Reflections On An Amazing NFTY Summer Experience
Jessica Goodman, NFTY President

As summer quickly changes into autumn and the leaves begin to fall (in the northeast anyway) it’s always a daunting task to reflect on the past summer spent at a camp, or in a far away land such as Europe or the Middle East, or performing mitzvot with your closest friends, or simply relaxing. The NFTY Board, comprised of President Jessica Goodman, PVP Noah Wolf-Prusan, SAVP Michelle Cravez, RCVP Elaina Marshalek, and MCVP Zach Bronstein, is no exception!

This summer your NFTY North American Board had the great honor of spending six weeks at the NFTY’s Kutz Campus, home of the NFTY Leadership Academy, with approximately 180 Reform Jewish teens from all around North America, Israel and Europe. We were blessed to teach classes and workshops alongside Reform Judaism’s leading scholars, rabbis, cantors and educators. The NFTY Board worked with your Regional Boards earlier in the summer at NFTY Mechina, a four-day Regional Board leadership training seminar, in which each of your Regional Boards had the opportunity to ratify NFTY’s constitution, learn more about NFTY’s Study and Action themes, meet each other and the NFTY Board, and have an all around great time!

As NFTY’s President I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Israel this summer and meet with all of the NFTY in Israel groups at the incredible mega-event celebrating NFTY in Israel’s 50 anniversary, ARZA’s 30 anniversary and Israel’s 60 anniversary. The celebration started at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, continued with a Dan Nichols’ concert at the base of Masada and ended with a meaningful sunrise hike up Masada.

Your NFTY Board traveled to Washington D.C. this summer, home to not only the United States President but also of NFTY Convention 2009! The NFTY Board adventured all around the D.C. area stopping at Washington Hebrew Congregation and many memorials and historic sites along the way. We rounded out our time in D.C. at NFTY Convention’s home, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, a gorgeous complex that is just waiting for NFTYites’ arrivals in February 2009!

Aside from hanging out under the willow trees at the Kutz Camp and frolicking around Washington D.C., the NFTY Board also worked this summer, fleshing out ideas for the year. Some exciting initiatives to look forward to include a NFTY Cookbook, a NFTY “Minhag Blog,” new additions to the NFTY program format, a NFTY alumni database, a Temple Youth Group Board database and so much more!

On behalf of the NFTY Board, we wish you all incredible NFTY experiences this year and we can’t wait to see you at NFTY Convention 2009 in Washington, D.C.!

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