NFTY Convention was a unique and exciting opportunity for our Reform Jewish high school teens to gather from across North America to explore, learn, grow, and have fun together! We welcomed the largest delegation in our region’s history to NFTY Convention which was in our own backyard (Dallas!). We asked two NFTY-TORites to share with us their reflections on the exciting weekend!
Evyn Gadd, NFTY TOR Freshman
NFTY Convention is an experience I will never forget. Through all the friends I made from all over the country NFTY convention has inspired me to become a better leader. I started the weekend coming in really nervous and unsure about how things would go, but as things progressed I was so happy to be there. From the very first second all of the staff were so welcoming, and people I didn’t even know we’re running up to me and hugging me like we had been best friends since birth. I know the friendships I made at Convention will last a lifetime. One of my favorite parts of convention were all the super cool workshops and people who came to lead them. One of the classes I went to was about time management, and I took the skills I learned to heart. They have already helped me stop procrastinating and getting everything done before it’s due! Another fun thing about convention were offsites! My offsite was the UNT college tour and Hillel visit. It was super cool to get to experience a little bit of what it’s like to be in college, even though that’s 4 years away for me! During the Hillel visit, I got to see one of my friends who graduated last year! It was so much fun catching up and getting to see her, and we have already made plans to go out for dinner soon! Although both workshops and my offsite were fun, nothing could compare to song leading in front of 600 people! I’ll admit, I was so nervous I can’t even describe it, but it was an experience that I will NEVER forget! I have been interested in NFTY song leading for a while, but so just started song leading with my region at our fall event, so when I got an email asking if I would want to song lead at NFTY Convention, I was jumping with excitement! When I got my song leading assignment it said that I would be singing with one of my best friends, Caroline Sloter, which calmed my nerves a little bit. Right before I was about to go on, I was starting to freak out. Another one of my closest friends told me to take a deep breath. He told me that he believed in me and that he knew I would do great, and you know what? I did! It was scary, but I would never trade that experience for anything. It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever been able to do, and NFTY Convention is the reason it happened. There is no question, You will see me at NFTY Convention in 2021!!
Camille Trawick, NFTY TOR Sophomore
I showed up to NFTY Convention knowing that some of my friends from my region would be there. I knew that March for Our Lives leadership was speaking, that the Dan Nichols concert would be awesome and that I would learn a lot. I knew that there would be people my age, who listened to the same music I did or who were just as obsessed with Game of Thrones as I am. I knew there would be happy moments, funny moments and heavy moments. However, there were many things that I did not know. I did not know how many new friends I would make, inside and outside of my region. I did not know the resources that were given to me to make my TYG and region better. I didn’t know just how awesome the Dan Nichols concert would be or how much fun I would have over the entire weekend. I didn’t know how heavy some of those moments could be; like when a fellow NFTYite from Parkland shared her experience and told up to hold our loved ones close, or when David Hogg spoke about the stories that he heard on his national bus tour. I didn’t know how funny some moments could be when staying up late with my roommates or talking to friends between programs. But the one thing I never would’ve guessed is how much this event made me love NFTY and made me want to get more involved. I could never have imagined how included and accepted I felt in this group, even though there were not as many Game of Thrones fans as expected. This weekend was one of the best I’ve ever had and this experience will shape my involvement in NFTY in ways that I have yet to discover. I’m so thankful for this experience and so excited for 2021!