by Rachel Martin BBYO/Teen Director
On Saturday, Oct. 24, 40 Jewish teens came together for a unique Havdalah experience at the Bellevue Berry Farm.
BBYO, Omaha Temple Youth Group, and Lincoln Temple Youth Group teens planned and led a wonderful program that included icebreaker activities to get to know each other, a "speed dating" activity on the bus ride to the Farm, and an unforgettable Havdalah service led by Benjamin Brodkey and Max Kohll.
The 'Haunted' theme created a special experience for the Havdalah service by incorporating a spooky story told by multiple teens around the campfire while making s'mores, after everyone had enjoyed a haunted hayrack ride. It was incredible to witness the collaboration among BBYO, OTYG and LTYG, as two strong Jewish youth organizations (BBYO and NFTY), grew stronger together. Several attendees are members of both organizations, but many teens were surprised at how many people they did not know before last Saturday. Everyone is eager to do another joint program with their new friends!
"Combining OTYG and BBYO for this Haunted Havdalah event was a very rewarding experience. Helping to lead icebreakers and the Havdalah service was a lot of fun. I was pretty surprised how many teens from OTYG I didnt know. It was a good way to meet even more Jewish teens from Omaha. Hopefully I'll be able to do something like this again in the near future." -Max Kohll BBYO Member
"1 think Haunted Havdalah went really well. BBYO and OTYG partnering was an awesome experience! Everyone got along nicely, and Bellevue Berry Farm provided some cool activities. The s'mores were delicious and the teen-led Havdalah service was amazing. It was equally fun and beautiful; BBYO and OTYG work well together. The experience was great for bringing Jewish teens together in Omaha'." -Raelyn Cherry BBYO. BBG Council Secretary
"Haunted Havdalah was an amazing program. In a sense, it was also an historical event. We haven't had any programming like this in Omaha for many years, and we have never had a program with this group of people. We had members of BBYO, OTYG, B1LU USY and LTYG from Lincoln, all getting along in a fun and spiritual event. It was so much fun seeing the two groups come together for a program like this. The mixers were a great way to kick things off, and the Haunted Hayride at Bellevue Berry Farm only made things a lot better. After we all had a chance to ride, we came together in an interactive Havdalah, where we created a scary story, revolving around David the Bagel and the synagogue sleeper. After our very different Havdalah experience, we made some great s'mores. All in all, our program was one for the books, historic and memorable." -Benjamin Brodkey BBYO. AZA Council Shaliach, OTYG Board Member
For more information about BBYO, contact Rachel Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.334.6404.