See You in Dallas for IC 2014!
After five days, 11 meals, 71 Limmud sessions, and two invigorating elections, the 1500 delegates of International Convention 2013 are about to take their experience home. They'll share with their chapters new programming and recruitment ideas. They'll broaden their communities with their new understanding of global Judaism, and they'll inspire their friends to engage in BBYO Stand UP for compelling causes. But, their international experience isn't over.
Today, the BBYO movement begins our countdown to International Convention 2014 in Dallas! Hosted by the North Texas Oklahoma region, we will build upon the extensive success of IC 2013, featuring even more spirit, more music, more leadership development, more innovative Shabbat services, more community impact and more opportunities to connect with Jewish teens from all around the world – we can't wait to see you there!
P.S. Can't wait until next February to get more international action? Some of our summer programs still have room!
Spirit Award Winners
As AZA BBG IC 2013 comes to a close it is apparent that each region brought unique and creative spirit to the International Order. Sunday night, the winners of the Max F. Baer Spirit Gavel and Anita Perlman Spirit Cup were announced and BBYO members were all intrigued to see who had won this year.
BBYO Big Apple Region BBG won the Anita Perlman Spirit Cup for the first time in history! It is clear they worked hard to plan successful spirit that stood out to the rest of the Order. From red clothing and accessories to dressing in IDF soldier apparel on Israel day and happily representing the grass root chapters on Sunday, BAR has shown many incredible things this weekend.
BBYO Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region AZA was very excited to receive the Max F. Baer Spirit Gavel. Throughout the convention, KIO Alephs wore duck necklaces, ducs hats and tie dyed t-shirts. The boys were positive and outgoing with catchy cheers and vibrant outfits. The hard work put into the planning of KIO's sprint wear really paid off with the win of the Gavel.
Written by Jolie Weiawsky, BBYO Big Apple Region, and Micaela Negreann, BBYO Rocky Mountain Region, IC Press Corps
Hoodie Allen and Timeflies Close AZA BBG IC 2013
It was the perfect way to end the perfect weekend. Ever since Ryan and Hilit announced the performers at IC, everyone has been incredibly excited. Hoodie Allen and Timeflies did everything but disappoint.
Crowds were lined up waiting to enter the ballroom an hour before the doors opened. Being on the shorter side, I was able to make my way to the front and see both performers up close. Hoodie Allen opened the show and was absolutely fantastic. Congrats, Mika, for winning the dance off!
Timeflies followed and he owned the stage. I'm sure the guests five floors up could hear the girls screaming (myself included) every time he reached out to touch our hands. I was one of the lucky ones and got to touch him not once, but twice - my night was made.
The concert ended with two bonus songs by Timeflies and, at that point, the girls had no voice and staff had no hearing.
Last night was by far the best end to the best International Convention BBYO has ever been a part of.
Written by Jill Curiwn, BBYO South Jersey Region, IC Press Corps
Congratulations to the 89th Grand and 69th International Boards!
The 89th Grand Board of the Aleph Zadik Aleph
Grand Aleph Godol: Mika Stein, North Texas Oklahoma Region
Grand Aleph S'gan: Ryan Dishell, Pacific Western Region
Grand Aleph Moreh, Jake Cook, Southern Region: Atlanta Council
Grand Aleph Mazkir: Daniel Widawsky, Big Apple Region
Grand Aleph Shaliach: Gary Levine, North Texas Oklahoma Region
The 69th International Board of the B'nai B'rith Girls
International N'siah: Michaela Brown, Northern Region East: NoVa Council
International S'ganit: Maya Guthman, Northern Region East: DC Council
International Aym HaChaverot: Kate Reinerston, Evergreen Region
International Mazkirah: Sofie Jacobs, Northern Region East: DC Council
International Sh'licha: Tracey Katz, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region
The State of the Order
Saturday night served as a very important night here at AZA BBG IC 2013. It was not only the close of an incredible Shabbat, but it was also when Logan Miller, the Grand Aleph Godol, and Sarah Minion, the International N'siah, addressed the entire IC body. They told us about all of the amazing endeavors they’d championed over the past seven months.
