Amanda Werger is the NFTY-NEL Social Action Vice President
Since I joined NFTY over a year ago, this sentence has been said to me time and time again, but for a long time it seemed as if it was more of a dream than a reality. Changing the world is such a massive project, and I couldn’t comprehend how a two hundred teenagers would be able to do this.
Then, a few months ago, I was approached about a very peculiar amendment. I was asked to co-write the “Resolution for NFTY-NEL to Condemn the Meat Industry by Becoming a Vegetarian Region.” The idea behind this resolution was to protest the animal abuse and environmental impact caused by the meat industry by no longer serving meat at NFTY-NEL regional events. The concept that NEL could do something like this shocked me, for I had no idea that NEL could have such an impact on the world through just one simple resolution.
When this resolution was brought up at the Asefah at Derech Atid, I was well aware that there would be a lot of controversy. Such a radical change is hard to accept, and the region was questioning if this is the best way to protest the meat industry. When Riane Federman, the TEMTY President and I went to read this resolution to the region, there was a silence in the room that I have never heard before. The questions we were asked were thoughtful and difficult. The debate was intense and demanding. Yet, through all of this, I have never felt more proud to be a NFTYite than in that moment. To see how our region is willing to stand up for what we believe is right is such a powerful thing, even powerful enough to change the world.
The fact that this resolution didn’t pass is irrelevant. Our region may not become vegetarian, but the impact that this resolution has had on our region is unimaginable. This resolution opened the eyes of NELers to a world of possibility and change that we can start in our region. Our region took a large step this past weekend, in realizing how two hundred individuals can stand together as one, and that will be the key to change in the future.
NFTY-NEL doesn’t just have the ability to change the world; NFTY-NEL will change the world.