By William Saltzburg, NFTY Membership Vice President
Earlier this month, teens from all across NFTY’s Northern region congregated at Mt. Zion Temple in St. Paul, Minnesota for Fall Kallah. Just under 100 teens from around the region were able to reconnect and learn about important social justice issues throughout the weekend.
At the beginning of the weekend, participants had the opportunity to choose between four different tracks; each track focused on a specific issue where the teens could make a tangible change. The tracks focus on topics such as criminal justice, education, intersectionality, and media.
It was only fitting that the weekend of the event coincided with Immigrant Justice Shabbat sponsored by the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC). There was an excellent arc to the weekend; teens began their shabbat experience with a service that touched upon immigrant justice and concluded with an ask that congregants and teen participants alike call into their representatives and senators in congress the following monday in support of the Clean Dream Act.
Just as teens learned about the injustices facing immigrants was followed by the action of making calls, participants had the opportunity to conceptualize change within their selected tracks. Three times throughout the weekend, the tracks met to further their knowledge of the topic. By the end of the weekend, a group of participants from each track presented, in front of the entire region, how they were going to make tangible change.
In a world that is riddled by injustices, the teens in NFTY Northern now know multiple ways to make effective change on the issues they care most about. Most importantly, they were able to conceptualize such plans for justice all while strengthening the bonds of friendship within their community. Teens in NFTY Northern truly understand how to transform ideas and learning into meaningful action.