Stay up to date with the latest news, happenings, photos and videos from BBYO’s broadest range of Summer Experiences yet!
Planning Shabbat Atmosphere
Posted on 07/24/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Hello readers, this is Henry Learner and Alex Kirshner from Mountain Region #47 writing to you about planning Shabbat atmosphere. Shabbat atmosphere is what leads up to the Shabbat service, including the dinner before it. We are also dorm of the day today, which means that we have all of the responsibilities that accompany that as well as planning for Shabbat. First, we had to choose a value of the day and we decided on individuality. Then, in the morning, we raised the American and Israeli flags. At lunch, we presented a slam poem about individuality and for dinner we are giving everyone a candle, which will spell out “Be Yourself.” It can be stressful planning many activities at one time, but we are confident that it will run smoothly tonight. This is out second and final time being dorm of the day and our first time planning Shabbat atmosphere, but we will exceed expectations for sure. Fraternally submitted with undying love for Aish Achdut AZA, we forever remain Alephs Henry Learner and Alex Kirshner.
I Believe That We Will Win
Posted on 07/23/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Tuesday was a typical day at CLTC, until we were guided to the gazebo for a new activity. But sometimes things are not what they seem. The plot twist of the day was that all CLTC 6 campers would be competing in Maccabiah, or color war. Each person was assigned to a color: green, white, red, or blue. Each team included both Alephs and BBGs. Teams competed against each other in various events, including team building activities, a spirit/cheer contest, basketball, dodge ball, gaga, and family feud. Teams also participated in a photo scavenger hunt around the Bethany campus. Later that night we attended a party to promote the upcoming International Convention. There was music and dancing and we found out who won the color war. As team rankings were announced everyone cheered. The green team had won the Maccabiah Games! Overall, it was a day full of excitement, happiness, bonding, spirit, and recreation.
Wednesday was the beginning of chapter programs. All the chapters are getting to present the programs that they planned and it has been very interesting to see everyone’s ideas and hard work finally being put into action. This is crucial for our learning so we can see and experience more about programs to bring back to our chapters at home to strengthen them. Each mock chapter has based their program off of a programming fold to simulate an engaging and informative activity. This is all been a very proactive experience and we can’t wait to share our leadership skills with our chapters at home.
- Allana Beckman, South Jersey Region & Elena Rogers, Eastern Region
A Change of Pace
Posted on 07/23/2015 @ 04:09 PM
Through the eyes of someone who has already been at Perlman for close to four weeks, Kallah has been a nice change of pace. Only a few days into Kallah, Perlman Camp has already transformed to a calm environment with people who care about diving into their Jewish identities.
Whereas ILTC is focused on utilizing Jewish teens to grow and shape BBYO, Kallah is aimed towards utilizing BBYO to grow and shape Jewish teens. Kallah participants attend shacharit services almost every morning. Because of this, all participants are given the opportunity to experience and enjoy a variety of ways to worship and gain a better understanding of their personal relationship with Judaism.
Surrounded by all of their best friends throughout the Order, Kallah participants are given constant choices that contribute to their journey throughout their time at Perlman. Limmudim, Sivuvim, Chugim, services, and more are all chances for teens to learn more about the global Jewish community and where they can find themselves in it.
Hannah Asofsky, BBYO Lonestar Region
Last Day of Impact DC 2015
Posted on 07/23/2015 @ 12:20 AM
As our final day of Impact: DC is coming to a close, I find myself sitting here in a room of teens who have become a new family to me. Starting Impact, I was excited for the experience of lobbying and the chance to explore D.C., but I was unsure about the Alephs and BBGs that I would share these experiences with. It's always scary coming into a new experience, like Impact. You don't know what the people will be like or if everyone will get along. I am lucky enough to say that at Impact I was surrounded by a group of fun loving, yet passionate individuals. Impact: D.C. has been a truly eye opening, and amazing experience. The lessons I've learned, from how wasteful I've been in the past with food, to how the homeless should be treated, are ones that I will carry with me for years to come. Even more than that, I have learned to research and advocate on behalf of an issue. I have learned that no matter my age, I can make a difference in the world if I truly want to. I could not be more thankful to have been a part of Impact: D.C. 2015.
