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Week One at CLTC 7

Posted on 07/29/2014 @ 04:51 PM

"CLTC has changed my life, even while learning new leadership skills and exploring my inner Jewish self, I've been able to make so many new friends that I know I'll be able to keep in touch with for many years to come"-Sasha Kipnis, CRW

"I've learned more in four days than I have all year in Bbyo, specifically how meetings work and its really cool." -Carmela, Southern Region, Atlanta

"Its only been a couple days but i already know that i made friends at cltc that will be my friends all throughout bbyo and beyond." -Abby Southern Region, Atlanta

"Cltc has provided me with leadership experience that I know will help me with my chapter at home and in my region" -Lacey, Michigan

"Cltc has led me to feel comfortable in my own skin while having fun around teens my age who have as much passion for the organization as I do." -Letty, Southern Region, Atlanta

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A Beautiful International Evening

Posted on 07/29/2014 @ 11:42 AM

Following an amazing educational program about our fellow BBYO affiliated youth groups in Israel and Argentina, the Kallah body split into our community delegations. We all lined up outside of Katz, one of our main meeting places here at Perlman. With all of the anticipation, we knew exactly what was coming. Delegations from around the world shouted cheers at the top of our lungs. Our pride was met by our friends from all of the world, teens from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Argentina, and of course Canada. Here's the best part, we were gathering to celebrate something even bigger, better, and more world-wide than this. BBYO's International Convention in 2015 will be held February 12th to 16th in Atlanta, Georgia. We will be joined by multiple other youth groups like NFTY, who will be having their convention at the same time and place. Our gathering will make history, being one of the largest gathering of Jews in North America. Hearing about last year's convention and what is to come for this year's was incredibly exciting. Lastly, the international teens at Kallah were inducted into the international order. The ceremony was beautiful and talked about how much stronger we are together, united as one. We now have seven more amazing brothers and sisters, Esther and Alina from Ukraine, Hernie and Malu from Argentina, Alex and Tony from Bulgaria, and Hagai from Israel.

Hanna Weintraub Mountain Region

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More CLTC Experiences

Posted on 07/29/2014 @ 09:29 AM

CLTC is an experience of a lifetime. It's such a unique program filled with leadership sessions and bonding time. I instantly connected with all the people here which really shows what BBYO does for teens across the globe. I already know that the friends I make here are everlasting. This past Shabbat I reflected on what BBYO has done for me. I noticed that it has allowed me to participate and take part in something new. That continues even more at CLTC. I have learned so much in just a few days. Everything that the amazing staff has taught will improve me as an aleph and my chapter back home. Fraternally submitted with undying love for CLTC7, North Texas-Oklahoma #74, Chai V'kayam AZA #890, everlasting friends, and my heart and home Rubin Kaplan AZA #841. I remain Aleph Gabriel Herman Friedstadt

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Sunday Funday

Posted on 07/27/2014 @ 08:29 PM

As much as I would love to not be cliché, my past few days here at CLTC Seven have been some of the best few days of my life! Now, when you ask someone who has experienced CLTC for a run down on what it is, they will not tell you about schedules, programs, or even the wonderful services; and although all of these things are extremely important, people will most likely talk about the friends and what they have learned. However, to me this isn’t even CLTC. Honestly, it is truly hard for me to define CLTC, considering I am trying to define who I am and what my mark will be here. But in coming to this realization, I realized I am not alone. There is a quote by Kellie Elmore that states, “sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost.” This perfectly describes CLTC to me. Everyone here is still defining themselves and whether they do it in the end or not, the only way they can even try, is to get completely lost - lost in their friends, ideas, lost in the laughter and fun, and lost in the sisterhood and brotherhood that this organization gives us. Respectfully submitted with undying love for CLTC 7, the international order, and my heart and home, Star of David BBG of the Ohio Northern Region #23. I remain Sophie Ruttenberg.

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Shabbat Shalom from CLTC 7

Posted on 07/27/2014 @ 12:24 PM

Together as a community, we created a shabbat for the memory book at CLTC. We moved into a beautiful and fun service led by a BBG chapter followed by a personal reflection where everyone was able to reflect on their time so far at CLTC as well as how they feel individually as a whole. After much needed rest on Saturday morning, we started a wonderful Saturday afternoon. A great part about Shabbat at CLTC is that it truly is a break from the week; there is time to just relax. We were able to take a dip in a nearby pool, followed by some fun competition in AZAA and BBGG. After an extended chofesh, we carried on with dinner, followed by Hannah (BBG coordinator) and I teaching the cheers that have been taught for decades before us. This shabbat was one to remember, and everyone had a great time.

