On April 8th, 2016, we’ll be welcoming the new Jewish month of Nissan! Our monthly Rosh Chodesh updates will give you a spark of inspiration, and the TOP THREE moments that stood out to us from Regions all over NCSY. Get excited, will your region be featured next?!
Sparks of Inspiration!
“I can do it.” Four words. Eight characters. A simple statement that encompasses the core of leadership. NCSY creates the next generation of Jewish leaders. NCSYers constantly learn about vision, goal-oriented programming, management and public speaking, however in my opinion the most important lesson we learn is the power of taking initiative.
At the end of the day, one can plan, deliberate, ruminate and design for hours and hours, but no program will ever happen unless someone says “I can do it”. When people tell me that they are frustrated that their chapter board didn’t run a certain event, or that their committee never organized a shabbaton, I always respond, did someone just do it?
They may have had the most incredible plans, they might have thought about this event for months, but unless someone actually decided to call the bus company themselves, no one is going anywhere. We emphasize the planning aspect of leadership to the point that we lose touch with our natural drive to take initiative. It ultimately stems from a lack of self-confidence and self-assertiveness, we ask ourselves, “I’m just a kid, who am I to run an event?”
Nachshon Ben Aminadav is an oft-unsung hero of the Passover story. As young man, perhaps an NCSYer in the Ancient Egypt Region, he was leaving Egypt with his family and the rest of the Jewish people after too many years of pain and suffering in slavery. After a few days of travel, they arrive at the Red Sea. Soon, they hear the Egyptian army storming towards them. The Jewish people are trapped, on one side there’s the sea, and on the other, the menacing Egyptian army. There’s no hope. Moshe is busy praying for a solution. Everyone is panicking. Nachshon, our hero, takes in the scene that is unfolding before his eyes, and walks into the Red Sea. A young boy, a nobody, walked authoritatively into the Red Sea until it almost covered him entirely. And then, the sea split. The Jewish people had an escape route. The entire nation crossed the sea, the Egyptians drowned, and the Jewish people kept traveling through the desert and began preparing to receive the Torah.
Nachshon’s heroism? He took action. He looked around, and did not make excuses for himself. He saw a need, and took the initiative to make a change. NCSY is an organization that teaches initiative, and the can-do spirit which separates the real leaders from those who have big dreams but never take action. This month, let’s try to tap into the strengths of Nachshon ben Aminadav and truly become leaders through our deeds.
- SOUTHWEST NCSY just had a rockin’ Spring Regional Convention with a record-breaking 157 teens. Held at Camp Young Judaea in Wimburley, Texas, the beautiful green fields were full of teens learning Torah, enjoying the scenery, and playing sports. It was a truly inspirational weekend for all, and a testament to the tremendous efforts of the Southwest teen leadership and regional staff.
- In March, many NCSYers had the privilege of attending the educational AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. They spent three days lobbying, learning about the important of the US-Israel relationship, and meeting other aspiring pro-Israel activists from around the world. In between sessions, NCSYers gathered to learn Torah with the National Ambassadors of Education. All in all, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
- This past Purim, over 20 synagogues and schools partnered with NCSY’s National Ambassadors of Social Action as they endeavored to make the holiday noisemaking experience more meaningful. Teens from San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Florida and more, all encouraged their community to bring non-perishable food items instead of groggers. These non-perishable food items where then donated after the Megillah Reading to families in need. A special thank you to National Board members, Asher Gritz, Hannah Sanders, and Esther Seif, for exerting tremendous efforts in getting this initiative off the ground!
So there you have it, some inspiration, and an update on outstanding NCSY happenings around the world! Stay tuned for next month’s update!
– National Board 2015-2016