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I am a: teen friend/alum parent other

A Shabbat Shalom

Posted on 02/15/2013 @ 07:11 PM

Here is how the afternoon is shaping up: 1500 teens, 150 staff, 300 volunteers, another 50 parents, friends and alumni. One Shabbat.

Over two thousand Jews will celebrate Shabbat together tonight – singing songs and eating a delicious meal. We are all eating dinner together, and the crescendo of singing the birchat hamazon, the blessings after the meal , will be amazing to behold. I am anxiously anticipating the shivers I will feel as I hear the in- and out-of tune voices all joining together.

But, to be honest, that’s not what I’m most excited about. Right after services we’ll continue being one community, but the teens have created 24 different and distinct Shabbat services to lead here at BBYO’s International Convention. One of the many awesome things about this – besides the sheer number of services and all the hard work done by our teens – is the show of pluralism and willingness to explore new ways to experience Judaism. Our teens envisioned these services, selected the prayers and wrote the scripts. We have Reform-style and Orthodox-style services taking place next to each other. There are services that focus on modern Israel’s additions to technology and on the unity of all Jews around the globe.

I am always proud of our teens when they work hard and put their minds to creating new innovative ways to stretch their peers. I’m always proud when the teens are willing to try something and push themselves beyond their natural comfort zone. Tonight and tomorrow, I am doubly proud of what these teens have created – and what we will all be experiencing.

Prepared by Rachel Meytin, Director of Panim & Jewish Enrichment

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