What is NFTYx?

NFTYx is an open space for Jewish engagement, creativity, innovation, and community. Designed to support Reform Jewish teens in planning Jewish experiences for those within and beyond their social networks.

Fill in the blanks and become a NFTYx Organizer today!

The “x” signifies an unknown variable, the notion of collaboration among users, and its exponential impact. The unknown variable is YOU – teen leaders, alumni, clergy, youth professionals, parents, anyone who wants to plan a NFTYx event! You represent the x-factor. Your ideas, inspiration, creativity, passion, and leadership multiply the impact of NFTYx.  

Please note: At this time, NFTYx is set up to support virtual experiences only. Details about in-person gatherings will be shared as they are developed.

FAQs

NFTYx is an open space for Jewish engagement, creativity, innovation, and community. Designed to support Reform Jewish teens in planning Jewish experiences for those within and beyond their social networks. The “x” signifies an unknown variable, the notion of collaboration among users, and its exponential impact. The unknown variable is YOU – teen leaders, alumni, clergy, youth professionals, parents, anyone who wants to plan a NFTYx event! You represent the x-factor. Your ideas, inspiration, creativity, passion, and leadership multiply the impact of NFTYx.

Please note: At this time, NFTYx is set up to support virtual experiences and events only. Details about in-person gatherings will be shared as they are developed.

A NFTYx virtual experience is an on-going or one-time experience or event created and run by a NFTYx Organizer. NFTYx experiences can range from a Shabbat dinner to a weekend kallah, and anything in between! They can be a one-time Kahoot, an ongoing project to address racial injustices, or a knitting club.

A NFTYx virtual experience is created and run by a Jewish teen in partnership with an adult (21+). While all NFTYx experiences are set up for teens to take the lead, teen leaders may ask adult mentors to lead parts or all of an experience, depending on the topic. Both, the adult and teen leaders, must present during the virtual experience. Teens looking for an adult partner are encouraged to access the NFTYx Alumni Network (coming soon). Interested Alumni can learn more here.

NFTYx experiences should align with the values of NFTY and Reform Judaism.

At this time, NFTYx is set up to support virtual experiences only. Details about in-person gatherings will be shared as they are developed.

Below is a framework to help clarify the types of NFTYx experiences you can create. Your NFTYx experience does not have to fall into one of the categories exaclty. This available for guidance only.

Open up your imagination and start creating!

NFTYx experiences are planned by NFTYx Organizers. A NFTYx Organizer  can be a teen leader, a youth professional, clergy, parent, alumni, entire youth group, etc! It is up to you! NFTYx events should be run in partnership with teen leaders and adults (21+). All NFTYx Organizers will be asked to sign a NFTYx Brit before promoting their NFTYx experience.

We are excited to share the launch of the NFTY Alumni Network. It is a group comprised of NFTY Alumni who volunteer to support teens in creating NFTYx experiences.  Some are content experts and can help with specific programming needs, others are eager to simply mentor and support teens who are planning with the same mentoring they received as teens.Teens looking for an adult partner are encouraged to access the NFTYx Alumni Network (coming soon). Interested Alumni can learn more here.

Step 0: YOU - a teen leader - in partnership with an Adult Mentor (alumni, clergy, youth professional, parent, etc.) decide to plan a virtual experience/event! Yay for you! Teens looking for an adult partner are encouraged to access the NFTYx Alumni Network (coming soon). Interested Alumni can learn more here.

Step 1: NFTYx Organizers (Teen and Adult Mentor) complete Form A: NFTYx virtual experience planning form at least 4 weeks prior to your experience or event.

Step 2: Next steps will be shared in a Pre-Confirmation email sent by your Area Manager and regional president.

Step 3: NFTYx Organizers complete Form B: RJ on the Go Session Page Request. The link for this will be shared in your pre-confirmation email from your Area Manager. Once completed and confirmed by your Area Manager, your event will be posted on RJ on the Go. NFTY will (a) promote your NFTYx experience; (b) manage virtual registration and share the RSVP list with you 24-48 hours before your experience; and (c) create a zoom room for your experience. NFTYx Organizers are responsible for all other aspects of the experience.

Step 4: Have an amazing (virtual) experience or event!

Step 5: Celebrate your success and complete the post-experience form.

Our planning toolbox has a number of resources available to help ensure you have a terrific event. Some of these include: budget template, zoom ice-breakers, event templates, and many more!

There are many known benefits of NFTYx and still so many that we have yet to discover. We will certainly learn more as well as address areas for improvement as we continue to roll this out.