Fraternally submitted with an undying love with, Athens of the South AZA #258, Cotton States Region #72, CLTC 7 2015, The Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the 7 Cardinal Principles upon which it stands I will forever remain Aleph Samuel Albert Perlen

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Shabbat at Kallah

Posted on 07/27/2014 @ 11:21 AM

Shabbat has always been one of my favorite aspects about Judaism, especially in BBYO. At the beginning of Kallah we chose different Shabbat programmatic committees and really made this Shabbat about us, the Kallah community. Before Shabbat we got to take photos in the small quad with old and new friends, capturing the moment to ensure we never forget how amazing Shabbat was. After that we had participant led menorah lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat, which helped us welcome Shabbat to our camp. We then celebrated with a delicious Shabbat dinner that encouraged everyone to sit with new people based on similar traits, I sat at the wisdom table with a variety of old and new people. We finished the night with our first separates that increased the brotherhood among all the participants.

The next morning the Shabbat atmosphere of the previous night continued. I, along with many others, decided to keep Shomer Shabbat, staying away from all technology to immerse myself in Kallah. During the day, we were able to attend a variety of services and electives, furthering our connection to different aspects of Judaism while having fun. We then had an extra long Shabbat free time where we could meet new people, ask questions to staff, play sports, or just hang out and relax around camp. That night we got an amazing opportunity to talk to a panel of our Jewish educators. This allowed us to ask a variety of questions to the many Jewish educators that we had connected to in the past week. Finally, our communal Havdallah brought everyone together once again to celebrate the closing of Shabbat and the beginning of the next week.

Nathaniel Bernstein Great Midwest Region

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Quotes From The Teens

Posted on 07/25/2014 @ 11:13 AM

"CLTC is incredible. I am meeting so many new people and learning valuable life skills." - Coby Simler, CRW

"CLTC has been amazing. I've learned so much in just 3 days." -Gabe F. NTO

"CLTC has been an amazing experience so far. I have gotten to meet many great jews from across the country." -Ben Akers

"I have accomplished the art of making new friends; friends that will last a lifetime." -Gavin Shrell, NTO

"It's (CLTC) such a great experience! I've met so many new people, and I encourage everyone to sign up for CLTC." -Jamie Weiss, NTO

"The StandUp program was very interesting in the sense that in this large group of people, there were many commonalities in each other's StandUp causes." -Adam Kagel, CRW

"I loved seeing how passionate the girls were about what they wanted to do with their time at CLTC." -Brianah Caplan, Mountain.

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Words from the 90th Grand Aleph Godol

Posted on 07/25/2014 @ 11:13 AM

CLTC has been a leadership experience for everyone at Beber including the staff, Hannah, and I. Every chapter has elected their board, and they will gain experience to take home to their own real chapters. The connections made between all Alephs and BBGs here has been incredible to watch, and I can tell they will continue when everyone gets home. All Alephs held a parliamentary procedure program where they learned about how to go through proper procedure. We did this by going through a mock motion and acting as if it was real. The BBGs had a very similar program where they learned about how to lead a meeting as well as how to go through a motion. As we move into a meaningful first shabbat here at CLTC, everyone in this community is stronger than we were before, and we plan to make this a meaningful and memorable shabbat.

Fraternally submitted with an undying love for, Athens of the South AZA #258, Cotton States Region #72, CLTC 7 2014, The Grand Order of the Aleph Zadik Aleph and the 7 Cardinal Principles upon which it stands, I will forever remain Aleph Samuel Albert Perlen

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First Full Day at CLTC 7

Posted on 07/25/2014 @ 11:06 AM

CLTC 7 has been a blast so far. The teens are learning leadership skills that they never knew they had. The first step to leadership was learning to be proactive; taking the initiative without being asked. The next leadership lesson was 'beginning with the end in mind'. In the chapters, the teens have developed chapter names and numbers, and are currently working on their speeches to run for a board position. We wish all of the candidates luck and cannot wait to see them become great leaders.

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International Inductions at CLTC 6

Posted on 07/25/2014 @ 12:58 AM

Hello CLTC 6! My name is Alex Frenzel from Adrienne Levine BBG #124 of Connecticut Valley Region #17.

Today truly was a life-changing day at CLTC 6. Our entire community came down to breakfast today dressed in our matching CLTC shirts. We all gathered outside together to take a group photo. At that moment, I realized that we truly are a family. We had come in thinking that we were all so different and that we would never truly belong, but we now see that we are not so different. After going to many powerful programs that bonded us together and spending so much time as a whole, we have grown so close that there are no other people we would rather be spending these special 12 days with.

