By Marissa Klass, NFTY Programming Vice President 2018-19
I was so lucky to be welcomed into the NFTY-MAR community at their recent LEAD (Leadership Exploration and Development) event! I had the privilege of meeting so many participants and learning plenty of traditions from the Mid-Atlantic Region, known for its high energy and exciting programs. Having enjoyed the event so much, I would love to share some of the highlights with all of you.
On Friday night, I was excited to take part in walking services led by NFTY-MAR’s RCVP (Religious & Cultural Vice President), Benjy Kline – it was the perfect way to transition into the weekend. We came together as members of a holy community and engaged in meaningful worship as we traveled around Camp Louise, singing songs, dancing along and listening to sweet poetry.
Later on, I was able to join the Programming Vice Presidents during network time and see MAR-PVP (Programming Vice President), Danielle Hazan, lead a group of excited teens in various activities – whether it was face masks, asking tough questions, or brainstorming ways to be successful throughout the year. Danielle’s network time inspired me to do the same awesome work with the Regional PVP network during this term, and it was one of my main takeaways from this event!
I also really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a fantastic program about difficult conversations. We put on blindfolds and spoke with several different people about controversial topics, covering issues from vegetarianism to Israel. As we debriefed the exercise, it became clear to my peers and I that under these circumstances, we felt comfortable to be open with each other and let our opinions flow without fear of criticism. This encouraged our community to engage in difficult conversations with our blindfolds off, making for great discussions. Wish you could have been there? Don’t worry, this program will be available on the NFTY website as a Verified Program!!
Finally, I simply have to mention how incredibly high energy and exciting their annual Grade Wars challenge was! As a college freshman, I was so happy to join the freshman team and proudly rep our color, black. I want to thank NFTY-MAR so much for sharing their community with me, showing me their traditions, and making a place for me in their region. Mar loves MAR!