Blog  Thank you NFTY SOCAL!

Thank you NFTY SOCAL!

As our time on Regional Board comes to a close, we want to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to the NFTY SOCAL community. This community has given us our best friends, invaluable leadership skills, and memories to last a lifetime. We may have been the ones planning our events, but it would all be meaningless without this amazing community. Each and every one of you shape NFTY SOCAL, and we are forever indebted to your spirit, passion, and commitment to our amazing community. With that, each of us would like to share a final goodbye and thank you to the region we love beyond words.

“My time in NFTY has definitely been unconventional. I launched myself into this community head first and never looked back. From following NFTY to Texas to Wisconsin to Warwick, New York the only word I have to describe this journey is “epic”. 

Before I get sappy, a piece of unsolicited advice to any new NFTYites, say yes when it comes to NFTY. If someone asks you to go to Wisconsin for the weekend in the middle of winter to be with 200 sweaty Jewish teens, say yes. If you are asked to run for board (TYG or REGBO), say yes. If some random kid asks to be your bunk mate for the weekend, say yes. These are how not only the best memories and friends are made, but where you begin the most life changing experiences. In NFTY we often say that this isn’t goodbye it’s see you later, l’hitraot, but honestly I don’t know when I am going to see you next. So, if I never see you again this is what I want my last words to you all to be: from the bottom of my heart, thank you NFTY SOCAL. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for you I would not be who I have become. Thank you to my board and Matty G but more importantly thank you to those who showed up to events or encouraged me from the sidelines this year. You have changed my life. This past year you gave me a sense of purpose, a feeling of worthiness and no words can express how meaningful and powerful that is. I am so beyond grateful for the experiences, friends, and family that I have been given because of NFTY SOCAL, so, thank you. 

And with that…for the last time EVER:

Signing off…”-Sasha Winett, NFTY SOCAL President 5781-5782

“NFTY SOCAL has always been hard for me to describe. Sometimes I tell people it’s a youth group, sometimes it’s a leadership retreat, and sometimes it’s just my best friends. In reality, NFTY SOCAL is all of these things and more. It’s a community unlike any other, and one that I am devastated to leave.

One of my favorite aspects of NFTY is that it is built through legacy. NFTYites that I will never meet shaped the people I looked up to for four years, and I hope I can say that I brought that same passion to you. In turn, I implore you to bring that same passion to NFTY after I am gone. Even if it’s not me, be the kind of person you look up to. NFTY SOCAL always welcomes more passion and kind hearts. Our community changes lives, and you can help be that change for those around you.

If you had told me that I would join Regional Board four years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. But NFTY has a way to seek out something inside us all to become something greater than we could ever imagine. I am the leader, friend, and person I am today because of NFTY SOCAL. Words truly can’t do it justice. Thank you for everything NFTY SOCAL; I hope I was able to give back to you as much as you gave me.”-Landon Block, NFTY SOCAL Programming Vice President 5781-5782

“Although it is my senior year and the events while in high school are over, the memories will last a lifetime. I would like to thank you, NFTY SOCAL, for helping push me to be the person I now consider myself to be. I am truly excited to still be with NFTY as the North American SAVP. I truly believe that every person on board will do great things and I cannot wait to see it all happen. Congratulations everyone, and until next time.”-Daniella Abbott, NFTY SOCAL Social Action Vice President 5781-5782

“N: New people and experiences. F: Fun beyond your imagination.T: Traditions, both new and old. Y: You never want to be anywhere else. S: Song session, Siyum and Prayer. O: Open arms welcoming you. C: Creating a Kehilah Kedosha, a holy community. A: Amazing Kallot with even more amazing NFTYites. L: LOVE YOU NFTY SOCAL. 

NFTY SOCAL is more than a group of Jewish teenagers who get together for a few weekends a year. It’s a network of motivated teens who are constantly looking for ways to be involved in their community. It’s a collection of some of the most talented young leaders I have ever worked with. It is a place for you to lose your voice over and over again because you just can’t help but sing along. NFTY SOCAL doesn’t have a single home. It lives in each and every one of the hearts, minds, and spirits of all of us. Together, we create the magic that is NFTY SOCAL.

