By Sammy Murgo, Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA
As we approach the end of the NFTY year, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to our seniors and welcome a new generation of leaders into our region. In NFTY-NE, we value generational leadership and the important tradition of passing responsibilities from one class to the next. With this in mind, Sammy Murgo, a junior from LEFTY, collected these thoughts.
Havdalah is one of my favorite things about NFTY events. But what is Havdalah? What is the true meaning? To some people it may represent the Shabbat we just had and the week that we are about to enter. To others it may be more spiritual or about spreading happiness and wishing your friends a good week. Some of our seniors may have already experienced their last Havdalah service as a NFTYite. My friends in different grades all had something different to say about their feelings about senior year, either current or future. I hope these words help you think about your journey to wherever you are today.
“When I think about senior year I think about new beginnings. New experiences will wait around every corner both in school and in NFTY. It will be the time to make the most of every situation, take risks and embrace life. And yes, it will be a year of lasts as well. Of saying goodbye to old friends and teachers and clubs. But life is continuous and will constantly bring new friends and new experiences and I’ll come to love them as much as those around me right now. I used to be scared of the future. Scared of uncertainties and unopened doors. But today those doors don’t seem so scary to me. I feel ready for the twists and turns of life and am excited for the times ahead.”
-Fiana H., 9th grade, BATY
“As I start to think about senior year, a lot of things come to mind. Although this is still two years away I have given it much thought. Just as I have respected the seniors that have surrounded me, I look forward to being respected as an older member of my community. I am also looking forward to gaining responsibility for things I do in my life. As a senior, I will have the opportunity to be in the role of a NFTY giant, and I hope to use that privilege to share my love of NFTYwith others and carry on this amazing place that I have been fortunate enough to experience. I also hope to live up to the great example that our current seniors have been for me . These are just a small number of things that I am looking forward to experiencing once I become a senior, and hope to leave a positive impact on the place around me.”
-Caleb Y., 10th grade, CONTY
“I am rapidly approaching the beginning of the end of my time in high school. Everyone experiences high school differently. However, I think that we can all agree that we cannot wait for senior year. While being the oldest in the school, we are seen as the leaders and role models for the underclassmen. It may be helping freshmen find their class, being a captain of a team, or simply being the ones with more experience. Of course there are certain things associated with senior year that aren’t so pleasant, such as the stress of college applications and saying goodbye to your friends as you go your separate ways at the end of the year. But there is so much to look forward to. It is now our turn to experience the senior traditions of our schools we have been patiently watching for three years… I absolutely cannot wait for senior year to start in the fall, both the things I have been waiting for, and the things I am dreading. As much as I want to get through the year to finally be out of high school and go out into the world, I plan to savor every last bit of senior year, creating precious memories that will remain with me through life.”
-Lily N., 11th grade, TASTY
“Senior Year- By now I have made my friends, I know what a mandatory optional is and I can find my way to the Eisner Camp Beit Am from the Chadar with my eyes closed. Senior year in NFTY is the year where you can’t have a NFTY giant who is older than you paving the way for you and helping you to become a part of this incredible community. As a senior it is your job, your responsibility to be a NFTY giant. Now your peers make up the regional board, and you can finally step into leadership roles which have been filled by the NFTY giants from your last three years. You are now the people that the younger participants look up to. You also have passed eight institutes, eight conclavettes, four Levi Leaps, four winter wonderlands, and four leadership Kallahs. You know that you have one more time to cherish each event. If you don’t have a snowball fight with your friends at December Institute or go all out in picking what you’ll wear to the dance at Fall Conclavette, you know you won’t have that chance again. As a senior NFTY becomes your home and the people you meet become your family, but senior year is the time where you know you must step away from this community to find your new home, the new community that you will be a part of. For me, that’s a scary prospect. I don’t know if i will ever be able to find a community quite like this, but I have truly cherished every moment of the past four years in NFTY. I think I speak for all of the seniors when I say that NFTY Northeast has truly changed my life for the better and I know that I will Never Forget These Years.”
-Andrew B, 12th grade, JUICY
Havdalah marks the end of one week but the beginning of the next. Although we are approaching the end of this NFTY year it is just the beginning of a new one, the beginning of the next chapter of all of our lives. And to the Seniors… “so much of me is made from what I learned from you/you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.” (Stephen Schwartz, Wicked). Shavua tov!