NFTY Northeast’s December Institute was a three day long event that was held from December 27th to December 29th. In the past, December Institute was held at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA, but due to COVID-19 it was held virtually this year. December Institute is known for its Experience Coordinators (ECs), Prayer Coordinators (PCs), and Overalls which provide leadership opportunities for our Juniors and Seniors. These NFTYites usually help create and lead programs, services, and community building activities and that did not change this year.
The theme for the event was “NFTY Through the Ages” and the event started off with a mixer from 1991 that was all about family - a game of Family Feud was even played during the 1991 mixer! All of the gatherings that were created and led by Juniors and Seniors were both interesting and informational experiences.
This three day event consisted of sixteen virtual gatherings including mixers, community building activities, programs, services, a talent show, and asefah (regional board meeting). After a long year for everyone, it was so amazing to see 104 NFTYites come together and enjoy some time with each other.
NFTY-NE has always been and will always be a community, a family, and a place where everyone can feel like they belong. The people and community created within NFTY-NE make NFTY-NE special. Our community has been resilient and has stayed connected to one another through this tough year. Although the world is very different right now than it has been in the past, NFTYites of the Northeast have continued to come to all of these events laughing and joyful, and ready for a multi-day event over zoom. It does not matter if this was your first event or your last event, NFTY-NE is what it is because of all of the welcoming people that have shown up and supported each other.
Don’t just take our word for how December Institute went. Here are some words from a few of the many people that went to Virtual December Institute 2020!
- Riley Bermas, Overall, SHASTY Class of 2021: To be able to participate and help orchestrate such an incredible event reaffirmed my belief that NFTY-NE is a community unlike any other. The fact that so many of us were able to come together and create a meaningful and impactful experience under the given circumstances is amazing. At this event I reconciled with my Jewish identity, learned how to deal healthily with conflict, reflected on good times, made new memories and friends, and became a better leader through trial and error and learning from my peers. I’ve been so lucky to be a member of NFTY-NE for the past three years and am confident in the future of this region.
- Jared Silverman, BCTY Class of 2021: The fact that I voluntarily spent more time on Zoom in order to attend NFTY-NE December Institute tells you all you need to know. I enjoyed participating in various programs and services that brought me closer to my Jewish community. Although this was my last Institute, the memories that I have made at this event, as well as previous events, will last a lifetime!
- Talia Bloom, BELY Class of 2022: December Institute was such a lovely event to go to! I could feel the full warmth and vibrance of the NFTY community just over Zoom by receiving the sweetest private messages, engaging in interesting conversations, and attending meaningful and unique services. I loved how I was able to connect with so many new people, even just through breakout rooms and the chat. I thoroughly enjoyed the talent show and Nashim as well! It was a truly wonderful event, and I am so happy I went!
- Jack Price, GOHTY Class of 2022: Hello NFTY-NE! December Institute was a blast! I had so much fun in each and every one of the gatherings and enjoyed so much seeing old friends again. Somehow, in these trying and abnormal times, the amazing leadership was able to create a surrounding that mimicked the warm and accepting environment of a normal NFTY event. The breakout room function used was super helpful for making new friends! I really enjoyed getting to socialize with my old friends again and be able to make new ones. The program writing was phenomenal. I don’t understand how, but somehow the PCs and ECs were able to write programs that were just as fun as ones we do in person. And as with all NFTY events, not only were they so fun, I learned a ton too! The theme of this event (NFTY through the ages) was so fun and well thought out. I loved it. As I keep saying, I’m still baffled that everyone involved in the planning and execution of this event was able to so accurately capture the magic of NFTY-NE. I can’t wait to see everyone’s beautiful faces again (hopefully in person). Until next time!
- Megan O'Donnell, STIFTY Class of 2023: Virtual December Institute 2020 was so much fun! I have never been to an in-person December Institute, but I felt super welcomed, and everyone there was so genuine and kind. Every program was interesting and engaging, even despite the challenge of everything being over zoom. I had such a great time at this event, and I can’t wait for more like it!
The next few NFTY NE events are
- Sub-regional Movie & Fort Night - The subregional event will be a Movie and Fort building night and it will be held on Monday, January 25th so click here to register.
- MANTY’s Winter Wonderland - Winter Wonderland will take place on Saturday, February 15th starting at 2pm and if you would like to register click here.
- Spring Conclavette (SPRONC) - SPRONC registration is not out yet but it will take place from March 19th to March 21st and NFTY-NE hopes that you can make it.
If you would like to keep up to date with the upcoming NFTY-NE events or learn more about NFTY-NE click here.
With this year being online, there has been one thing that NFTYites have not been able to get, but that is about to change. Coming very soon, there will be an online MERCH STORE with NFTY-NE merchandise… Did someone say mErCH?!?! More information about merch will be coming soon, so keep an eye out for that 🙂