April 18, 2013, New York -- The North American Federation of Temple Youth has elected new North American Board members for the 2013-2014 term, who will be formally installed on June 22, 2013, during Mechina, a five-day leadership training event and general board meeting at URJ Kutz Camp.
Newly elected board members must be incoming college freshmen and are expected to be excellent role models. As peer advocates, they represent NFTY and its values at regional and North American events. Board members must help plan and facilitate a five-day long workshop to teach and prepare regional board members how to be effective leaders in their own communities. Following this workshop, the North American Board Members become full-time staff at the Kutz Campus, where they will teach high-school-aged campers from across the continent.
NFTY North American Board Members will also partner with staff and lay leaders working on the Union for Reform Judaism's Campaign for Youth Engagement, a focused, strategic effort to leverage the full strength and talent of every corner of the Reform Movement to engage and retain the majority of Reform Jewish youth by the year 2020.
The newly installed North American NFTY Board includes:
Andrew Keene, President-Elect, current president of NFTYs Northern Region (NO) and a member of Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee, WI. Morgan Weidner, Programming Vice President-Elect, current Programming Vice President of NFTYs Northwest Region (NW) and a member of Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Bellevue, WA. Gordon Kaye, Social Action Vice President-Elect, current Regional Social Action Vice President of NFTYs Ohio Valley Region (OV) and a member of The Temple Ohabai Shalom in Nashville, TN. Micah Friedman, Religious & Cultural Vice President-Elect, current Religious and Cultural Vice President of NFTYs Southern Tropical Region (STR) and a member of Congregation Beth Am in Tampa, FL. Aaron Heft, Membership & Communications Vice President-Elect, current Communication Vice President of NFTYs Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and a member of Temple Sinai in Newport News, VA.
We are thrilled each year to elect five individuals who have a fresh, exciting vision for the future of our Movement, said NFTY Director of Education and Special Projects Beth Avner Rodin, The new NFTY Board will represent more than 7,000 of their peers as we move forward in the Campaign for Youth Engagement and ensure that young adults are an authentic part of our Jewish communal dialogue.
One of NFTY's 13 principles is shutafut (partnership.) With the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the forefront of the Reform Movement's priorities, partnerships between teen and adult leaders are now more important than ever, incoming NFTY President Andrew Keene. I look forward to furthering NFTY's partnerships among the teen leaders from our 19 regions, and with URJ leadership to create an even more engaging, holy, and unique community.
About North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) The North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) provides teens with a Reform Jewish community and inspires learning through leadership, development and mentorship. NFTY unites, supports and sustains more than 500 temple youth groups. Beyond the activities of local youth groups, NFTY sponsors more than 150 regional and North American events, camp, service learning and Israel travel experiences. NFTY is an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and a snif (branch) of Netzer Olami, the worldwide progressive Jewish youth movement.
About the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is a dynamic network of congregations, institutions, lay leaders, clergy and professionals across North America that impacts the lives of millions of individuals every day. Our progressive, inclusive approach unites thousands of years of Jewish tradition and values with modern Jewish experience to strengthen Judaism today and for future generations. Through programs, information and networking opportunities provided by the URJ, our nearly 900 member congregations enhance their capacity to build and expand community, deepen Jewish learning, energize worship, pursue social justice and develop inspired leadership.