Aaron Wiener, youth director at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, brought together 10 congregations and youth groups from California for an in-person Temple Youth Group Leadership Training Retreat and it was a huge success.
Related Blog Posts on NFTY, Summer Youth Experiences, Journal of Youth Engagement, and Youth Engagement
This past summer, our 15 URJ camps across North America and Israel programs provided the space where more than 11,000 children, teens and young adults could breathe free. Summer 2021 was clearly a summer of healing at our camps, as children returned to immersive in-person living, learning, laughing, crying, hugging where they can share their fears and dreams in a loving and accepting environment.
When asked about summer 2021, the song “Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles” from Fiddler on the Roof comes to my mind.
As we make the joyous return to camp this summer, many of us are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, as well as attending camp for the very first time!
A San Quentin inmate with a swastika tattooed on his hand greeted us as we stepped off the bus. The year was 1975, and we were a group of 30 counselors in training from Camp Swig (now Camp Newman).
Through the DREAM ISRAEL program, students can access various levels of grant funding toward their semester at URJ Heller High while learning about the act of tzedakah by fundraising for approved philanthropic causes in Israel.
On March 7, the NFTY General Board met to participate in our annual mid-term Asefah to elect our next NFTY North American Board and celebrate all of our successes in a year full of unprecedented challenges.
Camp staff are our heroes, creating the space where campers make memories, meet friends, and become the best versions of themselves. They mentor, care for, and inspire the community, and help us realize our vision for a more whole, just, and compassionate world.
The weekend was extraordinary. Teens shared that it was the best virtual experience they had this year - that it felt as close as it could get to an in-person experience. Many said that they felt a new connection to NFTY.
Though the terrain may be uncertain, we are guided by our deep commitments to justice, learning, and action. As we walk hand-in-hand into 2021, let us make this year one filled with purpose, joy, nourishment, and a renewed sense of hope.