Blog  Celebrating Subie Banaszynski, Our New NFTY Director

Celebrating Subie Banaszynski, Our New NFTY Director

By Isaac Nuell, Conference Planner & URJ-GreenFaith Partnership Coordinator, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Subie & IsaacOver the past 6 years, Subie Banaszynski has served the Reform movement in a variety of roles, including Youth Initiative Professional for the Midwest Council, NFTY’s Director of Regions and, most recently, Interim Director of NFTY. In each role, Subie has brought with her an unparalleled enthusiasm for, and commitment to, Reform Judaism and our youth, and in each she has worked tirelessly to strengthen programming, community and leadership development.

As Subie’s titles have changed over the years, she has committed an increasing amount of time to her responsibilities, teaching and learning from her coworkers and mentoring countless staff. But if you know Subie, you’ll agree that she isn’t the type of person who is capable of simply putting in the 110% we all expect. She is also a committed and loving wife and mother, and to me, she is a dear friend.

I have come to know Subie as one of the most thoughtful and caring friends in my adult life. We both started working for the URJ at the same time – I was a NFTY Regional Advisor; she was my boss. It’s fair to say that at 22 years old I didn’t always have the answers or know the way (even if I thought I did), but I always had an advocate and a partner in finding the best path forward. When I left NFTY and began working for the Religious Action Center (RAC), I feared losing my daily conversations – my relationship – with my greatest mentor in my professional life. That’s when I realized Subie wasn’t just my supervisor; she was my friend.

As a friend, I’ve noticed a few things about Subie that I have to share…

She has an innate ability to look into someone’s eyes and know exactly what is going on. She doesn’t hesitate to speak up when she sees that you aren’t being true to yourself, and she will drop everything on a dime to talk to anyone who needs her. She is the type of person who is not only genuine and approachable, but also tough and honest. On countless occasions I have walked away from lunch with her trying to count the number of lessons I had learned – and the amount I had learned about myself. And yet I am only one person. Her reach is immeasurable, her heart infinitely huge.

But what makes Subie most praise-worthy is her focus. She appreciates the Jewish method of entrusting our youth with our future, and she doesn’t hesitate to do just that. No matter if she is training synagogue youth workers, leading a text study or brainstorming ways to better engage NFTY in the future of our movement, she never loses track of what’s most important: our youth.

Just as Moses led the Israelites to a bright future, Subie is one of many people leading the Reform movement to a future full of promise. Under her caring and watchful eye, we will truly enable our “youth to see visions,” (Joel 3:1) and the staff of NFTY and the URJ all stand by eager to help make those visions our new reality.

Please join me in congratulating Subie Banaszynski on her appointment as Director of NFTY!