-Talia Yaari, Michigan Region
Limmud: True, but Twisted
Posted on 07/22/2015 @ 01:25 PM
"A place to find your jewish identity." — I always wondered why people always said this about Kallah mostly because I have no clue what my jewish identity is. I felt very nervous and uncomfortable coming into Kallah because it was a big step outside of my comfort zone. At ILTC, I knew what to generally expect because I devote a lot of time to BBYO throughout the school year. Kallah is completely different because it focuses less on BBYO itself and more on Judaism and my place in it. My amazing friends in addition to the incredible staff and Madrichim are helping me through this journey. In the first few days, I have already learned so much. Through Rabbi Meir Tennenbaum’s Limmud sessions, the Kallah slogan is becoming a reality for me.
In Limmud sessions, everyone is able to choose a topic and Jewish educator they want to learn about. In my session with Rabbi Meir Tennenbaum, we have been analyzing various stories from the Talmud including Gam Zu L’Tovah and Eleazar ben Dordia. I have always loved reading stories and finding their deeper meaning, but I have no experience analyzing the Talmud. Rabbi Meir makes analysis easy and at the end of every session the messages I’ve learned make me feel like a better person.
Today, we explored the story of Gam Zu L’Tovah and discussed how optimism is so important. We talked about the power of positive thinking and I already see a change in myself. The story talks about the difference between waiting for a bad situation to pass and realizing that an unfortunate situation is meant to happen and will end up helping you in the future. I’ve learned that it is important to always have a smile on my face at Kallah and savor every second of it because there is no time for negative thinking.
Meredith Harris, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region: Northern Council
Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
Posted on 07/22/2015 @ 12:39 AM
Today was yet another exciting day at CLTC 6! Our mock chapter Chazak AZA successfully raised close to $600 today during lunch by hosting a fun and exhilarating live auction. The money raised will go towards helping children with disabilities through the non- profit organization called Bottles of Smiles, which was created by a member of the chapter itself last year. So far the auction is only half way over and we can’t wait to see the impact we make on children with disabilities as we continue fundraising tonight at dinner. To make us feel more connected to our stand- up cause, we plan to have the whole CLTC community work hands on with Bottles of Smiles later this week! This was a FUN(D) day! -David Stulberg, Rocky Mountain Region; Gavin Roth, Lonestar Region
Lobby Day at Impact DC
Posted on 07/21/2015 @ 11:40 PM
I'm Rachel Maltz from Los Angeles, and I'm representing Pacific Western Region #44 on this program. Today, Impact: DC went to Capitol Hill to lobby congressmen in support of different causes. My service group, A Wider Circle, lobbied Ohio's Congressman Tim Ryan about family poverty. We focused on the Ban the Box campaign, to remove the stigma surrounding previously incarcerated people and to give them more job opportunities.
Our second issue was lobbying Congressman Ryan on behalf of LGBT+ rights, especially for homeless teens. This was a great experience for everyone, and helped us learn that advocacy can be done from any level. Afterwards, we had free time in Georgetown to explore the city. I took a tour of George Washington University with friends, and looked around the area. We came back to the University of Maryland for dinner at Hillel before a pool party tonight. We had a great day of advocacy and exploring the city.
-Rachel Maltz, Pacific Western Region
Fun With Fundraisers
Posted on 07/21/2015 @ 12:46 AM
Hi! This is Hope Crystal from Great Midwest Region, Danielle Haase from Rocky Mountain Region, and Elana Cohen from Northern Region East: DC Council. Today our mock chapter, Yalla Osher BBG, held a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In it we sold raffle tickets to throw whipped cream pies at staff who volunteered to take part. Leukemia and lymphoma are types of cancer that affect many people’s lives and we feel strongly about the cause. Hope’s mother had leukemia and was cured, and every year they still do the walk for the cause. This is how we decided on our charity. Many people were eager to throw pies at certain counselors so our fundraiser was very successful. We raised over $200 for the cause. Today was as sweet as pie!
