“So that goes to show you, as much time as we spent scouting and preparing and planning…the game never went exactly as we thought it would. It just never does”
-Bo Schembechler, Head Football Coach at The University of Michigan from 1969-1989
Most people that know me are not surprised that I started this announcement with a quote from a legendary football coach. I wanted to illustrate that even with all the changes our world is seeing, I can always be expected to bring sports into the conversation. Some things do get to stay the same.
As you probably know, the financial impact of COVID-19 on the URJ has caused NFTY to have to massively restructure its systems, including its staffing. As a result of this restructuring, the position of NFTY Southern Advisor has been eliminated. Going forward, NFTY Regions will be grouped into Areas that will be overseen by one Area Manager.
As challenging as this news might be, I am nevertheless grateful because I will remain on the Jacobs Camp team as the full-time Assistant Director.
Serving as a mentor for the teens of NFTY Southern has been one of the greatest joys of my job. Watching them grow as leaders not only regionally, but across North America, has filled me with nothing but pride. I will always cherish the memories of our first SummerFest, the impacts we made at Fall Mitzvah Corps, and even the prom we had in the middle of a huge thunderstorm.
I cannot speak highly enough about our teens. They’ve embraced change, tried new things, and created a culture of Jewish Joy. These teens, along with the Regional Board, were true partners and pushed me to be the best leader I could be. Now we must all embrace more change.
I am excited to be staying on as Assistant Director with the Jacobs team. I am excited to continue the important work we do for the Jewish children of the Deep South. I am excited to take on the challenge of creating summer experiences for our campers outside of Utica. I am excited to start the planning process for next summer and to open the gates on Opening Day 2021. Most importantly, I’m excited to watch our teens continue to grow and lead their region into a new era of NFTY.
Things don’t always go the way you planned. I think we’ve all seen that pretty clear throughout this pandemic. Change is scary. But none of us are going through this alone. While my role is going to look different moving forward, I will remain a resource and mentor to our teens. I’m still going to be around.
Sarah Tucker has been a member of the Jacobs Camp year round team for 3 years, serving as Assistant Director and NFTY Southern Advisor. Before joining the year-round team, she was a Counselor and Unit Head for 5 summers. Jacobs Camp has always been her home away from home and she looks forward to continuing to share the magic with the children and teens of the Deep South.