By: Noah Shapiro, NFTY-CAR Communications Vice President 2020-21
It’s no secret that NFTY has been going through a lot of changes throughout the past 5 months. We are all still reeling in a sense from the drastic turn that our lives have taken but fear not. If there is one thing that we can learn from this pandemic, it is that we are NOT ALONE. NFTY is one of the most conducive communities that one can find. No matter what trials and tribulations we get put through, the NFTY community can always find a way to make it out as a whole, while still maintaining true to our core principles.
I never dreamed that my first event on Regional Board would be entirely virtual. However, due to the new accessibility of everything, we were able to have over 80 people logged in to our Kickoff event. Kickoff was surprisingly fun for an entirely virtual event! We had virtual Escape Rooms, “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader” Competitions, Isreali Dancing, learning about the environment, bingo and a great concert from our talented fleet of songleaders. It was definitely a strong way to start off what is sure to be a different, but successful year in NFTY-CAR.
One of the things that I am the most proud of in these past couple of months has been how successful our Va’ad system has been. The entire regional board feels so grateful to have 45 (you heard that right!!) amazing teen leaders from across the region helping us out in our Va’adot. Their responsibilities range from helping Elijah go over programming to helping me make a crossword puzzle or graphic for the social media pages to helping Lyla come up with ways to engage our growing middle school NFTY family. We deeply appreciate all the time and energy that they have put into their positions so far, and know that we will be very lucky to have them by our sides throughout the year
While there have been no shortage of positive things so far this year, we are extremely sad to be losing someone who has been one of the most integral parts of the NFTY-CAR family for the past 13 years. Our Area Manager and NFTY mom Naomi Looper, is moving into a new job as the Teen Engagement Manager at Springboard, a program that supports youth movements in the Chicago area, like NFTY-CAR. We are so sad to see her go, but you know what they say… “You can take the Chicago Jewish Teen community out of Naomi, but you can't take Naomi out of the Chicago Jewish Teen community.” Naomi began as the PVP and then President of NFTY-CAR, eventually becoming our Regional Advisor and then our Area Manager. We wish her all the luck in the world, and can’t wait to see the amazing things that she does.
We can’t wait to see everyone at our “Tapuchim and Chaverim” Rosh Hashanah event on October 4th!! Stay tuned for more details.