Members of NUTSY, our congregation’s senior youth group, have had such an exciting and eventful start to our prograrnming year! The year kicked off with NFTY Northeast’s Summer Institute, a NUTSY participant favorite. This amazing week-long event was held on the grounds of the absolutely beautiful URI Crane Lake Camp in the Berkshires. The event features content-rich programming, as well as a dance, talent show, and many great social opportunities such as star gazing and time to hang out by the pool. The event’s theme was “Identity,” and participants were led through a series of programs, workshops, classes, and games which allowed them to get in touch with the greater concept of identity, as Jews and through Torah, as well as what it entails to build one’s own personal identity. Our very own NUTSY co-president, Gabri Silverman, served as a prayer coordinator at the event, and led the whole regional group in a beautiful morning service of her own design.
Back home in Connecticut, the NUTSY board welcomed the new freshman (8th and 9th grade) with a special event at Flight Trampoline Park. Participants were able to play in a massive room lined with trampolines, foam pits, and even a trampoline dodge ball court for an hour, followed by a pizza dinner with NUTSY’s board.
The Sunday morning before Sukkot, NUTSY members gathered at Temple Sinai to decorate the Temple’s sukkah. Participants bejeweled and painted pumpkins, glittered signs, hung paper chains, and arranged flowers, cornstalks, and gourds to make our sukkah look amazing! Then, on Sukkot, NUTSY members enjoyed a sushi feast in the sukkah together, followed by candy sushi making. After sushi in the sukkah, the NUTSYites attended the Temple’s Erev Sukkot service together.
Along with their attendance of the Sukkot service as a group, NUTSY members have been very active members of temple life already this year! NUTSY members can be found as teaching assistants in our Temple’s religious school, helping to fill the room with ruach during music classes. During the Yom Kippur family service, NUTSY’s co-presidents, Erica Thureson and Gabri Silverman, blessed the Torah. Also, some of our members participate in the Jewish Teen Leaming Connection, which is a great opportunity for teenage Jews in the greater Hartford area to study Judaism through uniquely fun and interesting classes such as Jewish Cooking, The “Unboring” of Prayer, and Krav Maga.
In late September, members of NUTSY’s board attended NFTY Northeast’s Leadership Training Institute in Springfield, MA. The day-long conference included workshops to help participants build leadership skills and strengthen their ability to bring strong, fun, and sometimes even educational programming to our Youth Group. Look for some of that great programming at NUTSY meetings on October 9 and November 13, which will include activities lead by NUTSY’s copresidents Gabri Silverman and Erica Thureson, respectively. But first, NUTSY members will gather on October 2 at 6:30 p.m. for their official Welcome Back meeting and dinner!
NUTSY (grades 8-12) events, meetings, and activities are ongoing, and it is never too late to join us! Please see the NUTSY and Youth Group calendars, and the October – November bulletin, for upcoming events! Junior Youth Group (grades 5-7) activities will be kicking off in November, so please be on the lookout for emails and flyers that will be sent to eligible participants in late October.
As always, please feel free to contact me any time with questions or comments.