Hi, NFTY! I’m Liam Klass, NFTY-GER PVP, back for my final blog post in my series. It has been quite a year to say the least. Now that we have worked through yet another program year, it is important that we elevate the future leadership of our movement. Whether it be on the NFTY-GER (regional) level or TYG (local) level, teen leaders thrive when they receive recognition and training before they apply or step into a leadership position. For example, at the end of every year, the NFTY-GER Board and the Board Elect come together for a weekend of leadership training and development. This event, known as the New Board Old Board Weekend (NBOB), allows current regional board members to train their successors and educate them about the depths of their specific position. I find this event to be very meaningful as it symbolizes a change in leadership structure. There are other things you can do to elevate future leadership, whether you’re in a specific leadership position or just a general participant!
Extended Leadership – Although the elected Regional Board plays an integral part in creating and shaping what NFTY-GER events look like, the board does not complete these pieces alone. The regional cabinet includes a group of passionate, Jewish teen leaders that work to support the board and their responsibilities. Committees are designed to allow teens to lead in a specific area of interest. Program authors and group leaders lead through programming, a huge part of our regional events. There are many different types of ways to lead in the region without being on board; feel free to encourage teens to apply for these leadership opportunities as each of them are very impactful!
Recommend Camps and Programs for Rising Leaders – URJ Camps, Mitzvah Corps Programs, and other summer opportunities have proven to be effective in helping to develop characteristics in leadership. I grew and developed leadership qualities from my experiences at Urban Mitzvah Corps in 2018, especially when leading a text study program about food sustainability with Caroline.
Communicate – Whether it be having a conversation on the phone, via email, by zoom, or meeting in person, you can communicate your ideas to new leaders. You may have some great ideas that did not have the chance to come to fruition. If you share these ideas with your new leaders, they have a great opportunity to implement these ideas into their term of leadership.
Give Advice & Moral Support – Even if you have not served in a specific leadership position, we all know how much work and dedication is needed to put together a youth group event or program. A simple way to elevate new leaders is to remain by their side throughout the process. Be there for them when they need you most. Show that you care by reaching out to them if they need assistance or keeping them company while they work. This recognition and appreciation of a leader’s hard work can go a long way.
Train Your Successor (or any other Rising Leader) – If you have served in a leadership position that you are stepping away from in the coming year, you know it’s responsibilities best. Take the time and talk to your successor on how to effectively complete the tasks associated with their position. Show them what board meeting minutes look like and explain how duties lists work. Allow them to ask you any questions they may have and continue to give support throughout the year to ensure they can reach their desired goals. Non-board members can also thrive from leadership training; definitions of leadership vary and it can be very beneficial to have thoughtful conversations with multiple people on how to be the best leader you can be.
Leadership, though it may appear to be overwhelming, can act as one of the most rewarding practices in your entire life. A board must use their efforts and work together to achieve a successful event. The programming must be relevant and thoughtful. The social action aspects must be fully present to make the events meaningful. The religious and cultural pieces of each event are vital to maintaining an inclusive, Jewish community. Members must be there to fully immerse themselves in your hard work, and, in order to grow, you must find opportunities to recruit. Many events include auctions and merchandise to support the organization, and communications will promote for events in the future. That is how we lead, and that is how we preserve our incredible youth groups to allow the future generations of Jewish teens to have the same opportunities as us.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic, feel free to reach out to the NFTY-GER President, Caroline McKinnon, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or me, your PVP, at email@example.com.
Thank you for allowing me to join you all on this wild ride that we call Liam’s Leadership Lessons. I am glad that with these blog posts I was able to fulfill my platform promises as PVP. Good luck to you all with your future ventures into the world of leadership. I’ll be cheering you all on from the sidelines.
NFTY-GER Programming Vice President 5779-5780
Catch up on Liam’s Leadership Lessons that you missed:
Chapter 1 – Programming Perfection
Chapter 2 – Social Action 101
Chapter 3 – Creative Service Planning
Chapter 4 – Recruit Yo’ Self
Chapter 5 – Communication is Key!