In addition, today was a day that we will remember for the rest of our lives; the day when we were all inducted into the international order. When I was sitting with my fellow BBGs, listening to Amanda give us a speech that inspired us all in different ways, I felt as if my life had just been pointed into a different direction. We all started as simple new members, but now we have made it big. BBYO is a part of us all and we will continue to carry it with us wherever we go. We may not know where we are going, but we will never be lost.

Congrats to all the Alephs and BBGs of CLTC 6. Let’s make our last few days unforgettable.

Submitted with undying love and dedication for Levine BBG #124, CVR #17, Shemesh BBG #1786 and all of CLTC 6, I forever remain, Alexandra Frenzel

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New Classes

Posted on 07/24/2014 @ 05:24 PM

I am attending International Kallah because I am extremely passionate about being an active member of the Jewish community, and I wanted a forum to discuss some of my ideas with other knowledgeable teens.

Through the Limmud framework, participants at Kallah can attend various classes led by our very own Jewish Educators. The two courses I have taken are ‘Exploring Israel’, taught by Ian Kandel and ‘Sex and Beyond’ taught by Rabbi Allen Saks.

Ian’s course has two main foci: learning the roots of Zionism and learning about current pressing events in Israel, including the political tensions that exist. We explore the 2000 year old Jewish ideal of returning to our homeland, Israel, and review historical documents, such as the poem that Hatikva was taken from. Because of this course I feel more educated and capable of having intellectual conversations about the ethical and political situations in the country currently.

In Rabbi Allen’s course, ‘Sex and Beyond,’ we explore the expectations and stereotypes about sex in the Jewish religion. We also explore how these ideas have changed over time. We discuss the differences between men and women in sexual environments, and what is considered appropriate for each gender. Rabbi Allen has used readings, discussions, and TV shows (such as Seinfeld) to help teach about these topics. Both of my classes have given me a lot of information to take home with me, as well as allowed myself and my peers express our own thoughts on the class topics. I look forward to continuing my lessons in Ian’s class, as well as starting a new course, entitled ‘God Talk,’ which is being taught by Tali Adler, an instructor currently in rabbinical school.

Itay Barylka

Central Region West

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Another Great Day

Posted on 07/24/2014 @ 12:59 AM

Hi my name is Nan Schechter and I am from Beshert BBG #2455 in Northern Region East: DC Council #54. And I am Rachel Caprini from Beresheit BBG #2412 in Ohio Northern Region #23 and we are both in the mock chapter Achayot Chazakot BBG #1436. CLTC has been so inspirational so far and we can’t wait to see the amazing programs that are yet to come. Today we were dorm of the day and we chose the overarching theme of “Saving a life.” We told everybody to exchange BBYO clothing, so that we can remember all of the people that made an impact on our lives here at CLTC. The day started with Shacharit (prayer service) with the theme of friendship. It was so nice to see all of CLTC linking arms and bonding with our brother Alephs and sisters BBGs. Also, today we watched a very moving video about what it means to be Jewish and we learned how to embrace our Jewish identities. Everyday after programming, we have chapter meetings where we get all of our business done and where we get to know the strengths and weaknesses of our chapter as a whole. We have gotten so close to each other and we can’t imagine leaving. After that, we had an amazing speaker, Jon Bridge, come and talk to us about recruitment and membership. His presentation engaged all of us and taught us how to recruit quality new members. After dinner we had Shira, a nightly song session, where Mikey, our song leader, taught us a bunch of new tunes. The night wrapped up with an IC throw down that made all of us SO excited for IC in Atlanta! CLTC has been so great and we know that the friends that we are making here will last a lifetime. Submitted with undying love for Achayot Chazakot BBG #1436, Beshert BBG #2455, DC Council #54, Beresheit BBG #2412, ONR #23, and CLTC 6 2014, we forever remain Nan Weiss Schechter and Rachel Miriam Caprini

