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Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC) Blog – Bethany College

Maccabia at CLTC 2!

Posted on 06/22/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Today were the Maccabia games at CLTC 2! The theme of Maccabia for CLTC 2 was the Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. The four teams created were Argentina (Blue), UK & Ireland (Red), Israel (White), and Bulgaria (Green). As part of the competition, each team was asked to write a blog post. Read below to see what our teams had to say!

UK & Ireland, Red Team Today, the Maccabia games of CLTC 2 began. A wave of fear hung in the air like a thick fog while participants awaited the calling of their name as each was assigned to a team. It turned into a battle of the countries: the UK/Ireland, Argentina, Israel, and Bulgaria in a race to the finish, each team hoping to achieve activity. It was a Jewish hunger games, savage teens competing in brutal competitions that tested athleticism, strength, and honor. Friendships were tested. Rivalries were formed. Would it all be worth it for the grand prize, a prize only the winning team would receive, a title of success? Throughout the day we played hard and fought for first place. Even though we came in fourth place at the end, it was an incredible day.

Argentina, Blue Team CLTC Community— My name is Simon Schaefer and I represent Exodus AZA #1372 from Connecticut Valley Region #17, Sababa AZA #323 (we changed our number) at CLTC 2, and am a co-captain of the BLUE TEAM in the CLTC Maccabia Games! We had an awesome surprise today when we learned that we would be competing in various events for the honored title of champions. For much of the afternoon we played gaga, ultimate frisbee, and basketball. We also made our team flag, song, and cheer. It was so much fun getting to know new people and getting closer with our teammates. We bonded as a CLTC 2 community, embracing every minute of the day. From a really meaningful meditation style Shacharit service to a fun Birkat Hamazon at lunch to all of the amazing activities, it was awesome! Shout out to my amazing co-captain Brynne Jacobs from BBG #63 from Lonestar region. You're awesome and even though we came in third place, I had an amazing time together! In closing, I would like to leave you with a few haikus summarizing the day.

CLTC 2, Maccabia Games are cool, Blue's the winning team Wild cheering's fun, But be a good sportsman, guys! Don't be too salty. I like haikus much, But some don't make any sense Refrigerator. But back to the day, It was the best one so far, LET'S GO BLUE, LET'S GO! Fraternally submitted with undying love for CLTC 2, Sababa AZA #323, the blue team, the Connecticut Valley Region #17, and my home and my heart Exodus AZA #1372, I am and forever humbly remain, Aleph Simon Schaefer.

Israel, White Team When I first signed up for CLTC, I was skeptical. My first thoughts were feelings of fear: I'm not religious, so would I be accepted? I'm not on my chapter board, so would I understand the leadership-focused programming? I'm not even that involved in BBYO. How would I fit in? Well, all of that changed in an instant. By the 5th day of the program, I felt like I fit in and I even ran for S'ganit of my mock chapter board. Even though I lost, I became a chairperson and was still involved. Being at CLTC allows you to get the experience of being in a leadership role and allows for some trial and error before you go home and potentially assume the role of a leader in your real chapter. I can truthfully say that I would never think of changing my decision to come here for a second. Not only have I learned incredibly valuable lessons for my future BBYO career, but I have established indescribable connections with people from across the country. In the 12 short days of CLTC, I have created friendships that will last infinitely. The programs here are making me laugh, cry, sing, dance, and sometimes just smile. CLTC is the leverage that turns an ordinary BBYO leader into an active passionate leader, maybe even a “Dugmah Ishit” (Personal Example in Hebrew). I am so proud that the Israel White Team came in second place today at Maccabia!

