Temple Beth Am in the News: Jewish Teens work together...
Teens work together at Union of Reform Judaism regional youth conference at Temple Beth Am in Jupiter
By Randall Lieberman
Published in the Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal
Temple Beth Am, a Reform synagogue in Jupiter, recently hosted more than 160 Jewish teenagers in high school from all over the region for a weekend of learning, prayer and team-building.
The occasion was the Union of Reform Judaism's North American Federation of Temple Youth-Southern Tropical Region (NFTY-STR) Liz Leadership Training Institute (LLTI).
NFTY's Southern Tropical Region includes an area starting in the north in Central Florida all the way down to the Florida Keys.
Families from Temple Beth Am came together and volunteered to host these participants at their houses over the weekend, as well as transporting them to the temple for various programs.
"The moments these participants shared throughout the weekend will not only guide them in the future, but have given them a support system made of new friends and fond memories," said Amanda Feld, Temple Beth Am's director of youth engagement. "It was a delight to host this annual event and work with the region to make the LLTI a success."
Members of Temple Beth Am's high school youth group (JAMTY) really enjoyed attending and hosting the institute.
"LLTI is the foundation for a Jewish youth group board," said Becca Steidle, 14, of Jupiter, who will be entering ninth grade at Jupiter High School in the fall. "It is incredible how everyone is connected and we are able to learn everything we may need in one weekend.
"One main point they make is that every youth group board is connected."According to the Union for Reform Judaism's NFTY-STR website, "NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam [repairing the world], personal growth, youth empowerment and deep connections — all rooted in Reform Judaism."
The Liz Leadership Training Institute creates an opportunity for youth leaders to provide useful tools and words of wisdom for the new and upcoming year of NFTY-STR leaders.
Through learning, prayer, teaching and excitement, the LLTI prepares teens to actively perform their youth group board positions successfully.
The networks of different positions grouped together at the LLTI include President, Programming Vice President, Social Action VP, Religious and Cultural VP, Communication VP, Membership VP, Song Leading Network and Leadership 101 (everything teens need to know from Group Leading to the NFTY cheer).
The weekend kicked off with a meaningful Friday night Shabbat [Jewish Sabbath] service. All 160 teens joined the Temple Beth Am congregation in song and prayer led by Rabbi Alon Levkovitz, Rabbinic Intern Brett Tancer and Regional Song Leader Rachel Wolman.
As the sun set, JAMTY welcomed Teens work together at Reform youth conference in Jupiter by lighting the candles in front of the 300+ people in attendance.
Throughout the weekend, teen leaders dispersed to different network groups and practiced useful tools and skills to take back to their youth groups and congregations.
They also participated in interactive teen-led programs that focused on leadership qualities for both youth group responsibilities and everyday life.
The LLTI was carefully planned and organized by Julie Marsh, NFTY-STR's regional director; Feld; and the regional teen board members.
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