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Hear From the Kallah 2011 Coordinators

By Kallah 2010 Bloggers on 03/18/2011 @ 08:05 AM

Tags: Kallah2010

by Andrew Greenberg, North Florida Region

What can participants look forward to at Kallah 2011?

Kallah Reflection, Hayley Goldman -- Southern Region, Atlanta Council

Sam: Participants can look forward to the best 3 weeks of their life, but actually. We've been working since November to make sure that we are providing the strongest experience possible. Participants can meet with wonderful educators, participate in amazing electives, see wonderful evening programs, and so much more!

Bobby: This summer at International Kallah participants will not only have the opportunity to gain an insight into their Jewish identity, but they will also be a part of a program that has a focus on Jewish leadership and how there is no "right" way to be Jewish.

Did you attend Kallah? If so, what was the experience like for you?

Sam: I went to Kallah 2009 and it was so wonderful! I met some of my best friends and learned a lot about myself and Judaism.

Bobby:I attended Kallah in 2009 and had a great time with the people who were there. I learned about a lot that could be improved both from 2009 and 2010. I was able to learn more about Judaism in 2009 and I hope to both teach and learn this summer for the best Kallah yet, Kallah 2011.

What advice do you have for teens struggling to find scholarships to afford the program?

Sam: Fill out the international scholarship app, STAT! And then ask your regional/council director if there's scholarship for your region/council. To get more work with your chapter or other members who want to get themselves to Kallah to fund raise. Need ideas? Reach out to us!

Bobby: My first suggestion would be to have a fundraiser. Go to restaurants and ask if they will donate a percentage, have a summer programs walk-a-thon, bake sales, and even something as simple as a cursing jar. Or, try not eating out as much, that can save a lot of money in the long run. Remember that everything adds up.

Do you have to be religious to attend Kallah and receive a quality experience?

Sam: Nope! Kallah is for anyone whether you go to services every weekend or have never stepped foot inside a synagogue. The cool thing about BBYO and Kallah especially is that we create a pluralistic community that is inclusive to everyone!

Bobby: Not at all, I grew up Reconstructionist and was able to find my true Jewish identity at Kallah in 2009. I believe I had an amazing experience and have many friends who also had an amazing time, who were not necessarily very religious, as it is traditionally defined.

Will the program teach leadership skills like other BBYO programs? Or is it mainly Judaic programming?

Sam: Leadership isn't the main focus, but it ends up being a result of spending three weeks exploring your Jewish identity. You become a better leader because you get to know yourself and how to build a community better.

Bobby: International Kallah is a very unique program, unlike any of the other summer programs. Kallah puts a large focus on the Jewish aspects of our daily lives and forces us to struggle with our views as they may sometimes conflict. The lessons we learn and the material we learn can often be related to leadership and Kallah will also have some leadership programs, however just plain leadership, is not the main focus of Kallah. This summer, there will be more leadership than in prior ones.

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