Posted on 07/20/2015 @ 11:30 PM
I went to Bread for the City for my service site. What we do at Bread for the City is sort through produce for food quality and place produce in bags for people in need. It is fun working in the food pantry because I am with my friends in my circle group. Some of the products we put in bags were potatoes, cherries and other nonperishable items. Today we worked on sorting cabbage and shucked corn.
My reaction to this service site changed the way I look at food. I am fortunate to have enough food on my plate everyday while some people out there struggle and don’t have enough food for a day. I am happy that I can help the community and others around me. I really have enjoyed my time here at Impact DC and have made friends that I will keep for a life time.
Impact DC is a great program. Tomorrow we are going to Capitol Hill to lobby for congress which will be a lot of fun and educational. We only have a few more days left but, I am making every day count and will come back and bring everything I learned home to my chapter.
-Michelle Massarik, Northern Region East-NOVA COUNCIL
CLTC 6 Goes To Israel
Posted on 07/20/2015 @ 12:54 AM
After a wonderful first Shabbat together, CLTC 6 “flew” to Israel and visited our Israeli counselor, Nofchi’s “house”. On the way there, everyone wrote letters to Israel as if Israel was a person. At Nofchi’s house, we heard a little about her life and “her Israel” and a few volunteers shared the letters that they wrote. These are two of those letters.
“Dear Israel, I recently visited you and had the best time of my life. Being there really changed my life. Going to places like Yad Vashem and Mount Hertzl really had a huge impact on my life. But the most memorable part was going to the Kotel on Shabbat. At that moment, with so many feelings going through my mind, then and there I knew what it was like to be Jewish. Love, Austin.” (Austin Winslow, Gold Coast Region)
“Dear Israel, You are the home, and you are the symbol, and you are the hope. Your history and beauty remind us Jews of the validity of our prayers. Israel, I see you for who/what you are and you have magic in you to heal and to help. Israel, you are appreciated. You teach us all around the world of the meaning of Judaism. Please continue to make everyone in awe of how beyond incredible you are. Keep flourishing, making your beauty even more prosperous, and please keep your character, which inevitably brings people together. I hope to see you soon. –Zoey.” (Zoey Goldberg, Northern Region East: DC Council)
Take Me Out to the Impact Ball Game
Posted on 07/19/2015 @ 11:30 PM
"Today we all went to China Town in DC and to a Nationals Baseball game. Overall I had a great time hanging out with all the amazing friends I've made at Impact DC. It was really hot outside and I felt kind of gross but I know that I will remember this day for a long time. In the evening after everyone had washed off the copious amounts of sweat off their bodies, we all had a very nice dinner and circle time. Hanging out with my circle, Martha's Table is definitely a highlight of my day because every time we talk we all have meaningful conversations and become closer as a group. I don't think I've ever felt so close to a group of people and I feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity. Impact DC has definitely made an impact on my life and I hope I can make an impact with my remaining days."
-Nacia Goldberg, North Florida Region
"I had an awesome time today having free time with my Impact friends in DC. We walked around China town and went into cute little shops. We then went to a Nationals versus Dodgers baseball game, although I don't follow sports teams I had so much fun! I watched the game, caught some sun, and drank a ton of water. I'm excited for the upcoming days! I'm excited for lobby day; I can't wait to talk about homelessness on the legislative side, and preventing people from becoming homeless in addition to helping them once they become homeless. I am looking forward to our limud session tomorrow and engaging in great conversations. I love my Impact friends and can't wait to hang out with them outside of Impact. We are already starting to plan a reunion! :)"
-Emma Parish, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region
Welcome to Kallah
Posted on 07/19/2015 @ 04:08 PM
Most BBYO programs are all about BBYO. Teens learn about how to be better leaders, how to recruit more members, how to run a chapter; pretty much everything that would come in handy in a BBYO high school career. Kallah is a totally different than any other BBYO program because it focuses all on Judaism and spirituality. Teens from all over the world came to B'nai B'rith Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pennsylvania to learn about themselves and their Jewish beliefs.
