Temple Isaiah

Youth Groups

What is LEFTY?

Sign Up for LEFTY NOW!!!

Learn More About Our Teen Community

LEFTY (Lincoln Street Federation of Temple Youth) is Temple Isaiah’s adolescent youth group, serving teens in grades 8 through 12.  LEFTY strives to make the teachings of Judaism a functioning part of the social outlook of all its members as well as to promote an understanding and practice of the values and traditions of Judaism. LEFTY’s main goal is to provide a space for Jewish youth to meet, develop friendships, and learn in a Jewish setting.

LEFTY is one of the largest and most active youth groups in NFTY-NE, the Northeast Region of the North American Federation of Temple Youth. NFTY-NE holds regional events throughout the year that meet the social, educational, and spiritual needs of its members. There are approximately 70 youth groups in NFTY-NE. For more info on NFTY go to www.nfty.org. Please note that NFTY-NE Events are only for 9th -12th Graders.

It is extremely difficult to put down on paper the vibrant spirit of LEFTY. We are fortunate enough to have a community in which all members are fully welcome and feel they can play an important role. LEFTY is entirely teen-run under my guidance. LEFTY strives to reach out to all adolescents in the Temple Isaiah and greater Lexington community, and our members are an enthusiastic, caring, friendly, and welcoming group.

Below is a sampling of a few of our annual LEFTY events:

LEFTY looks forward to welcoming Temple Isaiah's 8th graders into its community this year. 8th graders will be able to join LEFTY (at a reduced membership fee) and will be welcome to attend LEFTY events.

Please sign up for LEFTY through our online HS registration process. Once you sign up, then Benny Summers will be in touch with more details.

Questions about LEFTY? Contact Emily Messinger at emessinger@templeisaiah.net. 


New LEFTY Advisor Structure (2014-2015)

LEFTY is trying out a new advisor structure this year. Under the direction of Emily Messinger, Temple Isaiah's Director of Teen Engagement, LEFTY has decided to hire a number of experienced youth workers (many of whom happen to be LEFTY alumni) to staff our events this year while Emily will step in and support LEFTY in planning their events and supporting LEFTY's day-to-day needs. 

The list of youth workers include, but are not limited to following individuals: Emily Messinger, Jennie Goldfarb, Jen Whitman, Alyssa Bogdanow, Mackenzie Owades, Benny Summers, Sarah Wasser, Sarah Whitney, Ni Swenson, Michelle Sager, and Laura Berke

Temple Isaiah plans to hire a new LEFTY advisor for the 2015-2016 school year. 

Please contact Emily Messinger, emessinger@templeisaiah.net, with any LEFTY questions or concerns. 


For almost seventy years, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) has offered thousands of young people the opportunity to explore and live Reform Judaism.
Today, over 750 Reform congregations throughout North America sponsor Temple Youth Groups, bringing the NFTY experience to more than 10,000 high school-age young people in grades 9 thru 12. Through involvement opportunities offered by congregations, our 19 NFTY regions, and on the North American level, NFTYites strive to forge an identity in consonance with the goals and values of Reform Judaism. LEFTY is part of NFTY-NE, the Northeast region of NFTY.
NFTY-NE brings together Reform Jewish Teens from Upstate New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Montreal, Canada. Our members come together at many times during the year for learning, fun, worship, community service, and fellowship to help young Jewish adults throughout the region build and strengthen lifetime ties with each other and Reform Judaism.
Stemming from a historic tradition of both Jewish and non-Jewish European youth movements, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (otherwise known as “NFTY”) is the Reform Jewish religious youth movement that fosters leadership at the national, regional and congregational level. It is advised by a set of adult Jewish youth professionals. Comprised of over 750 local synagogue youth groups, NFTY also functions as a youth organization, an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), as well as a program of the Union for Reform Judaism. There is a healthy balance between those aspects of NFTY that are youth-led and those that are directed by its adult advisors.
Whether functioning as an organization, program, or youth movement, NFTY is a Reform Jewish community for high school students. NFTYites forge and build friendships, lifelong Reform Jewish identities, and leadership skills through community building, worship, social action, and experiential youth-led Jewish educational programming. Many NFTYites serve as NFTY leaders on the local TYG, regional, and even North American levels. Many NFTY Leaders continue on to become both lay and professional leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement.

