Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC) Blog – Bethany College
Planning Shabbat Atmosphere
Posted on 07/24/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Hello readers, this is Henry Learner and Alex Kirshner from Mountain Region #47 writing to you about planning Shabbat atmosphere. Shabbat atmosphere is what leads up to the Shabbat service, including the dinner before it. We are also dorm of the day today, which means that we have all of the responsibilities that accompany that as well as planning for Shabbat. First, we had to choose a value of the day and we decided on individuality. Then, in the morning, we raised the American and Israeli flags. At lunch, we presented a slam poem about individuality and for dinner we are giving everyone a candle, which will spell out “Be Yourself.” It can be stressful planning many activities at one time, but we are confident that it will run smoothly tonight. This is out second and final time being dorm of the day and our first time planning Shabbat atmosphere, but we will exceed expectations for sure. Fraternally submitted with undying love for Aish Achdut AZA, we forever remain Alephs Henry Learner and Alex Kirshner.
I Believe That We Will Win
Posted on 07/23/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Tuesday was a typical day at CLTC, until we were guided to the gazebo for a new activity. But sometimes things are not what they seem. The plot twist of the day was that all CLTC 6 campers would be competing in Maccabiah, or color war. Each person was assigned to a color: green, white, red, or blue. Each team included both Alephs and BBGs. Teams competed against each other in various events, including team building activities, a spirit/cheer contest, basketball, dodge ball, gaga, and family feud. Teams also participated in a photo scavenger hunt around the Bethany campus. Later that night we attended a party to promote the upcoming International Convention. There was music and dancing and we found out who won the color war. As team rankings were announced everyone cheered. The green team had won the Maccabiah Games! Overall, it was a day full of excitement, happiness, bonding, spirit, and recreation.
Wednesday was the beginning of chapter programs. All the chapters are getting to present the programs that they planned and it has been very interesting to see everyone’s ideas and hard work finally being put into action. This is crucial for our learning so we can see and experience more about programs to bring back to our chapters at home to strengthen them. Each mock chapter has based their program off of a programming fold to simulate an engaging and informative activity. This is all been a very proactive experience and we can’t wait to share our leadership skills with our chapters at home.
- Allana Beckman, South Jersey Region & Elena Rogers, Eastern Region
Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
Posted on 07/22/2015 @ 12:39 AM
Today was yet another exciting day at CLTC 6! Our mock chapter Chazak AZA successfully raised close to $600 today during lunch by hosting a fun and exhilarating live auction. The money raised will go towards helping children with disabilities through the non- profit organization called Bottles of Smiles, which was created by a member of the chapter itself last year. So far the auction is only half way over and we can’t wait to see the impact we make on children with disabilities as we continue fundraising tonight at dinner. To make us feel more connected to our stand- up cause, we plan to have the whole CLTC community work hands on with Bottles of Smiles later this week! This was a FUN(D) day! -David Stulberg, Rocky Mountain Region; Gavin Roth, Lonestar Region
Fun With Fundraisers
Posted on 07/21/2015 @ 12:46 AM
Hi! This is Hope Crystal from Great Midwest Region, Danielle Haase from Rocky Mountain Region, and Elana Cohen from Northern Region East: DC Council. Today our mock chapter, Yalla Osher BBG, held a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In it we sold raffle tickets to throw whipped cream pies at staff who volunteered to take part. Leukemia and lymphoma are types of cancer that affect many people’s lives and we feel strongly about the cause. Hope’s mother had leukemia and was cured, and every year they still do the walk for the cause. This is how we decided on our charity. Many people were eager to throw pies at certain counselors so our fundraiser was very successful. We raised over $200 for the cause. Today was as sweet as pie!
CLTC 6 Goes To Israel
Posted on 07/20/2015 @ 12:54 AM
After a wonderful first Shabbat together, CLTC 6 “flew” to Israel and visited our Israeli counselor, Nofchi’s “house”. On the way there, everyone wrote letters to Israel as if Israel was a person. At Nofchi’s house, we heard a little about her life and “her Israel” and a few volunteers shared the letters that they wrote. These are two of those letters.
