NFTY: The Reform Jewish Youth Movement, was founded in 1939, as the youth arm of the Union for Reform Judaism (then known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations). As the Reform Jewish youth movement, NFTY values Jewish Education, T’filah (prayer), Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Leadership Development, K’hilah K’dushah: Reform Jewish Community, Personal Growth, Am Yisrael (the Jewish people), and Eretz v’Medinat Yisrael (the Land and State of Israel).
In 2005, at the NFTY Convention in Los Angeles, NFTY formalized their relationship with Netzer Olami, the international Reform Zionist youth movement. In a historic plenary meeting, the youth delegates resolved to become an official snif (branch) of Netzer Olami, the largest Jewish youth movement in the world.
NFTY boasts over 750 Temple Youth Groups in 19 regions throughout the United States and Canada, holds over 150 regional events each year, serves highly engaged NFTYites at Kutz – NFTY’s Campus for Reform Jewish Teens every summer, and has sent tens of thousands of young people to Israel.
NFTY’s teen programs in Israel are recognized not only for the commitment to academics and as spectacular adventures of fun and friendship but as defining and transforming Jewish growth experiences as well. All those who care deeply about ensuring a vibrant Jewish future, appreciate the impact of a substantive Israel program on young people. Parents, potential participants, rabbis and synagogue leaders need to know how to choose the appropriate Israel experience for their teens. Not all programs are created equal!
URJ Heller High (formerly NFTY-EIE) is a catalyst, a spark for active Jewish involvement at home. Upon returning home from Heller High, every participant has the opportunity to become actively involved in their local Temple Youth Group and NFTY Region, to attend the North American NFTY Convention, URJ Camps, Mitzvah Corps programs and to express their Jewish energy and commitment in unlimited ways.