The night started out with various awards that were given to teens in return for their hard work and dedication thus far in BBYO. Outstanding advisors were recognized for their hard work as well.
An incredible moment was achieved when ALL of the International Delegates were inducted into BBYO. It was so overwhelming to see their peers cheering them on in the crowd.
Once it was time for Sarah and Logan's State of the Order, both of their families spoke in honor of this milestone.
Over the past months, Logan and Sarah focused on international goals like globalization, commitment to Israel, program excellence and growing BBYO Connect. Logan emphasized that more chapters were created this year than any other year. They also added that they were hoping to start a summer program in the UK/Ireland. Sarah stated, "This is the moment our ancestors were waiting for."
At the end of the address, Logan and Sarah made sure we knew what the next step is: realizing where traditions come from and what we can do to create a brighter future for AZA and BBG!
Written by: Danielle Haft, BBYO Nassaul-Suffolk Region and Melissa Oxenhandler, BBYO Rocky Mountain Region, IC Press Corps
Regional Spirit at AZA BBG IC 2013
Each year at IC, teens from across the world come together to represent their regions and show their pride. Regions spend weeks planning what they will be wearing and doing each day of IC. From aliens to apples, everyone competes to bring home the Anita Perlman Spirit Cup and Max F. Baer Spirit Gavel. Regions go above and beyond to present themselves as the most spirited to the International Order. We spoke to a few participants to get a closer insight on regional spirit.
1. What did your region do to prepare for IC spirit?
2. What was your favorite spirit day and what did your region wear?
3. How does your region express its own traditions to the international order?
Rocky Mountain Region (RMR):
RMR worked together, collaborating ideas for each day. People were able to suggest ideas and share what they wanted to see at IC from RMR. The region wanted to create a specific mindset in order to be the most spirited and keep the unity strong. Saturday was Israel day and RMR teens enjoyed sticking out with white and blue outfits, face paint and cow bells. The regional traditions that RMR expressed were The Wizard, a regional cheer and being the only region to call its chapters by their numbers.
Gold Coast Region (GCR):
To prepare for spirit days, GCR had four spirit meetings prior to arriving at International Convention. They created three committees (clothing, cute, and cheer) and worked together to decide what special attire they would be wearing on each specific day. A regional favorite was Day 1 when they all wore matching green neon shirts with aliens on them as well as alien headgear. One tradition their region brought to the International Order was the chanting of their regional cheer, “MITCH!”
Northern Region East: DC Council (NRE: DC):
NRE: DC made spirit packs with regional gear to create a sense of unity. On their Facebook group, participants exchanged Snapchat names to get to know each other in a fun and unique way before the IC. Their favorite day was Day 1 where they showed of their cute tank tops and regional swag along with matching fanny packs. Most members love that IC is being held in Washington, DC and are happy to welcome everyone to their hometown.
Big Apple Region (BAR):
BAR had several spirit meetings to work together to prepare creative spirits for each day. There was a Spirit Committee comprised of one representative from each BBG chapter to help the Reginal N’siah add to the ideas and carry them out. The first day was a Big Apple favorite for spirit. Members showed off their BAR pride through red attire, face paint, necklaces, signs, and nametag ribbons. The region is very excited to be at IC 2013 to support Logan Miller, Grand Aleph Godol, and to show our growth. Through orange hair extensions and bone clips, BBGs showed off their mascot Pebbles during Friday night Shabbat.
So far each region has been very outgoing and excited to show off what their region has brought to IC 2013. Stay tuned to see who will bring home the Spirit Cup and Gavel!
Interviewees: Kira Altman (RMR), Jordan Diccicco (GCR), Courtney Pories and Olivia Benzaquen (NRE: DC), Leah Koffler (BAR)
Written by: Micaela Negreann, BBYO Rocky Mountain Region, and Jolie Widawsky, BBYO Big Apple Region
Interview with an International Teen: Sasha Rosenstein, Zurich, Switzerland
Mitchell Licht of BBYO Gold Coast Region interviewed International Teen Sasha Rosenstein. His experience thus far has been incredible!