“Dear Israel, I recently visited you and had the best time of my life. Being there really changed my life. Going to places like Yad Vashem and Mount Hertzl really had a huge impact on my life. But the most memorable part was going to the Kotel on Shabbat. At that moment, with so many feelings going through my mind, then and there I knew what it was like to be Jewish. Love, Austin.” (Austin Winslow, Gold Coast Region)
“Dear Israel, You are the home, and you are the symbol, and you are the hope. Your history and beauty remind us Jews of the validity of our prayers. Israel, I see you for who/what you are and you have magic in you to heal and to help. Israel, you are appreciated. You teach us all around the world of the meaning of Judaism. Please continue to make everyone in awe of how beyond incredible you are. Keep flourishing, making your beauty even more prosperous, and please keep your character, which inevitably brings people together. I hope to see you soon. –Zoey.” (Zoey Goldberg, Northern Region East: DC Council)
Looking Towards Shabbat
Posted on 07/17/2015 @ 07:00 PM
Hi! My name is Anna Fleisher from South Jersey Region #35. Today is only our first Shabbat at CLTC and I already feel so close with everyone. Working closely with my mock chapter has helped me with my leadership and teamwork skills. Having 67 teens travel from all different regions gives everyone an interesting perspective to the differences each region and chapter have. Each day, all of our leadership skills improve as we can bring what we learn back to our home chapters, and we can use them in the future for everyday purposes.
Reflecting On Our Community
Posted on 07/16/2015 @ 11:00 PM
Hello everyone from Day 3 of CLTC, this is Spencer Fuhr from Evergreen Region, Cameron Diamond from Lonestar Region, and Tyler Dodd from Nassau Suffolk Region. At the beginning, everyone coming to CLTC does not know what to expect, though most people come to make friends. But we have found that people begin to establish who they are within the first few hours. The staff does a great job of preventing people from feeling isolated, by interacting with them and others at the baggage claim and throughout the program. We also noticed that our fellow participants started to come together and form friendships as early as the first hours together at the airport and during icebreakers. We thought a lot about why/how this happens, and the conclusion we came to is that we, as Jewish teens all relate with one another through the common interest of two things, BBYO and Judaism. Throughout our BBYO careers, we have learned how to branch out, meet new people, and be outgoing people. We think this is exceptionally rare for teens of this generation to branch out and meet new people with such ease. But the thing about BBYO is that we all share a common goal, and that goal is to reach self-realization. Fraternally submitted with undying love for Chazak AZA #115, CLTC 6 2015, and the Global Jewish community.
Building Connections at CLTC 6
Posted on 07/16/2015 @ 12:31 AM
Hey y’all, it is day 2 of CLTC 6 and we are already having a blast. This is Nikki Goldin from Lonestar Region, Julia Keizler from New England Region, and Hannah Haine from Eastern Region, Virginia Council. Today our dorm is the “dorm of the day.” This means our mock chapter of 11 girls, which is also known as Yalla Osher BBG (“let’s go happiness”!) gets to choose a Jewish value theme for the day. Yalla Osher BBG chose the value of “Ahavat Ger.” This value addresses loving and talking to people all around you, including strangers. We enforced this today by encouraging others to find and talk to new people based off of similar characteristics. This proved to be incredibly beneficial to our fellow Alephs and BBGs. It feels great to know we might be the reason people have life long friends. We are already having a fantastic time here at CLTC, and we are anxiously awaiting these following days.
Welcome to CLTC 6!
Posted on 07/15/2015 @ 12:00 AM
Welcome to CLTC 6 2015! We are your coordinators, Rebecca Lewis from Eastern Region and Colin Silverman from Great Midwest Region. We're so glad to say that everyone has arrived safely and we are all very excited for the upcoming 12 days. We spent the day getting to know each other and beginning to build our community.
The theme for CLTC this summer is "find yourself a teacher" whether that be staff, each other, or the two of us. For many participants, this is their first Summer Experience and we are eager to be a part of it and welcome them to BBYO on the International level. As everyone goes to bed tonight, we reflect on our first day together and prepare for the next 11 days of fun and learning.
Remember to continue to check the blog throughout the session for more posts from the participants!
Lessons Learned at CLTC
Posted on 07/10/2015 @ 12:56 AM
“CLTC so far, to me, has been an experience of a lifetime. Each day has brought me closer to both my brother Alephs and sister BBG’s. I come from a less well-known region in the Grand Order, and I am the only one from my region here at CLTC 4. In the beginning, I was scared I wouldn’t make friends. Now, as we are close to the end of CLTC 4, I have made so many new friends from all over the nation, and my fear of not making any friends did not come true.
