CLTC 3, day 11
Posted on 07/01/2016 @ 03:30 PM
Shabbat Shalom! Today at CLTC three, teens are preparing for Shabbat. Between services, Havdallah, and Shabbat programming, each chapter is busy planning something exciting. As teens enter their second and final Shabbat at Beber camp, they share all of the exciting new skills that they have developed:
"It's crazy to think about how short our time at CLTC is! With all of the new stuff I have learned, it seems like we've been here for a month!" -William Kronfeld, Pacific Western Region.
"Throughout CLTC, I have learned so much about myself. The different rotations and leadership sessions have given me so many ideas about how to make my chapter at home better." -Zoe Mervis, Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region.
"At CLTC, we have learned to be critical thinkers and strong leaders. I would definitely recommend this experience to everyone because it is such a well rounded program." -Rhett Fruitman, Rocky Mountain Region.
"CLTC has been a fantastic experience that has allowed me to grow and prosper as a leader". Eli Minksy, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
Day 3 of CLTC 4!
Posted on 06/30/2016 @ 09:00 PM
On our third day of CLTC 4, we began our day with an inspiring flag raising to honor those who perished in the tragedy in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday. We continued this theme of honoring lives and inter-faith relations in Shacharit services were Ira’s beautiful words brought the major issues in our society to the forefront of our minds. Afterwards, we began our daily rotations which included Jewish Leadership, Chapter Wellness, and MRIHA. After lunch, we all got together in our mock chapters and voted on our chapter identities.
Everyone is having an amazing time here at CLTC. This is what some teens have to say about their experience so far:
“I already feel so close to so many other people that I have met. I am so thankful for this experience.” Ava Schumacher Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region
“I have met so many people from CRW all the way to NRE and everywhere in between and have already acquired new skills and ideas to bring back to my chapter at home.” Sarah Edelson Liberty Region
“This has been the best two days of my life and it’s amazing.” Jacob Roth Lone Star Region
We can’t wait for the upcoming days!
Shani Katz, Connecticut Valley Region
CLTC 3, day 10
Posted on 06/30/2016 @ 08:45 PM
Good evening from CLTC 3! Today, teens in chapters Muar BBG and Exodus AZA were finally able to run the programs that they have been working so hard to plan over the course of the past week. All of the skills that they have been developing at CLTC really shined through, as both programs were fun and exciting for everyone. Over the course of the day, teens have become more excited for their evening separates program, to be run by the coordinators. During this program, participants will get the chance to bond and get officially inducted into the international order of the B'nai Brith Girls Aleph Zadik Aleph. Take a look at what some of the participants had to say about their day:
"Today, I had a lot of fun helping to write my chapter song. I can't wait to sing it at CLTC presents on Saturday," -Gavin Gold, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"Today, I learned so much about programming in BBYO. I got the chance to lead the Speak UP! program that I helped plan. CLTC has been a blast so far, and I'm so happy that I've met so many new people. I know I will stay friend with them, and I'm sad it;s almost over." -Jaxson King, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"Today I got to participate in two amazing programs that other members got to plan. It is awesome to see what we can accomplish at CLTC. I can't believe that we're going home so soon!" -Dylan Bishop, Lonestar Region.
"So far, CLTC has been a place where I have met tons of new people from across the United States. I'm so happy that I got the chance to meet so many great friends." -Emily Warshowsky, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
Day 2 of CLTC 4!
Posted on 06/29/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Today was our first full day at CLTC, as well as our first time being chapter of the day, which meant that we had added responsibilities like cleaning and flag-raising. We experienced our first Shacharit after breakfast, as well.
We were all split into 3 groups for rounds of programs: Snap, Crackle & Pop, and rotated through 3 activities. The first was "Jewish Leadership", in which we identified our personality types and through them, our strengths and flaws. The second program was "Why Are You Here", in which we shared our goals and fears and discussed God through text. In the third, "Behavior Matters", we talked about being a Dugmah Ishit (personal example) and what it meant to us in different contexts.
After lunch we had sessions with our chapters where we discussed leadership, how to present yourself, and we learned some guidelines on being a good and productive board member. We bonded with our fellow chapter members & were able to step out of our comfort zones.