Mitchell: Where are you from? Sasha: I am from Zürich, Switzerland.
Mitchell: Have you ever been on an international program, either past International Conventions or Summer Experiences? Sasha: I have not. This is my first time meeting global teens.
Mitchell: What did you imagine the United States would be like your first time? Sasha: I didn’t imagine the United States would be so big. There are so many people and big towns.
Mitchell: What do you imagine a day in the life of Matt Grossman (Executive Director of BBYO, Inc.) is like? Sasha: Crazy. A lot of meetings, office work, and phone calls.
Mitchell: If you had to summarize International Convention into one sentence, what would it be? Sasha: Connection of Jewish teen leaders all over the world!
Mitchell: What is one thing you are most nervous for at International Convention? Sasha: I am nervous for my speech at one of the Shabbat Services on Saturday that focuses on the patriotism in Switzerland.
Mitchell: What is one thing you are most excited for at International Convention? Sasha: I am most excited for opening ceremonies and meeting international leaders from around the world.
Sasha has met many new friends and is having the experience of a lifetime! With over 1,500 teens, domestic and international, this has been a record-breaking International Convention!
Written by: Mitchell Licht, BBYO Gold Coast Region, IC Press Corps
Shabbat & Limmud IC
1500 teens, 150 staff, 300 volunteers, another 50 parents, friends and alumni. 18 countries from around the globe. Shabbat at BBYO’s International Convention had a lot of numbers, but the best is just one: One Shabbat.
Over two thousand Jews celebrated Shabbat together, starting by eating dinner together. The crescendo of singing the birchat hamazon, the blessings after the meal, gave many shivers as the in- and out-of tune voices all joined together into one song. But the experience, and the powerful message, didn’t end there.
To create the Shabbat experience that they envisioned, BBYO teens planned and created 24 different and distinct Shabbat services. The teens were committed to model pluralism and willingness to explore new ways to experience Judaism. Teens from around the globe envisioned these services, selected the prayers and wrote the scripts. Reform-style and Orthodox-style services took place next to each other. There were services focused on modern Israel’s additions to technology and on the unity of all Jews around the globe.
Shabbat at BBYO is more than just prayer services. Saturday featured an expanded “Limmud IC” – a four hour learning extravaganza framed by BBYO’s educational framework. The 60 session options offered by teens, staff, alumni, and community guests looked at all three components of BBYO’s objectives: to create an environment where teens can Identify: Strengthen Jewish Identity; Connect: Create Jewish Community; and Improve: Change the world. Teens had the opportunity to learn with BBYO alumni who have started businesses and who run non-profit organizations, study Biblical texts and modern Israel political stories, strengthen their own leadership and facilitation skills and explore their current and future selves.
2,000 people, one Shabbat. These twenty-five hours closed with powerful Havdallah services that combined song, stories, text study and reflection. But the experience didn’t end on Saturday night. It went home with each participant, each volunteer and each family. Each person took home a positive example of what Shabbat can be.
Shabbat at AZA BBG IC 2013
With the sun creeping down towards the horizon and the buses returning teens from their Day of Service throughout the DC area, the lobby was surprisingly quiet compared to other days. Why? It was Shabbat at AZA BBG IC 2013. Everybody was upstairs showering, spraying cologne and perfume, fixing their hair, and putting the finishing touches on to stand out.
When 5:15pm rolled around, Alephs and BBGs sprinted out of the elevators, rushing to go light candles or to take pictures with friends they haven’t seen in months. I personally took part in the Shabbat Atmosphere - taking pictures with all my friends from CLTC, while making a few new ones along the way. It was incredible. So many people calling out to each other, “Take a picture with me!” or “Can you take this picture of us?” The joyous feeling filled the entire lobby, spreading from person to person, infecting them with smiles and laughter. I took pictures with many of my friends, occasionally making a funny face without their knowledge to tease them.
