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Leadership training, community service fill BBYO summer

This article was originally published in the Jewish Community Voice.

This summer was a special one for members of South Jersey Region BBYO, as many attended programs held in various parts of the country. From leadership training conventions to community service projects, teens came home wanting to make a difference in BBYO and beyond. The most popular program chosen by members was CLTC, or Chapter Leadership Training Conference.

Twenty-six members of SJR attended this program held in either West Virginia or Wisconsin. One attendee, Owen Soler of Woodcrest AZA #1302, had nothing but positive words to say about his experience at CLTC 4. "CLTC was a time where I got to make everlasting memories and friends that I know I will never forget," said Soler. Another popular program attended was ILTC, or International Leadership Training Conference, held at B'nai B'rith Perlman Camp in Pennsylvania.

This year, SJR sent five members to ILTC. Teens not only learned valuable leadership skills, but also created networks with teens across the world. "ILTC helped me meet tons of new people from all over the world. It also granted me invaluable information to help grow my chapter and my region," said Jacob Folbaum of Masada AZA #2440. ILTC leads into Kallah, which is held at Perlman Camp as well.

At Kallah, delegates connect to Judaism in creative ways while demonstrating leadership skills and creating social connections. SJR sent four members to Kallah this year. "Kallah was everything and nothing I expected it to be both at the same time," said J.T. Palitto, a Kallah attendee. Another program that SJR sent teens to is Stand UP, which includes sightseeing, community service, and aspects of BBYO such as pro¬ gramming. Lauren Atkin from Ohev BBG #2453 thoroughly enjoyed her experience at Stand UP, where she attended the one in Washington D.C. "Stand UP D.C. was the perfect combination between BBYO programming, sightseeing and community service. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn about the issues of hunger and homelessness in D.C. while simultaneously working to put an end to it," said Atkin. As the summer ends and BBYO summer programs come to an end, members will start to focus on their chapters at home and making a difference within the region.

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