By Greg Kellner, Senior Assistant Director at Eisner and Crane Lake Camps
If there is one thing I love about NFTY Convention, it’s that I get to be a part of creating some moments that are unforgettable for teens and even for myself. Having grown up in NFTY Long Island (now part of NFTY New York Area Region), I had the opportunity to attend the first two Los Angeles NFTY Conventions as a participant. Fast forward 12 years, and I am back in the same room, but the feel is quite different… In ’01, there was no Twitter, streaming or fancy graphics. Today, the attention to detail and use of technology make the event something that is epic to our teens. But with all the bells and whistles, something that has not changed and I think will never change is the great music that comes out of our movement. Here’s what we’ve still got in store, and NFTY Convention isn’t even halfway over…
Dan Nichols and Eighteen will take the stage tonight, performing a few favorite and introducing some of his new sounds. His ruach (spirit) is unmatched and Dan and his band always strike a perfect balance between spiritual, energized, and just plain fun. I’m sitting in the back of the International ballroom right now watching the sound check, and it sounds pretty tight! If you are watching NFTY from home this evening will be something not to be missed. (A few set list sneak-previews: Sweet as Honey, Everything is Alright, Hoshia, Esa Einai).
On the agenda for the evening is something I look forward to every convention, when groups of teens take the stage to perform as part of the NFTY Songwriting Competition. I listened to the rehearsal earlier and I just have to say “WOW.” If the future of Jewish music is in the hands of these talented teens, we should look forward to the next generation of Jewish music. What’s on the horizon for tonight is something that sounds like Adele meets Regina Spektor meets Indigo Girls… Trust me, it’s good. There’s something for everyone. Watch last night’s song session for a preview of some fantastic music.
In store for Monday are some fan favorites: Alan Goodis and Josh Nelson. Just plain old good, fun, lovable Jewish music.
Wherever you are, tune in, because we really do have the best of our movement here at NFTY Convention.
Greg Kellner is Senior Assistant Director at Eisner and Crane Lake Camps and is helping to produce ballroom productions at NFTY Convention 2013.