Nearly 75 years ago, at the urging of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (now the Women of Reform Judaism), the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) was formed as the youth arm of the Reform Movement.
Stemming from a historic tradition of both Jewish and non-Jewish European youth movements, NFTY is a youth movement that fosters leadership at the national, regional and congregational level. There is a healthy balance between those aspects of NFTY that are youth-led and those that are directed by adult advisors.
Today, over 750 Reform congregations throughout North America sponsor Temple Youth Groups (TYGs), bringing the NFTY experience to more than 10,000 high school-age young people in grades 6 through 12. Through programming opportunities offered by congregations, our 19 NFTY regions and on the North American level, NFTYites strive to forge an identity in consonance with the goals and values of Reform Judaism.
NFTY is both an affiliate and a program of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC). The URJ serves as the organizing body of the North American Reform Jewish Movement, which has recently chosen to focus on new initiaves to engage the next generation.
Whether functioning as an organization, program or youth movement, NFTY is the Reform Jewish community for students in grades 6 through 12. NFTYites forge and build friendships, lifelong Reform Jewish identities and leadership skills through community building, worship, social action and experiential youth-led Jewish educational programming.
Many NFTYites serve as NFTY leaders within their local youth group and at the regional and North American level, and continue on to become both lay and professional leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement.
This video was created in honor of NFTY's 75th birthday: