Chapter Visits in Cotton States Region
Posted on 10/24/2012 @ 12:03 PM
Sarah Minion, 68th International N'siah
From Houston, I headed to the great Cotton States Region for an awesome week in Nashville and Memphis, and to attend the Circle of Life Kallah. In Nashville, I went straight from the airport to the JCC to participate in interviewing the new Nashville JCC/BBYO staff person. Congratulations to Sheri, you will do a great job! Anyway, I had the pleasure of staying with the fabulous Regional N’siah Ariel Yazdian for the first two bonding-filled nights, and I got to meet her chapter, Music City BBG #1764 for some tasty Mexican food at Moe’s, It was great getting to meet some of the girls before convention and chat with the board!
After several days of much preparation, it was finally time for convention! It’s a tradition for the International N’siah to attend Cotton States’ Kallah every year, and I had heard that last year’s was so much fun so I was really looking forward to a great weekend. Well, it completely surpassed all of my expectations! The coordinators, Eden Siskind and Brian Greenbaum did a fantastic job and I’m so happy I got to start my convention year with that visit. With everything from a Jewish rap battle to an awesome Stand UP program about physical disabilities and everything in between, we had a lot of fun exploring our Judaism and creating a CSR community. Coordinator Eden Siskind of Daniel Pearl BBG #2522 said, "After attending CSR Regional Kallah in 2011, I was so inspired to coordinate Regional Kallah 2012 and try to make it even more amazing than the year before! Throughout an incredible weekend revolving around the Circle of Life, I couldn't have imagined it getting any better. Cotton States truly gained so much from all the programming and it was a great way to start off the year for our region!" And she’s right! Thanks for a great convention!
After Kallah, I headed back to Nashville with the rest of the Regional Board for Steering, an overnight at which the board re-prioritizes and sets goals for the remainder of their term. The Cotton States Regional Board is SO MUCH FUN. I had such a hilarious time hanging out with them, and also learned so much about their region. I can’t wait to see them accomplish all of their goals, like reaching 600 members by December and donating $5,000 to I$F. Check out the video they made at Steering filmed by yours truly! After a very productive Steering, I accompanied half of the board back to Memphis for the rest of the week.
While in Memphis, I really had a jam-packed week! I had the privilege of staying with Cara Levi, CSR’s regional MIT Mom, who rocks. During the day, Memphis Program Director Kevin Falik and I hung out so much I started hearing his voice in my head instead of my own... creepy I know. Just kidding, Kevin rocks. We met with Memphis Federation and FAN leaders to discuss BBYO’s movement priorities and the exciting things going on in Memphis BBYO. I especially enjoyed listening to their stories of their involvement with BBYO and the Jewish community, and they gave me lots of valuable advice. Over the course of the week I had the opportunity to meet with River City BBG #2054’s and Daniel Pearl BBG’s chapter boards, and they both have such awesome things planned for the upcoming months and lots of spirit. One night, all of Memphis BBYO enjoyed fro-yo and hung out (check out the beautiful photos of Kevin) and I had so much fun getting to know all my awesome new friends from Kallah even better. Finally on my last night in Memphis, I attended an Okeon AZA #1204 freshman intake event with Cara, who’s their sweetheart. They had over 20 freshmen there, which was incredible and I loved getting to meet all of the alephs and watching one of them do these insane card tricks all night. On my last day in Memphis, I joined Kevin and Becka Handler, my Kallah madricha and hands-down coolest person ever for a delicious lunch feast (with fried pickles, my new favorite, yum) and to reflect on the amazing week. I was sad to say good-bye because I really did love every day I spent in Cotton States. I can’t wait to see the amazing things they do in the coming months and to see everyone again at IC!