Da lifnei mi atah omed – דע לפני מי אתה עומד
Know before whom you stand.
(Talmud B’rachot 28b)
We believe a community organizing model is the best way to grow our youth movement. Instead of one person starting with an idea and writing a program, a community organizing model brings people together first, and asks curious questions – What do you do outside of school? What’s bugging you about our community? When do you feel spiritual, and why? And after we all get to answer from our own points of view, we see what we have in common, and all five, or ten, or twenty of us can create something together. It’s not just planning great programs and hoping people show up or buy the merch we make – it’s designing it all together; everyone having a stake in what we create. It’s allowing our creative, collective vision to drive us in directions we have never gone before, and working to fill the room because we’re all so excited about what we built when we started with questions instead of answers.
Fnd information about Training Opportunities, House Meetings, North American Teen Networks, and Fellowships below!
Teens and adults need the same skills to grow our youth groups and communities into fun, inclusive, radical movements that set the direction of Reform Judaism and have the power to change the world. These sessions are available to anyone: high schoolers, synagogue professionals, alumni – you name it. You’ll see that some sessions are designed for just one of those groups, and others are open to everyone, with a breakout where we’ll think about how to apply them to our different communities based on our roles.
We regularly run trainings in person and online, on topics like: storytelling, building power, inclusion, how to bring people together and get them to show up, and fundraising. Our trainings are leaving the screen and heading to camp this summer. Check back in the fall to see our new learning opportunities when we’re back from camp!
NFTY is working on putting its vision and values into action, and we want to hear from you! Join us for one of our house meetings to discuss the things that are important to you, or contact us at email@example.com to connect with a Youth Organizing Team member about having a house meeting.
Jewish Youth of Color House Meeting with Kelly Whitehead
More dates coming in 2023! Join Rabbinic Intern Kelly Whitehead for an opportunity for Jewish high schoolers of color to gather together virtually, connect around their diverse lived experiences, and learn more about upcoming opportunities.
Kelly will lead this group by and for self-identified Jews of Color. Affinity spaces offer People of Color a safe space to have honest and open conversations. We also encourage you to read Affinity Groups: A Space for Strength, Belonging, and Empowerment by Anabelle Keimach.
Questions? Contact Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org
More dates coming!
Join a North American Teen Network
Register for North American networks using the following link: REGISTER >>
This network is for all of the regional presidents or people who do the job of the regional president. In this network we will talk about strategies to be a more successful president including time management, communication, and delegating among others. We will also get to know everyone better and be there to support each other when needed. Please email if you have any questions and I look forward to meeting you all.
The communications network will be used as a support system for all those both in NFTY, and outside of NFTY, who have communications positions and would like to learn more, as well as to be a part of the community, to help support one another. We will become resources for one another, so that we may be the best we can be for our regions.
Barak will be facilitating a programming network consisting of two distinct meeting formats. The first is essentially a Programming 101, a crash course on how to come up with creative, engaging programs using the NFTY Program Planning Form. The second type of meeting is open to anyone, including people who attend the programming crash course, to discuss personal experiences in terms of programs (issues, possible solutions, and most of all, coming up with more great ideas)! The Programming 101 sessions will meet only a few times throughout the year and logical checkpoints for people with growing interests, and the Program Chats will be held more frequently! If you have any questions or interest in programming or this network, please reach out!
Interested in learning about pressing social justice issues and how to plan programs around them? Join NALT member Lainey Weissman in the social action network to learn more about advocacy!
The community engagement network is aimed at joining together those working to unite Jewish youth. it’s a place to share outreach strategies, learn from each other, and connect through shared experiences.
Religion & Culture
This network is for any song leaders or teens interested in services and song-leading. It is in place to help each other create services and Jewish experiences where people can feel connected to Judaism through song and prayer.
Development and Fundraising
This network is for anyone who is interested in fundraising. This is for anyone who has a position relating to fundraising or if you are just getting started. We will talk about strategies to raise money and how to create a continued stream of money instead of one time actions. If you have any questions please contact me or Ezra Frolich and we look forward to meeting y’all.
Intensive Leadership Learning & Fellowships
Teens and adults need the same skills to grow our youth groups and communities into fun, inclusive, radical movements that set the direction of Reform Judaism and have the power to change the world. These sessions are available to anyone: high schoolers, synagogue professionals, alumni – you name it. You’ll see that some sessions are designed for just one of those groups, and others are open to everyone, with a breakout where we’ll think about how to apply them to our different communities based on our roles. Check back soon to see what’s coming up!
Teen Justice Fellowship
Have you ever wondered how social movements happen? How to get people to show up for a youth group event, rally, or protest? How to get people to listen to you? Community organizing is the answer to those questions and so many others, and we’ve built out a whole virtual Fellowship for high schoolers to learn to organize! This semester, we will explore community organizing and social justice through the lens of mental health.
Through our fellowship, high schoolers connect with other social justice leaders from across the country and learn lifelong skills applicable to any issue you are passionate about. Our fellowships value experiential learning, moving beyond theory and Zoom training into action. Each fellowship culminates in teens designing and implementing an organizing project in your home communities.
Teen Songleader Fellowship
The URJ & NFTY are excited to partner with Sing Unto God to offer this exciting teen songleader fellowship! More than perhaps anything else in the Jewish world, singing has the power to bring our community together in prayer, celebration, and action. The Sing Unto God Teen Songleader Fellowship invites young Jewish songleaders to develop their skills, deepen their knowledge of repertoire and communal singing technique, and build meaningful leadership and relationship opportunities in their congregations, camps, and communities.
Youth Engaging in Action Through STEM: A YPAR Fellowship
We are so excited to pilot a new fellowship for URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Alumni: a transformative school year experience for 11th and 12th graders that offers an inclusive and vibrant space for participants to expand on the 11th grade SciTechkun Olam program, immerse themselves in meaningful project-based learning, and engage in repairing the world through scientific research, creation, and action.
What’s YPAR? Youth Participatory Action Research is a model for youth empowerment where students and researchers co-engage with the research process to take meaningful action on issues important to the students researchers. If you are a Sci-Tech high schooler interested in the fellowship, reach out to Logan ZInman Gerber at email@example.com.
The URJ Teen Israel Organizing Fellowship is an immersive nine-month fellowship for North American high school students (ages 14-18) to learn about the society and culture of Israel and learn how to organize within their communities. Fellows will travel to Israel and attend Heller High during the Fall 2023 semester learning about Israel’s past and present, traveling around the country to meet community organizers and experience various social issues up close, and honing their leadership and community organizing skills. Upon returning home, Fellows will spearhead an organizing project in their local communities, exploring what they are passionate about in Israel and then putting their ideas into action!
Teen Israel Organizing Fellows will finish this program empowered and prepared to lead their peers on the issues they care most deeply about. They will have developed a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Israel, will be able to lead community actions, events, discussions, and more within their community, and they will have the tools they need to work for social change in Israel, at home, and elsewhere.
Teen Jews of Color Fellowship
This new fellowship is a transformative experience for 11th and 12th grade Jewish Teens of Color that offers an inclusive and vibrant space for participants to explore all their intersecting identities, cultivate leadership skills, and engage in meaningful project-based learning.