Blog  “Winter Kallah was only my 4th event, and I was treated like family”

“Winter Kallah was only my 4th event, and I was treated like family”

Winter Kallah 2018 was held from February 2-4th in Cleveland Ohio, co-hosted by TEMTY, TEFTY and ACTY (Temple Emanu El, The Temple-Tifereth Israel and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple). Check out what some of our participants had to say about the event below, and join us at our next event, Spring Boards in Ottawa, March 23-25.

I come back to NFTY NEL events because of the connections I make. With each event I attend, I make a lot of new friends. Although Winter Kallah was my last NFTY-NEL event, I’m so happy that I participated in this amazing organization. I chose my college based on the fact that most of my friends from NFTY live in the area!

Sam Guest,
Grade 12, RATSY

As a write this, there's only 45 days left until Spring Boards, the next NFTY-NEL event! I know this because right after the end of Winter Kallah my friends and I already began counting down the days until we get to see each other again. The NEL community, though only together for five weekends a year, is so close that those weekends are among the highlights of the year. Winter Kallah was no different, and was in fact one of the best events I have ever attended. The programs were thoughtfully written, leading to fun and engaging activities. Dance session was a blast as usual, and by the end of the event people were really sad to leave, as shown by the tears streaming down their faces. Though it's only been a few days since Winter, I already can't wait until Spring Boards!

David Khazzam,

Grade 12, FROSTY

NFTY­-NEL has become a home for me, a place where I can go and know I’ll have an amazing time. This event at Winter Kallah was an amazing experience, from being in my hometown, CLE, to leading my first NFTY service on Friday night. I met so many new people this event and got closer with so many others! All of the work that was put into this event from, TEMTY, TEFTY, and ACTY led to wonderful programs that I enjoyed so much. I might be sad that this event is over but I know that in just a few weeks I’ll be with my best friends doing it all over again at Spring Boards!

Izzy Lashley,

Grade 9, TEMTY

At first I wasn’t sure about NFTY-­NEL because I only had four Jewish friends and I didn’t know what to expect. In 7th grade my sister forced me to go and I liked it. The next year I went with my friend, Nathan, and we had such a good time and decided to come back this year. Now him and I have a huge Jewish friend group where we sing our voices away! NFTY-­NEL really brings you out of your shell and lets you have fun. I’m going to every event I can now!



Nathan Kaplan,

Grade 9, TBaZY

Going to a NFTY-NEL event, to me, is like going on a roller coaster. You have Friday night where the hype of the event begins, just as it does when you would be going up the hill on the roller coaster. As you are excited or nervous to start, you get situated and begin to get ready for the ride. Then Saturday’s are like that first hill and the middle of the ride. You begin to have so much fun and put everything, including being tired, behind for the greatest time. It is a day where you talk to old friends and meet new ones. It is where you party and make the majority of your memories. And Sunday is like the end, as the ride comes to an end, so does the weekend, as all great things must come to an end. The thing is if you don’t go, it’s as if you didn’t ride the roller coaster, and you’ll never know the experience of the ride.

-Peter Abrams,

Grade 10, TEMTY

The reasons why I come back to NFTY-­NEL events are the friendships that I’ve made and the programs. Although Winter Kallah was only my 4th event, I was treated like family. NFTY­-NEL is very inclusive and welcoming to all different kinds of people no matter your gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc. My favorite thing that we do is Havdalah. It is very calm, as well as emotional for many people. No matter what age you are in
NFTY-­NEL, you are treated equal; no lower or higher than anyone else. The person that got me to come to my first NEL event was the current NFTY­-NEL RCVP, Max Bacher. We have been good friends for a few years now and he’s inspired me to keep coming to NEL, to become an RCVP for my youth group, and to one day be a


­Jake Berman,

Grade 9, MHarZY