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Impactful Chapter Programs

Posted on 06/26/2015 @ 12:34 AM

Today, I had the great honor of co-running a Speak-Up for Israel program with the rest of Mossad AZA, my mock chapter. These programs typically convey different aspects of Israeli culture and/or politics that Americans might not be aware of. Throughout the process of planning this program, each of my fellow chapter members talked extensively about the unfortunate fact that people often convey information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an extremely biased fashion. Even though we are all Jewish here at CLTC, and have a clear bias towards the Israeli cause, we still understand the importance of factual information. Because of this, we tossed around the idea of exposing the points of view of people from both sides of the conflict, as well as explaining flaws within both Judaism and Islam, in an attempt to view the issues of modern Israel in as unbiased a way as possible. The program ended after each person created a prayer in which they detailed their ideas of how peace should be achieved in the region in the form of a “prayer for peace in the state of Israel.” The Mossad AZA Speak-Up program was easily the most meaningful event that I have ever taken part in throughout my BBYO career, and I was absolutely thrilled to learn that everyone got a lot out of it and left with new ideas of how to approach the issues at hand. 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 Bronston, Lonestar Region


A day of questions

Posted on 06/25/2015 @ 12:36 AM

Our second day here at CLTC 3 was an incredibly busy one. The teens had leadership sessions in their chapter, Jewish education rotations, learned about public speaking and explored what unique traits they each bring to the communities that they are a part of. These are some of the questions that the teens though today:

What does it mean to be a leader? What qualities of a leader to you embody?

In their leadership sessions with their mock chapters (they chose names, numbers, colors, and mascots for these today!) they explored the components of what it means to be a good leader. By building their ideal leader, the teens were able to put words to the qualities that make them stand out. Additionally, all members of the CLTC community sat in a session facilitated by our wonderful Site Director, Sherrie Stalarow, about the importance of each and every member in a group.

What do you stand up for? What do you stand up against?

This evening, Izzy Kipnis, BBG Coordinator, and Jacob Herstein, AZA Coordinator, led a program introducing Stand Up, BBYO’s grassroots initiative that mobilizes teens to take part in service, advocacy and philanthropy for causes that they believe in. Each teen got to take either a red or green paper plate and write something that they stand up against (red plates) or stand up for (green plates). The teens went around in a circle and shared their causes – it was an incredibly powerful moment for our community. After the program, the teens went back to their chapters and had a conversation about shared values, while choosing a Stand Up cause for their mock chapters.

Between high-energy song sessions, snack breaks, tacos for dinner, and beautiful weather, CLTC 3 is off to an amazing start.

We can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!

“It was great hearing about all of the other girls passions and learning from them also!” – Arielle Ben-Yosef (Northern Region East: DC Council)

“The stand up program showed us the success we could have with out stand up cause when we go back to our regions” – Emily Dioguardo and Asia Gorman (Northern Region East: Baltimore Council)

“Our passion for causes helped bond our chapter” – Hannah Neubauer (Great Midwest Region)


So Much Happening At CLTC 2

Posted on 06/24/2015 @ 12:58 AM

Hi this is Caroline Nesbit from Northern Region East: DC Council #54 and Anna Epstein from Lonestar Region #73. The past 36 hours at CLTC 2 have been emotional, impactful, inspiring, spirited, and lots of fun. Last night, we had a March of the Living program. We first wrote down the names of people who we love, our accomplishments up until now, and our aspirations for the future. Next, all 95 of us sat in the dark. The only light came from candles in the middle of the room. Our coordinators, Sam and Jilly read us letters between a German girl named Ana and a Jewish boy named Avi. Eventually, the letters from Ari stopped coming. Sam and Jilly then went to explain facts about the holocaust. We watched a video recapping last years March and Jilly shared her experience with us.

“I don’t think I have ever been more proud to be Jewish than last night at CLTC.” – Caroline N.

“Hearing about the March of the Living made me appreciate the opportunities I have as a Jew, and to be proud of my religion.” –Anna E

After the program we all headed to bed to rest up for the next day.

Today was an exciting and spirit filled day at CLTC 2. After services this morning, we had an amazing presentation on membership presented to us by guests from AEPi. We learned how to effectively recruit members for BBYO, but most importantly how to make relationships with new people and share BBYO with them. Following the presentation, they took us over to the gazebo where our counselor, Hod pretended to start a program on group dynamics. That was when Maccabiah started! I (Caroline) was on the blue (Kachol) team while Anna was on the green (Yarok) team. We participated in relay races, gaga, dodgeball, basketball, and family feud. We also competed in a picture scavenger hunt and a cheer competition. In the end, Yarok won first place and Kachol came in fourth. But all that matters is that we had an amazing time bonding with our friends.

