By William Saltzburg, NFTY Membership Vice President
Any NFTYite can tell you there is nothing more exciting than reuniting with your friends. There is something special about the jittery feeling in the pit of your stomach as you leave your regular routine of school to escape for 48 hours with your closest friends. So this begs the question: what could be more exciting than seeing your friends from around your region? Connecting with people from two regions!
During the weekend of October 20th, the NFTY Missouri Valley and NFTY Ohio Valley regions had an event together at URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Indiana. Personally, I was very fascinated by the integration of two regional communities into one. It was especially moving to watch teens from across the midwest as they became united via melodies at services, song session, and friendship circle. Matt Wagner, the NFTY Ohio Valley Regional President, felt similarly as he points that, “It was really cool to see the two communities combine. We all come from very different places but over the weekend we really grew into one.”
At many other times during the weekend, the participants had the opportunity to interact with their peers from opposite regions through social programming. Daniel Pomerantz, the NFTY Missouri Valley Regional President, makes an interesting point when he says, “An outsider looking in wouldn’t be able to tell who was in OV and who was in MV”. This couldn’t be more true; as an outsider, I could not tell who was from which region.
Reuniting with friends can be the best feeling in the world, but imagine if you were able to do that all while meeting a whole new group of people. This happened at this event; friendships were sparked and rekindled simultaneously. The ability to have those two events occurring in tandem is the true power of multi-regional events.