Be Part of the Conversation

Stay tuned in early June for details on Think Tank conversations, which will be posted here and emailed to anyone who joins on of the Informational Webinars.

NFTY belongs to all of us. It is collectively created and maintained by synagogue leaders, URJ staff, teens and alumni. In this moment of change, we need your partnership to help NFTY evolve so that it can continue to serve you and your community in profound and impactful ways.

Under the leadership of our Core Team, the co-creation process will have three stages:

  1. Informational Webinars
    We are starting off the process this month with webinars where we will discuss the change in the NFTY infrastructure, what programming is in place, and next steps.
  2. Think Tank Conversations
    Beginning in June, and running through August, we invite you to create with us. We will hold small group conversations where we will brainstorm, share ideas, and explore approaches to programming and organization. By the end of the summer, we will have a roadmap for structures, programs, and models to pilot in September 2020.
  3. Piloting New Ideas
    In September, we will begin piloting the new approaches and programs that come out of the Think Tank Conversations happening this summer. New pieces will be rolled out throughout the 2020-2021 programming year. There will be opportunities to gather during this phase to share learnings and reflections.

Caring for Ourselves

In this moment of change, we turn to each other and our Jewish tradition. We know that our unity is our strength, and our collective resilience will help us through this difficult time. Here are some resources to help you and those you care about as we face new challenges:

  • Talking about Loss - A resource for parents from NFTY Director of Engagement, Lynne Butner
  • Collective Compassion - A communal site with programs and resources to support teens and their parents in today's world

NFTY Information Webinar

Informational Webinars

Our upcoming informational webinars will walk you through the changes in NFTY's staffing structure and their impact on your NFTY experiences. Each webinar will be tailored to a specific audience so that you're getting the information that matters most to you. No matter which webinar you're on, you'll get an introduction to the co-creation process that will shape the future of NFTY.


If you're not able to make these times, sign up to be notified of future opportunities >

In order to ensure that there's room for everyone who wants to join a call, we ask that you register for one webinar per household.


The best way to understand the changes in NFTY is to join us on a webinar where you can hear the details, and have an opportunity to ask questions.  These FAQ’s are provided to give you some general information.

Yes. The NFTY regions aren’t going anywhere and continue to be the way NFTY is organized.   In our co-creation process this summer we will explore how we want the regions to function going forward.
Yes! NFTY Regional Boards will continue to lead their regions and partner with their local camp staff, their synagogues, their local teens and their new NFTY Area Managers.
NFTY will have four Area Managers who are spread across North America and will work closely with the NFTY regions. In addition, the NFTY Director of Engagement, Lynne Butner, will stay in her position and work with the NFTY North American board and oversee programming for North American programs (such as NFTY Convention and Mechina). Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Director of Learning and Innovation, will supervise NFTY in partnership with Ruben Arquilevich, VP of Camps, NFTY, and Immersives. NFTY Area Managers will also work closely with our camp staff as it continues to function hand in hand with our larger youth programming.
COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact on the URJ, and unfortunately, we have had to significantly reduce expenses across the board. Sadly, this affects our cherished NFTY as well.

Do you have questions you would like answered?  Please share them here so we can add them to the FAQ’s.


The NFTY Core Team is leading the co-creation process that will bring NFTY into the future:

Michelle Shapiro Abraham
RJE - URJ Director of Learning & Innovation, Youth

Lynne Butner
Director of NFTY Engagement

Emily Messinger, RJE, Rabbi Andrew Terkel, Naomi Looper, Jackie Kleinstein
NFTY Area Managers

Maya Levy
2019-2020 NFTY President

The 2019-2020 NFTY North American Board

Fletcher Block
2020-2021 NFTY President

The 2020-2021 NFTY North American Board

Shelley Nicely Groff
URJ Board Member, Youth

Cantor Rebecca Robins
Temple Sinai Washington, DC

Sean Blum
URJ Board Member

Lulu Belferder
Director of Youth Engagement, Temple Sinai of Roslyn (Roslyn, NY)

Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Rabbi, Congregation Or Ami (Calabasas, CA)

Rabbi Todd Markley
Rabbi, Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA)

Forrest Yesnes
Director of Youth Education & Program, Shir Tikvah (Minneapolis, MN)
2011-2012 NFTY President

Dr. Kathy Schwartz, RJE
President, The Association for Reform Jewish Educators
Educator, Congregation Har Hashem (Boulder, CO)

Evan Traylor
2012-2013 NFTY President