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The Evolution of URJ NFTY

October 21, 2020

Abstract: The Union for Reform Judaism’s North American Federation for Temple Youth (URJ NFTY) is a nonprofit organization serving North American Reform Jewish teens. The URJ and NFTY hold strong values tied to Jewish history that are utilized to discuss and advocate for political and social issues, and to mediate teens' relationships to Judaism. URJ NFTY offers teens year-round opportunities to convene, learn, and grow together while forging lasting relationships.
Over the past 10 years, NFTY and its related programming (particularly URJ owned
summer camps) have experienced a significant decrease in participation, causing a gradual decrease in revenue. As a result, the URJ made difficult decisions, including the closure of the URJ Kutz Camp, one of their oldest standing summer programs. Recent trend brought additional financial instability to the organization, causing employment terminations throughout the URJ and across all nineteen NFTY regions. With fewer leaders to guide teens and NFTY/camp alumni, it has become difficult for NFTY to recruit and train its next generation of leaders to advocate against injustice and to preserve the Jewish spirit.

Keywords: URJ, NFTY, URJ Kutz Camp, Judaism,  North American Federation


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