Edmond teenager elected to lead Jewish youth organization

Evan Traylor, an Edmond Memorial High School student, was recently elected national president of the North American Federation of Temple Youth for the 2012-13 year
BY CARLA HINTON chinton@opubco.com Published: March 3, 2012

An Edmond teenager was recently elected president of a national Jewish youth organization.

Evan Traylor, 17, was elected national president of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) on Feb. 19 at the organization's national board meeting in Utica, Miss.

Traylor, the son of Ann Baumgarten and Eddie Traylor, is a member of Temple B'nai Israel, 4901 N Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City.

Barbie Greer, the temple's youth director, said temple members are excited about Traylor's win.

“We haven't ever had anyone run for a national office and then to win is truly exciting,” Greer said.

She said Traylor, a senior at Edmond Memorial High School, is an active young person who served on the temple's North American Federation of Temple Youth board his freshman and sophomore years. She said he served on the organization's regional board his junior year to the present, helping to lead a region representing 27 youth groups — representing about 400 young people — in Oklahoma and Texas.

“He's such a good kid, and he has a good heart,” Greer said. “He's very good about including kids and part of being a leader is making sure of that.”

Traylor said he decided to run for the youth organization's national president because he has enjoyed being part of the group and his participation has helped him in many ways.

“NFTY has just given me a whole lot of confidence and self-awareness as a Reform Jew, especially growing up in Oklahoma where there are not a lot of Reform Jews,” he said.

He said before the election, he and other candidates were required to write a letter of intent about their plans for the organization's future. Also, the candidates had to meet with the voting delegates in small-group formats during the organization's board meeting in Mississippi.

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