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Chevrah & Marlcrest take home prizes at 'Battle of the Chapters'

Read this story in Jewish Community Voice

The B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) and the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) of South Jersey Region BBYO crowned two more winners at the annual Tournies Spirit and Sports event. From the night of January 31 into to the early morning of February 1, (most) BBYO members managed to stay awake and participate in all of the fun activities that were planned for the 12- hour affair. Over 300 teens from the three AZA, five BBG, and three co-ed chapters (including our special needs inclusion chapter) gathered at the Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club to compete against each other in the “Battle of the Chapters.” The festivities were filled with sports, socialization and spirit that would eventually lead to a BBG and AZA chapter conquering the others for the “Spirit Stick” and “Spam Award,” respectively.

The night started off with each chapter in the region singing their spirit songs— twists on popular songs that were made to reflect the fierceness of each group. For example, Dubrow BBYO performed a version of “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor and Otzma AZA debuted their rendition of the Karate Kid song “You’re the Best Around.” The BBGs and AZAs then split up to battle in different sports, a favorite feature of Tournies. Jared Keim of Woodcrest AZA said that he was most looking forward to his chapter coming in “with the big win” in the sports portion of the event, along with the overall award.

The sports events varied from “balloon popping,” where the BBGs chased each other with toothpicks in an attempt to pop the opponents’ balloons, to the AZAs playing “steal the rugby,” a football-rugby hybrid. After many hours of intense competition, including co-ed competitions, the sporting events were capped off with high-stakes games of dodgeball. Both the girls and boys were ruthless, making each match more interesting than the last. This year was particularly special for Dafna BBG, which beat Chevrah BBG in dodgeball for the first time in five years! Ultimately, Neshef BBG defeated Chevrah BBG in the last seconds of the final round of the girl’s dodgeball game to take home the win. As for AZA, Woodcrest AZA defeated the rest in the painstakingly close tournament.

After the games, each chapter showed their “Tournies Video,” another favorite part of the night. Teens from each chapter mingled together for the chance to talk to each other. The videos included tape of each chapter and their accomplishments (and sometimes, failures), usually organized in a skit or slideshow.

As the night progressed, many 8-12 graders began to doze off in the all-night event. Despite their fatigue, most members were still amped up as the trophies were given out to each group. After a long wait and ample anticipation, the “Spirit Stick” was awarded to the Chevrah BBG, and the “Spam Award” was given to Marlcrest AZA. The winning chapters were bursting with excitement as they were called to retrieve their rewards and bragging rights.

“My favorite part of Tournies was the spirit [of the other members],” said Amanda Ravitz, a member of the winning chapter of Chevrah. After apparel was given out, the teenagers sleepily made their way home, drawing a very successful Tournies 2015 to a close.

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