Blog  Getting your Congregation ready for Convention: October Check-list!

Getting your Congregation ready for Convention: October Check-list!

By Melissa Frey, NFTY Convention 2013 Director, Director of URJ Kutz Camp, Associate Director of NFTY

Dancing at NFTY Convention 2011

You’ve seen it before. A teen from your congregation returns home glowing after having spent a weekend away at a NFTY event. Overflowing with new ideas, new connections and a stronger sense of Jewish identity, the teens’ enthusiasm, energy, and excitement about their NFTY experience barely seem containable. The teen expresses an eagerness to play a larger role in your congregational community and a desire for a deepened understanding of Judaism and community with others.

The only event of its kind, NFTY Convention brings together Reform Jewish teens from all of NFTY’s nineteen regions, our URJ Camps, alumni of our Israel and Mitzvah Corps programs, and teens committed to Reform Jewish life from the United States and Canada to laugh, learn, pray and sing together. They will spend five days exploring their Jewish identities and learning how to take action in areas that are meaningful to them. They return home energized and ready to share their experiences with their Jewish networks, congregations, families, friends and other Jewish teens. Of URJ events, NFTY Convention is second in size only to the URJ Biennial!

In just less than 5 months, NFTY Convention will kick-off in Los Angeles and we hope that your teens will be part of the community we will create together. We have created many ready-to-use materials for recruitment which you will find on our website. And each month, we’ll highlight timely updates and reminders from our Congregational Guide to NFTY Convention right here on our blog.

October Check-list for Congregations

  • Set goal for number of teens from your congregation
    • With input from teen leaders, create a list of potential teens who will be interested in attending and make plans to do outreach with those teens over the weeks and months to come
  • Discuss your trip to Los Angeles for concurrent Youth Engagement Conference with your supervisor;
    • Plan to chaperone teens to Los Angeles
  • Discuss scholarship options with clergy and staff
    • Remind teens about NFTY regional and north American scholarships
    • See NFTY Make it Happen page for fundraising ideas for teens
  • Research travel costs from home city to Los Angeles (consider a group rate for your congregation or if applicable, with other congregations in the area)
    • Remind teens about travel equalization (Deadline: January 3, 2013)
    • Remind teens about scholarship from region and North American (Deadline: November 5, 2012)
  • Begin marketing in congregation

Finally, let me remind you that you are invited to join your teens in Los Angeles!

Yes! The Youth Engagement Conference (formerly Youth Workers Conference) has been re-envisioned as an opportunity to gather the most dedicated and innovative youth professionals, clergy, and lay leaders to network and learn together. Spend five days learning from experts, engaging in meaningful discussions and sharing best practices with colleagues from across North America. There will also be opportunities to connect with teens from your congregation who are participating in the concurrent NFTY Convention. Learn more at http://urj.org/yec.