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Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue NFTY – Fighting for Racial Justice Finding Uniqueness in My NFTY Region
 
Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue

This past June, teen leaders from all across the United States and Canada came together for NFTY Mechina, NFTY’s first North American board meeting of the 2016-2017 year at URJ Kutz Camp. Together we prayed, learned, and grew as leaders. As a movement, we had the opportunity to take a stance on our beliefs and affirm our commitment to pursuing social justice.

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NFTY – Fighting for Racial Justice

Throughout the past week, our country has been devastated by violence. Together, with the communities of Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas, we mourn the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and officers Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith. As we remember the lives that were lost, we also struggle to comprehend how we have allowed institutional and systemic racism to persist in our country. The tragic violence of the past week serves as a reminder that we must recommit ourselves to fighting for racial justice in the United States.

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Finding Uniqueness in My NFTY Region

I am a part of a NFTY, a North American movement which holds close to its core the pursuit of justice. In a very finite way, because of my NFTY region's geographic location in the south, we have a unique quest for justice. While all nineteen NFTY regions convened at URJ Kutz Camp to become a unified general board, the events of NFTY Mechina led me to think more deeply about what it means to be a member of NFTY who lives in the deep south.

PAR car 3

NFTY-PAR: Making a Difference with a Small Donation

26 January 2015

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”

23 January 2015

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

23 January 2015

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

22 January 2015

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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Ben Fader

NFTY-SAR: To Inclusion and Beyond!

21 January 2015

This year, one of NFTY’s Social Action themes is inclusion. NFTY’s policies and outlook are morphing in an effort to accommodate, accept, and involve every Jewish teen in NFTY, as well as promoting inclusion beyond NFTY. With Benjamin eager to attend, NFTY-SAR welcomed Benjamin into our Fall Kallah in November. Benjamin’s parents had no idea that this year’s Social Action would hit so close to home. They shared their excitement and gratitude NFTY and the incredible strides we’ve taken, take, and hope to take.

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Netzer Veida: Investing in the Issue

19 January 2015

Like many Jewish teens, I was raised to love Israel. Dayschool education, Sunday school, URJ camps – all were components of my identity as a Reform Zionist Jew, and all taught me the ties, both emotional and historical, that bound me to Eretz Israel. But much as I cared for Israel, it had once been nothing but paragraphs in a textbook, perhaps an anecdote from a respected teacher. When I took my first trip to Israel with NFTY two years ago, it suddenly became real, and afterward, the news stories and social media feeds that had once flooded my mind began to impact me emotionally as well. Israel had become real to me – an actual land filled with people I knew and cared about. Real world experience materialize issues for me, transforming it from entity to reality.

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