Max Spivak is the NFTY North American Religious and Cultural Vice President.
Over the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend I had the pleasure of visiting NFTY Northwest’s Social Action Kallah. For the first time ever, the event was in Boise, Idaho at Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel (CABI).
On Friday night, NFTY NW prayed with the local congregants and the awesome Rabbi Dan Fink. It was apparent that from the second NFTYites stepped foot into the synagogue the CABI community was rejuvenated The Jews in southwestern Idaho are, for the most part, not teenagers. During the Saturday morning service led by NW RCVP Sarah Freyd, and NW Songleader Michael Fishman, the congregation got on their feet, smiling, and seemingly refreshed. I have never seen a community as impacted and genuinely happy to see so many teenagers storming through their doors.
On Saturday afternoon, NFTY NW and many of the temple’s members trekked to Downtown Boise through the bone-chilling fog to an #AddTheWords rally. This rally was meant to draw awareness and promote the addition of the words gender identity and sexual orientation to the Idaho Human Rights Act in order to ensure job security and equal protection under the law for ALL of the state’s inhabitants. Right now it is deemed legal by state law to fire someone or deny “inalienable” rights to someone because of WHO THEY ARE. More than 1,000 people rallied and the Boise Police Chief spoke in support of the addition!
On Sunday, NFTY NW traveled to the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial—the only memorial in the United States that is dedicated solely to the courageous teenager with the famous diary who perished during the Holocaust. After these somber couple hours in the rain, the region bussed to four different outposts of the Idaho Youth Ranch—a group of 29 thrift stores in the state whose profits go to providing resources from adoptions to vocational training to alternative education to crisis shelter to troubled children and families. It was a truly humbling day, experiencing and working with a community in need of help. NFTY NW provided a spark to the Idaho Youth Ranch and we were all very touched by the Anne Frank Memorial.
The weekend was chock-full of action. NFTY Northwest really made a grand impact on the Boise community.
I would like to thank the NW regional board and their advisor for welcoming me to this unique region.
The participants of NFTY NW have a one-of-a-kind magic that cannot be replicated or even explained. NFTY NW is a family that supports one another, strengthens one another, strengthens NFTY, and proves why this organization is life-changing.
Thank you NFTY Northwest for an amazing weekend.