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October 24, 2014 | 30th Tishrei 5775
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NFTY Website

NORTH AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEMPLE YOUTH LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

A new Website for Jewish teens that provides ultimate flexibility while maintaining the integrity of design and content was unveiled this week by the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), the Youth Movement of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).

The redesigned website at www.nfty.org , features a dynamic new look with improved navigation, increased interactivity and expanded content. It was built on a content management system provided by Strictly Business of West Virginia (www.sbsc.com )

One of the greatest challenges in building the new site was designing a system that would allow teens the ability to manage their own content, while ensuring that standards of decency and appropriateness were maintained. In addition, the designers needed to create a password-protected site that would control access to sensitive information.

“Our 19 regional web sites are now sites within a site,” said Scott Hertz, the webmaster of the Union’s Youth Division and the principle designer of the new site. “Events, calendars, resources and other information are now shared across regions, while each region can personalize its site to feature news of particular interest to that region.”

Rabbi Dan Freelander, vice president of the Union who is responsible for all youth activities, said the NFTY website is an important tool to connect Jewish youth in North America to their Judaism and the Reform Movement. “I don’t know that any other youth movement in North America can boast such an impressive gathering of resources, information and digital communications in one place,” said Rabbi Freelander.

Additionally, the site features a newly expanded Resource section which feature extensive resources for NFTY Regions and local Temple Youth Groups (TYGs), including TYG Programming, NFTY Study Theme and Action Theme Programming, Social Action and Israel. There is also a section dedicated to NFTY’s new affiliation as a snif (chapter) of Netzer Olami, the worldwide progressive Jewish Youth Movement.

“NFTY has always been recognized for the great resources and programmatic materials which we offer the youth programs in our Reform congregations,” said Hope Chernak, managing director of NFTY. Since 2001, the NFTY website has expanded the reach of these resources, making them available online anytime.

NFTY originally launched its website in October 2000 to offer information about the NFTY Convention and NFTY Israel Programs. Over the last five years, the site has grown into a digital resource and communications center, connecting more than 10,000 Reform Jewish teenagers in North America.

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The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC.

 
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