Ori Tsameret, Evergreen Region
CLTC 3, day 9
Posted on 06/29/2016 @ 08:45 PM
Today at CLTC three, two of the four chapters had the opportunity to run the program that they have been working on throughout the session. One of the girl chapters Yallah BBG, ran a successful Globalization program that taught participants about Jewish people across the world, specifically in countries where BBYO is present. Boys chapter Yizkor AZA lead their Stand UP! program, which taught everyone about the different disabilities that you might encounter in your peers, and how to include them. As CLTC 3 enters its final few days, the teens have started to reflect on everything that they have learned:
"Thinking of leaving so soon is devastating. The incredible friendships I have developed with the teens and the staff will be impossible to leave." -Lauren Mitchell, Northern Region East: DC Council.
"We only have four more days left at CLTC, and I can't even begin to imagine leaving. I have met amazing people who I connect with, because we have the same passion for being leaders and BBYO!" -Autumn Stelzer, Wisconsin Region.
"Today, my chapter finalized our program, which we have worked so hard on. Our program is a Stand UP! program, and I'm really excited to show everyone what we have learned." -Adam Sadoff, Wisconsin Region.
"CLTC has been like nothing else I have experienced before. I wish that time could stop so I could stay longer!" -Tali Gorodetsky, Mid America Region.
"The programs that we participated in this morning were very meaningful. It helped to develop my leadership skills because all leaders need to understand themselves, and the programs made us think about that." -Sam Essenfeld, Connecticut Valley Region.
Tomorrow, we look forward to seeing chapters Muar BBG and Exodus AZA lead their programs!
First Day of CLTC 4!
Posted on 06/28/2016 @ 09:00 PM
As the first of our twelve days at CLTC 4 2016 comes to a close, it has become apparent that the remainder of the session has been set up for success! The teens arrived this afternoon, beaming ear to ear from the moment they got off the bus and the smiles have only continued to grow as we move through our busy schedule.
From there, we were able to watch CLTC 4 blossom into a newfound community that were truly excited to be together. Most people would think that, naturally, it may be hard to transition with a session of 106 participants. However, this hasn’t been the case here at Bethany—in fact it’s the opposite. Our participants have already cultivated lasting connections with each other that will only grow stronger throughout the session.
Today’s focus was primarily on orienting the teens into our daily routine and traditions, in addition to introductions to each other, the staff, and Bethany College. We also showcased our theme of session 4, “better than ever,” to emphasize the significance of beginning CLTC with a focus on self that, by the end of the session, progresses into a focus on the community.
With new friendships and fresh opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, we are eager to see where these newfound relationships and curricula will take our teens as they strive to satisfy their endeavors not only for the extent of CLTC 4, but beyond the classroom as they return to their chapters and regions throughout the Movement. Great things are in store!
CLTC 3, day 7
Posted on 06/27/2016 @ 08:45 PM
Welcome to day seven at CLTC 3! Over the course of the day, teens had the opportunity to participate in some new and exciting activities. Skill sessions focusing on Jewish Identity, knowing your audience, and program planning were all open for teens to attend. During their free time, (Chofesh), the chapters competed in an exciting "Jello Jousting" tournament. In a series of rounds, two chapters faced off against one another at a time. One member was chosen to represent their chapter in every round. In order to play, each participant must balance Jello on the end of a long spoon, with their other hand held behind their back. Once the round begins, you must try to knock the Jello off of your opponent's spoon without dropping your own. The event was both exciting and entertaining for everyone.
With over half of CLTC behind us, many of the participants are starting to shape their experiences into skills that they can bring home with them:
"CLTC has been amazing! I've met so many new people that I'll be friends with for a long time. I've been able to connect with so many different BBYO members, and learn about different chapters across the United States." -Jaxson King, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"Mt favorite part so far has been getting to know everyone here. Everyone is so nice and friendly, and I love all of the friends I have made." -Sydni Rotenberg, Michigan Region.
"CLTC is so much fun! It's awesome to learn so much about BBYO, and I am able to make friends across the country at the same time." -Eli Melnick, North Florida Region.
"My favorite part of CLTC so far has been Maccabia, because I learned how a program can be competitive while still being fun." -Sadie Wolf, Evergreen Region.
"My favorite part of CLTC so far has been meeting all these new people from across the nation, and getting to know them. I like finding out how BBYO differs where they are from in comparison to my home region." -Adam Sadoff, Wisconsin Region.
