IN THEIR WORDS
BBYO SUMMER EXPERIENCES
"It takes something as simple as reaching out to new people and asking their name to create a new friendship or make them feel included. BBYO was the first place that anyone ever asked me about my cochlear implants or seemed interested at all. If I hadn't joined BBYO, I don't think I would be the advocate that have become today- for myself, for my friends, for anyone. BBYO and the inclusive environment it creates, at summer programs especially, is what allowed me to share my story and find my true passion in life, and for that, I am forever grateful."
-Tyler Rosenbluth, Southern Region, CLTC 2015 Participant
"This past summer I took a BBYO passport: Ambassadors to Bulgaria that completely changed the way I looked at my Judaism. The trip included everything from white water rafting to speaking to the local Jewish elderly about their experience during the Holocaust. Although the various community service projects had an impact, my biggest takeaway was from the connections I made on the trip. As part of the trip, there were 20 international teens from all across Eastern Europe, from Croatia to Macedonia. When speaking to them, the common theme was that they were not able to outwardly express their Judaism. This shocked me coming from a place where religious freedom is the cornerstone of our democracy. I knew that I had an obligation to wear the kippah in solidarity for those who are not able to show their pride for Judaism as I am."
-Reed Hasson, Pacific Western Region, Ambassadors to Bulgaria 2016 Participant
CLTC - CHAPTER LEADERSHIP TRAINING CONFERENCE
"CLTC has had such a positive impact on me. I can tell that my leadership skills have improved, and I have created such a strong bond with the people here."
- Joey Reed, Pacific Western Region, CLTC 2016 Participant
"Today was another exciting and educational day for me at CLTC! I realized that everyone has different viewpoints on challenges that they have within their own chapters and regions. We also discussed how we define our own personal Jewish identity. CLTC continues to be an amazing experience and has prepared me with the confidence to be ready for any challenge!"
- Sara Fink, Liberty Region, CLTC 2016 Participant
“I can't believe that one month ago today I arrived at the Milwaukee airport and was about to experience the most life-changing 12 days of my life. One month ago today I met my second family and some of my closest friends!”
- Ami Lieberman, Great Midwest Region, CLTC 2016 Participant
“My commitment to BBYO has been strengthened by this experience, as I now understand how well it fosters a wide variety of opinions and ideas and creates an environment where all people are accepted. CLTC has been an experience of a lifetime, and this was just the cherry on top"
- Ryan B., Bellaire, TX, CLTC 2015
"CLTC has made me so incredibly proud to be Jewish, a part of BBYO, and helped me to learn even more about myself"
- Stephanie R., Upper Saddle River, NJ, CLTC 2015
“There are not many words I can use to explain how much this experience has impacted my life for the better. I've made so many amazing new friends from around the world… I can tell that these people will be some of my best friends for the rest of my life. I also connected in a way I never had to Judaism and my Jewish heritage. We had the freedom to express our Jewish identities freely without judgment or guidelines... CLTC has encouraged me to strive to do my best and be a role model in every setting. The sisterhood I experienced, the friends I've made, and the memories I've gained will never compare to anything else or be done justice in words. I would advise anyone who has the opportunity to go, to jump at it. I am a different person coming out of this; a better person. “
- Ava N., Pittsburgh, PA, CLTC 2014
“We wanted to thank you for giving Alison the best summer experience. Her coordinators were beyond amazing and incredible role models. Alison cannot stop praising and expressing her appreciation for all the hard work and effort the CLTC team provided. She said that they made sure that each moment of the day was the best it could be.”
– Adam & Hadas Levine, CLTC 2015 Parent
"I read each of your CLTC updates with an increasing sense of wonder and pride. I am so impressed with the content that you are sharing- this deep immersion in Judaisism and leadership, and the discussions you are promoting about values and identity in a fun and position environemtn are what I have always wanted for Josh- and I know, from the tone of his quick texts to me, that he loved every minute of the experience. I have always been grateful to BBYO for the leadership opportunities and friendships that it has provided for Josh, but you have earned a huge new fan at a whole other level based on the incredible content of this national program!"
– Mindy B., Atlanta, GA, CLTC 2015 Parent
“Jared comes from a very strong BBYO family and has a great role model in his sister, who has loved it dearly. Both his father and I were deeply involved, as was his grandfather, as a professional in both Omaha and Kansas City. However, nothing we could have done or said would have instilled in him the passion and excitement with which he has returned!”
