On December 2-4, SPRIFTY in Spring, TX hosted Fallish Conclave: an exciting NFTY weekend planned and led by teens for teens. Here are some reflections from adult chairs, teens, and first time participants from the weekend.
I was a co-chair of the planning committee and a host family for this past conclave. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I did know that we were prepared. There’s always a bunch of last-minute stuff to handle with an event like this, but all of our advanced planning really helped the weekend run smoothly. We saw smiles everywhere we looked and the kids really were phenomenal. The kids we hosted were awesome, polite, and did a wonderful job of including both of our kids when they were at our house. It’s refreshing to see the kids take ownership and run with something like this. Judaism might look a bit different in the future than it did when I was growing up, but from what I saw over conclave weekend, we should be just fine.
– David Pfeffer
Being in my first conclave, at first I wasn’t too excited, but as soon as the events started I soon realized that my emotions completely changed. Being around many people was a fun way to express myself to those who I got to meet. The people who stayed with me during the weekend were nice, polite, and funny guys. I’m glad I got to have the experience of going to a conclave as an 8th grader. It was fun, and unforgettable. I would like to thank SPRIFTY for inviting me to this amazing event.
The conclave weekend was an amazing experience. I had so much fun making new friends and getting to know other Jews like me. There aren’t many Jews at my school, so it was really comforting to know that there’s a lot more than just a few out there. When I first joined SPRIFTY/ NFTY TOR I was reluctant because I didn’t know anyone. Conclave definitely helped me break out of my shell and I would love to do it again. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my high school years in NFTY!!
Saturday morning services have always been a favorite of mine and I attend whenever and wherever possible whether at home or traveling. Last weekend I experienced an extraordinary service led by the Sprifty Conclave participants. The service absolutely “rocked” as we sang the service together. Not to be outdone, the expertise of the Torah readers was impressive. It’s a joy to see our youth so positively engaged with Judaism.
– Toby Greenberg
During the conclave event I was nervous not only for myself but especially for Michelle and her mother, they both put so much time into this conclave and which time I wish I could give. When we started, this I thought,” Oh we can’t do this” but soon it started to take shape and noticed that we were soon going to have a conclave to remember. I enjoyed every minute of it and noticed that even the people that are not from here had fun. Also, everyone that attended even the staff were having a great time and were expressing it, that’s what I like to see because not only are the kids having fun but also the adults who put their time and effort to be there and help this conclave. It impacted me in being a leader and role model for people that look up to me as well as learning different ways to teach people about Judaism in a more friend like atmosphere.
I got into NFTY being able to see that I am not the only one and that there are many people just like me and I can have fun with them no matter what we do. NFTY has recently become very important when planning this conclave and that it is a big deal to me to make sure that everyone has fun and learns more about Judaism as well.
– Aiden Bleiler
I was our Fallish Conclave Chair. This was the most time-consuming, stressful, and craziest thing I have ever done….. and it was worth every second. I never understood an impact you can make on a community until I saw my whole region participating in the event we as a group planned. Being able to lead people that you have spent the last 4 years with was an unbelievable feeling that I wouldn’t trade for the world. The experience was something you can’t even try to match. I was so nervous going into the weekend and once things started going, it was a breeze. There were so many supportive people and I am so grateful for my region and every person in it. I am so happy that we could do it and it was so much fun!
– Michelle Kutcher
As the Sprifty Advisor it has been an amazing journey watching as our teens worked together from brainstorming theme ideas,helping plan and lead, to seeing the TOR The Galaxy Fallish Conclave be a fun and amazing weekend for our region. It was even more special not only being a parent of one of the teens, but feeling like a parent to all our teens and seeing our youth group grow and mature into awesome teens and leaders. To see the teens as well adult volunteers from Congregation Jewish Community North not only being involved, but being engaged and having fun with our region, was priceless. I am hoping and praying that the “Ripple Effect” of this event not only spreads, but continues…..L’Dor V’Dor.
– Denise Kutcher
I love being a part of NFTY. I am so comfortable there because they let me show my true self without being judged. And you really see that everyone is different from everybody else in so many beautiful ways. I’ve met so many kind and generous people that love me for who I am. And seeing them at the events make it more truly amazing. Having to plan for Fallish Conclave at my temple really opened up my eyes. I got to see the backstage of how hard it takes to plan one of them. The amount of time and effort is incredible. And the same goal every time is to make everyone happy and to have fun. After 5 months of planning I was nervous and anxious to see the end goal. I had different points of view while planning the event. At first it was “make this the best event ever” and “show everyone who you are”. Which then changed to “be happy with your friends” and to “live in the moment rather than on top of it” lol. It was a heck of an experience that I will reminisce in always and forever. NFTY has taught me leadership roles and has knocked on the door of my creativity skills. I wouldn’t have ever opened the door until I knew how amazing the feeling of being appreciated is. I can’t wait to go to my next event to see my friends. NFTY TOR truly is one big happy family.
– Genevieve Skolnick