SH FAR The Ne wspa per of A Z A & BBG
We hope that you enjoy reading all of the articles ranging from new initiatives such as SpeakUP and further globalization of BBYO to exciting interviews with song leader Rebecca Ungerman and members of BBYO’s International Office staff.
The 2010-2011 BBYO Teen PR Team
Netta Ben-Hashal Southern Region – Atlanta Council
Daniel Fanaroff Northern Region East – DC Council Michaela Gilmer, Evergreen Region Roxie Goldberg Mountain Region Andrew Greenberg North Florida Region
Zoe Jablow Greater Jersey Hudson River Region Jaimie Maxwell Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region Brittany Ritell Connecticut Valley Region Nate Strauss Michigan Region The Teen PR Team is an initiative created by the BBYO International Office to give teens interested in marketing, communications, journalism and public relations the chance to gain real world experience in these fields while promoting BBYO in their local communities. The team meets on monthly conference calls in which they learn actual marketing tactics and then implement their new skills locally. For more information on the Teen PR Team, please email Avery Budman, Marketing and Communications Manager, at email@example.com.
From the Godol & N’siah pages 4-5
Life at 2020 K page 8
SpeakUP has proven to be a successful program in several communities. Many chapters, councils and regions run programs directly related to the cause. In Baltimore Council, monthly meetings now educate teens on different advocacy methods. In Mountain Region, several Israeli recipes were distributed and members engaged in a blue and white clothing campaign.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine that AZA and BBG both came before the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. However, Israel advocacy and strong support for the Jewish People have been a large part of BBYO for almost seven decades! Without Israel and our support around the State, BBYO would not be what we are today. Many international groups have embraced the Jewish homeland in the past, but few have made such an impact as BBYO’s new campaign, SpeakUP. In relation with the International Chair Network’s Israel Chairs, SpeakUP is maintained by Julianne Simson (NFR), Alyssa Baron (GCR), David Baer (MR) and Ben Adler (SR: Dixie).
Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on this issue!
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Brought to you by the BBYO Teen PR Team For the fourth year in a row, this Shofar Newsletter is brought to you by BBYO’s Teen PR Team. For more than 8 decades, The Shofar has truly been a publication for AZA and BBG teens, by AZA and BBG teens.
New look at Build a Prayer
SpeakUP, BBYO’s new initiative that redefines the way teens advocate for Israel, is uniting teens with a wide range of Israel knowledge and experiences. SpeakUP allows teens to engage themselves and understand why Israel needs our help.
“Teens that have been to Israel and even those whom haven’t [been to Israel] have been creative with programming to help develop opinions about what is occurring in our homeland,” Julianne Simson said. In October 2010, BBYO members traveled to Washington, D.C. and participated in the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) High School Summit. At the summit, teens learned the purpose and importance of advocating for Israel. With BBYO’s delegation being the largest in the summit, it is no surprise that BBYO teens are becoming more passionate and inspired to advocate on Israel’s behalf. “As an American, advocating for Israel is important because of our shared values. As a Jew, advocating for Israel is important because as the generations before us know all too well, there may be a day when we have nowhere else to go,” David Baer said.
To get more involved in SpeakUP, please talk with your regional director.
Panim el Panim – Take the Journey to Washington, DC! By Roxie Goldberg, Mountain Region Join BBYO for the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to join dozens of teens from across the country in becoming inspired and effective Jewish activists. Panim el Panim, a program of the PANIM Institute of BBYO, has engaged over 16,000 students during the past twentytwo years in various social action and public policy programs. Each year, hundreds of teens from all walks of life gather to explore the way Judaism is connected with the greater world. Focusing on specific, relevant issues, BBYO teens receive the tools to make a difference in their communities and the wider-world. Whether your passion lies in poverty, relieving hunger, environmental sustainability, or immigration policy, there is a PANIM program for you. Last summer more than seventy teens traveled to the “city of opportunity”, Washington D.C., for the “Poverty, Bread, and Justice (PB&J) Seminar.” In only five days, BBYO members traveled to Kayam Organic Farm, a Virginia farm which embodies and inspires social and ecological responsibility through hands-on Jewish agricultural education to practice community service; explored D.C.; and participated in simulations, learning about the reality of hunger around the world and in their own communities. The four days of activities and community service acted as
preparation for the climax of the seminar—a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. Each of the 72 delegates met with a congressional member from his or her state to lobby in favor of “Meals on Wheels,” a program which ensures lower income families do not go hungry.
stars as magical, when “everyone got really close and we formed our own bond.”
my community and really utilize it and get people active,” Ariel Amaru from Boulder, C.O. said.
No matter which PANIM program you embark on, the lessons learned, knowledge gained and journey partaken, the end result is
Grand Aleph Godol, Jeremy Sherman, was also at PB&J in the summer of 2010 and was astounded to see first-hand “the power we have as a group of teenagers,” and to discover, that we can accomplish so much when we organize together towards one goal. “A lot of times we’re called future leaders but here they called us the leaders of now,” Alex Metzman from Cotton States Region said about his Panim el Panim experience.
“It’s not everyday when you’re a sophomore or junior in high school and also lobbying Congress,” Tracy Schnoll, a PB&J delegate from Greater Jersey said.
always the same—empowerment. Rebecca Pinsky from Richmond, VA says it best. “Panim el Panim is definitely something every teen should try.”