The dinner was astounding. Sitting with 15 of my closest friends, it was honestly one of the happiest moments of my life. It felt like we hadn’t missed a beat with each other, picking up where we left off on July 1st, when we all went back to our respective homes from Bethany College, West Virginia. The tables were beautifully decorated in white cloths with white and light grey balloons adorning every other table. Over 1,500 teenagers from around the world together celebrating Shabbat in one location was one of the most rewarding experiences ever.
After Aruchat Erev (Dinner), there were 12 different Shabbat services available. I attended Israel’s Influence: More than War & Hummus, which explained that Israel is more than what the general public knows. After every couple of prayers of a traditional Shabbat service, the teens leading the service talked about Israel’s influence and power worldwide
After the services, two Oneg Shabbat program ranging from storytelling to Jewish fraternity meetings to song sessions were offered. I went to Song Session Amplified, which was led by the song leaders of last year’s Summer Experiences, Mikey Pauker and Eric Hunker. I crowded along the front of the stage along with many of my CLTC friends, cheering and singing along with the song leaders, the energy so vibrant and powerful, it was hard to sit still. A couple of friends and I were having such a great time that we elected to stay for the second session: Song Session Unplugged, similar to the previous one, but strictly acoustic and relaxed. It was a great way to unwind and get closer to others sharing the experience.
Shabbat at AZA BBG IC 2013 was one of the most fun and exhilarating Shabbats I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. It was fun not only sharing it with my friends from my region, but also from across the world. There wouldn’t be a single thing about it I would change, only for it to have lasted forever.
Written by Cameron Smith, BBYO North Texas-Oklahoma, IC Press Corps
Interview with an International Teen: Jonah Taylor, London, England
Here at IC there are thousands of teens – it is near impossible to get to know everyone. I did, however, get the chance to meet Jonah Taylor from Radlett BBYO in BBYO UK/Ireland. He is 15 years old and this is his first IC. Check out our interview below.
Jill: How did you find out about IC? Jonah: I talked to Nick Phillips, the 88th Grand Aleph Mazkir, and decided to apply. I wrote three 200-word essays for the application, and was chosen to go!
Jill: What was your first impression of IC? Jonah: I was overwhelmed, but in a good way. I didn’t realize how big of an impact BBYO has around the world. It affects thousands.
Jill: How did you feel about our experience at Kenilworth Gardens for the BBYO Stand UP Day of Service and Advocacy? Jonah: I had an awesome time going out into the DC community.
Jill: What are you looking forward to for the rest of IC? Jonah: I am excited to celebrate Havdallah with 2,000 people and to make new friends. After IC, I’ll be attending Passport to Israel this summer and then ILTC in the summer of 2014.
Jill: Have you gotten lost in the hotel yet? Jonah: Yes, but who hasn’t?!
I am so happy that I got the chance to talk to Jonah and make a new best friend!
Written by: Jill Curwin, BBYO South Jersey Region, IC Press Corps
BBYO Stand UP Day of Service and Advocacy
Friday, February 15 was not only the first full day of AZA BBG IC 2013, but it also kicked off the BBYO Stand UP Day of Service and Advocacy.
The morning started off with many different keynote speakers who offered words of wisdom to the entire IC body. We were very fortunate to be joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), AIPAC Leadership Director Jonathan Kessler, Human Rights Activist Judy Feld Carr, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey and US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.
As the day progressed, we were split up into various service site groups where we were able to give back to Washington, DC through community service and advocacy.
Jayme Mysel, 17, from BBYO Nassau-Suffolk Region had the opportunity to join Girls Rock DC, an organization that focuses on bringing music into the lives of underprivileged girls. Going into the program, Jayme thought that she would be playing instruments with underprivileged children. However, when her group arrived at the program, they went to the storage facility where they learned what the organization does in depth.
Throughout the duration of their day, the IC delegates moved drums and amplifiers onto a truck, which were then transported, to a newly built school. Even though Jayme did not work directly with the girls they were helping, she knew that her service was helping less fortunate girls indirectly.
Just like Jayme, at the end of the day, other IC teens walked away from the BBYO Stand UP Day of Service and Advocacy with an even greater sense of the impact they can have on the community.
