By Jess Miller, Recording Secretary, NFTY-NE
From March 19th to March 21th, NFTY-NE held its annual Spring Conclavette (SPRONC). At Virtual SPRONC this year there were 10 programs and over 100 NFTYites. The theme of SPRONC was growth and we looked deeper into the aspect of “Growth” in different ways through the various programs.
Typically, SPRONC is organized and run with the help and support from a Temple Youth Group (TYG). Because this year has been extremely different, the event also looked different. Instead of asking just one TYG to write a program for the event, we asked every senior in NFTY if they wanted to create and lead a mandatory optional. A mandatory optional is a fun and relaxing program where NFTYites have the option of choosing which one of the programs offered they want to attend. At this event we had ten different seniors plan a mandatory optional giving NFTYites six different options to choose from!
In addition to the mandatory optionals, that ranged from mediation to dance parties and everything in between, there were services, a beit midrash, which was organized and led by an amazing group of adults, Asefah, where the Regional Board of 5781-5782 elections took place, programs, and BUNK TIME! In past events this year, the one thing that everyone felt was missing was connection building and talking to their friends and making new friends. At this event there was unstructured time at the end of each night. This gave new NFTYites the opportunity to connect with each other and make new friends and for returning NFTYites to talk with their friends and make new ones. This was a huge part of the success of SPRONC because, let’s be real, friends are a major part of the NFTY experience.
Don’t just take our word for how great Spring Conclavette was. Here are some words from a few NFTYites:
- Ari Dvorkin, SEFTY – Class of 2021: SPRONC was an amazing event! I had the opportunity to discuss so many different topics important to our identity as Jewish teens all encompassed under the theme of growth. I really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The connections that NFTYites are able to build are unlike any others. Although we all wish that we could see each other in person, the virtual format has proved NFTY to be a stronger and more resilient community. I can’t wait to see everyone again soon!
- Evie Happel, BESTY – Class of 2022: I was so excited to come to SPRONC 2021 and, as usual, the event completely exceeded my expectations!! The mixer and Shabbat service were perfect ways to start the weekend, while reuniting with my friends and meeting new members, especially the eighth graders! The programs were so incredibly well thought out and well executed. I especially loved Program #3, in which we discussed sex and gender in Judaism; the conversations we have in NFTY-NE groups are so beautifully unique to NFTY, and all of the intelligent people involved. I have never experienced such mature, exciting, and intellectually stimulating conversations about such uncomfortable topics as I did that afternoon. I spent Saturday night drawing birds made out of food and insects made out of instruments during mandatory optionals: another opportunity to talk to my friends and wind down for the evening. Lastly, congratulations to everyone who was slated during Asefah; I am so excited to see my best friends take leadership in such a beautiful community.
- Jacob Feingertz, PONY – Class of 2022: For my first regional event at NFTY I really liked the experience. I was very nervous about meeting new people but everyone had so much positive energy that I felt like I fit right in. I liked specifically all the planned activities in breakout rooms because it gave me a chance to meet even more people without feeling weird about it. SPRONC was a great event overall.
- Isabelle Lensmire, LEFTY – Class of 2023: NFTY-NE never fails to bring love and joy into my life, even though a computer. Virtual SPRONC was a BLAST and I continue to be so thankful for this community. During SPRONC I reconnected with old friends, made new ones, and was able to reflect on so much within myself. I <3 NFTY-NE!!!
- Naomi Damelin, PROVTY – Class of 2025: My name is Naomi Damelin and I’m in eighth grade. I am part of the NFTY NE region. SPRONC was recommended to me by almost everybody in my Temple class, so I decided to go. I met a lot of awesome people there! A fun activity that I went to was Draw Your Own Superhero. I had a great discussion with everyone there about what it means to be a superhero as well as some defining characteristics in both superheroes and regular people. That’s just one of the many activities that I attended. In all of them, I learned something about myself and about other people. I am so glad that I was able to experience the awesomeness of the NFTY community, even digitally. In fact, I was able to meet more people through Zoom! And overall, I just really had a lot of fun.
A few NFTY NE details and upcoming events:
- An Online Merch Store is now open to all NFTYites!!… Did someone say mErCH?!?! If you would like to buy something from the merch store please click here!
- NFTY 678 – Registration is not currently out yet but it will take place Thursday, May 13th at 7:00pm. This event is a great opportunity for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to try NFTY-NE whether it is your first event or you have been to an event already! If you or someone you know is in this grade category and is interested, then save the date and lookout for registration!