NFTY is steeped in a rich history of social activism. We are commanded by our faith and urged by tradition to continuously seek to improve our world. The values of Tikkun Olam are some of the fundamental pillars of our organization. The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stressed the extraordinary power that a group of passionate people possess; NFTY is a group of thousands of passionate young leaders. Together, with our brimming enthusiasm and staunch resolve, we can accomplish incredible things.

Social Action Latest Updates

NFTY Takes a Stand Against House Bill 2 in North Carolina

During the weekend of April 15th-17th, 2016, NFTY Mid Atlantic Region (NFTY-MAR) and NFTY Southern Area Region (NFTY-SAR), both regions that have active teens in North Carolina, took action to urge the governor to repeal HB2. This anti-LGTBQ law does not resonate with NFTY’s mission statement or principles. Learn more about House Bill 2 and Gender Equality >

Wear Orange: National Gun Violence Awareness Day

As we approach the second annual Gun Violence Awareness Day in the United States, NFTY is again “Wearing Orange” on June 2nd. Learn more about Wear Orange and Gun Violence Prevention >

Five A's of Social Action

When embarking on a social action program, keep in mind the Five A’s of Social Action:

Awareness is the cornerstone of change. In order to ever change the world, you must know what’s going on in it. Yet awareness goes beyond just looking at the world…awareness means understanding the world. Don’t simply accept what other people tell you should be done – it is better to examine the root causes of issues and the facts surrounding them so you can draw your own conclusions. If you want answers, the best way is to question. Question everything. If I, or others, don’t make sense, call us on it. Be a rebel – but have a cause. Engage in discussion. Discussion is one of the most important parts of social action, as an examination of all sides of an issue is often the only way to reach the truth.

So you find yourself to be an expert on a particular social action issue, now what? Assessment is twofold: first look within your communities and find aspects of the issue that apply to them directly. When teens focus on fixing problems in their communities - whether through their TYGs, their schools, or other groups – they have the greatest potential to generate real and positive change. It is also important to assess any project after its inception to learn what changes need to be made for improvement.

It just isn’t social action without the “action.” Action is what you do with your newfound awareness of an issue, and it can take any number of forms. The action component of any social action project or program should ensure some immediate change or impact. Often we think of action solely as hands-on charity work. While this is a vital component of it, action can also include doing things that create changes within NFTY and the lives and attitudes of NFTYites as well.

Once you’ve mastered the previous A’s, alliance is a way to take any social action project to the next level by sharing your commitment to social justice with like-minded people. Partnerships between youth groups, organizations, and clubs may be difficult logistically, but the reward is an exponential increase in the power to change the world!

Advocacy is not so much the follow-through, but a vital component of social action. While direct action can address topical symptoms of an issue, advocacy is that which is designed to ensure lasting change and better target a problem’s root causes. Advocacy includes lobbying the government, changing TYG/ Temple policy on an issue, or writing letters to companies and newspapers.