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My First Jewish Experience

Posted on 07/23/2014 @ 11:31 AM

When I signed up for International Kallah last fall as a girl who went to religious school for over eight years, I thought I knew who I was as a person and as a Jew. Now, over a week into Kallah, my perspective has changed more than I thought possible. Every morning and afternoon, the whole Kallah community comes together to pray. No matter what sect you are or how much practice you have had, the educators make it easy to participate and be a part of the community. The past five prayer services that we have engaged in as a community have ranged from musical services led by Eric and Happie, meditative services led by Rabbi Zac, and even an Orthodox style service with split genders and a Mechitza. Being able to participate in services that I would not necessarily engage in at home has definitely opened my eyes to other areas of Judaism. The broad range of services is keeping everyone here engaged and eager to pray. Not only is Kallah a place where everyone is welcome; Kallah is a place where everyone is fully engaged in learning, prayer, and being a part of a community. Praying in this Kehillah (community) has been meaningful beyond words for me and the other teens here. Apart from praying, Kallah has given me amazing opportunities to practice and learn about my Judaism. The most prevalent example of this happened to me on the first full day of being at Kallah. I had no idea that the first full day was the 17th of Tammuz and the beginning of the three-week mourning period for T’sha B’av (the destruction of the temple.) I, along with 30 other teens, took the chance to fast from sunrise to sunset and spend the day commemorating and learning about the destruction of the temple. Growing closer to the other teens and staff members fasting with me, although I was hungry, was the most meaningful way that I could have hoped to start my Kallah journey. During meals, we hung out in the big quad, distracting our minds and stomachs from the struggle before us. We spent our entire day trying to explain our decisions to our peers. For me, thinking about those whom we lost and being able to learn in-depth about our history as a Jewish people was not even a question, but more an obligation.

Molly Ball

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Chapter Programs and Fundraisers Begin

Posted on 07/23/2014 @ 12:25 AM

Shalom, my name is Ido Almog and I am from the Evergreen Region. Today at CLTC 6 we accomplished yet another fantastic day at camp. Beginning with Shacharit (morning service), which was themed with the idea of picking up trash and the appreciation of nature. Following the service we were had group rotations consisting of exploring Judaism, synergy, and shira (singing). After a wonderful morning, my chapter, Achim AZA #517, led an energetic fundraiser. We decided to have a 3-on-3-basketball tournament with teams donating money at the entrance. We raised around $400 with the money going to the Friends of the IDF, an organization which we felt needed the support at such a crucial time. We finished the day off with two chapter-led programs. These programs opened our eyes and made us realize that each of us has a different perception and to discover a person’s true identity we must break out of our true comfort zone, even if it means taking a risk. Forever remain, Aleph Ido Almog.

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CLTC 6 Continues

Posted on 07/22/2014 @ 12:58 AM

Hi! Rebecca and Aliya here. We are having a great time at CLTC 6. Today, we were the dorm of the day, which means we raised and lowered the flag and led prayers before the meals. Later today, we had communication sessions with our chapter and the rest of the group. For example, we both went to the "Power to Persuade " program, and we learned many skills that can help us for the rest of our lives. Also, today our mock chapter held its fundraiser, which consisted of a Spooey Bar and a silent auction. The money our chapter raised will go to the "Trevor Project." Tonight, we had a March of the Living Program. This was the most powerful program we have had at CLTC. We learned about this trip, and it has inspired both of us to want to go on it in the future. We cannot wait to see what CLTC will bring in the upcoming days. Thank you to Micah, Amanda, and the rest of the staff for making this an amazing experience.

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Service, Georgetown, Lobby Prep!

Posted on 07/21/2014 @ 10:00 PM

Another early morning here at Impact DC. Some of us headed to the Wider Circle to organize toys, fold clothing, repair furniture, move items, and help clients load their vehicles with furniture. We were lucky enough to see the clients who we have been helping today as they came to select their much-needed items. The other half of us worked to better the Hillel here at University of Maryland by planting flowers and painting pots. It was so rewarding to contribute to the community we have become a part of together.

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Teens hanging out in Georgetown

This afternoon, we traveled to Georgetown to explore the wonderful college town. Many of us indulged in local food such as burgers and cupcakes. It was a really fun day!

We headed back to Hillel to continue our last push of advocacy preparation before we lobby to our congressmen and congresswomen tomorrow. Everyone has been working very diligently to lobby for issues that mean so much to us. Impact has given us the skills and opportunity to showcase our abilities and advocate for our beliefs in a way we have never experienced. We are looking forward to tomorrow's meetings!

This blog post was written by Rachel Blume (Westchester Region)

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Creating Meaningful Memories at CLTC 6

Posted on 07/21/2014 @ 12:34 AM

Hello! Our names are Jillian Blumberg from Dr. Abraham Cohen BBG #1172 in Eastern Region and Sophia Schmerling from Lilith BBG #324 in Pacific Western Region #44. Today was the sixth day spent at Bethany College in the beautiful hills of Bethany, West Virginia. Throughout the day, we spent our time going through different skill builder stations that taught us the ins and outs of how to be successful at all the different board positions, and how to create memorable speeches and platforms for elections. I (Jillian) cannot express how inspiring and helpful these rotations were, especially because I am fairly new at running in the elections run by my chapter. I (Sophia) learned that if you want to accomplish the task of attaining regional or international positions, you don’t need to find random positions to put on your resume, you should follow something you really have a passion for.