Bulgaria, Green Team CLTC provides a fun way for teens around the country to come together and develop their leadership skills. Mock chapters are created to help create an easy way to learn how a chapter is run, how programs are created, and how to become a better leader in your chapter at home. During CLTC, we also have many different rotations that teach teens about Judaism, how to plan programs, parliamentary procedure, and more. Besides being a leadership conference, there are many other things teens get out of the experience, including friendships that will last a lifetime. As well as the learning aspects, CLTC creates a community of Jewish teens who all love BBYO. It's an indescribable feeling to be around so many people that share your values and passions. Instant friendships are made, and they often last forever. We learn together, laugh together, cry together, and grow together. This experience is unlike any other, as you get closer with Jewish teens from around the United States, as well as closer to your own Jewish identity. CLTC is an experience we will cherish forever, and we are so honored and proud to have been the winners of this year’s Maccabia!


Day 7 of CLTC 2

Posted on 06/20/2016 @ 10:00 PM

Today was one of my favorite days of CLTC because our mock chapter, Haganah, was finally dorm of the day! After seeing every other chapter have so much fun leading the day with prayers and flag raising/lowering I was really anxious for our chapter to have our turn. Considering we are the last chapter (dorm #6), this event was greatly anticipated but was certainly worth the wait. We started off the day by singing Hatikvah and the Pledge of Allegiance while folding a flag and then led the prayers at breakfast. We also led the prayers during lunch and dinner, which was really exciting for us. Being able to lower the flag after a great Chofesh was a nice way to tie the day together.

I'm having so much fun at CLTC and the days are flying by, but the nighttime programming took a more serious note. Tonight we had a program centered on the March of the Living, a program through BBYO which takes teens to Poland and then to Israel to commemorate the holocaust. The program we experienced intended to educate us about the opportunity, while giving us a connection and feeling of importance for attending as well.

In the program we heard what it was like for teens our age to go through the holocaust, we watched videos that were taken at some of the concentration camps by teens that attended March of the Living, and we heard stories from staff members that had gone on the program. After the staff spoke, we were given the opportunity to talk to our peers about any experiences or knowledge that we had of the holocaust and it was an incredibly emotional and intense moment for all of us. It brought us together in a way that cannot be explained and the room was filled with tears. We ended the program by singing together and saying the Shemah, and we left the program with arms around each other in great support. I have enjoyed CLTC so much and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. - Ryan Krane


Day 6 of CLTC 2

Posted on 06/19/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Today is June 19th which is also Father's Day. We started out the day by raising the flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, which we do every morning. After flag raising and breakfast we had our morning Shacharit, which was themed as a “G-d Talks” service. It was a meaningful and spiritual way for us to begin the day.

Following the service, we split into our rotation groups for three sessions: Program Planning, Know Your Audience, and Jewish Leadership. Each was incredibly educational and helped me understand more about the values of BBYO. The next session was a range of electives based on BBYO’s initiatives. The options included J-Serve, Stand UP, Speak UP, Global Shabbat, Voice Your Vote, and Globalization. I learned about the global initiatives of our organization and how we can bring them back to our chapters to educate more members on them.

At our chapter planning time we were able to learn how to properly calendar our programs. To introduce the Israeli theme of the night, we had falafel for dinner! After dinner we had an Israel Program where we simulated a trip to Israel and learned about the life of our Shaliach, Guy. We learned that he will be joining the army shortly after he gets back from CLTC, which I think is pretty incredible.

It was an amazing day filled with learning, fun, and inspiration!

-Haley and Sammi


Israel Program at CLTC

Posted on 06/19/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Today we took part in the Israel program of CLTC. As part of the program, the teens were asked to write a letter to Israel as if it were a person. Below are some of the incredible letters written by our teens to Israel:

“Hi Israel, how are you? I hope you are better than when we last spoke. You were quite the innovator back in the days, how are you doing with that? I hear that you are dealing with some terror issues, I hope they get better soon. Good luck with everything, I hope to hear back from you soon! Cordially, Jacob Welch NRE:DC Council, Haganah AZA #3134”

“Dear Israel, Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for being my home. Don’t get me wrong, America is my country. But you, Israel, are my home. Hopefully I can visit someday soon. With love, Zack Miller, an honorary American Jew Keystone Mountain Region, Sababa AZA #4”