CLTC 3, day 6
Posted on 06/26/2016 @ 09:30 PM
Good evening from CLTC 3! Over the past couple days, teens had some time to relax over Shabbat. Some of the highlights include Shabbat services and Havdallah, which the teens had the opportunity to lead. Today everyone was very excited to participate in the Maccabia games, which is similar to a camp "color war". The entire day had a Harry Potter theme. Teens were split into four "houses": green (Slytherin), yellow (Hufflepuff), blue (Ravenclaw), and red (Gryffindor). Through a series of competitions including Harry Potter trivia, a Quidditch match, silent lunch, shoe-golf, and an Amazing Race, teams competed for points. However, winning the challenges isn't the only way to earn points for your team- team spirit also counts! Later this evening, teams will be competing in a lip sync battle. Take a look at what teens have to say about Maccabia so far:
"Maccabia unified me with people who I never thought I would get close to. I'm so happy that I got the chance to bond with new people." -Liam McLean, Wisconsin Region.
"Even though the green team didn't win all of the challenges, I loved everything we did today! I got super into Quidditch, which helped me get closer to my team." -Rachel Schlesinger, Lonestar Region.
"Maccabia has been so much fun! I liked how there are different types of activities, because that means that everyone will be able to do well in something." -Matthew Gottfried, North Florida Region.
"Today was a perfect day to form new friendships, and become closer with others. It was so much fun!!" -Nikki Fagin, Mid America Region.
"Maccabia was really fun. It doesn't matter if we win or not because it was a great way to meet new people." -Zach Schneiderman, Southern Region: Atlanta Council.
"Maccabia has been great! I've gotten to know so many awesome people!" -Alyssa Cohen, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"Today was by far my favorite! The activities were amazing. I'm so happy that the theme was Harry Potter! Go Hufflepuff!!" -Alitzah Gelman, Cotton States Region.
Teens will find out who wins later tonight- it should make for an exciting evening!
CLTC 4 2016 Blog Updates Are Coming Soon!
Posted on 06/26/2016 @ 05:00 PM
We’re pumped for CLTC 4 2016, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!
Final Day of CLTC 2
Posted on 06/25/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Today is our last day and it was definitely bitter sweet. In the morning we had a B'nai Mitzvah for anyone who hasn't had one. It was a very exciting moment and the CLTC community was there to share the amazing experience. After that, we went into Shabbat programming, and then we went to Shabbat electives where we chose an elective that interested us. After we had so much fun participating in the Shabbat services and electives, we sadly had to begin packing and cleaning. After dinner, everyone held good and welfare for each of their chapters, as this was their last time as a chapter. We then had a very meaningful Havdallah service and we came together as a whole CLTC community. At CLTC Presents, we showed off our skills and chapter banners and shirts. This truly was the best 12 days of our lives and Bethany will be missed.
Jillian Greenberg and Sammi Trepeck
Shabbat Shalom from CLTC 2!
Posted on 06/24/2016 @ 05:00 PM
As we pull into the final Shabbat of CLTC 2, our participants are preparing for powerful programming and meaningful memories. We have had a great two weeks together and our community is growing closer each day. As we enter Shabbat, we will take time to truly rest, explore ourselves a bit further, and wrap up what has been the experience of a lifetime. Shabbat Shalom from CLTC 2!
Chaverot BBG at CLTC 2
Posted on 06/23/2016 @ 09:00 PM
While some are resentful to count down the days until the end of CLTC, the second session of the BBYO Chapter Leadership Training Conference is coming to a close. The past 12 days have been filled with an exploration of leadership qualities and personal identity. One can assure that all participants in the conference will walk away having learned something new about themselves. In the final mock chapter skill session that occurred today, each chapter member of Chaverot BBG was exposed to a variety of techniques for solving problems within her own personal chapter. In the final session, some of the girls were a bit emotional. But that didn't stop them; they got to work on their individual projects to be presented at the CLTC presents event on the final night. It has been a tireless effort amongst the chapter to plan programs and foster an appropriate atmosphere for the whole group; an effort that no girl in Chaverot will soon forget.
CLTC 3, day three
Posted on 06/23/2016 @ 08:45 PM
At CLTC, we are fortunate enough to have a very talented and enthusiastic song leader, Josh Cohen. He is a former BBYO member, and uses music to guide teens during services, programs and song sessions. During today's programming at CLTC 3, teens were able to gain new perspective on Jewish music. Many of the participants were very enthusiastic throughout the song session, making it a positive experience:
"The song session was my favorite part of the day. Josh Cohen was able to make people break out of their comfort zones and become friends." -Anna Wernick, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"The song session helped me get closer to the Jewish prayers we were learning in a relatable way." -Tali Gorodetsky, Mid America Region: Saint-Louis Council.
