By Zoe Summit, NFTY-Northeast Regional President
It’s pretty incredible, and incredibly strange to see teens gathered, voluntarily, in a setting more formal than most adults ever participate in. How many teens do you know who choose to spend a Sunday morning following Robert’s Rules of Order rather than sleeping in? Well I’ll tell you, no one believes me when I explain what we do at regional board meetings.
On October 16, 2011 at 9:15AM, I called the first meeting of the NFTY Northeast Regional Board to order. I’ll admit I was nervous about running a meeting, but all concern fell away when everyone was instantly silent and ready to go at the bang of the gavel.
We heard amazing reports from the regional officers on the topics of Northeast news, the Torah portion of the week, NFTY summer opportunities, how to program, the importance of the liaison system, gratitude, dues (and why to pay them), spreading the magic of NFTY, and the URJ Campaign for Teen Engagement.
As an addition to a typical meeting agenda we also got to hear a report from each of the committees that were recently formed. It was great to hear from the Song Leading, Yearbook, Nefesh (our regional newsletter), Israel, Social Action, and Merchandise committees! They are all doing quite well and had interesting things to share!
We ratified the votes previously passed and our NFTY Northeast constitution is now officially up to date, more clear, and free of erroneous terms and grammatical errors! It was an exciting moment for the members of the 2010-2011 Constitutional Rewrite Committee (including, but not limited to Ethan Wise, my predecessor, who really pushed to have this important document be the best it can for our region!) Mazel tov!
Over the weekend we raised $450 primarily in change to be donated to a philanthropic cause voted on at the meeting. We had three incredibly worthy causes from which to choose, but ultimately, the money was donated to ClearWater Initiative an organization that provides simple and sustainable solutions for the provision of clean water in Northern Uganda. This organization was founded by a NFTY Northeast Alumni, Regional Board ex-officio, and US Army Captain Benjamin Sklaver. On behalf of his family and Clearwater Initiative I would like to send our sincere thanks to the region. The weekend of our event was the second anniversary of his death and NFTY Northeast really placed a positive spin on the hard weekend.
In my state of the region address I challenged NFTY Northeast to show the adults of the Union for Reform Judaism that they are putting value in the right organization. The Teen Engagement Campaign is not just words to make us feel good about ourselves. The idea that we are the present is the whole-hearted truth. So I double-dog-fire dared each and every one of you to take the campaign and run with it. Never say you’ll start taking advantage of this opportunity tomorrow- because today only happens once. And right now won’t be here by the time you finish reading this blog post.