Written by: Danielle Haft, Nassau-Suffolk Region
Opening Ceremonies at AZA BBG IC 2013
“Hello BBYO, and welcome to Washington,” said President Barack Obama over a video projecting on two giant screens at Opening Ceremonies. With each delegation erupting in cheers, the video continued. He not only welcomed us, but he also motivated us to make change and truly enjoy the experience.
The President's welcome message was just one of the iconic moments of International Convention 2013 so far. From the moment each delegation walked in, they were greeted with a rumble of cheering from all corners of the room. BBYO Northern Region East Senior, Lauren Wakefield didn’t know what to expect from Opening Ceremonies but ended up having a blast.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from the Opening Ceremonies," said Wakefield. “As soon as I got there I realized it was amazing. It was just incredible to see people from all around the world. It was overwhelming in a good way!”
The IC Band played a variety of songs from “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men to “Some Nights” by Fun. each giving the ceremony an upbeat sound.
Cian Ben-Milofsky, a Sophomore from Ireland, jammed along with the band and really enjoyed Opening Ceremonies overall. He, like Wakefield, loved seeing all the people from around the world.
“My favorite part of Opening Ceremonies was seeing all the different countries and regions joining together and the ruach," said Ben-Milofsky.
Sasha Bartol, a Junior from Northern Region East, felt that the Opening Ceremonies really set a tone to the whole convention.
“The Opening Ceremonies were a great way to kick off the convention and set an exciting and upbeat mood. It was inspiring, fun and exciting. I had a great time," said Bartol.
Written by: Yosi Vogel, BBYO Northern Region East: DC Council, IC Press Corps
AZA BBG February Execs Wrap Up
On Wednesday, February 13, nearly 300 of BBYO’s top leaders convened at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, arriving in Washington, DC a day before the rest of their peers for the annual February Executives Conference.
February Execs hosted presidents from each council and region of BBYO, in addition to nearly 70 teens from outside of North America from 18 different countries and almost every member of the International Leadership Network (ILN). For the twenty-four hours preceding International Convention, the Executives body discussed numerous proposals, viewed presentations from each ILN committee, and voted on multiple motions.
“It was really cool to vote on different motions, including the recommendation to add two new positions to International Board,” said Sari Misek. Misek, a junior from Orlando, Florida, serves as North Florida Region BBYO’s female president. “We made AZA, BBG, and BBYO history today,” she said.
Thursday morning brought business to the tables. The Executive body passed all of the motions that were presented. Now, BBYO UK and Ireland are officially recognized as one and the International Order will be recognizing Yom Hashoah in an international emphasis to preserve the legacy of Holocaust survivors. There is now a voting clause to ensure more democratic elections and a sixth Movement priority - Jewish Enrichment. Gizborim (treasurers) will be added to the International Board and there will be redefinition of the International Board positions.
While the February Execs was going on, the first ever BBYO Connect Leadership Engagement Summit was taking place. It was led by Grand Aleph Moreh, Alex Finkelstein from BBYO Central Region West, International Morah, Emily Gorby from BBYO Keystone Mountain Region and the ILN committee for BBYO Connect. This summit served as a huge step for Alephs and B’nai B’rith Girls from all over the world in learning how to connect with the younger members of our order.
An additional component to February Execs this year was the Global Partner Summit. Coordinated by International Mazkirim (Secretary/Treasurer/Global Liasons) Michaela Brown (Northern Region East: North Virginia Council) and Nick Phillips (BBYO UK and Ireland) and Global Networking Committee Chair Jessie Gordon (Great Midwest Region BBYO), the summit let every global delegation discuss similarities and learn from each other, culminating in a song session with International Convention’s five song leaders.
The annual February Executives Conference, the BBYO Connect Leadership Engagement Summit and the Global Partner Summit gave the top leaders and future leaders of this Order a better understanding of how to continue to the success of BBYO.
Written by: Danielle Haft, BBYO Nassau-Suffolk Region, and Melissa Bosem, BBYO Gold Coast Region, IC Press Corps
Day 2 Begins!