Panim el Panim is not purely about political activism or social justice. Like any other BBYO program, the cornerstone of Panim el Panim is developing new friendships and creating undying bonds. Schnoll’s favorite part of her Panim el Panim experience was not lobbying or participating in the group activities, but rather Havdallah at the Lincoln Memorial in DC. Schnoll describes her experience singing under the
It is about being transported outside one’s comfort zone, and into a new city with a specific goal at hand. The program gives BBYO members a chance to be a part of a diverse group of teens who are all striving to make a difference in not only their communities, but also in the greater world. “I’ve gained the ability to bring back what I’ve learned here into
Panim el Panim is about being transported outside one’s comfort zone and into a new city with a specific goal at hand. Panim el Panim gives BBYO members a chance to be a part of a diverse group of teens who are all striving to make a difference in not only their communities, but also in the greater world. Take the next step and let your voice be heard— learn more about Panim el Panim at bbyo.org/pep! It will change the way you think about the world; it will change the way you think about Judaism; it will change the way you think about yourself.
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Making Change in the Big Easy
A NEW LOOK AT BUILD A PRAYER
By Daniel Fanaroff, Northern Region East – DC Council
By Netta Ben Hashal, Southern Region – Atlanta Council
Last November, hundreds of BBYO teens gathered in New Orleans to participate in the Panim el Panim BIG EASY Summit. While there, the teens were able to participate in hands-on activities throughout the city, as well as attend the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly.
If you don’t know BBYO’s new site Build a Prayer and the amazing applications it offers your chapters, councils, and regions, then you must have been living under a rock. Both ease and accessibility are among Build a Prayer’s greatest qualities. The website allows anyone to design, send and print custom religious services. Because services can contain any prayer the user chooses (including poems, essays or any other element the user chooses), the website has been a hit with all sects of Judaism within both BBYO and the greater Jewish community. However, this past winter break I decided to see if all the hype of Build a Prayer translated to a personally meaningful experience.
that Israeli culture has to offer, I visited the Western Wall to pay my respects. I wanted the experience to be special, so I decided to make a personal prayer book through Build a Prayer.
the Jewish people. Millions before me had made the same humble entreaties I was about to make. As I turned each page in my book to continue praying, I felt a sense of comfort. I was home.
I spent about an hour creating a prayer book that included inspirational quotes, personally significant prayers, and a page for writing a note to later put in the Wall. When I got to the Kotel I was overwhelmed with emotions. Before me was a wall of history. It represented all of Israel and its people. I almost immediately forgot my purpose for being there. It was then that I looked down and remembered my prayer book in my hand.
Visiting the Kotel this past December– although not my first–was definitely my most meaningful experience. Because of Build a Prayer, I had been able to put in words what my emotions and mind could not convey. Build a Prayer gave me the tools to comfortably and easily pray. I can now speak from experience and say that Build a Prayer’s innovative programming is the most valuable resources a Jewish person can have.
Last December, I traveled to Israel to visit my family for ten days. In addition to seeing all of my family and enjoying all
As I approached the Wall it occurred to me, not only was I holding a prayer book in my hand, but with me were the words of all of
To learn more about Build a Prayer or to design your own custom service, please visit www.buildaprayer.org.
Jewish teens were joined by 4,000 of their peers from around the country at the opening plenary, where keynote speaker Vice President Joe Biden discussed the importance of environmental advocacy and applauded the Jewish community for its consistent activism over the past decade. Another speaker at the conference, Simon Greer of the Jewish Funds for Justice, who discussed the work his organization has done throughout the New Orleans area. Attendants experienced the struggle of reconstructing New Orleans first hand, by pulling weeds in local fields and barren housing lots in the Ninth Ward as well as witnessing the damage the BP oil spill took on the Gulf of Mexico.
One of the attendants, International Shlicha Samantha Levinson, felt a great impact from her experience in the ninth ward. “Cleaning the lower Ninth Ward was definitely a highlight of the trip because we actually saw how big an impact we were making and residents of the area came to thank us for what we were doing,’ said Levinson. “They told us that many people forget about Katrina and that they are still dealing with the aftermath and it reassured them to see the Jewish community coming and helping out.” The Big EASY Jewish Teen Summit on the Environment was the first-ever teen summit in conjunction with the Jewish Federations’ of North America’s General Assembly. It provided a substantial opportunity for teens to improve our environment, gain hands-on experience and practice Tikkun Olam. To learn more about upcoming Panim el Panim issue summits, please visit www.bbyo.org/pep.
The Globalization of BBYO
Global Ambassadors Network
By Brittany Ritell, Connecticut Valley Region
StandUP By Nate Strauss, Michigan Region When you finish reading this sentence, please stand up! You might think you’ll look out of place, but just do it. Not only will your friends stand up with you, all of BBYO will StandUP too! Now I’m not talking about getting up off your chair, I’m talking about taking a stand for something you believe in. Engage your friends, your chapters, your regions, and even International BBYO. Advocate for your cause, do community service for your issue, and even raise money and donate it. All across North America, thousands of teens are standing up for their causes and speaking out for what they believe in. Created to involve teens in their local communities, StandUP has encouraged and pushed teens to realize that they have a voice and that they can change the world. This idea was
first promoted at IC 2009 in New Jersey where it quickly took off. Regions began voting on causes in which to engage. Community service was completed, and the word spread.
for people with special needs. Michigan Region is standing up for Kids With Cancer. CLTC 5 2010 Stood Up for Dystonia Research.
