Workshops

By teens, for teens. Here's just a sample of what you'll be able to fill your schedule with at NFTY Convention!

Make Some Music

Songleader-RCVP Collaboration

How do songleaders and Religious & Cultural Vice Presidents (RCVPs) work together to create meaningful prayer experiences? Through discussion and sharing of best practices, you will come away from this session with ideas for your NFTY region and Temple Youth Group (TYG). All songleaders and RCVPs (even if you don't have the title) are welcome.

Strum session for songleaders

This workshop is a chance to practice how to play some of the top songs you should know as a songleader. Bring a guitar or ukulele. Chords will be provided.

Music Sharing Circle

Come share your original music and receive feedback from a Jewish music legend and your peers.

Dissecting NFTY's Music

We all love the songs we sing in NFTY, but what do they actually mean? Come join a Jewish music legend to learn about the meaning behind your favorite NFTY songs!

Songleading 101

This workshop is for anyone who wants to gain basic songleading skills, and seasoned songleaders who would like a "refresher." There will be opportunities to lead or teach songs and to receive feedback.

Songleading Without A Guitar

"You don't need a guitar to be a songleader" ... but what does that really mean? In this workshop, we will explore how the principles of songleading help us connect with the people we lead, regardless of whether or not we are holding an instrument. No prior songleading experience needed.

Learn Something New

Time Management 101

The life of a high school student can be stressful with school, sports, family, and other extracurricular activities. Take some time for yourself to look at your schedule thoughtfully and find ways to reduce stress and stay organized.

Adulting 101

Doing laundry, managing your money, and writing a resume are all parts of adulting. Join us to explore your personal strengths and learn some of the essential life skills you'll need to become more independent and help you build a happy, successful future.

How to Be More Confident

Ever find yourself feeling nervous in front of a group? Come to this session to learn some tips and tricks for feeling more confident!

How to Motivate Yourself & Stop Yourself from Procrastinating

Many students have difficulty finding motivation to do work, homework, or programming. Come to this workshop to find what you can do to help motivate yourself!

Storytelling Practice

Storytelling is an important skill in all areas of life. Come learn some tips and tricks and practice your own storytelling!

NAB's Declassified: NFTY Convention Thriving Guide

Is this your first NFTY Convention? Looking to get the most of your experience? Come hear best practices from North American Board Members about what to expect, suggestions of what to do, and how to fill your time here!

Networking 101

"Networking" is a buzzword these days, but most people don't realize that it takes practice. Come learn strategies and tricks for how to build your network in order to help your TYG, your region, and yourself.

Camper Care: Preparing for Your First Summer on Staff at Camp

The transition from camper and/or high schooler to staff member can be challenging. In this workshop, we will learn strategies for making your first summer on staff successful. This session is open to anyone considering working at a camp this summer, regardless of whether or not you grew up at that camp.

Fake News

How do we trust what we read in the news and identify bias and misinformation? What is the risk of the "echo chamber" that is created when we receive our news on social media? The way we are given news is evolving, so the way we understand it needs to evolve too! Come learn and get tips to help you navigate the information you encounter.  

Just for Fun

B'nei Mitzvah Party Games

Remember the fun you had playing Coke and Pepsi? Or doing a mummy wrap? Hula hoop your way over to play your favorite b'nei mitzvah party games!

Drop-in board games

Apples to Apples, Exploding Kittens, Jenga, Code Names ... come by for a round of your favorite board games and card games!

Gaga

Ga... Ga... Ga! Who will be the NFTY Convention Gaga Champion? Come play an all-time camp favorite game!

30 Workouts in 30 Minutes

After a day of flexing your mental muscles, your body might need to move, as well. Workout clothing is recommended, Jazzercise leotards are optional.

Escape Room

Join your friends to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the room.

The Pursuit of Happiness

What does it mean to be happy? How do we acknowledge and celebrate joy in our lives? Let's be happy together and talk about how to hold up happiness as a value and priority every day. 

Filling Your Back Pocket with Games and Mixers

Have you ever found yourself in front of a group needing to fill time and not knowing what to do? At this session, we will share favorite back-pocket games and mixers that you can use for your TYG or region!

Make a Difference

Intersectionality And Me

How can I be __ and __? Come figure out how to reconcile your values and beliefs when they overlap and even sometimes contradict each other.

Destigmatizing Mental Health

We all want to make our TYGs and NFTY regions more inclusive, but we aren't therapists. How do we support teens with mental health challenges as effectively as possible?  

Recognizing Implicit Bias

We all have implicit biases - how do we recognize them and expand our knowledge to make us more aware of the world around us? In this session, we will take implicit bias quizzes, understand where our biases come from, and go over strategies to take home with us.

Including ALL of Our Teens

Are there teens with disabilities in your TYG or NFTY region? Are you concerned that your programs are not consistently successful at welcoming all teens? This session will provide concrete strategies for working with teens with disabilities in order to make your events and programs as inclusive as possible.

Storytelling for Action Training (RAC Fellowship)

How do stories and social justice go hand-in-hand? Come learn how you can use the power of stories to make a difference in the world.

If I Am Only For Myself: Becoming an LGBT+ Ally

This workshop provides participants with accurate definitions of terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Discussion areas include stereotypes, discrimination, micro-aggressions, and the progression of how hate grows. Participants learn how every day actions can create (or destroy) a sense of welcoming and comfort for our friends, family, and communities.

Disaster Relief Response: What Did We Learn from Hurricane Harvey?

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas in 2017, causing catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. In response, URJ Greene Family Camp opened their doors to the community, helping out in myriad ways. Come learn about what they did, hear some reflections 18 months later, and what we learned in the process.