– Stacey and Rick B., Leewood, KS, CLTC 2014 Parents
ILTC - INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING CONFERENCE
“There is a magic at Perlman that I have never experienced anywhere else. I will always remember that magic…I don't know how to put that feeling into words and if I may ever feel the same again.”
- Sydney Axe, Great Midwest Region, ILTC 2016 Participant
“Thank you so much for a fantastic ILTC. If I didn't meet you I would still love to get to know you. BBYO is my favorite place to be and you all make me feel like I'm a part of a giant family that supports me and it's amazing. You all deserve to feel the way I do so if any of you ever need anything at all I'll always be here for you and never hesitate to ask. Thank you for a life changing experience.”
- Ari Nitzkin, Michigan Region, ILTC 2016 Participant
“Just want to let you know that Aron is safely back home in Slovakia. But it’s a very different Aron than the one we sent to your camp. He came back glowing, with endless stories of friendship and inspiration, so positive and hopeful for the future, so connected to his re-established identity that we almost do not recognize him. He told us he was never so proud of being Jewish, never before felt so interconnected with a caring community that was open and accepting and never before so deeply challenged to think about who he is and what his place in this world is meant to be.”
- Rut & Josef, Slovakia, Parents of an ILTC 2016 Participant
“ "I did not just come out with better leadership skills, I came out with new friends that I can call my brothers. Same goes out to everyone else at ILTC. Thank you for the lifelong memories. Thanks to BBYO, I've never been more proud to be a Jew."
-Zach G., Coral Springs, FL, ILTC 2015
"Thank you for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life and I loved every moment of it. I have grown and learned a lot and can't wait to use my knowledge in upcoming years."
-Maddie S., ILTC 2015
“BBYO has given me life-long friends from all over the world I never thought possible. I have learned so much in such a short time… Thank you for giving me the confidence I needed to not be afraid to speak up, stand up and be myself. It never really hit me til about the middle of ILTC that the future of the Jewish population… is in the hands of our generation. We are the leaders of tomorrow and we are the strongest ones the Jewish community has.”
–Sophie L., Charlotte, NC, ILTC 2014
“I asked my son out of 10, with 10 being the highest how he would rate this summer at ILTC. He rated it a 10.”
– Melissa F., Brookville, MD, ILTC 2014 Parent
“Thank you to all of you who taught me lessons across the entire spectrum of life. Thank you to all of you for never letting me feel alone. Thank you to all of you for helping to build a community that will be the cornerstone of my Jewish identity for the years to come. Thank you to all of you for letting me share my own experiences and impart upon you my wisdom. Thank you to all of you who listened to 'This is Water' or learned ‘How To Think Ahead.’ Thank you for being the most intelligent, thoughtful, and caring community of leaders of which I have had the privilege of be a part. And finally, thank you for making this the best end to my BBYO experience I could ever imagine.”
- Hunter Cohn, Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region, Kallah 2016 Participant & Coordinator
“Before coming to Kallah, I thought I was pretty firm in my Judaism. But as it turns out, getting to know all of the different perspectives you all had on topics, I find myself pondering over how I want to live my Judaism…In this aspect Kallah was definitely a 100% life-changing experience!”
- David Schapiro, Germany, Kallah 2016 Participant
"Overall, I can say without a doubt that this experience has been the best of my life, and I came out feeling moved and changed for the better in every way possible, with the knowledge that each participant has a bright future and an equally strong will to better the world"
- Nicci Mowzowski, Kallah 2015
“I have changed so much as a person, my connection to Judaism has developed, and I can proudly say I have had the life-changing experience previous attendees have talked about.”
– Elliott D., North Potomac, MD, Kallah 2014
"Being at Kallah made me feel connected with my Judaism and with my global community.”
- Herni M, Argentina, Kallah 2014
“Just a mere 21 days ago we embarked on a Jewish journey with a set of goals ranging from finding ourselves to making international friends to uncovering our deep, real, and raw beliefs. Throughout our time together so many unforgettable things have happened and I can't picture experiencing those life-changing moments with anyone else.”
– Brianna K., Oakland Gardens, NY, Kallah 2014