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Why We Are Excited for NFTYpalooza!

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Kickoff is one of the most important events in NFTY Chicago. It’s our starting point, our foundation, and, of course, it is so much fun! This year we are taking Kickoff to the next level and are bringing in live musicians, great food, and inflatable games (human Hungry Hungry Hippos and a jousting arena!). This change inspired us, so we renamed the event NFTYpalooza! As we look forward to this amazing event, some NFTYites would like to share what NFTY means to them and why they are so excited for NFTYpalooza:

“As an upcoming senior, I've attended many NFTY events and made so many amazing memories. It’s hard to choose just one reason why I love this community so much. As a freshman, I thought that NFTY wasn’t going to be the place for me, but as soon as I went to my first Kickoff, I realized how much I would love it. We spent the day in themed groups (our group was Skittles and we each got to be a color) and walked around the city doing a scavenger hunt while giving out bags of toiletries to those in need. That day, I began to love everything NFTY stood for. I look forward to Kickoff every year to remind me just how special the upcoming year with NFTY Chicago will be.”

-        Megan Berger, Senior at James B. Conant High School

Kick Off 1

“One of the top answers for why teens love NFTY Chicago is because they get to see their camp friends during the rest of the year. This idea enthuses me, but I never went to OSRUI (one of the camps that feeds into NFTY Chicago), yet, I still love NFTY! My devotion to this movement doesn’t stem from meeting familiar faces, but the possibility to meet new ones. At my first Temple Youth Group (TYG) event, I knew no one. I made one friend and that was enough to keep me coming back. As I met more people at events, my passion for NFTY grew stronger. Eventually I decided I wanted to be a leader in NFTY. I want to give back to NFTY because it a place that truly accepts me and allows others to be their best selves. By being a leader, I can only express my love for NFTY more. I'm excited for NFTYpalooza because it will allow me to start another year in this amazing, welcoming community.”

-        Quentin Kagan, Junior at Buffalo Grove High School 

Kick Off 2

“My first NFTY event was Kickoff in 2017. It was my last day of summer and I wanted to go to an event where I could see all my camp friends for one last time before school started. But after Kickoff, I became hooked and went to every NFTY event. Through NFTY, I was able to see my old friends, rekindle some friendships along the way, and make so many amazing new friends. It feels so great to be a member of such an accepting and loving Jewish community. And the best part about NFTY is that it's really fun! There has never been an event where I didn't smile, laugh, and have a good time.” 

-        Ellory Pennor, Junior Lane Tech High School  

Kick Off 3

“In 2014, NFTY Chicago decided to let 8th graders come to Kickoff. They would spend half of the day learning about NFTY on their own, then join the high schoolers for a Big Fun trip to Richardson’s Farm. It was different, for sure, but it was exciting and new, so I loved it! That was my first NFTY event. Now it’s 2018, and we’re getting ready to start another year in NFTY. Once again, while planning for Kickoff we are opening our doors to middle schoolers (this time 6th-8th). From my first Kickoff to now my last, NFTY has been filled with new experiences. I’m excited for NFTYpalooza not only for myself, but for all the middle schoolers who will get to experience that same excitement that I did when I was in their shoes. NFTYpalooza will be an event to remember!”

-        Rachel Schless, Senior at Buffalo Grove High School

NFTY means a lot of different things to different people, but everyone can agree on this: our movement is one of the most amazing kehilot (communities) you could ever come across. We can't wait to see everyone at NFTYpalooza! Register here.