Now in its second year of existence, StandUP has been brought to new heights. Four teens from across the Order were selected to be the first ever StandUP Recording Chairs as a “All across North America, thousands of part of the International This initiative has added a teens are standing up for their causes Chair Network. These more meaningful aspect teens work with the to AZA’s and BBG’s Social and speaking out for what they believe International Office, the Action programming in. Created to involve teens in their local International Mazkirim, folds. Before StandUP, each other to help communities, Stand Up has been an and teens had a harder time strengthen Regional planning social action encouragement and that extra push for StandUP causes. programs because there International StandUP teens to realize that they have a voice Recording Chairman was very little direction to the concept. and that they can change the world.” Josh Morof, of Michigan Region, can’t believe StandUP is not only being how StandUP has taken celebrated regionally; international Gold Coast stands up for poverty. off. As a Regional Shaliach, Josh efforts are shining through North Carolina Council Eastern was incredibly instrumental in everyday. Regions are hosting Region supports children in need. choosing his region’s cause. “After events all over the country. Multiple states and regions are seeing other regions’ passions Houston Teens in Lonestar Region hosting successful efforts. and desires to change the world, it BBYO are standing up for inclusion makes me excited to see where our
social action endeavors will go on the international level!” said Morof. Last year at IC, there was a spirit day for regions to show off their causes. Who knows how BBYO will celebrate StandUP this year, but make sure you are a part of it!
BBYO exists around the world and now provides the opportunity for Jews of all backgrounds to interact like never before! By being a BBYO global ambassador, we have the incredible chance to learn about traditions of BBYO in other countries and expand knowledge of BBYO on an international level. Though BBYO regions across the globe are united under one name, we function differently. Through the global ambassadors program, we can learn more about each other and expand as a group. We can only truly be a youth movement if we are all moving in the same direction, at the same time and at the same pace. The global ambassadors have been working hard to connect to their various communities and help the international chapters market International programs. This helps because they seem enticing for their members to attend. BBYO regions in the U.S. are is trying to increase the connection to other BBYO communities by helping them join our International initiatives and programs such as BBG Shabbat and J-Serve. Global Ambassador Update: Argentina: The Jewish community in Argentina is very strong in Buenos Aires and the teens are involved
with Maccabi. Members often get together for Shabbat dinners. There are two teens coming to IC from Argentina. UK/Ireland: While BBYO in Ireland is similar to the United States, in Ireland there are no BBG & AZA
it has held several programs and collaborated with the community to organize BBYO sponsored events. Australia/New Zealand: Australia has been working hard to get BBYO back on the map. There has been contact made with a few schools
chapters because all the chapters are Co-Ed. They have eight chapters in their region. Keep an eye out for delegates from this area during IC!
and synagogues in Sydney, where they are working on establishing strong programs to get know the community.
Serbia: BBYO is fairly new in Serbia. This BBYO community, though it has a great deal of members that are very excited to participate in International events it will hopefully send a few attendees to IC! Currently,
Turkey: This year, there have been contacts with a few of the driving forces behind Turkey’s programming and there is a lot of work towards helping them achieve their goals. Their first goal is to keep their teens
secure while creating the same kind of meaningful experiences that BBYO offers in the United States. They are making a strong effort to get at least two members from Turkey coming to IC. France/Switzerland: There has been contact made with the National President of France and he is very interested in trying to make connections between BBYO in North America and BBYO in France. Some members of BBYO France didn’t even know it existed here until recently! They are learning about all opportunities that BBYO has to offer. Beginning New Relations : After a lot of research, has decided to expand to Mexico, South Africa and Brazil. BBYO is making many attempts to contact Jewish organizations in all three countries to explain BBYO and its benefits for the community. These countries will not be sending teens to IC this year, but hopefully next year!
Head Ambassador Dan Weissman (NSR) UK/Ireland Alyssa Baron (GCR) Perry Feinstein (SJR) Israel Liel Azoolin (GCR) Max Adelstein (PCR) Turkey Mory Katan (SJR) Bette Amir-Brownstein (EGR) Serbia Melanie Xanttopoulos (Miami) Julia Sklaver (NRE-DC) France-Switzerland Rachel O’Keefe (NRE-NoVA) Brittany Ritell (CVR) Developing New Relationships Jolie Spiegelman (CSR) Aaron Katz (NRE-DC) Argentina Sam Levinson (NRE-NoVA) Melissa Fumbarg (PCR) Bulgaria Max Kohrman (Miami) Sarah Sloan (NSR) Australia-New Zealand Andrew Shaw (KMR) Talia Katz (NRE-DC)
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Interviews with the Grand Aleph Godol and the International Godol N’siah By Jaimie Maxwell, Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region
Interview with Arielle Braude Q: How has being International N’siah changed your BBYO experience? Arielle: Being International N’siah has made my BBYO experience even more wonderful! It has truly taught me that while each of our regions and councils has unique qualities that make them individual, we are all working toward the same goals and doing the same things. No matter where you go - from Denver to Nashville to Pittsburgh and everywhere in between - there are girls reading and living by the Menorah pledge principles. Q: Why did you want to become International N’siah? Arielle: I first fell in love with the International Order after attending CLTC. I attended ILTC, Kallah, served as Regional N’siah and watched my region grow. My BBG experience had been so wonderful and empowering, that I knew I wanted to help provide an even better experience for more members. I wanted to become International N’siah to help regions and councils across the Order achieve success and grow by working with my sister B’nai B’rith Girls!
