Two young women wearing prayer shawls stand at a bimah and lead a crowd of teens in worship

While I was busy becoming a Jewish leader, another transformation was happening just below the surface: I was becoming the Jew I’m meant to be.

Kathryn Fleisher
The new NFTY North American Board
Photo: Phil Angel

Six outstanding teen leaders have been elected to serve on the North American Board of NFTY, the Reform Jewish youth movement, for the 2017-2018 program year. Reform Judaism is the largest and most diverse movement in Jewish life, reaching nearly 900 congregations and more than 1.5 million people.

Male and female graduating NFTY seniors with their arms around one another while wearing college tee shirts

As Jewish communal leaders, we can help guide these young people toward fun and meaningful Jewish experiences, no matter where their paths take them.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Evan Traylor
NFTY students riding in a donkey caravan seen from behind

Last week, as the calendar filled with important occasions for Israel, I thought about the role the country plays in shaping Jewish identity for our movement’s young people. For decades, the URJ has been sending teens to Israel for life-changing experiences. This summer, Sci-Tech Israel, a new specialty trip, will join our family of teen and young adult Israel programs, which includes NFTY in IsraelURJ Heller High, and URJ Kesher, the only Birthright trip associated with Reform Judaism.

Miriam Chilton
Passover seder setup with a small chalkboard that reads Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof

During Passover, the annual season of celebrating our redemption from slavery and oppression, we are confronted with the juxtaposition of our own freedom and the recognition of those who are still facing injustice in our modern world.

Rabbi Elizabeth Zeller and Alexa Broida
Large group of happy NFTY teens posing in front of the stage where a band is playing

At NFTY Convention, I spent time with the leaders of our movement, who, like all of us, feel motivated to bring our teens closer to the age-old wisdom of Torah. After spending a few days with our teens, I, too, am motivated to lead and learn with them.

Rabbi Benjamin David
Group of smiling young adults on an overlook in Israel with the Jerusalem skyline behind them

Too often, returnees from Birthright Israel trips are bombarded with questions (and many times answers) about the impact of the trip on their lives. Here's what to ask instead.

Evan Traylor
Group of smiling teens together at Shabbat dinner

As a newcomer to the URJ Youth Summit at NFTY Convention, I let the experience wash right over me, taking in inspiration, sparks, and ideas as they came

Ben Pagliaro
Smiling NFTY members and alumni of all ages pose together in front of a logo banner

The NFTY Alumni Network is growing and we want you to be part of it. Here’s where you can start.

Evan Traylor
Smiling teen girl holding a Torah in a crowd of teens

Pulsing music. Cheering crowds. A roar of enthusiasm as fans rushed the stage. 

Shelley Niceley Groff