"I really enjoyed learning new songs from Josh during song session today. I think that the songs make us grow closer together to create a stronger bond." -Ally Hochhauser, Nassau-Suffolk Region.
"Singing with people really allows a strong bond to be formed. I couldn't be more grateful for all of these bonding opportunities, and for the friends that I'm making." -Rachel Silverman, Greater Jersey Hudson River Region.
We look forward to all of the exciting experiences to come!
Maccabia at CLTC 2!
Posted on 06/22/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Today were the Maccabia games at CLTC 2! The theme of Maccabia for CLTC 2 was the Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. The four teams created were Argentina (Blue), UK & Ireland (Red), Israel (White), and Bulgaria (Green). As part of the competition, each team was asked to write a blog post. Read below to see what our teams had to say!
UK & Ireland, Red Team Today, the Maccabia games of CLTC 2 began. A wave of fear hung in the air like a thick fog while participants awaited the calling of their name as each was assigned to a team. It turned into a battle of the countries: the UK/Ireland, Argentina, Israel, and Bulgaria in a race to the finish, each team hoping to achieve activity. It was a Jewish hunger games, savage teens competing in brutal competitions that tested athleticism, strength, and honor. Friendships were tested. Rivalries were formed. Would it all be worth it for the grand prize, a prize only the winning team would receive, a title of success? Throughout the day we played hard and fought for first place. Even though we came in fourth place at the end, it was an incredible day.
Argentina, Blue Team CLTC Community— My name is Simon Schaefer and I represent Exodus AZA #1372 from Connecticut Valley Region #17, Sababa AZA #323 (we changed our number) at CLTC 2, and am a co-captain of the BLUE TEAM in the CLTC Maccabia Games! We had an awesome surprise today when we learned that we would be competing in various events for the honored title of champions. For much of the afternoon we played gaga, ultimate frisbee, and basketball. We also made our team flag, song, and cheer. It was so much fun getting to know new people and getting closer with our teammates. We bonded as a CLTC 2 community, embracing every minute of the day. From a really meaningful meditation style Shacharit service to a fun Birkat Hamazon at lunch to all of the amazing activities, it was awesome! Shout out to my amazing co-captain Brynne Jacobs from BBG #63 from Lonestar region. You're awesome and even though we came in third place, I had an amazing time together! In closing, I would like to leave you with a few haikus summarizing the day.
CLTC 2, Maccabia Games are cool, Blue's the winning team Wild cheering's fun, But be a good sportsman, guys! Don't be too salty. I like haikus much, But some don't make any sense Refrigerator. But back to the day, It was the best one so far, LET'S GO BLUE, LET'S GO! Fraternally submitted with undying love for CLTC 2, Sababa AZA #323, the blue team, the Connecticut Valley Region #17, and my home and my heart Exodus AZA #1372, I am and forever humbly remain, Aleph Simon Schaefer.
Israel, White Team When I first signed up for CLTC, I was skeptical. My first thoughts were feelings of fear: I'm not religious, so would I be accepted? I'm not on my chapter board, so would I understand the leadership-focused programming? I'm not even that involved in BBYO. How would I fit in? Well, all of that changed in an instant. By the 5th day of the program, I felt like I fit in and I even ran for S'ganit of my mock chapter board. Even though I lost, I became a chairperson and was still involved. Being at CLTC allows you to get the experience of being in a leadership role and allows for some trial and error before you go home and potentially assume the role of a leader in your real chapter. I can truthfully say that I would never think of changing my decision to come here for a second. Not only have I learned incredibly valuable lessons for my future BBYO career, but I have established indescribable connections with people from across the country. In the 12 short days of CLTC, I have created friendships that will last infinitely. The programs here are making me laugh, cry, sing, dance, and sometimes just smile. CLTC is the leverage that turns an ordinary BBYO leader into an active passionate leader, maybe even a “Dugmah Ishit” (Personal Example in Hebrew). I am so proud that the Israel White Team came in second place today at Maccabia!