Q: What do you find to be the most difficult thing to do as International N’siah? Arielle: The most challenging part of my job is working on so many different projects at once - I am involved in many different areas of BBG and BBYO, Inc.! I have had to become quite the multi-tasker. While being International N’siah is quite challenging, I love it! Q: What do you want to accomplish by the end of your term? Arielle: I want my board to leave the Order better than it was when we came into it by focusing on five main priorities: membership, programming, Stand Up!, Israel, and globalization. I want to improve the Order by helping my sisters turn their dreams into realities and improve their regions, councils and chapters while uniting as one!
they are doing! SJR rocks!
Interview with Jeremy Sherman
Q: What are some things you do to help when visiting a region?
Q: What is your favorite part about being Grand Aleph Gadol(GAG)?
Arielle: Each one of my visits varies depending on the needs and wants of the region and its leaders! I can attend a convention, run programs, visit chapters, meet with regional and chapter leaders, meet with staff or community leaders, and more! I love to help in any way I can during the time I am in a region! After I visit, I try to follow up and help the region continue to progress and remain helpful! While I can greatly help during a visit, I am also a resource to all members every day of the year! Please reach out to me with any questions you have, help you need, or topic you’d like to talk about! I’d love to be friends with as many of my sisters as possible, in person or not!
Jeremy: My favorite part of being the GAG is definitely traveling all over the world and meeting so many different kinds of people. I love seeing new sights, experiencing new things, and most importantly trying new foods! I’ve been to some really great places and met some incredible people along the way. Throughout my travels, I’ve realized how different each part of the country and world is from one another, yet I’ve also realized how similar we are. While every region, council and chapter is unique, similarities. We share traditions that range from opening ceremonies to names of conventions. No matter where I am, I know my Brother Alephs will always be there. In December, I traveled to the UK, Israel, Bulgaria, and Serbia. It was really amazing to see how different yet similar BBYO is around the world.
Q: What has your connection been like to your home chapter/region? Arielle: I am in love with my region, South Jersey Region, and my chapter, Chevrah BBG #2342! I talk to people in my region almost every day and love when I see them or hear about the stellar things
Wisconsin Region’s AZA is going strong with over 70 guys participating in the weekly AZAA league.
continue working and to make KCC better!
My visit to GMR is another one of my favorites. Two things made this trip stand out: the food and the people. I had awesome food while I was in the Chicago area. Whether it was sushi, falafel, shawarma or the dish that the chapter made for an Iron Chef night I attended. I had the privilege to meet with some important Jewish leaders in downtown Chicago. I met with just about every AZA chapter and spent a lot of time with the Regional Board. Last I enjoyed my trip to Mid-America - Kansas City Council. When you think of Kansas City you probably think there’s nothing there. That’s exactly what I thought too... until I went. Kansas City Council has one of the strongest BBYO programs I’ve seen and continues to grow and thrive. Kansas City’s Jewish population may not be huge, the community embraces BBYO entirely and BBYO supports the community. It was extremely refreshing to travel to Kansas City and see how great they are doing. I loved being able to encourage them to
Jeremy: I loved visiting Northwest Canada Region, Great M i d w e s t
Wh at a Ye a r ! d a H s a H O Y BB ie Maxwell, Kentucky Indiana Ohio
incredible time. The people I met were great and showed a lot of enthusiasm when I talked to them about International BBYO. Although I wasn’t even in the United States, I felt right at home when we sang “Up You Men” and did
Q: Which visit has been your favorite so far?
Wow! Regional Map coordinated by Jaim
Region (GMR), and MAR - Kansas City Council. I First, traveled to Northwest Canada Region in October for their Regional Leadership Training Conference, in Calgary, Canada. I had never been to that part of Canada and didn’t know what to expect. I had an
Michigan Region hosted three other regions for the first-ever Mid-West Exec Training.
Lake Ontario Region will engage over 400 teens in service projects durring J-Serve Toronto 2011.
Jeremy: That’s easy: number one - go to CLTC, number two - travel to Israel, number three - run for chapter/council/regional/ International Board.
Q: What is the most important thing to you in BBYO?
Q: Could you explain the newest International initiatives?
Jeremy: This may sound odd, but the most important thing to me in BBYO is younger members. I believe that every member has the potential to make a difference within his or her chapter, council and region. This all begins freshman year. I believe that all it takes is some guidance and inspiration from older members who take younger members under their “wing”. Whenever I visit a region, I make sure to talk to as many freshmen and sophomores as I can because they are the future of this organization. Younger BBYO members have so much potential. If an older member reaches out to a younger member and inspires him or her to run for board or to attend CLTC, that experience could change that younger member’s life. Personally, I have had a life-changing experience during my time in BBYO and I believe that everyone can too. It’s extremely important to me to be a mentor, an inspiration and a role model to every younger member I meet.
Jeremy: Of course! Let me explain two: Speak Up! and TC3. Speak Up! is BBYO’s new campaign around Israel advocacy. Israel is such an important part of being Jewish. While many of us [teens] may take it for granted, Israel advocacy is something we must fight for. SpeakUP is BBYO’s way of saying that the chapters, councils, and regions support Israel. Through Speak UP teens can plan programs for their chapter about Israel, hold rallies, lobby their congressmen, learn about Israeli culture and so much more. The most important thing to remember about SpeakUP is that being an advocate for Israel is incredibly important and that as Jews and BBYO members, it is our duty to support Israel.
