New WAFTY Advisor Named
We are very excited to announce that Leah Ryan will be our new WAFTY advisor. Leah grew up at Congregation B’nai Shalom, went with Rabbis Eiduson and Milder on the first Chai School trip to New York City, and was an active member of WAFTY including serving on as NFTY-NE Representative.
Leah recently graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina with a B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Business Administration. Leah is seeking a position in marketing and event planning, which is a perfect fit for some of the responsibilities of the WAFTY advisor. She also has years of experience as a camp counselor. Leah is skilled in helping teens learn how to be “team players” and assisting them in cooperative skills. She has wonderful ideas for programs, including a few she participated in when she was a member of WAFTY.
Leah recently met a few of the WAFTY members as part of the interview process and was well received by them. She will be a wonderful addition to our Youth Program and we are looking forward to working with her.
Rabbi Joe Eiduson
From Our Youth Educator, Debbi Morin
My first year as the full-time Youth Educator has been a wonderful experience, and I am looking forward to this upcoming year.
There were many youth group events this year. The last one for Jr. WAFTY and WAFTY-Lite was go-karting. The last one for WAFTY was a picnic and boating at Hopkinton State Park, which the teens enjoyed and want to do next year.
The year 5775 will bring new programming. There will be a youth group for 3rd and 4th graders, and a College Connections program for our older youth. There will be a family retreat at Eisner Camp for our 2nd and 3rd grade families, and a trip to Philadelphia for our 11th and 12th grade students. We will have a Camp Service Corp Fellow bringing special Jewish camp programming to our entire religious school.
Of course, we will also have our successful shul-ins again. October 18–19 will be the 5th and 6th grade Shul-in, and November 22–23 will be the Shul-in for the 7th and 8th graders. WAFTY is also eagerly looking forward to hosting a Youth Group Regional Shul-in on December 12.
I am grateful and overjoyed to have been accepted into the HUC-JIR’s Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults, which will give me invaluable tools to improve upon my position as Youth Educator. I look forward to utilizing the information from these classes to enhance what we can do to help our youth engage in the variety of Jewish activities available to them.
JUNIOR WAFTY (Grade 7 & 8)
Like the Senior WAFTY group, Junior WAFTY will participate in a variety of special and fun programs and social events as well as be involved in an annual regional sleep over in Brookline. This active and growing group, under the direction of the Youth Educator , also participates in Senior WAFTY programs as appropriate.
WAFTY "LIGHT" (Grades 5 & 6)
Periodic Sunday afternoons or Saturday evenings provides the time for this initial youth group experience. We begin with the premise that the Temple is a place for young people to learn social skills in a context of Jewish values. WAFTY "Light" offers social and community service programs in a fun and creative context. WAFTY "Light" holds 4-5 events per year which are intended to foster Jewish identity and to promote Jewish friendships outside of religious school by creating social opportunities. These programs are led by the Youth Educator assisted by high school students.
SENIOR WAFTY (Grades 9 through 12)
Socialize, learn, and share with each other in a friendly, Jewish atmosphere! Through Senior WAFTY, members participate in a variety of special programs which in previous years have included: extreme bowling, a dinner and discussion series, a pre-Chanukah party, a reality TV Shul-in sleepover, social events, community service projects, and an annual Creative Shabbat Service. A student board, current WAFTY members together with the youth advisor develops programs to make for some very exciting events.
WAFTY is also a member of NFTY-Northeast (North American Federation of Temple Youth). NFTY-NE is our parent organization and is made up of over seventy other Temple youth groups from the New England area. WAFTY takes part in monthly NFTY-NE programs including weeklong institutes at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, weekend conclaves and regional dances hosted by other congregations. NFTY-NE events are a great place for students to meet other Jewish teenagers or reconnect with old friends from summer camps.