Fraternally submitted with undying love for my Mom, Dad, siblings, JFK #456, PWR #44, and the Grand Order of the Aleph Tzadik Aleph, I remain Aleph Liam Charles Cohen.”
“Leading my mock chapter these past 12 days has been an incredible experience and has taught me so many things about leadership. As we have worked diligently through challenges and accomplished many tasks together, Achim AZA has bonded in remarkable ways. Through our CLTC experiences, each of us has grown as leaders and has been prepared to make incredible improvements to our home BBYO and Jewish communities. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had here at CLTC and can’t wait to return and do everything I can to make my own chapter even more prosperous.”
-Jonathan Schwartz, KIO Region
CLTC 4 Goes to Israel
Posted on 07/07/2015 @ 02:00 AM
This afternoon, CLTC 4 “flew” to Israel to visit our Israeli counselor, Nofar and learn about her life. Earlier in the program, participants wrote letters to Israel as if Israel were a person. In “Nofchi’s house” volunteers shared their letters and a few offered to share them here on the blog.
“Dear Israel, I would love to come visit you soon! You’re so beautiful in every single way. I am honored that my people call you home. No matter where I go, you will always be a part of me. You will always be in my heart. I think about you sometimes. Swimming in your Dead Sea, seeing your Western Wall, and meeting your amazing people. Thank you for being a home to my people. Without you, we would be nothing. I hope that you always stay alive and well. I love you.” -Bekkah Lerman, Mountain Region
“Dear Israel, I know your life is a difficult one to life. You have many enemies, many threats, and many struggles. But do not let that get you down. The positive aspects of your life outweigh the negative. You have a bright and successful future. You have a rich culture and a passionate people. You have natural beauty and infinite wisdom. You are the future of this world. With love always, Ari.” -Ari Fischel, Northern Region East: DC Council
First Shabbat at CLTC 4
Posted on 07/05/2015 @ 10:00 PM
Hi, this is Julia, Emily, and Ruthie from Chaverot BBG. This week, we kicked Shabbat off with dinner where we talked about what aspects of CLTC remind us of home. Afterwards, our chapter, Chaverot BBG, planned a powerful Shabbat service also surrounding the theme of home. Our Shabbat experience continued on Saturday with a morning service and electives, followed by an outdoor havdallah service. While our Fourth of July experience did not include fireworks, glow sticks were a part of the celebration.
Today, many of the teens chose to participate in Tzom Tammuz, a fast in remembrance of the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, which led to the destruction of the Second Temple. In addition to this, we increased our skill set by attending sessions on how to be better leaders for certain board positions.
We can’t wait to see what else CLTC brings!
--Julia Kramer, Lonestar region; Emily Lawerence, Eastern Region; Ruthie Renberg, Northern Region East
Homey Shabbat Atmosphere at CLTC 4
Posted on 07/03/2015 @ 07:00 PM
It’s Ari and Maddie here for your day 4 update. Shabbat is just around the corner and as the chapter responsible for setting the atmosphere--we chose the theme of home. We feel it’s the perfect theme for the first Shabbat, knowing that some of the participants might feel slight bouts of homesickness since it could be their first time away from home. However, Bethany College and all of the CLTC 4 staff and kids are quickly becoming a family and a home too. This morning, we asked participants to find an item at CLTC that reminded them of home--whether home was found in a person, place or thing on campus. We as BBGs have found a home in our mock chapter, Challah BBG, which is why we chose this name. Challah, just like us BBGs, has been braided together to create something special, united, and unique. We hope everyone enjoys their Shabbat, as we put much time and effort into its planning. “Home is the nicest word there is, ”--Laura Ingalls Wilder. P.S. 1, 2, 3, …CHALLAH!
-Ari Hagarty, Liberty Region and Maddie Horvitz, Northern Region East: DC Council
CLTC 4 Updates
Posted on 07/02/2015 @ 10:00 PM
Hey, this is Gus and Jeremy from Atlanta and Washington DC, respectively. It’s been a busy couple of days here at Bethany College. We already held our mock chapter elections! Now, we are planning a powerful program for Shabbat that relates to appreciating freedom, and we hope that it conveys a powerful message to everyone here at CLTC 4. Even though it’s only been three days, everyone seems to keep getting closer and closer to one another. We are so excited for what the next ten days will bring us! We never want it to end!