Bulgaria, Green Team CLTC provides a fun way for teens around the country to come together and develop their leadership skills. Mock chapters are created to help create an easy way to learn how a chapter is run, how programs are created, and how to become a better leader in your chapter at home. During CLTC, we also have many different rotations that teach teens about Judaism, how to plan programs, parliamentary procedure, and more. Besides being a leadership conference, there are many other things teens get out of the experience, including friendships that will last a lifetime. As well as the learning aspects, CLTC creates a community of Jewish teens who all love BBYO. It's an indescribable feeling to be around so many people that share your values and passions. Instant friendships are made, and they often last forever. We learn together, laugh together, cry together, and grow together. This experience is unlike any other, as you get closer with Jewish teens from around the United States, as well as closer to your own Jewish identity. CLTC is an experience we will cherish forever, and we are so honored and proud to have been the winners of this year’s Maccabia!
Welcome to CLTC 3!
Posted on 06/22/2016 @ 03:30 PM
Welcome to CLTC 3 at Beber Camp! We are so excited to start off a new and exciting session, with so many new faces. Teens arrived to camp yesterday in time for dinner, an exciting evening activity, and an opportunity to meet the other participants in their rooms and mock-chapters. Everyone is feeling good about the twelve day adventure we have just begun! Take a look at what some of the participants had to say about their first night:
"CLTC is going to be so much fun! I can't wait to learn new leadership skills, and it's only the second day!" -Alyssa Cohen, North Texas Oklahoma Region.
"I'm excited to meet new people, develop new leadership skills, and grow as an Aleph." -Eli Melnick, North Florida Region
"I'm excited to be at CLTC because I want to learn how to make a lasting impact in my chapter and my region. I also want to make long lasting friendships." -Ally Hochhauser, Nassau-Suffolk Region.
"So far, my CLTC experience has reminded me of a certain FUN song: 'F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for you and me! N is for anywhere and anytime at all, right here at CLTC!' It's because I know I'm going to have so much fun while I'm here." -Jacob Hackney, Cotton States Region.
Day 7 of CLTC 2
Posted on 06/20/2016 @ 10:00 PM
Today was one of my favorite days of CLTC because our mock chapter, Haganah, was finally dorm of the day! After seeing every other chapter have so much fun leading the day with prayers and flag raising/lowering I was really anxious for our chapter to have our turn. Considering we are the last chapter (dorm #6), this event was greatly anticipated but was certainly worth the wait. We started off the day by singing Hatikvah and the Pledge of Allegiance while folding a flag and then led the prayers at breakfast. We also led the prayers during lunch and dinner, which was really exciting for us. Being able to lower the flag after a great Chofesh was a nice way to tie the day together.
I'm having so much fun at CLTC and the days are flying by, but the nighttime programming took a more serious note. Tonight we had a program centered on the March of the Living, a program through BBYO which takes teens to Poland and then to Israel to commemorate the holocaust. The program we experienced intended to educate us about the opportunity, while giving us a connection and feeling of importance for attending as well.
In the program we heard what it was like for teens our age to go through the holocaust, we watched videos that were taken at some of the concentration camps by teens that attended March of the Living, and we heard stories from staff members that had gone on the program. After the staff spoke, we were given the opportunity to talk to our peers about any experiences or knowledge that we had of the holocaust and it was an incredibly emotional and intense moment for all of us. It brought us together in a way that cannot be explained and the room was filled with tears. We ended the program by singing together and saying the Shemah, and we left the program with arms around each other in great support. I have enjoyed CLTC so much and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. - Ryan Krane
Day 6 of CLTC 2
Posted on 06/19/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Today is June 19th which is also Father's Day. We started out the day by raising the flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, which we do every morning. After flag raising and breakfast we had our morning Shacharit, which was themed as a “G-d Talks” service. It was a meaningful and spiritual way for us to begin the day.
Following the service, we split into our rotation groups for three sessions: Program Planning, Know Your Audience, and Jewish Leadership. Each was incredibly educational and helped me understand more about the values of BBYO. The next session was a range of electives based on BBYO’s initiatives. The options included J-Serve, Stand UP, Speak UP, Global Shabbat, Voice Your Vote, and Globalization. I learned about the global initiatives of our organization and how we can bring them back to our chapters to educate more members on them.