Today was such a great day at CLTC, and we cannot wait until tomorrow!


Welcome to Beber

Posted on 06/24/2015 @ 12:11 AM

We're so incredibly excited that everyone has finally arrived at Camp Beber! At the airport we all met for the first time and started getting to know one another. Once we arrived at camp, we took a tour, split into Mock Chapters, and did a few icebreaker activities. If tonight is any indicator of how the next two weeks will go, we have an amazing session to look forward to. It is going to be a great twelve days and we cannot wait to see how much everyone will learn and grow throughout CLTC 3 2015. Be sure to check out the blog daily for updates about the program!

Jacob Herstein, AZA Coordinator & Izabella Kipnis, BBG Coordinator


CLTC 2 Goes To Israel

Posted on 06/22/2015 @ 08:00 PM

Last night for our Israel program, CLTC 2 traveled to Israel on El Al flight 2 after 'meeting' Theodor Herzl and Hannah Senesh. The program culminated in a visit to Nofar’s (our Israeli counselor, or sh’licha) house. Once there, some of the participants shared letters that they wrote to Israel as if Israel were a human being. These are two of those letters.

“Dear Israel, I love you. I am so grateful to have you. Thank you for giving me a place to be unapologetically Jewish, no matter what. You’ve given me a home and I know that I always have you whenever I want or need. Thank you for also being so good to my family; my Bubbie & Zadie adore you and I love their passion for you and I’m so grateful they’ve instilled that passion in me. I miss you and I want so badly to come visit again soon. I guess just thank you for existing. I hate that your existence is constantly threatened and I will do everything in my power to make sure that those threats never turn into anything more than threats and that they go away. I promise to help you thrive in any and every way possible. I love you. Love, Anna” (Anna Wilson, Eastern Region)

“Israel, Firstly I am sorry, they say that bad things happen to good people- I think that definitely applies, but you astound me. You manage to be so happy and celebrative even in the face of absolutely terrible things. You are not perfect, I will not tell you that you are perfect, but you are my home. Keep being happy in the adversity, it’s what makes you so great. I miss you and can’t wait to see you soon. Love, Margot” (Margot Bartol, Northern Region East: DC Council)


Exciting Happenings At CLTC 2

Posted on 06/22/2015 @ 12:33 AM

“CLTC is a group of Jewish teens looking to enrich other Jewish teens each and every day. I’ve never seen a group of high school students act with such selflessness and passion, especially when planning programs. The first Havdallah of the session was amazing. Entering the room, the boys of Fiddler AZA handed each participant an un-cracked glow stick, emphasizing the idea to not crack them until asked. The room was dark, and filled with sounds of familiar tunes; it was calm, relaxing, and flooded with Jewish vibes. After everyone was seated around the guitarists, the boys stood up, and asked the group three questions. They all had deeper meanings to them, and questioned our past experiences with racial slurs, bullying, and moral conducts. After each question, they said to crack your glow stick if you’ve experienced a certain thing. Everyone, at the end, had shining glow sticks. The point of the activity wasn’t only to express societal wrongdoings, but to make us take a deeper look into our inner self. And it worked. The Havdallah set the bar high for future Havdallah services, leaving us all with one question-how can that be beat?” Emmy Oulman, Evergreen Region

“Today, the leaders of CLTC 2 got to pick two sessions that they would like to explore more in depth about the elections, speeches, platforms, and leadership positions. As a surprise, after lunch the staff led a “jello joust” competition, which was very exciting. The crowd was very rowdy and spirited for their mock chapter s'ganim (vice presidents of programming) to win their jousts.

