Exciting news from NFTY! The North American Federation of Temple Youth has elected new North American board members for the 2013-2014 term, who will be formally installed on June 22, 2013, during Mechina, a five-day leadership training event and general board meeting at URJ Kutz Camp.

Newly elected board members must be incoming college freshmen and are expected to be excellent role models. As peer advocates, they represent NFTY and its values at regional and North American events. Board members help plan and facilitate a five-day long workshop to teach and prepare regional board members how to be effective leaders in their own communities.  Following this workshop, the North American Board Members become full-time staff at the Kutz Campus, where they will teach high-school-aged campers from across the continent.

NFTY North American Board Members will also partner with staff and lay leaders working on the Union for Reform Judaism’s Campaign for Youth Engagement, a focused, strategic effort to leverage the full strength and talent of every corner of the Reform Movement to engage and retain the majority of Reform Jewish youth by the year 2020.

The newly installed North American NFTY Board includes:

  • Andrew Keene, President-Elect, current president of NFTY’s Northern Region (NO) and a member of Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee, WI
  • Morgan Weidner, Programming Vice President-Elect, current Programming Vice President of NFTY’s Northwest Region (NW) and a member of Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Bellevue, WA
  • Gordon Kaye, Social Action Vice President-Elect, current Regional Social Action Vice President of NFTY’s Ohio Valley Region (OV) and a member of The Temple Ohabai Shalom in Nashville, TN
  • Micah Friedman, Religious & Cultural Vice President-Elect, current Religious and Cultural Vice President of NFTY’s Southern Tropical Region (STR) and a member of Congregation Beth Am in Tampa, FL
  • Aaron Heft, Membership & Communications Vice President-Elect, current Communication Vice President of NFTY’s Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and a member of Temple Sinai in Newport News, VA

The new NFTY Board will represent more than 7,000 of their peers in the Reform Movement’s Campaign for Youth Engagement, ensuring that young adults are an authentic part of our Jewish communal dialogue.

Incoming NFTY President Andrew Keene said of his new responsibilities, “One of NFTY’s 13 principles is shutafut (partnership.) With the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the forefront of the Reform Movement’s priorities, partnerships between teen and adult leaders are now more important than ever. I look forward to furthering NFTY’s partnerships among the teen leaders from our 19 regions, and with URJ leadership to create an even more engaging, holy, and unique community.”

Beth Avner Rodin, NFTY Director of Education and Special Projects, said all five new board members “have a fresh, exciting vision for the future of our Movement.”

NFTY Announces Its New Board Members

NFTY’s new North American board members (kneeling) pose with their predecessors on the outgoing board (standing).