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August Execs 2013: Shabbat and Day 3's Program

Posted on 08/18/2013 @ 12:30 AM

Celebrating Shabbat at Capital Camps was truly something else. Grand Aleph Shaliach Gary Levine and International Sh’licha Tracey Katz worked with our staff, the I-Boards, and a number of Council and Regional Execs to create an inspirational, peaceful, and warm Shabbat environment. Each element of Shabbat highlighted BBYO’s tradition of offering choice and embracing pluralism, and was entirely teen facilitated with the goal in mind of modeling how Shabbat experience should be offered in each of our communities.

As always, Friday evening started off with a frenzy pictures. Everyone gathered together outside under a beautiful sunset to take in one last summer Shabbat greeting. Friends gathered in a myriad of categorical groups ranging from CLTC sessions to ILTC Blueprints to ILSI buses to Hubs to all ‘Rachels’. It was amazing to see how quickly this network had embraced one another in such a deep way.

Kabbalat Shabbat services were led by Gary and Tracey and were accompanied by our internationally renowned song leaders Eric Hunker, and Happie Hoffman. Held outside in a large, wooden amphitheater, the rich diversity of melodies and tunes ignited spirited song and traditional Carlebach dance. Shabbat dinner was followed by a series of issue-based conversations focused on hot topics in Israel that will all result in strong program templates on a variety of themes for chapters later this fall seeking to implement Speak UP for Israel activities. The evening ended with options for shira (song session), an Oneg Shabbat with Tish (stories, niggunim and tefillah), and hanging out until the early hours of the morning.

Saturday morning begin with multiple Shacharit options that afforded all participants either musical or traditional tefillah services. Our morning also included a series of program workshops specifically focused on Jewish holidays throughout the program year that AZA and BBG will leverage as ‘Movement moments’. Execs looked Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Pesach, Yom HaShoah, HaZikaron, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim and built potential program templates that celebrated the very best of each of these dates, while utilizing the creativity and experiences of everyone involved in the discussions.

Following lunch, the Execs resumed their workshop schedule and explored the Movement priority of ‘Act Globally, Impact Locally’ to advance our Globalization efforts around the world, and dove into Program Quality and Excellence as we prepare for another year filled with thousands of chapter programs, hundreds of conventions and countless meetings. Important decisions were made, and regional plans were updated that should amplify our Movement’s efforts on these two important agenda items.

After a town hall conversation with Matt Grossman, BBYO’s Chief Executive Officer, the Execs joined with BBYO’s newest professionals to mark the transition of Havdallah and welcomed the new week – and the new year – together with prayers and songs. It was a beautiful ceremony that put everyone in an excited mood for our late-night legislative session to come, AZA and BBG’s first International Joint Business Meeting of the 2013-2014/5773-5774 program year.

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