BBG work hand in hand to plan promote and participate in TC programs. Another important part of TC3 is creating prospect lists that you can advertise TC events. Get involved with Teen Connection and TC3 today! Q: What will you do when you are relieved of your position? Jeremy: After my term as Grand Aleph Godol, I’ll probably spend my summer relaxing and studying for college. I’m planning to possibly learning Chinese (Mandarin) during the summer because I’m interested in taking Chinese in college. I’m also considering looking for an internship with an advertising agency because it’s something I’m interested in studying. Then, in the fall, I’ll be going to the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St Louis.
TC3 is a brand new international initiative around Teen Connection! TC3 explains how to make a region/council’s Teen Connection program successful in three easy steps. The most important thing to know is that Teen Connection can only be successful if members of AZA and
Q: What are the top 3 things you think people should do before leaving BBYO?
Ohio Northern Region teens are on target to perform 8,760 hours of community service (a whole year = 365 days x24 hours) and raise $8760 for various charities.
Great Midwest Region is proud to announce that for the first time in a long time, it has a chapter in the City of Chicago!
Connecticut Valley Region had 260 teens at its largest winter convention in 10 years and now has the largest Jewish teen movement program in Western Massachusetts.
Keystone Mountain Region will be wearing pink jerseys to support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in its JCC basketball league.
Big Apple Region grew strong with a military themed convention and is in the process of starting two new chapters.
Evergreen Region held its first ever city Execs for all chapters boards.
Nassau-Suffolk Region started a new BBG chapter and had over 430 members attended Winter Convention. Greater Jersey Husdon River Region hosted an interregional Senior Weekend that culminated in a Havdallah song session at High Line Park in NYC. Central Region West is going strong with over 500 members.
Philadelphia Region participated in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia walk, and raised over $5,000 for pediatric research. Mountain Region started a new BBYO chapter in Nevada and had over 150 people signed up for Winter Convention.
South Jersey Region started an annual youth Leadership Training Institute with 50 leaders participating. D.C. Council launched 4 new AZA chapters and 1 BBG chapter. Eastern Region, had the first four people to sign up for CLTC this summer.
Rocky Mountain Region had two BBYO chapters split into AZA and BBG chapters.
Cotton States Region had two chapters exceed $10,000 in fundraising. North Florida Region was proud to hold its second ever regional Kallah.
Mid America Region - Kansas City Council revived AZAA Basketball and BBG Powder-puff Football! Omaha Council has started its first ever StandUP campaign. St Louis Council recently had its recruitment kickoff with over 35 potential new members present!
North Texas Oklahoma Region started a new BBG chapter.
Lonestar Region hosted the first-ever TEXOMA convention along with NTO.
Gold Coast Region had an amazing AZA/BBG colorwar. Miami Region started a new chapter in Aventura.
Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region held its first-ever Spirit Convention that created a great sense of spirit throughout the region.
Baltimore Council started a new BBG and BBYO chapter and raised over $500 for the JDC.
Dixie Council has been involved in their StandUP cause providing support for Sderot, and is raising more money than ever before. Atlanta Council had a great New Member Convention with over 150 new members.
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Get to Know Rebecca Ungerman: BBYO’s Favorite Songleader
Jewish Identity Beyond BBYO – In College?
By Netta Ben-Hashal, Southern Region – Atlanta and Andrew Greenberg, North Florida Region
By Michaela Gilmer, Evergreen Region and Roxie Goldberg, Mountain Region
Q: The International Convention 2011 theme is “Our Movement. Our Moment.” How do you interpret this?
artist. I got to give it to Debbie Friedman also. She really began a movement.
Rebecca: Our movement our moment…. Well, that means its now, there is no time to wait for action, and we as BBYO are an educated and a knowledgeable force. It is definitely our moment and we need to act now.
Q: Will you be back at CLTC this summer? Rebecca: Of course. Yes I will by
design, and for two seconds, a cantor. I realized a little later however that my heart was truly in entertainment/philanthropy. Using my talents to make a difference. Just because you don’t have the money to give does not mean you cannot give generously and make a difference. I’ve always wanted to
Rebecca: ACT NOW. If you want to do it, do it. Audition for plays, join a choir. Don’t expect to become magically famous. If you want to sing then sing and if you want to play, play. Q: How do you think young teens can make an impact like you have?
golly. I am more than excited to be back with my CLTCers at the new location in Bethany, WV.
Q: When you were a child, did you dream of becoming a musician?
Rebecca: Definitely Bette Midler: both as an artist and activist, as well as Matthew Wilson – a jazz
Rebecca: Becoming an oceanographer was my big dream all through high school. I wanted to be a techie doing lighting
Q: Who is inspiration?
Q: Were you in BBYO as a teen? Rebecca: On a board level, I was Community Service Chairwoman for three terms. I was the type of teen who went to everything and participated in every project. I was not so into planning the actual events, but adored attending everything. I went to one summer program called Shir Kada. It was a program teaching teens to teach and take back the skills of dance to their regions. That summer program was basically why I do what I do.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
Rebecca: ACT NOW. If you are passionate about a cause, then you need to open your eyes and open your mouth. Get off your tuchus and do something about it. All of us just sit around too much, and we need to take action. All I did was pick up the phone and ask if a few of my friends wanted to do a show and now we are joyfully celebrating our tenth successful year.
for sure and I still feel like I am still nurturing the endeavor of “The Jewish Album.” But plans are definitely under way. I also love hearing from all of you guys. I am open for suggestions!
