Adults who think that today’s teenagers are lazy and uncommitted should meet Jesse Nowlin, 18, and Carly Davis, 16.
Jesse and Carly are the organizers of a teen rally in support of the eight captured Israeli soldiers on Sunday, Oct. 14, 3 to 5 p.m., at Votee Park’s bandshell. Together they have signed up six speakers, gotten a permit from the town, arranged for food to be donated, lined up sponsors, collected signatures for a petition to the president, set up a Website, arranged for a band to entertain, solicited help from ‘0 other teens, and publicized the rally in area high schools. All this while attending Torah Academy of Bergen County (Jesse) and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls (Carly), both in Teaneck.
Jesse Nowlin (top) and Carly Davis have spearheaded efforts to organize a rally on Oct. 14.
"The idea of the rally is really to raise awareness of the captured soliders," according to Jesse, who lives in Teaneck. "We wanted to do something along those lines." The idea came to Carly during a rally sponsored by the National Conference of Synagogue Youth last spring, when one of the speakers talked about a rally he had organized in the ’70s. "We knew we wanted to do something, but we didn’t know quite how until we got this big boost from this speaker," says Carly, who lives in Fair Lawn. "People don’t think teenagers can do much, but if the community sees we can come together for this and we believe it’s important, it’ll make a difference." Carly and Jesse are being helped by more than ‘0 other young people they have recruited from their schools and others.
The speakers lined up for the event include Yehudit Barsky, an expert on terrorism from the American Jewish Committee, Devora Halberstam, whose 16-year-old son was shot and killed on the Brooklyn Bridge 11 years ago, and Yehiel Gozal, a retired brigadier general and the head of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Also speaking will be Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Cong. Bnai Yeshurun, Eyal Neifeld, who was made blind and deaf in a terrorist bus bombing, and Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, who will either call in to the rally or send someone to speak for him.
The rally’s main sponsor is the OneFamily Fund, a group dedicated to helping Israeli victims of terror with financial, emotional, material, and legal support. Jesse and Carly ask that donations made at the rally be sent to the OneFamily Fund, GlenPointe Centre East, 300 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Teaneck, NJ 07666. Donations can also be made via the event’s Website, www.teenrally.org.
Subsidiary sponsors are the Hillel of Northern New Jersey at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, Ma-Tov Day Camp, and NCSY. EJ’s Pizza in Teaneck is supplying the food for the event, which is expected to draw at least 150 to ’00 people. The local band Omek Hadavar will play as well.
Jesse and Carly report that sets of dogtags with the soldiers’ names will be sold for $6 at the rally. Money collected through the event and its Website will be donated to the OneFamily Fund.
"We want everyone to see that kids can do this, we can speak up," says Carly. "Everyone thinks kids are too lazy or not passionate, but in reality we can do a lot. Besides rallying support for the soldiers, that’s something else I want to raise awareness of."