Friday Night Lights is the ‘must-attend’ event of the weekend for Jewish teens across the country. The name reminisces of the famous football game in Texas, movie and popular TV show, but NCSY’s Friday Night Lights is an inspirational experience that compares to no other – a Shabbaton-to-go. With FNL, NCSY seeks to invigorate Jewish life in densely populated Jewish communities that lack the benefit of Jewish communal resources. The FNL advisors coordinate the entire program, offering teens a fun and relaxing atmosphere filled with candle lighting, traditional prayer services, festive meals, singing, dancing, story telling, group discussions and recreation, thus engaging Jewish youth on many levels.
The event also provides support and a spiritual uplift to the local communities. In accordance with NCSY’s attention to both increase awareness of Judaism among unaffiliated youth, as well as to inspire those who are already observant, FNL sends a team of volunteer advisers to bring the spirit of Shabbat to communities that need it most. The program currently runs in Long Island, upstate New York; Kansas City, Kansas; and Valley Village in Los Angeles and is steadfastly moving to communities around the country. Last year, NCSY hosted 60 Friday Night Lights events, with a cumulative event attendance of 1,500 participants.