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Biggest Spring Regional Convention Yet

Read this story in The Jewish Press

In Kansas City from April 3-6, Omaha teens joined over 225 staff and BBYO’ers for a fun-filled 3-day meaningful Jewish experience. On Thursday evening, teens were eager to meet new friends and played several great icebreaker games and a fear factor competition in which our very own Sophomore Jordan Saag won!

Friday was full of community service activities and BBYO business meetings run by Mid America Council leaders. Seniors Tyler Siegel and Rachel Saag said goodbye to their successful terms as Gadol and N’siah of Omaha Cornbelt Council. Senior, Tyler Siegel said, “The leadership opportunities that BBYO allowed me to do were simply incredible. Each opportunity I have had opened a new doorway to something new. I had the ability to grow into a leader while having the best time of my life. I will take the knowledge and experience from BBYO and continue to build a Jewish future in college and beyond.”

Community Service Projects were definitely memorable at SRC. One in particular was reStart Inc. reStart provides the homeless with supportive services to women, youth and families with children, with the goal of helping them move toward independence and self-sufficiency. BBYO teens helped collect and create items to make hygiene bags for the residents of this amazing non-profit.

“I think we helped lots of residents at reStart.” says Freshman Josh Wax. “This experience encourages me to do more for the Omaha community when I return home. I think we should spread the enthusiasm we have for doing mitzvahs with others. We should all be making a difference in the world.”

Teens experienced a fantastic Shabbat experience during SRC. Eric Hunker, a nationally known musician, was an integral part of making Shabbat so meaningful. His beautiful voice and song leading at several events such as International Convention 2013 and 2014 has made him popular among Jewish teens today. For Saturday morning services, teens were given two options of how they wanted to celebrate Shabbat. An alternative Yoga service weaved in yoga teachings and philosophies with Jewish ones as well. The pluralistic service was titled “From the Roots We Grow” and led by freshman and sophomores of AZA #1 and Chaim Weizman. All teens did a fantastic job of leading and giving their peers an uplifting and meaningful service filled with inspirational Jewish music.

After Shabbat, Mid America Awards were handed out to praiseworthy teens and chapters. AZA #1 was awarded “Best Top Ten List” and “Most Improved Chapter”. Freshman Nate Gendler was awarded AIT (Aleph in Training) of the Year for Mid-America Region. Junior Isaac Rogers of Chaim Weizman won “Flame of AZA” for the most passionate and hard-working male teen from his region! To celebrate all the successes that Omaha and Mid America had this year, teens got groovy at a neon themed DJ-spun dance. Freshman Alex Belgrade comments “Last year I attended SRC as an eighth grader and it just keeps getting better. I can’t wait for Fall Regional Convention, more Omaha events, and the next three years of my amazing BBYO career!”

For more information on how to join BBYO, contact Leora Werner at 402.334.6404 or lwerner@jccomaha.org.

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