By Aly Silverberg, NFTY Communications Vice President, and Taylor Gleeson, NFTY Social Action Vice President
On February 12th-15th, teen leaders from across the the continent will gather at URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin for NFTY’s biennial business meeting, Veida. Happening in the years between NFTY Conventions, these four days provide a unique opportunity for leaders of our movement to gather for learning, collaboration, and to discuss NFTY as it applies to their regions and as well the movement on a North American level.
Instead of the Veida participants being solely NFTY regional board members, this is the first year where regions have been encouraged to bring a group of teens as part of a regional delegation as well to represent their region on the North American level, form connections with leaders from other regions, and learn about what is happening outside their region in order to bring it back home in the most impactful way possible.
For four days, NFTY leaders will pray together, discuss key issues vital to our movement including gun violence prevention, engagement, and leadership. We will also vote on legislation and elect our 2016-2017 North American Board. NFTY is proud to have 22 outstanding candidates running for the 6 North American Board positions and during the weekend the regional delegations of NFTY will have the opportunity to hear the platforms of these incredible individuals and cast their votes.
We can’t wait to create history at the URJ’s very own OSRUI with our sacred community, our Kehillah Kedoshah, where so many historic moments of our movement have happened in the past. We are engaging in a tradition that has extended back many decades. In the seventies, the general board of NFTY engaged in decisions about the Nestle Boycott. In the eighties, our movement took action around the Olympic Boycott, Ethiopian Jewry, and the Mazon program. In the nineties, it was LGBT rights, and so on. At this 2016 meeting we are proud to continue the work started by generations before us: l’dor vador – from generation to generation.