After an Opening Ceremonies filled with energy, excitement and an unbelievable surprise video message from President Obama, day 2 of AZA BBG IC 2013 begins!.
We'll start the day with the BBYO Stand UP Day of Service and Advocacy Kickoff featuring guests DNC Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Josh Mandel (R-OH), a Marine Corps veteran and State Treasurer of Ohio, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.
After, we will depart to over 30 service sits in the Washington, DC area for a day of service, action and advocacy!
Follow the day on Twitter #BBYOStandUPIC2013 #AZABBGIC2013
1,500 International Teens are at AZA BBG IC 2013
The moment has come.
1,500 teens from Albania, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, France, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and across the United States are here and ready to kick off AZA BBG IC 2013.
It is now registration, and all of the teens are gathered in the common area of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center reuniting with old friends and making new ones. The energy is abounding in the wide-open spaces and the excitement is infecting!
After registration, they will have dinner and finally make their way into Opening Ceremonies like never before. Stay tuned for updates… You won’t want to miss a thing!
Follow on Twitter #AZABBGIC2013
Hours Away from BBYO's Largest International Convention!
AZA BBG IC 2013 is well on the way to a smooth start! With international delegates and staff members settled into the hotel on the waterfront, our BBYO community has set its roots soundly. The theme this year is one that was imagined by our teens themselves—“From The Roots We Build.”
This event has been months in the making. Our teen Executive Board members from across the Order who arrived Wednesday are just the tip of the participant iceberg. As the teens eagerly emerged from the buses Wednesday afternoon, the energy began to build. Friends reuniting from summer programs greeted each other with open arms and smiles so genuine the whole room began to brighten up.
Tonight’s opening ceremonies will welcome a 1,500 teens with show stopping performances and surprises we can’t wait to tweet about. Regions will bring their spirit A-game throughout the weekend to win the coveted spirit awards, all the while building and expanding our international network of brother Alephs and sister BBGs.
Throughout the weekend participants will have the freedom to take part in events and activities that both interest, engage and challenge them. With multiple Shabbat service options available, an exceptional hands-on Day of Service and elections for the international AZA and BBG boards, this weekend is jam packed with opportunity at every corner.
We invite you to participate in AZA BBG IC 2013 wherever you may be located! Follow us on Twitter at @BBYOInsider and the hashtag #AZABGGIC2013 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BBYOInsider and here on our blog as well!
Convention Prep Takes Over Gaylord Hotel
Just nine hours after this morning's sunrise, the hotel's ballrooms and hallways are already glowing with the excitement of IC. Stages have been erected, and name badges set out out. Banners have been hung, and projectors tested. Staff, teens and volunteers are working tirelessly to prepare for hundreds of Execs Delegates today, followed by 2,000 convention attendees tomorrow!
Now that the Execs Delegates have arrived, they'll begin their business meetings in the Wilson ballroom. Execs is a unique opportunity for all of the regional presidents to hold business meetings, introducing and debating motions about international business, while reuniting with friends from other states and countries.
Meanwhile, in "Kikar IC" outside of the Wilson ballroom, the IC Shuk is taking shape. This year's shuk is far more innovative than those from previous years – it's open all day long, allowing IC participants to purchase clothing, jewelry, athletic gear, sunglasses and more, all emblazoned with the BBYO logo!
Of course, the biggest construction effort at the hotel is the giant Maryland ballroom, the site of tomorrow night's opening plenary, where over 1,500 teens will gather to officially kick off AZA BBG IC 2013. The excitement level grows with each banner that we raise, and the stage is eagerly waiting for the convention's plentiful speakers. We hope you share our excitement, and we invite you to follow our Twitter feed and this blog for plenty of fun updates!
Interview with an International Teen: Cian Milofsky, Dublin, Ireland
BBYO Teen Sasha Bartol interviews International Teen Cian Milofsky from Dublin, Ireland:
Cian: If you were a chocolate bar what would you be and why?
Sasha: I would definitely be a Hersheys Cookies'n'Creme bar because they are unique and exciting, just like me! Also they're amazingly delicious which is definitely a plus.