At our chapter planning time we were able to learn how to properly calendar our programs. To introduce the Israeli theme of the night, we had falafel for dinner! After dinner we had an Israel Program where we simulated a trip to Israel and learned about the life of our Shaliach, Guy. We learned that he will be joining the army shortly after he gets back from CLTC, which I think is pretty incredible.
It was an amazing day filled with learning, fun, and inspiration!
-Haley and Sammi
Israel Program at CLTC
Posted on 06/19/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Today we took part in the Israel program of CLTC. As part of the program, the teens were asked to write a letter to Israel as if it were a person. Below are some of the incredible letters written by our teens to Israel:
“Hi Israel, how are you? I hope you are better than when we last spoke. You were quite the innovator back in the days, how are you doing with that? I hear that you are dealing with some terror issues, I hope they get better soon. Good luck with everything, I hope to hear back from you soon! Cordially, Jacob Welch NRE:DC Council, Haganah AZA #3134”
“Dear Israel, Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for being my home. Don’t get me wrong, America is my country. But you, Israel, are my home. Hopefully I can visit someday soon. With love, Zack Miller, an honorary American Jew Keystone Mountain Region, Sababa AZA #4”
“Dear Israel, Hi, how are you? I heard about what happened with you. I’m sorry that you’re having troubles. On the bright side, you have a lot of great things going on right now, I know you can make it through. You always come out stronger after situations like this. I hope you get well soon. - Paul Siegel Nadiv Michigan Region, Sababa AZA #4”
“Israel, You mean so much to many people. You have gone through good and bad and we will always be here for you. Although you are the smallest country in the world, you are our whole world. Love, Sophie Marx Eastern Region, Oshrat Ahava BBG #614”
Donagi and Sons at CLTC 2
Posted on 06/18/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Shabbat is known as the day of rest, and though I did not rest today, I certainly enjoyed it. Today during Chofesh, our Israeli Shaliach, Guy Donagi, transformed the common room of our dorm into a small Israeli coffee shop! The mock coffee shop was called Donagi and Sons (a play on his last name), and it was incredibly creative.
We were all able to get a little bit of an Israeli experience by coming to be with him. He served coffee, chocolate milk (called Choco in Hebrew) and oranges to snack on, and played Israeli music for us all to listen to which I thought was really cool to hear. In addition to the edible items, he also brought some traditional Israeli games which many of us took part in playing in. Some of the games that we were able to play were paddle ball (known as “Matcot” in Hebrew), and Backgammon (known as Shesh Besh in Hebrew).
With the music blasting and the room filled with Ruach (spirit), everyone got to experience something truly unique. I competed in a highly competitive game of Shesh Besh against Guy, which resulted in a very narrow victory. Overall, this activity was a wonderful immersion into Israeli culture, with wonderful food, friends, and music. I would love to see more programs like this in the future, because a lot of us don’t get to see what Israel is really like and this was a great way to get a glimpse!
- Miles Bader
First Shabbat of CLTC 2
Posted on 06/17/2016 @ 09:00 PM
Every day at CLTC 2 we have Chofesh, which is our free time for the day. I've found it tough at times to decide on what to do during this time, and it has been something that I have given a lot of thought to. Although I've only been at CLTC for a few days, the options are abundant. Whether you're singing or hanging out with friends, calling home, playing games in the common rooms, or playing sports, everyone feels included.
One thing that I’ve found to be fun is hanging out with friends in the common area of our suites. For example, yesterday a group started to form in my dorm living room. BBGs from all different regions and chapters gathered to sing together and be accompanied by ukuleles. I also saw exciting videos of our Shaliach from Israel, Guy, playing a suspenseful game of Jenga. I also observed a group of Alephs playing ultimate Frisbee. No matter what we decide to do during Chofesh, it remains our time.
For Shabbat we were able to take great pictures outside, followed by a beautiful dinner and service that one of our mock chapters planned and ran. The service for the night was centered on the shooting in Orlando, where we prayed for the victims and learned about who they were. It was a very moving experience and what was great about it was that it was a safe space, and because we had the free time to bond with each other it was easy for us to support each other and comfort each other through it.
While we are here to learn and grow as individuals and leaders through the lessons of CLTC, having time to get to know each other and have fun together is something that I really appreciate from this program. There is so much that we can learn from each other in addition to what we can learn from the staff, and it makes this summer program a really rounded out experience!
Respectfully Submitted, Pheobe Metzger-Levitt