be the poorest person to raise the most money for a cause. Q: In February, you released your first inspirational collection entitled “The Jewish Album.” Do you plan to release a follow-up album in the near future? Rebecca: I am planning a followup! Stay tuned. I loved the project
Q: Growing up in Tulsa, did you ever face anti-semitism? What advice do you have for teens dealing with it within their communities? Rebecca: Yes, there were always those people being “kind enough to tell me” that I was going to hell for being Jewish. But the anti-Semitism was very minor and not dangerous. My first piece of advice: be safe. People can be harsh
The Chair Network Check-Up By Brittany Ritell, Connecticut Valley Region In September 2010, the International Chair Network was announced. Since then, the chairs have been hard at work! Below is a look at what they have been working on and what is to come later on this year. Below are messages from the International 2010/2011 Chairs! Integrating History Chair: Sam Levinson (NRE-NoVA) We are working on having a database of resources from the execs body by the end of the year. CLTC Liaison Chairs: Will Canning (Miami) and Lex Witkin (NSR) We want to get people involved and keep them involved after CLTC- keep people excited about coming back to their chapters and regions and making a difference. We’re finding ways to keep CLTC alumni involved by encourageing them to attend ILTC, Kallah, Impact programs, IC and other summer programs. Our goal is to make people aware of all the different opportunities they have! Finally, we want to appeal to a new generation of possible CLTC attendees by educating them about what CLTC is and getting parents on board! Major Events Chair: Alli Ginsburg (MAR-St. Louis) Our goal is to create an international standard for conventions and major events planning. These are the most widely attended and most visible BBYO events. We are working hard with staff to create a convention section to add to the program bank. Expect a lot of releases from the Major
Events Chair in the future! D’var Torah Chair: Josh Wynne (SJR) and Alissa Hartnig (South Atlanta) Each week, we write a D’var Torah planed a program based around the D’var. The weekly D’var lets people have an understanding of the parsha even if they don’t go to services every week. Also the Divrei can serve as a weekly reminder of your Jewish identity. Because it is sent to all of the Facebook group, it can serve as a way to unite us all. Fundraising Chairs: Leah Markowitz (BAR), Jory Segal (KMR), Talia Katz (NRE-DC), Jason Block (PCR) We are working on a release titled “Global Giving” which explains I$F, BBYO’s globalization and how you can raise money for this important cause. It is coming out soon and will be awesome! In addition, we also made the “International Fundraising Reporting Page” on Facebook, where people from across the Order can network and share fundraising tips and ideas. It already has over 500 “likes.” StandUP reporting Chairs: Abagail Koffler (BAR), Josh Morof (Michigan), Remy Fine (NTO) and Zev Macklin (NWC) StandUP reporting is all about making the International Order understand what StandUP is and help people apply it in their regions. We collect all the regions’ causes to try and help them improve their programs. We are coming out with a “How To Guide” for StandUP fundraising, advocacy and community service! Definitely keep a look-out for those three releases.
Israel Chairs: Julianne Simson (NFR), Alyssa Baron (GCR), David Baer (Mountain) Our main priority this year is BBYO’s new International initiative of redefining the way teens advocate for Israel, Speak Up! We are focusing on making sure everyone understands that Speak Up! is an ongoing initiative and that teens should be programming about Israel all year. We are currently focusing on bringing members up to date with Israel’s history, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the America-Israel relationship. We are also working with the Israel Global Ambassadors to finda way for teens to connect with other teens in Tzameret. Program Innovation Chairs: Julia Reinstein (GJHRR- Northern) and Aaron Dannenbaum (SJR) We are working to improve the quality of programming all across the Order. Everyone can expect to see many new resources to guide members on the chapter, regional, and international levels in excellent and innovative programming! We are in the process of filling the program bank with programs that exemplify what a program should look like. Education Expansion Chair: Sydney Bennet (CRW), Alex Metzman (CSR), Rebecca Hanai (CSR), Morgan Wittenberg (Eastern-NCC), Steven Wulfe (Lonestar), Austin Goodman (Michigan), Josh Winik (NER), Lindsey Duboff (SJR) One of the main jobs of the Education Expansion Chairs are to rewrite/recreate the Red and Blue Books. Specifically, this means adding information about Globalization, StandUP, SpeakUP,
the fact that we’re no longer associated with B’nai B’rith and more. Both boy and girl members will be having photo contests to pick new pictures that will go in the Blue Book. This opportunity is a one-ofa-kind for all current members. Last we sent out one release focusing on goals and currently, we are working on another release focusing on recruitment and education through programming. Pluralism Expansion Chair: Oz Fishman (CRW) We are working on a large-scale release that will help BBYO teens engage a more diverse segment within the Jewish community in services, programming, and a general BBYO experience that is inclusive and celebratory of their differences. Technology and Design Chair: Rebecca Pinsky (Eastern-VAC) I make BBYO branding/marketing easy and accessible. I also deal with basics in technology and design like making releases, platforms, and branded PR. I’m currently working on a Design Bank which is like the program bank only instead of programs it has logos, fonts, releases, etc. Some of our chair people were so hard at work that they couldn’t send in reports, but they deserve recognition all the same! Your College Connection Chairs are Ross Aroyo and Nate Kasmanoff from GJHRR. Your Program Bank Chairs are Logan Miller (BAR), Nicole Pavlovsky (CRW), Nathan Feler (CSR), Whitney Perlen (CSR), Allie Michel (Eastern-NCC), Ethan Ritz (GMR), Jonathon Block (NRE-DC) and Ayden Rosenberg of NSR.
