NFTY, BBYO teens gather for inter-camp Maccabiah games

(JTA) — Nearly 500 teens from the leadership programs of NFTY and BBYO  joined for their first inter-camp Maccabiah games. 

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The games took place July 18 at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in Starlight, Pa. and the Union for Reform Judaism’s Kutz Camp in Warwick, N.Y. 

BBYO, or B’nai Brith Youth Organization, is a secular Jewish youth organization and NFTY — the North American Federation of Temple Youth — is a program of the Union for Reform Judaism. 

“This is truly a unified effort to begin building more meaningful bridges between the participants in our programs, and to support the ongoing work of the Coalition of Jewish Teens and the Reform movement’s Campaign for Youth Engagement,” said Union for Reform Judaism Camp Kutz Director Melissa Frey. 

The Coalition of Jewish Teens brings together five North American Jewish youth movements – BBYO, NIFTY, the Orthodox Union’s NCSY, the Conservative movement’s United Synagogue Youth and the Zionist group Young Judea – to take united stands on issues such as youth bullying. 

During the games, teams learned about both youth movements and shared ideas for how they can better collaborate on service projects in their local communities. 

“In addition to the fun aspects of Maccabiah, there was very intentional messaging and programming around collaboration, unity, and responsibility as Jewish teen leaders,” Frey said.

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