The following are quotes I gathered from three other participants about what they have learned so far here are CLTC:

"I learned so much about not only myself but what I want to pursue in BBYO." -Tara Murray, Eastern Region

"I learned that it's good to be an open minded person in world single minded people" -Lincoln Weinstock, Liberty Region

"More than learning the BBYO fundamentals of programming, fundraising and more, I truly have learned about who exactly I am" -Margot Bartol, Northern Region East: DC Council

Julia Flum, Gold Coast Region #51


Reflections Before Shabbat

Posted on 06/19/2015 @ 05:00 PM

“Year-round I am committed to my Judaism. I am committed to the prayers, the Torah study sessions, and the best part, Hebrew High. Yet, when I walked off of my plane in Pittsburgh and joined all my fellow Jewish friends who I had never met, I felt more connected to my Judaism than ever before. The spirituality everyday thrills my soul. The only morning service I normally ever go to is when my friends or family have Bat Mitzvahs, but every morning here we have a shacharit service. Every morning I get to awaken to the wonderful sound of Hebrew. Now, I’m anticipating the wonderful events of Shabbat, which will take place later tonight and tomorrow, and I am filled with joy. The food, the prayers, the art, the clothes, absolutely everything about the whole idea of Shabbat makes my CLTC experience a life changing one.” ~Dahlia Byles, Rocky Mountain Region

“When I arrived at the airport on the first day, I was extremely shy. I had a shell around me that couldn’t be broken. I barely talked to anyone and avoided communication and social situations whenever possible. The first two days here, I was convinced I would hate it and be alone the whole time. However, after Thursday’s chofesh (free time), I noticed a change in my thoughts. I started opening up; my shell started to break. And best of all, I started to make friends that I know I will have for a long time. Now, on Friday afternoon, I feel the sense of community and inspiration that I have heard about from so many who went to CLTC before me, and I hope that this sense will continue to grow throughout the rest of my time here.” ~Julia Fishkind, Lonestar Region

“CLTC has brought many wonderful opportunities to connect with our Jewish community, through memorable programming and one-of-a-kind people. Now it is time to unwind for the holiest day of the week, and reflect on our incredible times we’ve had. To do this, Massah BBG (dorm #3) has planned an intriguing night featuring Jewish cultures from around the world, and special songs to keep this strong connection of international Judaism alive. I taught the “Amen Amen” song today before the meal, which mirrors that connection for me, as it comes from my school’s theater company, another place that, like BBYO, I can call home. It was a very special and unique experience for me to blend my two groups together through music, and I would like to thank you all for participating and enjoying my personal connection.” ~Lacey Berk, Liberty Region


Operation Smile

Posted on 06/19/2015 @ 11:33 AM

All of the teens have been working super hard on planning a fundraiser to donate to their stand up cause. Each chapter has chosen their own organization that they would like to donate the proceeds of their fundraiser to. One of the chapters, Yalla AZA #514, made t-shirts and had 100% participation from all the teens.

"Being able to help plan a fundraiser where we sold shirts was a great experience for me. It was a bit stressful to estimate how much money we would raise because we weren't sure of the shirt and shipping costs. It was thrilling when the entire CLTC session bought a shirt. We're so happy we were able to double our fundraising goal for Operation Smile and everybody is able to bring back a piece of CLTC 1 back home that includes their special chapter name. These shirts are one of a kind, and we're excited to have been able to bring this kind of memory to everybody at CLTC 1."

Brian Bosem (Gold Coast Region) and David Cohen (Connecticut Valley Region)


Updates From Dorm of the Day

Posted on 06/18/2015 @ 09:28 PM

Every day at CLTC, we have a dorm of the day which is responsible for leading the entire group in some activities throughout the day, as well as the blessings before and after the meals. Some of the Alephs of today's dorm of the day, Achva (fraternity) AZA, shared their thoughts about the first few days of CLTC.

"CLTC so far has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have learned countless and invaluable lessons about leadership." -Aleph Abraham (Abey) Joshua Bazbaz, Lonestar Region #73

"As a whole, CLTC is very exciting and teaches us all great lessons. From bonding with other members of my new mock chapter to having insane basketball games in the gym, CLTC is definitely something many teens should experience." -Aleph Jacob Novack, The Ohio Northern Region

"CLTC 2 is off to a great start. I've met lots of great friends so far, and I can't wait to expand my horizon to meeting even more people. A great first memory of CLTC has been on the second night of CLTC. In my dorm, while we were hanging out before lights out, we had all the Alephs come to our dorm, having a huge dance party. Great first memory, and I'm very excited to have many more to come."- Aleph Elliot Adler, Eastern Region

"The best part about CLTC so far is definitely being able to meet people from all over the order. I used to always think that regions functioned like my own, but I got to learn about how there are different experiences people get from BBYO, and how many regions differentiate from my own. I learned that some regions have events once every week, or they have councils. While my region doesn't have councils and we have events every single Saturday. So being given this experience to learn about my order and gain knowledge is very interesting, and I can't thank CLTC enough for giving me this resource." -Aleph Eli Spivak, Central Region West #45


CLTC 2 Off To A Great Start!

