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Proposal for 2015­2016/5775­5776 NFTY Study Theme “Hineini” ­
Here I Am: NFTY Studies the Power of the Individual

Background: Within NFTY, individuals are often given great power in positions of leadership and in NFTY as a whole; however, many feel that they have not been given the chance to fully express their full potential within the organization.The 2010­2011 Study Theme “HaShevet: The Tribe” and the 2007­2008 Action Theme “Kach et HaKoach – Reclaim the Power of Humanity” placed great emphasis on the strength of large groups of people, but did not place enough prominence on the strength of individuals.

WHEREAS Genesis 22:1 states, “G­d tested Abraham, and G­d said to him, ‘Abraham,’ and he said, ‘Here I am,’” and;

WHEREAS Exodus 3:4 states, “G­d called to [Moses] from within the thorn bush, and G­d said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am!’” and;

WHEREAS the word “Hineini” is used to mark turning points in Jewish text, and; WHEREAS Mordechai Anielewicz, leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, said “The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves,” and;

WHEREAS at NFTY Convention 2013, Talia Leman, CEO of RandomKid, spoke about the “power of anyone,” and;

WHEREAS the rise of social media has blurred the concept of what someone’s identity is and how that identity is shared with others, and;

WHEREAS President Barack Obama, in his remarks at the 2011 URJ Biennial, said “In this moment, every American, of every faith, every background has the opportunity to stand up and say: Here I am. Hineini,” and;

WHEREAS one of NFTY’s thirteen principles is “Self, the understanding that we are to be a light unto the nations by fostering an environment where every individual can meet and exceed their potential as Jews and citizens of the world,” and;

WHEREAS one of NFTY’s thirteen principles is “Community, the need for community to provide an outlet for the individual needs of all Jews,” and;

WHEREAS one of NFTY’s thirteen principles is “Partnership, the need and desire to work together to foster each individual’s connection and commitment to ensuring the vibrancy of our movement,” and;

WHEREAS in 2011­2012, NFTY studied the “Power of Personal Expression,” which included the idea that each person contributes to the greater NFTY community, and;

WHEREAS many NFTY regions only have Asefot a few times each year, which limits the amount of influence held by a majority of each region’s membership, and;

WHEREAS many NFTYites would like more participation and different types of ways to invest in shaping the future of NFTY and their regions, therefore;

LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the 2015­2016 NFTY Study Theme be “Hineini ­ Here I Am: NFTY Studies the Power of the Individual”, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT NFTY regions write at least one program annually pertaining to the study theme in the coming year, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT NFTYites in each region will each feel empowered to identify their passions, find a vessel for their passions, and harness the power of the individual and the power of the community to impact their world, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT NFTY regional programs include an increased focus on introspection, intrapersonal dialogue, genuine presentation of one’s identity, and being fully present: ready to give and receive;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT NFTY Regions will create positions of leadership for members who would like to demonstrate leadership but have not had the opportunity.

Respectfully Submitted,
Fred Traylor, TOR President*
Rebecca Lubar, NO President
Noah Robiner, NO PVP

Respecfully Co­Signed,
Jonathan Mishory, CAR PVP
Becca McDonald, Mi President
Debbie Rabinovitch, NFTY President

“Hineini” ­ Here I Am: NFTY Studies the Power of the Individual Description of Study Theme

The Study Theme “Hineini ­ Here I am: NFTY Studies the Power of the Individual” welcomes NFTYites to discover their leadership potential and how they fit into the greater NFTY community. Participants will be feel able to accept additional positions of leadership within their NFTY regions and in other aspects of their life. They will also be inspired to change the world through individual action. This theme encourages each participant to feel comfortable in their abilities to be leaders, perform social action, and participate in religious services.

Touchstone Texts

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall
be 120 years.” - Genesis 6:3

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so
that you will be a blessing. - Genesis 12:2

God tested Abraham, and G-d said to him, "Abraham," and he said, "Here I am." - Genesis

Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and he said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my
son.” - Genesis 22:7

G-d called to [Moses] from within the thorn bush, and G-d said, “Moses, Moses!” And he
said, “Here I am!” - Exodus 3:4

All in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. - Numbers

And the righteous one is the foundation of the world. - Proverbs 10:25

One should see the world and himself as a scale with an equal balance of good and evil.
When he does one good deed, the scale is tipped to the good: he and the world is saved.
When he does one evil deed, the scale is tipped to the bad: he and the world is destroyed. -

The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves - Mordechai Anielewicz (leader
of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)

In this moment, every American, of every faith, every background has the opportunity to
stand up and say: Here I am. Hineini. Here I am. - President Barack Obama

“The nature of the community is but the sum-total of what there is in the individuals” -
Yitzchak Levi Satanov

“There are times when an individual feels he should do those things which only can and
should be done by the many. There is room for only one Prime Minister, but for those who
can make the desert bloom there is room for hundreds, thousands and even millions.” -

David Ben Gurion

Resource List



  • Assists young people in accomplishing their goals to help people

The Validation Project:

  • “An international organization committed to uniting teenagers worldwide to use their unique talents to make their positive mark on the world.”

  • Empowers young people to make a positive change in the world

The Boothby Institute:

  • “The Boothby Institute is dedicated to allowing individuals to discover their value and experience the ability to create a meaningful, productive, contributory and joyous life.”

“Can One Person Change the World?” - TEDx Video:

  • Doug Clerget, Executive Director of, speaks about how each
    person has talents which can be used to change the world.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Coven

  • Provides guidance to teens on how they can reach their full potential and become
    effective leaders

Mentor: The Kid and the CEO by Tom Pace

  • “A simple story of overcoming challenges and achieving significance”

A Random Book About the Power of Anyone by Talia Leman

  • Gives advice to anybody who wishes to enact change

View the 2015 Mission Statements Program

Program for NFTY Study Theme Proposal
Hineini Here I Am: NFTY Studies the Power of the Individual
Time Needed: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes

NFTY Study Theme Resources
A website devoted to teaching all-things Jewish. Great resource for Holidays, prayer, and even recipes.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
North American Federation of Temple Youth website
A project to increase awareness, tolerance and understanding of religions in America.
A great article by a high school Senior who touts the importance of Pluralism the Jewish community.
Additional Study Theme Resources
"Inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace."
Social and legal advocacy on behalf of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.
"The international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 45 countries."
A project set forth by Brandeis University to better understand what Pluralism really means.
An endorsement of Pluralism by the 55th General Assembly of the URJ, circa 1979

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