and violent. If it is safe, then speak up. Shine a light on that ignorance, and make people aware. Q: What musical instruments do you play? Rebecca: None well. The instrument I’ve mastered is my voice. I am a pretty serviceable guitarist, O.K. with the ukulele, some percussion, and I kind of play piano. If I could play any instrument though, it would be the clarinet. Such a beautiful instrument, Q: Where can teens that haven’t found a Jewish connection find it? In essence, where do you go to be Jewish? Rebecca: Take advantage of your community. So many communities have adult Jewish institutes or Hebrew High. Go out and learn. If you want to learn you must become a student. My best advice: Take what you love and find how it’s Jewish. Find the coolness in it. If you like Reggae, then find a Jewish artist. There are a lot of teachers but you have to look closely to find them. Q: Any closing thoughts, Rebecca? Rebecca: Well, I suppose just keep on rockin’. Remember that if you want to make a difference, you must act now.
Our time spent in BBYO is unforgettable, invaluable and unparalleled to anything else. Perhaps the most stand-out memories from high school will be from BBYO summer programs, regional conventions, Shabbat dinners and eating spooey with your BBG sisters or hanging with your AZA brothers. Though no one wants to believe it, these moments in BBYO eventually come to an end. While we must part from weekly programming, the BBYO journey does not end with high school graduation. Instead, it is merely transformed. As juniors begin the university hunt and seniors finalize their college plans, one question seems to be a recurring theme for BBYO teens: How do I stay connected to my Jewish faith without BBYO as my anchor? With Jewish fraternities and sororities, Hillel, and an abundance of other Jewish clubs and organizations, the Jewish faith is never far from a BBG or AZA’s heart. “I will continue to observe Judaism by doing direct service, engaging in
philanthropic efforts and advocating for causes I believe in. These are all actions based in Jewish values. I will also definitely connect with Jews around me to observe Judaic holidays,” said International N’siah Arielle Braude. Braude plans to attend New York University next fall and will be surrounded with opportunities for Jewish involvement. With 6,000 Jewish students, NYU has the largest Jewish student population in the nation. NYU’s Hillel offers activities in 29 areas, including a cappella groups, Greek life and community. In addition, students at NYU may decide to major or minor in Jewish Studies and to be on a full kosher meal plan. While the universities with the highest Jewish populations appear to be concentrated on the East coast, including Boston University, Yeshiva University in New York and the University of Florida at Gainesville, there are Jewish students to be found at each of the nation’s 4,000 universities. The important question is how you will continue
“...these moments in BBYO do eventually come to an end. While we must part from weekly programming, the BBYO journey does not end with high school graduation. Instead, it is merely transformed.”
to strengthen your Jewish identity while in college. Rachel Lourie was an active member of Dixie Council BBYO. She graduated
Explore the World with Passport By Michaela Gilmer, Evergreen Region Don’t let the summer go by without I want nothing more than to experience some adventure! Passport to the World, it through a Passport program. This year, BBYO’s global travel experience, allows BBYO is also offering a similar experience Jewish teens to travel around the globe for those who cannot attend called to Spain, England, Costa Rica, France, Euro-Israel Journey Poland. Italy, and of course Israel! All trips differ, but share one thing: the love and interest “I do believe this trip changed so much for that participants have for all people and me including my Jewish identity and how I humanity. Passport to the World is an view the world,” Bacharach added. “Being incredible program that leads teens on in Israel was so real and I was finally able to once-in-a-lifetime experiences and many understand my homeland.” teens return changed, better people. Passport to the World is an experience Danielle Bacharach of Northern Region that every Jewish teen should consider. East-DC Council went on Israel Journey You will not only discover the world in a three this past summer. She returned whole new way, but you will discover a a changed person and views Judaism new part of yourself. We are the leaders of in a whole new light. An tomorrow. Why not start today? important part about her “Don’t let the Sign up for a Passport Program trip was that she was able to and start exploring your life learn about her culture, her summer go by through travel. heritage and her roots. without some learn more, visit adventure!” To “My trip differed from a www.passport2theworld.org typical BBYO summer today! experience because I was in a different country, more importantly my homeland,” said Bacharach. “I got to experience our traditions as a Jew and the different forms of our religion”. Bacharach plans to particpate in another BBYO Passport trip, March of the Living. The March of the Living is a two-week, life-altering journey where teens bear witness to the destruction of the Holocaust in Poland followed by a celebration of the State of Israel in the Jewish Homeland. An emotional, overwhelming, lifechanging experience that ALL Jewish teens and adults should participate in during their lifetime. March of the Living is the only Passport experience that does not take place during the summer. March of the Living is during the time of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) during the beginning of March. March of the Living is a program that I personally plan on attending durring my senior year of BBYO. I have heard nothing but incredible, amazing, indescribable stories about this program and
in 2010, coordinated CLTC 6 this past summer and is currently attending Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
cornucopia of college options, an important piece of advice is “don’t put anything over your happiness,” Lourie said.
“BBYO made me realize how important it was to me that I was around other Jewish people and in a thriving Jewish community, which is part of why I chose to come to Tulane. It means so much to me that on any Jewish holiday, there are places on campus I can go to celebrate, and the huge presence of Chabad and Hillel on campus have made such a difference,” said Lourie.
Whether attending a school with an active Jewish population, a small but mighty one or neither of the two the passion and spirit of BBYO is sure to continue ringing throughout the years.
While many BBYO members will be looking at the number of Jewish students attending their desired school, we must keep in mind that like BBYO chapters, it is not the size of a group but the passion of the group that makes the difference.
