This summer, a number of NFTY-MAR teens participated in a variety of URJ Summer Experiences. We asked a few teens to share with us a highlight of their experience. Below is a blog post, written by Ben Sidlofsky, who attended the URJ Kutz Camp.
It all started on the first day of my song leading major. We sang a lot of songs that I enjoyed and I even learned how to play some of them on the guitar. I really love to play the guitar and Kutz helped me get started on the road to a dream that I’ve had for many years of doing so.
During free time I would practice guitar outside whenever I could, which was really nice. The sky always looked like it was painted. It was so beautiful. One time, I even got a picture of a double rainbow. I LOVED going to Broadway and seeing Wicked. The song “Defying Gravity” is so amazing. It made me feel like I was flying.
One experience that I particularly enjoyed was singing a solo in a Dan Nichols concert. I sang the English verses of his Hashkiveinu and got a lot of positive feedback from it. Having experiences like this at Kutz helped continue my strong passion for Judaism and Jewish music. Alan Goodis was there and it was really good to see him again after Nashir. I enjoyed when Alan, Dan, and Spike Kraus sang in our cabin.
I also went to HUC where I am planning to study to become a Cantor. It was a really nice building and it has a very spacious chapel. I really hope to be able to go to school there. The place itself had a very modern and inspirational vibe to it. Meeting a lot of Cantors and Rabbis was a great learning experience as well. They told me about all the programs that I can become ordained in. It’s good to know that I have options and I really appreciate their advice and encouragement.
I also made a bunch of friends who I still keep in touch with. Some of them are even from England, Israel, and Switzerland. I feel like coming to Kutz was really worth my while and I learned a lot this summer. It made me even more excited about my future with NFTY and hopefully in Jewish professional life.