NFTY Teens Are Leading the Way on Gun Violence Prevention

Inside Leadership

NFTY Teens Are Leading the Way on Gun Violence Prevention

Three teen girls holding signs that says JEWS DEMAND ACTION in front of the US Capitol building

"I’ve been saying for a long time now that I want to change the world. I didn’t know it then, but this is what I meant. Today is the day that every NFTY event I’ve ever been to has been preparing me for." -Zoe Terner, Vice President-Elect of NFTY Social Action

Since the unspeakable – but, sadly, not remotely unimaginable – horror of the shooting in Parkland, FL, students across the country are standing up, using our voice and our power to say we will no longer accept the current level of gun violence in America. We are mobilizing in a wide variety of ways, both locally and nationally, for sensible gun laws.

This is a moment unlike any in recent memory – and all over the U.S., Reform Jewish teens are leading the way.

We take pride in this remarkable leadership, but pride is not enough. We need teens, young adults and the entire Movement to join NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement, and participate in powerful initiatives on the local, state and national level.

How are you taking action? How can you get involved?

Go to NFTY.org/GVP and share what you are doing and how we can support your efforts.

Here's what we are planning.

March for Our Lives:

We are helping organize in support of the “March for Our Lives” events being planned for Washington, D.C., and across the country on March 24.

  • Friday, March 23: Kabbalat Shabbat Service and special concert at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Tell us your plans and get on the list for more information.
  • Saturday, March 24: Pre-rally gathering before the national march, which will be live-streamed. Let us know you are interested so we can update you when the details are confirmed.
  • Supporting Reform Jewish college students who are mobilizing on campus. Get connected to Reform Movement activism resources.

Education and Advocacy:

  • Developing and disseminating resources to help launch voter registration drives, participate in school walk-outs across the country, organize and host town hall gatherings with local politicians, and leverage press and social media opportunities.
  • Following the lead of Reform congregations in calling for teens to speak from the bimah to offer divrei Torah or other remarks at a Shabbat service, board meeting, or other congregational gathering through March 24th.
  • Training for teens and young adults to mobilize to help end the scourge of gun violence.
  • Providing up-to-the-minute bulletins and “action alerts” on legislative activity on the local, state, and federal levels developed by the Religious Action Center.

3 Things You Can Do Right Now:

  1. Join a training session for adults about empowering teens to take action.
  2. March with us – in Washington, D.C. and around the United States.
  3. Spread the word in your networks that Reform Jewish teens are mobilizing against gun violence and share the resources.

Learn more about how NFTY is mobilizing for gun violence prevention, then sign up at NFTY Fights for Gun Violence Prevention to participate in these efforts. You can also visit www.rac.org/gvp for tangible ways to take action to prevent gun violence.

Like so many teens, we at NFTY are inspired by our peers mobilizing in their own communities. With your support, we will not let the deaths of our friends in Parkland be in vain.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Zachary Herrmann from Congregation Kol Ami in Vancouver, Washington, is the 2017-18 president of NFTY: The Reform Jewish Youth Movement. Zach was previously president of NFTY's Northwest Region (NW) and is an active member of his local Jewish community. He has a passion for change, working as both a leader and team player. He gives much of the credit for his determination and drive to his years at the URJ Camp Kalsman, URJ Kutz Camp, and NFTY-NW. Zach is committed to everything he does, always striving to perform to the best of his abilities, and is ready to proudly represent the voice of Reform Jewish teens across America.

Zachary Herrmann
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