Talk, Don't Scream

Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It: Climate Change

Part of a series on how to talk about polarizing issues, practicing the skills you learned in the "Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It" session (it is recommended but not required that you attend that workshop prior to attending this one).

Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It: Immigration

Part of a series on how to talk about polarizing issues, practicing the skills you learned in the "Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It" session (it is recommended but not required that you attend that workshop prior to attending this one).

Let's talk about it, Not Scream about it: Sexual Violence Prevention

Part of a series on how to talk about polarizing issues, practicing the skills you learned in the "Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It" session (it is recommended but not required that you attend that workshop prior to attending this one).

Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It: Gun Violence Prevention

Part of a series on how to talk about polarizing issues, practicing the skills you learned in the "Let's Talk About It, Not Scream About It" session (it is recommended but not required that you attend that workshop prior to attending this one).

Life After High School

Packing for Life After High School: Israel on Campus

What does it look like to talk about Israel in college? What are the different organizations and groups on campus? This session is geared towards 11th and 12th graders, but is open to everyone.

Packing for Life After High School: Resume-Building

How do you put NFTY on your resume? What is a resume? How do we highlight our leadership experiences in NFTY on paper, and why is it important to do so? Whether you are heading to college or elsewhere, this session will be beneficial for all who are looking for tips on resume-building.

Packing for Life After High School: Gap Year, Internships & Birthright

Looking for an interesting program before college? Take a Gap year! Come learn about what's out there and what the benefits are. Heading right to college? While planing your Winter and Summer breaks, think about Birthright! Find out how this trip is different than others, who the organizers are, and how to choose the right trip for you.

Packing for Life After High School: Jewish Organizations on Campus

What are the options for Jewish involvement on campus? What are the types of things you should look for and the questions to ask when finding out about Jewish life on campus? Come find out!

Fill Your NFTY/TYG Toolbox

What Is Netzer And Why Is It In The NFTY Cheer?

NFTY is the North American branch of a larger Reform youth movement - Netzer. Meet some of Netzer's leaders and talk about how we fit into the larger picture of Jewish youth and world Jewry as a whole, and why that connection matters!

Programming 2.0: Starting With the End in Mind

Take your programming skills to the next level! Using an tool called "Understanding by Design," we'll take a look at how you can up the level of programming within your community, just by thinking about the end first. Don't worry - it'll also include all of your favorites - goals, objectives and NFTY programming format.

The Language of Kindness

What does it mean to develop a community of kindness? How do we speak thoughtfully and intentionally to one another? In this session, we will look at case studies of how the culture of kindness expands past the summer at camp.

The Value of a "Quiet Space" and How to Create One Successfully

We all love NFTY, but not all of us love crowded spaces and loud noises. In many TYGs, NFTY Regions, and URJ Camps, we have been exploring different ways of offering a "quiet space" to those who need it. In this workshop we will discuss how this represents and connects to our Jewish values, and best practices for creating these spaces in our own communities.

Your Leadership Style

Using Meyers-Briggs as a model, we will explore what makes you the leader you are!

Social Media Marketing

Does your TYG or NFTY region's social media need a boost? Don't know where to start? From promo videos to stories, come learn how to take your social media strategy to the next level!

TYG Fundraising - It's More than Just Bake Sales

Tips and tricks for fundraising on a small scale and hearing from NFTY teens who started larger fundraising campaigns at a grassroots level.

Improv as a Community Building Tool

Let's break the ice, play some games, and share some tools for building community on both a small and a large scale. 

Principles of Innovation

Every TYG is constantly growing and changing over time. In this session we will learn about innovative TYGs who are trying new things across the country and how you can learn from what they are doing. We will also discuss how to effectively implement changes in your TYG and how to partner with your adult staff and leaders throughout the process. 

Teen-Adult Partnerships Beyond Your Advisor

Who are the people in your congregation and your community that you should know? How do you build relationships with those people in pursuit of shared goals? This workshop will explore how to build sacred adult-teen partnerships in your congregations and communities, beyond your advisor, to take your program to the next level.

Israel & Judaism

Experiential Torah: Improv

Relating to Torah can be challenging, and we are always experimenting with new ways to connect to our texts. Come experience Torah through improv games, have some fun, and gain a new tool for experiential Torah to use in your own communities!

Technology & T’filah

As Jews, our rituals and practices have to adapt as the world evolves. Come share your successes with technology in T'filah and learn some tools to help integrate the 21st century into your community's prayer.

Jews and Cowboys: A History of Jews on the Frontier

Come hear stories and learn about the history of Jews in Texas and the surrounding area. Were there Jewish Cowboys, or not? You'll have to come to find out!

Not-Your-Bubbie's Science Class

Unpack a few simple science experiments and discover the connections to Judaism.

Reclaiming Zionism

What does it mean to be a Zionist? To truly love Israel? Do I have to be a Zionist to be a Reform Jew? What does Zionism look like in 2019? We will tackle these questions and more in this session!

Israel 2048

Israel recently celebrated 70 years of independence. Does Israel answer all the expectations its founders had for it? How did they envision Israel? How close or far is Israel to the vision they ad for her? We would like to offer you the opportunity to envision Israel in the year of 2048. How do you see that vision? What does it consist of? How do you imagine Israel then?

Finding Judaism in your Spotify Playlist

Join our resident musicians to discover Jewish themes found in today's biggest songs.

Understanding the Knesset

Ever wondered how Israeli politics work? Come learn about the inner workings of the Knesset, Israel's governing body, and how their work relates to what we see in the news.