FROM CHAD MCCLELLAND
I wasn’t sure what to expect at the NFTY-GER New Member Kallah. Right off of the bus, new faces showered me with smiles. I met so many friends and can’t wait to see them again at the next event. I also got a chance to better know Salty members. Living in a cabin with friends for three days really helps you get to know them. After every meal there was a song session
which helped introduce me to new music. To be honest I wasn’t all that excited about going to services, but they brought out my Jewish spirit. One of the most memorable events last weekend was the Havdalah service. New Member Kallah really changed my thoughts about Judaism. I wasn’t just sitting in service as a background figure; instead it gave me a chance to really connect to my spiritual side.
The days leading up to New Member Kallah were the same as those leading up to any other NFTY event – I had been out of my mind excited, and all of my friends, Jewish and not, had had to endure my endless spouting of NFTY anecdotes and random outbursts into song. When the day finally came, I thought I knew exactly what to expect – dramatic, sprint-across-the-room reunion hugs with my best friends, song sessions that left me with no voice, and fond storytelling of my last summer at Harlam, where the Kallah took place. And yes, that was definitely part of it, but I had forgotten something very important: I was no longer a new member. This time, I was among the seasoned NFTYites welcoming (and maybe slightly intimidating) the newcomers; there was a whole new crowd of freshmen to befriend, and the tour of camp with my new and old friends, some of whom were also Harlamites, led to plenty of great pictures and inside jokes. The weekend went by in a whir of shouting, singing, and late night heart-to-hearts, as usual, and literally as soon as I got home I was on the computer, checking prices for and begging to go to NFTY convention, and looking to see when Winter Kallah would be. New Member was the perfect kickoff to a brand new NFTY year, and I can’t wait to dive right into the rest of it.
FROM WILL WIENER
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at New Member Kallah. I made many new friends, and learned a lot of interesting things. Many of the programs helped me to become a better person, and a better Jew. I look forward to the next NFTY event