Earlier this month, an unforgettable NFTY-SAR Spring Kallah took place with over 100 enthusiastic teens and adults at Camp Coleman. While every Kallah might be perceived as unforgettable, this one truly was for many reasons. It was the first Kallah in-person since Winter 2020 and to say the teens were excited to see, hug and laugh with their Jewish friends is an understatement! Their connection to each other as well as their Jewish identity was very present. “NFTY has brought me so many new relationships and people skills. After not having NFTY in person these last two years and coming back together for this event, it was incredible to see that people can just pick up exactly where they left off,” said one 10th grade participant.
The teens embraced solving scavenger hunt clues working together on Friday before meaningful Friday night services, dinner and song session. Reciting Shabbat prayers together at the Strauss Chapel Saturday morning brought real Jewish spiritual togetherness.
Shabbat closing with Havdalah is always a beautiful and special time as the way of separating Shabbat from the upcoming week. This weekend’s Havdalah might have been extra poignant and special because it not only marked the separation of Shabbat and the new week, but perhaps it also welcomed the resurgence of NFTY and its undeniable impact on our teens. They are, undoubtedly, the valued next generation of Reform Jewish leaders.
How gratifying it was to witness that NFTY is clearly alive and well. Those 80+ teens certainly exhibited their passion and commitment to everything NFTY stands for. NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement and these teens are prepared (and excited!) to inspire their communities. One 11th grader said it perfectly, “NFTY is a community like no other, as much as people say it, there is nowhere like a NFTY event. No judgement, welcoming, the friendships last forever.”
Thank goodness that the final take away from NFTY-SAR Spring Kallah 2022 is that the future of NFTY is robust, strong and NOW!