Posted on 06/18/2015 @ 12:45 AM

Hi, this is Karni Beth from Central Region West and Madison Gore from Gold Coast Region! We cannot be more excited to be attending CLTC 2 this summer, and the first 24 hours have already been amazing! From creating our mock chapter, Kochav Zoher BBG #2582, to learning about public speaking, and what CLTC is all about, this experience so far has been filled with lots of memories and new friendships. My (Madison) favorite part of CLTC so far has been with our mock chapter. I have become really close already with the 20 girls and I have learned so much from our madricha. I (Karni) loved the Shira (song session) and felt connected to all 95 of the Jewish teens embarking on this journey through singing and dancing to songs led by Stephen, our song leader. As the sun sets on another lovely day here in West Virginia, we say our laila tovs (good nights) and head to our dorms to get a great night’s sleep and prepare for the upcoming day.


Letter from our song leader

Posted on 06/17/2015 @ 02:17 PM

Hello families of CLTC attendees,

My name is Josh Cohen, from Pleasanton, California, now living in Boston. This is my second summer at CLTC and I love every minute of it! As a teen attending BBYO retreats, one of my favorite things was celebrating Shabbat; being able to rock out, sing and have a great time with the songleader!

Co-Leading daily Shacharit services, working with the teens to plan services and leading evening song sessions are a few things that I do here at CLTC. It has been amazing to see how fast the teens pick up songs and are able to lead sessions after only a few days. Celebrating the end of Shabbat with Havdallah, has always been my favorite part of shabbat at a BBYO retreat or camp. There is nothing like having your friends and staff coming together with their arms around each other singing beautiful music and sharing that amazing spiritual moment with one another. It is an honor to be the CLTC Songleader, bringing the cycle full circle, giving teens a musical Shabbat experience like I had when being a young Aleph.

"I love the song rotation with Josh because he helped us connect with others through singing" - Kezia Douglas (Rocky Mountain Region)


Welcome to CLTC 2!

Posted on 06/16/2015 @ 01:00 PM

Live from Bethany it’s your CLTC 2 coordinators!!! Our names are Jilly Leibovitch from Gold Coast Region and Sam Ennis from Lonestar Region! The day has finally come where the future of our movement will come together for the next 12 days to explore their Judaism and their self, develop and expand upon their leadership skills, and create a loving community and memorable friendships.

This year the theme of CLTC is “find yourself a teacher”. Although, as coordinators, we have graduated from BBYO and begun the next chapter in our lives, we recognize the importance of learning from each other. Every participant brings something different to our session and we are thrilled to find out what makes each participant unique.

We are so excited for this experience! Stay tuned for future blog posts from the CLTC 2 participants! :)


Efsharim BBG #142

Posted on 06/12/2015 @ 10:30 AM

Each day at CLTC, one of the six chapters is assigned to be chapter of the day. The chapter of the day is responsible for coming up with a thought of the day, helping set up for meals, leading Hamotzei (blessing before meals) and the Birkhat Hamazon (blessing after meals). Yesterday's chapter of the day was Efshari BBG #142 and they were so excited to be able to choose their chapter colors, black and pink and their mascot, Kim Possible. All of these details are the first steps in starting to create the bond as sisters and brothers. "When I first got here I knew no one and now it's weird because I can call so many of them my best friends" Emma Jacobsen, North Texas- Oklahoma Region


Note from our Jewish Educator

Posted on 06/11/2015 @ 01:45 AM


At Home from the Start

Posted on 06/10/2015 @ 01:30 PM

"By the time I got my chapter and roommates, I already felt at home! Just from bonding in the airport about BBYO we were already friends and ready to have the best 12 days of our lives." - David Cohen Connecticut Valley Region (CVR)


CLTC 3 2015 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 03/26/2015 @ 05:14 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 3 2015, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


CLTC 5 2015 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 03/26/2015 @ 05:14 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 5 2015, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


CLTC 1 2015 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 03/26/2015 @ 05:00 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 1 2015, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


CLTC 2 2015 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 03/26/2015 @ 05:00 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 2 2015, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


CLTC 6 2015 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 03/26/2015 @ 05:00 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 6 2015, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


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