By Shelley Schweitzer
Director of Congregational Support
The story was riveting. The silence was inspiring. You could hear a pin drop in a room filled with hundreds of teenagers who just minutes before were singing and cheering and loudly communicating their love of NFTY and each other.
Jacy Good and her fiancée Steve Johnson told the tragic story of the car crash that killed her parents and left her with permanent injuries. Their message was clear — don’t drive and talk on the phone. Don’t drive and text. Do your part to stop the global epidemic of distracted driving.
The presentation was powerful. The teens’ response to it was even more so. In nearly 30 years of youth work, I do not recall a time when I was in a room with 700 teenagers who sat so silently, so attentively, so respectfully, so actively listening to a pair of strangers who stood before them. I know they were paying attention. They laughed when appropriate. They cried as they felt their pain.
As I felt tears escape down my own cheeks, I cannot separate those which I shed for Jacy and Steve from the tears of pride that I felt as a Reform Jewish youth worker.