By Adam Frank, NFTY-GER President
NFTY-GER is a community that cares. We care about honoring our past, building for our future, and having meaningful experiences here in the present. I often like to joke that if something happens twice in NFTY-GER, it becomes a tradition—a seemingly vital part of what we do that it would be unthinkable to change. In reality, though, that is not the case. NFTY-GER is always changing, evolving, and growing. We keep one foot in the past as the other steps toward the future.
Looking back on my three years in NFTY-GER, the growth is abundantly clear. It didn’t happen all at once and I didn’t always think about it, but it was there. In recent years we’ve transitioned from New Member Kallah to Fall Kallah, from LTI to Kickoff, and from having a loose group of Chairs to a more connected Cabinet. We’ve grown in so many other ways, too, including improving the ways we recruit, plan events, and communicate with each other. As the lives, interests, and needs of our members have evolved, so have we.
This year, we are excited to continue this tradition of innovation. We’re taking what we have and expanding it in new, fun, and engaging ways. We’ve gathered input from participants, advisors, and alumni and used it to grow our programming in a way that we hope will give the best possible experience to the most people. The cornerstones of our year that we’ve all come to love are still there, as well as some exciting and refreshing new opportunities. Together, our programming this year will be an important step towards growing NFTY-GER and ensuring it has a successful future.
With this in mind, the Regional Board, Melo, and I are excited to announce NFTY-GER’s 2017-2018 calendar of events:
September 10th, Temple Beth Sholom, New City, NY
Start the school year off right with your NFTY-GER community! Returning members can reconnect with friends after the summer and new members can get a taste for what NFTY-GER is like. We’ll have games, food, t’filah, social action, and more! Kickoff regular registration is open now and closes August 16th!
October 20th-22nd, URJ Kutz Camp, Warwick, NY
Join NFTY-GER for a weekend away at Kutz Camp! In addition to our normal programming, we’ll also have leadership training. TYG leaders, Cabinet members, and everyone else will be able to gain skills and prepare for the year ahead as we discuss what it means to be a leader in NFTY, in our local communities, and throughout our lives. TYG board members are encouraged to attend this event and will have the opportunity to connect with their networks and Regional Board counterparts.
Taste of NFTY
December 1st-3rd, URJ Camp Harlam, Kunkletown, PA
This year, we’re excited to be partnering with NFTY-PAR to hold a Taste of NFTY event at Camp Harlam that’s open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders! Join us to see what NFTY is all about while having a fun weekend away at camp making new friends! 8th graders will also have the opportunity to join high school-aged GERites at our Spring Kallah in April.
December 26th-29th, URJ Camp Harlam, Kunkletown, PA
Winter Kallah is our longest event of the year and has a special focus on social action. Spend four days away with your NFTY-GER community having meaningful experiences and taking concrete action. At nights, we’ll unwind and socialize through our talent show, Urban Mitzvah Corps auction, and a surprise Big Fun. Winter Kallah will have plenty of time for you to see old friends and make new ones!
January 28th, Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, NJ
Come together to decide the future of our region! Hear what candidates have to say, talk with your peers about what your priorities for the region are, and help select the next NFTY-GER Regional Board! Spend a day with friends shaping the direction that NFTY-GER is heading. Having Elections in late January means that next year’s board will be even more prepared to give NFTY-GER the strongest year possible.
March 17th, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ
Join us for our first ever Maccabiah! Whether you’re interested in art, music, sports, or anything else, there will be activities at Maccabiah for you! We’ll experience all the best parts of our longer events in a timeframe that fits easily into participants’ schedules. Engage in a friendly color war competition between the subregions in an event that will be fun for new and returning members alike! Maccabiah will begin in the morning and run through Havdallah.
April 27th-29th, URJ Kutz Camp, Warwick, NY
Be a part of our largest event of the year! Spring Kallah is open to all 8th-12th graders! Throughout the weekend, we’ll celebrate our community as we welcome our 8th graders into high-school level NFTY and begin saying goodbye to our seniors. No matter how many events you’ve been to, Spring Kallah is sure to be a meaningful part of your NFTY journey!
June 2nd, Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro, NJ
End the year in style at our newly reenvisioned Gala! NFTY-GER participants past and present will be there for a fun evening of awards and music as we all transition into our new roles for the upcoming year. We’ll install the new Regional Board as well as the new Cabinet and our seniors will be welcomed into the NFTY Alumni Network! Gala is also open to all alumni!
Be on the lookout for other opportunities as well. Follow NFTY-GER on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for announcements of subregional pop-up events, NFTY678 events, and other ways to get involved. You can also continue checking our updated leadership opportunities page for applications for Cabinet, group leading, being a Big, and more. The Cabinet application is live now and closes August 15th. I encourage you to consider becoming a part of our leadership team and help make NFTY-GER events happen.
Whether you’ve been a part of NFTY-GER for years or you’re considering joining us for the first time, I’m confident you’ll find something this year that excites you. I know I will. This amazing community gives its members the ability to become empowered, to get connected, and to find things that make them passionate. Each new year in NFTY-GER brings with it so many opportunities. Each of us gets to gain new experiences, new friends, and a new understanding of ourselves. I’m thrilled to be starting that process again.
See you September 10th!