“Dear Israel, Hi, how are you? I heard about what happened with you. I’m sorry that you’re having troubles. On the bright side, you have a lot of great things going on right now, I know you can make it through. You always come out stronger after situations like this. I hope you get well soon. - Paul Siegel Nadiv Michigan Region, Sababa AZA #4”

“Israel, You mean so much to many people. You have gone through good and bad and we will always be here for you. Although you are the smallest country in the world, you are our whole world. Love, Sophie Marx Eastern Region, Oshrat Ahava BBG #614”


Donagi and Sons at CLTC 2

Posted on 06/18/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Shabbat is known as the day of rest, and though I did not rest today, I certainly enjoyed it. Today during Chofesh, our Israeli Shaliach, Guy Donagi, transformed the common room of our dorm into a small Israeli coffee shop! The mock coffee shop was called Donagi and Sons (a play on his last name), and it was incredibly creative.

We were all able to get a little bit of an Israeli experience by coming to be with him. He served coffee, chocolate milk (called Choco in Hebrew) and oranges to snack on, and played Israeli music for us all to listen to which I thought was really cool to hear. In addition to the edible items, he also brought some traditional Israeli games which many of us took part in playing in. Some of the games that we were able to play were paddle ball (known as “Matcot” in Hebrew), and Backgammon (known as Shesh Besh in Hebrew).

With the music blasting and the room filled with Ruach (spirit), everyone got to experience something truly unique. I competed in a highly competitive game of Shesh Besh against Guy, which resulted in a very narrow victory.  Overall, this activity was a wonderful immersion into Israeli culture, with wonderful food, friends, and music. I would love to see more programs like this in the future, because a lot of us don’t get to see what Israel is really like and this was a great way to get a glimpse!

- Miles Bader


First Shabbat of CLTC 2

Posted on 06/17/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Every day at CLTC 2 we have Chofesh, which is our free time for the day. I've found it tough at times to decide on what to do during this time, and it has been something that I have given a lot of thought to. Although I've only been at CLTC for a few days, the options are abundant. Whether you're singing or hanging out with friends, calling home, playing games in the common rooms, or playing sports, everyone feels included.

One thing that I’ve found to be fun is hanging out with friends in the common area of our suites. For example, yesterday a group started to form in my dorm living room. BBGs from all different regions and chapters gathered to sing together and be accompanied by ukuleles. I also saw exciting videos of our Shaliach from Israel, Guy, playing a suspenseful game of Jenga. I also observed a group of Alephs playing ultimate Frisbee. No matter what we decide to do during Chofesh, it remains our time.

For Shabbat we were able to take great pictures outside, followed by a beautiful dinner and service that one of our mock chapters planned and ran. The service for the night was centered on the shooting in Orlando, where we prayed for the victims and learned about who they were. It was a very moving experience and what was great about it was that it was a safe space, and because we had the free time to bond with each other it was easy for us to support each other and comfort each other through it.

While we are here to learn and grow as individuals and leaders through the lessons of CLTC, having time to get to know each other and have fun together is something that I really appreciate from this program. There is so much that we can learn from each other in addition to what we can learn from the staff, and it makes this summer program a really rounded out experience!

Respectfully Submitted, Pheobe Metzger-Levitt


Day 2 of CLTC 2

Posted on 06/16/2016 @ 09:00 PM

My Brother Alephs, My Sister BBGs, Parents, and Friends—

My name is Simon Schaefer and I hail from Exodus AZA #1372 in the Connecticut Valley Region #17. Right now, I’m at CLTC 2 in Bethany, WV where I am part of the mock chapter Sababa AZA #4.

Today was a really exciting day for the boys in my chapter. It was our turn to be the “Dorm of the Day”. We began the day at the flag pole where we raised the flags and sang both the Star Spangle Banner and Hatikvah. In addition, we taught the Jewish value of tradition. We asked everyone to meet someone new from a different region and find out a regional tradition that was different from home.

