NFTY-SW 78 Social Action Weekend was a huge success!
Don’t take our word for it – here are some of our favorite comments from the Sunday morning survey:
- “I made a lot of new friends and I will definitely go to future events.”
- “Everyone is so nice and accepting and it is so much fun to meet new people at NFTY.”
- “I liked how close the community became. “
- “I learned new things about my new and old friends as well as different volunteer and leadership opportunities. “
- I learned that “That Reform Judaism isn’t as boring as I thought.”
- “I could name so many [things I learned at this event], but if I had to pick one, it would probably be how easy it is to get involved in my community, and, once you help your community, how good it feels to know that you made a difference in so many lives. “
So, what actually happened during the weekend? Here’s a summary!
As participants arrived, they were greeted by our amazing high school teen leaders and played games to start to get to know people.
After dinner, the weekend officially began with a very musical Kabbalat Shabbat service. We were so impressed by their singing. They sounded beautiful!
Later, we learned about the Mimouna, a Sephardic Jewish celebration to end Passover. We made our own extravagant cookie creations, and ended the evening with more games to meet even more people, as well as to get to know the people in our host homes. After we learned the NFTY cheer, the evening ended (as do virtually all evenings at NFTY-SW events) with “siyyum” or closing circle, as we sang Sh’ma and Hashkiveinu before heading home with our host families.
Saturday was a very busy day! We started the morning with an Art Shabbat t’fillah. We divided participants into groups with a high school teen leader and each group was assigned a prayer. After learning about what their prayer means, the group drew a picture and then each group shared their art work during the service.
After services, we ate brunch and boarded buses for the food bank. Your teens worked hard! For two hours we worked to fill emergency food boxes that are distributed to families in need all over Arizona. Everyone had a different job from building and filling boxes, to moving cans of food. This required teamwork and everyone stepped up to the challenge. We filled over 475 boxes, which will feed 475 families for about a week.
When we returned to temple, we had a snack and then we had a guest speaker from Arizona Jews for Justice. Eddie shared his story with us, talking about his modern day Exodus from living in a town filled with violence, to living in Phoenix today. We made cards for refugees and immigrants with notes of encouragement which will be given to children, along with a small stuffed animal, who arrive here with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Saturday night & Goodbyes
After dinner and some rest time with our host families, we came back together for a fun evening activity. Everyone competed by group in a dance-off competition, followed by a movie and S’mores. As the evening came to a close we ended Shabbat and our weekend with Havdallah. In our circle, everyone shared one thing they learned, or are taking away from the weekend. Our high school teen leaders shared about their NFTY journeys and why youth group is important to them. We ended with our closing circle, or (Siyuum) and goodbyes as everyone was heading home early the next morning.
It was amazing to watch friendships being made before our eyes. We hope you will come back again soon.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for sharing your children with us. It was a fantastic weekend. We can’t wait to see all of you at our Fall Kallah at Camp Stein, October 11-13, 2019. Watch your inbox for registration details in August.