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Thanksgiving Reflections

Posted on 12/01/2014 @ 12:00 PM

We sat around our family tables
Exchanging laughs and smiles of cheer
As we enjoyed Turkey dinner, we sat and reflected:
What are we thankful for this year?

What BBYO has given us
Is a longer list than this blog will allow.
But we want to thank the movement that’s changed our lives,
If you’d come along for the journey with us now.

It started when we were freshman,
A young boy in Nashville, Tennessee
Joined AZA and found a place to call home,
While a girl in Toronto found hers in BBG.

They started off as quiet children
But others could see their spark.
They were beaming with leadership potential,
It was in every beat of their heart.

As they joined chapters and became members of value,
They believed in the differences they could make.
While they tested the waters of holding leadership positions,
They grew into true leaders as they learned from mistakes.

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Amanda making a difference with Michigan teens as we advocated for a strong US-Israel relationship on Capital Hill at the AIPAC High School Summit

BBYO gave them the confidence they needed
To believe in themselves and have a place to belong.
They felt it at every program and convention,
With every Shabbat and Friendship Circle sing-a-long.

BBYO showed them the world beyond their hometowns
As they ventured to camps Beber and Perlman.
They explored their Jewish identities under starry night skies,
And in the process made life-long best friends.

Today we could not be prouder
To serve our Brother Alephs and Sister BBGs
As Grand Aleph Godol and International N’siah,
And help expand our BBYO family.

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Amanda with some life-long friends from Lonestar, St. Louis Council, North Carolina Council, and Cotton States

We are thankful to every BBYO community
That welcomed us with open-arms wide.
For allowing us to be immersed with the members,
And for showing us your chapters and their pride.

Every Chapter, Council, and Region we visit
Has a unique spirit all their own,
But that same universal BBYO feeling
That makes every visit feel like coming home.

We thank BBYO for being the place where we’ve grown
Into the people we see when we look in the mirror.
For giving us memories, friendships, values, and opportunities,
For allowing us to find ourselves here.

For if it were not for BBYO,
We’d probably be those same kids
Who wanted to learn how to speak their voices,
But never could, and never did.

So we stand here today
Global Jewish leaders, movers, and shakers
And we thank BBYO for all of it,
For teaching us how to be changemakers.

BBYO has the ability to alter lives
We promise it can change yours, too
This #GivingTuesday, when you give to BBYO
Know you are investing in the future of the Jews.

- Amanda and Sam

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Sam and Amanda at the JFNA General Assembly

BBYO International Office
800 Eighth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
P: 202.857.6633 / F: 202.857.6568

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