On Tuesday, July 14, buses rolled in through the gates and Kallah officially began. The Kallah teens were greeted by their friends who were already at camp from ILTC, and there was excitement in the air as everyone caught up with old and new friends. The first night, we were introduced to the incredible coordinators Brittany and Jonah, the amazing Madrichim (a group of BBYO alumni and International staff), the educators from all over the world, and the leadership staff who makes sure everything runs smoothly. As we were introduced to the different activities offered to us, the excitement built up and we were ready to begin our spiritual journeys.
I have never been anywhere that has an atmosphere like the one here. I can tell that everyone is here to learn and have fun. I can tell that everyone feels relaxed and in his or her element. During meals, most tables are talking about the activities they participated in during the day and intense discussions that arose during different programs. There are debates everywhere over meaningful topics, and everyone here is strengthening their minds by the minute. In just a few days, we have already dug so deeply into our souls and learned so much, and the whole camp is anxious to discover what they will take home with them at the end of the summer.
Maddie Fleischmann, Southern Region: Atlanta Council
The Impact of Shabbat
Posted on 07/18/2015 @ 11:40 PM
“The committees did a great job running Shabbat services; I was intrigued by how the Shabbat committees ran their services and programs. It was the best Shabbat I have experienced in a long time. I led an Impact talk on Domestic Violence and taught my peers about the rising issue. It was challenging to facilitate but I felt fulfilled with taking myself out of my comfort zone. It was the best Shabbat I’ve experienced in BBYO ever.”
–Zach Gaines, Gold Coast Region
“I found it very interesting that even though we are from different parts of the country, we have so many similarities in Jewish customs. Although we may sing to slightly different rhythms tonight at Havdallah we sang in harmony. Spending Shabbat with my new Impact best friends left me feeling rested and excited for the days to come. I only have a few days of Impact left and I can’t wait to make every day count. This is more of an opinion than a fact, but everyone is loving their time at Impact.”
-Emma Parish, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region; North
“Wow what an amazing experience it has been for me to be at Impact. When I signed up as a last minute plan I was anxious as what to expect. Well, now I 'm here choosing to write and tell you on day seven I feel so comfortable. From meeting everyone at the airport to team building activities I can be myself and call everyone here apart of my BBYO family.”
-Lauren Kreda, Great Midwest Region
Looking Towards Shabbat
Posted on 07/17/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Hi! My name is Anna Fleisher from South Jersey Region #35. Today is only our first Shabbat at CLTC and I already feel so close with everyone. Working closely with my mock chapter has helped me with my leadership and teamwork skills. Having 67 teens travel from all different regions gives everyone an interesting perspective to the differences each region and chapter have. Each day, all of our leadership skills improve as we can bring what we learn back to our home chapters, and we can use them in the future for everyday purposes.
Feeling Grateful Before Shabbat
Posted on 07/17/2015 @ 05:30 PM
Today was my birthday and I could not have asked for a better one. Today started off on a great note (for me at least) as my circle group was dorm of the day and was in charge of waking everyone up in the morning; which we did to the loud music of Macklemore. However, the highlight of my day was not the wake up activities or all the birthday wishes, it was seeing my 12 Pre-K children at my Bright Beginnings service sight which is a free day care for homeless children in DC. The second I walked into the room I was greeted with smiles and hugs which continued throughout the whole day. We had snack time, read books, played tag on the playground, and even took a nap. If you saw these beautiful kids interact and play, you would forget how these kids may not have a bed to sleep in tonight.
It isn’t until I step on the bus to go back to Hillel that I think about this, and it makes me appreciate every single privilege that I have been given throughout my now 17 years of existence. I am so lucky to have parents that can give me a bed to sleep in at night and 3 steady meals a day. The fact that these kids do not have those same privileges has kept me up late these past couple of nights. These happy, smiling, and innocent kids deserve much better. I doubt my preschoolers will remember me in 15 years, but I will definitely remember them.
-Drew Grossman, Great Midwest Region
Making an Impact at Generation Progress National Summit
Posted on 07/17/2015 @ 12:00 AM
Today I learned the importance that my generation has to the United States and world politics. Through amazing speakers, I learned more than I could have ever in a class room setting. I learned about all different types of people and organizations. I began to feel a major connection with my fellow impacters, especially the girls that I went to the "It's On Us" program to end sexual assault with. When at this program, we discussed and listened to all different stories of people who have been affected by sexual assault . I became far more aware of the world around me, and the dangers that women face on college campuses everyday. Finally we got to close the day with an amazing and humbling speech given by Vice President Joe Biden.