Volunteers Needed for NFTY-NE March Event

LEFTY Leadership ~ LEFTY Assembly

The LEFTY Assembly is the main body of leadership for the Temple Isaiah Teen Community. The Assembly consists of a number of slated positions filled by individuals who express an interest in taking on leadership positions. Please see the attached description of LEFTY Positions and Responsibilities for more information.

Being on the LEFTY Assembly is a serious responsibility and time commitment – each member of the Assembly works together to provide positive and meaningful Jewish programming throughout the year for other LEFTYites. Before slating, please think carefully about your schedule for next year and how you can make the best contribution to the LEFTY Assembly.

 The LEFTY Slating process takes place on an annual basis every spring.

LEFTY Assembly Positions & Responsibilities 2014-2015 

Parent & Teen Consent Form

Important Slating Details



LEFTY Slating is the process of selecting the LEFTY leadership for the following year. All incoming 9th -12th grade students have the opportunity to potentially be a part of next year’s LEFTY Assembly.

Anyone in the teen community who is interested in a position on Assembly is invited to write a letter of intent to inform the Slating Committee of their interest. The Slating Committee is comprised of active seniors, an Adult/Lay Leader, LEFTY Advisor, and the Director of Teen Engagement, with the support of the clergy. Once letters are submitted, the Committee meets over several weeks to slate the new Assembly. The process is strictly confidential.

If you are interested in being a part of the Assembly you must do the following:

  1. Speak with the LEFTY President, LEFTY Advisor, or Director of Teen Engagement about your interests and intentions regarding slating BEFORE you write your letter. This step is extremely important as it is a time to ask questions about specific responsibilities, positions, and time commitments. Discussions can take place in person, over the phone or by email.
  2. Submit a LETTER OF INTENT to the Slating Committee. No one will be considered for an Assembly position without a letter of intent. Letters are kept strictly confidential and will be read only by the slating committee. Letters should be in a sealed envelope labeled “LEFTY SLATING” and returned to the LEFTY mailbox in the copy room by the designated date. Please include your name, home and cell phone numbers on your slating letter.
  3. All slating letters must be submitted with a signed PARENT CONSENT FORM. It is very important for parents to clearly understand the commitment and responsibilities that are required of LEFTY Assembly members.

What does the committee look for in an Assembly Member?

The Committee will look at:

  • your past involvement in LEFTY
  • any leadership roles that you have assumed within the LEFTY (being an overall, writing a service, participating in MAZON or Purim, etc)
  • leadership experience in other settings (school, other extracurricular activities)
  • how you work within a group setting
  • what you could bring to the dynamic of the leadership of LEFTY
  • your individual leadership potential, creativity, spirit, drive, sense of commitment and determination, etc.

Letter of Intent

Using the criteria above to draft your letter of intent, you should help the Slating Committee understand all of your current and potential leadership abilities. In other words, tells the committee who you are, why you want to be a LEFTY leader, and what you have to offer.

In your letter of intent, it is also imperative to state the positions that you would like to be considered for and why you feel you are qualified for those positions. Attached to this e-mail is a description of all Assembly positions - use that document! Be specific: what can YOU bring to a specific position? How you would fulfill your duties, if slated into that position? Take advantage of those individuals who currently hold positions that you may be interested in – ask them questions, pick their brains!

Please be specific with regard to positions that you DO NOT want to be considered for. The Slating Committee will not slate somebody for a position that they don’t want – but they only know what you tell them!


The final piece of the slating process is LEFTY elections. Slated Assembly members will be officially voted into their positions during LEFTY Elections.


Lastly, slating can be a difficult experience and the last thing we want is for people to be confused. If at any point during the process you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Yitzhak Maurer, Benny Summers, or Emily Messinger. It is also important to recognize that there are many ways to be an active part of LEFTY outside of being an Assembly member. LEFTY is only as strong as its membership.


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