-Gus Glasser, Southern Region & Jeremy Bloom, Northern Region East
“Today is day 3 (counting arrival day) and it feels like I have known these people for all of my life. I have met 87 new people and I am proud to call them my brothers and sisters for life. Already I can tell that CLTC will be the best 12 days of my life. Thank you all for letting me become your brother. #brothersandsistersforlife
-Jake Stofman, South Jersey Region
A Busy First Full Day
Posted on 07/02/2015 @ 12:56 AM
“Shalom, this is Becca and Talia here at Bethany College! It’s only been 24 hours but it feels like so much longer and we’ve become so close to people in such a short period of time. So far we have learned all about election procedures, public speaking, Jewish profiles and our leadership personalities- and it’s only the first day!! Although the walking can be tiring, it’s a great way to meet new people and talk. We can’t wait for everything else that about to come over the rest of the 12 days here at CLTC!”
-Becca Levitt, Lonestar Region & Talia Genossar, Eastern Region
CLTC 4 Begins!
Posted on 07/01/2015 @ 12:00 AM
Coming to you from CLTC 4, we’re your coordinators, Leah Kay from Liberty Region and Zach Alter from Connecticut Valley Region! We can’t believe the day has finally arrived for CLTC 4 2015 to begin, and we couldn’t be more excited! The next twelve days will include participants fulfilling the lesson of, “find yourself a teacher; acquire a friend; and judge every person favorably” through gaining leadership skills, exploring their Judaism, and ultimately creating an incredibly special kehilah, or community with strong friendships that will last a lifetime.
We are both so excited about not only teaching our participants about AZA and BBG through our past experiences, but also learning new lessons from them to bring to the next chapter of our lives. Along with the main theme, “find yourself a teacher”, we will teach the teens and learn from them throughout the next 12 days! Seeing what each participant has to bring into our kehilah is so exciting, and is what will make our time here that much more special!
We cannot wait for the next twelve days! Keep a look out for more blog posts throughout CLTC from our participants!
Posted on 06/28/2015 @ 05:00 PM
As part of our final Friday night Shabbat service at CLTC 2, the Alephs leading the service shared their reflections on their experiences so far. As the participants head home this afternoon, here is one of those reflections as a closing blog post for this session. Thank you to all of the participants of CLTC 2 for a wonderful 12 days.
“Coming into CLTC, I did not know much about BBYO, or how the order works. Whenever my chapter at home would talk about anything or had a meeting, it was always very confusing. CLTC changed that for me and did so much more. It gave me friends. It showed me my Jewish identity. It even changed my perspective of people. My favorite memory at CLTC was from separates last night. While we were walking, I could hear the feet of every Aleph hitting the ground at the same time. It showed me that BBYO is a unified movement of Alephs and B’nai B’rith Girls coming together because of the one thing we have in common- our Jewish heritage.” ~Aleph Matthew Young, South Jersey Region
CLTC 2 International Inductions
Posted on 06/26/2015 @ 06:00 PM
Last night the B’nai B’rith Girls of CLTC 2 had an impactful experience. Each of our 54 new sisters was inducted into the international order of BBYO. As Jilly shared her BBYO experiences, many of us were moved to tears. There was a huge sense of kehillah (community) and sisterhood filling the room. She had us write down how we pictured the rest of our time in BBYO, and then we ripped it into shreds because our life paths are unpredictable. She told us about how her path was nothing like the way she imagined at the start of her BBYO career, and she wanted us to let our path lead us wherever it may go. We then took out our goals that we wrote down on the second day of CLTC, and she asked us to think about how our feelings have changed since then. (Zoe Arking, South Jersey Region; Sarah Gamoran, Northern Region East: DC Council; Sarah Green, Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region)
“I felt an overwhelming rush of emotion take over me. Jilly’s story was too relatable to my own so far, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I felt a bond between me and the girls around me and I got extremely upset about leaving my new family in just a few short days. I love everyone here and can’t wait to see everyone at IC 2016 in Baltimore!” –Zoe
“The bonds that I have shared throughout CLTC have been indescribable. When I got to CLTC I had no idea what to expect and could not have asked for a better experience.” –Sarah Gamoran
“Throughout the last 10 days of CLTC, I feel as if I have found myself more than I could have ever expected. I have made lasting friendships and bonds that I can’t describe. I will miss my new friends more than ever, but I’ll see them at IC 2016 in Baltimore.” –Sarah Green
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
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!