“Being a part of BBYO gives us the choice of what part of Judaism is meaningful to us and once we find it, it becomes a part of us. After high school it is important to not leave that part of yourself behind,” Brownstein said.
Though our BBYO years may be coming to an end sooner than any of us would hope, BBGs and AZAs will never forget the incredible programs they were involved in, the friends they made and the experiences they shared. When wading through the
DON’T FORGET – BBYO’S FRIENDS & ALUMNI NETWORK IS ALSO HERE FOR YOU AFTER GRADUATION! TO LEARN MORE, VISIT WWW.BBYO.ORG/FAN.
Senior and dedicated BBG, Evergreen Region’s Bette Amir-Browstein is in the final process of finalizing her plans for next year.
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Ever Wanted to Know What It Is Like to Work in the BBYO International Office? Read these confessions of BBYO International Office professionals below! Find out for yourself what it’s like to work at the one and only 2020 K! Compiled By Nate Strauss, Michigan Region
Lander Gold keeps what he thinks is a secret stash of granola bars in one of his desk drawers, but everyone knows they are there and takes them. – Matt Grossman
I’m in love with the fiber bars that Amy “hides” in her cabinet. – Teju Lipede
It’s like Alcatraz around here! You need a key to go anywhere in this office, even the bathroom. – Sarah Schonberg
I love it when Rabbi David Kessel comes in the office every morning and sings a song to me or anyone who is in the space that is now called the “office pit”. – Sabrina Moore
The office is one big circle and you have to walk all the way around just to see someone across the hall. – Rachel Hochheiser Schwartz
We have snack time on Fridays. – Samantha Rosenberg Just self-published my first comic book! -Joe Galletta
We love Sabrina just as much as you! – Amy Dorfman
sweater-vest (one of my 14) to honor the greatest TV character of all-time, Andy Bernard (the tv depiction of me) on “The Office”.
We have a place called a “phone closet” so people who work in public spaces can make personal phone calls with privacy. Genius. – Avery Budman
– Lander Gold
I have begun two dress-up days since starting at BBYO: sequin Tuesday and flannel Friday. Feel free to join me! – Ayelet Oser
The official drink of the 2020 office is Diet Coke in the silver can, no exceptions. – Lindsay Larner
The marketing team celebrates 3pm everyday with a piece of chocolate. – Carly Lundy
Sometimes, the office refrigerator can smell pretty bad, but then Lander steps forward to take care of it. – Rabbi David Kessel
The best part of coming to work
in the International Office is that we are all friends; it’s just like the good old days of BBYO! – Natalie Sukienik
When Regions Unite! By Zoe Jablow, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region Interregional conventions have become more popular than ever this year! Through this new opportunity for regions to work closer than ever before, the greatness of BBYO International programs is easier to achieve than ever! Not sure how to pull off an interregional event? Here are a few ideas for how to pull it off! In August, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region (GJHRR) hosted the Northeast Hub Board Retreat in Milford, Pennsylvania. Fifty-three participants from Big Apple Region (BAR), Central Valley Region (CVR), Keystone Mountain Region (KMR), Lake Ontario Region (LOR and New England Region (NER), joined together to learn about leadership. Regional Directors and staff led sessions on BBYO fundamentals and leadership practices. One of the most effective programs taught participants different strategies to get a group quiet. Sharon Kahn, N’siah of Big Apple Region said, “It was an amazing experience to meet with the highest leaders of each region in the Northeast Hub. We got the opportunity to learn how each region operates.” In addition to holding the Northeast Retreat, GJHRR also had its annual Senior Weekend, the only convention
their interregional counterparts. Many ideas were shared in strategic planning and regional sessions. The leaders also took part in a great program with local Rabbi, Josh Bennett, who helped them come up with Judaic programming by looking at objects in a temple and creating programs accordingly. Philly Region and Northern Region East had their largest regional convention ever on December 2427. Nearly 500 members met in Baltimore, Maryland for a weekend full of separates, mid-states, chapter spirit competitions and a dance. We should also all be keeping an eye on East Coast Kallah in March in BBYO restricted to the senior class. This year, the region invited a other regions. Seniors from BAR, CVR and GJHRR had a memorable Saturday night in New York City commencing with a Havdallah song session at High Line Park. In addition, North Texas-Oklahoma and Lonestar Region revived the Texoma Convention in August. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors went to Austin, Texas where they participated in many fun activities and toured the University of Texas campus. While staying on
campus, participants had Shabbat dinner at AEPI. The next morning, participants had an option to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests. A lot of the programs dealt with leadership and college including chapter budgeting and dorm room decorating. To conclude Shabbat, Havdallah was held on a river barge on Lake Austin. This year, Michigan Region and Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region held their first interregional convention at Midwest Execs. The programs catered to the regional boards and
2011. Northern Region East, Eastern, Keystone Mountain, South Jersey, Nassau Suffolk, Philly, Big Apple and Westchester will be joining together for a mega-Shabbat packed with spirit and tradition, an incredible
program lineup, renowned guest educators, and an unprecedented fundraising effort for Jewish teens overseas. All in all, International BBYO doesn’t have to begin over the summer at Camp Pearlman or Beber. Local teens can experience BBYO on a whole new scale with interregional programming on the rise. “Interregional relations made us realize that we are a part of something that is bigger than any of us could have imagined,” said Sharon Kahn. “Even though we are all from different states and even different countries, we were all gathered together for one purpose.”