Shaina Dorow and Haley Peckman share each of their individual experiences at NFTY-GER’s recent New Member Kallah.
By Shaina Dorow
Imagine standing in the Beit Am at the Kutz Camp and feeling an overall aura of love. Imagine a room filled with 200 teenagers, half of which are new. Imagine milling around and seeing smiling faces from new and old members. Imagine running to the front of the room and trying to quiet them down.
It’s hard to do, yes, but to see connections being made in front of your eyes is a huge reward. There are groups of people standing in circles, giving hugs, holding hands, and smiling. There are huddles of people just laughing at joke that was just told. There are loads of people all in one place, and they are all excited to see and experience the upcoming weekend.
NFTY-GER’s New Member Kallah was a hit on many levels. Our programming was great, our community felt real, and our participants fell in love all over again –or, for first time members, fell in love for the first time. There was a lot happening that weekend, but just being able to step back and watch is something I cherish and adore. Everything I saw I enjoyed, everything I heard I loved, there wasn’t a time when I didn’t feel like there was a community thriving.
By Haley Peckman
In my precalculus class, we are learning about co-terminal angles. And for those of you out there that think I could have just switched to the Wingdings font on my computer, I will explain, just stick with me. Co-terminal angles are angles in a circle that look the same without arrows drawn, showing that they are in fact, different. As I was on the bus ride home from New Member Kallah, I was thinking about this math concept as a metaphor (of course). The curious thing about co-terminal angles is that an angle that is 390° looks the same as one that has just begun its journey around the circle at 30°. During my weekend at Kutz, I had this funny feeling of coming full circle, 360°.
After a full day of learning about self growth, group leading programs, and living Jewishly, I would head back to my cabin to spend time with the newest addition to my NFTY family: a group of freshman girls. We laughed until at least 3 in the morning both nights of New Member, and as I sat snuggled with my young friends, I realized that they were my co-terminals. And as I rotated comfortably around the Havdallah spiral, feeling many memories of my many Havdallahs at Urban Mitzvah Corps and four years of NFTY events, my coterminal angle rotated beside me for her first time. This feeling that had been out of reach before culminated and sparked a brilliant flame within me then. I squeezed her hand to let her know we are the same angle. I see myself in her, and I see her in me; but take a closer look and our arrows are pointing in different directions. The thought that I will be off at college next year while GER continues to rotate is saddening, but during my time in NFTY I have come to learn that the way our arrows point is much less significant when compared to the passion for life that make up our angle measures.
The wonderful thing about circles is that they have no end. This also goes for the friendships formed at NFTY-GER, and it is my hope that NFTY-GER. After all, happiness runs in a circular motion.