As many NFTY alums will attest, NFTY never truly leaves you. Between the incredible memories, powerful Jewish moments, and friends that last a lifetime, the impact of NFTY continues for many years after you graduate from high school. So, when twenty college students, some of whom graduated high school just a few months ago, gathered together in a Dupont Circle restaurant in Washington DC, the connection and love for NFTY was bursting throughout the night.
With its excellent universities, Washington DC is a natural place for NFTY alums to decide to go to school. Additionally, on this weekend, several NFTY alums were participants in the AIPAC Progressive Student Retreat, traveling to our nation’s capital for a weekend of exploration of Israel through a progressive student perspective. While everyone there had essays, tests, and extra-curriculars to worry about, all of them were excited to take some time to reconnect with one another, meet other NFTY alums at different schools in the area, eat a ton of delicious food, and reminisce about NFTY and URJ Camp. Here are some reflections from participants:
“Having the opportunity to see the friends that had been with me through high school for the first time as alumni reminded me how special the NFTY community is. The reunion showed me that even though we may be farther away than we normally are, our friendships will never end.” – Rebecca Shankman, University of Maryland
“Sunday’s event in DC was an amazing opportunity to reconnect with NFTY friends studying in DC and those visiting from around the country. I loved relaxing, eating, and catching up with fellow NFTY alumni.” – Will Saltzburg, American University
“Coming to DC for a conference, it was so nice to take the night to be with NFTY alums and remember how like-minded and similarly-valued the NFTY community is. No matter how much time has passed since last seeing them, it is always such a joy to reconnect with fellow NFTY alums!” – Shir Attias, University of Southern California
“I was so glad to see old friends and catch up with people I hadn’t seen in years. It felt like we were on the same page as soon as I walked in.” – Jason Taper, University of Texas
Throughout North America and the world, NFTY alums are in communities connecting with one another, sharing powerful memories, and serving the Jewish community and society in thousands of different ways. Whether we realize it in the moment or not, NFTY continues to impact our lives for years and years to come.
If you’re interested in putting together a NFTY Alumni event in your community, send an email to Evan Traylor, URJ Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement.