Participant Perspectives: Elan Kramer on the Songleading Major and Advanced Leadership Seminar

By: Elan Kramer, Participant from Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot, Laguna Beach, CA (NFTY-SoCal)

It seems almost impossible to place a marker on my favorite memory from Kutz. Aside from all the crazy adventures I had with my friends, and apart from all the incredibly engaging services and programs, my favorite memories are probably those from my time as a part of the Songleading Major. In Songleading, we were blessed to have the opportunity to learn from some truly remarkable teachers and mentors. Debra Winter and Max Chaikin, our primary Major teachers were superb, and each of the guest teachers brought something special and unique to the class. I can honestly say that I learned so much from the few short hours we spent in total with all of our guest teachers.Many of the teachers also gave our class the experience of performing with them in all-camp concerts. I will never forget the astonishing teachers and mentors that I had the privilege to work with and learn from.

As co-president of my TYG, I will take back many of the things that I learned while at Kutz. Over the course of the three and a half weeks I spent at Kutz, I was able to talk with many other teens about what they do in their TYG and what works for them. I took many notes, and I will take back all the great ideas that I received, and I will present those ideas to my TYG. I was very lucky to be a part of the Advanced Leadership Seminar Minor (ALS) this summer at Kutz. ALS is a Minor taught by Mike Fuld, Senior Assistant Director here and Kutz. It is a three week minor engaging participants in challenging and interesting aspects of leadership. ALS equipped me with many new skills and tools that I will use to serve as a positive and effective leader in my community. Without a doubt, I will take home and apply all of the new skills that I learned concerning leadership and communication.

I would advise any future participants to come to Kutz with an open mind. It may seem a little intimidating and overwhelming at first because of all the remarkable new teens you will meet and the content that you will be learning. But if you come to Kutz totally engaged and ready to learn, you will be fully prepared for the immense amount of drive, focus, and effort that will be demanded of you as a leader. Kutz is an amazing place. I can really only say that “what you give is what you get.” Make sure that you come to Kutz ready to learn how to become the best leader you can be. At Kutz you will be forced to “make uncomfortable your new comfortable.” Kutz is an amazing place, and you will have an incredible time. Trust me.

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