Another activity we both participated in this afternoon was playing ultimate frisbee. It’s an odd thing, right? That with all the engaging events and programs going on, I (Jillian) would mention a frisbee game? The reason I am bringing it up is because it was a moment of clarity for me. Sophia and I were the only girls playing, out of twenty boys on the field. We split into teams, set the rules, and started the game. In the beginning, Sophia and I were overcome with naïve excitement. Ten minutes went by. We were both new to the game, but we were still included. What struck me personally was that we were actually being treated as equals. My past experiences have shown me that when a girl is invited to play a sport, nothing is expected of her. But this was different. The guys were treating us as equals. It was one of the best feelings in the world, to be accepted, even if we weren’t very good at the game.

We can confidently say that today was one of the best days we have ever had. We want to thank the whole staff for continuing to be wonderful human beings and for making all of these magical moments possible.

Respectfully submitted with undying love for: CLTC 6 2014, Shemesh BBG #1786, Lilith BBG #324, Cohen BBG #1172, Pacific Western Region #44, Eastern Region, Chipotle, frisbee, and moments we will remember for the rest of our lives,

Jillian Sadie Blumberg & Sophia Caroline Schmerling

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Shabbat at CLTC 6

Posted on 07/20/2014 @ 12:58 AM

Hi, my name is Sol Nudelman from the Evergreen Region. Today has been another magnificent and inspiring day at CLTC 6. We were first enlightened with a Shabbat service, which expressed the variety of different ways we all celebrate tradition. Following the service we listened to an amazing talk on priorities and how in our lives we must separate our wants and needs. The talk included a video, which created tears and chills displaying a song “Clouds” written by Zach Sobiech, a young boy who was told he had only months to live. When faced with this news, rather than sulking, he turned to music and created his own happiness. We learned that in life we must create our own priorities, figure out our wants and needs and find the happiness we seek. Next we got our bodies in action with AZAA and BBGG taking part in such activities as: Ultimate Frisbee, Yoga, Swimming, Basketball and Zumba. The day ended with a family themed Havdallah illuminated with candles and a beautiful atmosphere. I am extremely lucky to be here with such great people united to make the world a better place.

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Shabbat Shalom from Impact DC!

Posted on 07/18/2014 @ 06:00 PM

Today the teens split up into 3 service groups, one going to the Capital Area Food Bank, one went gleaning at Miller Farms, and the last one went to A Wider Circle. Being that tonight is Shabbat, today’s blog post must be written early, so we will give you a few sneak peeks of tonight’s and tomorrow’s activities. The theme of Shabbat is “Earth, Wind, and Fire” because of the many spiritual connotations these elements have as well as the relationship that the theme has with the community service aspect of Impact:DC. The teens broke up into five groups to plan Friday night and Saturday morning services, create the Shabbat atmosphere, learn Shabbat songs, and prepare for the Shabbat rituals. The teens are exhausted from the workload this week and are excited to rest on Shabbat tonight and tomorrow.

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Teens doing service at Miller Farm

Today my service group went to Miller Farms to pick kale and collard greens to donate for those in need. When my group arrived at the farm, nobody was there to assist us and teach us what to do. While we were disappointed that we were unable to complete the service, we decided to look at the situation from a different perspective. We learned to always follow through in our plans especially when it takes a commitment from two different sides. While we understand that it was miscommunication between the two parties we are going to do our best to help out in the local UMD Hillel garden instead. We’re very excited to do the work!

The first week of Impact:DC has been an incredible experience and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us in the upcoming week!

This blog post was written by Matthew Hall (Lonestar Region)

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An Eventful Day At CLTC 6

Posted on 07/18/2014 @ 12:58 AM

Hi CLTC 6, Our names are Joanna (Ohio Northern Region), Monica (Eastern Region), and Anya (Eastern Region). These first few days of CLTC have been amazing! We have met so many new people so far and have expanded our BBYO knowledge. Elections for our mock chapters were held today. It was a great learning experience for me (Joanna) because it was my first time running for a position, and I loved the opportunity I had to try something new and take a risk. For all of us it was interesting to see the different ways other regions hold their elections. Another big event that happened today was the Israel Press Conference. Our International N’siah and Godol introduced the speakers as they updated us and 1,000 others on the situation happening in Israel involving Hamas. It was motivating to get a personal response from someone who had spent time with his family in Israel during this difficult time. We cannot wait to see what these next ten days hold for us and are excited for the rest of CLTC 6! Submitted with undying love for inter-regional friends, THE Amanda Freedman, Achayot Chazakot BBG #1436, CLTC 6... we forever remain Joanna, Monica, and Anya, damn proud BBGs.

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