Reform Jewish Teens Take Albany by Storm



Originally posted by Reform Jewish Voice of New York State.

“We understand that hunger is a huge issue that cannot be fixed easily. It is a multi-faceted problem and millions of Americans across the country struggle with every day. That is why we want to start small, and advocate for immediate change in New York.”—A NFTY-NAR teen advocating for anti-hunger programs.

Not enough people take the time to engage in the political process—but on Tuesday, the halls of the Legislative Office Building in Albany were teeming with students, parents, union members, lobbyists and over 40 teens from NFTY-NAR.

Tuesday is typically the busiest day of the week down at the State Capitol, but this day happened to be particularly eventful with two massive movements of education advocates converging to rally around charter schools and universal pre-k.

As part of Albany Advocacy Day, the NFTY-NAR teens were right in the middle of the action. After an intensive (and fun!) day of programming over the weekend on four crucial policy issues facing New York, a conversation with NYC Councilman Brad Lander (who is himself a former NFTY North American Social Action Vice President!) and a few hours of hard work writing lobby speeches, the teens entered the Capitol ready to meet with their legislators. Check out photos from the day here (more to come!).

Speaking about the Women’s Equality Act, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, the New York DREAM Act and anti-hunger programs, the teens passionately conveyed personal stories and Jewish teachings to members of the Senate and Assembly to encourage their support of these issues. After a flurry of meetings, the group made it’s way down to the Assembly floor to be welcomed to Albany and to snap some once-in-a-lifetime pictures inside the chamber.

Feeling empowered, the teens left Albany feeling like they had changed some minds, or at least had fulfilling conversations about the very real issues facing New York.

But our teens can’t be the only voices of Jewish social justice in Albany—join Reform Jewish Voice of New York State on Monday, May 5th in Albany for our annual Advocacy Day. You will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of our exceptional young advocates and speak on issues including the Women’s Equality Act, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and more. Register today!

 

 

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Molly Benoit

About Molly Benoit

Molly Benoit is the RAC Legislative Associate and was a 2011-2012 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. She is from Palm City, FL, and a member of Temple Beit HaYam.

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