Blog  President Obama at Biennial: A NFTY View

President Obama at Biennial: A NFTY View

By Shaina Dorow, NFTY-GER

President Barack Obama at BiennialImagine yourself in a room, dressed up in business clothes, surrounded by 200 teens. Imagine that you are waiting to see the President of the United States speak. Now imagine you are surrounded by the people you love. Imagine that.

That is exactly what it was like. We listened to impassioned speeches, learned about the 50th anniversary of the Religious Action Center and were even given an impromptu Josh Nelson concert. (The chants for “Jesse’s Girl” were very strong from the NFTY crowd!) Josh sang songs that NFTY screamed aloud with him and the adults provided the harmony. It was awesome, but we were anxious.

Imagine, for a moment, one more thing. Rabbi Eric Yoffie comes on and you basically know who he’s going to introduce – President Barack Obama! Crazy. The moment Rabbi Yoffie announced the President, the crowd went wild! The President cracked jokes, spoke about his daughter attending B’nei Mitzvahs, the Jewish ideals of Tikkun Olam and how Israel is vital to the strength of the U.S. We listened to his words about humanism and strength. He even gave NFTY two shout-outs!

Imagine.

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By Lev Freedman, NFTY-GER

As we sat, in total suspense, waiting for the President to cross the stage to his podium, I believe everyone in NFTY felt the same thing. The extreme sense of excitement that we all shared brought me and the people around me closer together. While thousands of Jews sang at the top of their lungs to Josh Nelson, a feeling of uniqueness washed over me. At that moment, and again during Obama’s speech, I was so proud to be Jewish. To be one of the 20% of kids that continue with organized Judaism after their Bar/Bat Mitzvah well into their teens. To be in love with something bigger than myself.