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Speakers, Awards Highlight BBYO Annual Convention

Read this story in the Cleveland Jewish News

A talk by a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces was among the highlights of the annual BBYO Ohio Northern Region convention in April at The Venue South inside the Days Inn and Suites in Richfield.

Sgt. Nikoline Muller Larsen of the Oketz Unit spoke to the teenagers about why she joined the army and the lessons she has learned through her IDF experiences. Oketz is the independent canine special forces unit of the IDF.

Keynote speaker Adam Nelson, a junior at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., shared his story about following one’s dreams and passion. Nelson, a former ONR regional president who grew up in Akron, has produced films that have received international attention.

Matthew Waldman, another former regional president who is director of college services at the Steppingstone Foundation in Boston, spoke about learning how to use social media to express one’s personal brand. Waldman is a Youngstown native. Song leaders Eric Hunker and Happie Hoffman led the singing of Jewish music.

About 300 people, including 152 teenagers, attended the convention, during which awards were presented and the regional board was elected.

“The regional convention is the culmination of an entire year’s worth of leadership involvement, community service, Judaic learning and fun,” said Todd Kay, director of the BBYO Ohio Northern Region.

“Our chapters work so hard throughout the year to make an impact in the community and grow the movement. This is the time we gather with the brother Alephs, B’nai B’rith Girls, parents, alumni and stakeholders to celebrate all of BBYO’s Ohio Northern Region accomplishments.”

Regional award winners included:
• Julie Mostov and Michelle Ryb, Aaron Grossman Volunteer Service Award
• David Berger AZA #1823, Marla Schlessel Spirit Gavel (most spirited chapter)
• David Bohm and Ryan Willen, Kaufman Family Involvement Award winners (college scholarships); • Exodus AZA and Star of David BBG, Jared Orchin Chapter Community Service Award (most hours served by a chapter)
• Hatikvah BBG No. 987, Bruce Sherman Most Improved Chapter of the Year
• Chaia BBG No. 220, BBG Chapter of the Year
• Samson AZA No. 2076, AZA Chapter of the Year

Elected to the ONR BBG Board were: Alyse Weinstein, president; Lucie Shiffman, past president; Sarah Wasserman, vice president of programming; Sydney Lapin, vice president of membership; Julia Oshrin, vice president of Judaic enrichment and community service; Julia Margulies, vice president of communications; and Jordyn Sable, vice president of philanthropy.

Elected to the ONR AZA Board were: Andrew Levy, president; Zach Sable, past president; Brian Margolis, vice president of programming; Noah Sussman, vice president of membership; Ben Sack, vice president of Judaic enrichment and community service; Kyle Bader, vice president of communications; and Ben Yaffe, vice president of philanthropy.

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