Benefits to the Reform Teen Community - Offers a strength-based approach to Jewish engagement and community building. - Expands the circle of adult mentors available to support teen leadership and growth opportunities. - Create new avenues for a diverse group of teen leaders to create and lead Jewish experiences. - Empowers teens to be event planners, connectors, and marketers of their ideas. - Presents teens with new avenues for engaged Jewish life that interest and inspire them. - Challenges teen leaders to develop universal leadership skills, deepen their connection to Judaism, and gain a sense of higher purpose as they become change agents and co-creators of Jewish experiences for themselves and others. - Taps regional board members in new and exciting ways to help bring NFTY into the future.

How does NFTY support teen organizers and adult mentors? - Host NFTYx Experiences on RJ on the Go* - Manage registration and create a zoom room for each NFTYx experience. - Promote the experience to NFTY national and regional audiences. - Host the experience on the new RJ on the Go platform. - Access vast database of alumni to help mentor teens to create high quality and meaningful experiences. - Support teen leaders in gain real-life skills that can benefit their well-being and resume.

Opportunities for synagogues and adults - Expands opportunities for Reform teens and to connect with adult mentors (alumni, clergy, parents, youth professionals, etc.) in new innovative ways. - Opens the landscape of youth engagement opportunities for youth programs, congregations, and youth professionals. Communities can create and engage in Jewish life in the ways that are most beneficial to them and their teens. - Synagogues can continue to bring NFTY into their synagogue community. - NFTY staff will offer NFTYx Leadership training to teens and adult mentors on an ongoing basis. - Increased collaboration and innovation among congregations. - Opportunity for Alumni to give back and strengthen future generations of Jewish leaders.

*RJ on the Go: An Interactive Platform for Jewish Engagement - Building on successful examples of distance learning and virtual gatherings, RJ on the Go was born – a virtual space for people to spend time in live, interactive, communal experiences anchored in Jewish values, from the comfort of home and on a schedule that works for them. Available to URJ congregations and their members as a value-add of URJ membership, RJ on the Go represents large-scale virtual programming that individual synagogues could not create or sustain on their own. What we learn from this summer’s pilot will help congregations learn how to transform the ways they engage with their communities in the future.

NFTY Regional board members are ready and waiting to help you plan, implement, and run your experience or event! All NFTY regional boards, as well as North American Board Members, have been a part of the NFTYx creation process. Their ideas and feedback were considered throughout the entire process. Regional board members are being asked to lead their region in new and exciting ways. While they can plan their NFTYx events, they will also help NFTYx Organizers plan, implement, and run their experiences! Regional presidents will be cc’d on all communications between the Area Manager and NFTYx Organizers and will take on the responsibility of sharing NFTYx leadership opportunities with their regional boards.

Regional board members will be the first to plan NFTYx experiences during the soft-roll out in August 2020.

The NFTYx Organizers (adult and teen) are responsible for all aspects of their experience or event from programming and worship to management of funds. We recommend 1-2 adults attend virtual programs with teen participants and maintain a 1:10 adult/teen ratio. NFTYx Adult Mentors will be asked to complete a pre-event staff/chaperone form and background check. We recommend that you check with your community host and follow through with any necessary safety, staffing, and insurance policies. Please feel free to reach out to your Area Manager and regional board members for help and support.
The Alumni Network is a community of NFTY Alumni who volunteer to support teens in creating NFTYx experiences.  Some are content experts and can help with specific programming needs, others are eager to simply mentor and support teens who are planning with the same mentoring they received as teens. Teens looking for an adult partner are encouraged to access the NFTYx Alumni Network (coming soon). Interested Alumni can learn more here.
NFTYx is a part of NFTY. It is not a new URJ Youth movement. NFTYx is a tool that allows for all Reform Jewish teens to planning Jewish experiences for those within and beyond their social networks.

The NFTY Team


Lynne Butner, Director of NFTY Engagement

Fletcher BlockNFTY President

Josh RosenblumNFTY Programming Vice President

Liana Friedman, NFTY Social Action Vice President

Madison RosenfieldNFTY Religious & Cultural Vice President

Cat OrangeNFTY Membership Vice President

Hannah FinkelsteinNFTY Communications Vice President

Emily MessingerArea Manager

Regional Presidents Robin FalkowNFTY-GER Avery SloanNFTY-MAR Lev MosbacherNFTY-NAR Aaron CohenNFTY-NE Anna SchwartzNFTY-PAR

Naomi LooperArea Manager

Regional Presidents Claire HershenhouseNFTY-CAR Jack Spiegel, NFTY-MV Madeline Bagdade, NFTY-NO Izzy Lashley, NFTY-NEL Morgen Grover, NFTY-OV

 

Rabbi Andrew TerkelArea Manager

Regional Presidents Annabelle Maltsbager, NFTY-SAR Ana Finger, NFTY-SO Alyson Martinez, NFTY-STR Camille Trawick, NFTY-TOR

Jackie KleinsteinArea Manager

Regional Presidents Megan WallaceNFTY-CWR Gabe LevyNFTY-NW Lexie KorkisNFTY-SOCAL Jordan FeinbergNFTY-SW