By Miriam T. Chilton, Vice President, URJ Youth
We just wrapped up an incredible NFTY Convention in Dallas with 1,000 teen leaders, college students, Jewish educators, alumni, and other dedicated supporters.
NFTY Convention is known to shape the future of the Reform Movement, and it did just that. From introducing new Jewish music to mobilizing thousands for gun violence prevention; immersing in innovative learning and building practical skills for youth engagement – every minute was filled with glimpses of the bright Jewish future these young leaders will build.
During the closing plenary, I shared these words:
“NFTY, you summon the best of one another. And seeing your energy and excitement inspires me…You’ve shown us what happens when teens show up. You are part of a global movement, one that you shape every day with your vision, values, and voices. And when you lead, the Reform Movement follows.”
And now, it is time for our Movement to show up, too. Here’s a look at what our teens and youth professionals experienced, and how you can be part of shaping what comes next.
- They put the movement in our Movement. They danced, wrote to their elected representatives, and engaged in tough issues. They wrestled with enduring dilemmas and civil discourse; combatting fake news and pursuing real change. Watch the highlights >
- Teens and adults experienced NFTY Convention together. Attendees of all ages had unparalleled opportunities to meet, dine, network, and learn together. Youth Summit adults also took advantage of this ideal setting to deepen skills around creating authentic teen-adult partnerships. Together, we engaged in the conversations that will shape the next generation of youth leadership in the Reform Movement. Read how one NFTY regional director cultivates teen-adult partnerships in their region >
- They discovered new ways to leave their mark. We heard inspiring stories of how teens are already shaping their own congregations, communities, and schools – and what they plan to do next. Adult attendees honed skills around supporting, nurturing, and educating teens. As Zoe Terner, NFTY Social Action Vice President said, “NFTY, this is your work. And we aren’t done yet.” Join them in taking action >
NFTY Convention is a place that actively encourages our youth to see themselves as leaders of our Movement. But it is not the only place. This work happens in your congregation and at URJ camps; on Israel buses and around the Shabbat dinner table. And it continues this summer, too. Invite your teens to deepen what started at NFTY Convention by joining a URJ teen summer program. Nominate them and we’ll be in touch >
Together as a movement, we will ensure that each young person – and all their adult partners – can maximize their potential and create a more whole, just, and compassionate world.