These four years in NFTY SOCAL were nothing short of magic. I have met some of my best friends here. I stepped into what it means to be a Jewish community leader. I probably caused irreparable vocal damage because I screamed my head off each weekend. 

NFTY SOCAL, thank you for shaping me into the person I am today. L’hitraot – till we meet again.”-Mateen Markzar, NFTY SOCAL Religious and Cultural Vice President 5781-5782

“NFTY SOCAL, you have taught me some of the most important lessons in my life. While I could list instances of one on one connections that have brought me closer to individuals or the times in which I’ve jammed out during a song session, I would like to thank NFTY for showing me what it means to have balance. Perfect balance is embracing imbalance. NFTY is imbalance, imperfection, diversity, and loving unconditionally. NFTY embraces everyone and everything for who they are. Accept that you’re not perfect. Accepting that it’s alright to not be perfect. You don’t have to do what other people tell you to do. You can be unique. You can make choices. You can be the best version of yourself. Nobody else’s opinion matters. Control what you can control. Be content with what you can control. Love who you want to love. Spend your time how you want to spend your time. There is no other way I would want to spend my time this last year than with you. Fortunately, I will be remaining in this NFTY family for one more year. As we plunge into a future of uncertainty, I hope to remain as involved as possible while prioritizing my balance. Thank you for always supporting me and pushing me to create my perfect balance of imbalance. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve you <3”-Evan Nowack, NFTY SOCAL Membership Vice President 5781-5782

“I have to be honest— I went into this year thinking that NFTY was on its deathbed. But my mindset completely reversed after our first event. Even after two years apart, everyone and everything still seemed to click into place (which I realized is pretty much the epitome of NFTY). This is the most genuine community I’ve ever been a part of and serving on Regional Board has been the absolute highlight of my high school experience.  Thank you NFTY SOCAL<3”-Sawyer Tull, NFTY SOCAL Financial Vice President 5781-5782

“Yo. Over the past 4 years of my life, NFTY SOCAL has been an outlet for me: an outlet not only to be myself but to find myself.

Going to my first event in 2018, I was instantly overwhelmed with the loving and welcoming community that is NFTY SOCAL. From that one weekend, there was one word that described NFTY: excitement. I knew this word described NFTY when I watched every participant enthusiastically cheer about Beyblade competitions happening randomly through the weekend. It just made me smile. After that event, the excitement of participants didn’t disappear: it grew. There hasn’t been a single mixer or program where I haven’t laughed my head off. Each person at NFTY SOCAL is so unique, and I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve met.

Being Communications Vice President this year has not only advanced my leadership and teamworking skills, but it allowed me to gain 7 lifelong friends. Like most, I have never enjoyed Zoom meetings. But for some reason every Sunday at 4 pm, it wasn’t so bad. Matt, Sasha, Landon, Daniella, Mateen, Evan, and Sawyer have made me laugh so hard, I had to turn off my camera. They have been so amazing to work with and I will deeply miss our meetings.

Thank you NFTY SOCAL for making a life-changing impact on me and being the highlight of my high school years. I am so excited to see the future of NFTY SOCAL and there isn’t a perfect way to end this so… bye.” -Ivy Hollander, NFTY SOCAL Communications Vice President 5781-5782

While we are saddened to leave the NFTY SOCAL community, we are also excited for its future. The 5782-5783 Regional Board will include Espi Reynolds (Programming Vice President), Evan Greengerger (Membership Vice President), Noe Santana(Financial Vice President), and Brendan Messinger(Communications Vice President), and we could not be more excited for them. Once again, the Regional Board thanks you, NFTY SOCAL, for the best experiences of our lives. We look forward to continuing our adventure together.  

Signing off, 

The 5781-5782  NFTY SOCAL Regional Board

Sasha Winett | NFTY SOCAL President 5781-5782 

Landon Block | NFTY SOCAL Programing Vice President 5781-5782 

Daniella Abbott | NFTY SOCAL Social Action Vice President 5781-5782 

Mateen Markzar | NFTY SOCAL Religious and Cultural Vice President 5781-5782

Evan Nowack | NFTY SOCAL Membership Vice President 5781-5782 

Sawyer Tull | NFTY SOCAL Financial Vice President 5781-5782 

Ivy Hollander | NFTY SOCAL Communications President 5781-5782