Traditions in BBYO France and Canada
Posted on 03/14/2013 @ 04:30 PM
My name is Illana Guedj. I’m 18 years old and I’m the National President of BBYO FRANCE! BBYO France is made up of 150 people, 11 different cities and 3 parts of France - the southwest, the southeast and the north. We are a friendly group and everyone knows each other. It is an incredible experience bringing together teens from the four corners of France to celebrate their Judaism and cerate friendships that last a lifetime.
I love our conventions! The best part is the opening ceremonies. I get to call members up one by one to light the menorah, the symbol of our movement. From the moment that the candles are lit, I think about how the younger Jewish children in France just need to wait until they’re old enough for BBYO. The flame also symbolizes the light we see in each Jewish person. Never forget how important BBYO is! The BBYO atmosphere, friendships and traditions transcend through our International Order and are ubiquitous in chapters, councils, regions and communities all over the world.
Illana Guedj, BBYO France
My name is Allie Cohen. I’m from Montreal and I’m Eastern Canada Region’s S’ganit. BBYO in Canada is very similar to BBYO in the States as far as structure and conventions go, but we have some unique traditions of our own. Most importantly, there’s the pronunciation of AZA - come on, it’s obviously A-ZED-A!
One tradition that I love is called Secret brother/Secret sister. When members arrive our conventions they are secretly assigned a member of the opposite sex. Over the course of Friday and Saturday, they must anonymously send a minimum of two notes to this person. We encourage people to be creative. During the Saturday night dance that we always have, there are designated times to go dance with your secret person. It’s a unique and fun way get to know someone.
One of the major lessons that BBYO has taught me is the importance of tradition. It is very exciting and awe inspiring to know that, all around the world, there are people like you who know every word to Identity or Up You Men, have the same elections and parliamentary procedures (even in French!) or simply share in the rich Jewish culture and our common values. Even though it’s the little things that make each chapter, council, region and community uniquely its own, the global BBYO traditions are what bring us together as one, forever united.
Allie Cohen, BBYO Eastern Canada Region