekend Event Recap

All of our participants arrived safely and on time and we jumped right in to the evening by meeting the teen and adult leaders. We played a few getting to know you games together and welcomed Shabbat with candle lighting and blessings. We enjoyed Shabbat dinner and then moved into services led by our professional song leader, Rachel Mylan. After dinner, we played more games to get to know each other. By the end of the evening, I could see that this group was already making connections and were happy to be together. After our mixers we experienced our first closing friendship circle and learned the NFTY cheer. Then we headed to our host homes for a good night’s sleep.

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NFTY-SW Spring Kallah 2015 Recap

Spring Kallah was an incredible weekend, and I wouldn’t have expected anything less after what has been a truly outstanding year. Thanks to all our parents, staff, congregations, rabbis, and participants for making it one to remember! We will miss the graduating class of 2015, but your legacies will stay with us forever. You have led us with positivity, inclusivity, creativity, and class, and you will always be remembered and appreciated.

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