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A Look Back at a Successful Year for South Jersey Region BBYO

Read this story in the Jewish Community Voice

A memorable year for South Jersey Region BBYO has come to a close. This year proved successful when SJR’s numbers surpassed goals with over 400 teens from 8th to 12th grade active in our youth movement. Teens participated in a multitude of events, conventions and fundraisers throughout the year, so let’s recap them!

To start off the year, South Jersey teens attended Kickoff down the shore in Margate City. This event was laid back as members reunited with their regional friends on the beach after an enduring summer. Teens gathered around for a traditional Havdalah on the beach and relaxed with their friends for the remainder of the night. Kickoff proved an excellent start to the year with positive teen feedback and a relaxing time for all.

Last year, SJR decided to try something new. It combined AIT/MIT (an event led by the regional Morim, VP of Membership, for underclassmen) with RLTI (a convention for upperclassmen based around leadership training). The new event, named Fall Convention, took place at Camp Harlam in Pennsylvania and was coordinated by the Regional Mazkirim (Secretaries), Jess Sklar and Jordan Gomer. The overall leadership message and training was conveyed outstandingly. Many Alephs and BBGs noted this convention as one of, if not the best, conventions of the year.

Spring Kickoff at Dave & Busters in Philadelphia successfully brought new teens into BBYO. With over 100 teens in attendance, Spring Kickoff was nothing less than a fantastic time for both Alephs and BBGs in SJR.

At South Jersey Region’s annual Tournies overnight convention, almost 300 teens in the region competed with their respective chapters to come out on top at the Cherry Hill Racquet Club in Cherry Hill. Coordinated by the regional Sganim (VP of Programming) and their committee, Tournies was a blast. Alephs and BBGs competed in myriads of activities and sporting events repping their chapter. Concluding the night, Otzma AZA and Neshef BBG were the two chapters that took the bragging rights for the rest of the year.

Regional Brotherhood at the JCC Camps at Medford, coordinated by Brad Deren and his committee, provided the Alephs of South Jersey Region with a healthy dose of brotherhood. The convention was centered around the IDF with the theme being “Bombs, Bullets, and Brotherhood.” Sisterhood was coordinated by Hannah Hauptman and her committee. BBGs definitely felt the love in the room all throughout the night. Though it rained in the evening, it created an atmosphere that left all girls feeling closer to each other.

At our end of the year convention, Spring Thing, the 54th regional board was elected and seniors said their final farewells to the region at Camp Saginaw in Oxford, PA. It was a great ending to a memorable year in South Jersey Region.

SJR’s last event of the year is a pool party at the JCC. The programming year will start again at the end of the summer with Kickoff down the shore.

The 2013-2014 year for South Jersey Region can easily be summed up by BBYO’s mission statement: “More Jewish teens, more meaningful Jewish experiences.” The year as a whole successfully gave the teens in the greater South Jersey community the tools they need to impact the community as Jewish leaders, and South Jersey Region BBYO plans to augment and reinforce this task for many years to come.

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