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Great Midwest Region BBYO Holds Largest Spring Convention in History

Read this story in the Northbrook Star

Chicago-IL- 175 Jewish 8th – 12th graders from the Chicagoland area gathered at the North Shore Westin from the 25th-27th of April for BBYO Great Midwest Region’s (GMR) annual Spring Convention. It’s only fitting that this was the largest Spring Convention to date; after all, the year began with the largest Kickoff event in GMR history.

For the graduating class of 2014, this convention also marked the end of their BBYO journey. Seniors who served on the 12th Regional Board (GMR’s teen leaders) had the opportunity to give a “life” speech where they could reminisce about their time in BBYO and note their favorite memories. “Seeing all of our dedicated seniors get ready to leave BBYO was hard to watch. But with all they’ve done for GMR, they have only set us up for success in the future. I’m excited to see what they all accomplish in college and beyond,” said high school junior Jake Horwitz.

Elections for the 13th Regional Board took place over the course of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Members of GMR listened to candidate’s speeches, read their platforms, and submitted their votes. Congratulations to Colin Silverman, Jake Horwitz, AJ Teplinsky, Natty Bernstein, Adam Shaw, Ben Hirschman and Zach Levay on being elected as GMR’s 13th Regional Board for AZA (male section of BBYO) and to Pamela Kekst, Jessica Gbur, Michelle Weil, Jami Goldberg, Leah Sherin, Samantha Horwitz, and Lindsay Rabinowitz on being elected as GMR’s 13th Regional Board for BBG (female section of BBYO)! “Spring convention was a great way to applaud the work each individual member accomplished throughout the year. It was an amazing regional gathering to be my last one. It really inspired the younger members and it made the older members appreciate the time they have left. I am proud to remain a life member of this amazing region,” said the 12th Regional Vice President of Programming, Tariana Sandkam.

Spring Convention is an amazing time for newer and younger members too. New members officially become inducted into the region to become Alephs and BBG’s. For many, this is one of the most sacred ceremonies in BBYO. “Spring convention helped me to meet a lot of new people and experience many fascinating procedures. Getting inducted was my favorite part; it was a truly bonding moment and showed me the true brotherhood that AZA can bring,” said Daniel Fey, an 8th grader in Hammer AZA.

To finish off the convention, a luncheon was held at the hotel to which family and friends were invited. During the luncheon, the 12th Regional presidents for AZA and BBG, Daniel Way and Sydney Oliff, gave their State of the Region speech. They recapped their experiences and accomplishments over the past year. Following the State of the Region speeches, the 12th Regional Board was officially relieved of their duties and the 13th Regional Board was installed to their positions. “My last Spring Convention seemed bittersweet. I’m excited to see how amazing of a job new board does next year. This weekend was an amazing last goodbye to my amazing BBYO career,” said Daniel Way, 12th Regional President for AZA.

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