The day continued with a delicious (and phone free) breakfast followed by a meaningful Shacharit service. After, we did three rotational programs where we learned about MRIHA, what to do when Jewish values conflict, and how to make a healthy chapter! Before I knew it, we were already eating lunch with new friends.

After lunch, we broke up into our mock chapters for two programs about the executive board positions available for election and selecting our mock chapter’s identity. My mock chapter chose the name Sababa AZA #4, whose mascot is a rainbow spork (spoon-fork hybrid). We came together at the flag pole again to lower the flags and reflect on today’s theme, tradition. Who would have guessed that Eastern Region: Carolina Council plays “Raise Up” by Pettey Pablo at every regional dance?

Now reflecting on the day, I can confidently say that we became much closer as a CLTC community. I saw countless people stepping out of their comfort zone and talking to new people, making what will be lifelong connections and friends. When the 91st Grand Aleph Godol, Colin Silverman, visited my region for our spring convention he told us that we should keep our old traditions, but also create our own traditions. CLTC is quite famous for its Shira Song Sessions. We, CLTC 2 2016 have, with the Cicadas, expanded on this tradition of singing, dancing, and having a good time with each other. We don’t only do this at Shira, but also while we’re walking to and from meals, in the dorms, and at Chofesh.

I can't wait to see what the next days will bring—so many laughs, knowledge, and friendships. But I know that these will truly be the best 12 days of my life!


First Day of CLTC 2!

Posted on 06/15/2016 @ 09:00 PM

Today my Dorm was the first “Dorm of the Day” for the program! The responsibilities of being “Dorm of the Day” include flag raising, picking a theme of the day and leading in prayer sessions! The theme that we chose for the first day of the program was acceptance and open mindedness in relation to meeting new people and forming new friendships.

Our first activity of the day was the morning service, also known as Shacharit. The service was a fantastic and touching experience. We were able to truly connect with the present moment, begin to understand the impact that CLTC will have on us in the next few days, and internalize that we are about to begin a great journey together. Our song leader, Stephen, taught us a song with lyrics that really impacted me- "we may never see this moment, or place or time again”. These lyrics really spoke to me because time marches on, and as our Jewish Educator, Ira said, we should make these moments as special as we can.

In the afternoon our chapters had the chance to get together and get to know each other. I am a member of Chapter One, where we discussed the do's and don’ts of being a leader, how to handle a situation, and how certain road blocks may come about when doing so. Each of the girls in our chapter picked a song that they thought represented themselves, and we put them all together to make a playlist to play as we walk into the room every day!

Another special moment of the day was at the end of dinner, when we did something special and read the Birkat Hamazon in English. This allowed us to learn the meaning of what we are saying in prayers. For our evening activities, we started the night off with the Shira (singing) in the Art Gallery led by our Song Leader, Stephen. Following Shira was a program about the AZA/BBG, which turned into a great rap battle between the guys and girls about the principles and ideals that BBYO stands for. We also had the ability to learn the chants and songs that exist in BBYO, led by our coordinators Max and Amanda.

To end the day we had ice pops for snack and got into a friendship circle to end the night on a great note. We had our arms around each other, swaying, feeling like we were one tightly knit community. I couldn't have asked for a better day to start off CLTC and I want to thank everyone who was apart of making every bit amazing!

“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it... The world needs more of that” -Alfie Deyes

Submitted with an undying love for Liberty region, CLTC2, guy the Israeli guy, food allergy squad, first blogger, abs and Ray, ankle holding, Swalsh, and Rachael spelling her name right I forever remain Rachael Blake a proud BBG who had an amazing first day


CLTC 2 2016 Blog Updates Coming Soon!

Posted on 04/20/2016 @ 05:00 PM

We’re pumped for CLTC 2 2016, and hope you are, too! Check back here once the program starts for live updates all session long!


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