Why I wanted to staff NFTY in IsraelPosted on July 16th, 2019
GFC Alumna Annie Abramowitz writes about her decision to staff NFTY in Israel this summer
Working for NFTY in Israel was never really on my mind until last summer. I remember sitting with my campers when one of them turned to me and said, “So, you’re going to be our counselor for Israel next summer?” I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to, so he had until the end of the summer to convince me. Honestly, I did not need that much convincing. I love my campers, and the thought of spending another summer with them in a country I love seemed amazing.
Furthermore, the challenge of combining two different camps into one group seemed fun. As I learned more about the program, I became more interested in the educational aspect of it. I have always loved Jewish education and being apart of helping shape the Jewish identity of the next generation of Jews. I also loved how NFTY in Israel is a fun, educational experience for Jewish youth.
I did not truly understand how much the education aspect of the program was important to me until I arrived at staff orientation. Preparing for the summer with my peers reminded me of the great impact this experience can make in the lives of our participants. I truly believe in this program and the impact it can create for Jewish teens who choose to come and experience it.
I initially wanted to work for NFTY in Israel so I could spend another summer with my campers, in Israel. But since I applied my reasons have grown. I am staffing because I want to help the next generations of Jews shape their Jewish identities. I want to help take two different communities and create one big kehillah. I want to introduce my bus to different Jewish communities beyond their own. I want to experience Israel with people those who have never been here before. Most importantly, I want to help give these teens the summer of a lifetime. Getting to spend the summer in Israel with my campers is just a bonus.