Sasha: Is American high school everything you expected it to be?
Cian: It exceeded my expectations. The racial diversity seen in American high schools is unfathomable and incomprable to any other education system. I really enjoyed it.
Cian: How did you decide that you wanted to host an oversea's teen? Sasha: I have always been interested in globalization and think its one of the most amazing parts of BBYO. When the time came to start with Operation Host City I knew immediately that I wanted to volunteer to host; especially because I could host friends I made last year at IC.
Sasha: If you could be any fast food chain which would you be and why? Cian: I would be IHOP because pancakes are the bomb and the ultimate American experience.
Cian: What are you most excited for about IC? Sasha: I am definitely super excited to see my international friends! I'm also excited to perform with the IC band, and see the Timeflies/Hoodie Allen concert. Elections promise to be interesting and the fact that there are going to be over 2000 people there will make this the most amazing IC ever.
Sasha: How do you think IC 2013 will be different from IC 2012 Cian: I think it's going to be even more amazing because their are so many teens going this year, and I'm going into this convention knowing a lot more people then I did before last years. Shoutout to Abe Pollin AZA #2545!
We both couldn't be more excited! See you at AZA BBG IC 2013!
Follow the global conversation at AZA BBG IC 2013 on Twitter #BBYOGlobal
Operation Host City Kicks Off AZA BBG IC 2013
Sofie Jacobs of Northern Region East: DC Council describes the Operation Host City experience throughout the days leading up to AZA BBG IC 2013:
It was said repeatedly. By the CEO of the JCC who lends BBYO “The J” every Monday night, by the mom whose kids had both graduated from BBYO and now spends her valuable time as DC Council’s Chair: BBYO is not a Jewish youth group. It is a global Jewish youth movement.
During the ceremony that officially welcomed the global teens to DC, it was easy to see all BBYO had created, and the international community we have truly made. There were thunderous cheers when teens from Serbia, Israel, Masadonia, Albania and fourteen other countries were introduced. One AZA chapter cheered extra loudly for a boy from Masadonia who had joined their meeting.
Afterwards, the JCCGW was peppered with accents and languages from countries across the world. The sounds stood out against the bland walls I have seen every Monday night for the past three years. yet the accents and languages blended into the American teens’ dialect as teens talked. They bonded over a shared passion for BBYO Stand UP, Israel, sisterhood and brotherhood and being a part of BBYO, no matter where they were from.
Sure, it was inspiring to see teens from all over the world bond over this thing we all cared so much about. It gave me hope for the Jewish future, but mostly it was just cool. It was SO cool. I recognized a girl from Britain who I’d planned a program with and a boy from Ireland who helped me facilitate the Bulgaria-UK chapter partnership. The best part was meeting them in person.
IC is going to be so incredible this year because we’ll be meeting the teens we’ve worked with all year. The technology and social media we utilize today makes us a more global society in general and IC will be the opportunity to strengthen those relationships in person, to meet our overseas friends, to realize how we’ve become a global Jewish youth movement.
Follow the conversation about Operation Host City on Twitter #OperationHostCity
And the Boxes Arrive...
Alephs and BBGs,
We are on the edge of our seats, beyond ready for you all to arrive at the Gaylord and for IC to begin! We have been in DC since Saturday and have already done so much in preparation for AZA BBG IC 2013: boxes full of supplies have arrived, programs are complete, materials have been bought and the AZA BBG IC 2013 Team is putting the last touches on the schedule. International Delegates are settling into and exploring DC after visiting the monuments and being exposed to the high spirit of IC that is circulating around Operation Host City — and the Order.
IC is only three days away and we hope you are getting as excited as we are right now. When you arrive to the hotel on Wednesday, for Execs, or Thursday, for IC, expect to be blown away! The hotel is beautiful, the staff members are enthusiastic, we have awesome SWAG for you and the programming is outstanding and innovative. Get some rest tonight and tomorrow because AZA BBG IC 2013 is jam packed with inspiration and fun.
See you all so soon! Ryan and Hilit