-Julia Saltzman, The Ohio Northern Region
Reflecting On Our Community
Posted on 07/16/2015 @ 11:00 PM
Hello everyone from Day 3 of CLTC, this is Spencer Fuhr from Evergreen Region, Cameron Diamond from Lonestar Region, and Tyler Dodd from Nassau Suffolk Region. At the beginning, everyone coming to CLTC does not know what to expect, though most people come to make friends. But we have found that people begin to establish who they are within the first few hours. The staff does a great job of preventing people from feeling isolated, by interacting with them and others at the baggage claim and throughout the program. We also noticed that our fellow participants started to come together and form friendships as early as the first hours together at the airport and during icebreakers. We thought a lot about why/how this happens, and the conclusion we came to is that we, as Jewish teens all relate with one another through the common interest of two things, BBYO and Judaism. Throughout our BBYO careers, we have learned how to branch out, meet new people, and be outgoing people. We think this is exceptionally rare for teens of this generation to branch out and meet new people with such ease. But the thing about BBYO is that we all share a common goal, and that goal is to reach self-realization. Fraternally submitted with undying love for Chazak AZA #115, CLTC 6 2015, and the Global Jewish community.
Building Connections at CLTC 6
Posted on 07/16/2015 @ 12:31 AM
Hey y’all, it is day 2 of CLTC 6 and we are already having a blast. This is Nikki Goldin from Lonestar Region, Julia Keizler from New England Region, and Hannah Haine from Eastern Region, Virginia Council. Today our dorm is the “dorm of the day.” This means our mock chapter of 11 girls, which is also known as Yalla Osher BBG (“let’s go happiness”!) gets to choose a Jewish value theme for the day. Yalla Osher BBG chose the value of “Ahavat Ger.” This value addresses loving and talking to people all around you, including strangers. We enforced this today by encouraging others to find and talk to new people based off of similar characteristics. This proved to be incredibly beneficial to our fellow Alephs and BBGs. It feels great to know we might be the reason people have life long friends. We are already having a fantastic time here at CLTC, and we are anxiously awaiting these following days.
Service Sites, Monuments, Memories- Oh My!
Posted on 07/16/2015 @ 12:00 AM
My name is Rachel Maltz, and I'm representing Pacific Western Region #44 (Los Angeles) at Impact: DC. Today, we had a day full of service and touring. After breakfast, we split into our group service assignments around the Washington DC area. My group headed to A Wider Circle, which is dedicated to providing families with donated furniture and other home supplies. This organization helps to make an impact in the city by only distributing new or gently used items, in order to maintain dignity for the recipients. After sorting donations, we had an Israeli dance program at the Hillel in University of Maryland.
Tonight, we took a tour of monuments in downtown DC. First, we watched the sun go down over the Jefferson Memorial. After the sun had set, we continued with a walking night tour. Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial while overlooking the Washington Monument, we felt a sense of community as we took pictures with all of our friends. We walked together towards the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which was the powerful end to our tour. Today was a fun day of giving back to the community, having fun, and appreciating all of the sights in this beautiful city. We are all excited to welcome in Shabbat soon, and to attend the Generation Progress Summit tomorrow.
-Rachel Maltz, Pacific Western Region
Welcome to CLTC 6!
Posted on 07/15/2015 @ 12:00 AM
Welcome to CLTC 6 2015! We are your coordinators, Rebecca Lewis from Eastern Region and Colin Silverman from Great Midwest Region. We're so glad to say that everyone has arrived safely and we are all very excited for the upcoming 12 days. We spent the day getting to know each other and beginning to build our community.
The theme for CLTC this summer is "find yourself a teacher" whether that be staff, each other, or the two of us. For many participants, this is their first Summer Experience and we are eager to be a part of it and welcome them to BBYO on the International level. As everyone goes to bed tonight, we reflect on our first day together and prepare for the next 11 days of fun and learning.
Remember to continue to check the blog throughout the session for more posts from the participants!