By: Nobie Fried, NFTY Communications Vice President 2018-19
This past weekend, NFTY SAR (Southern Area Region) welcomed me into their community with open arms. Following the Pittsburgh shooting, I was scared. I was nervous to leave my friends and my community to get on a plane and travel to Atlanta for the weekend.
The second I arrived, I knew this was the place I needed to be. Even if you didn’t know anything about NFTY or SAR, it would have been clear that this region was full of excitement, love, and support for each other. They decided to open up their Friday night services to not just the participants of their Fall Kallah, but to all of Atlanta as well. They had over 1,000 people there. It truly was the most incredible experience. Teens spoke their minds, sang their hearts out, and danced. Rabbi Berg of The Temple in Atlanta had a chance to speak to the teens and told them that their spirit and joy lit up the room in such a time of sadness.
The spirit didn’t stop there. The event was organized around the offsite programs that took place on Saturday during the day. Teens had the option to visit The Center for Civil and Human Rights, The CNN Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, The Coke Museum, The Georgia Aquarium, or The High Museum of Art. Each of these offsite programs corresponded to a set of Jewish values. It was such unique thing to take place at a NFTY event, but the teens loved it and I loved it. I spent my afternoon at the Coke Museum and was in heaven! I was able to learn the history of Coke, try so many different flavors and end the experience with a debrief on how we think the Coke Museum represents the values of optimism, beauty and humor.
They ended the weekend with a presentation on their mitzvah camp, Camp Jenny. They were able to raise $300 to donate to Camp Jenny. They taught everyone the Camp Jenny cheer, and you could feel the spirit in the room. They concluded with closing circle, lots of hugs and the NFTY Cheer.
NFTY SAR showed me and their entire community so much love, support and spirit this weekend. Thank you for having me, NFTY SAR, it was a pleasure.