By Isaac Strauss, NFTY-PAR President
This past weekend was my first NFTY-PAR event (A.K.A. Hag/Mac) as a member of the NFTY-PAR Regional Board. Throughout the days leading to this event, I found myself growing nervous and anxious about how the event would turn out. I thought to myself “what if things don’t go well? What if the new members have a really bad time and never come to a NFTY-PAR event again?” I assumed that the success of the event was completely dependent on me and the Regional Board.
This assumption was certainly proved wrong at Hag/Mac! While the Regional Board did a fantastic job and impacted many new members and the outcome of the event, the participants were just as important in creating a successful event. I did not realize this until I had the perspective of running a regional event as a Board member.
At the New Members Meeting, I saw the former underclassmen of NFTY-PAR transition into higher leadership roles in the region. I saw the new NFTY Sophomores welcome the NFTY Freshman with open arms and a wide smile. I saw the positivity and creativity that the participants had during programs and services. I saw the 10th and 11th graders utilize their leadership skills to benefit the region. Knowing that NFTY-PAR is the reason that these rising leaders showed such growth at Hag/Mac gave me hope, confidence, and optimism that this event would be a success. This display of leadership by all of these wonderful PARites further proved how NFTY-PAR benefits its participants. I am so excited for the incoming freshmen to absorb all that NFTY-PAR teaches them their first year and hopefully begin to expand their own leadership roles in the coming years.
This region thrives on active, inspiring, and committed leaders. Not just on a Regional Board level, but on a participant level as well. Turns out, all of that anxiety that I had pre-Hag/Mac was somewhat unnecessary because I should have known that with thriving, leading and hard-working participants along with a committed Regional Board, Hag/Mac was destined to be the wonderful weekend it was.