Shalom! Come celebrate our teens with us as they lead us in prayer this evening! As members of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) our TBA family is part of an international umbrella organization. We are a part of a network of Reform congregations who help to form and reform political policies, share best practices, study and worship together, and when in need help each other through sorrows. Within the URJ family there are many sub-organizations Hebrew Union College, Women/Men of Reform Judaism, ARZA, RAC and NFTY. As we conclude each b’nai mitzvah service we give each of our kids a NFTY certificate as a gift from the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) towards a trip to Israel as part of a NFTY tour in High School or College. Traveling to Israel is transformational and traveling to Israel with your peers is a memory and bond that will shape a young person’s life and commitment to our community. TBA has worked hard to create a Youth Group that is strong, that contributes to the community at home and at large and helps to create these kinds of lasting memories for our kids that will connect them to TBA and the Jewish world. Our kids are fantastic! They are young leaders waiting to change the world who are being influenced by their participation in NFTY through, our youth group, our NFTY region, URJ summer camps, regional and national events. Just 2 weeks ago 2 of our very own, Jack Nienaltow and Hannah Prince were elected to the regional NFTY board. I am very proud of our kids and you should be too! Join us this evening as our Youth Group takes to the bima to lead us in prayer, to show us what they are learning about Judaism and to kvell at the talent and dedication of these young leaders.
Our Youth Group has grown and developed into a vibrant program because of the commitment and dedication of our professional staff, our lay leadership and its leaders. I would be remiss in discussing the success of our Youth Group without mentioning Gerry Hecht our Youth Group advisor. Gerry is dynamic, creative, patient and nurturing and our kids love him. Gerry, many thanks to you and Patti for all that you do for our kids!
See you tonight!