Representing the next generation of congregational and community leaders, NFTY – the North American Reform Jewish Youth Movement – held its biennial Convention this past weekend, in Dallas, TX. They were joined by adult lay leaders, professionals, clergy, and stakeholders who attended a concurrent Youth Summit.

Musical artist Alan Goodis

NFTY Convention, brings together the creativity, energy and passion of teen leaders to build a community filled will song, dance, and learning that is primed to enact change. The convention featured a variety of presentations, workshops, and off-site experiences.

David Hogg with teen leaders

Highlights of NFTY Convention included:

  • Keynote address by Teen Activist & March for Our Lives Co-Founder David Hogg
  • Workshops around the themes of how to make change and features a a series titled “Let’s Talk About It, Not Scream About It” that offers tools on how to discuss today’s most challenging topics in addition to opportunities for music-making and learning new skills
  • Off-site opportunities included learning experiences at places like Jewish Family Services Dallas, Multi-Cultural Alliance, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum, along with fun adventures at places like the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Urban Adventure Quest, and the National Videogame Museum.

Rabbi Dan Utley with NFTY-Chicago area teen Amanya Meir

“In alignment with NFTY’s core value of Shutafut (partnership), this special experience is the result of collaboration between adult and teen leaders,” said Beth Rodin, NFTY Managing Director.

“While part of the intention is for the adults to mentor young leaders through the process, we rely on the teens’ creativity, passion, and curiosity to inform the direction of our important work. Hundreds of teens were consulted in the design of this year’s convention – and more than 75 teens are presenting and leading workshops and worship experiences throughout the weekend.”

The Youth Summit at NFTY Convention is the leading professional conference for adults working specifically with teens in Reform Jewish congregations, giving teens and adult participants opportunities to study, worship, learn, and network together.